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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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About this blog

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Entries in this blog

VBStrider
Over the last month we've had fun doing the livestream. We made new friends and everyone had a great time during this month-long experiment.

After a month of livestreaming, we've discovered that we can't maintain the same level of production that we could before.

So we are no longer able to continue the game development livestream. However, we are looking at other ways to involve the community.

Development on Volund will continue. We will also be releasing daily development logs as usual.

Thank you for being a part of our community!


IfThen-Software-Official-Blog.png
VBStrider
Well, the good news is that this works!

pulling-across-maps-works.gif

I finally managed to fix pulling across map borders. You still aren't moving your target... But at least you are not longer getting stuck.

I still had a host of small bugs to fix today, this being one of them:

ladies-and-gentlemen-we-have-a-new-bug-500x185.png

Fortunately, I managed to get most of the bugs fixed. The last remaining glitch is causing you to be unable to enter "pulling mode"... But it's so difficult to replicate that I can safely leave it alone for right now.

I also redesigned part of the movement system.

polling-based-movement.png

Previously, the UI was using polling to issue move and change direction commands to the logic layer. This code really did not need to be running at 60Hz.

I redesigned the code to issue those two commands based on different events. For example, the move command will now be issued when the "I want to move" event is raised, among others.


IfThen-Software-Official-Blog.png
VBStrider

The Pulling Mechanic



So, today I started work on the "pulling" mechanic. This mechanic allows you to pull other characters around the map. Such a feature would be useful in combat, and would also aid in forcing characters out of choke points.

I decided to get it working in a simple situation first: Neither the target nor the grabber is moving. I expected this to take two hours, tops... I am currently well over 5 hours into this task. So much for simple!

I keep coming back to this, but one of the big reasons why adding new mechanics takes so long is the state of the code base. But, I am gradually redesigning it.


The Bugs



I don't have much more to say on the subject. So, I'll leave you with a sampling of the sort of bugs I had to fix today:

stuck-in-the-wall.png

telekinesis1.png

wheeeee.gif


IfThen-Software-Official-Blog.png
VBStrider

Grabbing Sprite



Today started off with a relatively easy task: Add in a "grabbing" sprite for when a character grabs on to another.

I started off with getting things setup to add the sprite to the character's spritesheet. This went well, however I discovered something surprising: It was already there! Wishing I had noticed this sooner, I quickly moved on to adding in the simple logic for triggering the new sprite.

grabbed-animation.png


Bugs Fixed



two-new-bugs.png

I managed to squash three bugs today. Two of these bugs are currently present in v0.3.3.

  • When being grabbed by two other characters on opposite sides, it was impossible to escape.
  • Characters were jittering back and forth when attempting to move into a blocked tile on a northern map.
  • The character's sprite wasn't being set properly after grabbing another character. This bug was only present in development builds.

    Badly Needed Refactoring



    layers.png

    I spent the rest of the day refactoring/redesigning the server's movement code. A majority of this work involved moving methods out of the VolundServer god object and into separate classes.

    The code was separated based on whether it handled synchronization or game logic. Currently I'm just throwing synchronization-related code into the PacketHandler class. Game logic code winds up in the GameLogic class, which is at least a bit better.


    Community Report



    Captain Argentina and Pema99 have mapped out the world of Volund! WARNING: These maps contain spoilers!
VBStrider

Name Tags



Due to popular request, "name" tags have been added at the last minute. The name is simply an incrementing number, but it allows you to identify each other while playing.

[size=2]Fanart by SurvivorTuga:
B-Ui6iFIgAA01a5.jpg


The Caboose has been Found



I finally fixed the bug that was causing the third character in a dragging train to disappear! Apparently, the create character packets were being sent before all of the character's state was set. This was causing the character to appear outside of your screen.


AoD's Fan Comics



AoD, a regular on the livestream, has created several comics related to the game and the various bugs that we've been trying to fix. Enjoy!

[size=2]Fanart by AoD:
B-Qp56lCIAAPf9z.jpg

[size=2]Fanart by AoD:
B-QZ0nFCcAAdyaT.jpg

[size=2]Fanart by AoD:
B-UPe-LCAAAI-Vw.jpg

These next two comics need some background information. So, I was in the middle of adding the name tag feature mentioned earlier. While doing this, things got a little... Uhhh... Crowded. Here is a screenshot I took during the chaos:

B-UFWnZCcAAS_Y0.png

And here are AoD's comics related to this incident:

[size=2]Fanart by AoD:
B-UGL-kCYAAG-ck.jpg

While testing the nametag feature, it was noticed that the spiders also had the "shouting" name tags. This gave both myself and the livestream viewers a rather creepy mental image...

[size=2]Fanart by AoD:
B-UTfdZCUAAbdBI.jpg


Community Report



Territory lines are being drawn up. Armies are forming. The prototype lands of Volund are barely under control!

The two main factions vying for control are Survivor and RedSquirrel.

Survivor has claimed this land. He even seems to have spiders guarding it! How far does his control extend?

OTkxXoR.png

RedSquirrel claims the rock enclosed space south of the spawn point. (note: unfortunately, the image cannot be embedded at this time, sorry!)

The propaganda machines are running, and there is already a poster floating around in Survivor's favor!

[size=2]Fanart by SurvivorTuga:
B-UuigEIMAAMNi0.png

A fight broke out in RedSquirrel's house. Our camera crew was on the scene, but due to an unfortunate equipment malfunction the video is being withheld. Investigations are ongoing as to whether or not Survivor was behind this.


IfThen-Software-Official-Blog.png
VBStrider
It was a dark and stormy night...

No, not really. Although the morning certainly started off cold!

Bugs, Bugs, and um... Bugs



Today was full of bug fixing, which I expected going into it. The day started off with implementing the final part of the "grabber dragged along" mechanic: Slowing the speed of the target's movement.

Things were going quite well, until this happened:

characters-separating-bug.gif?resize=320%2C240

I spent most of the morning fixing this fun little bug, and part of my lunch break too! The problem wound up being related to storing the grabbing direction and the movement direction as two separate states.

Storing them separately wasn't the problem, necessarily. However, the code that handles dragging the grabber behind his target was using the wrong one!

To recreate the problem, you had to first grab another character. Let's say that you grab them while facing north, like in the animation above. You then press the down arrow key to "move" south. Because you are grabbing another character, you don't move. But! Your character's movement direction is still updated. When the character you grabbed tries to move, you'll be "dragged" in the direction you are "facing"... South!

The Internet Destroys Everything



The latter half of the day consisted of lag testing. This involved deploying to the staging site, and then seeing how badly latency would affect the new grabbing mechanics.

Sadly, it was pretty bad. One bug which I spent four hours solving was allowing characters to run right by grabbers. If there was enough lag, you could run right by another character who was trying to grab you.

This was being caused by some code in the server which would correctly grab the character, but then immediately cancel the grab! I added some additional checks, and the glitch seems to have been resolved.

The last bug I ran into, and the one which I didn't manage to fix, is demonstrated here:

The-Mystery-of-the-Vanishing-Caboose.gif?resize=320%2C240

If you have three characters, with two of them grabbing two others in a row, the last one in the chain will disappear when switching maps! I suspect the "caboose" is being teleported into the map's border, but I have yet to prove that theory.


IfThen-Software-Official-Blog.png
VBStrider

Devlog #11: Choo-Choo!

Uh... That Shouldn't be Happening



So today started off with fixing a rather odd bug. You see, the- Uh... Well. This is easier shown than described:

grabber-dragged-along-bug.gif?resize=320%2C240

So. That was happening. Fortunately I managed to fix it (not without the help of the livestream viewers in the chat - thanks!)

The problem, like with most bugs, wound up being relatively simple: The character's velocity was being incorrectly set after changing maps.

wrong-velocity-on-character-creation.png?resize=361%2C125

The real issue is that the server works with coordinates and velocity measured in tiles. The client, however, uses pixels. This is definitely on my "I need to refactor this" list.

All Aboard the Game Mechanic Train!



As you may know, I've been working on the "grabbing" feature. This breaks down into several mechanics, but here is the basic idea: You can "grab" another character and push them/pull them out of the way, or hold them in one spot. Very useful in combat.

One of the mechanics is that if the character you are grabbing tries to move, they pull you along with them. This will eventually result in slower movement speed, but that is still being worked on.

At the request of the livestream viewers, I tried grabbing the character which was grabbing the other character, and then moving... Thus was born The Train! Choo choo!

train.gif?resize=320%2C240


IfThen-Software-Official-Blog.png
VBStrider
Today's game development livestream is starting at 8:30am PST!


Schedule



On today's livestream, Mike will be working on the "grabber dragged along" mechanic. He started work on this mechanic in yesterday's stream, and it's making very good headway!

The "grabber dragged along" mechanic will cause a character who is grabbing another character to be dragged along with them. In addition to that, it will slow down the grabbed character.

The stream will be going on break a little early today so that the team can participate in this week's #IndieDevHour. The intermission will last from 11:00am PST till 1:00pm PST. Feel free to participate in the #IndieDevHour hashtag on Twitter though. The more the better!


Watch the Livestream



Click below to watch the game development livestream!

Twitch-Preview-Livestream-4.png


IfThen-Software-Official-Blog.png
VBStrider

Hindering Movement is Finished



The biggest news I have today is that the "hindering movement" mechanic is finally finished! Here is an animated gif of it in action:

Hindering-Movement.gif

With this mechanic, you can approach another character, grab on to them, and then prevent them from moving away quickly. After grabbing the character, he is unable to move in any direction without a delay.

The hindering effect only lasts for a single tile. However, that could be significant, particularly in a combat situation.

Bug Fixing with Friends



Before starting work on the next game mechanic, I needed to exterminate a bug. The bug was first discovered last night right before the livestream ended. I didn't have a chance to fix it then, so it got tacked on to today's work list.

The glitch happened when a character grabbed a target character and then followed closely behind them. After only a couple steps, the server would crash.

found-the-grabbing-bug.png

After a very long debugging session, two and a half hours in fact, the problem was found and squished: The server was issuing a grab command without first making sure that the grabber wasn't... Uh... Grabbing.

Thank you very much to the people in the Twitch chatroom, and Voidinc_ in particular, for helping me find the problem. It would have eluded me for much longer without your assistance!


IfThen-Software-Official-Blog.png
VBStrider

Engine Doesn't Allow Fast Enough Prototyping



Well, I have learned one thing over the past few iterations: Adding game mechanics takes a long time. A very long time. Just the framework for the grabbing feature has been in development for the past couple months.

So, I've identified a problem. Now what? Well I need to figure out how I'm going to solve it. I believe one of the major issues is the way the code is designed at the moment. It's desperately needing some large overhauls.

With that in mind, I'm going to try and spend extra time refactoring and redesigning. This will be in addition to the work I normally do on the livestream, and I'm not planning on livestreaming it.

One problem with deciding that a code base needs to be reworked is that you can easily get stuck only reworking it. This means you don't make any forwards progress on new features. Doing the redesign as extra work, rather than replacing existing work time, should help prevent this from happening.

Hand Holding Turns Violent



While on the livestream today, some players decided to form a circle and "hold hands" using the grabbing feature. This was all well and good, but then the circle was abruptly disrupted and the whole thing turned into a melee! Fists were swinging, characters were running all over the map... It was chaos! Also quite funny, haha.

holding-hands-320x240.png


IfThen-Software-Official-Blog.png
VBStrider

Version Number is now Displayed




So, first off: I finished another user story! Within a single day too. Believe it or not, I've had a rather bad track record in that department.

While on the livestream, I managed to finish the version number user story. This means that the next release will have a version number in the top-left corner.
Version-Number-is-now-Displayed.png?resize=500%2C200
This is helpful mainly to developers and testers. If something is acting strangely, you have a way to make sure you are using the latest version. It also helps with tracking bugs, since you can pin them down to an exact build of the game.

I finished the feature in the expected amount of time. Very unexpected, and I was quite happy about it!


Grabbing... Not Quite as Good



Grabbing...-Not-Quite-as-Good.png?resize=500%2C200

I worked on one other user story today: Grabbing. Unlike the version number, this one will require more work. This is mainly because I ran into a problem while writing the acceptance tests for it.

Mockolate apparently calls the constructor for each class you mock, but provides null arguments. This is usually fine... Unless you try to use one of those arguments in the constructor. That is exactly what happened while I was coding grabbing.

At first I didn't even know it was a problem with the mocks. I've mentioned this before, but trying to debug a problem within a step definition while using Cuke4AS3 is very difficult. I had to gradually comment the relevant code blocks before I could even figure out which source file and line was causing the error.

This particular problem happened with two classes. The first was the Synchronization class which I created. To make things easier, I simply moved the offending calls into the initialization method.

The other was the Character class. Its constructor was creating a Spritemap using the art asset supplied by an argument. FlashPunk did not take kindly to being given a null graphic, and complained. To fix this problem, I decided to simply use the full Character class and not bother trying to create a mock for it.


IfThen-Software-Official-Blog.png
VBStrider

"Areum" is not as Unique as we Hoped



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One of the biggest changes to Areum recently has been a new name.

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Choosing a name for a game is always a difficult process, and this one took us a couple of weeks. I consider us fortunate that it didn't take longer!

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First off, let me explain the reason why we renamed the 2D MMORPG project. I want to make it clear that everyone on the team loved the name. Unfortunately, it came to my attention that "Areum" is the name of a South Korean idol singer. This might not have been too bad, but when I searched both Twitter and Google, the results were flooded with information about her.

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Why Change Names?



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[/font][/color]

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Having your brand obscured by another brand of the same name is never a good thing for a business. For one, it makes it difficult to find information about your brand. If your own pages are as deeply buried as they were for us with the name "Areum", people are likely to just give up looking.

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Another issue you run into is that your brand name has very likely already been taken on various social media websites. This was certainly the case for Areum, I am sad to say.

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A related "problem" is that people who are looking for the other brand may find yours instead. From a publicity standpoint this might not be so bad: Free advertising, right? But it just increases confusion, and there is no guarantee that people will be interested in both brands.

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Choosing a new Name



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So, on to choosing a new name. The three of us drew up lists and lists of potential names, circling the ones we liked the best. But this was only part of the process: For every potential name, I had to check if it was already taken by another game. I also had to make sure that it was it would show up in search results.

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But that wasn't all: I also had to make sure that the name did not translate into anything offensive in another language. On that note, I also had to make sure that the name did not translate into another brand.

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All of these checks needed to be "fuzzy", which just made things more complicated. In other words, I needed to make sure that I checked variations of the name and possible misspellings. I also had to check words which were phonetically similar.

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That last one actually saved us at the last minute more than once! There were several occasions where we thought we had found a good name. However, we then discovered that it sounded like another word with an unfortunate meaning.

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Settling on the name Volund



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After two weeks of this, we were no closer to finding a new name for Areum then when we started. That's when someone on the team, I forget who, suggested using the name "Volund".

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For those of you who are just joining our community, I need to explain some history real quick. IfThen Software created an MMORPG named "Volund Preview 1" and released it four years ago on April 10th, 2010. After releasing Preview 1, we moved on to other projects. The server was eventually taken down due to limited resources.

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A lot of worldbuilding has already been done for the Volund universe, so this would open up a lot of new options. This sealed the deal for us: Volund would be the new name for Areum, the medieval fantasy 2D MMORPG project.

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We are all very excited to revisit the Volund universe! There are a lot of cool ideas that we are itching to try out.

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[color=#000000][font='Times New Roman'][size=1]IfThen-Software-Official-Blog.png[/font][/color]
VBStrider

Trello Board is Live

Areum finally has a Trello board biggrin.png

trello_small.png
(click to visit the board)


Trello is a free online task management program: I highly recommend it to anyone who needs to do planning for a project.

Today I finished estimating the tasks for the first pre-production demo of the game. So tomorrow, I should be able to actually start working on them smiley.gif I actually did this on the livestream, so you can view the recording if you are interested in the process:
first_demo_tasks_twitch.png

This update is also over on the official blog at: http://www.ifthensoftware.net/?p=114?
VBStrider
[color=#404040][font=inherit]I've wanted to do this since Friday, so I'm finally writing it up :D I technically don't have any time left for work today, but I'm making an exception just so that this whole thing actually gets started![/font][/color]

[color=#404040][font=inherit]Over the past few days, I've been working on the task list for Areum, as well as designing the new movement system. Specifically, I've been working on the list of tasks that I need to finish before IfThen Software can release version 0.1.0 of the 1st Real Level Prototype of Areum.[/font][/color]
[color=#404040][font=inherit]2014-09-01-17.14.56.jpg[/font][/color]

[color=#404040][font=inherit]Boy, there's more to do than I thought! D: Pictured here are the features (index cards), tasks (sticky notes), and the design for the new movement system. There is also another page of designs under the one shown, for different networking and login related tasks.[/font][/color]

[color=#404040][font=inherit]To give a quick overview, I have to do the following:[/font][/color]

  • [color=#404040][font=inherit]New Movement System (designed to reduce the effect of latency)[/font][/color]
  • Login Prompt
  • Misc. Informational Screens (for example: "the server is offline", "the game is too crowded", etc.)
  • Walking Animations
  • Security Improvements

    [color=#404040][font=inherit]In total, there is about 12 hours worth of work to be done. But that's [/font][/color]ideal work hours[color=#404040][font=inherit] which means that it will probably take a little longer since it is impossible to work at 100% efficiency. Currently, I'm looking to have these finished by the end of the week.[/font][/color]

    [color=#404040][font=inherit]Note that these are all things [/font][/color][color=#404040]*I*[/color][color=#404040][font=inherit] need to complete: Jake, who normally handles content related tasks, has already finished all of the work he needs to do for this first release. So, I am feeling slightly swamped o_o I'm just recovering from a cold as well, which didn't help productivity at all. Back in full swing now though![/font][/color]
    [font=arial][color=#404040]I also posted this over on the official company blog if anyone wants to check that out as well :) [/color]http://www.ifthensoftware.net/?p=108[color=#404040]?[/color][/font]
VBStrider
Download: Areum Pre-alpha v0.0.0.327

Account passwords are now encrypted, and we've changed the storage system for account data. Because of this, all current accounts had to be wiped; this is just a pre-alpha, so hopefully you guys didn't lose too much progress.


We have an online chatroom where you can usually find myself and other developers, as well as other players: http://irc.ifthensoftware.net
We also have a Facebook page over at http://www.facebook.com/ifthensoftware
I have a Twitter account for development updates, which you can view here: http://twitter.com/ITS_Invisible
We also have an IndieDB page for Areum:
21029.png
And finally, we have a devlog on TIGSource as well: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=31227.0
VBStrider

No Demos Recently

Recently we have been working on internal features of the engine, so there hasn't been anything new to look at. Because of this, we haven't released any new demos since there would be little point in showing what is effectively the same version of the game.

We are very close to being feature complete for the first phase (the first version of the game). This means that we will be going into content development soon. We don't want to give out spoilers, so we have decided that we won't release demos for the game's content as it is being developed. Instead, we will be making development log entries discussing how progress is going, and we might even show some concept art, screenshots, or videos from time to time.

To start things off, here is a prototype our artist created for the wall of a house. We are currently planning on a future version of the game to use art assets that are photos of real models.
modeling2.jpg


We have an online chatroom where you can usually find myself and other developers, as well as other players: http://irc.ifthensoftware.net
We also have a Facebook page over at http://www.facebook.com/ifthensoftware
I have a Twitter account for development updates, which you can view here: http://twitter.com/ITS_Invisible
We also have an IndieDB page for Areum:
21029.png
And finally, we have a devlog on TIGSource as well: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=31227.0
VBStrider
Download: Areum Pre-alpha v0.0.0.321

I worked straight through the night to bring you guys this update :) Music and sound effects are now in the game. I have also added swords and armor to the Goblin's inventory, so they will have a chance of dropping one of them.

Next up is the chat system... I'm personally not looking forward to this feature; I'll need to create a textbox control which requires implementing word-wrap, clipping, and a scrollbar control. Oh well, better get to it...


We have an online chatroom where you can usually find myself and other developers, as well as other players: http://irc.ifthensoftware.net
We also have a Facebook page over at http://www.facebook.com/ifthensoftware
I have a Twitter account for development updates, which you can view here: http://twitter.com/ITS_Invisible
We also have an IndieDB page for Areum:
21029.png
And finally, we have a devlog on TIGSource as well: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=31227.0
VBStrider
Download: Areum Pre-alpha v0.0.0.317

To prepare for the artwork that our artist GreyKnight will be creating, the game's resolution has been increased. The graphics have all been stretched to match the resolution, this is only temporary however; the graphics GreyKnight is working on won't be stretched.

Items have also been added to the game. You can pickup items by standing over them and pressing the return key. Once you've picked up an item, it will be placed in your inventory and displayed in a list at the top-right of your game window. To drop an item back onto the ground, simply right-click on the item in your inventory. If you want to use an item (consume a health potion or equip/unequip a weapon or piece of armor) double-left click on it in your inventory.

Goblins will randomly drop health potions (yay, a way to heal without dieing). However, you can only get the weapon and armor items from picking them up off the map. There is only one set, and once someone has picked them up the server needs to be rebooted for them to appear again. Because of this, there is a good chance you won't be able to try them out in this version. Sorry about that! Goblins might drop armor and weapon items in the next version.

When you die, one of your inventory slots is randomly selected. If there is an item in the slot that is chosen, that item is dropped at the location where you were killed. This is the first part of the game's death penalty; we will likely add an XP penalty later.


We have an online chatroom where you can usually find myself and other developers, as well as other players: http://irc.ifthensoftware.net
We also have a Facebook page over at http://www.facebook.com/ifthensoftware
I have a Twitter account for development updates, which you can view here: http://twitter.com/ITS_Invisible
We also have an IndieDB page for Areum:
21029.png
And finally, we have a devlog on TIGSource as well: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=31227.0
VBStrider
Download: Areum Pre-alpha v0.0.0.286

The leveling system is finished! At least for phase 1.

When you gain enough experience, your character levels up. Leveling up will increase your stats, so killing the goblins should be a bit easier after a level or two. I also added in an armor stat, which completely blocks damage point for point. Your stats are now displayed in the user interface so that you can track them easier.


We have an online chatroom where you can usually find myself and other developers, as well as other players: http://irc.ifthensoftware.net
We also have a Facebook page over at http://www.facebook.com/ifthensoftware
I have a Twitter account for development updates, which you can view here: http://twitter.com/ITS_Invisible
We also have an IndieDB page for Areum:
21029.png
And finally, we have a devlog on TIGSource as well: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=31227.0
VBStrider
Download: Areum Pre-alpha v0.0.0.277

Sorry for the long wait for a new demo; I had to take care of some tool-related features. Since you guys wouldn't see any difference, I decided not to release new demos.

You will now gain experience from killing NPCs (specifically the goblins). I don't have leveling implemented yet though, so when your experience bar fills up it will just continue to fill up.


We have an online chatroom where you can usually find myself and other developers, as well as other players: http://irc.ifthensoftware.net
We also have a Facebook page over at http://www.facebook.com/ifthensoftware
I have a Twitter account for development updates, which you can view here: http://twitter.com/ITS_Invisible
We also have an IndieDB page for Areum:
21029.png
And finally, we have a devlog on TIGSource as well: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=31227.0
VBStrider
Download: Areum Pre-alpha v0.0.0.250

Combat is finished! This version has quite a few changes:

  • Attacks are now limited by an attack speed.
  • Characters now have health, which decreases as they are attacked; when a character's health reaches zero, it dies.
  • I've added combat messages so that you can tell what's going on a bit easier.
  • I've made it so that certain characters (such as the knights) cannot be attacked; this will be useful for preventing mass killings of shopkeepers.
  • As cool as it was, I've removed NPC's ability to use warp tiles, since it would just complicate map design at the moment.
  • Characters will also respawn when they die, which should make things easier. NPCs have a respawn delay, but PCs don't.
  • Attack damage is randomly calculated based on a damage range (minimum damage - maximum damage).
  • Attacks now require stamina, and they will drain your stamina even if you don't hit anything.
  • Stamina and health regenerate slowly over time.

    We have an online chatroom where you can usually find myself and other developers, as well as other players: http://irc.ifthensoftware.net
    We also have a Facebook page over at http://www.facebook.com/ifthensoftware
    I have a Twitter account for development updates, which you can view here: http://twitter.com/ITS_Invisible
    We also have an IndieDB page for Areum:
    21029.png
    And finally, we have a devlog on TIGSource as well: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=31227.0
VBStrider
Download: Areum Pre-alpha v0.0.0.248

I've added in very basic combat: You can press the A key while standing next to and facing a character, and that character will die (including PCs). Because there is no respawning though, you might run out of targets quickly; if this happens, please let me know and I'll reboot the server.

Because of limitations with the previous UI (Windows controls are difficult to use for a game after a certain point), I've converted the in-game UI to use a custom OpenGL-based UI system. It doesn't have all of the features that the previous UI had, but it works better for the moment.


We have an online chatroom where you can usually find myself and other developers, as well as other players: http://irc.ifthensoftware.net
We also have a Facebook page over at http://www.facebook.com/ifthensoftware
I have a Twitter account for development updates, which you can view here: http://twitter.com/ITS_Invisible
We also have an IndieDB page for Areum:
21029.png
And finally, we have a devlog on TIGSource as well: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=31227.0
VBStrider
The NPC feature is finished! Areum Pre-alpha v0.0.0.238

The bug where you were sometimes stuck at the login screen should now be fixed, as well as the bug where the map name would sometimes be replaced with "Static". Both of these were because of a race condition, and I'm happy to have them gone!

The movement bug where your hitbox would sometimes get offset should be fixed as well. Due to how difficult that bug is to recreate, I can't be certain it is gone, but I went through and overhauled the relevant code to be more reliable so hopefully that did the trick. I suspect that this bug was caused by an unusually high delta-time in the physics/game logic update. For simplicity, the game is using a variable time step; while this makes things easier, it can also cause some annoying bugs.

This update is mostly for fixing bugs, but the code structure has also been improved. Notably, the server's packet handling system is now thread-safe, and both the client and server use a simpler packet system.

All maps now have a border around them, to prevent characters from wandering off the map. The server crashed last night (sorry folks!), and I suspect it was because a character did just that.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, the NPC feature for phase 1 is now complete! This means we will be moving right into combat, which should make the game a lot more interesting to play (you will finally be able to kill those pesky goblins that have been blocking your path).


We have an online chatroom where you can usually find myself and other developers, as well as other players: http://irc.ifthensoftware.net
We also have a Facebook page over at http://www.facebook.com/ifthensoftware
I have a Twitter account for development updates, which you can view here: http://twitter.com/ITS_Invisible
We also have an IndieDB page for Areum:
21029.png
And finally, we have a devlog on TIGSource as well: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=31227.0
VBStrider
Here is the download link to the new version: Areum Pre-alpha v0.0.0.237

The AI for the goblins has been improved; they will now chase you around relentlessly if you get too close. Otherwise they will
just walk around randomly. You can also get a description of each character by left-clicking on them, including player characters!

The NPC feature is very close to being finished, which is exciting! The next version will mostly contain bug fixes and misc. features. After that, I think we will be able to safely check off NPCs in our to-do list for phase 1!


We have an online chatroom where you can usually find myself and other developers, as well as other players: http://irc.ifthensoftware.net
We also have a Facebook page over at http://www.facebook.com/ifthensoftware
I have a Twitter account for development updates, which you can view here: http://twitter.com/ITS_Invisible
We also have an IndieDB page for Areum:
21029.png
And finally, we have a devlog on TIGSource as well: http://forums.tigsou...p?topic=31227.0
VBStrider
First off, here is the download link: Areum Pre-alpha v0.0.0.236

I've added some goblins to the map, and NPCs now have very basic AI.

Adding the goblins was fairly easy, thanks to the way the content pipeline is designed (it's data-driven), although I was stuck for a while trying to figure out why they weren't appearing in the map editor or the client. I eventually figured out that it was because I forgot to add the textures to the build system, doh!


We have an online chatroom where you can usually find myself and other developers, as well as other players: http://irc.ifthensoftware.net
We also have a Facebook page over at http://www.facebook.com/ifthensoftware
I have a Twitter account for development updates, which you can view here: http://twitter.com/ITS_Invisible
We also have an IndieDB page for Areum:
21029.png
And finally, we have a devlog on TIGSource as well: http://forums.tigsou...p?topic=31227.0