Localizing Strings in Daggerfall Unity – Part 1

Series
Localizing Strings in Daggerfall Unity – Part 1
Localizing Strings in Daggerfall Unity – Part 2
Localizing Strings in Daggerfall Unity – Part 3
Localizing Strings in Daggerfall Unity – Part 4
Localizing Strings in Daggerfall Unity – Part 5

In this technical series, we’ll cover how to create a string localization mod for Daggerfall Unity then distribute it as a .dfmod file alongside built string assets.

The process of creating a string localization mod is similar to creating any other .dfmod for Daggerfall Unity, so parts of this tutorial will assume at least some familiarity with the Unity Engine and modding Daggerfall Unity in general.

If you get stuck with the basics of mod creation, please reach out to the wider modding community on our forums. There are dozens of experienced modders who are more than happy to share their knowledge and help you learn. And Unity has thousands of resources and communities online to learn more about the engine itself.

Throughout this series, please keep in mind that Daggerfall Unity is currently in Beta and the localization feature is considered to be in Preview. This feature will continue to expand through to 1.0 and beyond, and the information in this series is subject to change. Once localization is out of Preview, this tutorial series will be updated and included with the general modding documentation.

Setting Up

To get started, you will first need to download and install Unity 2019.4.10 (specifically this version) from the Unity Download Archive. The Unity Hub download is the easiest way to initiate this process.

Then you need to clone the full Daggerfall Unity source project from GitHub. You can just download a zip file of the source, but it’s recommended to fork Daggerfall Unity to your own GitHub repo so that you can collaborate with others and maintain your translation mod long-term. As Daggerfall Unity continues to grow and reach new versions, your mod will need to be kept up to date to remain compatible.

If you’re not overly familiar with git conventions and GitHub, using GitHub Desktop is the easiest way to get started.

Once you have Unity 2019.4.10 installed and the source project cloned locally, proceed to open the Daggerfall Unity project and we can begin.

Prepare Mod Folder Structure

The first step to creating any .dfmod is to prepare a folder structure to organise all the files your mod needs. In this tutorial, we’ll put everything inside the Assets/Game/Mods folder. Locate this folder in the Project view and create the folder hierarchy as shown below in blue.

Create New Locales

Daggerfall Unity ships with only the English (en) locale. To add strings for additional languages, we first need to generate additional locales.

You will probably only want to create a single translation for your mod, but for the purposes of this tutorial, we’re going to create multiple languages to gain a better understanding of how everything works together.

  1. Click Edit menu > Project Settings
  2. Select Localization
  3. Click Locale Generator
  4. Find and select the French (fr), German (de), Korean (ko), Czech (cs) locales
  5. Once these locales are selected, click the Generate Locales button
  6. Navigate to your prepared DemoTranslationMod/Assets/Locales folder and click Select Folder

You should now have the following languages displayed in the Localization window. If not, just click Locale Generator again and add the missing locales.

Then inside your mod’s Locales folder, you should see the following files. You’ll note that English (en) is not included, that’s because this locale is already part of the core game.

Create String Tables

Now that we’ve created our locales, we can generate new String Table Collections for translated text.

A string table is basically a text database where all strings in the game are held. Each string is uniquely identified by a key that remains the same across all locales. When the game needs to display a string to the player, it will lookup that key within the string tables for current locale.

In this tutorial, we’re going to create a custom English (en) translation to demonstrate that it’s also possible to change core text through the localization system.

  1. Window menu > Asset Management > Localization Tables
  2. Click New Table Collection
  3. Ensure all locales are selected
  4. Enter new Table Collection Name of Demo_Strings
  5. Click Create String Table Collection button
  6. Navigate to your prepared DemoTranslationMod/Assets/StringTables and click Select Folder

Repeat the above process to create a second set of string tables called Demo_RSC.

Once this is completed, you should see the following collection of files inside your DemoTranslationMod/Assets/StringTables folder.

You don’t need to be overly concerned about these files or how they work. Just having them present in the right folder is all that’s needed for now.

To open your string tables for editing, click Window menu > Asset Management > Localization Tables.

Use Selected Table Collection to select between your mod’s Demo_Strings and Demo_RSC string tables.

You’ll notice new string tables are all empty. This is where we get to the next step and import text from classic Daggerfall with all the right keys so we can begin writing translated text.

This will be covered in Localizing Strings in Daggerfall Unity – Part 2.

Daggerfall Unity Beta 0.11.1

Welcome back everyone to the first release of 2021! Daggerfall Unity Beta 0.11.1 is now available from Live Builds page. Following is changelist by contributor.

General Fixes & Improvements

Deepfighter

  • Include BIOGfix patched BIOG files to base game

Ralzar

  • Move skill check for Stealth into Formula Helper to support modding

Ferital

  • Ensure both Mages Guild songs can be played
  • Fix several naming macros to be more deterministic
  • Fix %pcn macro written as %pfn and missing apostrophes
  • Fix model 729 entrance left door texture

XJDHDR

  • Set DoorModelIndex public for mods
  • Add ability to bash doors placed by CustomDoors

Hazelnut

  • Fix horse base speed for mods – i.e. galloping fix
  • Refactor nature layout to own class and interface to support modding
  • Ensure last location is stored when entering a building
  • Update paymoney quest action to only allow gold to be accepted if desired
  • Adjust position of item-based player torch to throw some visible shadows
  • Add NameSeed to building overrides
  • Add a way to query for a specific building override without need to set last location first
  • Vary NameSeed in world replacement data so names differ in each place block is used

TheLacus

  • Store enabled mod build targets in editor
  • Fix and improve code XML documentation
  • Fix runtime materials when dungeon models used outside of dungeon
  • Automatically import mod manifest after creation or changed in editor window
  • Refresh cursor at start to fix issue with disabled cursor mods

Pango

  • Fix black screen bug with Alternate Music enabled in some dungeons
  • Fix improper “you wake up” in rest UI after rest previously being interrupted
  • Fix additional seams in classic sky background
  • Recursively update MeshRenderers in Automap for better compatibility with modded models
  • Fix “can’t carry anymore” when picking up maps

Jefetienne

  • Fix multiple bugs with default bindings and primary/secondary bindings
  • Set mod warning box default button to “yes”

Inconsolable Cellist

  • Fix %pcnf to %pcn typo in dialog file

Kamer

  • Fix unused face data for male Nord

Interkarma

  • Fix monsters like Atronachs and Dreughs incorrectly hitting for bonus damage even when hit missed
  • Use MagicItemTemplates JSON for generating magic items so items are not generated using legacy unpatched gamedata
  • Remove per-task click rearming for “clicked npc”, ” clicked foe”, “toting item and clicked npc” to fix click clearing prematurely in some cases
  • Use Woodland Hills nature set in MountainWoods biome
  • Refactor huge text block in ID 9000 (class questionnaire text) to individual records 9000.1 through 9000.40 for easier editing and formatting
  • Travel map now gets location name and initial discovered state from world replacement data
  • Spellbook list now always accepts keyboard input, not just when mouse over control
  • Refactor BIOG reading to use StreamingData as source over classic gamedata, allowing inclusion of fixed data

 

New Localization Tutorials

I’ll soon begin posting a new series of localization tutorials to the front page of dfworkshop.net. This will cover the process of creating a text localization mod covering multiple languages. It will show the full process of setting up assets, localizing text, assigning custom fonts, and building your mod for distribution. If you’ve never created mods for Daggerfall Unity, please take a look through the Modding System documentation. Localization mods need to be built and distributed as .dfmod files, which requires Unity to create and package mod. A lot of the steps for creating a localization mod are common to creating any mod, so it’s helpful to have some experience here.

Once the tutorial series is completed and DFU’s localization system is no longer in preview, this tutorial series will be maintained as part of the Modding System documentation.

Daggerfall Unity Beta 0.11.0 – Milestone Accomplished

The first official beta release for Daggerfall Unity is now ready to download from Live Builds page. This is only a small update over 0.10.28 release, which was a “pre-beta” test just to make sure there were no showstopping bugs before Beta proper. If you haven’t already, please read that article for more information about recent builds.

So yeah – beta. The game is feature complete and working well. If you’ve been waiting to play Daggerfall with smooth controls, quality of life improvements, and epic mod support, there has never been a better time than now. We still have some quirks and bugs that need to be fixed, but after 18 months of intensive fixes and improvements during alpha, this game is in pretty good shape. The feedback loop of near-monthly releases to community with rapid fixes over several years has proven to be a good formula for this kind of game. This will continue right through to 1.0 and beyond to make the best version of Daggerfall possible. Only the frequency and magnitude of updates will slow down as there’s not much left on the plate beyond fixing bugs and gradually expanding mod support.

If this is your first time here – welcome! You might also be wondering what Daggerfall Unity is, how it came to be, and who were the people involved? So rather than just info-dump the small number of changes in this release (scroll to the end for that), I thought it might be a good time to take a look back at the journey leading up to this point. We only get to reach beta once, so pull up a chair and settle in for the ultra-condensed version. I won’t bore you with the full history, you can check out the About page and this tweetstorm for more about me and this whole journey.

 

The Early Days 1996-2003

My name is Gavin “Interkarma” Clayton and Daggerfall Workshop is my site. After buying Daggerfall in 1996, I fell in love with the game. So much so that by 2000/2001, I began writing tools to view textures and 3D models from the game, including small chunks of locations called “blocks”. This culminated in a program called Daggerfall Explorer written for Windows 95, which incredibly still works today. Daggerfall Explorer was written in C++ and used a custom 3D engine on top of DirectX 8.1 which I called the Alchemy Engine. Sweet name, right?

 

Notable other people around this time were Dave Humphrey who founded the UESP, and Donald Tipton who made several excellent tools. There were many others hacking away at the game data formats back then, and my early efforts build directly on the knowledge they shared. Not everything was well understood, however. Some real basics like how UV coordinates were stored and several other file formats were still a complete mystery. These would continue to be understood as the years rolled by thanks to a sharing and wonderful community.

I continued to build more tools for Daggerfall such as Daggerfall Cartographer (view full cities), Daggerfall Imaging (view and export textures), and Daggerfall Jukebox (play and export music). Late in this tool-building stage, around 2003, I actually attempted a Daggerfall remake that didn’t get off the ground. I didn’t have the experience and the necessary social framework for this kind of project simply didn’t exist, so this attempt failed rather quickly. It was a good learning experience, but my interest faded for a while after that.

 

More Tools 2009-2012

In 2009, I got back to work building more Daggerfall tools. This time around, I constructed a C# library called Daggerfall Connect to read the game data formats and update with some of the new understanding of file formats that had emerged through the intervening years. This culminated in Daggerfall Imaging 2 and Daggerfall Modelling, both evolutions of my previous tools. By this point, it was possible to explore entire cities and dungeons, and even export models to COLLADA format.

 

A code library written in C# turned out to be a great decision. This library was very fast and portable between engines – even operating systems. Without realising it, I was laying the foundation of would eventually become Daggerfall Unity.

 

Daggerfall Tools for Unity 2014

Looking around for something to do while learning the Unity engine in 2014, my wife suggested doing something Daggerfall related. Start with something familiar to learn something new. After a few hours of tinkering, I found my old C# Daggerfall Connect library would plug directly into Unity, and I had the foundation of what became Daggerfall Tools for Unity.

 

In a couple of months, I had the whole world working with basic exploration and combat, and it was obvious we had something special on our hands. It wasn’t a full remake just yet, but even at this early stage a few contributors had appeared like Lypyl and Nystul, helping to expand the tools and show just how easy it was to create cool Daggerfall stuff. Remixing and rebuilding Daggerfall had never been more open and easy to all-comers.

 

Daggerfall Unity 2015-Present

By mid-2015, the number of voices asking for a true remake became overwhelming. I drafted a Mission Statement and a Roadmap that would define the next several years of my life, and the lives of many others. By November 2015, the first test build of Daggerfall Unity was released with Character Creation and most of the game’s framework in place. It was pretty raw and I still had no idea how to do a lot of stuff, but the bones were solid and the heart was beating strongly.

This is where other serious contributors started appearing and helping to build the game. After Lypyl and Nystul came TheLacus, InconsolableCellist, Allofich, Hazelnut, Numidium, Meteoric Dragon, Pango, Jay_H, Ferital, JorisVanEijden, and jefetienne. These were the contributors who made frequent and substantial contributions to the game and it’s underlying code.

It’s simply not possible to cover everyone’s work over the last several years in full detail, but I’ll try to cover the highlights. Read back through the update archive on this site for the full history or review our GitHub Contributors page to see just how much work has gone into this game. I’ll keep expanding this list out as the right words come to me. If anyone feels left out here, it’s not intentional. There are just too many people involved and so many years of work to think of everything. If I’ve missed something you’re proud of, please contact me and I’ll add it below.

Lypyl was the very first contributor and champion of Daggerfall Tools for Unity. He reverse engineered and implemented pretty much all remaining dungeon action records, and did some truly wild and wonderful things with DFTFU. He created the Enhanced Sky mod and architected the foundations of the mod system we still use today.

Nystul implemented the Automap and Talk UIs, and some amazing early mods like Distant Terrain and Realtime Reflections. Nystul was also involved in several other systems critical to the game’s early development.

TheLacus is most known for dialling the mod system up to 11 and building on top of Lypyl’s early foundations. TheLacus also documented the Daggerfall Unity API and mod systems in great detail, and created excellent tools around mod and quest authoring. Without this important work, the mod scene would be much smaller than it is today.

Allofich famously excavated the guts of classic Daggerfall to help DFU stay true to classic’s formulas and behaviours. Allofich also implemented advanced enemy AI and much more. His insights into Daggerfall’s inner workings advanced our knowledge well beyond the Chronicles and UESP alone. The game we have today would be far more divergent without him.

Ferital also reverse engineered several vital systems from classic and helped them reach parity in DFU. The talk and reputation systems particularly were refined extensively by Ferital. He’s also known for fixing many texture issues and other small gripes with classic game data so that DFU can be a better experience. On a personal note, Ferital was one of the first to encourage and support my exploring tools back in the early 2000s.

Hazelnut burst onto the scene with horse riding and went on to implement guild services, taverns, potion maker, and much, much more. Hazelnut is also a powerful force in the modding community, building support and helping others come to grips with the mod system. His mods are legendary, including Archaeologists, Roleplay & Realism (with Ralzar in parts), Basic Roads, and more. He is not only one of the most prolific contributors to Daggerfall Unity, he has been a true friend and supported me privately through some of the darker months. There’s no way to accurately capture just how important Hazelnut is to this project.

Meteoric Dragon built Advanced Climbing and other movement & camera systems. He also helped refine systems like underwater swimming, climbing out of water, and smoothly mantling onto a surface. If you walk, run, jump, swim, climb, or fly in Daggerfall Unity then you’ve experienced Meteoric Dragon’s work. He also added some work to the effect system and a few other subsystems beyond movement.

Jay_H was our resident quest ninja, building hundreds of new quests for Quest Pack 1 while performing deep fixes and improvements to the classic quests. Jay_H was also a positive force in the community helping others come to grips with the quest system and always ready with kindness for others. He helped moderate the forums and keep our little corner of the web a nice place to visit.

JorisVanEijden expanded our knowledge of the quest system, helping it to reach closer parity with classic. He also refined many subsystems and expanded on areas where my work could be considered “placeholder” at best. Joris was another one who patiently supported me when I struggled to understand something fully. The game is better in several places thanks to his help.

Jefetienne constructed the controller input system while overhauling and improving many part of input and related UIs. He is also known for opening some parts of the core game up to mod system, and helping to find and fix several bugs. He also created the screenshot feature and advanced keybinds UI.

Numidium is best known for custom class creator, class questionnaire, and many fixes and improvements across the core game. Numidium also implemented several artifacts for the effect system and bug fixes in other parts of the game.

Pango is another prolific core contributor to Daggerfall Unity. He worked hard through every system of the game, fixing bugs and improving as he went. I’ve watched him support people on several platforms in multiple languages. There just aren’t enough words for how important Pango was to this whole process. There was no job too big or too small for him to take on. He filled in the blanks where my own knowledge was lacking, and remained patient with me when I lacked understanding. Daggerfall Unity would be half the game it is today without his patient and clever hands on the wheel alongside us.

On the modding side, there are also many notable figures who deserve a mention.

King of Worms created the amazing D.R.E.A.M. mod which enhances almost every part of Daggerfall Unity from the textures to the music, to little touches like night and day dungeon exits. His work became so familiar that to many people it’s simply impossible to play Daggerfall Unity without his mods installed.

AlexanderSig crafted the sublime handpainted 3D models to uplift the base assets and even replace many 2D objects with true 3D objects. His work is also closely associated with Daggerfall Unity.

Uncanny_Valley is behind Taverns Redone, Mountains & Hills, and more.

Ralzar has created almost a dozen fantastic mods like Climates & Calories, Torch Taker, Realistic Wagon, Unlevelled Loot, and more. He has also been active helping users across the forums and on reddit.

Kamer is the mastermind behind the fiendish Warm Ashes quest mods pack, adding dangerous encounters around dungeons, wilderness encounters, sieges, and more. He has also created visual mods adding Rocks and Windmills, and expanded on town populations in Villager Immersion Overhaul.

There are so many others who made important contributions helping Daggerfall Unity become what it is today. Head over to the Credits topic on forums to see a complete list. In total, more than 45 people helped to make Daggerfall Unity. That’s just on the development side, it doesn’t count the modders and scores of community members reporting bugs over the years. Something that started as a small solo project quickly exploded into one of the most comprehensive and successful fan recreations of a classic game to date. Even if you hold no love for this project, it’s hard to deny just how hard everyone worked, how much love was involved, and how successful the project model proved to be.

 

Plea for a Future

Daggerfall Unity is made by the Daggerfall community out of love and love alone. This project has never been and will never be monetised. This site has no advertisements and no donation button. I didn’t create a Patreon for the whole of Daggerfall Unity’s development. Every time someone offered to contribute money to me or the project, I politely refused. At every turn, I tried to send a clear message this project is not about making money from Bethesda’s intellectual property. Even the name Daggerfall Unity is more a play on words – it references the engine used but is really a testament to the open development process. Daggerfall Community Edition would have been just as good a name.

Furthermore, you must own a copy of Daggerfall for the asset files essential to make Daggerfall Unity work. It’s a drop-in engine replacement over the original game, not a standalone product. Thankfully, Daggerfall itself has been freely available from Bethesda themselves and many other places online for several years. This means DFU is really a free upgrade to a free game, made by the community for the community.

For all these years, Bethesda has quietly tolerated our tiny presence working in their shadow to rebuild and reimagine their greatest early game. They could have squashed this project at any time, but mercifully chose to let it thrive as an offshoot to the wider Elder Scrolls modding scene. For that, I want to say thankyou. From the bottom of my heart – thank you. This game means the world to me and many thousands of other people. I’ve been contacted by people who said this game played a part in helping them out of depression and reconnecting with friends, that it made their lives better. I believe these heartfelt words and it brings me joy to know all these years of work have brought other people some happiness.

With that, I want to make a simple plea. Please let Daggerfall Unity continue to thrive in the hands of the community who created it. As ownership of The Elder Scrolls passes to Microsoft and into new hands, please let this project continue to be everything it can be. This is something special and virtually unique. A functioning and complete fan recreation that survived not only its own development but the potential of being shut down at any time. It’s a strange and beautiful thing that has no real right to exist, and yet here it is. Please let it continue to be.

 

Conclusion

That’s all from me for now. Daggerfall Unity is feature complete and can only get better from here. The beta builds are ready for download and Nexus has well over a hundred Daggerfall Unity mods all ready for your enjoyment. Go play and be happy, then send us some feedback. We made it so far thanks to positivity and encouragement from others, and I’m confident that will continue into the future as we approach 1.0. Even as our many developers come and go, the project itself lives on with its singular spirit of collaboration.

As promised, there are a few changes in the 0.11.0 release. Here’s a quick list for anyone wanting the patch notes for this version.

  • Alternate Music setting to play FM versions of songs (Numidium)
  • Allow custom Renderer for ObjectPositioner (TheLacus)
  • Improve indoor guard spawns to use farthest entrance (Numidium)
  • Harden SettingsManager against bad values read to reduce most cases of broken settings.ini causing a black screen (Interkarma)
  • Flag emission for special case windows 036_2, 151_3, 154_3, 351_3 (Interkarma)
  • Fix desert Mages Guild window emission (Interkarma)

Daggerfall Unity 0.10.28

The latest update for Daggerfall Unity is now available on Live Builds page. If all goes well, this will be the last release under the Alpha tag and there will be a minor update soon into Beta. That’s right! Daggerfall Unity is feature complete and I marked off the final items on Alpha roadmap the other day. This release is a pre-beta test just to catch any last minute showstoppers before rolling over.

Does that mean Daggerfall Unity is done and dusted? Not quite yet, but it does mean work on new features is now at an end. From this point the only changes will be bug fixes, minor refinements, and incremental progress to modding/localization support. This is the real final stretch to 1.0, which I hope to reach in 2021 once I’m happy with overall state of game.

For the last year or so communicating where DFU is up to has been a challenge, as it’s a really a couple of projects in one. The core goal of the game has always been to recreate classic Daggerfall with some refinement and quality of life features. Then we have loads of features unique to DFU like epic mod support and some wild and wonderful core features that emerged along the journey (such as personal torches and advanced climbing). This means DFU is a also a superset of classic Daggerfall, and is why I often refer to it as Classic Daggerfall Plus. It’s the same game, with more.

This led to a situation where the core game has been essentially complete and very playable for over a year while these superset features continued development. We stayed in Alpha because DFU as a whole still wasn’t done. This in turn created confusion as people wondered how finished the game could be if it was still considered Alpha. This undermined what an incredibly functional and playable bit of software Daggerfall Unity really is. So it gives me great pleasure to finally tear off that Alpha bandaid and give this game the credit it deserves after so many people have worked so very hard to bring it into existence.

Let’s take a look at what’s in this release.

New Features

Large HUD

For some Daggerfall players, the large HUD represents a tiny piece of its soul. The large buttons and compass help us recall our early days playing Daggerfall and provide a big visual connection to the past. So this feature is best summarised with a few screenshots. Here’s Daggerfall Unity running with Retro Rendering 320×200, palettization, and large HUD. The only “modern” feature I left enabled is shadows.

 

 

Of course, it’s not just for retro modes. You can enable the large HUD at any time by deselecting the Fullscreen box on pause menu. And in typical Daggerfall Unity fashion, this feature can be tuned to fit a wide variety of displays so most people will be able find a setup they like when choosing to play with this HUD. Let’s upack this thing.

Docked or Undocked?

By default the large HUD works just like classic. That means it shrinks the rendering viewport to area above the HUD and the crosshair position will be raised to become centred in smaller viewport. The HUD itself will scale to fit entirely along bottom of display, which might entail some stretching if you have an ultra wide display. In this state, the large HUD is considered docked to bottom of display.

 

If you jump into settings.ini and set LargeHUDDocked=False then your large HUD will instead sit on top of a fullscreen render without shrinking the viewport area. Crosshair position will remain in the same place as fullscreen mode. When undocked, you can adjust the scale of large HUD by changing value in LargeHUDUndockedScale. This is best for very wide displays where the large HUD might otherwise become too stretched.

 

Other Customisation

Other than docked/undocked, you can tweak the HUD in a few ways in settings.ini. I’ll list all the new settings here and what they do.

LargeHUDDocked – Set True to be docked and False to be undocked as above.

LargeHUDUndockedScale – Sets your undocked HUD scale between 0.25 and 2.0 depending on preference. Only works with undocked HUD.

LargeHUDUndockedAlignment – Set 0 for default (which is centred), 1 for left-aligned, 2 for centred, 3 for right-aligned. Only works with undocked HUD.

LargeHUDUndockedOffsetWeapon – Set True to offset weapon position above undocked HUD height and False to draw weapon against bottom of screen. Depending on your HUD scale, you might prefer to raise weapon above HUD or not. It’s not recommended to enable this setting with small scale HUDs or weapon will appear to be floating. Only works with undocked HUD.

LargeHUDOffsetHorse – Set True to offset horse above HUD height or False to draw horse against bottom of screen. This is True by default to match classic, but you can set this one for both docked and undocked HUDs. The horse takes up a lot of screen estate and it’s nice to drop it below the HUD to clean up the view some more.

 

Using Large HUD

For some people this will be their first time using Daggerfall’s large HUD, so it’s worth going through what all the buttons do. But first, how do you click those big juicy buttons anyway?

Just as in classic, use the Activate Cursor keybind to toggle cursor active/inactive while playing game (i.e. not paused). By default Activate Cursor is bound to the Enter key. While the cursor is active, you’ll be able to mouse over the large HUD and click buttons with either the left or right mouse buttons, which sometimes initiate different actions. When the cursor is active, you can also click on world objects like doors, levers, and NPCs using the mouse cursor rather than activating under crosshair as usual. To get back to mouselook, hit the Enter again to make the cursor inactive.

Now that you can click on the HUD, here’s what all the various bits do.

Portrait. Opens the Character Sheet.

 

Vital Indicators. Displays your current health (green), fatigue (red), and spellpoints (blue).

 

Options. Pauses game and opens pause menu.

 

Spellbook. Opens spellbook UI.

 

Interaction Mode. Cycles interaction mode through steal, grab, info, dialogue. Left mouse will cycle to next, right mouse will cycle to previous.

 

Inventory. Opens the inventory UI.

 

Ready Weapon. Raises or lowers the weapon in your equipped hand.

 

Use Magic Item. Opens the use magic item UI (if you have any usable magic items). This uses a popup list for consistency rather than fitting inside HUD area like classic.

 

Change Transport Mode. Opens transportation UI to set transport mode between foot, horse, cart, and ship.

 

Automap / Travel Map. Opens local automap or travel map. Left mouse click to open automap, right mouse click to open travel map.

 

Rest. Opens rest UI. Careful resting in town!

 

Big Spinny Compass. This is the real deal, made from the finest magnetic pixels. Click to open info status pop-up.

 

That covers everything about the large HUD for now. Just something worth mentioning, this HUD isn’t related to Cursor Mode movement (i.e. move by pushing mouse around screen) and classic’s View Mode with mouselook will remain the only control scheme into foreseeable future. With that said, all the work on large HUD recently has laid the groundwork for Cursor Mode, so this is likely to be added as a Beta stretch goal in the future. I’ll add this item to roadmap when confirmed.

 

Movement Review and Jumping Skill

Not so much a new feature as an attempt to better match movement (Walking/Running, Jumping, Falling) to classic Daggerfall. Part of this review was to implement the effects of Jumping skill on jump height.

Because classic Daggerfall itself doesn’t have well-defined movement elements, and CPU speed can change the speed and “feel” of these elements, it’s not really possible to match these perfectly with classic. So instead, I approached this with the mindset of ensuring that low-level characters always have functional running and jumping (e.g. run from trouble and jump low obstacles) while high-level characters still feel powerful and acrobatic. What this means in practise is a level 1 can jump onto the throne lift in Privateer’s Hold and run from that skeleton, and a fully buffed character at 100 SPD with max Jumping, Enhanced Athleticism, and spellcraft will run like the wind and be able to leap from rooftop to rooftop with ease. Here’s a summary of changes.

Walking – Carefully measuring walk speed in classic vs. DFU found that characters in DFU walked faster than in classic. This was tuned to match classic within a small margin of difference at various SPD levels. Interestingly, walking in DFU still feels faster as the framerate is smoother. But timing over long distance walks yields very similar timings to classic.

Running – This had received some tuning previously and already closely matched classic. Further tuning brought this into a smaller margin of difference. Again, running can feel faster in DFU due to smoother framerates.

Jumping – The largest difference is to jumping. The jump height in pre-beta DFU had received no tuning and was unaffected by Jumping skill. This means all characters were making huge leaps regardless of their skill at jumping. Now a character with a low Jumping skill will make smaller jumps than one with a high skill. You’ll always be able to jump onto low obstacles, but you’ll need to skill up to truly make those epic leaps. Athleticism will give player a +10% to jump height, Improved Athleticism another +10%, and Jumping spell will give you +60%. These all stack together so that a fully buffed character can leap onto low rooftops with ease. As an added bonus, the Jumping spell now grants air control. Rather than propel yourself helplessly past your target, you’ll be able to move slightly while airborne when the Jumping spell is active. This just makes it a bit more fun and magical, not to mention useful.

Falling – Measurement found that falling speed in DFU was marginally faster than classic – about 20%. But due to the effect of smoother framerate, a faster falling speed just feels better. Sticking with the classic falling speed makes falling and jumping feel floaty, something that isn’t so apparent in classic due to the clunky framerate giving it a heavier feel. For that reason, gravity and falling were left unchanged in DFU.

 

General Fixes & Improvements

  • Fix several errors in TEXT.RSC data via localization tables (Ferital)
  • Fix guild greetings for unique NPCs (Ferital)
  • Correct “Bhoriane” spelling everywhere (Ferital)
  • Remove %2com as not implemented in classic (Ferital)
  • Show RunInBackground setting in launcher, enable run in background by default (Pango)
  • Adjust dungeon micromap resolution and use square pixels (Pango)
  • Fix backstabbing transforming Seducers, they are now always considered facing player (Pango)
  • Apply bank loan default reputation loss only once (Pango)
  • Publicize parts of PlayerActivate and DaggerfallBaseWindow.NativePanel (jefetienne)
  • Publicize CurrentRestMode (jefetienne)
  • Remove SetupDefaults and add autofill parameter to ResetDefaults (jefetienne)
  • Ensure models with registered actions are not combined for RMB and interiors (Hazelnut)
  • Fix exploit for Knightly Order armor service (Hazelnut)
  • Fix “potion of <LocalText-NotFound>” and support localization of potion name (Interkarma)
  • Fix potion recipe name being blank or displaying “<LocaleText-NotFound>” (Interkarma)
  • Fix null exception when no rumours available (Interkarma)
  • Fix variant count of Formal Eodoric (Interkarma)
  • Fix Short Shirt variant counts (Interkarma)
  • Fix active spell tooltips not working when cursor active (Interkarma)
  • Fix texture cracking in vertical scroll thumb (Interkarma)
  • Fix inventory crash against certain corrupted/modded items (Interkarma)
  • Chance-based potion effects now always succeed to be consistent with other magic items (Interkarma)
  • Fix LocalScale in Panel fill texture (Interkarma)
  • Store DFU version in quest state to help identify version quest compiled under (Interkarma)
  • Implemented “add potion” console command (Interkarma)
  • Use “target at range” not “touch” for action object spells to fix null exception (Interkarma)
  • Start groundwork of book localization – not yet ready in game (Interkarma)
  • Disable camera recoil when cursor active (Interkarma)
  • Use available snow textures for swamp castles (Interkarma)
  • Use smaller dungeon state as set when quest compiled to prevent target ending up in void (Interkarma)
  • Groundwork for further refinements towards full smaller dungeon support (Interkarma)

 

I hope you enjoy this release!

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.