Friday, February 15, 2013

A Lot of Chatter

This week has been filled with chatter. WoM (Worlds of Magic) has a forums setup where people can discuss possible game features, talk about what they want to see (or fear to see) and share their hopes and dreams with the world. At least, dreams about WoM. If you would like to be part of this beautiful process feel free to join us:

Worlds of Magic Forums

As we get more and more traffic to the forums we get more and more questions, which means more and more answers, which means me typing and typing and typing....

As a result I've gotten very little actual coding done this week. Of course, another reason for that was that the code length for the D20 system I'm working on had gotten ridiculously long. In classic Aaron fashion I refused to break the thing up into multiple files until absolutely necessary. Well, somewhere along the 2K line it became necessary. I was literally spending more time moving up and down the pages of existing code than writing new code! So, I had to take the time to break the primary class into around ten sub-files. Now it's much easier to work with and I have high hopes for what I'm going to be able to get done next week.

Over the course of the weekend I tinkered with the terrain generation system. Well by “tinkered” I mean I basically redesigned the way it works. I am VERY satisfied with the results. I generated a world map (just the basics: water,coats,plains,hills and mountains) of over four million tiles (2048x2048) in just over a second. That is unplayably huge, so it can do way more than it needs to. I need to add the extras like forests and rivers, but I don't think that's going to be too bad. Either way, the terrain generation system is well underway.

In other and more CC related news: The site redesign goes well. It's still going to be a few weeks before it get's put in place, but it's getting there step by step. We should have more news soon.

For the moment I have to take a break. My hands are starting to hurt from typing. Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 8, 2013

The weeks pass quickly by...

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you get to Friday and think “Did I do anything this week? If I did I don't remember what it was...” Of course you have! We all have (OK, so you haven't, I'm not talking to you then, just all the rest of us). Well, it was on of those weeks for me. I actually had to go back through my e-mail to figure out what had happened this week.

Before I go into it I want to say that the Console Classix quest moves forward. There have been updates, a few posts and some technical site changes. There is a lot more on the way, but day by day it makes progress. (We can give a big e-hand to the people making it happen.)

For my own part it was a wild and brain numbing week. First, I started off by waking up at 3AM Sunday night/Monday morning and not begin able to go back to sleep. I decided to come down and do a little work on the procedural terrain generator for Worlds of Magic. (I would post a video about it, but apparently I'm supposed to keep a lid on things until they're “ready”.) It went very well and by the time I would normally be getting up (6AM) I had basically banged out the technical issue I had. It's a simple diamond-square noise generator combined with Unity3D's ability to create 2D planes almost a the speed of thought. It's actually very interesting stuff for us tech-heads.

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent working on a tentative spell list for the game. That may seem like a long time to spend sorting through spells, but there are 173 in the base set. By the game's release there are probably going to be somewhere between 250 and 300. It makes the mind go numb after a while. Still, I'm hoping it will become a magic/spell system people will get excited about. It's worth all the effort.

Yesterday was spent re-tweaking the “tile” creation part of the terrain generator. Between myself, the producer and the artist (mainly me) I got the system in my head wrong and the generator kept spitting out unaesthetic terrains. In the end I got it and learned a bit about that end of game development.

Today I am working on information dissemination. After I post this I have to work on a number of forum posts explaining the very basics of the game mechanics. The forums aren't open to the public yet, but I have to get some of this information up so when we do open the forums people will be able to very quickly figure out how the game is going to work.

That's enough for today I suppose. I have a lot to do and less time to do it in, lol.

Friday, February 1, 2013

I'm back

Well guys, it's been a while. In fact it's been a little more than eighteen months... So, my blogging break was a little longer than I anticipated. The truth is that, although I love to talk, and write for that matter, I don't love writing the kind of things I talk about, lol. I'm working on it, however. I am actually going to try to keep up with this blog a bit better than I have in the past.

In order to help me do that I going to change one of the ground rules. I'm not going to focus on classic gaming as much as I did previously. I love retro-gaming (I mean what with starting Console Classix and all that I don't think I need any more proof), but I'm also interesting in a lot of other things. So, I plan to just talk about whatever I've got going on at the moment and see how it goes.

First, as coincidence would have it, I'm back to playing Dwarf Fortress. It really is amazing, as well as being fairly difficult to master. For those of you who would like a lighter version there is “A Game of Dwarves”. It was recently published by Paradox Entertainment. They were very open about the fact that the game was inspired by Dwarf Fortress. I think it's awesome that DF, which is basically an “elite” game, could be the philosophical inspiration for an almost casual game. It's just one of the interesting things going on in gaming.

In other news, I am still trying to get published. I've actually written another book since the book I was working on in my last blog. When I finally got that book to an agent it was his opinion that it didn't have enough popular appeal (it was a collection of my fairly humorous childhood stories). As I'm a nobody, nobody cares what happened in my childhood. I had to admit I could see his point. So, last fall I wrote another book. It's a fantasy that's just over 100k words. It should have a bit more popular appeal. Next week the manuscript is going to be e-shot out to a number of publishers.

I've handed over some of the Console Classix workload to another company. It's run by a close personal friend of mine. I think the injection of new blood (and new ideas) is going to be very good for us. There will probably be quite a bit of news in the near future. Keep an eye on the site.

I've also started working on game development. It's going very well. I'm currently coding a sort-of spiritual successor to Master of Magic entitled Worlds of Magic. We actually already tried (and failed) to raise enough money to produce it ourselves through kickstarter. Although the project wasn't funded it got me in touch with a producer. He runs Wastelands Interactive and is helping us raise the money we need to produce the game. It was originally going to be 2D just like MoM. However, having thought it over I decided to go with the Unity3D engine so I could add 3D elements where they made sense. (Like for the battle board for instance.)

There is a lot going on with the game right now. Artists are working getting us the resources to launch another (and almost certainly more successful) kickstarter project. I am working on a programmatic version of the D20 system for the core combat mechanics. I plan to talk more about it, but this has run long enough for my “I'm back” post.