Almost deadline!

Madly trying to add in other things that should have been added ages ago. 😉 Note to self: making an MMO in four months while working, taking anatomy & physiology in college, taking care of a pregnant wife AND two toddlers is probably not the brightest thing one can do!

This week I have finished adding all the armor items to the game. Crafting those items is planned – and the recipes are all written out. But that may or may not make it for May 1st.

I’ve greatly expanded on the feel of the world. I’ve added foliage all over the place to give some depth and realism to open snowy fields. The swamps have swamp grass rising out of the water and around trees on the hammocks. Tree planting has gone into style in a big way, with a lot more forestation.

In addition to the rats, there are now multiple spawns of grey wolves, winter wolves, and young ice spiders. Spawn areas of skeletons, various other ice spiders, and a few other critters are still in the works.

Added more buildings to the town area, and a ruin in the swamp. Really need more ruins around in a couple of places, but those, again, will need to be added later.

A few more screenshots!

What was once a yawning hole, now the opening to a mysterious cave...

Deep in the swamp.

Ruins, home of the undead.
Winter wolves.

Wait til you see their big brothers...


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Weekly report!

Redid most of the GUI art this week. Got some decent looking art in place, I’m pretty happy with it anyway. New opening screen – new layout to the pre-game screens – new loading screen for zone loads – new GUI borders in the game itself. It’s not perfect, but it’s functional, and looks pretty decent without overly detracting from the gameplay.

Enough chatter – some screenshots!

A novice quest.

Opening screen.

Character selection.

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Poor progress week

Ugh. Spent last weekend away, this week at work, and this weekend away too. Too many birthdays in early April, visiting my wife’s parents both weekends first for hers (late) and my birthdays, then this coming weekend for her Mom’s and our twin girls’ birthday coming up. Busy time in between with class and work, so I’m not being as productive as I’d like.

Getting some new monsters in though. I have my rats spawning properly now, and walking around properly. They were running off to hang out with the wolves, because they shared waypoint groups with them, so the wolf waypoints were “summoning” the rats! Fixed. Added more rats so newbies have something to kill, too. Hopefully will get more done next week!

Rats in the camp!

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Happy birthday to me!

Happy birthday to me!  Turned 35 on Wednesday.

I’ve smoothed out the terrain – a lot!  Worked on detailing areas that needed it.  The swamp in the NW corner is now in place, terrain wise.  It still needs a lot of vegetation and some texture painting, but the terrain is right.  Still adding items – hugely time intensive, because although there is a tool that generates the item scripts someone wrote, I’m finding I like my method of organizing it better.  I’m sure that having an extra dozen lines of “null”, “0”, and otherwise unused stuff per item won’t kill a python script, but it looks bad.  And would be heck to edit later if I needed to.

Having dungeon troubles.  Some of my DIFs are letting people walk through some of the walls.  Have not figured this out, but it MAY mean the dungeons don’t get into the final run, if I’m not able to figure it out soon.  I’m hitting the point where features which don’t work will soon be getting cut from the contest final to make sure I have something playable in place.  😉

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Shadowbane, and endgames

Shadowbane reopened on their 5th anniversary, closing all the old servers and opening three new ones to replace them.  I grabbed a few dozen guildmates and we popped back in to have some fun there – been a rush so far!  Got not one, but two cities up, and have a good start on building them up.  Looks like it’s going to be a competitive server.

Playing an open pvp/conquest game like this reminds me of my roots, which are all about open pvp.  I’ll be honest: I hate most pve games.  Boring.  Doing the same quests as everyone else, that DO nothing, just doesn’t work for me.  Don’t really care for most singleplayer games, either.  For whatever reason, it’s the communities players form, and the way they interact and develop a story in the game world that really interest me.

ROTH was originally envisioned as a game similar to Shadowbane or Eve, where players would be able to conquer or claim areas, and fight each other for them.  Somehow, that didn’t seem as easy to implement with Torque as it was with Realmcrafter (hey, every engine does SOMETHING really well – and other things less so…) since state changes to interiors are tough in Torque.  So I dropped it.

I still have mixed feelings about what I replaced it with.  A pve based game where the players are still able to generate a story that really impacts and changes the world has really never been done before.  And I’ll be honest – it’s outside the scope of this competition, too.  It’s going to take a lot more work after the event is over to bring that to fruition, although I’m looking at ways to implement it in the long run, and IF it’s even really possible.  In the meantime, I can get the basic framework in place, so that I can add the elements needed for story as time goes on.

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Sad News This Week

On March 16th, 2008, my wife’s cat Spike or “Booga” passed away peacefully from lung cancer.  We had spent last week getting him looked at, using x-rays and ultrasound to see if there was anything we could do for him.  There was not; the cancer was large, and terminal.  His thoracic cavity was filling with fluid from the growths, making it hard to breathe.  We had about a coke can full of fluid removed from his lungs, which kept him comfortable for several days, giving us time to say goodbye.

He died in our arms at the vet’s office from euthanasia after sedation.  He was 14 years old, and had been with my wife through almost all of that time, although I had known him less than half a decade.  An amazing cat and companion.

Before he died, I promised him that I would add a character in his honor to my game.  It won’t happen right away, but a “Booga Cat” will be in the game as a friendly NPC at some point down the road, as a lasting memorial to Spike.

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The new server is holding up very well, no issues so far.  We had a brief downtime on the hosting end – couple of hours, not a big deal – and other than that, the server has been doing great.

I’ve set up an SVN workstation on CVSDude, so that I can quickly pop work back and forth between my home workstation and my laptop (which I use during breaks at work – advantage to working nights is it’s QUIET sometimes!).

Some steady improvements to the game, including:

  • More GUI improvements.
  • Removal of much of the “stock” kit art that had been acting as placeholders.
  • Terrain polishing of the starting zone.
  • Additions of new spawns, NPCs, buildings – fleshing out the content.

Still a pile more work to go, but I’m making steady headway.

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