0.2.1 Released!

Just a quick entry today to say that version 0.2.1 has been released – it contains the resources map; fixes to all (I think) the bugs people identified; the ability to export the maps you create (‘X’), and a few other small features. This will be the last release until 0.2.2, if I do make an intermediate release between this and 0.3.x, or if not, then it is the last release before 0.3.x. Of course, on the off-chance I have introduced some game-breaking bug I haven’t spotted, I’ll fix that, but otherwise I hope you enjoy creating planets, worlds, and wandering around them. Blog entries will now roughly alternative between weekly and fortnightly depending on how busy I am with academic work, but will (as ever) return to weekly as we get closer to the next release.

Enjoy: http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/downloads/

Aftermath

Well, there’s a lot to get through on this entry. So, bullet points it is.

  • Firstly, the response has been a thousand times greater than ever expected. The game’s been downloaded around a thousand times, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Thanks all!
  • I’ve now released version 0.1.3, which is full of delicious bug-fixes (including the main moving-across-map-grids bug) and can be downloaded here (scroll for bugfix list). Quite a few of you will see your suggestions in it! This is the last version until 0.2.0, which is estimated for release in a couple of months.
  • Thanks to new donators – you’ve been added to the Contributors list.
  • From now on, releases will be on Mondays, because what better way is there to start the week?
  • Thanks to those who have pointed out how absurd the skills list is; yeah, I went a tad overboard there (particularly those in the SA forums who made me realize this all the more strongly). See below for 0.2.0’s resolution.
  • QUESTIONS. Firstly, should the numpad toggle stay? I know it’s not a perfect solution, but it’s the best solution I can think of for those without numpads. Secondly, the attack list – it has been suggested that instead of pressing Enter to confirm every time, you instead just press the same key you used to move into them again to confirm, and use Tab or Shift+Tab to scroll up/down through the list. Then you would, for instance, double-tap Left to attack a creature on your left quickly, rather than Left+Enter. Thoughts?
  • I think Wine should now work properly with the windows version. See the downloads page for details. I’m still working on a Linux release – it’s proving tricky, but in the pipeline. Please report if you can make it work on wine with the instructions/suggestions on the downloads page – I need to know how viable a short-term solution that is!
  • I’ve now started work on 0.2.0, which is going to a) remove the absurd number of skills and replace them with an interesting (but still quite substantial) skill tree; significantly alter the combat mechanics to make combat faster and attacks more deadly; split up world gen and player creation, so you create a world, then can make as many players as you want for it (but only one at once!); simplify and make clearer weapons/armor mechanics; and a bunch of other little fixes and upgrades. Lastly, skills will NOT just be raised by use due to the risk of farming skills; instead, I’m going for something like an experience system and you choose where to put the points. Stay tuned…
  • Next week’s blog entry will talk about programming in z levels, since I promised a blog entry on this a while ago, and I aim to deliver.

Alpha 0.1.0!

The time has come. A year and three months of work has come to fruition (at least, in its first alpha version) today.

Alpha 0.1.0 can now be downloaded HERE!

After a lot of bug hunting, there are very few remaining, and even fewer that actually cause a full crash rather than just the game functioning peculiarly. If it crashes, please email me at mark at this domain (or post in comments) with the bug info; I’d like to get a few fixes out pretty quickly, I think.

In the mean time, be sure to check out everything; world generation, saving maps; be sure to use the ‘Look’ function (‘L’) to examine everything, as there’s a fair bit of detail. You can equip, drop, pickup, wander around the world, go climbing, swimming, and encounter a bunch of foul creatures. If you die and restart, there may be a bug or two there, so you might want to just reload the program in that case. Also, trying to close the program while you’re in the early menus is a bit buggy; you need to have a world generated, or choose the ‘Quit’ option in the main menu to exit. The ‘contributors’ list on the acknowledgements page lists those who have donated (some other reward may come later, apart from acknowledgement and my eternal gratitude; who knows?!); the guidebook page will soon be expanded to a full game manual, but for now just lists keys; chunks of the map load and save, but you cannot yet save a full character; wolves appear in packs, while Cyclopes/Dragons will be on their own, or export the map and see what worlds you can generate…

Anyway, enough rambling. Enjoy; there’s far more info on the download page about the current features. I hope, for a first alpha, it’s not half bad – do let me know what you think. The focus for 0.2.0 is going to be on improving combat, and adding in more game mechanics – 0.2.0 should be out in a couple of months. For now, I’m shifting back to academic work for a while, but blog entries will continue (fortnightly or weekly, depending on their size) – I had a request for the programming and mechanics of z levels, so that’ll be coming in the near future.