Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sharing data

Strange but interesting timing here.

I planned tonight to work on the data I'll make public for the game. This data will provide state of the world that will show how good/bad you're doing compared to other players.

And then this link popped in my RSS reader:

Pirates of the Burning Sea has an interesting article about how they handle data sharing. I'll probably pick a thing or two from them and apply this to my own system.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Moving on to closed beta

I'm at the point where I feel all the essential stuff is in and it's now time to start building the actual game.

The server seems quite stable. Every once in a while an error is logged but it's always related to LUAInterface's matters. Even then, it's seems never enough to crash any NPC, just freezing them for 1 second.

I started to install my admin tools on the server and used them to expand the world a bit. We were playing in a small 3x3 world and I expanded just a bit to start building the starting zone, the beach.

Recently, I finished the weapon/ammo system which might prove useful since there's now all the stuff needed to build nasty wolves... and cute rabbits.

I'll soon setup the web site as my experience with Chasing Tortoise showed me that trying to build documentation once everything is done is rather boring and that I might just forget stuff I did in the beginning. I still need to find the right Joomla template though. Something like the WoW website might fit my needs but still haven't found one like that (not looking for arts, just the modules positions mostly).

Talking about arts, I still have quite some job to do for this... Back to work!

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Replacement for Charas graphics

As pointed in a previous comment, most of characters in Charas Project are in fact ripped from RPG Maker. Obviously, I cannot take the chance to use those for the final product.

Problem is that I'm far from being a pixel artist and that my budget is quite limited to hire an artist. I'm still waiting for quotes from an artist...

After drawing a few characters by myself (that was real ugly), Maple suggested to go with stick figures. The idea was a good one. Instead of trying to draw something that would look bad in the end, why not go all the way down with something simple.

While I think it's a good idea, I'll keep it as last resort. My concerns are first that Kingdom of Loathing already did it and that without the humor factor I think it might fails. The second one is that I already have all the arts I need for buildings, trees and such and I'm not sure that would fit unless I completely redraw the whole thing to fit stick figures. The last concern is that while this might work, I must honestly say I was hoping for something better.

So I went back to Photoshop and gave it another try with the help of a few tutorials. After spending more time that I was hoping, I think I finally come to an acceptable result.

It's surely not as good as those in Charas Project (I'm having a hard time doing hair right and the walking seems a bit odd though it doesn't look that bad when it's animating) and miles away from what an artist could do but I'm starting to feel a bit comfortable with it.

I'll probably keep the number of hairs, faces, suits, ... low for now since it's taking quite some time to do but I'm hoping that with time, I'll either come across and artist willing to help or that players will start drawing their own characters. I'm planning to add a clothes system later so players won't be stuck with what they chose at first.

So here's some samples. If anyone have some advices or can even help a bit or know someone that would, I'd greatly appreciate that. Budget is low but if an artist could make me 3 different sets of everything for under $100, that would be a start. From there I could probably even make new sets from the one made by the artist.

Here's the frame I made to start the work

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Monday, March 10, 2008

What kind of D&D character would you be?

As posted on Zen of Design. I'm not a fan of those random waste of time but since I've been for a long time into D&D, I've been pushed to do this test. Guess it's a nice way to salute Gary Gygax that passed away last week.

My alignment result (lawful neutral with true neutral just 1 point behind) also match the alignement I was mostly playing back then (loved my War Wizard of Cormyr).

My result (and link at the end)

I Am A: Lawful Neutral Human Sorcerer (4th Level)

Ability Scores:







Lawful Neutral A lawful neutral character acts as law, tradition, or a personal code directs him. Order and organization are paramount to him. He may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or he may believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government. Lawful neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you are reliable and honorable without being a zealot. However, lawful neutral can be a dangerous alignment because it seeks to eliminate all freedom, choice, and diversity in society.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Character's creation and login screenshots

Those are actual screenshots from the test version (click to zoom). I'm in no way a graphic artist but I kinda like how this came up (credits goes to Lost Garden for the wood and Charas Project for the avatars).

So this means that I'm now starting to set what will be the final look of the game. At this stage, pretty much all systems are in and stable and now it's time for yet another testing pass, then IE compatibility checks, optimization and finally building the actual game (world, skills, lore, ...).

Still a lot of work but it's getting closer to release each day.

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