Friday was fun, I got to spend some time recording temp audio cues for the harvester.
[Harvester returning to Base]
The rest of the week was spent fixing bugs and getting the AI controlling the harvester to work. The good news is that harvesting is now working just like I wanted. Here is a harvester on a resource field with very few remaining resources.
[Nearly depleted double-yield resource field being harvested.]
If you have an old Core i7 sitting around idle, upgrade that thing! I've been needing a PC upgrade for a while, so I was quite pleased to discover that with a few new parts, running my most demanding games still only uses 40% or so of my old first-gen Core i7. I'd love a new PC, but the smaller cost of upgrading the other components to have a competent gaming PC is surprisingly worthwhile.
It has been over a month since the last status update, but nobody worry, the game is still proceeding! I just had an unplanned delay. I've been working on resource fields and harvesting. Three weeks in I realized what I had wasn't going to be as fun or as pretty as I wanted. I did a redesign and had to throw away most of that work. C'est la vie.
Miranda Devastated Former Capital The Imperial Realm M31V J00443610+4129194
"Miranda was a Jewel. For twenty thousand seasons she was the seat of supreme power in The Imperial Realm. Until the Emperor burned her. Fool. But from the ash, the Emperor's Ridiil discovered something unexpected. Something immensely valuable. But the secret was not to be kept for long. Not even long enough for the Emperor to act. The race to retake Miranda and control its incalculable fortune was already underway."
- excerpt from Chronicles of The Imperial Realm 29,600-31,200 Y.O.E.
Another fun night! I took a big stack of business cards with me tonight and after 3-1/2 hours of continuous talk, I came home with just one. I talked to a whole lot of really interesting people: a woman from East Side Games who shares my love of Age of Empires, I talked game design with a developer working on MechWarrior Online, and I spent several minutes talking with Justin Smith, the guy behind Desert Golfing who put on a great talk at the Full Indie Summit in October.
I was quite surprised when someone suggested people may perceive Miranda to be a hard-core game like EVE Online. While traditionally RTS games are considered more hard-core than other genres, and technologically Miranda and EVE have similarities (big map, single world simulation, PvP gameplay, both ladies' names) the play experience of the two games is intended to be quite dissimilar. I think the key difference between Miranda and a game like EVE Online is the level of jeopardy. In EVE Online if you make an error you can lose a ship worth thousands of dollars, that you've been working to afford for years, along with weeks or months of character skill advancement. In Miranda if you make an error you may lose a base you spent a few minutes and some in-game resources to build, maybe a few cool unit components you won in combat, and some pride. That's it. The long-term progress you've made in the game is never lost and the setback is intended to be manageable rather than crushing. Even among RTS games, some are more hard-core than others. Miranda takes a lot of its design cues from Command and Conquer which is a more moderate game than for example, Starcraft with its professional league play and APM focus.
Overall the feedback from people was very positive, which for a lone developer is like pure oxygen. Lots of people were taken aback at the scope of the game. Yes, I should have picked something easier. So many people had stories of playing classic RTS games like Age of Empires and Command and Conquer. There is a lot of nostalgia for classic RTS gameplay. Nearly everyone was enthused to try Miranda out themselves. A surprising number of people commented that there aren't any other games like Miranda - I may have found a niche.
When I got home, my little girl who was supposed to be sleeping, talked my ear off for 20 minutes straight about her day. One of the reasons I left AAA was so I would be able to know my daughter - so far that at least has worked out really well.
I know some of my friends working in AAA would be pretty amped about a 1 frame per second frame rate increase, but after four days work I was hoping for a bit better results.
Models in Miranda are edited in Blender, exported to Collada format, then a tool converts the Collada file to the LSG (Lair Scene Graph) file format. The old tool would convert each model component (body, turret, wheels, treads, etc.) into a vertex array and an index array (mesh.) The thing you might notice is that many models have several identical components (like wheels) and duplicating the renderables for each of those wheels is an inefficiency.
I posted these earlier this week on Twitter, but Twitter kind of mangles them so here are the latest hi-res screenshots of The Imperial Realm::Miranda.
[Point of Interest - Crashed Spaceship]
Two APC's have just discovered a Crashed Spaceship point of interest. Points of interest will be discoverables for explorers of Miranda. This shot also shows some of Miranda's more dramatic terrain which will severely constrain how forces move.
Adjacent to the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, this independent base shows the current unit cap of 150 units. A hoverster can be seen in the bottom right.
[Devastated Capital City (2.0)]
For twenty-thousand seasons, Miranda was the seat of supreme power in The Imperial Realm. Until the Emperor burned her. Now, these buried wrecks are all that remain of the once great Capital.
This weekend I answered a question on Jonathan Blow's Twitter with a blog link to onemanmmo.com which resulted in over 200 new visitors to The One Man MMO Project. Statistically, a few of those should have been interested in The Imperial Realm::Miranda and visited its website, but not a single one did.
So the blog got a little facelift today, it matches the game colors, has a little info about the game, a screenshot and a more prominent link.
The most commonly asked question about PA4 was "when can I play it?" I want to get more players into the game soon so I did some work this week to get the game ready for them: I disabled a few UI elements for features that aren't finished, and fixed a couple of bugs in the installer. I've also been working on automation so that I can push new builds to the test server with a single command which will be a huge timesaver for me, and get updated builds to players more quickly. To the question at hand though, above all, I want the game to make a good first impression so I'm trying to get the big bugs we've found in PA4 fixed before I invite more people to spend their time on it. I haven't decided exactly when yet, but I have decided that I'll be giving out pairs of Secret Lair Codes so that anyone who gets one can invite a friend to play with.
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 ...