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niektb

Progress Update May 2016

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Progress Update May 2016

In this progress update we tell you a sample of what we have been up to since the last Alpha release. We have added new Seleucid buildings, more work has been done on animations for the new unit models and last but not least we’d like to tell you what Omri Lahav, our composer has been up to.

screenshot0015.png

A screenshot showing the new Seleucid wonder in-game

New buildings and a new team member

LordGood has been creating several new buildings for the Seleucids, meaning we should be able to officially release them in the next Alpha.

screenshot0019.png

The Seleucid Market

We have a new team member: Niek, known as niektb. He is new to the team, but not new to the project as he has been part of the community for several years. During that time he has gotten to know the project and has contributed both art, some code and maps, and most importantly he is an important part of the modding community. And that will hopefully continue, which means he can be a useful link between the main game development and the mod development. We hope that his journey will serve as inspiration for others, being a part of a modding team is a great learning experience.

Several buildings which have previously just been available in the editor are now possible to use in normal gameplay. They range from the Briton’s Crannog which is both a Civic Center and a dock, to the Persian Ishtar Gate, which increase the resistance to being captured for nearby buildings.

More accurate experience

Citizen Soldiers now gain experience (XP) per every hit they do rather than just when they kill another unit. This means that experience is more evenly distributed between the units. Previously one soldier might have dealt almost all the damage but another could still have gotten the XP just because it was the last soldier to hit the enemy before it died.

New animations

Our Art Lead, Enrique, has been busy creating new animations for the new unit models:

female_walk.gif mining.gif walk_relax_cape.gif chopping_shield.gif

From left to right: Walking female citizen, A unit mining, Walking with cape, Chopping wood with a shield on the back.

There are still a lot of animations to create, so it is not likely that we will start to use the new models for a while yet. Every new animation created brings that day closer though, so it’s certainly encouraging to have more of them done.

Fixes and improvements

Sander (sanderd17) and Lancelot (wraitii) have changed the game engine so the simulation can set actor variants. This should allow things like showing damage on units and buildings, or defining winter maps that load actors with snowy textures as opposed to normal snow-free textures. The engine part is more or less done, but it will take a lot of work by artists before it will be visible in the game.

New balancing of champions and siege changes the gameplay to make siege engines more important, as buildings can’t be destroyed effectively by champions any more.

The timeout for the wonder victory can be set arbitrarily, previously it was set to 10 minutes, but now you can set it to anything from 1 minute to 120 minutes.

Apart from that there has been work done on technologies and civilization bonuses, the in-game menus and more. For an in-depth list see the Alpha 21 highlights page on our wiki which is updated regularly as new features are added to the development version.

Omri has released a personal album

And some news from our composer Omri Lahav: He has been busy creating his first personal album, which you can check out at his Bandcamp page:

We highly recommend you check it out. He has also just moved to the U.S. so he will most likely not have time to create music for 0 A.D. for a little while yet. He has mentioned that he’s starting to get inspired though, so hopefully it will not take too long.

As a final note: We have disabled the contact form on the Contact us page as we haven’t received any emails from it for a while and have been unable to find the cause. You can of course still contact us in all the other ways: via the forumsIRC, and the email address listed on the Contact page. If you have sent a message to us via the contact form and not received a reply, please contact us in another way as we have most likely not seen it.

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57 minutes ago, av93 said:

Jos3BV animations would be used?

Last time I asked Enrique he said yes.

 

@niektb Congrats on you being in the team :)

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which means he can be a useful link between the main game development and the mod development

@niektb Perhaps we could also release downloadable "extended editions" which bundle the vanilla game with some official mods (Rise of the East and Millenium A.D. at the moment, maybe Delenda Est). That would provide you much more players/testers I suppose.

I would also appreciate to include (parts of) some mods in the main game e.g. Rise of the East...

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@Palaxin: I don't think that that's a workable situation. I mean, first of all you load (bloat?) the players up with mods they might not want. (or at least ourselves since we would need to package, test and support all those different bundles.) And secondly, what defines which mods should be bundled (currently the amount of suited mods is pretty small, but in the future this might, hopefully, grow)?

And for what? Downloading and installing a mod is really not hard in 0 A.D... If anything, we should maybe publish some official video tutorial (I have seen some request on those in the past) on how to install mods on OS X / Windows / some major linux distros.

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Eventually it could be an idea to, if not add to the game install itself, at least have one or a few mods as semi-official mods. At this point I think it is important to make sure that we have a process where every mod is easy to find, easy to download and easy to install. We can never include all mods so it's worth making sure we have a solution that works for all mods.

I also think that it is hard for us to do everything right, so personally I suggest that we encourage people to use sites like Nexusmods.com or MODDB.  They already have both the server infrastructure and the "social infrastructure" to be able to make it work well. By "social infrastructure" I mean things like comments etc which makes it easy for people to find out which mods are good. Especially Nexusmods.com which have several ways to find which mods are good. Lists of popular mods, most downloaded mods, most endorsed mods (basically a "plus one" or "like"), in addition to comments. One of the biggest pros, but somewhat of a con as well, is that each game gets its own sub-site. Whichis good for finding the mods, but it makes the game less visible.

Mod makers can of course use several different ways to make their mods available.

It might be a good idea for us to host a mod list where mods can be found regardless of where the mods can be downloaded from. Maybe with a simple up/down vote system to make it easier to find popular mods.

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14 hours ago, feneur said:

It might be a good idea for us to host a mod list where mods can be found regardless of where the mods can be downloaded from. Maybe with a simple up/down vote system to make it easier to find popular mods.

Maybe a page in game mod selector that load a page that have available mods with up/down votes and comments.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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18 hours ago, niektb said:

I don't think that that's a workable situation. I mean, first of all you load (bloat?) the players up with mods they might not want. (or at least ourselves since we would need to package, test and support all those different bundles.)

I intended this to be an optional version. One download button/link for the vanilla game and one for the version including the official mods. So if you don't want them, you don't need to install them. But I understand that this may not be worth the effort.

17 hours ago, feneur said:

It might be a good idea for us to host a mod list where mods can be found regardless of where the mods can be downloaded from. Maybe with a simple up/down vote system to make it easier to find popular mods.

Agree :)

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Also, give the section a non-techy name, e.g. "Get more civilizations". There was a discussion at Battle for Wesnoth recently about users not using the "Add-ons" button. Of course, not all mods are civilization packs, but that's the general idea.

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IMO, the first thing we should do is making the installation procedure easier: Dowload a mod file, select to open it with 0 A.D. and see your mod installed.

The other things (listing mods, voting on them, ...) are things that can also be done by other platforms, like modDB, so it's not urgent to implement our own IMO (though it would always be nice to have our own).

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Making a file browser in-game (with support for all OSes) is a lot harder than letting an application open a certain filetype (like a *.pyromod file). At least if you don't use a standard library (like Qt), which we don't.

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