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CipherJonathan

The Matrix Unplugged [Matrix Themed, Text-Based MMORPG]

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I've been working (on and off) on a text-based MMORPG based around The Matrix franchise for a few months now. Last week, I finally managed to pull myself together and finish off the core functionality to the point where I could put a pre-alpha version live, under the name of [url="http://www.matrixunplugged.co.uk"]The Matrix Unplugged[/url]. The game now has a handful of members, and I've implemented a number of cool features since I put the first version up. Here are some of the features which are currently supported:[list]
[*]In-game Events and Messages
[*]Player Profiles (you can browse the profile pages of other players, and are given the options to send messages, send cash and even initiate combat)
[*]The Training System (allowing players to train their core stats: Combat, Coding, Hacking and Tactics)
[*]The Missions System (allowing players to carry out tasks in exchange for Items, Money or Experience Points)
[*]Training Programs (programs which not only allow the player to raise their stats, but also provide them with special abilities, such as Hyperjumping or Bullet Dodging)
[*]NPCs (Exiles, Redpills, Agents etc.) + Preliminary NPC Combat
[/list]
There are also a couple of other features which are in the game right now, but are either unfinished, untested, pending a rewrite or are still in active development, such as:[list]
[*]In-game Combat (basic hand-to-hand and short-ranged interlock combat is functional, but long-ranged combat and free-fire gun battles are still being implemented).
[*]Hacking Abilities (currently an untested version of the hacking system is in place, but I plan on rewriting it very soon, since it is highly unstable and not particularly scalable).
[*]The use of Zion Hovercraft (currently in place, but there are some additional features I still want to add).
[/list]
You can register for free and try out the pre-alpha for yourself at http://www.matrixunplugged.co.uk . Here are some early gameplay screenshots:

[center][img]http://media.moddb.com/cache/images/games/1/17/16618/thumb_620x2000/LoginScreenshot3.png[/img][/center]
[center][i]The Prototype of the Mission Centre, with the new selection interface I wrote a couple of days ago. There are some parts of this which I still need to rewrite.[/i][/center]

[center][i][img]http://media.moddb.com/cache/images/games/1/17/16618/thumb_620x2000/News5.png[/img][/i][/center]
[center][i]The First Draft of the in-game Combat system, which I released yesterday. The UI is still really bad, and needs to be restructured in order to look a little bit more appealing. I am, however, pretty pleased with the functionality so far. This is me being epically beaten by Agent Johnson (an NPC).[/i][/center]

[center][img]http://media.moddb.com/cache/images/games/1/17/16618/thumb_620x2000/News3.png[/img][/center]
[center][i]The Training Program system, which allows users to spend a small amount of money to learn new abilities, raise their stats and reach new levels of awareness within The Matrix, as a Redpill.[/i][/center]

[center][i][img]http://media.moddb.com/cache/images/games/1/17/16618/thumb_620x2000/LoginScreenshot2.png[/img][/i][/center]
[center][i]The Basic Training System. This allows users to train their core stats instantly, and for free (unlike Advanced Training Programs), but training requires Focus and Will Power, which are limited and only recharge every 5 minutes. This may also need to be rewritten soon.[/i][/center]

[center]I hope to see some of you in-game![/center]
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Last night I redesigned part of the main Navigation system to support a better method of Exploring. I updated the Explore page, reorganised the links and colour-coded everything to make it all a bit easier to use and navigate through. I intend the Explore page to be the centralized hub connecting players to all of the game's modules (i.e. all of the features which aren't directly part of the game's core code), while the smaller navigation sidebar will be the method of connecting with the core features and user settings. Here's a screenshot of the updated Explore system:

[center][img]http://media.moddb.com/cache/images/games/1/17/16618/thumb_620x2000/News6.PNG[/img][/center]
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Yesterday, I did some updates to the game's travel system. Players can travel to the various districts within MegaCity by teleporting through the Hardline Phone System, in exchange for a small fee. I've added 4 districts to travel between, but more will probably be added later on - and each district offers new NPCs to interact with, new challenges to face, new things to learn and new items to purchase. The Travel system is quite a complex mod, and thus is still within Beta. Here's a brief look at the Hardline Teleporter:

[center][img]http://media.moddb.com/cache/images/games/1/17/16618/thumb_620x2000/News8.PNG[/img][/center]
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Just did some cleanup and a partial rewrite of the Hovercraft system. Although the interface still needs work, I think that the functionality is stable at the moment, at least. I also added a few new Hovercraft choices to the mix. Check it out:

[center][img]http://i.imgur.com/Ot7Aw.png[/img][/center]
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The other day I started working on in-game Friends and Enemy lists, so that you can easily contact Friends and start group conversations via the Friend Lists feature, and so that you can easily block anyone whom you don't like from contacting you or seeing your online status via the Enemy/Blacklist feature. This mod is not quite ready to be released yet, and is currently only available to our beta-testing team. However, here's what the Friends system looks like at present:

[center][img]http://media.moddb.com/cache/images/games/1/17/16618/thumb_620x2000/News10.PNG[/img][/center]
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[color=#333333]This is something which I've been experimenting with for a while now - it's a mod known as "The Oracle". Essentially, you are a able to visit the Oracle up to 50 times per day, and in return she will foretell the future, and reward you with various things, including items, money and Code Segments. There are still many more possibilities which I hope to implement into this mod, but this is pretty good for the moment. The Oracle is accessible directly through the Explore page. Check it out:[/color]

[center][color=#333333][img]http://media.moddb.com/cache/images/games/1/17/16618/thumb_620x2000/News1.PNG[/img][/color][/center]
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[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Today, I updated and rewrote many parts of the site's theme; mainly the game's sidebar navigation menu. Now it's a little bit more readable, slightly more organized and generally blends in better with the site's existing design and colour-scheme. Here's what it looks like now:[/font][/color]

[center][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][img]http://media.moddb.com/cache/images/games/1/17/16618/thumb_620x2000/News3.PNG[/img][/font][/color][/center]

[left][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][left]It's still not great, but it's definitely a lot better than it was, and I felt that it was necessary to give the navigation system priority, since it's ultimately the heart of any text-based MMO game, and therefore it's essential that it's as appealing and user-friendly as possible. Anyway, later on today I'm going to start working on coding two new gameplay features which we've been talking about implementing for a while. More updates coming on that later![/left][/font][/color][/left]
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Today, I expanded the "Source" mod, so that not only can you refill your Focus, earn Money and gain IQ Points, but you can also refill your basic time-dependent stats (Stamina and Will Power) as well. I did this partially because I was rewriting the mod anyway, since I'd had a few complaints about that section of the game running inefficiently, so I scaled the database accessors a little. Here's what it all looks like now:

[center][img]http://media.moddb.com/cache/images/games/1/17/16618/thumb_620x2000/News4.PNG[/img][/center]

[left]There's just one more major feature I plan to add this week, and then I'm officially putting the game into public Beta![/left]
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Just a few minutes ago I deployed a mod which I've been working on for about 2 days now. It's called The Chateau, and it's essentially a replica of the Item Market, except it's designed to allow players to buy and sell Code Segments, which should (in the long run) be a good way for players to earn money, since Code Segments are useful for refills, stat-boosts, power training etc., and thus will tend to be in demand. Here's a screenshot of the main interface for The Chateau at present:

[center][img]http://i.imgur.com/EFgtcl.png[/img][/center]

[left]The next major thing I'll add will probably be full, in-game images (similar to Mafia Wars).[/left]
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[quote]
Cool project!

Keep it up :)
[left][/quote][/left]

Awww, thanks man - that means a lot [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]
Btw, we just hit the 100 signups mark, a few minutes ago!
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