I’ve been working towards version 0.20 – I’d like to share the progress as it is made:
The first major feature going into version 0.20 is the dungeon automap system (and also the building interior maps – since they use a simplified version of the same system). The automap only shows those areas that you’ve already explored – like the original. Those flags are also saved in the save games. The plan is that when current saved games are loaded, all the flags are cleared and the automap will start updating from then on. Obviously this won’t be a problem when entering a dungeon for the first time or starting a new game or with new (version 0.20+) save games.
Below you can see some screenshots of the automap. These are all thumbnails, click on them to see the larger images.
There were taken before the compass and rotation were implemented:
These show rotation and the “perspective” mode. Note that the mode icon still has to change as well as the yellow “blockmap” that shows your current location and the exit/start.
As you can see the increased resolution improves the readability but that is not all. The “view distance” has been greatly increased. This allows you to zoom out and see a global view of the dungeon that you’ve explored so far. Later extended features are planned to make this even more usable such as making pieces that obscure the player arrow translucent and fogging or desaturating pieces based on how far below the player they are. The idea is to give the player a greater since of where the geometry is in space in relation to the player.
The Next Steps
As you may know, I’ve been discussing this on the DaggerXL forums a little bit… what are the next steps after version 0.20 is released when the dungeon exploration experience will be much more robust and complete? The short answer is that I will begin focusing more on the “above ground” – RPG – gameplay.
To that end the following build will focus on NPCs and the dialog system. This includes getting wandering NPC’s working again, but this time you’ll be able to talk to them as well as kill them. You will also be able to interact with static NPCs.
The immediate next step will then be to get shops, banks and other places of business operational. With all the dungeon exploring, you’ll now be able to sell off that loot and use your hard-earned gold to actually buy stuff. 😀
After that comes the spell system, including the ability to acquire new pre-made spells due to the NPC/shop functionality (which includes the Mage’s Guild non-member services such as buying pre-made spells). This will also include general projectiles such as Bows and enemy spells.
And finally the Quest System and Faction System, starting with Guilds and Guild Quests. Throughout this process I will be working on implementing missing skills, as appropriate (Mercantile when shops are implemented for example), so by this point all the skills will most likely be functional.
Beyond all this, there is still more to do. But this outlines the immediate future – and the path to DaggerXL Alpha Status. 🙂