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The last week or so

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Raduprv

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I didn't update my journal in quite a while, so I decided to update it a little.
In the last 2 weeks I didn't do any BM development at all (well, except for maybe 50 lins of code). Instead, I relaxed a little and played Warcraft 3.
In the last few days, I had to focus my atention to Eternal Lands, because we are having a BIG update so I have to make sure that everything is ok, and coordinate a few things.
This update is the biggest update ever. There are so many changes, the most important (and visible) being switching to the new 3d models, using Cal3d. They look much better, and will allow us to do more things (more animations and stuff).
Switching to cal3d was a big problem for me, as I couldn't get the god damn thing to compile. I spent two days trying to make it work, and eventually I just 'cheated' and got a precompiled .o file from another developer, and now it works fine (except for a few annoyances).
The new client looks GREAT, but there are a few bugs that need to be addressed before we update. Right now we are in a feature freeze, until the next update, because we have to fix the bugs and polish whatever we added.
The new update will also be a server side update as well, and many things are changed, including the trade interface and the way you access the storage (players requested those features for ages). So the thing is, whenever there are so many changes, there are bugs. I would REALLY like to fix all the known/annoying bugs prior to the update, because otherwise it would be a big pain in the ass for us.
I am going to Romania for 2 weeks in August, and I want the update to be done before 1st of August, so I will be there in case there are problems.
Right now, I am going to modify the projctive shadows a little, to make them look slightly better.

[edit]
Screenshot 1

Screenshot 2
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Ok, ok :D
I edited my post and added two screenshots.
They look better in the game though.
One new thing, I played with the difuse light and made it darker. also modified the deepth buffer shadows a little to make them sharper, but there is still some work to be done with them.

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Other various screenshots of 1.0.2:

http://wytter.tfm.ro/elc/pics/new_char_interface7.jpg

http://wytter.tfm.ro/elc/pics/storage_trading.jpg

You'll be able to store 200 items in your storage in 1.0.2. This is how storing items will happen in 1.0.2:
Quote:

Talking with a storager...
http://wytter.tfm.ro/elc/pics/storage1.jpg

After clicking on the "Open storage", which opens the storage interface. I furthermore clicked on "Help" to get some help on how to use it wink.gif. After opening the storage interface I went into the essences category.
http://wytter.tfm.ro/elc/pics/storage2.jpg
As you can see I'm currently dragging 32 items. If you wonder how that is possible, it's a new feature that lets you set the quantities yourself (up to 99999).

Now I deposited the 32 items, and the storage shows how many items I have in the storage of the item I was using the last time. It will also show the quantity of the given item when you scroll your mouse over it - unfortunately there's not enough room to show the quantity all the time.
http://wytter.tfm.ro/elc/pics/storage3.jpg
As you can see I'm now only holding 8 items, since I don't have any more in my inventory.


The new books:
http://wytter.tfm.ro/elc/pics/book2.jpg
http://wytter.tfm.ro/elc/pics/paper.jpg

Effects when you gain experience:
http://developer.berlios.de/dbimage.php?id=1814

A cozy fireplace:
http://developer.berlios.de/dbimage.php?id=1815

A storage, busy as always
http://developer.berlios.de/dbimage.php?id=1816


There are still many things that needs to be tested before we can release 1.0.2, but we are getting there :) Currently we are working with a bug that's caused by fighting animations taking a bit too long compared to the server sends the animation the client is to show.
Along with that we need to add a few more monsters and make sure that all maps are working along with some new quests. We just added areas that give extra damage (walk damage, timed damage or poison damage) and healing areas, and switched to a new map definition format on the server. This new format helps us ensure the integrity of the map file, and will tell us if there are any errors with the file (and which line the error is on).

On the server-side we are also switching to a new format for saving the characters; untill now the characters have just been saved as flat binary files where the entire structure is saved to the disk. Now it will be saved with using a new flexible IO format with revision numbers, that will let us change the players structure without fearing for the integrity of the user files. We are not changing to a database quite yet, but the format is prepared for that as well.
I still need to write the converter for the new character format. Will do this tomorrow so we can start the testing on our test server.

The users have also requested multi-channel chat for quite some time, and in 1.0.2 it will be possible. There will be 2 interfaces for this:
http://wytter.tfm.ro/elc/pics/tabbed_chat.jpg
http://wytter.tfm.ro/elc/pics/windowed_chat.jpg
- along with the old one :)
To further make it better for users to communicate we are also adding a buddy list.
http://vegar.sunscream.net/img/buddy_4.jpg

We also added a spell quickbar so users can do spells more easily. People can max have 6 spells in their quickbar:
http://wytter.tfm.ro/elc/pics/spell_quickbar.jpg
Furthermore the spell quickbar implementation helped integrating magic more into the client, so you'd actually get a "cast spell" cursor when you're over a valid target.

We also made some major improvements to the window manager and implemented callbacks for i.e. OnShow and OnKeyPress along with making the root windows being displayed by the window manager. This enables us to make a lot better use of the windowing system and makes it a lot easier to add new complex windows. Tabbed windows is also supported in 1.0.2 and will be used for several interfaces.
Currently we are thinking about doing a redesign of the widget set to make them more usable - currently only a few windows use widgets, and it's usually just the vscrollbar widget :)

There are MANY things that we need to test, and it will definately take a couple of weeks before we can finish the testing phase. Many changes are internal and will only be visible to the user in the future as they make it easier to improve the game.

We have a good amount of the user base that helps us do the testing - if you want to try it out, get the latest info in this thread:

http://www.eternal-lands.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=16101

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