What's new in the latest build?

0.15.40: Quality of Life

New in this build:

  • Fixed the UI theme in the NPC info window.
  • Version upgrade button modified to match the UI theme.
  • Converted all meters to a new ‘gradient’ style, instead of the skeuomorphic old ‘potion’ style.
  • Fixed dead monsters sometimes reappearing on the map after a load.
  • Most info windows now open near the cursor, instead of always appearing at the top right corner of the screen.
  • Fixed grass sometimes not being suppressed under roads or buildings when multiple roads or multiple buildings were placed close together over grass.
  • Monster zones now flash red when insufficient network bandwidth is available to them.
  • Fixed player-created combat ability costs/effects to be applied properly.

0.15.41: Actually the build before MS16

I’m really bad about releasing MS16! Apologies! Assuming no major calamities, MS16 will be exactly this build, and will be tomorrow.

New in this build:

  • When placing buildings, buildings no longer preview as placed on top of walls or on top of flight paths. They now preview as being placed on the ground underneath them!
  • Added some placeholder sound effects for the introductory title sequence, and also added some sound effects for UI interactions which were missing them.
  • Adjusted the main header’s meters to have a more useful scale for the “Players Connected” and “Subscribers” meters. “Players Connected” now has a maximum that matches your game’s total player capacity at the moment, and “Subscribers” now has a maximum that matches your next subscriber goal.

And that’s basically it! MS16 tomorrow; can’t wait! :smiley:

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0.16.1 : Destroying network objects

  • Fixed a bug which caused the ‘Destroy’ tool to fail to destroy network objects.

0.16.2: The Mac Build

This build fixes a whole bunch of issues in the OS X build. These include:

  1. Erratic cursor movement when using a touchpad.
  2. No visuals drawn to screen (only under 10.14, macOS Mojave)
  3. Not launching at all, due to a missing symlink in the distributed Steam build.

…actually, maybe those should be in the opposite order. Anyhow! Other fixes in this build (which affect all platforms) include:

  • Elite monsters can now be destroyed using any of “Destroy” tool present on most action bar tabs.
  • Fixes wall turrets vanishing at random as the camera moves around.
  • I think I’ve squashed a bug which could cause a crash when exiting to the main menu, if a network server had been placed and/or removed from the map. This one was hard to reproduce, but… I’ve simplified the code a lot and it ought to be okay now?

Now I’m going to take a day or two of break, and then back to features and quality of life improvements! :smiley:

0.16.3: The Other Mac Build

This build fixes one more big issue in the OS X build; a performance problem caused by a weird interaction between SDL and OS X Mojave. I’ve worked around this by building the game against MacOS SDK 10.9, which is pretty old, but also rock-stable!

This probably also means that the game will run on Macs not running the absolute latest system software, although I’ve not tested that. But it definitely makes it run smoothly again!

Other fixes in this build (which affect all platforms) include:

  • Network items now adjust their position when the terrain changes shape. (No more network items vanishing beneath the ground as it’s lifted, or left floating in the sky as it’s lowered!)
  • We now generate more appropriate quest names for quests which send players to kill elite monsters.

And that’s it! Now that the Mac build stuff is well and truly sorted out (I hope I hope I hope), I can get my focus back on the game itself, rather than the tech stack!

0.16.4: Clicking on things

This is a small update which just modifies how the cursor detects what objects it’s over, for all buildings and scenery items; we now actually test against the real renderable geometry, so it’s all pixel-exact. This fixes problems like being unable to select a player who is inside a graveyard (because the graveyard gets in the way), or being unable to select an object that’s underneath the canopy of a large tree.

I’m hoping that this more-accurate collision checking isn’t too much of a performance-hog! We’ll see what the testers think, running on a more diverse set of hardware than I have access to!

0.16.6: Post-Trailer!

(0.16.5 was eaten by the build machine, so we’re skipping ahead to 0.16.6!)

So… I’ve spent the last few weeks putting together an updated trailer for the game, and this build contains all the new stuff and fixes that went in for the trailer, along with a bunch of other stuff! (I’ll post more about the trailer in the near future! Short-version: I think it’s done, and I’m just waiting a few days before doing anything with it, just so I can see it with fresh eyes and make sure I’m happy with it)

Notable new stuff in this build:

  • Loans now give you money! Okay, I’m actually embarrassed by this one. If you paid off your starter loan, you’d be offered up to three new loans. And… if you took one of them, you picked up the debt and had to pay it back, but we didn’t actually give you the loan money. Oops! Fixed now.
  • Fixes video resolution on first run! We used to have a problem where the first time someone ran the game, it would create a fullscreen window but then draw only into a little rectangle in the corner. This is now fixed!
  • Updated shaders! A whole bunch of minor tweaks to shaders. I’m not even going to call them out individually there are so many.
  • Glossy! Well, okay, just one explicit shader note – I’ve added ‘sheen’ and ‘clearcoat’ factors to the lighting; most scenery objects, buildings, and characters now have a subtle layer of clearcoat, which gives them a sharp little specular highlight even if they’re otherwise a very rough surface.
  • Re-Move! Complete rewrite to the path following code used by players, monsters, developers, etc. This should fix a whole bunch of weirdnesses especially around road traversal!
  • You can’t ban me, I quit! Fixed a crash bug if you tried to ban a subscriber who unsubscribed on their own while the banning progress bar was still filling up. (I’m amazed I bumped into this one)
  • Know what you’re destroying, network edition! Network nodes and pipes now highlight to show what you’re hovering over, when you’re using the “Destroy” tool. (This was already being done for scenery objects, buildings, roads, and other stuff)
  • Mountains are less obstruction-y Previously, roads and network cables couldn’t be placed anywhere even remotely near a mountain or a chasm. Now, they can be placed much closer.
  • Pausing bandwidth displays The bandwidth effects around network uplinks and WAN nodes now correctly pause when the game is paused. (Oops!)
  • Obstruction Information When attempting to place a road or a network pipe, if the game decides that the road or the pipe cannot be placed for some reason, it now displays a message next to the cursor explaining why it cannot be placed. Hopefully this will help folks diagnose problems!
  • Faster middle-click movement When using the middle mouse button to move the camera around, the camera now moves about ten times as fast as before. This makes it much, much easier for folks who prefer this camera movement system over WASD keys!
  • Scrolling Like It’s 1984! Fixes GUI scrolling to be synchronised between grabbing the scroll thumb and dragging it manually, and using the mouse wheel. Previously, a thumb which had been manually dragged would be ignored if the user used the mouse wheel afterward.
  • Path-laying tools now put extra detail in sharp corners! This rounds out tight bends a lot, which helps roads look less spiky in bends!
  • The walls now match the turrets! Previously, walls were constructed from a medium-grey stone, while the turrets at the ends of walls were constructed from a white stone. Now both are made of the same white stone!
  • Revamped ‘Grid’ view! Or. maybe “unrevamped”? The grid view now looks more like it used to, with slightly brighter colors, darker darks, and lightly glowing level numbers.
  • Controller support! Well… sort of. You can fly the edit mode camera around with a controller if you have one, now. Not really useful to anyone unless you’re shooting a trailer.
  • Speedy Terrain Editing! Fixed a bunch of little issues when editing the terrain which was causing it to take longer than it should have. Now terrain editing is much smoother again!
  • Characters have weapons again! Fixed a problem in the character editor which resulted in the game not thinking that characters had hands, and so not giving them visible weapon models when they had actually acquired weapons. This is a visible bug only; the back-end simulation was correctly acquiring and using weapons. Note that this fix only works for new games; for older saves, you’ll need to revert any custom characters to a prefab and then modify them again from that point onward; sorry!
  • Rez all the way! Fixes a visual glitch where the ‘rez’ effect often wouldn’t complete before the effect was disabled for scenery objects automatically created as part of terrain editing. Now the rez effect actually completes!
  • Lighter water in edit mode! In edit mode, water faded down to absolute black. Now it just fades slightly, and still obeys fog!
  • Ambient occlusion doesn’t rez! Fix for an occasional bug where regions of SSAO were showing a rez effect. Weird! :smiley:
  • Actually preview scenery to be destroyed by terrain editing! When using a terrain editing brush, we now only highlight scenery objects which would actually be destroyed if you used the brush. (Previously, it highlighted all scenery objects anywhere near the terrain editing brush, even if those objects wouldn’t actually be destroyed)
  • Region tint adjustments! Made some adjustments to region tint levels, to try to make the map look a bit nicer, and to not make unowned regions quite as dark as they used to be.
  • Simpler shadows! Shadows are now cheaper to calculate, and (I think?) look even better!
  • Smoother overlay cascades! The divisions between cascades in terrain overlays are now less severe; easier to not notice them!

0.16.7: Hotfix

This build just has a quick fix for a bug which could sometimes occur when a character walked off the very end of a road. Nothing to see here!

0.16.8: Miscellany

This is kind of a “pre-build” build. The big build is coming very soon; this one is just clearing out a bunch of smaller things.

Notable new stuff in this build:

  • Fixed window close buttons to highlight in the same color that other buttons highlight in. (previously, they were blue buttons that highlighted in blue)
  • Fixes cursor collision against network pipes, so pipes can be clicked on or destroyed.
  • Fixes a crash if you manage to trigger the intro cutscene without an inn placed in the starting region.
  • Fixes a crash if you sell your starting region after placing a starting point in it but before the intro cutscene actually started.
  • Fixes cursor collision against flight points, so they can be selected and have their pricing customised, again.
  • Rearranged the main menu buttons, to make it easier to find commonly-desired functions. (“Switch” has moved up next to the MMORPG game name, “New Game” has become a top-level button in the main menu). Enjoy this while it lasts; it’s all going away in the next build! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
  • Miscellaneous other minor bug fixes and optimisations.

0.16.9: Fix for Windows 64 builds

This is a small patch to fix a packaging problem affecting the Windows 64 build. No substantive changes here!

0.16.10: Library update

[delayed due to Steam upload problems]

This is a tiny build with no substantive changes, testing the upgrade of certain libraries and build tools. If all goes well, there should be no visible difference. (If there’s a problem, I’ll roll back to 0.16.9 and note it here)

0.16.11 The Desktop Update

This update features a rebuild of the game’s front-end GUI.

Instead of the traditional menu, we now present a simulated desktop interface where each MMORPG you’ve created shows up as its own “app”. Want to delete one? Drop it in the trash can. This makes it much simpler to switch between MMOs, and reduces the number of buttons on-screen most of the time!

Additionally, we capture a screenshot of each game when you quit from it, and show that on the game “launcher” screen, and also show some basic statistics about the game, to try to help you keep track of which game is which better than we could do in the old interface.

I’m definitely interested in people’s reactions to this change! Pop over to the Discord server and let me know!

Also in this build:

  • Faster loads! Squashed a bug which caused the loading of almost any file to take longer than it should have. This should further shorten the duration of loading screens
  • …and other miscellaneous little bug fixes.

0.16.12: Batching!

New in version 0.16.12:

  • Gave it away in the build name, but… The VectorStorm library now supports dynamic batching, where if the engine itself notices that I’m drawing a bunch of small things which could be bundled together into a single larger drawing operation, then it quietly does that. This should theoretically be invisible to the player and the coder, but just in case it causes problems for someone, it can be disabled in the Options window! May give a moderate performance boost to anybody whose computer was having a little trouble. In effect, instead of drawing twenty buttons one at a time, we now draw all twenty buttons all at once, as if they were a single model!
  • Cheaper terrain overlays! The way we handle terrain overlays is now dramatically cheaper. Dropped VRAM requirements for the overlays by a surprisingly huge amount, and also made them dramatically cheaper to draw to and from. This also should help give another performance boost to anyone whose computer was having a little trouble with the game!
  • Improved combat behaviour! Previously, when monsters and players were maneuvering around each other either before or during a fight, they could go too far before realising that they were in range to attack. Now they’re much much better about realising when they can start fighting!
  • Desktop is reliably there! There was a bug in the last buld which could cause the desktop background to not reappear when quitting back to the desktop. That now reliably works again!
  • …and a bunch of other minor fixes and performance improvements!

I’m going back to adding game features starting tomorrow. It’ll be good to start dropping new features in again, after all these performance and system improvements!