Get Ready For Diseases

Unlike later games in the series, diseases in Daggerfall are more than a mere annoyance. They mean serious business and could spell a permanent end to your adventures if left untreated. Diseases will sap your attributes to nothing and even kill you in a matter of days if you don’t manage to get cured.

So good news everyone! Starting with latest Live Builds you can become infected with diseases in Daggerfall Unity thanks to dirty creatures like bats, rats, and mummies.

Diseases actually began development a while back. Most of the research and back-end framework was built out by two rockstar contributors you should already be familiar with: Allofich and Hazelnut. Diseases have just been waiting for me to implement effect system to handle their payload and support their curing by spell effects. This is another great example of a successful collaborative effort for Daggerfall Unity.

Rather than roll out a dry article about implementation details, I’ve decided to use the Visual Diary format to tell a bit of a story and show all the different parts of the disease system in the context of normal play. I’ve decided to create a fictional day in the life of your average character to show how he might catch a disease and find his way to a cure. This is also great opportunity to show just how far gameplay has come, as everything that follows is something that could play out in Daggerfall Unity right now.

Let’s begin.

 

Part One : The Mummy

It’s just one of those days. Your bank loan is due and your room at the Pig and Cat is almost up. You need some gold like yesterday to fuel the expensive tavern and ship-travel lifestyle you’ve become accustomed to. You’re about to be homeless and legally wanted in Gothway Garden of Daggerfall. So what’s a flat broke adventure to do?

You decide to visit Tristyn Hawkton of the Mages Guild to see if there’s any work available. It turns out he’s just delighted to see you and crazy for some wrappings from a very specific mummy called Maruag. Would you mind popping over to the Ruins of Wicksmith Court to get them for him? He’s paying 1359 gold pieces for your trouble.

That should be enough to pay back your bank loan and a buy several months at the Pig and Cat, so you accept the quest and make your way on horseback to the Ruins of Wicksmith Court to look for that mummy and nick some of the poor thing’s bandages.

Not much left of this place, is there? Just a few crumbled building and an entrance to some below-ground hellscape. You wonder if these places would still be ruins if they didn’t insist on building on top of labyrinths filled to the brim with monsters. Maybe the property tax is lower or something?

After a few hours of searching dead-ends, you finally encounter the mummy Maruag itself. Looks like some other adventurer has taken the time to put it in a cage. Maybe they needed wrappings too?

You try reaching for a loose end from Maruag’s wrapping. Live and let live right, the poor thing is already trapped in a cage. But Maruag is less than impressed and claws at your arm, drawing blood. You think: “right, you’re done mate!” and cut down Maruag with that overpriced Daedric Dagger you took out a huge bank loan for a while back. On its double-dead corpse you find another 900 pieces of gold (score!) and the wrappings Tristyn Hawkton is looking for.

With all the gold you’ve made on this run, plus the reward, you’ll finally be out of debt with the bank and have a roof over your head for a long while. You rest up and use your Medical skill to treat that scratch Maruag gave you earlier, then head back to Gothway Garden.

What you don’t know yet is that Maruag’s parting shot at you from his last moments of undeath have left you with a nasty surprise lurking in your bloodstream.

 

Part Two : The Homeward Journey

You look at your map to plan your journey home, and this is where you get your first sign of trouble. Suddenly the game is warning you something isn’t right.

As a seasoned adventurer, you know this means you’ve caught a disease. Probably from that mummy scratch. You think it over for a minute and determine that you feel healthy right now.

You know from experience that diseases have a short incubation period. You probably won’t feel bad until tomorrow sometime. The Ruins of Wicksmith Court is about a day from Gothway Garden, so travel should not be too risky. If you were several days from the nearest town with a temple, things might be different. But it’s already late in the afternoon after spending so many hours in that dungeon, so you decide to get a move on and make your way back to Gothway Garden as quickly as possible by travelling recklessly.

You arrive shortly after midnight, and you’re already starting to feel unwell. Looking at those sores forming on your arm, you know that you’ve caught the Red Death, a horrible disease that will be fatal if left untreated. You’re already feeling quite drained. Thankfully you made to town without wasting any time!

 

Part Three : A Temple Cure

The quickest way to heal is by visiting the local temple if one is available. Fortunately Gothway Garden has a Resolution of Z’en on the north-east side. You make your way through the sleeping town in darkness, accompanied only by the sound of crickets.

A temple healer is on duty at all hours, and she offers to cure your Red Death for the low price of  317 gold pieces. You pay the fee and are healed in short order.

 

Part 4 : Curing By Spellcraft

On the other hand, you might decide you don’t want any dealings with a temple that’s only going to take more of your hard-earned gold. You have some skill in Restoration… well, kind of. Maybe instead you can heal your own disease and save yourself some gold. You’re already a member of the Mages Guild after all. The first problem is that you travelled to town as quickly as possible and the Mages Guild is currently closed. At least you can rent your room at the Pig and Cat for another 30 days and try to create yourself a cure in the morning.

Later that morning, you visit the Mages Guild again and head straight for the spell maker to create a Cure Disease spell. Here you strike another problem. You’re more of a Daedric Dagger kind of person, so you’ve been a bit tardy in your magical studies. You only have 6% skill in Restoration and 120 spell points to work with. Thankfully that Red Death isn’t draining your Intelligence attribute or a temple might be the only option for now. You create a Cure Disease spell with the best chance of success you can for under 120 spell points.

 

You put together a Cure Disease spell that gives you a 1% chance of success plus 9% for every 2 levels gained. You’re currently level 12, so you have a 1+9*(12/2)=55% chance of success. That’s a better than half chance of success. Unfortunately it costs 408 gold pieces, which is more than the temple was offering. But at least now you can cure your own diseases whenever you need to. Anyway, who cares about stupid numbers? Let’s cast this thing!

A crackle of fierce magical energy erupts from your hands and flows around your body. You feel the healing energies seep into your… wait, “spell effect failed”?

A better than half chance of success still means you have about a half chance of failure as well. And now you’ve blown your whole magicka reserves casting that one spell. Oh well, at least you’re not that sick – yet. Not to be defeated, you return to the Pig and Cat to recover your magicka reserves to rest and try again. But first you give Tristyn Hawkton have his stupid mummy wrappings on the way out.

After several hours of rest and a second attempt, you finally clear yourself of that disease.

 

Part 4 : Epilogue

With some gold in hand, you visit the local Bank of Daggerfall and pay back that loan for the Daedric Dagger. Despite everything you’ve been through, you still managed to come out even stronger in the end. Maybe now it’s time to continue with the Emperor’s quest.

 

For more frequent updates on Daggerfall Unity, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.

Updated Builds May 2018

A new round of 0.5 builds are available from Live Builds page. Here’s an overview of what has changed in this version.

New Features

  • Spellmaker now shows gold and spell costs. Spells will remain free to buy and cast for testing purposes.
  • Casting spells now deducts spell points from player, but can continue to cast spells at 0 spell points for testing purposes.
  • Crime & Punishment updates with more work on Court UI in progress (Allofich).
  • Implemented Drain Attribute, Paralyze, Levitate effects. Check these Twitter links for short videos of Paralyze and and Levitate in action.
  • Started work on Heal Attribute effects and resistance back-end. Currently only Heal Strength is available, will build more soon.
  • Can now open spell book from character summary UI.
  • Using smaller SoundFont “TimGM6mb.sf2” by default to reduce distribution size.
  • Can now use custom SoundFont by placing .sf2 file in StreamingAssets/SoundFonts and setting SoundFont=filename.sf2 in settings.ini.
  • Active spell effects are now saved/loaded.
  • Allow mods to save/load data (TheLacus).
  • Updated player headbob, smooth crouch, and other movement mechanics (MeteoricDragon).
  • Implement town NPC dialog to include “Where Is > Person” queries (Nystul).
  • Implement spell icons for active spells. Includes tooltips while game is paused.
  • Updates to ensure default materials always have glossiness 0 and metallic 0 and alpha channel available. This is groundwork for using later Unity versions.
  • Attacking civilians with offensive spells is now considered assault. Killing civilians with offensive spells is considered murder.

Bug Fixes

  • Fix bug with loose file asset injection (TheLacus).
  • Fix bug where player could not delete spells from spell book.
  • Fixes for enemy turning (Allofich).
  • Fix mobile NPCs “skating sideways”. Still some mobile NPC pop-in to resolve.
  • Fix guild membership lost after loading a game (Hazelnut).
  • Fix weather manager causing a crash after loading interior save, and preventing future saves.
  • Fix enemies shooting bow too much (Allofich).
  • Fix %god macro causing a crash in popup dialog. This would become evident when player could not complete quest or rest after bug occurred.
  • Fix certain quest NPC placement tracking to support dialog system.
  • Fix certain town quests starting and ending instantly due to travel time not being calculated (merchant and commoner quests are still in progress).
  • Fix bug where player could melee attack at bow range after changing hands from a bow attack.
  • Fix travel map border not disabling when zooming in.
  • Minor quest fixes.

 

For more frequent updates on Daggerfall Unity, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.

First Look At Spells

I recently demonstrated spell missiles and discussed the back-end framework driving magical effects in Daggerfall Unity. I’m happy to report that it’s now possible to create custom spells and hurl sparkling death at your foes! As my last article was a bit dry and technical, I’ll start this one off with a short video of spells in action.

 

New Builds

You’ll find all new test builds on the Live Builds page as usual. Here are the key features of this release.

  • Create custom spells in the Spellmaker UI (invoke using “showspellmaker” from console).
  • Spellbook UI where custom spells are saved with your character.
  • 3x magic effects are currently available for testing:
  •     Continuous Damage Health (a damage over time effect).
  •     Damage Health (a direct damage effect).
  •     Heal Health (heal yourself and other entities).
  • All elements and target types are available (as appropriate for effect) when creating spells.
  • Smooth crouching, head bobbing, and head rocking when damaged (Meteoric Dragon).
  • Sound and music volume sliders (in progress). Some effects not wired up to volume slider yet (Meteoric Dragon).
  • City Guards and crime tracking, starting work on Crime & Punishment (Allofich).
  • More mod support in the back-end (TheLacus).
  • Various small bug fixes and improvements.

While only 3x effects are available at this time, this doesn’t nearly do justice to the progress that has been made. Spell effects are actually very small scripts – usually no more than a few lines of code and some properties. What really matters is the framework driving magic in Daggerfall Unity has finally progressed to this point. The previous article has more on this if you’re interested.

 

Testing

The purpose of these builds is to test the magic & effects framework is well-behaved and usable in its current state. What I’m looking for are crashes and other unexpected behaviour in the framework. Once this is working well, I will continue to roll out more effects in future builds. To keep testing as focused as possible, here’s a summary of what you can expect from this release.

  • Create and cast spells using the starting 3x test effects above.
  • There is no spell absorption, reflection, or elemental resistance at this time.
  • You can select elements to change appearance of spell and missile, but all elements are equal in terms of damage.
  • All target types (caster, touch, target at range, etc.) should be working.
  • Spells do not yet increase related magic skills of character.
  • Spells are all currently free to buy and to cast – so make them as weak or powerful as you like.
  • All of these free spells will be expired at some point closer to 0.5 stable.
  • Magic items are not implemented yet, this will come much later in 0.5 cycle.

Note: Due to changes in the modding system older mods may not work in this version. Please revert to build #105 for any broken mods until creators update for current version.

 

Feedback

For discussion on these builds, please head over to the forums. If you want to report a bug, post this to the Bug Reports forums. If you’re not sure if something is a bug or just not implemented, don’t hesitate to ask in Help & Support.

I hope you enjoy this early preview of spells in Daggerfall Unity. Have fun!

 

For more frequent updates on Daggerfall Unity, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.

Daggerfall Unity Now Playable Start to End

That’s right! The main story quest in Daggerfall Unity is now completely playable from start to end. I’ve spent the last couple of months playing through the story quest, building out engine support, and fixing all the major bugs I could find. It’s true this game still has a distance to travel (spell system is next major journey) but this is a huge milestone in the project’s life cycle. It’s no longer fair to say Daggerfall Unity “isn’t playable yet”, that’s not even close to accurate anymore. And thanks to regular contributors like Nystul, Allofich, Hazelnut, and Lypyl, some of the later features on the roadmap are building out ahead of schedule.

The quest system has consumed around a year of my development time to bring to this point. It represents the single largest group of features in the project so far, and drives almost every other gameplay system forwards. I feel confident in saying the magic system probably won’t be anywhere near as challenging. And once we pass that milestone, everything else is on the downhill run.

 

Getting Started

After you grab the latest DragonBreak build from Live Builds page, there are two ways you can play through the main quest. You can either start a new character and play normally (using quests offered by any Fighters Guild to help level up between main quests) or use the “setmqstage n” console command to force the game to a specific point along the main quest process. There are 7 total quest stages, thus “setmqstage 1” through “setmqstage 7” are supported. Each stage is a chain of around two to six quests that represent a particular story arc in the game. If and when new problems are found with main quest, testers can quickly restart and test just that stage without playing through the whole game from the beginning.

If you want to play the game as normally as possible, start a new character. Playing the game from start to end normally is also an important and time-consuming part of the testing process, so your time here is valuable, even if something breaks and you need to start again. But if you want to perform focused testing of the main quest, grab a high level character save and use the “setmqstage n” console commands. I’ll post more details in this forum thread as time allows. Please offer feedback in that thread or ask general questions, and post to Bug Reports forums with obvious bugs.

 

Stable Builds

The next step from here is to work towards a DragonBreak stable build and complete the 0.4 cycle. This might take several weeks as the main quest is a massive and complex system, there’s no telling what problems testers might run into. Once the stable build is ready, work will proceed on the spell system and 0.5.

 

Thank You

I also want to thank all of Daggerfall Unity’s contributors, supporters, mod-creators, and community members. You are all responsible for this project’s momentum, and for keeping morale high during those bleak periods of solid development where nothing visible seems to be happening. I am very excited for the future of Daggerfall Unity and the community building around it.

Cheers everyone!

 

For more frequent updates on Daggerfall Unity, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.

 

Vengeance Build 81

New builds are now available on the Live Builds page, bringing us up to build #81 across all platforms. A lot has happened over the last month, with steady contributions from long-time Daggerfall Unity developers Lypyl, Allofich, TheLacus, and Nystul. I would also like everyone to welcome on board new developer Hazelnut, who has built many valuable updates over the last month.

I’ll post a more complete list of updates towards the end of this post, but want to start with the big visual stuff that’s changed since last update.

 

Main Quest

The complete main story quest is now offered when starting a new level 1 character. Please keep in mind this is still under construction, so you are likely to reach a point where you cannot continue and may need to start fresh later (or use a console cheat). It could be another few months before all main quests are in a passing state, but I felt it was important to start offering to new players.

 

Main Quest Testing – Stage 3

I’ve pulled the wraps off stage 3 of main quest for testers. This includes a quest from Prince Helseth to blackmail Lord Castellian (S0000002) which follows onto recovering an unauthorised biography for Queen Barenziah (S0000011). This tome can be stolen by the necromancers if you don’t recover from Orsinium in time, leading to player needing to strike a deal with Gortwog for recovery. Will the player return the book to Barenziah as planned, or betray her and deliver the book to Gortwog instead?

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transport Menu

Hazelnut has implemented the transport menu for player to switch between Foot, Horse, Cart, and Ship. Until full shops are implemented, all level 1 characters will begin with a free horse, cart, and ship to play with. It’s a great feeling to tear around towns and the wilderness on a horse at long last. But as player housing is not yet implemented, you cannot store loot on your ship. Please keep this mind or anything you drop to the ship will be lost when you leave!

 

Item Info & Player Status Popups

Another Hazelnut update. He has implemented inventory info popups and world status popups. What you can’t see easily is this required a fairly large back-end system to expand context macros correctly across various systems. This work is also being used in several other places now.

 

Banking

The third big update from Hazelnut builds on earlier groundwork by Lypyl. Banks are now mostly operational. You can deposit and withdraw gold, convert gold to letters of credit, and even take out loans!

 

Selling & Repairing

If you’ve played one of the earlier interim builds, you might have noticed player encumbrance and weapon condition has been implemented. To complement this, Hazelnut has added selling and repairing items at stores. The selling and repairing gold values match classic very closely thanks to additional work by Allofich. Now you can finally tip out that wagon and profit from all your dungeon crawling.

 

Real-time Info Panel & Enhanced Item Lists

The final big-ticket item from Hazelnut is a real-time info panel for items which displays details as player moves mouse over an item. This is optional, but currently enabled by default for testing. A second option, which must be enabled in settings.ini (EnableEnhancedItemLists=True) will show an item grid of 16x tiles instead of the default 4x. This is excellent work that brings the UI forwards while maintaining classic style.

 

Enhanced Mod Support & Post-Processing

TheLacus has built out texture injection to support wilderness flat replacements, and added post-processing support for effects like SSAO, bloom, vignette, anti-aliasing, and more! Post-processing is currently available in mod form. Check out this thread on the forums for more information.

 

Talk Window & Discovery

Last but certainly not least is the NPC talk interface by Nystul. You can now bother town NPCs to ask for directions to local shops, with more features on the way. A huge thanks goes to Nystul for all of his amazing work on this system.

The talk window also complements my location and building discovery, as NPCs can direct you to nearby businesses if they like you enough (and know the place). Please keep in mind this system is still under development and NPCs cannot yet offer all the topics available in classic at this time.

 

More Gameplay

One of the most under-represented contributors by screenshot is Allofich. He contributes a great deal to the back-end formulas, reverse engineering, and general flow of game systems. These are all very hard to show in screenshot form, so make sure you have a skim through the patch notes to find more of his work. Some of the features he’s added recently include fixes to activation, residence greetings, and shop opening hours.

 

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that Daggerfall Unity is barrelling forwards. Thanks to contributors, new systems are starting to be built ahead of my original schedule. If this trend continues, some of the later gameplay elements are likely to be ready concurrently with upcoming work on spell system. Bundle this with all of the amazing mod work being done over in the Community Workshop forums. It’s just not possible to highlight everyone here, so please take the time to read through mod creator’s threads and give them feedback on their work.

Detailed patch notes follow for build #81. If you want more frequent micro-updates, please follow @gav_clayton on Twitter. Thank you for reading!

  • Shop opening hours and greetings. (Allofich)
  • Show up to 16x inventory tiles per list instead of 4x. Currently off by default. (Hazelnut)
  • Realtime info panel in inventory. Currently on by default. (Hazelnut)
  • Texture injection improvements and fixes. (TheLacus)
  • Main quest is now offered to new level 1 characters. (Interkarma)
  • Can now “start quest” by quest filename. (Interkarma)
  • Quest resources are now culled when placing them to a second location. This can happen when quest want to move item from one dungeon to another. (Interkarma)
  • Fixes to face display of static NPCs. (Nystul)
  • Fixes to quest execution flow. (Interkarma)
  • Cycle quest debugger display from Off/Minimum/Full (default is Minimum) using LeftShift+Tab. Off will also disable place markers on HUD. (Interkarma)
  • Quests will now always have a minimum of one day travel time. (Interkarma)
  • Implemented QuestSuccess flag. This is raised when quest calls “give pc” action. (Interkarma)
  • Can no longer remove quest items to remote container, except when item must be dropped as part of quest. (Interkarma)
  • Quest items are now removed when quest is tombstoned. Orphaned quest items in saves are purged on load. (Interkarma)
  • Soul gems with trapped souls now read from classic saves and displayed correctly in inventory. (Hazelnut)
  • Banks are mostly operational now. Can deposit, withdraw, take out loans, and convert gold to letters of credit. (Lypyl/Hazelnut)
  • Fix for quest item stacking issue. (Hazelnut)
  • Fix for bucklers stacking with two-handed weapons on paper doll (Allofich)
  • Boots and shoes now count as leather armour. (Hazelnut)
  • Cost calculations for selling and repairing. (Allofich)
  • Holiday text now displays when player enters a town during a holiday. (Allofich)
  • Slightly increased interior ambient light at night.
  • Post processing stack now available for camera effects like SSAO, bloom, etc. (TheLacus)
  • Initial talk window for mobile NPC interaction, ask for directions, etc. (Nystul)
  • Partial fix for mobile NPC precision issue causing them to glide north at spawn (Interkarma)
  • Fix for faction data pollution from bad saves.
  • Main quest stage 3 ‘setmqstage 3’ now enabled. (Interkarma)
  • Enemy names are now saved with corpse loot container. (Allofich)
  • Most shops now support selling and repair of equipment. (Hazelnut)
  • Implemented weapon material effectiveness vs. specific foes, e.g. silver to hit werewolves. (Allofich)
  • Prohibited equipment now restricted based on class settings. (Allofich)
  • Back-end tracking for starting crime guild quests Thieves and Dark Brotherhood. Quest line currently disabled. (Allofich)
  • Mobile town NPCs are now killable. No blood splash at this time. (Allofich)
  • Info click now supported on dead enemy mobiles. (Allofich)
  • Inventory weight and encumbrance. (Hazelnut)
  • Click distance check and fix activating through walls. (Allofich)
  • Improved artifact handling (Hazelnut)
  • Fix for starting Mynisera’s Letters. You should now be able to complete this quest, rounding out Stage 2 with only some bug fixes required (see below).
  • Improved enemy equipment calculations (humans and orcs will use their own armour and weapons for combat purposes). (Allofich)
  • Improved loot tables by dungeon type. (Allofich)
  • Location and building discovery like classic. Player will now need to discover locations through quests or exploration. Buildings are discovered as player interacts with them.
  • Exterior automap and travel map updated to support discovery. (Nystul)
  • Improved player movement speed calculation based on attributes. (Allofich)
  • New texture import support for billboard batches. This should allow mod authors to replace all foliage sprites in world. (TheLacus)
  • Fast travel countdown on travel map and fix for borders showing on zoom. (Nystul)
  • Transport menu: Foot, Horse, Cart, Ship now supported. (Hazelnut)
  • nfo popups based on item type and improved text macro support. (Hazelnut)
  • Fix for bucklers and two-handed weapons. (Allofich)
  • Fix to prevent fast travel with enemies nearby. (Allofich)
  • More combat sounds. (Allofich)

December 2016 Test Build

Hello everyone! This will be my last post for 2016. It’s been a great year for Daggerfall Unity with solid updates across the board. I was hoping to have basic quest support in by now, but sadly not everything goes to plan. This will return as a priority early in 2017 so watch this space!

One thing that always amazes me is the quality of work this community is willing to put back into Daggerfall Unity. It’s always a pleasure to find a new pull request on git from someone willing to contribute their personal time to make this project even better. So this post is going to focus almost exclusively on contributions from community members. It’s time for kudos and credits all around, and you’ll see very little of me this post.

 

Texture & Mesh Replacement

This feature began with Uncanny_Valley and has lately been updated and maintained by TheLacus. It allows for runtime injection of new textures and meshes into Daggerfall Unity’s scene builders, setting the stage for updated models, higher resolution materials, and improvements to Daggerfall’s vanilla UI. It’s still early days but the potential is incredible. Here’s a few screenshots of new assets by community members.

 

At time of writing, mesh and texture replacements aren’t quite ready for download. But now support for this is baked into the core, you should start seeing community-created packs in the near future. You can read more about mesh and texture replacement in this thread on the forums.

 

Early Bow Combat

New contributor electrorobobody added basic bow combat to the lineup of supported weapon animation. No counting arrows yet, and you’ll need to roll a new character for your free silver bow, but it’s awesome to finally burn down enemies with ranged kiting. Looking forward to bows becoming a strong part of the game in future.

 

Save & Load Weather

Daggerfall Unity added basic weather events a while back, but they would not be saved and loaded with your games. Thanks to midopa, the current state of weather will be saved and loaded. This will only get better once correct weather events are wired up based on climate and season.

 

Enemy Steering

Another epic update by midopa. He added a little steering to enemy AI to prevent enemies from stacking on top of small creatures like rats. As hilarious as this problem could be, it’s good to see a workable solution for this bug. It’s still possible for enemies to slightly stack in edge cases, but the problem is much improved and they will no longer ride around on each other (imagine skeletons surfing rats and rat-rat-rat stacks).

 

Potion Recipes

The perennial InconsolableCellist returned with some amazing updates for us. Credit goes completely to him for working out potion recipe format and integrating with Daggerfall Unity. This also means potion recipes will display properly in inventory, and they’re even usable to see the individual ingredients. This is really important ground-work for a bunch of other things down the line.

 

Books

I wrote the initial book reader UI ages ago, but InconsolableCellist wrapped it up along with random book drops in loot, correct tooltips, and all-round awesomeness. Books currently exhibit the same formatting problems as classic (because it’s the same book data). That’s something yet to be fixed.

 

Exterior Automap

Nystul has done it again with the perfect companion UI to his dungeon and interior automap. Yep, exterior automaps are now a thing! It even supports proper tagging of buildings, zoom, and rotation. As always, I’m completely blown away by how complete this is right from the start. It’s still waiting on full building name integration and building identification in scene, but that will come. For now, all the buildings are tagged by type. Go explore!

 

Spotlight: Allofich

I can’t give Allofich high enough praise. He has worked incredibly hard tuning up different areas of Daggerfall Unity to make it more true to the original. He fixed a wide range of UI problems, identified sound effects, linked sounds to their correct actions, fixed clothing and item problems, and so on. Check out his full list of commits here. It’s hard to show these off properly in screenshot form because the changes are either subtle improvements or related to audio, but below is one of the UIs he has cleaned up. Note the poor texture joins in the “before” image (circled). Huge props to Allofich for his work!

 

Thanks To: AnKor

OK this is embarrassing. I was looking everywhere for the animations used when player was riding horse or cart. These turned out to be in the overlooked CFA image file format. Somehow, I had completely disregarded these files which are a format holdover from Arena. Yep, I’m only human. Fortunately, AnKor pointed this out on the forums and I was able to implement CFA support in no time. Now we have this:


It’s only a short jump from here to having these transport options in the game.

 

Thanks To: Testers

I also want to send out a huge thanks to all the amazing people who tested Daggerfall Unity in 2016 and reported the bugs and problems you found. There are simply too many people to list, but you know who you are. You’re on the forums, and Twitter, and Reddit, and sending me emails. You guys rock!

 

Bugs and Problems

Yep, we got ’em! Any large update like this will bring its fair share of new bugs. If you come across a bug during tests and would like to report it, please lodge this in the Bug Reports forum. Don’t forget to read the Guidelines to help you provide the best information to developers.

Contributors, please keep an eye on the Bug Reports forum for anything that might fall into your wheelhouse.

 

Where To Download?

You can always download the latest version of Daggerfall Unity from the Live Builds page. If this is your first time downloading Daggerfall Unity, welcome! Other information on Live Builds page should also help you get started. If you have any troubles, or just want to discuss updates, please go to the December 2016 Test Builds Updated thread on forums.

 

That’s it for 2016! Thank you everyone for visiting and all your kind words of support. Here’s wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and all the best for 2017!

 

For more frequent updates on Daggerfall Unity, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.

Standalone Builds Update

After launching Live Builds a week ago, I’ve been very happy with the ability to push out small incremental changes. Besides the streamlined build process and less of a wait time, it also means I’m not overwhelmed with bugs every release. I can now tackle large problems fast and keep track of smaller problems for when I have the time.

This ability to turnaround builds so quickly has lead me to rethink the standalone builds (for now) and continue with the leaner, more agile cloud build process. I will revisit the standalone builds later in Daggerfall Unity’s life cycle. Here’s a summary of how to get Daggerfall Unity moving forwards:

  • GitHub always has the most recent code for developers.
  • The Live Builds page always has the most recent builds, and links for getting Daggerfall.
  • I will start to tag specific live builds as “Stable”. This means that everything implemented so far is generally working as expected.
  • I will restore the Daggerfall Tools for Unity pages as soon as possible, including updated tutorials.

If you were waiting for the convenience of a standalone build, I apologise for changing my plans. Daggerfall Unity is very much a living thing, both in terms of development and community, and can take up a large amount of my personal time. Anything that saves me time I can put back into gameplay, or spend with my family, is extremely valuable to me.

The good news is that pointing Daggerfall Unity to your game files has never been easier. The setup helper introduced with version 0.2 makes it very easy to get up and running, and you only need to download the game files once.

The first 0.3 stable build will be tagged soon. Lootable monsters just went into the latest live build and is with testers now. I only have the Rest and Keybind UIs to go and I’ve hit all the feature milestones planned for this release.

Live Builds Now Available

live-builds-header

Get Up To Date

Live builds based on latest code are now available to testers, as described in this blog post.

Check the forum topic State of 0.3 for information on 0.3 at time of writing.

 

Get The Latest Test Build

You can download latest builds from the all new Live Builds page.

 

Provide Feedback

Use the Bug Reports forum to log bugs. Please read the Bug Report Guidelines topic first.

 

Stable Builds

The latest stable build is still version 0.2.9 from 09-Apr-16. This version will be updated to 0.3.x in a few weeks once the majority of bugs have been found and eliminated.

Quick Update – 1 August

Short Delay

The 0.3 test cycle has been delayed slightly due to changing from Unity 5.3 to Unity 5.4 and less than typical free time on my end. Things are back on track for now and I estimate first 0.3 test build should be ready in approximately 7-10 days. I will update you in the case of any further delays.

 

More Information On Test Builds

I’ve had a few queries via email and Twitter about how test builds will work from 0.3. I’ll try to clarify this now. If you need more details please don’t hesitate to ask.

The short answer is that not much is really changing from your side. If you’ve tested with 0.2 or earlier the process for you is basically the same. The key difference is how builds are generated and how frequently I’m able to put a new build into your hands.

In 0.2 and earlier, I had to manually create a build for each platform, package to a zip file, upload to my host, then configure new download in WordPress and update related pages. This isn’t difficult, but it can be time consuming when rapidly turning over bugs. In many cases a bug could be fixed much faster than I could work through the manual build process. So I tended not to generate new builds until a larger block of work was completed. This ultimately means you had to wait weeks or a even a few months to see fixes.

 

Automatic Cloud Builds

Enter Unity Cloud Build. This service allows me to setup an automated build process for Daggerfall Unity’s target platforms. Cloud build works by periodically checking the git repository for changes and automatically spits out a complete new build for each platform. The download is also hosted by the cloud build servers. All I have to do is share the build and give you a download link. Here’s how it looks from the back-end:

CloudBuild-BackEnd

 

One a build is ready, I can either download a zip to test for myself, or share out a link to the public. The public link is what I’ll give to you, which takes you to a page like below. This is your front-end to the cloud build process.

CloudBuild-FrontEnd

 

To make this process even easier for you, I will setup a permalink page from dfworkshop.net that always points to the latest shared builds. I plan to update this page frequently. If the code on git changes, you’ll have a new test build not long afterwards. More information for this will be available with 0.3.

 

Rolling Builds

This is where things get interesting. Instead of waiting months for next test cycle, testers will now have a direct pipeline to code updates as they are generated. If you’ve ever played an Early Access game on Steam that gives you an “experimental/unstable” option for rapid updates, my rolling test builds are fundamentally the same concept. You will now get to play with new code as it’s being developed.

The main downside to this style of rolling build is that you will be playing with live code. Usually things will work as expected, but sometimes things that were working will break. For example, quicksave was briefly broken while I was overhauling the save interface a few weeks back.

The key is for testers to understand what is a bug and what might just be broken because it’s in the middle of changes.

 

Watching Git

To this end, I highly recommend testers keep an eye on the commits page on git. These commits tell a story of what is being worked on and what has been recently fixed. If you see that I’m working on a big system (like saves or looting), then you can bet something will be broken in that system until work is complete. I try to keep my commits exclusive to a specific update and provide good descriptions. I’ll continue to work on improving the quality of my checkins as time goes on.

 

Providing Feedback

As before, the Daggerfall Workshop Forums are the correct place to log bugs or ask questions about a feature. Specifically the Issues & Support forum. If you aren’t sure if a feature has been implemented yet (e.g. quests), please ask before logging the absence of this feature as a bug. Daggerfall Unity is a live work in progress and some features are much further down the pipeline than others.

At every major milestone, I will post some information on things that need the most attention from testers. For example, the loot and inventory system was the major component of 0.2.

 

Stable Builds

If you don’t feel up to watching git, downloading test builds, testing features, and providing feedback – that’s OK! I will occasionally release a “stable build” at major milestones where everything is more or less running as expected. Not everyone has the time or interest to be a full-on tester, and that’s all good. Just grab the stable builds when they’re available and let people know about Daggerfall Unity.

The first 0.3 stable build will be available a couple of weeks after the first test build. This gives me a chance to nail any show-stopping bugs before putting the stable build into your hands. I’ll post an update on this when available.

 

Conclusion

I hope that clarifies the new build process more thoroughly. In summary:

  • You’ll get new builds almost as quickly as code changes. The latest build might be awesome or it might not even run.
  • I will provide a permalink page on dfworkshop.net that always points to latest several builds.
  • Keep an eye on git commits to see what’s being worked on.
  • Post feedback, bug reports, and questions to the Issues & Support forum.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to you joining me for the next big step in Daggerfall Unity’s development process.

 

For more frequent updates on Daggerfall Unity, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.

New Options For Downloading Builds

The 0.3 release should be wrapped up in the next week or so, provided nothing comes up in testing to cause delays. Along with 0.3 there will be more options for downloading builds to better cater to various groups in the community. Read on to see what’s coming up.

 

 

get-play

 

If you just want to take a quick look at Daggerfall Unity, and avoid the hassles of a test setup, then 0.3 might encourage you to try it out.

  • New standalone builds will be made available for each platform (Windows/Mac/Linux).
  • Standalone builds are self contained and do not require you to provide Daggerfall game files.
  • Standalone builds will be updated less frequently but will generally be more stable.

 

 

get-test

 

If you’re an existing tester, or would like to help catch bugs, then I have some good news.

  • Test builds are now automated using Unity Cloud build and will be updated approximately weekly, or daily during heavy development.
  • However, test builds are based on live code and will not be as stable as standalone builds.
  • Test builds are cut-down for smallest download and will require you to provide your own Daggerfall game files (just like previous test builds).

 

 

get-mod

 

The biggest feature in 0.3 is Lypyl’s mod system, which he introduced a few posts back. The mod system allows you create asset bundles containing code, textures, sound, etc. that can change how Daggerfall Unity works.

  • Modders will need a copy of Unity3D 5.3 Personal/Plus/Pro and a copy of game files.
  • Modders are encouraged to clone from git (tutorial coming soon), but just downloading a zip of current project should be adequate.
  • New forum areas will be opened to help modders find each other and collaborate on projects.

 

 

get-contribute

 

If you would like to contribute to Daggerfall Unity, and have a good understanding of both Daggerfall’s inner workings and Unity3D, it will become easier to contribute from 0.3.

  • Full Daggerfall Unity project is now on git. Contributors should create their own fork of project.
  • Contributors will need a copy of Unity3D 5.3 Personal/Plus/Pro and a copy of game files.
  • Contributors will also get new forum areas for discussion.
  • A Trello page is in the works to help contributors find tasks they may be able to help with.

 

That all for now. Hopefully 0.3 will represent a new stage in the development of Daggerfall Unity, with even more options for gamers, testers, modders, and contributors.

 

For more frequent updates on Daggerfall Unity, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.

Upcoming Release 0.3

The 0.3 point release is coming together and should be available sometime late in July. Here’s a quick summary of upcoming features.

 

Modding Support

Lypyl’s mod framework is undoubtedly the star of 0.3. You can read his post about it and check out a few work-in-progress tutorials on the forums. While still early days, I couldn’t be happier with this feature and the potential it brings to Daggerfall Unity.

  • Mods can be created using Unity Personal (free version) and Daggerfall Tools for Unity.
  • Completed mods are packaged to a standalone .dfmod file (asset bundle) for distribution.
  • Integrated mod loader at startup with ability to change load order.
  • Fully integrated run-time C# compiler.
  • Total access to inner workings of Daggerfall Unity.
  • Catch events, display UI windows, spawn world objects, drive game logic.

The mod system is already powerful enough to handle the current round of mods, which will eventually be migrated into .dfmod format. As mod creators grow in experience and the underlying code is expanded to provide more options almost anything will be possible down the road.

 

Treasure & Loot

Random treasure piles and corpse markers will now be lootable, providing gold and new items to you during testing.

  • Player will now find gold and items in random treasure piles and on the bodies of slain foes.
  • Generated items will not have magical powers until the spells & effects features are live.
  • It will be possible to drop items to the ground, but like Daggerfall dropped items will disappear when you leave the area. Non-volatile player storage will be implemented much later as part of housing.

As shops are not implemented yet, I’m going to ignore weight limits on the player and the wagon so you can carry as much as you want. Proper encumbrance tracking will be added in the future after shops come online.

 

New UI Windows

A few UI windows are in the works for 0.3, although not all of them will be ready for initial release. They will come online over the 0.3 cycle.

  • Control mapping UI.
  • Rest UI.
  • Save/Load UI.

As part of updating save/load UI, the way games are saved will be expanded during 0.3 to accommodate the growing amount of data needed to support saving game state.

 

Standalone Builds

From 0.3, I’m going to provide a standalone build of Daggerfall Unity with game files bundled. This will be in addition to the smaller builds where you must provide your own game files. This change is to help users who just wish to quickly try out Daggerfall Unity or have trouble installing a compatible version for any reason.

  • Standalone builds will be substantially larger and updated less often than the trimmed-down test builds.
  • Test builds will be smaller and require you to provide your own set of compatible game files. This is still the best download for dedicated testers.

 

Bug Fixes & Small Improvements

Last but by no means least will be the usual round of small fixes and improvements to features already added. There’s also a bit going on behind the scenes to support future systems like spells & effects, NPCs, factions, shops, and questing. These additions will be slowly rolled out as more features come online post 0.3.

For more frequent micro updates and news, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.

Daggerfall Unity 0.2.9 (Updated)

I’ve released a small patch to version 0.2.9. Latest download is on the standalone download page.

Patch notes for recent versions below:

0.2.7
  • Reverted minor change to terrain tilemap shader. This might fix black ground issue on older DX9 systems.
  • Implemented floating origin for Y axis to correct flickering shadows at high elevations. This still requires full testing.
  • Items imported from classic saves will have dye synced to material type at import time.
  • Settings INI now saves floats with invariant culture.
  • Update to Uncanny_Valley’s grass mod.
  • Added restart button to options UI.
  • Nystul fixed white interior textures when reflections mod enabled. Also fixes stalled fireplace animation.
  • Arrows should now always display correct inventory icon.
  • Can no longer equip arrows to hands.
  • Disabled bows until archery is implemented.
  • Can now open inventory from character window.
  • Weapon manager now resets sheathe state and equipped hand on new game / load.
0.2.8
  • Fixed floating origin issue that would start player high in the air when exiting a building at higher altitudes.
  • Nystul fix for resetting dungeon map on new game.
0.2.9
  • Disabled floating origin Y implementation for now. This means lighting and shadow issues at high elevations will return, particularly when using distant enhanced mod (which has a much higher vertical scale than default terrain).
  • Camera now clears background when inside a dungeon allowing you better see within the void.
  • Lypyl: Fix for white film on travel map. New console commands to display FPS and trigger action objects.
  • Nystul: Automap camera settings now preserved when opening automap.

For regular small updates on Daggerfall Unity, I can be found on Twitter @gav_clayton.