|posted on Oct 25, 2010 by
(last reply on Nov 16, 2010)
Developers Diary #14 - Signs of Life [18 replies]:
Hello everyone ... well, whomever may still read this. Activity has been low those last few months, and it seems as if only recently we had some new players. Yeah, it's the same old song - develope...
Hello everyone … well, whomever may still read this. Activity has been low those last few months, and it seems as if only recently we had some new players. Yeah, it’s the same old song – developers being busy irl and so on.
We’re still lacking a pixel artist, I’ve not heard a lot from Sheck those last few months, probably because I, myself, was busy as hell, first failing, then coping with having failed, then trying to get back on top and… guess what – yeah, I’ve made it. I have survived, I’m still here, I’m still twitching. I’m okay, don’t worry.
Thing is, I’m going to start a full time job in november, and thus my time will be severly reduced – again. I’ll have to see if I can get back to writing up stuff some of these days. Maybe a bit of feedback would be a motivator. Well, I’ll have to see.
|posted on Jun 02, 2010 by
(last reply on Jun 06, 2010)
Developers Diary #13 - Unlucky number. [1 reply]:
Hey guys, as Tremir pointed out, it's been a long while since anybody from the development team said anything. Actually, only three people currently do any development whatsoever (and even if it's ...
Hey guys, as Tremir pointed out, it’s been a long while since anybody from the development team said anything. Actually, only three people currently do any development whatsoever (and even if it’s just theoretical talking) – Ranger Sheck, Pro\/idence and myself. And of us three, only ProV is actually productive. Sheck and myself are very, very busy in real-life at the moment, don’t know exactly about Sheck, but I’m approaching a crucial deadline, fast, and after hours of writing and thinking about what to write, and reading and processing information, I’m usually not really excited about doing pretty much the same stuff – albeit on a different level – for leisure.
The team currently has one large problem besides that: We do not have a pixel artist who could draw consistent NPC images. Anything we do will have to use the same old images we currently have, and with the amount of NPC groups required for Xinoloux alone, things would repeat fast.
And there is that big update, with a possible reset, although details haven’t been worked out yet.
I’d personally hope for two or three other coding updates that we had talked about: The base level update (instead of using 4 characters’ melee or metatherics value, using the highest skill value per character to define if a mission becomes available), the AI update (better targeting and action choices on the AIs part, which is a complicated matter, but has proven necessary) and the variable update (technical stuff that I’d need to do something I’ve got in the back of my head… and that I had already in mind when I wrote DCI3).
The new concept, by the way, is ammo. No worries, it will only affect Ranged weapons (and the other two probable skill trees that are planned to use it), and they’ll have some features to offset that problem. Ammo will not have to be re-bought, instead we chose to go with a concept akin to that of Mount & Blade (if you know that game) – while ranged weaponry does have limited ammo, the limitation is on a per-battle basis. That way, ammo can be used as a tactical resource, and items with more ammo will have a higher value, without forcing players to constantly re-stock.
Now… Xinoloux. The problem is that this area is huge. Three towns, countryside roads, and even some small steads. There will have to be at least two new bandit groups for the roads, all towns have arenas (and I want to put at least three different groups of NPCs in there, per arena), and the (first) intro mission has three or four encounters as well.
That said, I can’t promise anything. I know it’s my fault that I even started talking about stuff we had planned, because development doesn’t always go as planned, and especially coding is a kind of work that does rely on breakthroughs and epiphanies from time to time. But since Sheck and I (and ProV, of course, as well) are doing this as a hobby, for fun, for leisure, it does suffer a lot more from a heavy real-life workload than it would be if it was a professionally organized and marketed product.
Some of this info Sheck and I talked about, and agreed that it should be shared. A bit of it, I’m not as sure. Take it with a grain of salt – make that a good cup full – as I’m talking here about what I know, and what I think. Ultimately, Sheck is doing most of the work, and only he knows how complicated which of these points are, and if and when they will be finished.
|posted on Dec 14, 2009 by
Developers Diary #12.2 Aut... err... Winter Harvest is comingDevelopers Diary #12.2 Aut... err... Winter Harvest is coming:
Ha, that even makes for an acceptable pun, at least for fans of Song of Ice and Fire.
Well, it's all my fault (of course), since this time, I can't blame it on anyone else. Graphics were there, ...
Ha, that even makes for an acceptable pun, at least for fans of Song of Ice and Fire.
Well, it’s all my fault (of course), since this time, I can’t blame it on anyone else. Graphics were there, to be reused, writing was all mine anyways, and implementation… well, mine too. Anyhow, I’ve been either busy or down those last few weeks, and was totally and completely unable to deliver in time.
Sadly, I can’t really offer anything to compensate for it. I’ve worked a lot on the mission the last few days, doing implementation (something that may – no, will – help me in the future) and now: I’m done! The event is implemented on the development and testing server, and I’ll be testing it the next few days, to make sure I didn’t mess it up. Especially those hybrid NPC groups have to be checked… god, that could save us a ton of work for new areas with missions. And yes, I’m looking at you, Xinoloux!
And here’s the good news: The event will go live, in full effect, some time before christmas and last until some time in early january. It does have all the stuff I wanted it to have. You will be able to fight against all the foes you know from the previous Autumn Harvest festival, you will be able to loot Butterknifes and Cucumberswords as well as the four Turkey Medals, the Produce Sash and the Victual Crown.
There’s also a chance to get up to three out of four new weapons for those who beat the mission. They’re event stuff, and mission rewards, so they’re not too shabby (although I’ve kept them in some sort of balance). Finally, the event mission does provide some foreshadowing on something that might come in 2010, and I am currently planning on giving another small reward – later on – to everyone who actually beats all 10 rooms of the mission.
I doubt that my writing on this one was as good as on other missions, and I think the design is somewhat simplistic for what people might expect, given how long it has taken me, but nonetheless, I hope you’ll have a fun event. On the upside, it is done, it will run during an actual holiday, even if it is the wrong one, it will have everything the last event had and more, and it will keep the event restricted to an area where people who want to may seek it out – no bothering the people who don’t want to participate.
Plus: I finally learned implementing NPC groups and missions myself. Along with implementing skills, actions, items and locations (which I learned earlier on), this pretty much enables me to really create content all by myself. Can’t stress it enough.
Anyhow: Next few days I’ll be testing, and I expect Ranger Sheck will send out a mail to the users when the event finally starts. Sorry again for the delay, and I hope you will find enjoyment in this years… winter harvest festival.
|posted on Nov 08, 2009 by
(last reply on Nov 20, 2009)
Developers Diary #12 - Autumn Harvest is coming (again)... [1 reply]:
It's that time of the year again... well, what has the dev team been up to? Everyone has been very busy in real life, so we're progressing kinda slow. As we're working on BIG updates at the moment ...
It’s that time of the year again… well, what has the dev team been up to? Everyone has been very busy in real life, so we’re progressing kinda slow. As we’re working on BIG updates at the moment – and I’m talking about “main version” updates, the kind of thing that makes a game go from 1.x to 2.0 – so that still adds to the slowness of things trickling down.
You’re gonna LOVE what we’re working on. Most of it, anyways. Some of you will probably not even notice some of the stuff we’re working on. Anyhow, while Sheck is trying to get some coding done, and some of the major projects, I have been assigned to remake the autumn harvest festival. As time isn’t exactly abundant, most of the stuff you’ll see will be somewhat recycled from last years event.
But we’ve learned our fair bit: We’re going to keep the normal game normal. Noone will be forced into the event. There will be no roaming groups on the normal roads. If you want to ignore the event, you can safely do so.
What I’ll be trying to do will be a dungeon of sorts. Multiple levels with increasing difficulty, and that organised as a mission (or probably several smaller missions). You can play on through the dungeon, getting rewards at certain levels, and/or you can replay any level at your leisure, hoping for some of the drops (those who have been around for events already know that drops are rather rare among event foes). I’m hoping for at least half a dozen levels, maybe more, but I’ll have to see what I can do. And yes, there will likely be a new item or two. Some of them might be exclusive to this years autumn harvest festival, but I’ll have to consider that as I go.
Oh, and there will only be a “dungeon” in Hopitan.
|posted on Jul 13, 2009 by
Developers Diary #11 - Past the July UpdateDevelopers Diary #11 - Past the July Update:
Okay, some quick notes: Sheck decided to push the update online now, but it lacks some of the stuff I tried to hint at with my last Dev Diary update. Don't worry, they'll come, they'll just take a ...
Okay, some quick notes: Sheck decided to push the update online now, but it lacks some of the stuff I tried to hint at with my last Dev Diary update. Don’t worry, they’ll come, they’ll just take a while longer. But some problems with the new battle interface led to some new solutions, and an overall performance and compatibility improvement – at the cost of IE 6 – spurred the thought to push the update on right now.
It does have the new area, new foes and new actions, and I think it has a change or two to existing actions (Protective Blades/Bludgeons now should work as intended as a “Double-Blade/Blunt-Defense for others” – be careful, it only lasts until the next turn of the guy you’re trying to defend, and it depletes the movement of the character using it. Boomerang Throw and Geostab got minimum ranges, Ranged Strike was renamed to Reaching Strike.) but there is still a lot of stuff in the works.
That just from me for the new update.
|posted on May 17, 2009 by
Developers Diary #10 - May 2009Developers Diary #10 - May 2009:
As you all may know from my journal, _I'm still officially on hiatus_ due to my final exams being this month. I don't get to do a lot of work for aethora, but I still try to do something here or th...
As you all may know from my journal, I’m still officially on hiatus due to my final exams being this month. I don’t get to do a lot of work for aethora, but I still try to do something here or there. And of course, the rest of the team is adding new stuff (on the testing server) and testing it…
It’s interesting, because the first larger update by the (back then newly created) development team has been about one year and two weeks ago (May 3rd). Sadly, I don’t know about the coding effort some of the more advanced features will still take, so I’ll keep my mouth shut on any release dates.
That’s all for now. And remember:
|posted on Apr 12, 2009 by
Developers Diary #9 (Easter 2009)Developers Diary #9 (Easter 2009):
Just a really quick update on the development process. I'm currently working on the Realm of Xinoloux. While I have to learn a lot, I still have some spare time each day that I gladly use to write ...
Just a really quick update on the development process. I’m currently working on the Realm of Xinoloux. While I have to learn a lot, I still have some spare time each day that I gladly use to write up new stuff.
What’s not on this list: Graphics. Those likely will take some time, as all our graphics specialists/pixelartists are absent, and I am neither good nor quick at this.
1 We do have ideas about these concepts and what they will do and how they will be used. So don’t wonder why we rename something that “doesn’t exist” yet. We do have a plan for it, and so, the idea already is there… and thus, if using its name for something else, we have to find a new name for it.
|posted on Mar 23, 2009 by
Developers Diary #8 - Pioneers Week!Developers Diary #8 - Pioneers Week!:
Okay, it is finally here. I won't be able to write much, since I am quite busy (and thus technically still on hiatus as a developer) but I wanted to say that I have indeed added a small spoiler pag...
Okay, it is finally here. I won’t be able to write much, since I am quite busy (and thus technically still on hiatus as a developer) but I wanted to say that I have indeed added a small spoiler page about the event to my spoiler section, just in case you need it.
Have fun, everyone!
|posted on Feb 10, 2009 by
(last reply on Feb 18, 2009)
Developers Diary #7 - Small Update [3 replies]:
Don't you dare looking at my last entry to see how long I took... I've become awfully slow.
A short update, as I now know a bit better what kind of content is to be expected:
* 34 different roa...
Don’t you dare looking at my last entry to see how long I took… I’ve become awfully slow.
A short update, as I now know a bit better what kind of content is to be expected:
How do I know this stuff? Simple:
What’s left to do?
The event is planned to go live on march 5th, hopefully we’ll be able to do this. I can sadly only work until mid-february on it, which means I can’t participate in testing it, because I have already put more time into it than is healthy for me, exam-learning-wise. So let’s hope that some of the other Dev Team members will show up to test this, so we can safely launch it on the day we planned to do so.
|posted on Feb 01, 2009 by
(last reply on Feb 01, 2009)
Developers Diary #6 - Some Slight Foreshadowing [1 reply]:
Ha, as if it was something else at any point. Okay, those last weeks have been pretty busy, very much business, especially important "once in a lifetime" steps taken busy. I'll spare out the exact ...
Ha, as if it was something else at any point. Okay, those last weeks have been pretty busy, very much business, especially important “once in a lifetime” steps taken busy. I’ll spare out the exact procedures and stuff, and get straight ahead to my point:
These last weeks, very few things moved on the development team and server. Bron seems to be inspired right now, but hasn’t worked it off, if Sheck could, the game would likely be twice of its size by now, that much does he want to add stuff and work on it – but he doesn’t have the time, and I just completed what had me occupied over the last few weeks, just to realize I went out of the frying pan and into the fire. (In German, this figure of speech is “out of the rain, into the eaves/gutter”, by the way.)
Still, there are some plans left. Sheck will do stuff again when he finds the time, Bron wants to put stuff up as soon as he gets them written down. I’m currently planning an event that will, if everything works alright, hit the live server in March. It will be non-seasonal (no winter or spring event) and it will also be used to introduce a new “normal” skill branch, although a non-player usable one. I’ll have to see when and where I’ll put up a new huntable location with these skills.
The details of the event have to be worked out still – we do know the topic, we do know some basic storyline, but we do not know what subdivisions we’ll make for the Festival Skill tree… we’re only sure we’ll put a new branch to it, with at least two or three new leaves.
Oh… it’ll be fun.
|posted on Jan 14, 2009 by
Developers Diary #5 - January 2009Developers Diary #5 - January 2009:
Okay, it's a new year, and most of the Dev Team members are still very busy in their real lives, including me. Still, I'd like to do some foreshadowing for what is planned for this year - there are...
Okay, it’s a new year, and most of the Dev Team members are still very busy in their real lives, including me. Still, I’d like to do some foreshadowing for what is planned for this year – there are, as always, no guarantees, and I won’t name any dates.
I still have plans for another NPC groups Deep within Plateney woods with new items to get (Accessories, for example, but weapons too). I have plans to make these guys a good bit tougher to beat, and a lot less rewarding (by quantity, item-wise) than most foes throughout the game. I’ll wait for the AI update*, though, in order to keep them from getting slaughtered by the usual combinations of actions… at least up to some point.
Also still in the works is the Xinoloux Area. It’s a lot of work. Currently, two of the three towns within the Realm have been made (they don’t have NPC markets yet, and it isn’t sure if they will get some and their arenas don’t have foes yet, either) and connected. Only one is missing, plus everything around them (sideroutes, smaller villages…)
Hopefully Sheck will find a solution to some of the mission code requirements and tweaks. My favorite ideas are:
Of course we hope to be able to do another Festival Event or two, we’ll see what topics and dates we can find to work with.
I further plan the addition of two more monster/foe-only Skills and Action lists (in addition to “Biting/Clawing”). The idea is… well… that some animals and beasts have special metatherical properties that should be usable to them as metatherical creatures, while the other… ah, no, that’d spoil the surprise.
That’s all for now. I know, much info you already had, but feel free to ask questions by replying here.
*Ha, almost forgot. What is the AI update?
|posted on Dec 14, 2008 by
Developers Diary #4Developers Diary #4:
Sooo... I guess that's it for Winterfest, nothing will be coming. Sheck is coding other stuff, mostly (good stuff, you'll like it when it comes out) and I won't be able to do much until next year. ...
Sooo… I guess that’s it for Winterfest, nothing will be coming. Sheck is coding other stuff, mostly (good stuff, you’ll like it when it comes out) and I won’t be able to do much until next year. Sorry.
On the upside, the Realm of Xinoloux is another step closer to being accessible. It will still take a while, but it’s progressing.
If anybody has questions on the development or stuff, you can ask here (simply reply) I’ll do what I can to answer, as this entry is somewhat short.
|posted on Dec 01, 2008 by
Developers Diary #3Developers Diary #3:
It's looking... mixed for Winterfest. Problem is: All devs are volunteers, and most of us have quite the stress on christmas/new years themselves, so we would have to start making Winterfest stuff ...
It’s looking… mixed for Winterfest. Problem is: All devs are volunteers, and most of us have quite the stress on christmas/new years themselves, so we would have to start making Winterfest stuff ASAP, to get it tested before it goes live – and that’d mean no more work being done on “real” content this year.
Other news? Ough. Recent frustration with AP denial and stuff re-sparked action design discussion. We may have to do an overhaul of the whole action system – massive changes.
Even if this means: Changes.
No date, no hints and no warranties on this one, yet, though.
|posted on Nov 28, 2008 by
Developers Diary #2Developers Diary #2:
As I'm writing this, the Autumn Harvest event is on the roll, with a daily battlecount that's almost awe-inspiring, even though I guess it's mostly a handful loyal, very active players doing lots o...
As I’m writing this, the Autumn Harvest event is on the roll, with a daily battlecount that’s almost awe-inspiring, even though I guess it’s mostly a handful loyal, very active players doing lots of battles, with some others doing single fights in between.
Of course, I’m somewhat nervous. As Sheck said, the event was a lot of work in little time, work done mostly by him and me, and while he can have the confidence coming from having written/programmed this game and maintaining it, I’m much more dependant on the verdict you – the players – will return upon the little things that I do, that I help with… such as this event.
I’ll ask Sheck to make a feedback page on the Developers notes when the event draws to a close, so you can give full, detailed opinions on how you feel about the event – if it was too much, too little, if it was good and funny, or if you would have liked something else. I know he’d like to know these things, and you can bet that I’d want, too.
But: Some questions that may come up, answered:
That’s all for now, folks!
|posted on Nov 23, 2008 by
Developers Diary #1Developers Diary #1:
Okay, most of you know by now that I'm a member of the development team. So, what's the Development Team doing right now? I'll drop some hints: Accessories, Xinoloux, Missions and more!
Okay, most of you know by now that I’m a member of the development team. So, what’s the Development Team doing right now? I’ll drop some hints: Accessories, Xinoloux, Missions and more!
Accessories. The purpose of the fourth inventory slot will be revealed in the not too distant future, although the “real” deal will only come with time (first off, there will only be very low quality accessories available). Stay tuned.
Xinoloux. The area west of chaduk is being created. It will still take a while, because it’s such a huge project, but rest assured: it’s currently being worked on.
Missions. Of course, the team is always working on missions. Currently, we have one already written mission ready for being implemented, another two written, but not yet ready, and another two are currently being written.
more! There is a top-secret project that’s currently being worked on, and I have a hunch that it’ll hit rather sooner than later. Plus, there have been a lot of coding updates, some of them you won’t really notice (they just add options to what we devs can do) while others may get noticed very well – and others, yet, have been implemented, but aren’t quite used yet.
And finally: A little “How To” on mission writing. How is it done?
Step 2: Story Writing(1)
Step 3: NPC and Item Design(2)
Step 4: Review(3)
Step 5: Implementation/Data Entry(4)
Step 6: Testing
Step 7: Done
(1) This is, where the writer may first request graphics to be done from the graphics department.
Of course: My infos are subjective, so I can’t claim they’re 100% correct. Believe at your own peril.
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