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.
What Happens Next?
We are now at the point where development becomes all about refinement and bug fixes. Sadly this means my regular monthly updates from the last year or so have come to an end. There are no more big exciting features like Vampirism or Enchanting to tear the wraps off each month. Now comes the hard work of patching logic errors, polishing systems, and gradually iterating over the game. This could mean a release every second month, or even multiple times a month. It just depends on the work being done and when I’m confident to release patches.
Once the final alpha targets have been reached, we’ll roll into beta. Only after a solid beta cycle will I be happy to call release milestone and 1.0. I don’t have a time-frame on this right now. I’d rather have an extended alpha/beta period and fix as many problems as possible than rush into release. But there’s no reason not to play now if you want to – the game is done. It’s just going to become more bug-free and polished as time progresses.
The cadence of development will change moving forwards as well, because the upcoming releases are more about quality than quantity. As the game reaches an increasingly stable state, and stewardship of Daggerfall Unity shifts from solely myself to the community at large, the amount of my personal time required on this project will start to wane.
As I get more free time at the tail-end of Daggerfall Unity, I’m going to spend that time working a new game. This won’t be another remake, it will be something original and a bit personal. I’ll reveal more on this once I’ve made enough progress, perhaps later in 2019. But don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll still be involved in this community for years to come.
July New Features
So what’s new in this month’s release? There aren’t many new features as so much work has been completed already. But there are a couple of new things to play with.
Soul Bound Enchantment
Once you trap a soul, you can bind it to an item at the enchanting station. This allows you to add more positive effects to that item, but not without a cost! Certain souls will forcibly bind other effects, both positive and negative, to your item. And if your item break then the soul trapped within will be released to attack you. If it happens to be your weapon that just broke, you might find yourself in a spot of trouble.
Classic Quest Fixes (Jay_H)
For the last several months, community superstar Jay_H has been toiling over the classic quest scripts. He has managed to turn out hundreds of fixes and refinements to these quests, above and beyond any prior community fixes. He has corrected logic problems around quests ending and delivering rewards, and worked around many emulation issues caused by subtle differences in Daggerfall Unity’s quest engine compared to classic.
There’s no way to put all of this in a screenshot, or even adequately describe just how much work has gone into this. Questing in Daggerfall Unity is now a much better experience thanks to Jay’s substantial efforts.
That’s not to say everything is perfect yet – we still have a long way to go before all of classic’s quests are stable enough for 1.0. But this is a huge stride towards the finish line. Thank you Jay!
General Fixes & Improvements
As with every prior release, there’s a list of bug fixes and refinements that have gone into the game thanks to everyone involved.
- Experimental support for custom books (TheLacus)
- Allow import of spell icon packs from mods (TheLacus)
- Fix texture import for bow (TheLacus)
- Fix weapon image pixel bleeding (TheLacus)
- Support for importing texture arrays as assets (TheLacus)
- Fix AssetInjection option not saving correctly (TheLacus)
- Fix issue with metallicgloss maps (TheLacus)
- Fix ground alignment for loot with custom scale (TheLacus)
- Fix bug with residance name not being resolved on info click (Nystul)
- Fix broken exterior automap when starting from interior save (Nystul)
- Fix for 1×1 town positioning in automap (Nystul)
- Improve ambient sound volume and prevent sound stacking (Pango)
- Improvements to automatic wagon access when near exit (Pango)
- Refinements to location search algorithm (Pango)
- Fix fast travel to ground level when elevation below player’s current height (Pango)
- DaggerfallTilemapTextureArray shader improvements and cleanup (Pango)
- Fix closing Use Magic Item when not intended (Hazelnut)
- Fix for joining Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood regardless of intro quest failing (Hazelnut)
- Restrict interior loot piles to Thieves Guild, Dark Brotherhood, and taverns (Hazelnut)
- Fix for non-temple greeting messages (Hazelnut)
- Change guttering effect on player torch from flicker to cosine effect (Hazelnut)
- Fix macro %n gender in quests (Ferital)
- Fix initial quicksave not working for quickload (Ferital)
- Handle %bn macro in biographies (Ferital)
- Enable random Khajiit name generation in character creation (Ferital)
- Minor improvements to magic stocking, more fixes required (Interkarma)
- Fix to import corrupted/unsupported spellbook as blank (Interkarma)
- Added magic item repairs option to startup UI (Interkarma)
- Illegal rest warning option to help prevent accidental rest in towns (Interkarma)
- Clear escoring faces on a new game (Interkarma)
- Fix regex issue with Item resource declaration (Interkarma)
- Fixed table definition for Mehrune’s Razor (Interkarma)
- Support for child face textures in quests (Interkarma)
- CreateFoe support for msg id popup (Interkarma)
- Fix RestrainFoe only working on first foe (Interkarma)
- Fix legal reputation to be clamped between -100 to 100 (Interkarma)
- Fix for “The Princess” and similar quest to display correct sprite gender (Interkarma)
- Fix grounded collision check when starting rest while levitate active (Interkarma)
- Allow proximity wagon access from any exit door (Interkarma)
- Lycanthropy is now a free spell (Interkarma)
- Implement Peron details macro, e.g. =npc_ might be “young lady in green” (Interkarma)
- Fix shadow distance and quality being overwritten at runtime by pause menu details slider (Interkarma)
- Fix three-day lycanthropy disease not being curable by temples or Cure Disease spell (Interkarma)
Change in 0.10.3 from 01-Aug-2019
- Implement soul gem selling service (Hazelnut)
- Default filtermode for loose files textures (TheLacus)
- Player history window scroll with mouse wheel (TheLacus)
- NPC reactions adjustment (Ferital)
- Handle %nrn macro expansion (Ferital)
- Workaround for N0B00Y16 “Open Chest” Mages Guild quest not completing (Jay_H)
- Fix player reposition reverstion (Interkarma)
For more frequent updates on Daggerfall Unity, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.