Sunday, July 29, 2012

v0.909 released

Release early release often, they say.

v0.909 (28 July 2012)
 - Music and musical instruments
3545088: NPX in loot items widget

Well, it's been a good few monthly 'often' releases. v0.909 is out the door.

The next feature, as I mentioned, is Balance. This will take a while and monthly releases are hereby on hold until further notice.

I will post now and then about progress. Hopefully with pretty graphs.

Weapon strength (scored by a custom algorithm) grouped by attack modes. Stats as of v0.909

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Music, musings and the July release

The music implementation - mostly involving the configuration of instruments - is done and dusted bar the sprinkles. Sprinkles of items in the loot lists, that is. I'm not going to go too wild on that front, but the Skald and the Troubadour will start with instruments and there will be a variety to be found in various chests. Progress was a little slower due to a ten day business trip to the States, but v0.909 will be out before the end of the month. 

I a toying with the idea of skipping a monthly release for a while, here's why:

The next feature on the plan is Balance. Currently game balance within a campaign is completely up to the creator. In the default campaign I am managing it roughly with an Excel spreadsheet and my grey matter. This no doubt means that the campaign is completely unbalanced - and anyway I have no idea since the only way to ascertain balance is to do a complete play through.

I plan to develop some tools to make balancing a campaign easier. I'll see how they an out, but I'm thinking of at a minimum:

  • Scoring item power and tracking the expected player acquisition thereof. Ditto for wealth.
  • Scoring foe power and tracking the expected player encounter thereof. Ditto for experience.
Perhaps also:
  • Simulated path finding through maps
  • Simulated character builds
  • Integration into the Mazemaster editor - graphs and stuff
Some of this may involve tinkering with the data model a bit. For example, I plan to make vendors generate items from loot entries as well as individual item templates. Loot entries have become a tool for me to manage how soon a player has access to a given power level of items, and making the vendors use the same method for generating their items as the chests and foes will simplify tracking potential player item acquisition.

Anyway, all this will be very behind-the-scenes sort of stuff. So there may well be no point releasing every month.

But I will certainly be dumping my thoughts and plans here, regardless.

I will leave you with one closing though: in the default campaign, the item in the database with the highest average damage is currently the Butterfly Knife...