Roadmap Jan-Mar 2015

I wanted to post a quick update of my plans over the next few months. This gives me some goals to meet and ensures any potential developers know where I’m headed next.

  • 1.2.x release with streaming world. This should be out in the next week. I’m currently stomping bugs, updating docs, and testing everything I can.
  • A few weeks break for Real Life work, as discussed a couple posts back.
  • 1.3 begins. This will be another big release with an emphasis on Text & Translations, NPCs, Quest Foundations, Performance Review, and Mixing Custom/Procedural Assets.

Moving forwards, I will try and be more conscientious of other developers. This involves a few changes to how I think about the tools.

  • Move to GitHub. I plan to do this as part of 1.2.x final release.
  • Fewer breaking changes when possible. This involves thinking about the impact of any changes to upstream developers. Where possible, I will avoid sweeping changes and use [Obsolete] rather than simply remove old methods.
  • Thinking about multi-player, multi-camera patterns. As much as possible, I will try to organise tools not to depend on a single-player, single-camera pattern.
  • Improve code practices in general. This will be stuff like using Interfaces where appropriate and trying to make the code easier to understand.

Obviously there will be a changeover period where your upstream code will get clobbered by changes at my end, but I’m hoping that sometime after 1.3 you can start to have more confidence about importing changes into your fork.

As always, I’m open to suggestions and learning from others.

Work/Life Time

Hey everyone. I just wanted to let you know that work is still heavy at the moment. I am also about to start a couple of surprise work projects that require a higher than usual amount of presence and concentration.

Things should go back to normal in around 6-8 weeks. In the meantime, I will work on what I can in Daggerfall Tools for Unity, but expect updates to slow down for a little while.

If you don’t hear from me for a couple of weeks, please do not be concerned. I know that I’ve been very active while getting this project off the ground, but it was inevitable that sooner or later I would need to take a break from my hobbies to concentrate on the business. It sucks, but I’ve got to pay the bills.

Thanks for your understanding. 🙂

Featured Posts From 2014

For anyone new to Daggerfall Tools for Unity, here are some featured posts from 2014. If you are introducing the project to a new community, feel free to link these articles (or just link back to this one).

Time & Space and More

Looks at world time and day/night cycles, along with player GPS and beginnings of world streaming.

Direnni Tower – Full Demo

Fully playable demo inside your web browser, or standalone for Windows. Introduces sound system, ambient sound effects player, sky effects, combat, dual wielding, enemy AI, building interiors, and a lot more.

Streaming World – Part 3

Shows off the early streaming world system, along with some details about setting terrain tiles with marching squares.

First Android Build

Community member Eric creates a native build of Daggerfall city on Android (i.e. not using emulation).

Release 1.1 and City Basics Part Two

The current release at end of 2014. Also provides updated tutorials showing just how easy it is to create basic gameplay.

Progress Recap and Future Direction

I can’t believe it’s December already. The Holiday Season will be upon us before we know it. I also can’t believe Daggerfall Tools for Unity has only been in development a few months. If you’ve just started following this project, here’s how it looked on August 16th this year after wrangling import of a single model.

Scourg Barrow exterior model

Now it looks like the below and can do all this stuff. Check out the Direnni Tower Demo page if you would like to play the demo this video was created from.

In less than 4 months, this Unity Asset has gone from loading a single untextured model to full locations with dungeons, enemies, weapons, combat, sound, building interiors, and a fully streaming overworld system is on the way. I am very proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. But more importantly, I’m having fun.

And to my great pleasure and surprise, others have taken an interest in what this project signifies. You guys understand these tools represent freedom to do creative things with Daggerfall, beyond just remaking the game. The simple demo above is only a taste of what’s possible.

For the first time all content and gameplay of Daggerfall can be recreated using a modern, powerful game engine. An engine which supports more than a dozen platforms and provides an entire development ecosystem backed by an enthusiastic community. It’s now possible to create entirely new Daggerfall experiences and share your creations with other Daggerfall fans. For example, community member Eric managed to get a city build running on Android.

If you’re interested, you will even find great tutorials and documentation to help you get started. And of course, everything is 100% open source.

If you don’t have development skills, you can still help by letting others know about these tools. The sky’s the limit for Daggerfall now, we just need more interested people to help reach those heights.

So that’s the last four months. What happens next? Obviously my first priority is to release version 1.2 with streaming overworld features. But that’s only a short-term goal, I also have plans for 2015 to share with you.

I want to keep growing and refining these tools, and encourage other developers to get on board. I believe the time is finally right to build a small game with Daggerfall Tools for Unity. This not only shows what is possible, it provides a starting point for others and helps critically evaluate suitability of these tools for larger projects. Part of the process will be tightening up loose screws and adding features to solve problems encountered on a real project. The result will be a new Daggerfall-styled game for you to enjoy, and a more refined version of the tools. I will talk more about this project in early 2015.

I also need to provide a support hub for Daggerfall Tools for Unity. Beyond just documentation and tutorials, support means engaging with new developers and giving them a place to cooperate and share information. This hub will be a new site attached to with a community focus. I want to make the emphasis all about you and what you create, no matter how large or small. There’s no reason we can’t build a microcosm of the lively mod scene enjoyed by later Elder Scrolls titles. I am planning out the beginnings of this site now and should be ready to launch in first half of 2015.

So that’s the tools in review, with exciting new things to come. I’m feeling very positive about next year and look forward to meeting new Daggerfall fans in the future.

One more thing. If you’d like to keep tabs on my daily progress, I try to tweet small updates as frequently as possible. You will find me on Twitter @dfinterkarma.