Three things to cover this week. Firstly, thank you all for commenting on the world map, either here or on any of the fora or websites the game can be found on. It roughly came to 50/50 in favor of each of the two maps, and in light of my own thoughts about adding other kinds of map, I have decided on the following solution. For the terrain map, the existing colour-on-black will be kept, but with all the shading and detail described underneath the picture below. However, background color mapping will be used for a climate/rainfall/temperature map, which may or may not appear for the next release – quite a few people said that kind of map looked sensible for displaying temperature or similar, and I think that could work very nicely. Without further ado, here’s how it currently looks:
A number of things have been done to the map. Firstly, light/dark shading is a gradient based on the height of that square, and the height of the surrounding squares. Secondly, colour shading between biomes is now present so they fully blend into each other (the description of a blended tile will still tell you whether it is taiga or temperate, for instance, if you are concerned by such exactness). Thirdly, coastlines are now present, and vary in shade. Fourthly, shallower sections of ocean are now present, though these may be changed in more detail when we get to the stage of adding naval mechanics. Fifthly, mountains are now slightly tinted according to the biome they’re in, and are also shaded according to their size – 3×3 mountains are light, 2×2 mountains are a mid colour, whilst single-square mountains are darkest. Volcanoes, both active and dormant, have also gained new colour schemes, as have rivers! The world map is not fully finished – I intend to add seasonal ice and glaciers in the future, as well as a marsh/swampland biome and some very rare regions (think geysers, or canyons, or salt deserts, or plateaus, etc), but that will come in the future; for the time being, I think the appearance of the world map has been brought in-line with the graphical quality I’m aiming for from the rest of the game (especially the two secret feature-bloats).
Secondly, a general progress update. I’m now spending most of my time at the moment programming for 0.2.0, and as you can see, the objectives on the Development Page are being covered at a steady pace. Redoing combat mechanics has been removed from this release – I have come to realize there is little point in doing so until all the civilization/NPC spawning/de-spawning mechanics exist, and those cannot exist until histories are generated and civilizations start to appear. Thus, the world of 0.2.0 will be devoid of anyone else bar you – I moved onto combat much too rapidly last time without having the background or the basis for it built, and I’m not going to do that again. I intend to redo how weapons and armor are managed this time, and how you view them, but you won’t have anyone to fight. There will be a ton to see this release, but sadly nobody to stab in the face. In the mean time, saving/loading games is 80% complete; skill trees are roughly 80% too; world generation and character generation have been separated; you can browse saved worlds and saved characters; seasons and time of day play an effect, and you have a little quasi-sun-dial thing on the sidebar to tell you the time; and the longest-standing bug (memory leakage on the travel screen) has been fixed.
Thirdly, just a little bit about calendars. Currently the game uses our Gregorian Calendar, with each month with the appropriate number of days and seasons distributed as expected (though there are no leap years). However, in the future (meaning 1.0.0, the release after this one), I think I shall allow each civilization to create its own calendar model, and if you are in a civilization you will use that calendar model. If you are not, then it will likely default to that of the civilization you were born in, or you can simply choose from existing calendar models. I’d like to have calendars ranging from ours, to ones like the Mayan calendar, to any other kind of model I can dream of. I think that would be quite a neat addition, and one that might be essential for solving puzzles and things when exploring tombs…
LASTLY, time management is also being redone – there are indeed 1440 minutes in each day, and each of these will consist of a number of “turns”, but the basic turn is not that of the player. “One turn” is the length of time it takes for a part of an explosion to explode, say, or for an arrow to fly two squares; by contrast, the player will only “get a turn” every ten or twenty turns, and different player actions will take difference lengths of time. This enables me to allow for a large number of rapid actions (picking up, dropping, etc), and for foes with speeds of 1, or 1.2 or 1.6, to vary their turns appropriately (which will be particularly important when mounted warfare appears). This turn system is an entirely under-the-hood thing, but I’ve been working on it quite a bit, so I thought it merited a mention.
And now that’s a lot of words, so I’ll call it a day there. Let me know what you think of all the latest developments – I’ll be aiming for a similar post next week, though I may also post about the ‘Rule’ skill tree instead, as that has a lot to say about the future direction of the game in some areas.