Weekly Update 11.23.2014

I actually put this update up yesterday, but for those who have not seen it, here is the link:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gavan/voxel-quest/posts/1061108

For now I will just link to the updates, but mods are welcome to start copying and pasting stuff directly in here if they want.

Comments

  • edited November 2014
    Full Text of the Update:


    So, there are quite a few things to address today:

    Weekly Updates

    First, for those not already in the loop, I will be doing updates every Friday, or as soon as possible after Friday (in this case, it was Saturday). I will also stream during this period as well, although it might only be for an hour or two. Sorry, I am never sure in advance the exact time I will stream, but if you subscribe to my Twitch channel you should be auto-notified (via email) every time I go live. Sometimes it will be in the day, sometimes at night, so Europeans, Asians, Australians, and so forth should be covered.

    That said, here is this week's update with a video.

    Basically worked on a lot of things to improve performance and visuals, including better point rendering (thanks to Markus Schütz for this). Formerly I attempted to render points with OpenGL's native point rendering, which uses screen-aligned squares - this presents many jagged horizontal lines usually as points get depth sorted into the distance. Markus's method applies a new depth value to the pixels in the point, and throws away any of the point outside of a circular region, to basically make the points more or less sphere-like. The result is much smoother looking and there is less popping/z-fighting between voxels.

    I also worked on LOD (Level Of Detail) or "volumetric mip-mapping" - but the results were unfortunately not that great. The minor performance increase is not really worth the visual artifacts it presents. This is demoed in the video. I am going to leave the functionality there since it is easily disabled, and might prove useful in the future or perhaps someone else can improve on it further.

    Many other fixes were made to radiosity, shadows, and other aspects of the engine that needed to be updated for the perspective camera.

    The Next Steps

    Since I am shooting on getting the engine out to the public within a few months, I would like to concentrate on making the game more playable (even if it won't be "fun" at launch, there must be some sort of game there to improve upon). So far we have decided (as per community input) that the standard RPG mode (no permadeath) will take priority at first, with other game modes to follow as time and resources become available. Here is a really basic list of some of the things I will be working on now:

    - Get a player character (PC) walking around the world.
    - Render player character
    - Map keys to movement
    - Tie pathfinding to mouse movement
    - Get NPCs (and monsters) walking around the world.
    - Render NPCs
    - Give NPCs motivations so that they appear to follow a schedule (eat when hungry, work when daylight, etc).
    - Allow NPCs to pathfind without colliding into eachother.
    - Pickup, drop, and harvest items
    - Manage inventory (equip, unequip, etc)
    - Manage stats/skills (distribute stat and skill points)
    - Buy/trade/barter items
    - Gain experience
    - Item qualities, rules, enchantments
    - Basic skill and stat implementations (most combat-centric at first)
    - Token abstraction and management (manage AI “vocabulary”) - adding and removing terms, hashing terms to integer values.
    - Logical deduction (and, or, not, xor, etc)
    - Backward chaining
    - Score maximization
    - AI goals and personalities
    - Pruning operations (by proximity, relevance, etc)
    - Simple NPC conversation, mostly for making pacts/quests (i.e. “if you do this I will give you this”)

    Rebranding

    Apologies to everyone for the mess around voting for a new name - we had decided to rebrand Voxel Quest because many people (rightfully perhaps) did not like the name. However, many people (to our surprise) wanted to keep Voxel Quest once the vote went live, and it was not an option in the last poll. So, we took some more suggestions, narrowed it down, and added Voxel Quest to the list. I already know that many of you will be disappointed by these options, but it is hard to find a name that will please everyone (and one that has an available .com).

    I wanted to thank you all for your suggestions, whether or not they made the list (even myself and the community managers had trouble pinning down a list of names). The longer we wait to rebrand, the more confusing it becomes, so it has to happen as soon as possible. In the long run, I would not worry too much about the name as it is only one small part of the game's ability to succeed. At the very least, remember that this game is mod-able so remember that you can make anything you want with it then call it a name of your choice. :)

    (continued)
  • edited November 2014
    (continued)

    If we kept taking new name ideas, this could go on forever so we made an executive decision to close up the voting as soon as possible so that we can focus on other tasks. Again, I stress that there is no easy way to please everyone in a matter as subjective as this, but at the same time we value all community input and wanted to at least give you a chance to influence the direction of the game.

    A little shoutout:

    One of my friends pointed out a game (via FB) that I had seen prior in Reddit gamedev, and many of you have probably seen it as well but might not be aware that they just launched their Kickstarter. It is a really amazing game for such a small team. Its a survival game (ugh, not another one, I know), but has a really cool atmosphere and canine companion. Anyhow, here you go: Ashen Rift
  • Aw, gotta wait till all the gamey stuff is in before I can mess with the engine :(

    :P
  • I can't wait to see a nice solid framework for the gameplay in place. That will really help further development and design.
  • I love the progress so far. Keep up the good work Gavan.
  • Great stuff. Would love to atleast have a link from the main page, though.
  • Noc said:

    Great stuff. Would love to atleast have a link from the main page, though.

    Which main page? The landing page on voxelquest.com?
  • When's the next of these updates coming?
  • gavanw said:


    Which main page? The landing page on voxelquest.com?

    Yeah, it's easy to think there's just the video :p
  • Do we know when the next video update will be?
  • They're going to be around Wednesday from now on. Gavan is due for one today (depending on how long jury duty takes).
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