23 January 2007

Announcing the new skill and latest plans

As promised in a previous entry, I will reveal the new skill.
It is called engineering, and will be used for the following things: creating landmines and RC bombs, repairing weapons and armors, and possibly in the player based city construction.
This skill will require a client update, so it should be there around April or May.

In the last week we had some talks on our forums about implementing missiles in the game. Today we had a meeting in the game with Schmurk, the one who is implementing the code, and we decided to try and see if a BSP tree structure for the object would work or not. A BSP tree would be slightly slower than having each map tile store a list of objects that cover that map, but it would use significantly less memory.
Either way, it will take longer for the server to start, given the fact that we have to load all the 3d objects and possibly some other data structures. Our estimate is about 30 seconds more, which is not really a big deal, except when testing new stuff and have to restart it often.

The beauty about having a 3d collision detection system on the server is the flexibility it adds. For example, we can calculate a true lightmap, doing a raytracing between each tile and the nearest lights. Or, later on, in the distant future, we can even give up the tile based movement and implement a true, free movement system. We are a long way from that, but one can dream, no? :)

One other goal of mine, which seems to work pretty well so far, is to have some 'commercial districts' in the game, made entirely or partially from player run bots.
This is good for everyone: it is good for us because we have more points of interest in the game. It is good for the players because they can find a lot of bots in one location, so they don't have to waste their time running back and forth.
And finally, it is good for the bot owners because more players come to visit their bot.
The first 'district' is almost completed, 3 bot places left. Next, we will have to find some other districts to populate, mainly in C2. Once they see how many people are visiting the first commercial district, I am sure they will agree to move their bots together, in other marketplaces around the game.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

New skill sounds interesting. Will the names sound a little more Roleplay-like, however? Its a mainly medieval game, excluding a few quests.
The skill still sounds good, Engineer may be scientific sounding, but definetly seems to fit the part, so I can see why you picked the name.

23/1/07 18:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like all the scheduled changes/additions, keep up the good work on this great game! ;)

24/1/07 08:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raytracing on the server ... you are gonna need another couple buckets of RAM to support it ... but hey why not.

Thanks for your work.. and have plenty of fun!

24/1/07 18:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of what you suggest sounds great. However, "creating landmines and RC bombs" sounds a bit in poor taste to me. It's not even in fitting with the rest of the game. I kind of hope you change you mind on those two.

24/1/07 20:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Certainly very interesting. I particularly like the idea of concentrating the player run bots to certain points of interest. It will most certainly boost the economy and add to the 'realness' of the world.

25/1/07 10:38  
Blogger Radu said...

Yes, we are going to need a lot of RAM for that. About 200 MB will go for that purposes, but it's OK, we have 1GB of RAM on the server, and most of it is empty anyway. And RAM is relatively cheap.

Why do land mines and RC bombs sound like a poor idea to you?

25/1/07 18:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why do land mines and RC bombs sound like a poor idea to you?"

In the real world, land mines in particular cause a huge number of deaths and injuries to innocent people way after hostilities have ended. You will already know that the real world is trying to ban their use. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Campaign_to_Ban_Landmines

Don't misunderstand me, I can easily separate things in the game from things in real life, I certainly do things in the game that I'd never do, nor want to do in real life (like hunting polar bears for example). I just can't imaging my game self making and planting land mines. Weird, it just seams wrong. I guess if you add them to the game, I can just choose to ignore them.

25/1/07 19:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not the one the question was addressed to, but I agree that it should be a different names. It sounds like the traps people have been wanting ingame for a long time. So I don't think its poor taste, its interesting.

25/1/07 22:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

because it's not fits fantasy universe? although i didn't said that, i'm just guessing

perhaps try something like guns, charges to blast locks. do you have locks in your game?

26/1/07 02:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not the one who said it's a "poor idea", yet I see some potential problems here. If they are too strong it might have negative effects on pking. Many people would constantly fear to get trapped. Of course this is just what came to my mind now. I'm sure you already thought about mechanisms to adress this problem.

best regards

26/1/07 05:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like the idea of being able to repair the weapons and armors. Does this skill will be linked in any manner to the manufacture/crafting skills or will it be a completly seperate skill?
BTW, about the bombs and mines does the skill will only allow to make them or also to detect them? or do you plan to add another way for people to detect them?
Anyway, thanks a lot for all you do and keep up the good work! ;)

26/1/07 09:10  
Blogger Radu said...

The repair part of the engineering skill will be totally separated from the crafting/manu. However, some items needed for repair might be manufactured by crafters or manuers, although this is to be decided later on.

There will be some ways to detect and disable those mines, some having to do with the engineering skill, some with the magic skill, and possibly with some cross attributes such as perception.

The "mines kill [innocent] people IRL" argument: The mines will be only for PK maps, and no 'innocent' players go in the PK maps. They will also dissapear in 10 minutes (the exact time is to be decided later on), so you won't be able to mine a whole map in time.

And of course they will affect the way PKing is done, but that's the idea behind it. It would allow for more strategy and tactics.

The land mines fit very well in a fantasy or medieval universe, they were employed hundreads of years ago (of course, they were not as efficient as the ones we have today). Timed bombs and RC bombs were also used long time ago, but they were pretty primitive (using wires, ropes or fuses).
Obviously, in a world were magic is used, there are other methods of remote detonation.

27/1/07 04:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The further details you have provided regarding the land mines etc, such as time limits and only PK maps, goes a long way to make them more acceptable in my mind. The idea of being able to detect and disable them is also good. Of course it would be unfortunate if the skill to detect had to be gained by manufacturing and laying mines in the first place. Kind of like having to be good at killing creatures/humans before you could be proficient at healing them. Thanks for your replies to my comments.

27/1/07 11:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 0.02€, speaking from my role-playing experiences:

* "engineering" seems to draw from two existing skills: manufacturing (the "repair" part, those who know how to build know how to repair as well) and alchemy (if the bombs are gun powder based they surely belog to this domain); so I wonder if a new skill is really needed, you could add a "repair" action to broken items based on the manufacturing skill f.i., and allow alchemist to prepare explosive devices;

* the plant/detect trap part, OTOH, could be the kernel of a thief-like skill: in the future you could have locks to picks, secret passages to discover, traps to detect etc. based on this skill;

* I hope you will devote some attention to the magic system as well: there are still many simple spells from D&D and similar games that would be nice to have, plus you could have "retarded" spells that could act like RC bombs.

I really like how EL is shaping up, is there a development forum where you discuss new ideas?


30/1/07 04:27  

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