Daggerfall Unity 0.10.27

Daggerfall Unity 0.10.27 is now available on Live Builds page. This release is a bug-fix update with no significant new features.

We’re now moving past the recent upgrade to Unity 2019.4 LTS and reworking text systems to support localization mods. This stage involved significant refactoring under the hood, which is why we split the builds into stable and preview releases. This also provided mod authors some time to update their mods to be compatible with future builds. Now things have settled down again and most mods have been updated, we’re dropping the stable/preview tag and just going back to rolling builds as usual.

If you run any mods with Daggerfall Unity and you’re upgrading to 0.10.26 or later, please confirm all your mods are upgraded to be compatible with 0.10.26+. The mod page on forums or Nexus should outline which version new releases are for. Even when there aren’t significant changes to the game, a mod might need a specific version to operate based on new features added over time. So by the Divines, get those mods updated!

For anyone waiting on the next Localization Tutorial on forums, I’m working on the next few tutorials in this series now. The DFU Localization system will still be considered in Preview for a while yet, at least until the Unity Localization system it’s built on enters release status. We also need to add support for translating quests and some other miscellaneous text in the game. Localization mod support will continue to improve through Beta into 1.0 and beyond.

Speaking of Beta, we’re really close now. I’m working through bugs and getting back into the last few items on Roadmap. If all goes to plan, we’ll officially roll into Beta in December. I’m expecting the Beta period to be very short as the classic gameplay systems have been cooking for some time while the DFU-specific features were built out.

That’s about it for this post. I’ll wrap up with a list of changes in this release.

General Fixes & Improvements

  • Implemented OnEnemySpawn event (joshcamas)
  • Fix cart riding audio from playing too long when movement stops (Pango)
  • Fix lunar date computations (Pango)
  • Fix display of temple shrines in text macros (Hazelnut)
  • Add protected virtual for extending potion window (Hazelnut)
  • Check Unity version against VersionInfo in mod builder (TheLacus)
  • Show target version in mod builder (TheLacus)
  • Fix rebinding input axes and duplicate highlight between left/right click (jefetienne)
  • Change crouch to keydown (action started) input (jefetienne)
  • Upgrade to Unity Localization 0.8.1 (Interkarma)
  • Upgrade to Unity Addressables 1.16.1 (Interkarma)
  • Disable runInBackground in project settings (Interkarma)
  • Range check on armour equip to fix loading saves with bad equip indices (Interkarma)
  • Change text of Hircine “Shield” to “Ring” to match actual item equip slot – note unmodded item will still look like a shield (Interkarma)
  • Fix stale building data being returned during scene load – fixes incorrect Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood building marked on map, and related building assignment issues (Interkarma)
  • Add CanDropQuestItems setting to settings.ini to allow dropping quest items (Interkarma)
  • CastWhenUsed (spell cast by item) on self now bypass level-based chance and will always succeed (Interkarma)
  • Open spell cast will now always succeed when cast by an item, but player level must still exceed that of lock (Interkarma)
  • Fix east/west seam in classic sky (Interkarma)
  • Fix font glyph rect precision for better text alignment (Interkarma)
  • Add PlaceItem “anymarker” tag to use random questmarker or itemmarker when placing item (Interkarma)
  • Fixed Sx013 to use “anymarker” tag so that Mynisera’s Letter resource can appear in any of 6 available locations like classic (Interkarma)
  • Keep broken magic items in inventory when AllowMagicRepairs enabled so broken magic items can be repaired (Interkarma)
  • Clear active crime state like classic when exiting location area or fast travelling away – guards will despawn when escaping town rather than chase player into wilderness (Interkarma)
  • Fix crime state not cleared when starting a new game (Interkarma)
  • Halve maximum number of instant guard spawns from 10 to 5 – guards can still spawn out of city watch mobile NPCs resulting in many more guards when fleeing town (Interkarma)
  • Fix Oghma Infinium incorrectly increasing level and health on use – now just gives a pool of 30 points to distribute as intended (Interkarma)
  • Show “save versus spell made” for all entities when saving 100% of magnitude based spell effect (Interkarma)

Daggerfall Unity 0.10.26

Daggerfall Unity 0.10.26 is now available on Live Builds page. Despite being tagged a preview, a lot of work has gone into this release to create the most stable update possible. If no major issues are found, our next minor release will be tagged as stable.

If you’re still on DFU 0.10.24, you might need to update your mods to be compatible with 0.10.25 and later. Check the release info for your mods to see if an update is required.

In other news, our Beta milestone is coming up fast! Just a few more items to tick off the Roadmap and Daggerfall Unity is feature complete. We should have more news on this before end of the year. For now, let’s unpack everything this new release.

New Features

Localization Preview (Interkarma)

A long-term goal has been to support new translation mods for Daggerfall Unity, delivered simply and easily through our powerful mod system. This has many challenges, as classic Daggerfall draws text from several different files and formats, some text is even baked right into the executable. Internally, classic Daggerfall used an 8-bit wide character format that did not easily support extended character codes. Language packs for classic Daggerfall had to work within these limits and compromise often, such as re-writing text with transcoded characters aligned with custom font glyphs under a 256 limit. Daggerfall Unity inherited a lot of these same systems early on, as we rely on the classic DOS game data.

For the last couple of years, we’ve gradually laid the groundwork for translation mods in Daggerfall Unity. This started with SDF font support built on TextMeshPro, followed by upgrades to how text is handled internally, and now building on the Localization features in Unity 2019 and integrating with Daggerfall’s unique text requirements. In the last few months, we’ve started migrating all legacy text handling from DOS files to centralised text databases and overcoming the limitations of classic Daggerfall a few systems at a time.

In this first preview release of Localization, all text from TEXT.RSC and text previously hardcoded into executable have been migrated to replaceable text databases easily edited via the Unity Editor. Helpers have been created to import text from legacy data and fix transcoding back to correct character codes. There’s no longer a limit of 256 characters and fonts can have any number of glyphs matched to their proper universal character codes. Underpinning this is support for locale detection, runtime locale switching, locale-based fonts, and more.

In the following screenshot (click for full size), a custom string table has been generated containing English, French, and German translations for the game. All text is imported from legacy TEXT.RSC files in a single click, automatically remapping transcoded characters back to their correct universal character codes. A simple plain-text RSC markup system has been developed so that translators can write text easily and natively without needing to remember bytecode for formatting RSC strings.

 

Default locale is selected by user’s current region at game startup. If no translations for that region are available, it will fall back to a parent region or to English. Regions can be switched at runtime in editor or by console. Screenshots below show switching between French and German for the STRENGTH info popup. Each translation can format text as they wish, and you’ll notice the imported French and German translations use different line spacing, the markup for which is visible in screenshot above.

 

Elements such as UI images with baked in text can be replaced via the standard image replacement process and delivered all together in a single .dfmod package.

Daggerfall Unity Localization is a new feature and will continue to evolve over time. As mentioned, only TEXT.RSC and previously hardcoded strings are currently available for replacement in this preview (which outside of quests is over 90% of all text in the game). Other systems like quests will be moved over to localization in future releases.

You can find more technical information about localization in Daggerfall Unity, including current limitations, in this forum topic. This topic contains a tutorial series in progress demonstrating the creation of a new translation mod from scratch.

 

Precompiled Mods (TheLacus)

Daggerfall Unity has an integrated C# compiler to build mod scripts at runtime. This compiler has a few limitations and can sometimes require mod authors to work around those limits. If you’ve built a large or complex mod for DFU, you’ve probably hit some of those limits by now. From 0.10.26, you can precompile mod scripts to a DLL using Unity’s built-in compiler. This overcomes the limits of runtime compiler and allows for creation of larger and more complex mods.

 

This will support using C# features like enum, tuple, and string interpolation – currently unavailable with the built-in compiler. If you’re concerned about safety of a precompiled mod, source can be extracted using tools like the JetBrains decompiler.

Precompiled mods are considered experimental for now. Future development of this feature will continue based on feedback by the modding community as directed by TheLacus.

 

Mod Dependencies Editor (TheLacus)

TheLacus has also created an easier way to define mod dependencies via the new Mod Dependencies window, available through Mod Builder window.

 

DungeonTextureTables for RuntimeMaterials (TheLacus)

A limitation of the RuntimeMaterials feature was that replacement dungeon parts would not inherit the correct dungeon texture set unique to each dungeon. TheLacus has refined this now so that replacement models using RuntimeMaterials will inherit the correct textures from the dungeon surrounding them.

 

Secondary Keybinding / KeyCodes Combos (jefetienne)

Moving on from mod features for a minute, jefetienne has further enhanced the control capabilities of Daggerfall Unity with a secondary keybind UI and support for keycode combos, e.g. “LeftShift + K”, “RightControl + K”, “K + V”, “[ + /”, “Joy3B0 + JoyB2”.

You can switch editing primary and secondary control using the Primary/Secondary button at the top-right of controls UI. Switching will show the loadout for that set of controls, with secondary not bound to anything by default.

 

You can now clear a selected binding by right-clicking on a previously bound action in the loadout.

 

With support for keycode combos, jefetienne recommends a new default controller layout.

Cast Spell – B
Recast Spell – LT + A
Use Magic Item – LT + B

Ready Weapon – X
Swing Weapon – RT
Switch Hand – R2

Status – D-Down
Character Sheet – D-Up
Inventory – LT + Y

Jump – Y
Crouch – L3
Autorun (Advanced Controls Window) – L2
Run – LT + L2

Rest – Select
Transport – R3
Steal Mode – LT + D-Down
Grab Mode – LT + D-Up
Info Mode – LT + D-Left
Talk Mode – LT + D-Right

Activate – A

Sneak – LT + L3

Logbook – LT + R2
Notebook – LT + X
Automap – D-Left
Travel map – D-Right

Pause (Advanced Controls Window) – Start
Quicksave (Advanced Controls Window) – LT + Start
Quickload (Advanced Controls Window) – LT + Select

 

Automap Dungeon Water (Pango)

Dungeon water is now displayed on the automap, helping you to plan when to pop your next water breathing potion. Pango implemented this in a way that water is rendered neatly inside the dungeon area, and it looks amazing.

 

 

City Bulletin Boards (GalacticChimp)

When visiting a large walled city, you might have noticed the bulletin boards posted by the gates. These are now up and running thanks to GalacticChimp, with an epic first contribution to the project.

 

Other than displaying city name, bulletin boards can also list news about witch burnings, changes to allegiance of the various politic factions, and other flavour text.

 

Additional Mod Support (Hazelnut)

Hazelnut has extended several classes and UIs to better support changes by mod system. This is hard to quantify in a few words or by screenshots, but will lead to some new and interesting mods from 0.10.26 onwards. For example, Hazelnut’s own Travel Options mod for 0.10.26 takes advantage of these enhancements with a fresh overhaul to travel system.

 

And Basic Roads, a WIP mod also by Hazelnut.

 

See Hazelnut’s listed items below for his other changes. It’s incredible to see the mod potential for Daggerfall Unity expand so quickly at this stage in the project.

 

General Fixes & Improvements

JayH

  • Additional quest fixes for dozens of quests
  • Fix typos in Noble, Commoner, Temple, Thieves Guild quests
  • Add display names to remaining quests
  • Add white space to K0C30Y03 to prevent debug comment showing
  • Fix _painting_ field in A0C00Y14/15
  • Replace %dat with %qdt
  • Fix text error Q0C00Y04
  • Fix typos in S0000001
  • QoL updates for S0000005 to clarify reward and time limits

Numidium

  • Apply bonuses and phobias to all attacks, including enemies vs. player and unarmed attacks

DFIronman

  • Set Breaking and Entering as last crime comitted (10% chance) after successfully breaking in
  • Set IsDiseasePermanent() public and add IsDiseaseCompleted() helper

Pango

  • Faster AI obstacle avoidance
  • Enemy capsules dynamically resize to fit through doors
  • General enemy improvements to doorway pathfinding
  • Remove unstick handling as no longer required
  • Prevent point blank spellcasting into low obstacles
  • Fix parchment tearing in popup message boxes
  • Fix vertical progress bar showing single pixel row of gain colour where not intended
  • Prevent intermittent enemy spawns on ship
  • Remove extraneous empty quest messages
  • Support all cursor sizes, using a software cursor on Windows when larger than 32×32
  • Fix water splash sounds in very shallow dungeon water
  • More accurate pursuit formula
  • Fix clock quest timers that would return 0 days
  • Fix HUD spell icon blink time

jefetienne

  • Add IsLoitering flag
  • Allow removing keybinds with mouse right-click
  • Change screenshots to JPEG format
  • Change default binding of Run and Sneak to Left Shift and Left Alt respectively
  • Remove some GC creation in drawing Panels
  • Preprocessor definition for separate development persistent data path
  • Improve keycode display when not using SDF fonts

Hazelnut

  • Allow tavern window extension in mods
  • Open permissions and expose buttons on travel popup window
  • Use unscaled time for transport animation speed is indepdendent of timescale
  • Expose location display name mapping from macros
  • Add motion limits for mods and expose applying force
  • Use advanced item list in item maker UI
  • Open DefaultTerrainTexturer to be extended
  • Don’t show holiday text message unless HUD is top window
  • Implemented %cn2 macro for jokes
  • Allow mods to set extra terrain blend space around locations
  • Make vampire satiation check public for mods
  • Allow TerrainSamplers to disable default job and do their own location blending
  • Move material selection into overridable formulas
  • Fix SearchItems method no template index specified

TheLacus

  • Do not destroy MobilePersonAsset gameobject to fix re-parenting prefab instance
  • Fix IsDirectionClear() for custom MobilePersonAsset
  • Improvements to mod builder
  • Add run quest action to start a quest and wait for it to complete to run task for success/failure
  • Log warning if textue is not readable but needs to be
  • Extract mod text assets to PersistentDataPath/Mods/ExtractedFiles which is always expected to be readable
  • Better error messages for missing references
  • Improvements to mod loader UI
  • Discard virtual mods without a valid title
  • Add conversion method between Tuple and ValueTuple

Ferital

  • Correct %lp macro implementation
  • Fix %god macro to match classic behaviour
  • Fix quest faction macro expansion
  • Fix %imp, %mn, %fn macros
  • FACTION.TXT fixes
  • Use faction race ID for %oath
  • Set race of static NPCs
  • Fix spelling of “sorcerer” in quests display text

BadLuckBurt

  • Made NextObjectOffset and PreviousObjectOffset public to fix dungeon activators

Interkarma

  • Update baseline engine version to Unity 2019.4.10f1
  • Allow DrainEffect to drain to 0 before player dies from attribute loss
  • Fix ElementalResistance and PacifyEffect spell keys
  • Fix CastWhenHeld recast costing another equip charge
  • Add matching “Sorcerer” to Quests-Foes.txt table so quests can use correct spelling
  • Fix spell expiring 1 round too early
  • Add black panel background to talk window
  • Round input values when updating border rects to further resolve parchment tearing
  • Enable resizable window again (disabled in 0.10.25)

 

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

Daggerfall Unity 0.10.24

Daggerfall Unity 0.10.24 is now available on Live Builds page.

New Features

Improved Spectral Appearance (Pango/Interkarma)

So far in Daggerfall Unity, spectral enemies like Ghosts and Wraiths appear only as a grey solid. In classic, these enemies appear as a very dark semi-transparent solid with red eyes. The thing is, these classic sprites actually have a lot of fine details inside them like bones and cloth that aren’t visible in either classic or Daggerfall Unity.

After some collaboration between Pango and I, we’ve setup an import process and custom shader to finally show off these fine details and correctly render spectrals as semi-transparent with red eyes. This is how ghosts and wraiths look in classic game data, just the DOS game couldn’t render them this way.

 

Pango added a very small amount of emission to their lighter areas so they have just a hint of their spooky form in pitch darkness.

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Daggerfall Unity 0.10.23

Daggerfall Unity 0.10.23 is now available on Live Builds page. This is a big update with some great new features and loads of bug fixes. Let’s unpack this thing.

New Features

Advanced Controls (jefetienne)

One downside of adding new keybinds to Daggerfall Unity (e.g. QuickSave/QuickLoad and console toggle keys) is the classic keybind UI doesn’t have any free space to list them. This resulted in these special keys being hardcoded into the game. I’m happy to say that jefetienne has reworked keybinding to support more actions and presented them, along with other settings, in the new Advanced Controls UI.

You will find this interface in game from Pause > Controls > Advanced. This replaces the old Mouse button in classic, but mouse settings are also part of this window. Credit to BadLuckBurt for the classic-styled button design.

 

Something that isn’t obvious is just how many little things jefetienne had to work on to make the above possible. My original input setup didn’t support keybindings for these system keys at all, and the code wasn’t robust enough to keep forward compatibility once new binding were added. So jefetienne has been quietly working on fixing all of these little issues and creating a better standard for input handling in the future. And this has all been necessary for…

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Daggerfall Unity March Builds

Welcome Back

Welcome to the first post of 2020! Over the last few months, our focus in Daggerfall Unity has been on bug fixes and refinement. This isn’t the most exciting time in a game’s life, but it is key to long-term success. Daggerfall Unity is now starting to feel more like a game well into a long beta rather than one freshly in public alpha. I’m in fact very confident we’ll be calling beta sometime this year, and it’s likely to be a short beta thanks to the time we’re spending now.

It’s incredible to think the main quest has been fully playable since 2017 and all classic gameplay features since July 2019. If this was any other game, we’d be beyond 1.0 and well into post-release support by this stage. But Daggerfall Unity isn’t just a game, it’s also a platform. This title is a superset of classic Daggerfall plus many more features not present in classic. I’m talking of course about quality of life refinements and mod support. This requires an extended development process well in excess of classic, because Daggerfall Unity is today a larger and more ambitious game than even classic Daggerfall was. That might not sound like much in 2020 compared to the wildly ambitious original way back in 1996, but it still represents a real accomplishment that everyone involved has brought this game so far and delivered on so much. For something that began with a single developer, this game has grown into a monster that only the combined efforts of dozens of people could have achieved. The fact we’re all doing this as unpaid volunteers in our own free time out of love for this game speaks volumes about how passionate this community is.

Before I get into the new features in current release, I wanted to recap some news from the last few months.

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November Builds 0.10.12

Live Builds have been updated to 0.10.12. This is another primarily bug-fix release, with one major new feature.

Class Questions (Numidium)

This is a feature from The Elder Scrolls 1: Arena that has carried over to other Bethesda games, including Daggerfall. Even the infamous G.O.A.T. in Fallout 3 is a variant of this system. During the class questions process, the player is presented with several ethical problems and a few alternate ways to resolve each situation. Each answer will weight player towards the Thief, Mage, and Warrior archetypes. Once the questions are completed, a class hopefully fitting your play style will be offered.

This UI is more than just an elaborate class selector. It provides hooks for the imagination to think about how you might roleplay your character once generated and plunked into the world. Thanks to Numidium, this feature is now fully implemented in Daggerfall Unity.

 

 

If you find it hard to see the darker portion of above animation on your device, Numidium created the following screenshot with false colours that make the archetypes easier to see. If you’ve played Skyrim, you might recognise these designs from the Thief, Mage, and Warrior Guardian Stones. It’s wonderful how the later versions of TES make little nods like this towards the earlier games.

 

New Release Schedule

I have a backlog of pull requests (pending changes) open on GitHub for review. Every change can take a lot of time to work through and test before merging into the monthly builds. This can mean simple fixes might take a few weeks to come out, or be held up while a larger change is still under review. Sometimes a change might get bumped to the following month just because there isn’t enough time to review it properly before end of current month.

Now so much of the game has been built out, I can’t see any reason to stick with a strictly monthly schedule. Rather than dropping a big release with many combined changes each month, I will start releasing new builds approximately weekly. If something minor is fixed, I’ll try to release a new build just for that change. This also has the benefit of making it easier to pin down new problems when the number of changes is fewer in each release.

On the Live Builds page, I will start retaining longer history of available builds rather than cycling out old builds once per month. If you encounter problems with a new build, you can roll back to the previous build until it’s fixed. I’m looking at retaining approximately 4-6 weeks of build history.

This also means a scaling back of the monthly blog updates. Unless something big is available to feature, I’ll use the forums to post incremental changes and save the blog for more interesting content. I will link future releases to change log as they’re posted to Live Builds page.

 

General Fixes & Improvements

The November builds have several other small fixes included.

  • Allow mods to change wagon weight limit (AsesinoBlade)
  • Fix opening quest log clearing residences from map (Nystul)
  • Use classic formula for Masque of Clavicus (Numidium)
  • Support for custom books is now stable (TheLacus)
  • Fix player falling through floor when entering certain buildings while mounted (Hazelnut)
  • Add console command “add_all_equip magicWeapons” to spawn all magic items for testing (Hazelnut)
  • Make spawned weapons identified (Hazelnut)
  • Fix issues wth replacement buildings (Hazelnut)
  • Fix 1gp quest reward (Hazelnut)
  • Fix rented rooms duration underflow (Pango)
  • Use webm videos on Linux (Pango)
  • Fix NullReferenceException in DaggerfallVidPlayerWindow.IsPlaying for loading screen (Pango)
  • Fix comment displayed in text block for quest C0C00Y10 (Jay_H)
  • Do not resist “caster only” self-cast spells, e.g. heals (Interkarma)
  • Do not reflect spells from caster onto self (Interkarma)
  • Fix Thieves Guild O0A0AL00 using local NPC for contact, causing a crash in some cases (Interkarma)