The Old World: Building a House & New Map System Inc.

Introduction

Heyo everyone! Not to be alarmed, we are not dead, heck, we’re far from it!
We’re all currently working hard on developing a wonderful Alpha version of the game.

I’ve also brought a small treat in form of a short video update!

Building a House Video

Here is a short video where I take you through 3 simple steps for creating a basic house & also talk a little bit about the map system and two small funny and enjoyable spells. Enjoy!

New Map System Explained

As I briefly brushed over in the video above, I am not completely happy with the current Map System inside the game.

To quickly explain it, imagine the current map system to be a sheet of paper, now the paper can either be indented or raised up, but there is no way of breaking through that paper. So essentially there is no way in TOW to dig tunnels and caves etc.

But fear not! I have a pretty neat design for the new map system that is already being implemented which will allow for all of these wonderful features.

For the nerdy

Essentially the Map Data in the new map system will be stored in a 2D Array std::list, which’ll allow for quick insertion and removal of cells.

Side-Note: I put block inside quotation marks because it can whichever geometrical type possible, but just for sake of explanation I’ll use the term block.

How this data will be structured is as follows:

Every “block” will have 2 values, a Height value and a TileID value.
Air “blocks” will not exist which saves memory.
Every “block” with a TileID value of 0 or above is a valid Tile.
Every “block” with a TileID value of -1 is used for Generation.

The (-1) Value “block” is used for generating a new valid “block”. Upon this generation, if there is nothing below it will generate a new (-1) “block” under itself, However if there is already a “block” below, it will not.

By designing the map system in such a way that I’ve explained, you save A LOT of memory which would have otherwise been completely wasted if everything was pre-generated because most areas underground for example, will for the most part probably never be explored, therefore using memory which could be used for something else, or simply not be wasted.

Rough Calculations:
Rough worst-case scenario of memory usage:
3-4MB/Layer if all possible blocks in a layer is generated.
(((1024/3)^2)*8Tiles*4Bytes)/1024 ~= 3633KB
Rough Dig hole straight down for 500 layers:
(8Tiles*4Bytes*500Layers)/1024 ~= 15KB

Conclusion

Hope you lot enjoyed the video and my explanation of the map system!
I’m going to try to update more frequently with content in the upcoming weeks.

Cheers for all of the support so far!
Laters.

The Old World: Alpha Trailer & IndieGoGo!

Introduction

Heyo everyone! A lot of interesting things have been going on both inside the game and outside. I’d like to say that we’re fast approaching Alpha.

We also call upon you awesome amazing fans out there that have been following The Old World since its birth but you new fans are just as awesome!

In order to reach our currently planned Alpha release date we require another 2-3 months of full-time development, Here is where you amazing people come in, we have started a campaign over at IndieGoGo. Every little bit helps! Even if it is just sharing this link!

What if you do not get funded?

Do not fret! Because this campaign isn’t make-it-or-break-it nor is this project, this will only post-pone our currently planned release date for the Alpha by roughly 3-4 months.

So either way, this game is happening.

Trailer

I’ve put together a small 2min trailer with the beautifully written music by CitizenMusicUK.

Nitty Gritty

So lets get into some more nitty gritty details of the The Old World Alpha and current development stuff.

These are the currently planned features for The Old World Alpha
- Generated Quests
I may have spoken about this feature previously, but to reiterate these will be generated by various sources (Empires, Bandits, Magical stuff etc.) All depending on the environment & situations that may occur. An simple example being to kill off a pack of wolves that have migrated and are now hunting a farmer’s sheep. But these range up to Assassinations, Infiltrating an Empire to steal Research Books etc.

- Semi-Generated Conversation
- Lighting & Day/Night Cycle
- Player Controlled Empires
Just as it sounds, you’ll be able to build up your own Empire from Scratch, or Infiltrate one and gain power.

- Generated Dungeons
- Wind System
This system will allow for a more advanced world in terms of game mechanics.(And really neat Sailing boats.)

- Group AI
This AI will take care of smaller groups of NPCs, ranging from such things as handling how a Pack of Wolves will interact with the world, when to migrate in-case their hunting grounds might become depleted, up to larger things like how a pack of Bandits might behave, if they should keep roaming the world pillaging or if they should settle and start an Empire (Probs a really War-heavy, hostile one).

- Magical Energy 

During Alpha Planned Features

- Multiplayer

When all of these features have been implement the Alpha will be a fully working and playable one. With in-theory endless amount of content hours because content is generated all the time depending on what happens inside the game.

So! Lets move onto what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks.

Free from the Grid!

Yes! We are finally free from the clutches of the Grid. If you have been following The Old World for a while you may have noticed that previously you only moved in 4 directions and always moved 1 Tile at a time.

This era is now over! You now have 8 directions of pure freedom and can change direction in a whim.
The change allows for a lot of neat improvements to the game as a whole, combat becomes a lot more speeded, Doodads can be very close together, fade out doodads that are obstructing the character etc.

Lets demonstrate this by a quick concept mockup.

Currently/Soon
Disregarding the Tree being disproportionate to the character and surrounding environment, this shows off a prime-example of what can now be done.

Something you can also very clearly see in this image are transitions, I’m currently working on better transitions inbetween tiles to make it look a lot nicer.

“Biomes”

I’ve also implemented ways of calculating different areas to respond correctly depending upon Humidity & Temperature. I wouldn’t call these areas Biomes per-say but more like Dynamic-Biomes which can change depending on environmental factors.

Here is an Initial State of “Biomes” for a newly generated world.

Initial State

To explain this world map a bit more,
Yellow Desert
Brown Warm Steppe
Dark Green Regular Foresty Areas
Bright Green Plaines
Grey Tundra
White Snowy
Really Dark Green Swamp’ish

All these and tons more can be generated and dynamically altered by using the Temperature and Humidity systems. As you can see some parts are very blocky but this was a first iteration of the Algorithm, I’m going to start implementing a smoothing algorithm which should adhere to this problem.

Conclusion

I’d like to take this time to thank all of you for supporting and following the development of this game. The Old World has been in development for nearly a year now (7 days left) and this isn’t even the beginning.

There are so many game design ideas I have that I’d love to have implemented in TOW, but for now I’m implementing the most important ones to make it a fun and a truly unique experience for all of you awesome people.

Also thanks goes out to IndieDB for creating and having an awesome service for us Indies!

Cheers!

The Old World: Combat Stress-test Teaser Video & Major Improvements

Introduction

Hey there everyone,

I thought I’d put out a small article before I release a new video update next week explaining more about the additions and improvements to TOW.

Stress-test Video

Here is a small stress-test video of the combat mechanics currently in place, although keep in mind there are still large tweaks and edits that needs to be made but I think the first test turned out pretty decent even though there are a lot of things going on simultaneously.

Item Additions

There has been a ton of new Item additions both system wise and Items added.

In terms of System additions I’ve added support for basically any Item you could think of which means I can now easily implement tons of Items without too much effort.

When it comes to Items I’ve mostly focused on Combat related Items such as: Arrow, Poison Cloud Arrow, Explosive Arrow, Water Arrow, Bow, Sword, Axe, Throwing Knife, Knife and tons of other Elixirs that can either be thrown or consumed.

Infuse System

As I had mentioned in my earlier development video I talked about something I’d like to call an Infuse System. This system will make you able to Infuse an item with different properties, some of which may be really simple such as: Increases Agility by 5.

But will also include more fun Infuses like: 20% Chance of casting a Fireball on your next Melee Attack, 25% Chance of Random Teleportation when damaged.

Buff/Debuff System

I’m currently implementing a Buff/Debuff System which will support a lot of plain things like DoT(Damage over Time), HoT(Healing over Time).

But then there are more fun things, an example would be: Say you’re being chased by an Enemy and you decide to turn around and throw an Elixir of Random Teleportation, this will cause a Debuff on the target enemy (If said Elixir hits) which might be something along the lines of:
- Every 10 Seconds Unit is Teleported to a Random location within 20 tiles of origin.

This might be useful or not but still a small little fun taste of what is to come and what is possible with this system.

Improvements

Improvements I have made in general are quite immense even though not really visual.
These include:
- Rewrote entire Doodad System.
- Rewrote entire Projectile System.
- Rewrote entire Job Manager System for the Empire System.
- Rewrote tons of Logic for the Empire System.
- Fixed Research System for Empire System.
- Added 8-10 Plugins for Item System to support all different kinds of Items.
- Rewrote how Items are dropped from Doodads.
- Improved both performance and memory management.

This list might not sound like much but in terms of code and the way these systems work now the improvements are immense and will allow me to easier and faster implement various new things.

Conclusion

So as a conclusion, it’s been a little while since my last development video but you should expect to see on at the beginning of next week which will explain these changes a bit more detailed as well as show off a ton of new and exciting things.

The Old World: Player & Item Skills/Attributes

Introduction

Heyo! This week I’ve been implmenting fancy new attributes and skills for both the Player and the Items inside the game.

The main Attributes of the Player are
Strength, Stamina, Agility, Intelligence,
Spirit, Wisdom, Charisma, Verbosity, Dexterity, Veracity
.

All of these attributes have their own particular function, such as Strength increasing Melee attack damage or Stamina increasing HP etc.


I’ve also implemented a heap of secondary Attributes, such as Crafting, Woodchopping and other various ones. These aren’t just for keeping track of how much you’ve crafted or chopped wood but will actually be beneficial.

For Example: if you were to craft a lot of items you might get a bonus that will allow you to have a chance of crafting double the amount. Other bonuses might include increasing any of your main attributes by a small percentage.

Video Update

So without further introduction, here is a fancy new video update, Hope you enjoy!

The Old World: New Video Update (Minions, Fire, Map System)

Introduction

Heyo! After being on a small hiatus and been working silently I am back with a quick video update and some pretty music!

A lot of changes and tweaks has been made to the Map Generation process which has so far ended up looking pretty good.

A Minion system has been implemented and is being worked on, this will allow both the player and other NPCs to summon up to 5 units that will act as your “party”. You’ll be able to send these minions away to destroy doodads, collect items or attack other units (In-case you’d prefer other people to do your dirty work).

Video Update

Here is a new video update about TOW, hope you enjoy!

Fancy Music

Also here is some fancy concept music created for The Old World by a good friend of mine.

The Old World: GUI Actionbar Split

Introduction

Heyo, Recently I’ve been working on mostly improving the Empire System and it’s progressing quite nicely as well as playing some Thief: The Dark Project (Yes, the 1998 Game) to draw inspiration for the Stealth system.

I’ve come up with a lot of good ideas as well as gotten suggestions for the Stealth system from you guys that has really helped to shape up a pretty good design for it and even new Stealth-based Quests such as Kidnapping/Retrieve Quests (Cheers to dark_matter_mobius) and also new types of quests such as stealing Research books from other Empires.

ActionBar Split

So the major change to the Action-Bar part of the GUI is the split. Basically this will allow Players to have 2 different items selected and be used at the same time.

ActionBar Split

Benefits

The benefits that this change enables are immense, this means Dual Wielding, using Spells and Weapons at the same time without quickly having to change which items are selected, having both Spells and Elixirs selected at the same time etc.

Items in the Action Bar

Bow Example

To give you an example by using a Bow and having several different Arrows. In most games you usually have a kind of quiver or specific inventory slots for the use of Arrows.

Instead of using this traditional method which I feel is quite stale and makes it harder to switch Arrows in mid-battle because you usually have to open your inventory and switch the Arrows about.

By using this split method all you need to do is change which Arrows is selected in order to switch to which kind of Arrow you want to use which makes it easier to use an incapacitate arrow, switch over to an explosive one, shoot the at enemy and watch it explode in its face.

Bow Example

Dual Wield Example

As I mentioned earlier this system allows for dual wielding so you could basically have a Sword and a Shield equipped and perhaps mid-battle you want to switch the shield for a sword and go barbarian on the enemy, Hacking’n'Slashing the enemy into bits.

This system will allow for such a thing very easily, just the push of a button to be exact.

Dual Wield Example

Conclusion

At first this GUI change might not seem like a big deal but hopefully this article has answered why this change is quite a large and important one and also allows for a lot of neat new stuff.

After all, who hasn’t wanted to slash an enemy with a sword whilst throwing an Elixir of Poison into their face and casting a Fireball spell as well as blocking another enemy’s attack with a shield.

P.S
The next update will be quite large and mostly about the Empire System, there are some really quite sweet stuff that I will be talking about, Researches, Research Books, Basic Quests, Self-Populating Villages and if I have time enough I will start working on implementing the Player-owned Empire stuff.

Stay tuned!

The Old World: Stealth System Suggestion & Empire System Update.

Introduction

Heyo, I’ve finally bounced back from being ill and I’ve been hard at work for the past few days. Mostly focusing on improving some internal code and progressing the Empire system.

Empire System in a Snowy Area

So lets jump into this update!

Stealth System Suggestion

I would love to get some feedback from this suggestion, if this is a good or bad suggestion for a game mechanic.

Way back in my decently early gaming years I played a lot of Metal Gear Solid on the PS and one of my many favourite games is Thief: The Dark Project. What I loved about these games were the really good stealth systems in these games (Especially Thief.). I really enjoyed how footsteps could be heard and alert NPCs, how arrows and objects could be used to distract or trick NPCs.

Since I’ve previously been mostly focused on Magics and Melee/Ranged combat I’d like to throw another combat mechanic onto the table, Stealth.

So here is my suggestion, I’m thinking of a Stealth system that is decently similar to the Thief game(s).

I’d like to implement LoS for NPCs, footsteps can be heard by nearby NPCs but also decreased from sneaking or perhaps crafting some special shoes that decrease the sound from walking, perhaps putting out torches/lights will decrease NPCs LoS, staying in shadows will decrease detection, being able to silently steal/pickpocket etc.

Of course a lot of testing would go into such a system in order to make it fun, because even if it’s the greatest and realistic stealth system, if it’s not fun, I will not release it.

So my question is, if implemented correctly, does this sound like a fun and interesting game mechanic?

Empire System

As I said previously I’ve been working on improving and progressing the Empire System this week and I have made some major improvements.

Resource System

Among these improvements is the Resource system.

I’ve completely rewritten this system (Without even touching any other system, Good Engine design ftw.), It now works a lot better and can detect some pretty awesome stuff. Such as, if someone steals resources the Empire will notice this and the resources will be updated.

But this also means that if you have a Quest for an Empire to hand in, X amount of Wood, you can just dump it into a storage chest and it will be tracked correctly.

Project System

One of the major improvements in the Project system is Citizen Assigned to Projects. This quite actually surprised me, it made the AI seem a lot more intelligent.

It also improves the ability to handle random events, such as, NPCs are constructing a building and an annoying Player puts down a Doodad in the way, then the AI will register this and actually clear the Doodad unless it’s in the blueprint for the Building.

This also means that if you want to help the Empire to construct buildings, you can.

Workshop built into Hillside.

New Buildings

I’ve added two new buildings to the Empire System.
Workshop (Used for creating Tools etc.)
Blacksmith (Used for creating Weapons and Smelting Ores.)
Everyone can use the Doodads inside these buildings, even the Player.

So if you were to be lazy or perhaps do not have resources, you could simply walk in and use these things, that is if you’re not hostile with the Empire in question.

Workshop & Blacksmith

Miscellaneous

In other news besides the major strides of progress I’ve added a fancy Loading screen while a Map is being generated.

Loading Screen

The Old World: Empire System Explained.

Introduction

Heyo, Sorry about the lack of updates for the past couple of days. I’ve been ill and having really been able to work on TOW, but now I feel better and I’m back to coding!

Since I haven’t really explained the Empire system yet I shall attempt to do so in this article.

Basics

Currently the Empire system is made up from 10+ sub systems in order to make it work. The larger sub systems are the Production and War systems as well as minor ones like Research,Project and Job systems.

The Production & War systems are actual abstract, Goal based systems and systems like Research and Job/Project Systems are the ones that actually do things rather than plan and calculate what to do.

There are several parameters that control the Empire and makes it able to calculate what to do. These parameters are Threat, Reputation and Resources.

Depending upon the current Threat the Empire is under, the Empire will places its resources in the Production or War systems.

Example: If the Empire is under a lot of attacks it will calculate that it needs to defend itself, therefore it’ll place most of its resources in the War system.
Vice-versa if it is not under attack, it’ll go towards more of a production heavy Empire.

Production System

This system focuses more on Production, such as Farms, crafting Tools and constructing Factories, Production Researches and other such things.

It also handles who to trade with depending upon reputation, generating production related quests for Resources or perhaps constructing Buildings.

War System

This system handles more of the War based things in the Empire. Such as crafting Weapons, constructing Barracks, Armories, Weaponsmiths etc.

It also handles who to go to war with, Soldiers, where to defend, where to attack, generating Attack quests, defend quests, infiltration quests etc.

Job Manager & Project System

These systems handles requests from the War & Production system.

Example: The Production system sends a construct building request. The Project system will generate a new Project and get the data from the Structure system and will start interfacing with the Job Manager to actually hand out the Job requests to the citizens in order for them to perform the tasks required to construct the building.

Conclusion

This is only scratching the surface of the Empire system. But currently most of this is already in place and the last thing to do is actually make it start calculating the Goals properly to work.

I feel as if though this design with loads of sub systems interacting with each-other is a very powerful one and has a lot of potential.

It’s also very easy to implement more sub systems for the Empire to do more things.

Ending Statement

Do excuse me if this update was a lot of text and not many images showing it all off, but I felt as if though I wanted to explain what the Empire system does and how it handles everything.

Now I’m going to get back to my bed and medicine so that I’ll start feeling better soon and can get back to working on TOW. Hopefully this will not have an effect on the first Alpha release date.

P.S.
I’m implementing Controller support very soon which will mean you’ll be able to play this with your own favourite controller if you choose to. I’ll also have re-bindable keys.

The Old World: Fire System

Basic Fire

There are many ways of creating Fire in The Old World, one of them being the Conjure Fire spell. But do not expect The Old World to be forgiving when it comes to playing around with Fire.

Fire acts like Fire, spreading, destroying, scorching and burning down everything in its path.

Forest Fire Start
Conjuring fire next to a forest will have this result in a matter of seconds.

Forest Fire

NPC Fire Spread

Setting fire to an NPC could have an equal amount of destruction. Because an NPC on fire that’s running around will actually spread fire.

NPC Set On Fire
So if you ever feel like casting a Fireball in order to kill an Enemy. Just make sure that when the Fireball hits and sets fire to the NPC, your enemy won’t run away into a nearby forest.

Because this is one of the many examples how such a battle might end.

Don't play with fire

Empire Destruction

Taking this a bit further, you could essentially set an Empire NPC on Fire. Watch it run around, setting fire to nearby houses and NPCs which would in the end cause major destruction and chaos.

Fire in The Old World is High Risk/High Pay-off but be prepared just in-case you set fire to yourself.

The Old World: Humidity

Humidity

I’ve implemented Humidity into the game. Basically every time the Water System is updating the Water tiles it will remove a certain amount of water from the tile depending on the Temperature at that specific Tile. After this is done, it adds the water to a generalized Humidity area which is used further on to calculate different things. Such as if the grass there is damp or dry etc.

Pretty Clouds

Cloud Spawning

When the Humidity in a certain area reaches a randomized Threshold it will spawn a Cloud somewhere in that area. Currently this Cloud will fly away in a random direction and after a certain time will start to rain and replenish the world with the dissipated Water.

Couple of Fancy Clouds

Updated World Map

I added a few things to the World Maps, Such as Sand is now shown, and Rocks are shown in a brighter Gray, and the Darker Gray are Rock Tiles.

Updated World Map

Regular Dev Occurrences

This is what usually happens during a first implementation of a new feature. These Clouds spawned within a few seconds.