Progress, but slow

So I’m currently working to untangle the terrible knot which is the subscriber/player systems from MMORPG Tycoon 1, to try to make the system work a bit more nicely in the new version.  Here are a few changes which have been made/are being made:

  • Subscribers could now theoretically have more than one character in the game.  (Previously, a subscriber was only allowed to have a single character).  In practice, this means that each subscriber will have a “main”, and zero or more “alts”.  The subscriber creates the “main” when he first subscribes, and creates an “alt” if he brings a friend to play, and his main isn’t of an appropriate level.  I’m not certain whether all this actually will improve the game or the simulation at all, or will even be noticeable to the end-user, but separating the logic between the subscriber and the in-game character certainly does make the code nicer.
  • When it reaches the correct time for a subscriber to log in (according to their usual schedule), they choose which of their characters to connect to the MMORPG;  if any of their friends are connected, they’ll connect using their character which is closest in level to their friends’ characters.  If not, they’ll connect using their main.
  • Since subscribers are now separate from their characters within the MMORPG game, those characters are now called “toons”.  Toons are organised inside MMORPG regions far more strongly than they were in MMORPG Tycoon 1;  in the new version, logged-in toons belong to the region that they’re currently inside.  When a toon moves from one region to another, its ownership and all its movement data is converted over to the new region.  This turns out to allow some pretty big savings in CPU time.

I’ve also been spending time getting a new Windows development environment up and running under Boot Camp, so I’m not forced to dig out an ancient laptop whenever I want to compile up a PC build.  That’s not quite entirely set up yet, but it’s pretty close now;  Windows installed and patched up, devices working, source control tools installed, etc.  Probably another two to three hours of work to get it fully up and running.

Finally, I spent a little time looking at the Champions Online open beta today, which pleased me immensely by not containing anything weird that wouldn’t fit into the MMORPG Tycoon 2 simulated world as it’s already designed.  (For those who care, Champtions Online is pretty much taking the theme of City of Heroes and plugging it into the game mechanics of World of Warcraft.  It feels very fast-paced and arcadey, which City of Heroes most certainly did not.  It has the quick-to-complete — and often overlapping — missions of World of Warcraft, but with far less travel time between the quest-giver and the quest location.  And speaking of travel times, travel powers seem slowed down a lot from what they were in City of Heroes, but most zones are much smaller than the zones in CoH, so it kind of evens out.  Also, there are a bunch of new travel powers to choose from, in addition to most of those from City of Heroes.  Though to be honest, all but one of the new travel powers are just minor re-skins of “fly”)

Also, still sick.  Saw the doctor today, and he’s put me on a new pill.  I’m hopeful that this’ll finally let me kick off this nasty cold.