Update on me, 5/19/2018

Apologies for the quiet for the past week! I’ve been down with the flu (or something similarly dreadful) since the start of this week. Coughing fits that leave me hearing white noise and looking at the world as if through a very long tube. And literally no voice, at the moment. Yesterday my voice rasped in a very (arguably) sexy way, at least two octaves below my usual voice, but today there’s just nothing.

But apart from the voice, I seem to be coming out of the end of it, now; enough that I’ve managed to do a little bit of work here and there. I still have one big feature left to go into the next build; the new ‘Loans’ system which will let you pay off your starting loan and take out new loans later on, if you’re in need of cash. It’s actually a pretty simple system; ordinarily it would probably just take me a couple hours to throw together, but I’m not really at the top of my game right now. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to get through it all tomorrow.

There’s also bunch of subtle fixes coming, and a couple less-subtle ones… I also have a whole bunch of new models to drop into the game, just as soon as my brain is in a reasonable place to integrate them without breaking everything.

Crossing my fingers and hoping that my brain will back to (approximately) normal, tomorrow!


So. Turns out I was recovering so slowly because I had a chest infection. So I’m on antibiotics, now. Hopefully that’ll bring me back to normal soon!

My work routine is only slowly coming back; my “useful brain time” has increased from about 20 minutes a day back on 5/19, to about an hour per day, now. The Loan system is almost done, now; I need to wire up the buttons for paying back loans and for taking out new ones… and also make the GUI display available loans (right now, it only displays ones you’ve taken out)… but… it’s coming down to the home stretch. Apologies for the long delays on this!


Dont push yourself to hard concentrate on getting back to 100% we will wait.


My nose is large; it contains multitudes.
– Walt Whitman, probably, whilst recovering from a nose/throat infection.

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So I’m still slowly recovering. My useful-time-per-day has been rising, but I still have a weak voice and a pretty nasty cough. But I’m doing better each day, and am slowly getting back into the normal development rhythm again. There’s an updated Steam build coming in about a half hour or so, and we should begin to get back onto a regular update schedule again, soon!

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Another week, and my voice is still not recovered. Maybe it’s time for me to go back to the doctor again.

Or maybe it’ll be back really soon. Anyhow, development is starting to get back on track, sort of. We’re starting to figure out how we’re going to support full character editing (most notably, customising character colors); our current character models simply don’t support doing that. But we have a plan, and are starting to experiment to find something that both works for users, and also works for the artists who are making the base character models. I’m planning to have that all working and in-place as part of Milestone 16.

Other stuff… I have all the models I need for potion shops, for simple fast-travel points, and for some basic crafting (this will be an unlockable tech in the tech tree). Now it’s just (“just”) a matter of hooking up the AI to use them all.

I’ve also done some more experiments around rebuilding the map generation so that it can run on the GPU, instead of the CPU. In theory, if I can make it work, that should cut a good four to five seconds off our load time (on reasonably fast computers, and even more than that on slower computers). But more importantly than that, it should also make things much smoother when editing the terrain during gameplay, and also raises the possibility of making more extreme map changes during gameplay. Adding new regions, reshaping them, that sort of thing.

But… I haven’t had a lot of luck, yet. I’ll post some screenshots tomorrow, but… things are definitely just a little bit off. Weird color fringes at the edges of terrain, particularly around mountain ranges. Definitely needs a bunch more work!

Oh! And work on the new “Codex” is starting soon; the in-game glossary which will explain all those little things which don’t really belong in the tutorial. FOTM ratings, buzz, BCD ratings, as well as the precise function of every building type and so on. I think that’s going to help a lot of new players come to terms with the game a lot faster.

Anyhow, that’s what I’m up to right now.


Yesterday I promised screenshots, so here’s one!


This is the bug I’ve been poking at recently; these weirdly-colored areas around the edges of certain terrain types; mountains especially!

Not sure what’s going wrong to cause that, but… it’ll probably be interesting, once I find it!

Edit: Not very interesting, as it turns out!

Turns out that:

vsVector4D terrainWeights = GetWeightsHere();

isn’t equivalent to:

vsVector4D terrainWeights = GetWeightsHere();
float totalWeight = terrainWeights.x + terrainWeights.y + terrainWeights.z + terrainWeights.w;
terrainWeights *= 1.0f / totalWeight;

(The former ensures that the 4D line defined by the four weights has a length of 1. The latter ensures that the sum of the four weights is 1. The latter is what I wanted, the former is the code I had written. Ended up with two or more terrain types fighting against each other at the border between terrain types, instead of blending smoothly)

I’m a little embarassed at that mistake, and that it took me a full day to find it! I’m going to claim that my brain still isn’t quite back to 100% after that flu.