Apologies for the recent quiet — I’ve been rather ill for the past week, and am only just now getting back into a state where I’m really functioning at a sane level. And much of today has been spent slowly coaxing my digestion back into gear.
The MS4 build is coming along slowly; after a few changes today, I’m just two small tasks away from meeting its specifications, so I’m cautiously hoping to be able to put that build together tomorrow evening. Note that this won’t be showing a big difference from MS3 (which is a total lie, but it feels that way to me), but there are a lot of under-the-hood changes. Most notable, as I’ve been saying for a while, is the addition of ‘towns’. Or at least, a basic concept of towns. I’ll post more about that tomorrow.
Owing to a number of unexpected events, I’m going to need to make some changes to future milestones. My previous plan was for MS5 to be a “metagame” milestone, building up game mechanics sitting around the core MMORPG simulation, and to be set for the end of July. In practice, though, I’ve decided that I have a few other more pressing things to prove out first, and so the ‘metagame’ milestone has been pushed out to MS7. Here’s the new plan:
After MS4 (again, should be tomorrow), I’ll be posting a new RenderTech build. The new RenderTech build will be running using OpenGL 3, but should otherwise be very, very similar to MS4. I’ve been keeping the OpenGL 3 port more or less up to date as I go, so it oughtn’t take more than a day or two to get that build out, after MS4.
After that, MS5 will be the “Questing” milestone. MS5 will contain a usable quest-setting user interface. I believe that I’ve implemented four different interfaces for setting up quests so far, and I desperately want to not have to do it again, and so this one is absolutely, positively going to be a good one. This should be ready sometime around the start of July.
After that, MS6 will be the “AI” milestone. MS6 will contain a few new building types (shops, auction houses, instanced dungeons), a few new AI behaviours (using those shops, joining up into parties, and true migration from region to region, instead of the current fake migration). This will take a little longer; probably the middle of July.
And somewhere in all of this, I need to get around to putting instanced rendering support into the VectorStorm engine, because I really want to be able to render forests, which isn’t feasible with my current “one object one draw” rendering system. But I keep telling myself that I shouldn’t spend my time on rendering technology until I’ve completed the “metagame” milestone and have a real top-to-bottom picture of exactly how the game works. So maybe I’ll put that off.
In any case, updates tomorrow!