This will have the die hard Arena/Daggerfall fans turning in thier graves, ‘perma-death’ ala the roguelike’s. (Once you die, that’s it start again)

At the moment the content is very tight, ie just the Island and a few dungeons and caves. Having ‘perma-death’ wont have such an adverse effect, but will indead make it more of a rounded game than a demo of an open-ended CRPG. The game is on an Island, do all the RPG stuff, stats, monsters, items, treasure, level up, rinse repeat.

I think once all the basic stuff has been hamered out, and the content increases, then going back to the old fashioned way with save games would make more sense.

I’ve started to create new content in the way of ‘Crystal Caves’ which is an underground cavern level. (Situated inside one of the mountains on the Island, could call it ‘Crystal Mountain’ I guess).

Other than that, not a lot of other progress to mention, on account of being on hols. Will forge on after Easter break.

A while ago I did this browser based combat type sim thing in PHP and mySQL. You created a character, built up his stats, equip and the like, then challenged other people. Looking through the code, the ruleset was quite intense, using all of the stats and was pretty balanced towards the end I can remember. (And had a whole lot of fun tinkering and messing around with it also)

The game had no fancy graphics, and as such needed to stand on it’s own two feet. This ruleset will be ideal for this project.

I will now go forth and create a RulesManager based on this stuff !!

Part 2 of the NPC’s. Going for the dead simple dialogue system approach, ‘Do my quest?, yes/no’ Can make it a little more sophisticated if it doesn’t work out.

A little bit about how it works, I have created an NPCSpawner that is an invisible object with a trigger region and some private member variables, NPC Name, Icon, Script etc.

When the player enters the spawners trigger region, it Instantiates, (creates) the NPC object. The AI code kicks in, bringing it to life as it were, and will then call the script the spawner passed to it. (NWN style, OnEnter, OnExit etc)

When the player leaves the area, the spawner will destroy the NPC. The overhead of the NPC, poly count, AI code and script will be removed from the game world. This will pay dividends when I have hundreds of these things running around in towns and cities later on.

Version 1.0.4 released, the highlights are as follows:

  • Menu screen
  • NPC Dialogue System (pt1)
  • Bug fixes
  • Minor tweeks

Doesn’t seem a lot, however the last release was only 4 weeks ago, so not too shabby.

I’ve started work on the Non Player Characters, NPC’s for the game, or at least the programming for them. These will form an integral part of Daggerwind, so will spend a little time trying to get them right. Luckily I have some help with the creative writing side as Russ Hamer has joined the team. He will be in charge of coming up with the quests, Lore, backstory and the like. I’m excpecteing some good stuff, so no pressure there then.

We will still be keen to follow the Arena/Daggerfall way of procedurally generating as much as possible in the way of NPC’s and Quests, but still have a strong and rich handcrafted story running through as the backbone. Best of both worlds senario.

Menu now pretty much finished, and looking quite good. Well I’m sure it looked better when I first started, but the only problem is because your staring at it for long periods of time while developing, it begins to loose it’s shine somewhat. I used to be really bad for that, constantly re-doing things when in all probability, they almost certainly didn’t need re-doing anyway.

The screenshot dosnt really do it justice, so here’s a brief description of what’s happening:

The screen fades in from black, the buttons and logo smoothly drop down from the top, and the camera slowly pans around the centre while a super mean and moody sound track plays in the background.

Have been working on the game menu screen for the last couple of days, which isn’t critical but starts to make the game more like a game instead of just rudely dropping you into a scene with a camera in it. It starts to round it off, making it feel more game like, even if it’s still lacking in content.

My plan is to create a really slick, cool menu screen that makes a statement right from the start. First impressions count big time in my book, and will set up the users expectations as to what the game will look and feel like.  

The only problem is, programmers aren’t generally that great at making cool, slick looking game assets, so might have to wait a little until I can lure the talents of someone that can.

Since release v1.0.3 last week, not too much has happened in the way of progress. At least not anything major.

I’ve just been tinkering around the edges, tidying things up for the moment. This actually would be good progress for any normal project, but for Daggerwind, major updates and not-normal progress is the norm.

The way I usually work is to set unreasonable, almost impossible goals for one or two weeks at a time, this puts me in ‘crunch mode’. doing this doesn’t give me  time to sit back and admire my handy work, as I don’t have time. The only down side is sometimes things can get untidy or unfinished. (hence tidying up now I guess)

Anyway, next release will be to announce big stuff.

Just released v1.0.3 , the highlights of which are as follows:

  • Save game functionality (F5)
  • GUI : Character Stats Screen (’C')
  • GUI : Inventory Screen (’I')
  • 3 Extra Dungeons
Plus lots of other extra little tweaks here and there.