Post MS7 round-up

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 6.12.05 pm

The first functional multi-region simulation, during development of MS7.

So it’s been a week since the release of MMORPG Tycoon 2’s seventh milestone build. At this point, I feel like there are only a handful more milestones before the game will be in an alpha state. Which means that it’s time to start cleaning things up.

First up, the Windows build. The Windows build has always been a little bit messy, compared against the Mac build. So I’ve spent a few days trying to really clean it up; it now has an application icon, and it now saves user data into legal places for it to do so. (Specifically, it now saves into AppData/Roaming, which MSDN tells me should theoretically mean that your preferences and saved games should migrate with your user profile, if you transfer your account from one machine to another, although I’ve not tried that myself). The game also no longer creates a console window when starting up; only the game window. (You can still see the debug text output if you launch the game from the command line, though). Additionally, there’s now a simple framework in place for modding the game’s data files; I’m now using PhysFS for all file reading and writing, which means that it will be easily possible to substitute your own files for the ones that I provide. This means you can (for example) modify the rules used to create player names, or replace textures, or tune PC needs to work differently than how I’ve done them, etc.

Second, the distribution. On both Windows and OSX, the program itself has been called “MMORPG2” ever since I started development. That seems a little misleading to me (since the game actually isn’t an MMORPG), so on Windows, I’ve changed the executable’s name to “MT2”. Additionally, we now have a real installer for the game on Windows, which actually installs the game and its dependencies correctly, and creates nicely named Start Menu shortcuts. (At some point I’ll look into Steam distribution, at which point that won’t be necessary any more. But until then, it’ll be nice not to have to inflict zip files on everyone any more). On OSX, by comparison, the application bundle is now named “MMORPG Tycoon 2” (because on OSX it’s normal to have your bundle named with the full program name, including spaces).

This much is already complete.

For milestone eight, I’m going to continue along these “make this feel more like a proper game” lines. Milestone eight will include a functional main menu for the game. It will include one simple scenario to play, as well as the current “free play” mode. It will have a functional credit screen. Saving and loading games will not be included in milestone 8; that’s a big enough task that it will comprise milestone 9 all by itself. Milestone 8 will also include some more improvements to general editing of the world. Most notably, I want to add support for changing the sky color and environmental settings within regions. My goal is to have Milestone 8 done around the middle of January.

Also in January, real artwork should start entering the game. MMORPG Tycoon 2 will probably begin looking very different once that starts happening! I’ll post art absolutely as soon as I get some that I can share. Very, very excited about this.