Building From Source and Other Issues

I’ve received a few emails from programmers trying to build Daggerfall Modelling from source and experiencing problems. The reason for their frustrations is that Daggerfall Modelling is built as a VS2008/XNA3.1 project. This means it will only build with Visual Studio (Express) 2008 with XNA Game Studio 3.1 installed. Attempting to build with VS2010/XNA4.0 will fail due to breaking changes in the latest version of XNA.

I also get the occasional email from Windows XP users with an older version of the .NET Framework 2.0 (pre-SP2) that experience a crash when opening a dungeon. This problem is caused by a bug in the .NET Framework 2.0 that was resolved in Service Pack 2, and can be fixed by upgrading/patching .NET.

The reason I stuck to older versions was to ensure my tools remained accessible to more people. On the flip side, not everyone wants to install an older version of Visual Studio and XNA just to compile my code. I’m also running the risk that Windows XP users will come across that crash without having read my getting started page for Daggerfall Modelling.

After serious thought, I have decided to make some changes to my source code:

  • Solution format upgraded to Visual Studio 2010 / Visual C# 2010 Express.
  • Daggerfall Modelling and XNALibrary will be refactored for XNA Game Studio 4.0.

The DaggerfallConnect class library and Daggerfall Imaging 2 will remain based on .NET 2.0 for now, but I might bring these forward at a later date.

The SVN will be updated in the next few days with these changes. The next release of Daggerfall Modelling (Beta 2) will require the latest versions of .NET and XNA Frameworks to run.

Daggerfall Modelling Collision and Gravity Preview

I’ve completed the first pass at collision and gravity systems in Daggerfall Modelling. This still needs a few passes to fix some bugs, but is largely completed.

I’m not implementing a full physics simulation, just camera-scene collision and simple velocity for gravity. This is a looong way from a real game system, but it’s more than acceptable for a fancy model viewer. If you’d like to see an early preview of this feature check out the YouTube video below. This was recorded while using an XBOX360 controller, which is why you see a crosshair in the middle of the screen.

Daggerfall Modelling Beta 1 Released!

The first beta release of Daggerfall Modelling is now up for download. I have decided not to enable gravity and collision in this release because I am not happy with the state they are in. They will be enabled in the next release. Following are the final release notes for this version.

  • Added a Quick Search feature to search pane.
  • Search pane can be collapsed.
  • Region accurate billboards (rocks, trees, etc.) now decorate the scene.
  • Region accurate sky in exterior free camera views.
  • Adjust sky appearance with time of day slider.
  • A compass is now shown in free camera mode (bottom-right of view).
  • Play with interactive objects in dungeons (levers, doors, lifts, etc.).
  • Explore using an XBOX360 or compatible controller.
  • Invert mouse-look and controller-look.
  • Updated engine. Many improvements to scene management and versatility.
  • Overall performance improvements to search and load times.

If you are installing Daggerfall Modelling for the first time, make sure you read this first!

The controls have changed in some places. Any view rotations on the left mouse button have been moved to the right mouse button.  This has been done to free up the left-mouse button for new features down the road. For updated information on controls in the views, check the appropriate page in the Daggerfall Modelling Wiki.

I hope you enjoy this release of Daggerfall Modelling.

Project Updates Feed

I’ve added an RSS feed on the left for the Daggerfall Connect project. This project is updated frequently, even if the blog is not. Visitors can now check the feed to get an idea what I have been working on lately.

Daggerfall Modelling Beta 1 Almost Here

Just a quick update to let you know the Beta 1 release for Daggerfall Modelling will be up in the next few days (hopefully this weekend). I’m in the process of fixing bugs and rounding off some rough edges now. In case you need a reminder, the main features of this release will be:

  • Improved searching. Added a Quick Search drop-down to the search pane for quickly finding common resources.
  • Updated engine. Scene management and rendering have been totally rewritten for more speed and versatility.
  • Skies, trees, rocks, etc. now decorate the free camera view in cities and dungeons.
  • Change time of day while exploring outdoor scenes.
  • Play with actions in dungeons (doors, levers, platforms, wheels, etc.).
  • Turn on collision, gravity, and compass for a more game-like exploring experience.
  • Explore using an XBOX360 or compatible controller.
  • Overall improved performance and stability.