5.1 Thoughts

Last night Build 5.1 went live, which brought an end to the Halloween event and added an option to choose a movement control alignment.

The movement options are to allow players to play with keyboard controls aligned to different directions, so you can choose which feels natural.  Originally at the start of Early Access, the movement system was aligned so that “up” (W key) went towards the top left of the screen.  This was because of the 4-way diagonal movement, which had to be aligned to either top left or top right at that time.  After the recent change to allow for 8-way movement and mouse control, the alignment was changed to be at the middle of the top.  A new player will now find the default controls are set up so that if they press the ‘W’ key, they will move straight up the screen.  In theory, this should be the most simple alignment for a new player to understand.  However some existing players also felt the original movement system was more appealing.  Because of this, I have introduced a control option to allow players to choose between any of the 3 movement alignments (top left, top, top right).

 

controlOptions

 

I hope you all enjoyed the Halloween event and secured a good supply of candy for safe keeping, without being tricked too much.  The Halloween event was good bit of fun to add and I hope you enjoyed it, even if it was a temporary thing.  Being able to change the appearance of the town for a seasonal event was nice, although it has meant a subtle design change going forward.  During the Halloween event, you would have had to create a new world in order to see the updated Halloween town.  This isn’t ideal, as most people don’t want to abandon any world they already have (even though the same character can be used).  Creating a world of your own is neccessary because of the modifiable nature of it.  However, because the town itself is protected from being changed by the player, it does not need to be your own’copy’.  Therefore, going forward, protected areas like the town will always show any updates that have been done.  Unprotected areas like the Woodland will still require a new world be created, in order to see any updates.

 

Future Plans

I would have liked to provide more changes within this build, but I have been preoccupied with planning for the longer term.
It has been tough to decide on what is best in terms of a development plan right now. There are 3 distinct areas of work that I want to explain.  While I have already started with the codebase port in the background, I would love any feedback on any of these topics.  So please, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts on the direction I’m looking to take.

 

Codebase Port

One of the things I’ve wanted to do for a long while now, is taking the time to port the existing game codebase to use a more modern API.  When this project started, I was using an older DirectX based engine called Haaf’s Game Engine (HGE) and never thought that I’d continue things this far down the line.  I’m glad the project has grown into something bigger than I expected, but at this point HGE is no longer suitable.  Porting the codebase will be a significant technical task, but will put the game in a better place for development in the longer term.  General game development will be better, but will also open things up for future cross platform support.  Doing this also ties into the next subject, as a better foundation will be good for onto other things like Multiplayer.

 

Multiplayer

This is very important. It has remained a massive goal for a long time and is finally coming to the point where this can be developed.  There are still hurdles to overcome though, as mentioned with the current codebase, I want to lay the right foundations for this.  Developing multiplayer itself will also take time, which could have been put towards content or other changes.  Still a lot of design to figure out, but I believe it will be a very fun addition to the game and will be worth the effort.

 

Custom Design

A reoccuring design topic is the divide between procedurally genrated and custom designed areas.  At present, the game has large procedurally generated areas, with custom ‘templated’ areas to inject a more personal touch where needed.  While procedural generated areas have their benefits in terms of the scale of the area and replayability through randomness, we still find the benefits aren’t enough.  As a whole, the custom areas are still better. It’s far easier to give it the personal touch and design things in a more natural way.  Even in regards to large areas, we feel that using an entirely custom approach would give better & faster results for new areas.  The main thing that would be lost, is the randomness of the areas for replayability. But as it stands, there is only a small noticable difference between newly created worlds.  To make up for any lost replayability factor, there would likely be more frequent and higher quality content being produced.

 

Build 5.1 Patch Notes
(7th Nov)

– Fixed an issue with the Sleeping status effect causing crashing after saving while asleep.

– In light of the temporary Halloween changes to the Azuria town, it has been decided that the same source map will always be used for the town,
regardless of what world you are playing with.
This means that you will not have to recreate a world to see any town changes.

– The Halloween event has come to an end. All items acquired during the event will remain, but the town will return to normal.

– Fixed a bug with trying to open a Wooden Chest while another was already open (close proximity)

– Control Scheme options for WASD movement alignment (Esc Menu->Controls)

 

Posted by Phill in Announcements Builds

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