Saturday, September 20, 2014

Source code moved to GitHub

Escape From The Maze source code is now hosted on GitHub. Source code downloads will no longer be hosted on SourceForge, although releases still will be.

With a bit of luck this will make my dev environment a bit more portable. Time for working on the hobby project remains short, but we'll see what can be done.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dana Cameron McLachlan

Our second child was born this month, a healthy daughter at 3440g.

That and work commitments have resulted in zero progress on the hobby project since the June release. While development is rather in stasis, I'm going to take a look at migrating the code hosting to GitHub.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

v0.914 released

v0.914 is out the door, available on SourceForge.

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v0.914 (30 June 2014)
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Features
 - Implemented DIYComboBox
 - Redesigned player character Widget
 - Rearranged zone info, movement options, and combat options
 - Redesigned player character action selection in and out of combat
 - Implemented the level ability progression code for character classes
 - Renamed Yeti race to Mirka
 - Renamed Troll race to Neotroll
 - Renamed Salamander race to Hynobi
 - Renamed Warrior class to Berserker
 - Renamed Thief class to Burglar
 - Renamed Gypsy class to Kitsune
 - Renamed Illusionist class to Enchanter
 - Renamed Adept class to Kamunushi
 - Implemented StoryBoardEvent and added a new introduction sequence
 - Implemented Quick Start with random party generation



As I mentioned previously, in many ways this is one of the roughest releases since v0.9. A lot of features have gone in.

Progress has been stalled this last month, partly due Xenonauts being released. More features will come before stability returns. The second half of 2014 will be a busy one, not the least as our second child is arriving in August. If all goes according to plan I will be releasing another cut of Maze in December, we will have to see how many features get in.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ramping up for a June release

The last feature has gone in (Quick Start - starts the player with a random party) and in keeping with my current six-monthly schedule I'm preparing to cut a release towards the end of the month.

In a sense it's the roughest release since the project began. The level ability progression feature is there but no character classes have data populated yet. Lots of refactoring has happened and there is no doubt lots broken. But despite all this I think this is the biggest step yet towards where I want the game to get to.

Time is a little short, as usual. This time I blame FTL Advanced Edition. But for a change I plan on trying to actually do some proper play testing myself before releasing it into the wild. This was the motivation for the Quick Start feature; it should make repeated testing parties much more fun to create.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spell Targets, Story Boards and Level Progressions

The UI refactoring wended it's way on to a refactoring of spell targeting. Since inception spell targets have been represented in combat intentions and actions as a single integer, which is interpreted differently by the resolution code depending on the target type of the spell. Pretty ugly.

That's been updated in good OO fashion to be represented using the SpellTarget interface. Actors, Tiles and Groups are examples of implementing classes. This was a bit enough refactor to merit a development item on it's own, but at least it's down now.

After that I took a diversion into some fun stuff. Some classes and races have been renamed, in the quest for better flavour. Yeti to Mirka, Salamander to Hynobi, Troll to Neotroll. Warriors are now Berserkers, Thiefs and now Burglars. The latter two also do a better job of highlighting my intentions for the roles of those classes as opposed to the Hero and Knave.

Some more fun stuff was redesigning the introduction. The game launches straight to the menu now, and starting a new game walks through a storyboard images (some still placeholders) and text. Here's the first:


Finally, I've moved on to level ability progressions. Each character class will have a progression of level abilities that the character is granted at each level up, 1 to 20. I'm working on the editor and data layer for this at the moment, but the real work will be defining and implementing these abilities. As usual, the scope of work is something like
Data Model < Game System < CRUD < Content
So that's where we are. I'm still aiming for a June/July checkpoint release, and to keep the occasional blog post coming.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February Update

Progress has been slow. I'm wading through some UI tinkering, which is always tedious, time consuming and hard to do in small chunks.

Once it's done character action selection will be done via popup menus on each character widget. This mechanism is unashamedly inspired by the Grimoire UI. Once it's done it'll be far easier to add class and race special abilities to the menu.

Here are a couple screen shots of the work in progress.

During Movement

During Combat

Saturday, January 18, 2014

DIYComboBox

Happy 2014 to all and sundry.

Not much to report on the Maze front. We hosted family Christmas, which was fun and busy. Not a lot of dev time.

I have finished with the initial DIYComboBox implementation. This widget has long been missing from DIYGUI and will kick off some long awaited UI improvements.

I'd post a screenshot but the DIYGUI test client is pretty ugly. Let's wait until I've integrated it into the game a bit.

Friday, December 20, 2013

v0.913 released

In the grand tradition of rapidly releasing in order to fix a couple of serious bugs, I've dropped v0.913 on SourceForge. Thanks to the tireless Rob Ayres for reporting them.
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v0.913 (22 December 2013)
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Other
 - Increased spell casting stats for Parched Vultures
 - Flagged Goblin throwing knife attacks as ranged instead of melee
#81 NPX in combat
#86 NPX when foe carries non-equipable item
#89 Editor: warning on close window
#90 NPX trading with Stenelaus
#95 Many bombs have infinite charges
#99 NPX climbing stairs in CoC 

Family commitments over the festive season are probably going to bring development to a standstill for the next few weeks, but I'll see what I can do. Top of the list right now is implementing the long awaited combo box, in preparation for a combat UI revamp, which in turn is in preparation for a richer set of combat options.

Compliments of the season to all, see you on the other side :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

v0.912 released

As usual, you can head over to SourceForge to get it.

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v0.912 (1 December 2013)
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Features
 - Refactored Foe and PlayerCharacter to share common data model
 - Added a proper Inventory class, for use by PCs and foes alike
 - Added suggested names per race+gender to character creation
 - Added alignment, font and text colour properties to text areas
 - Redesigned the character creation wizard
 - Refactored starting kits into a first class data item
 - Detailed names and flavour text for class starting kits
 - Improved searching by name on spell display widget
 - Swapped available spellbooks of Sorcerer and Magician
 - Swapped available spellbooks of Priest and Adept
 - Swapped available spellbooks of Witch and Cultist
 - Added font size config property
 - Increased default screen resolution to 1024x768

Other
#53 Display class changing requirements in UI
#54 Monster counting bug
#57 Cannot edit some modifiers on level up
#58 Chivalry never practised
#59 Combat modifiers not practised
#60 Kepnasha encountered in COC
#61 List things affecting a modifier
#64 Spellbooks to indicate which magic school they belong to
#65 Many spellbooks have "to equip" requirements
#68 Examine balance of combat modifier practise
#70 Steal modifier does not practise
#71 Critical hit modifiers do not practise
#72 Powercast not practising
#73 Golden apples and Magic Nectar crash the game
#74 Theft spell hangs the game
#75 NPC speech detection is case sensitive
#76 Spell level limits to not work
#77 Cure poison spell crashes the game
#78 Sporadic crash opening waterfront villa chest
#80 Chamois Skirt has "reserved15 +1" modifier

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

1024x768

I've upped the default screen res to 1024x768. 800x600 isn't as feasible as it used to be when I started dev on the game, and even 1024x768 is pretty small by modern standards. No art assets have been redone, but that may come in time. The screens do look a lot mor spacious, especially the text-heavy ones during character creation.

Here's some screenshots.

In the Gatehouse at 800x600

In the arena at 1024x768


Class selection at 800x600
Class selection at 1024x768

Next task is to package up and release 0.912, drawing a line under the last six months of tinkering. Time is limited, and I'd like to do a bit more regression testing this time, so I guess it'll be out in a week or two.