Please note that all screen shots displayed in this blog are works in progress and in no way represent the appearance of the final game. Check out the main site here.

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Saturday, July 31, 2010


A preview of the first new language in MSoA. Designed by Ordinary Obscurity. This is the text for a tavern sign, reading "The Frog & Rooster". What do you think?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A bug

Finally finished the re-write of the game engine, compiled and ran it and guess what? A bug... Grr... However, it does work most of the time, so it's only a small bug. Now, though, with the new layout, finding and fixing the bug will be much easier.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Back on the Ball

So it's been a little while since I was able to work on The Sword of Ahkranox due to extenuating circumstances, however I dove back in tonight to get the stairs working. Well, after an evening of working on it, I was able to get the left-curving stairs working! Woo!

And yes, yes, I know I promised that I would put up a post regarding in-game languages and such, but silly me forgot to bring the files home from work, so I've been unable to do ANY work on them at all :( very sad. However, I'll do more work on them over the next couple of days and have a post up really soon.

Got myself a brand spanking new Das Keyboard for my development PC so I'm having an absolute BALL of a time programming now. Such an amazing product (no they're not sponsoring me) but if you're a programmer, or do a lot of typing day to day, you really cannot go another minute without looking into getting one. It'll change your world. What is it? It's basically the most perfectly engineered keyboard ever designed. If you're a bit of an old-school geek like me, the "feel" of a button is super duper important to you. Das Keyboard buttons are a bit harder/firmer to push down on than normal keyboards, and have a distinct click when it actually gets registered on the computer. All of the contacts and spring systems inside them are totally gold plated, too, so the keys never wear down or stick, meaning every key always operates perfectly and exactly the same as every other key on the keyboard. You also have the option of doing what I did and ordering the blank version, which has no markings on any of the keys. This is great for both geek factor and your typing speed. I was already typing at an average speed of 87 words per minute, but now I'm doing well over 100. It's awesome.

Anyway, enough of the pitch. I'm going to bed, but I'll be back soon with a post on languages.

Oh, and did I mention that I'm doing Twitter updates now? Add us and follow along with more up-to-date info about the game's development! Woo!


Monday, July 5, 2010

Just the Stairs...

So another night has been spent on getting this re-write of the code working, and after a whole evening's work, the engine is creating rooms again. Which means, all that is left is doing staircases.

Almost done then? Not quite... Staircases have the main problem with this engine from the beginning. Almost every single bug that has been in the program has been to do with stairs, so I need to make absolutely positively sure that I do it right this time...

So it's been a long time since one of these blog entries has contained a to-do/completed list, so here's one to keep me motivated:

Completed list:
- Basic test dungeon models
- Character movement (grid based)
- Basic lighting
- Model loading
- NPC model animation
- World asset generation
- Basic dungeon generation
- Multi-tiered 2D levels
- Initial set monster animation
- Fix small bugs in 2D dungeon generation
- Add rooms to dungeon generation
- Get player collision working
- Dungeon decoration population

To-do list:
- Finish re-write of engine and remove stairway intersection bug
- Add t-junctions to dungeon generation
- Add doors to dungeon generation
- Basic AI (no player recognition)
- Range-of-vision processing (hiding 3D models that the viewer can't see to preserve memory)
- Balconies

Aha! Did you see what I did there? I added balconies to the mix... One of my all-time favourite RPG games was "The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion". Bethesda Softworks are pure genius and they had the most amazing dungeons in their games. One feature is that some parts of their dungeons contained big open halls that one could look out over from a balcony. You couldn't jump off of the balcony and down into the big open hall, but you would get this tasty little teaser of what you were in for and it really gave the dungeons an amazing sense of enormity, of depth... Plus, there's nothing more exciting than stepping out onto a balcony and having a dozen monsters in the hall below see you and scatter towards the stairs to come and hunt you, making you yell "SHIT!!!" and draw your sword...

Fantastic stuff...

Yeah, I know I'm trying to raise the bar on RPGs with this game, but on the one in a million chance that one of the Bethesda guys are reading this at any point, I want to just say that if this game ends up being a tenth of what the Elder Scrolls games are like, I'll consider myself lucky!

Anyway... Progress! A couple more days and I should have this re-write finished. But I'm taking a four-day weekend this week (Friday to Monday) and I'm hoping to get a MASSIVE amount of work done on this thing, so be prepared for some really over-excited blog posts hahaha.

See you all soon. Sleep well!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Video Time!

Okay, so I've been promising you guys a new video for a while now and haven't really been delivering. I know, I'm pretty hopeless, but if you read the last post, you'll have seen the new 3D models I've been doing up for the game. These are the high res ones that will be more like what is in the final game. No dungeon decorations yet, but at least you can get a fair look at what the in-game experience will be like when this is done!

Let me know what you think!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


After getting roughly two thirds of the way through the grueling task of re-writing the dungeon generator object into its neater, more organised form, I decided to give myself a little break tonight and start work on the high-res models for the game. As you may recall, all of the terrain models that you've been seeing for the dungeon walls, floors and ceilings have been temporary low-res models that I whipped up quickly just to test my proof-of-concept idea. Now I've started working on the proper ones, and, as you'll see in the screenshot, they look REALLY cool now. Much more immersive and detailed than before, don't you agree? Anyway, let me know what you think. It'd be nice to get some feedback on my work!

Also, someone - upon seeing my design of the new dungeon look - asked me whether or not evil monsters would be able to do such neat stonework, so I figured I'd put my explanation here in case that thought process was the general consensus.
My thinking is that a rag-tag band of monsters wouldn't be good enough at mining or tunneling to be able to make their own dungeon hideout from scratch, so they would find temples or whatnot that are still being built by humans or elves or dwarves and slaughter the construction teams and take control of the nearly finished site, turning it into a dungeon. If they waited until it was finished, the place would probably be well guarded, but if they go in under the cover of darkness while it's just lowly construction teams working on it they'd have a far easier time of taking over. Once they had set up shop inside, it would be very easy to fortify.

Anyway, that's why the tunnels I've done up look half-done and still under construction. Though, in the final game, there will be many different "styles" of dungeons.

I will, however, share with you something I've been wanting to let out for a while now... MAN I can't wait to start work on the countrysides! The dungeons are great and all, but I'm beginning to feel... Claustrophobic!

See you again soon!