March 2010

I’ve been plugging away at the UI lately, with the next release occurring once most of the core UI is finished or blocked out. UI elements that will be finished include the keyboard and mouse control dialogs – so keyboard controls and mouse settings can be modified in-game.

In addition the Save / Load dialogs will also work and allow up to 6 saves for now. In the future you’ll be able to have more but for now it’ll be limited to what the UI allows. Also, in preparation for the coming Dungeon/Gameplay work, save games will work for interiors as well as save things like stats, inventory, equipped items, vitals, interior data (creatures that are dead, position of objects and doors, and so on). You’ll be able to name saves and the thumbnail will be displayed as well. One extension I plan on adding, if you are running in higher resolution (greater then emulated 320×200) is to display the save game date and time so that you can always tell which saves are newest.

Finally the main UI elements will be blocked out, if not fully supported by the next build. For example you’ll be able to change the interaction mode – but it won’t do anything useful until the gameplay element is implemented. Once version 0.17 goes out, the next version (0.18) will finish the character and inventory dialogs as well as seriously working on proper loot tables and proper random monsters. Version 0.19 will open support to more monster types, all the dungeons (except maybe a few special dungeons), skill advancement and leveling. 0.20 will support swimming, ranged attacks and spells. 0.21 should have all the monsters supported, all attacks, all skills being used properly, all weapons, armor and items (except for special relics/items that need special quests to acquire). So the goal is by build 0.21 to be able to go dungeon crawling, improve your characters, get loot, equipment and so on.

Right after that, with all the skills and equipment in place, the next big thing is the Character Creation system in version 0.22. Once that is complete, I’ll dive into supporting Quests, Guilds, NPC interaction, factions, shops and so on.

Ultimately the goal is to have the base game playable, as a full replacement for DosBox, this year.

The Postcard contest is now over, here are your winners!

1st Place – Greetings From Hammerfell! by bloodshot

Greetings from Hammerfell!

Greetings from Hammerfell

Dear Family
I have arrived in Hammerfell with little delay; the ship brought me here rather speedily. The folk are surprisingly magnanimous and have helped me find my destination rather easily. Already a month away and i miss you all so much!

P.S. –
I left a present in my dresser inside the right drawer for Johnny. Make sure he gets it!

2nd Place – Ruins of the Oasis by PatchyPegleg

Ruins of the Oasis

Ruins of the Oasis

Deep within the deserts that surround the Illiac Bay lies an ancient ruin embedded in a hidden oasis.

3rd Place – Castle Grirtin Old and Forgotten by Malentor

Castle Grirtin – Old and Forgotten

Castle Grirtin - Old and Forgotten

With this card is a magicka captured image of the overgrown ruins of castle Grirtin. A magnificent old structure once which has seen better days. It is now overrun by foul creatures – none of which seem to take kindly to this old travelling mage.

Congratulations to the winners and everyone that participated! Good job bloodshot, PatchyPegleg and Malentor!

To see all the entries, visit the poll (which is now closed, the contest is over).

You can also visit the forum post that talks about the winners.

At various stages of development, I’m thinking about having some fun contests – in the vain of Image of the Month, best level design under specific conditions (once modding is more complete) and so on like other communities have. Now that the initial indoor and outdoor environments are rendering, now seems like a good time.

DaggerXL Postcard Contest

Contest Goal
Take a screenshot of some interior or exterior environment while running DaggerXL that is framed as though you were sending a postcard home from Tamriel. The top entries will then be put in a poll and you guys will vote for your favorite. The winners will be announced here and on the blog, and the top entries will be cycled through the Screenshot of the Day as well.

To participate, fill out this form.

Contest Rules
The screenshot must be taken from DaggerXL. Members may submit multiple entries, though only the first 3 will be accepted. The top contenders will be chosen by me (up to 10), after that the winners will be determined by a poll on the DaggerXL forums. The goal is to have fun, while exploring DaggerXL and Daggerfall. There are no real prizes other then recognition. Entries will be judged based on aesthetic quality, lighting, framing and of course just what looks good. 😀

**Note** A collage of shots is acceptable as long as the original shots are unmodified (other then resizing, rotating, moving, etc.) and the result is a single image.

You guys can then let me know if you like these kinds of things, or what you’d like to see changed in the future to make contests better. In addition, I’m open to suggestions regarding future events.

I’ve released version 0.16 with some of the UI is implemented. After the title screen you see the Load/New/Exit screen – Load will (for now) load your quick save game (same as F2 once you’re in-game), Start will begin in Privateer’s Hold (the previous default) and Exit will immediately exit the program. Hitting the highlight keys will have the same effect (L, S and E).

Previously if you hit the Escape button while in-game, the game would immediately exit. Now it brings up the Options dialog like Daggerfall. You can also click on the “Options” button in the on-screen UI. So far you can save (equivalent to the quick save for this build – F1), Load (same as quick load – F2), Exit (the only way to exit the game now, except for closing the window of course) and Continue.

While rest isn’t implemented yet, I now have it skip ahead a few hours whenever you click on the control. This will allow you to change the time of day quickly without having to reload the program.

During the next update I will add the Controls dialog, FullScreen, Sound/Music volume and Detail slider (view distance). In the following build I will complete the on screen UI controls, or at least go through the dialogs/popups for features not yet implemented. After that I’ll get the compass working and then get the full DaggerXL specific options screen working and remove the need for the settings file for most things. I will also get the save/load game dialogs working and allow for multiple saves, like Daggerfall.

Once all this UI stuff is out of the way, I’ll focus on the dungeons and the dungeon crawling gameplay!

You can download the latest build here.

This will be a smaller post.

Version 0.15 has been released, which is basically a bug-fix release. The fast travel UI is slightly better, you’ll no longer “randomly” teleport to a location when clicking on a region – this was caused by holding down the mouse button while the mouse happened to be over a location. You now start at the edge of a location, looking in, rather than at a seemingly random location (which could be inside a building). If you travel between regions, models will always have their textures swapped to the correct region corrected textures, even if it was loaded previously. Some missing textures will be displayed now, which caused some really weird results in some locations. Some block record errors have been fixed, so the missing tiles (such as Wayrest) will now show up, in addition there would be some incorrect tiles on occasion which are also fixed.

There are still some other issues that need to be fixed, mainly collision issues and short pauses at tile boundaries but I’ve decided to plunge into the gameplay and roll the previously mentioned fixes into a build without delaying a build due to those issues. Hopefully I can get gameplay builds coming out pretty quickly – with larger systems being worked on in the background across multiple builds (in other words keep the existing systems working so that I can keep builds coming out regularly even if something like collision issues are taking a while). My explanation is probably confusing so I’ll say it simply – I want to get to the point where builds are released regularly that focus mostly on getting the core gameplay complete. The game should starting becoming truly “playable” very soon. 🙂

Go to the downloads page to get the latest version!

**Update** A new version of the build has been released that fixes the quick save/load. Previously it always took you to Sentinel regardless of where you saved. Please re-download if you have already downloaded your version before this notice.

As some of you may or may not know, I’ve had a pretty rough time with “real life” issues for the last month or so. I won’t get into exactly what those issues are, but I haven’t spent as much time on hobby projects and many of you have been itching for an update. Anyway version 0.14 has been dragging on, so I’ve decided to release what I have now and regroup. Version 0.14 has many niggling issues – terrain texture blends are incomplete (so there are some hard seams), the entire rendered terrain area is updated when crossing cell boundaries, instead of just the “L” region – causing short pauses, coastlines are ugly and incomplete, the E/W directions are somehow still flipped, sometimes the collision is still a little wonky with exteriors locations, there are some uv issues still (I know how to fix it but haven’t implemented it yet), some of the foliage flats are scaled incorrectly (again I know how to fix it but have to implement it) and various other niggling little issues. However there are several new things as well: go to any region and location using the fast travel map, the filters on the map work, first pass terrain is in and various other fixes and work done.

Anyway the plan is to release another build fixing the major issues such as collision, proper terrain updates to get rid of the pauses, various location fixes and so on. Once that is done I will focus on the UI and gameplay, putting the graphical features and terrain improvements to the side for now. The goal is to get the game fully playable as quickly as possible and to get builds out in a faster, more regular fashion.

Also I will start updated all the foreign language posts and pages tomorrow.

The download page has been updated, grab the build here.

If you go to different regions, models that are already loaded will often not have their textures modified by the region. To fix this, quick save (F1), exit and reload (F2).

Some screenshots taken from the build: