From Twitter user @Highsight, an experiment with Daggerfall Unity and immersive VR. Amazing!
— Highsight (@Highsight) August 10, 2016
Live builds based on latest code are now available to testers, as described in this blog post.
Check the forum topic State of 0.3 for information on 0.3 at time of writing.
You can download latest builds from the all new Live Builds page.
The latest stable build is still version 0.2.9 from 09-Apr-16. This version will be updated to 0.3.x in a few weeks once the majority of bugs have been found and eliminated.
The 0.3 test cycle has been delayed slightly due to changing from Unity 5.3 to Unity 5.4 and less than typical free time on my end. Things are back on track for now and I estimate first 0.3 test build should be ready in approximately 7-10 days. I will update you in the case of any further delays.
I’ve had a few queries via email and Twitter about how test builds will work from 0.3. I’ll try to clarify this now. If you need more details please don’t hesitate to ask.
The short answer is that not much is really changing from your side. If you’ve tested with 0.2 or earlier the process for you is basically the same. The key difference is how builds are generated and how frequently I’m able to put a new build into your hands.
In 0.2 and earlier, I had to manually create a build for each platform, package to a zip file, upload to my host, then configure new download in WordPress and update related pages. This isn’t difficult, but it can be time consuming when rapidly turning over bugs. In many cases a bug could be fixed much faster than I could work through the manual build process. So I tended not to generate new builds until a larger block of work was completed. This ultimately means you had to wait weeks or a even a few months to see fixes.
Enter Unity Cloud Build. This service allows me to setup an automated build process for Daggerfall Unity’s target platforms. Cloud build works by periodically checking the git repository for changes and automatically spits out a complete new build for each platform. The download is also hosted by the cloud build servers. All I have to do is share the build and give you a download link. Here’s how it looks from the back-end:
One a build is ready, I can either download a zip to test for myself, or share out a link to the public. The public link is what I’ll give to you, which takes you to a page like below. This is your front-end to the cloud build process.
To make this process even easier for you, I will setup a permalink page from dfworkshop.net that always points to the latest shared builds. I plan to update this page frequently. If the code on git changes, you’ll have a new test build not long afterwards. More information for this will be available with 0.3.
This is where things get interesting. Instead of waiting months for next test cycle, testers will now have a direct pipeline to code updates as they are generated. If you’ve ever played an Early Access game on Steam that gives you an “experimental/unstable” option for rapid updates, my rolling test builds are fundamentally the same concept. You will now get to play with new code as it’s being developed.
The main downside to this style of rolling build is that you will be playing with live code. Usually things will work as expected, but sometimes things that were working will break. For example, quicksave was briefly broken while I was overhauling the save interface a few weeks back.
The key is for testers to understand what is a bug and what might just be broken because it’s in the middle of changes.
To this end, I highly recommend testers keep an eye on the commits page on git. These commits tell a story of what is being worked on and what has been recently fixed. If you see that I’m working on a big system (like saves or looting), then you can bet something will be broken in that system until work is complete. I try to keep my commits exclusive to a specific update and provide good descriptions. I’ll continue to work on improving the quality of my checkins as time goes on.
As before, the Daggerfall Workshop Forums are the correct place to log bugs or ask questions about a feature. Specifically the Issues & Support forum. If you aren’t sure if a feature has been implemented yet (e.g. quests), please ask before logging the absence of this feature as a bug. Daggerfall Unity is a live work in progress and some features are much further down the pipeline than others.
At every major milestone, I will post some information on things that need the most attention from testers. For example, the loot and inventory system was the major component of 0.2.
If you don’t feel up to watching git, downloading test builds, testing features, and providing feedback – that’s OK! I will occasionally release a “stable build” at major milestones where everything is more or less running as expected. Not everyone has the time or interest to be a full-on tester, and that’s all good. Just grab the stable builds when they’re available and let people know about Daggerfall Unity.
The first 0.3 stable build will be available a couple of weeks after the first test build. This gives me a chance to nail any show-stopping bugs before putting the stable build into your hands. I’ll post an update on this when available.
I hope that clarifies the new build process more thoroughly. In summary:
Thank you for reading. I look forward to you joining me for the next big step in Daggerfall Unity’s development process.
For more frequent updates on Daggerfall Unity, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.
The 0.3 release should be wrapped up in the next week or so, provided nothing comes up in testing to cause delays. Along with 0.3 there will be more options for downloading builds to better cater to various groups in the community. Read on to see what’s coming up.
If you just want to take a quick look at Daggerfall Unity, and avoid the hassles of a test setup, then 0.3 might encourage you to try it out.
If you’re an existing tester, or would like to help catch bugs, then I have some good news.
The biggest feature in 0.3 is Lypyl’s mod system, which he introduced a few posts back. The mod system allows you create asset bundles containing code, textures, sound, etc. that can change how Daggerfall Unity works.
If you would like to contribute to Daggerfall Unity, and have a good understanding of both Daggerfall’s inner workings and Unity3D, it will become easier to contribute from 0.3.
That all for now. Hopefully 0.3 will represent a new stage in the development of Daggerfall Unity, with even more options for gamers, testers, modders, and contributors.
For more frequent updates on Daggerfall Unity, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.
The 0.3 point release is coming together and should be available sometime late in July. Here’s a quick summary of upcoming features.
Lypyl’s mod framework is undoubtedly the star of 0.3. You can read his post about it and check out a few work-in-progress tutorials on the forums. While still early days, I couldn’t be happier with this feature and the potential it brings to Daggerfall Unity.
The mod system is already powerful enough to handle the current round of mods, which will eventually be migrated into .dfmod format. As mod creators grow in experience and the underlying code is expanded to provide more options almost anything will be possible down the road.
Random treasure piles and corpse markers will now be lootable, providing gold and new items to you during testing.
As shops are not implemented yet, I’m going to ignore weight limits on the player and the wagon so you can carry as much as you want. Proper encumbrance tracking will be added in the future after shops come online.
A few UI windows are in the works for 0.3, although not all of them will be ready for initial release. They will come online over the 0.3 cycle.
As part of updating save/load UI, the way games are saved will be expanded during 0.3 to accommodate the growing amount of data needed to support saving game state.
From 0.3, I’m going to provide a standalone build of Daggerfall Unity with game files bundled. This will be in addition to the smaller builds where you must provide your own game files. This change is to help users who just wish to quickly try out Daggerfall Unity or have trouble installing a compatible version for any reason.
Last but by no means least will be the usual round of small fixes and improvements to features already added. There’s also a bit going on behind the scenes to support future systems like spells & effects, NPCs, factions, shops, and questing. These additions will be slowly rolled out as more features come online post 0.3.
For more frequent micro updates and news, follow me on Twitter @gav_clayton.
Below are a couple of let’s-play videos based on the 0.2 build of Daggerfall Unity. While I tweeted these a while back, I somehow forgot to post them to the main development blog for everyone else to enjoy.
A big thanks to the creators for taking the time to make these videos. I learned by lot watching you play, and your enthusiasm helps keep me motivated. If I’ve missed any other current videos or similar creator content, please contact me and I would be happy to add it to this post.
First video is from ZetaPlays.
Next is from Lingering Trees.
And while not a video, the following storybook-styled journey from redditor SpotNL was too good not to link.