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)

October Builds 0.10.9

Live Builds have been updated to version 0.10.9. This is primarily a bug-fix build, but a few new features have been added to the mix.

Edit: Builds have been updated to 0.10.10 to fix an intermittent issue with combat targeting.

World Data Overrides (Hazelnut)

This is a longer-term initiative empowering modders to edit and change the world itself by providing substitute game data on the fly. While this is still under development, substantial progress has been made and is available in Daggerfall Unity now. For an early example, the below crypt has a few customisations. I have copy-pasted Hazelnut’s words in the list below.

  • A third coffin – the centre one.
  • A fiery birdbath (or whatever you would call it) in the corridor outside the door.
  • A floating green pot which you can just see behind, a bit further down the corridor.
  • An Archaeologists sign! I needed to test new models would work, so just used the one provided by my guild mod.

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September Builds 0.10.6

Live Builds have been updated with version 0.10.6. This release patches a massive number of bugs, and we still made time for some new features. I’ll provide a quick summary of the major stuff first.

Quest Lists (Hazelnut)

If you enable setting Advanced > Enhancements > Guild quest player selection, then guild quest-givers will offer multiple quests at a time, rather than needing to keep clicking “no” until you see a quest you like.

 

Quests will rotate every so often to give you a fresh selection to choose from. This feature also has thanks to Firebrand who entered all the quest display names.

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Daggerfall Unity Alpha Release

The first Daggerfall Unity alpha release is now available on Live Builds. Since announcing this a few days ago, I’ve been honestly overwhelmed by the well-wishes and positive feedback from you all. Thank you everyone for your support, it means so much for a project like this. Your kind words help me to come back each day with a fresh heart.

So what does the alpha milestone mean? For Daggerfall Unity, this means we are now at broad feature parity with classic Daggerfall. Not only is the game playable from start to end, but all the core gameplay systems from classic are implemented and available. Hitting alpha means that development will shift from adding new gameplay features to refinement and fixing bugs. There are also a few features unique to Daggerfall Unity that I’ve been saving for the alpha cycle. Check out the roadmap to see what’s coming up next.

In some ways alpha doesn’t feel like a big deal. We were almost there in June with only a single enchantment effect and a couple of artifact effects remaining. But emotionally I feel that reaching this point really is a huge milestone. It represents the final stages of development are here at long last.

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