Wooooooo! The first edit of the Early Access Trailer went off to the composer on Friday. It's been a very long time coming so I'm really looking forward to hearing what music he creates for it. As for me, I spent the week watching the trailer over and over, tweaking things, adding the last few things it needed. I haven't changed anything since Friday, so I think I might be happy with it. It will come out in a few weeks.
I did a little work on the website for April Fools. Turns out it was super-annoying so I took it down after just a couple hours. I cannot imagine what possible use the ability to invert a web page has (other than pranks.) The funniest part was that when I came back to my office, my daughter had taken the magnet and comic collection on my filing cabinet and inverted the entire thing.
I spent a little time this week reimagining Miranda's in-game HUD. The current HUD has some technical and aesthetic limitations that prevent it from being what it needs to be. There's not a lot to say yet because so far its only a design.
[Teaser mockup of the new in-game HUD.]
With so many RTS games featuring gigantic HUDs, I'm aiming for minimalism. I want to be able to see the action so everything is invisible unless it is needed. As an example, the menu buttons only appear if you hover the mouse over the menu icon in the top left.
I've been playing open world games a bit this week. Playing on the test weekend with the spectre of constant crashes behind me, I was able to worry less about keeping the game running and focus more on how I and the other players were playing the game. People were mostly making it through selecting a location and building their first base. Eventually they would run out of things to build and the question became "what do I do now?" Playing other open world games this week for inspiration, I was looking at how they address this problem of direction.
[Miranda could make finding a vendor a little easier.]
I had a really great time this weekend playing Miranda with everyone. I also got a lot of very encouraging and super helpful feedback. Combined with my own impressions playing over the weekend, I have a lot of very exciting ideas to think about over the next few days.
If you played The Imperial Realm::Miranda this weekend, it would really help me out if you would fill out this short anonymous survey.
Here are a few screenshots from this weekend.
All those bug reports sent in during the last test weekend and all the work the last few weeks fixing bugs really paid off. There were just three server crashes all weekend, and one of those recovered without anyone even noticing the failure. Overall, 12 bugs produced just 26 crashes including the 3 server crashes. 17 of the crashes were from just 3 bugs, 2 of which are ones I thought I had fixed. (It turns out I had missed a spot.)
Test Weekend 3 runs from Friday February 24 noon to Sunday February 26 midnight (Pacific Time.)
[That is an ATV at the centre of that fireball.]
If you are playing The Imperial Realm::Miranda this weekend, please fill out this short anonymous survey when you're done. It should only take a couple of minutes and your feedback really helps.
The game database has been wiped. If you played previous test weekends you will need a new Secret Lair Code and to create a new account. Previous players must also run miranda_setup.exe to install the new version, the game cannot update to the current build.
If you're wondering how people got to take part in this weekend's playtest, they signed up here.
[Shop the unique wares at Imperial Vendor Your Name Here (34).]
If you experience a crash, please let the Lair Crash Reporter submit the crash report. Like last time, we will be playing what is affectionately known as a Crash Build so if even the slightest thing goes wrong, the game crashes and sends a report. Crashes are to be expected, sorry if they mess up what you were doing.
There is also an in-game bug reporting tool, just hit Ctrl-B at any time or choose Feedback from the main menu. If you prefer, you can email me (that's my email at the top of this post) or add a commment below. I'll be doing my best to keep an eye on things this weekend.
The Terrain has been extensively changed and now perfectly matches the map.
The Base Layout Map has been changed from a contour map to a heatmap to make it more intuitive where players should place their base. "Blue is Best!"
There are 100 new vendors across Miranda. The vendors will be named by some of the supporters of Miranda's upcoming Early Access program.
Explosions have been improved and a few new ones added.
Audio has been added in a few places, my favourites are when opening loot crates and when pathfinding fails.
Right mouse click now deselects the currently selected units. That was a bit of an oversight.
The AI and effects for harvesters received quite a bit of work. They're still not perfect harvesting on rough or blocked terrain, but they are much better.
The Shroud had a number of small problems which have been resolved. The shroud may still appear "blocky" - I'm tweaking that.
The Settings screen has been reworked including video and audio setup.
Players now start with E10,000. The game was accidentally doubling players' startup cash. Sorry.
19 other additions, 37 changes, 97 bug fixes.
After install the game should display Version 0.0.8.7.
I made a little teaser to announce Test Weekend #3 which will run from noon February 24 to midnight February 26 (Pacific time.)
I need people to play the game, tell me what they like, tell me what they don't like (kindly please) and take part in discussions to decide what might make it better.
If you want to play in the Test Weekend, sign up to the email list and I'll email you the link to collect a Secret Lair Code on Monday February 20th.
I will also be asking players to complete a short survey.
There will be a limited number of codes available.
The Imperial Realm::Miranda Teaser Trailer
The teaser is also on YouTube if you want to link to it.
or How I Discovered World Machine was Mangling my Terrain
I use World Machine to generate the terrain for my open-world RTS The Imperial Realm::Miranda. I chose World Machine because it generates beautiful terrains, and because it supports tiled rendering for really huge maps. I had a lot of trouble finding tools that could manipulate a 300x300km dataset. It also generates this nice looking contour map of the terrain (scaled down from 2K resolution map.)
Playing the game, I always felt that the contour map didn't really line up with the terrain. If you clicked on the high point of the contour map, it was a 50/50 chance you'd end up on a hill. I always suspected I might have done something wrong importing the World Machine terrain so I decided I would generate my own contour map from the imported terrain heightmap to see what I had done.
Ostensibly I've been working on getting a trailer ready for Miranda's early access launch. What I have actually been doing is avoiding recording anything, playing with the game, polishing features and working through a surprising amount of the feedback and bugs that showed up in last month's test weekends.
Probably the best thing about making the trailer is that more and more of the game is making me think that is so cool! This might actually work!!! Working on a game, focusing so much on what is broken all the time, you can go a really long time without that feeling.
[I love the glassed biome.]
I was surprised to discover what an exhausting job it is to select music to go with the trailer. I can't remember when I felt so tired as I did after spending an entire day listening to mostly-awful stock music. It's just so depressing. Out of several hundred tracks and several complete symphonies I listened to, I found three tracks I liked but they were still more or less unsuitable for what I have in mind. I briefly toyed with the idea of making my own music using loops because hey, I did all this other stuff myself! But I know nothing about music composition and that seems like a rabbit-hole. So I'm going to hire a composer to do the music for me. It seems to be the only way to get music that I'll be satisfied with. It also makes another clever, but previously unimaginable feature possible, so that is doubly intriguing.
One of the more common items of feedback that I received from the test weekends was that people would select a location for their base, then have problems laying out their base buildings because the terrain was too rough.
[Improved Base Layout Map.]
Previously Miranda had a contour map to help players select a location for their base. I was doing some work on the contour map when I remembered this Fallout 4 map and realized that a heatmap where good areas are blue, and bad areas are red might be more intuitive for new players.
So I'm writing this up so if it happens again I won't have to spend another seven hours figuring it out all over again.
Problem: Windows 10 client machine could not see the server PC for file or printer sharing. net use \servername gave error 53 "Network path not found". The server PC could see the client PC fine. The client could PING or use NET USE with an IP address no problem. But I couldn't print or map drives using the machine's network name.
Sounds awesome to me, i like the idea of NPC encounters/quests etc,one thing i found when i played was you are right once you build a base and get harvesters running etc, if noone is there to fight you kinda float about waiting. Dont know what you ...