8/15 Revel Immortal Progress Update
It's been far too long since my last update (~2 months); I've found myself saying in this time "I should do a journal update..." but said "Nah. I'll wait till I've got more to show."
...thanks to @Navyman reminding me of my overlong lapse in updates; the time has come!
Revel Immortal Update:
It's been a tough summer for sure, and so far I've not gotten nearly as much done with Revel as I'd hoped to; summer is always/usually a slow time for me output wise; the weather is nice, my real life is more demanding; and I just seem to work better in cooler/dryer weather.
...anyway; for those who aren't aware Revel Immortal has been going through signifigant design changes (in response to player feedback and experience in development thus far).
The current production version of Revel (released in April) is version 21, or 'v21' and the new proposed in-development version is 'v22'.
As always what follows is of course a "Work In Progress".
How you see the world, and how you get around
In v21 there was never a good sense of 'where the heck am I?'; in v22 this is made easier by allowing for a world map; as well as any sub-maps.
This introduces the concept of 'Aulianis', which has been present in the Morning's Wrath and Revel Immortal design docs for quite some time; but never the games as we didn't have much need to talk about what the world is called.
Here we can see icons (which are likely going to be replaced for better ones); that represent two macro locations in the world; one being Garranshall a city that we're already quite familiar with.
Clicking (or tapping) once on an icon highlights it and gives you the name of the location; and a second click/tap on the same icon brings up the respective map.
As we dive down into a sub-map; we see that instead of the micro-rendering 'minimaps' in v21; we now have artistic impression based maps; using icons for fast-travel locations; this serves a number of purposes.
- From an aesthetics standpoint it lets us exagerate certain features and help to instil a sense of culture (note the Leowyn Star map detail)
- From an incremental design standpoint; it let's us add new areas in a non-contiguous manner that avoids large blank areas where a player could unknowingly waste time searching for something interesting (which didn't yet exist) --in other words, using icons/nodes to highlight and provide access to interesting areas should result in a better experience.
- Less consideration is required for the details of how locations 'fit together' this means more making interesting areas, and less hemming/hawing about how they all fit together in a grid.
- Technologically simpler; to some it was no secret the getting the minimap system to render in-editor, and the staggering size of our mostly empty large city was a major drain on time to get it working.
While a far better icon is needed, on the bottom right an icon is listed that will return you to the previous map; eventually this will be a piece of clearer GUI.
...and so we come to the 'room' level of gameplay; this is where all the action takes place; but unlike in v21 rooms are no longer limited to a single screen; instead rooms are now arbitrarily sized and scroll.
An obvious addition is the sizable cluster o' GUI at the bottom center; showing slots for hot-key items; gauges for health and mana; and tabs for other GUI windows.
Of important note is that we no longer have the 'onscreen gamepad for tablets' and use a 16:9 aspect ratio with a design size of 1280x720.
Where device aspect differences or window sizes differ the display will scale and letterbox where apropriate.
It is of technical note to also mention that we are no longer using a DOM based GUI; but instead an Immediate Mode GUI; which counterintutively has resulted in a net performance increase when using the GUI.
A quick view of the early (very WiP) Character/Equipment/Stats view; shows a much improved GUI design.
And I'll finish off the updates with another early WiP look at the new Quest Log:
There is of course still a whole lot to do; but with any luck I'll find some assistance soon; or at the very least the coming change in season will help bolster my effort.