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    ZenVirZan
  Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:37 am
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I should have mentioned that it'll only work if everything matches the resolution as well. It'd probably work best if you write a little function to generate the text smaller and upscale it nearest-neighbourly.

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    Ellie
  Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:19 pm
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That rules out 48x48 then - the screen's too small for 3x text (essentially a 270x200-ish screen resized). In fact only really leaves me with option A, because a lot of the widgets I use are rendered by the web browser not the game engine, DOM elements etc, and I'm not sure how well I'd be able to change them.

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It does leave more space for macro events though. Could be interesting to play with all the room.


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    Ellie
  Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:10 am
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Ditched the silly and wasteful torn paper effect.

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    ZenVirZan
  Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:16 am
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Why don't you just make versions of the widget within the engine, rather than using the surrounding browser? It'd be a bit more work, sure, but I think that'd be better than having a mixed artistic style. You could pull of some sweet effects that way as well.

Also what about if the chat window was a transparent black, and the text was white? I think it'd fit the other graphics a bit better. Either that, or make the background texture the same resolution.

Looking good though, I can't wait for a playable version :biggrin:

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    Ellie
  Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:30 pm
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The issue is I essentially have things like MediaWiki, forums, etc, opening above the game in iFrames, so it's not really feasible. Although I could use google fonts and make a font myself that is upscaled properly. I'm not a fan of that though: we're living in the present, where fonts can be rounded and readable. I know it would match the graphics more, but it seems better practice (to me, just my opinion) to make things as readable as possible.

Still haven't matched up the time and level of untiredness to work on the actual game, but I have been tinkering with this. Got a bit more space by moving the frame outside the game window and moving the chat window into the gap.

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ITT: Amy makes a vaporware (again)


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    ZenVirZan
  Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:13 pm
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You can read strings from a webpage right?
Why don't you make the windows and stuff game objects instead of relying on the browser? That way you can completely intertwine the game and information received. Not to mention it'd probably be faster for people on shiternet like me :lol:

EDIT: Nevermind, I need to learn to read.

Perhaps changing graphic style would be the best option, if you're not going to match the font to the rest of the game?

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    Ellie
  Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:15 pm
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Brings me back to the high res ones.

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But that's just a quick map thrown together in five minutes using premade things, not an actual attempt at making a nice and detailed scene.


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    Xilef
  Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:51 pm
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I'm starting to think the high resolution option is the better option here.

I'm still not a fan of your high frequency window backgrounds for the text or the detailed border around everything, but I am a fan of modern minimalistic design with floating elements so it may be my personal taste.


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    Ellie
  Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:31 pm
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Oh aye. I'm just a fan of the old Runescape II style of doing things, I know it's not to everyone's taste. I like RPGs where a lot of the screen is taken up by data or lore, and where GUIs are designed to look arty rather than simplistic. It goes against modern, fluid design, but I think it has a place.

DEFINITELY GOING TO CHANGE THE backgrounds though, but they will be similar. Just nicer and easier to read from.


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    Ellie
  Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:45 am
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OK. I am finally biting down and getting on with this.

Things I did yesterday

- Completely refreshed my server.
- Upgraded said server (for free; I hadn't looked at my upgrades for four years and have been paying the same rate!)
- Installed a fresh version of phpBB, the backbone of the game's databasey sections, including user registration and communication (basically it provides us with a stable base for many of the MMO elements of the game)

Things I did today

- Started building the game's windows

These windows pop up when you press various action keys (not decided on yet).

- "Created" some features

Repurposed, rather. Every time I nab a bit of phpBB for my own purposes I will call it a feature and claim to have heralded a new era in game making.

Current features:

- In-game forums!
- Rudimentary guilds!
- Online users list!

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    Ellie
  Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:45 pm
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Not much progress tech wise, but I've implemented everyone's least favourite graphics.

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Note that typically you'll only have one or two windows displayed at a time, if any.


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    Tohsaka
  Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:13 am
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I think both the higher res version and the lower res versions look equally appealing.

Does bring up interesting ramifications of the technology involved. MediaWiki provides a RESTful API, so you should certainly be able to load content from MediaWiki into Canvas/WebGL rather than the DOM. The only major blocker would probably be PHPBB, which lacks that- probably a massive blocker to canbas forums, since it doesn't seem like any forum has any sort of REST API- there was talk about implementing one in PHPBB, but it doesn't look like they made much progress at all with a lot of work being from Q1 2015.


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    Ellie
  Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:31 pm
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Do do.

Let's pretend I've made progress.

Windows are animated and hide/show based on keys on the numeric keypad. Their key corresponds to their position, so:

7, 4: guide window
8, 5: action window
9: server window
6: party window
1: chat window
3: location window

(Prompt window is button controlled but will vanish when you press 2 also. It only pops up when there is a message.)

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    Ellie
  Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:10 pm
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First attempt at parallax mapping. I know I've f'ed up the walkway textures, need to redo by hand, but I think the rest is OK. Not sure. Nowhere near finished.

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    Ellie
  Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:51 pm
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Looks better with a proper job at flooring.

Need to add imperfections, scuffs and litter though.

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Players of Old Afar probably won't recognise this location at all, because the former Tiben Port was far more quaint.

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The entrance gate and wall are temporary. I'm not sure how the transition to Tiben Woods will go yet.


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    ZenVirZan
  Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:04 am
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hype hype hypee
its looking so good, i will be there to try it day 1 hands down

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    Ellie
  Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:21 am
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Edges next to the walls not done yet.

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So this is going to be the base area for the start of the game. (It was going to be Tiben Town, but I have some quite complex ideas for that town that would be too much for the beginning). There will be animation, like I was doing for my other game, and there will be plentiful things to do here and in the surrounding area (which will be bigger than this to begin with).


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    ZenVirZan
  Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:41 am
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Will this be done in a series of smaller maps, or will it be all one large map? The reason I ask is that I think you'll find there is a very different feeling between a game where areas are broken up into maps versus having one continuous world to explore. I'm aware afar was the prior, but this has a completely different navigational system.

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    Ellie
  Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:36 pm
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I'm going to have to do some testing before deciding. In my heart I want to have a huge, seamless world, as that's the kind of game I'd like to play. But with pixel movement, collision maps and everything else going on, I'm not sure that would be feasible. At the very least maps would have to be broken up and linked together by a script rather than just having one large map.

Essentially I want to hark back to games like RuneScape where you can explore essentially anywhere and see every part of a town or city.


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    Ellie
  Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:40 pm
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This is how I am handling parallax mapping at the moment. Sticking to the grid.

Within the grid movement is pixel by pixel, but the actual collisions are still handled by the grid, and I use a proxy tileset to draw the collisions out in the editor.

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    Juan J. Sánchez
  Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:12 pm
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Amy, that looks incredible. You have great map-making skills.


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    Ellie
  Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:09 pm
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*Almost* at the point where I'd be happy with a proper game thread. Almost.

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Some control issues to sort, but I know how to fix them. All integrated now. Need to remake my login screen as I'm using phpBB now, but that's simple enough to sort.


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    Ellie
  Mon May 23, 2016 1:38 pm
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So now you (well, I) can...

Register
Log into the game
Walk around a bit
Close the game

When you reopen it you'll be exactly where you left yourself.


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    Xilef
  Mon May 23, 2016 1:55 pm
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I'm very excited to see this playable for myself. Definitely the #1 most interesting MV project there is.

Incidentally, are you aware of the parallax mapping issues with MV? Last time I checked there was a massive (and obvious) memory leak with parallax maps - someone even paid me to make a fix for it. It may be resolved in the latest version of MV.


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    Ellie
  Mon May 23, 2016 3:13 pm
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Thanks, I'll look into it.

Signing off for the day; only other progress I've made is creating graphics for the character creator which I will create tomorrow. Currently only two hair pieces in two colours, and two base skin colours. Just enough to test the system with, basically.

Players will have randomly generated clothes that they keep and wear when they take off their armour. Adds a bit more uniqueness.

There will be at the very least twenty hair styles in eight colours, four skin colours, and twenty base clothing styles. So considerable variety between players. But that'll come later.


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    Ellie
  Tue May 24, 2016 9:31 am
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I forgot my driving lessons so unfortunately I won't get as much as I hoped done today. I will however make up the couple of hours at the weekend.

Edit: character creation will be finished today. Back at 1. Looks like this at the moment.

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    Ellie
  Mon May 30, 2016 2:02 pm
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I have been busy.

The game is now in a releasable state. Visual equipment is fully implemented. Server-side saving of variables, switches and items is complete. Login, register and character creation fully implemented and joined up.

Let's see... how long were we down.

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Character Creation completed

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Any blank space is for buttons to "generate at random", coming in a future update.

Server-Side Switches and Variables

Complete.

This was actually much more complicated than I anticipated, for two reasons that only really apply to online games.


1. What do you do when a connection is lost half way through an event?

This has meant having two versions of switches/variables. Most are local, happening client side. Some are global, server side.

Development wise then, I create an event and fill it with normal, local variables and switches, controlling things. Then at the end of it or at key points, I set a global switch or variable, which "signs it off".

That way if the event is interrupted, switches are reset so you can restart the game and try again. But if you complete the event, it sets a global switch and saves it to the server, so that it keeps your progress.

This does open the way for hacking. I'll come to that and my thoughts on it later.

2. How do you perform event triggers using switches?

I can't just refresh every frame and check if a server switch is set - that would cause no end of problems. The solution I have come to is to have events triggered by local switches, and then at key points (such as on map load) setting these local switches based on global switches. At any point the game sets a global switch, it then sets the local switch too.

Wibbly wibbly timey wimey stuff, but it works.


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Now that we have variables, I can do character sheets.

An early rendition of them is now complete.

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That's all live, but a lot of the variables in it require stuff to be made beforehand so there isn't much there yet.

This mockup shows how they will eventually look, but there will be additional graphics on top of these too.

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Crucial Update: We have items!

We now have server-saved items and a basic resource gathering event. More complicated than it sounds, honest.

You can't do anything with the items yet, but you can at least own them.


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Instead of MediaWiki, I have created my own guide system. Basically I only need a couple of pieces of "bbcode". Basically my guide pages just look like this:

Quote:

Tiben is a [town] in the [Tiben Region]. Anything in [these] is a hyperlink. |title| That defined a new [title] and created a bit of [spacing]. This all together produces [this] overall page.


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At this stage in a project I normally end up getting too roped up in setting up a website, so I have thrown one together quickly and I will not make any other changes to it (probably). Now I can just concentrate on the game. (Today is a "day off" in my schedule so I haven't eaten any development time to do it).

http://www.afar.ws

I just stretched a background image, added a play and register button, and then did a fade effect with some further information should anyone need it before starting.


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Today's focus has been connecting systems together properly that were created in the past week as certain linkages were missed out.

  • Fixed bug with player initialisation
  • Stopped players accessing systems without being logged in via url editing
  • Login and register now take you into the game after doing so (did take you to the forums)
  • Disabled forum access from outside of the game
  • New players are prompted with the character creation screen on first log in
  • Began to implement music to the game
  • Rationalised images for lower resource usage
  • Began to plan the next game maps: interiors for the port town, and the Tiben Woods

The game is not online yet, but thanks to today's updates it could be released at any time, as all key systems link together and are visibly complete and coherent.

I've fleshed that out somewhat (today isn't an official development day) but you get the idea. It keeps me accountable and is useful for working out how much work I am or aren't doing for myself.


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A Sunday so again today isn't an official development day. Nonetheless I have been cracking on. Back full swing tomorrow.

  • Visual Equipment is now fully implemented, testing and working. So you now play with your selected graphics (hair colour and style, default clothes, skin colour, and then equipment overlays).
  • Began planning the game world (or, rather, planning how to adapt the world from old Afar).
  • Began mapping the next map, Tiben Woods, which links the Port to the Town.
  • Mapped two feature hotspots for the Tiben Woods map. The first is a resting traveling merchant:

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The second is a more difficult to find camp, which is hope to many poor dwellers. This was the landing spot for new players in old Afar, so in this game it acts as a kind of hidden feature that gives some lore about the game:

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Both still need work and stuff around them.

  • Began working all the tiles I own into a coherent structure so that they are easy to pull from
  • Fixed the website for iPod/iPhone
  • More minor bug fixes here and there
  • Began to structure my development with source code management and other software


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    Ellie
  Mon May 30, 2016 3:21 pm
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Unfortunately I forgot today is a bank holiday, so I have been out all day with my parents. But it gave me chance to see how quickly I can throw a feature point together. I think I am getting a little better at ground works. This is a river crossing with a dodgy inn.

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    Ellie
  Mon May 30, 2016 3:42 pm
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I'm going to have to remake the message system, but that's fine. I can do that. It will use the same "bbcode" style formatting as the guidebook but with some extra stuff.

Basically, you know how in RPG Maker games we typically highlight keywords in blue? Imagine if those keywords were hyperlinks, and opened the guidebook at that page.

Whenever an item is named it will show its icon next to it.

Will also incorporate face sets, and more complicated user input than just selection. We'll see.

Plans for the next week

I have lost a day today, and will lose two hours on Wednesday for a driving lesson. I also have a vacation coming up, in five weeks, so I need to adjust my schedule.

I want to get everything polished before release. So I want to have:

- Tiben Woods map finished
- Interior maps finished (possibly)
- Shops set up, merchants set up (merchants are more than just a shop)
- The first quest(s) and a quest journal
- Basic battle system and roaming enemies; this will NOT however be the final battle system
- In-game forums and such styled properly

The forums will look like this:

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I also set up a forum thread at RMWeb as not having HBGames was driving me insane.

http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php ... he-mmorpg/


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    Ellie
  Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:00 pm
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Occasionally something's added to the game that completely turns RPG Maker on its head. This is one of them. It is something I have wanted to implement in RPG Maker ever since I started using it, and that is Internet Relay Chat. That's the standard protocol for web chat.

Afar uses built-in IRC Chat. (That's not a misuse by the way, IRC is a protocol and used for more than just chat, so "IRC Chat" is a legitimate term, just to appease the pedantic).

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Here's some details. This is a powerful system.

- Ban, kick, silence, different levels of channel operator, etc. out of the box

- Actions, such as *Amy dances

- Ability to send server messages

Because IRC is such a standard system, if you play on a large monitor and want the game space you can close the chat window and use your own client. Hexchat, mIRC, Chatzilla, Mibbit, KiwiIRC, Colloquay, etc.

You can even connect to this chat room via your phone using Colloquay, if you want to just talk to people without playing the game.

Connect to the chat room now

The chat room is already set up, so if you want to join before release feel free to use it.

Server: irc.slacked.org 6667

Channel: #afar

Channel ops: Amy

Actually, realising how to implement this has brought forward the release of the game substantially, as a chat interface is enough for the game to be released, as then there is something interesting To Do. Still waiting for more content though before release.

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1st and 2nd June have been spent mostly mapping again. Here is our progress, which you can compare with the post above to see what two days of mapping is like (actually only really one, as a weekly driving lesson really eats my time). WARNING: large image.

http://i.imgur.com/9Rwen0k.jpg

Other Updates

Was running around in circles for a few hours as visual equipment suddenly decided to stop working. Found a missing semicolon. Question is, though, why did it work before if it was a syntax error? *X-Files music plays*


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