Hi guys. Let me start off with what I know is on everyone’s minds: the upcoming Alpha release. Quite a bit is going on here all at the same time.
- Stephanie is working with the good folks at Humble Bundle to setup our online store. Sometime this week we will send out instructions to access your Stonehearth Humble Bundle store page. The game won’t be there yet, but this gives you a chance to verify that you will indeed be able to download the game when it’s available.
- The team continues to squash bugs and sneak in a few last minute graphical and UI enhancements.
- Doug is going crazy on audio, making everything in the game click, whir, and murmer in response to your input.
We’re getting more clarity on a possible release date, and it’s looking like we will push the Alpha on December 30th.
Alpha 1 TLDR for Beta Customers
- The alpha will be available on or around December 30th
- You will download the alpha from the Humble Bundle store
- We will support Steam ASAP, possibly in Alpha 1 but if not then soon after.
- We will send instructions for how to get to the store this week
Terrible, horrific bugs
I’ve been working on supporting animations for non-person entitites, starting with a gate that swings open when people pass through it. This required a few tweaks to my animation toolset, and one of those changes briefly introduced a bug in the way animations run in the game.
Let’s just say the results speak for themselves…
Hey Everyone! Stephanie again. As Tom mentioned in last week’s livestream, we’re working together on food! In today’s test environment,
young Sean Connery brave Willad Northpoint is harvesting berries off of bushes so he can eat them later.
(He still doesn’t get hungry yet, but one day! One day…)*
Since some of you displayed an interest in the more technical aspects of content creation, I thought I’d take some time this week to show off some behind-the-scenes screenshots.
Hello. Another week of slow but steady progress on the core building and crafting features. A bunch of you tuned into my impromptu live stream (you check out the archive here) , where I drafted a bunch of icons for the stockpile configuration UI.
Well, here’s a shot of that UI, all implemented and working great within the game.
Here you can see that “Stockpile No.2″ (yes, you’ll be able to rename them), has been configured to just store wood. So our workers are carrying chopped wooden logs into that stockpile. All of the little icons have tooltips, so you’ll be able to tell what’s what.
You may also notice something else new in that screenshot, a female worker! Yes, we now have female characters. Here’s a closer shot of her.
And, of course, they’re perfectly capable of adopting all our professions, like the Carpenter!
Hi. As I said last week, Tony has been pounding away at a re-vamped construction system. A part of this is the ability to show planned-but-not-constructed buildings in a blue, wire-frame mode. Here’s a shot showing the new renderer in action. As your guys complete the wall, the brings go from wire-frame-blue to solid voxels.
This week we continue our march toward the preview release in December. As usual, our time is divided between slow but steady progress on gameplay and on the boring-but-essential features that we need to actually ship a game: clear modding APIs, installers, and performance tuning.
One such under-the-covers enhancement was to change the way we treat professions like the Worker and Carpenter. There’s a lot that goes into a character’s profession: how they appear on the screen, what kinds of things they’re allowed to do in the game, how they react to their environment, etc. A Worker or Carpenter might run from an invading orc, but a Footman or Archer would engage to defend the town.
Our original system allowed modders to manipulate all these aspects independently. It was flexible, but difficult to use. We’ve re-factored things around the notion of “equipment.” Like in RPGs, all characters have a set of equipment that they wear. In Stonehearth, you will be able to associate AI scripts with a piece of equipment. So the scripts for chopping trees, hauling, and other workman-like tasks are associated with the “Worker’s outfit” equipment piece. The AIs for crafting are associated with the “Carpenter’s outfit.” When a citizen takes off one outfit and puts on another, the AIs are swapped out as well.
Of course, that begs the question: what does a person look like with no outfit on?
Two Live streams this week!
I’ll be streaming both today and this Thursday, at 4:00 U.S. Pacific time on both days. I’ll be taking a first nibble at the eating/drinking systems in the game, mostly modelling and animating. As always, you can tune in at http://twitch.tv/radiantentertainment
Tony and I are back from vacation this week. Thanks to Stephanie for holding down the fort and updating Desktop Tuesday while I was out!
It’s been a busy and exciting week here, and of course it’s only Tuesday.
- First, we finally have the keys to our new office space in downtown Los Altos, CA! This is after months of searching and a few false starts on some other properties. We’re having internet installed now, but very soon we will all be able to move out of my living room, which is kind of important because…
- Yesterday we added the 5th member to Team Radiant, Chris! Chris is a talented and experienced programmer joining us from Google. Both Stephanie and I first worked with Chris years ago at VMware, and it’s great to be working with him again. He’s rolling up his sleeves now to whip our rendering code into shape.
Ok, on to the screens. I showed off the new wolf model in a previous live stream. I’ve reduced the number of voxels by about 75%, to give him more of that pixelated, 8-bit look.
Now this week (among other things) I’m starting to add animations. Here’s a shot of him running. It’s ok, but could use some work. The hitch in the animation is a side-effect of me not trimming the animated gif properly.
Finally, congratulations to Albert, who is getting married this weekend in beautiful Hawaii! After he gets back in a few weeks, he wants to do a blog update describing his work on terrain generation, which should be a pretty informative piece.
Hi guys. I’ve spent most of the past week coding, improving the UI by adding things like hotkeys, icons to buttons, etc. Of course, code isn’t particularly interesting to look at (unless maybe you’re a coder), but I did also have a chance to revisit some of the basic crafter models.
Here you can see some tweaks I’ve made to both the Carpenter and the Blacksmith. For both models, I’m really trying to edit. I’ve simplified the color scheme and removed detail in favor of really emphasizing one or two signature elements, like the Carpenter’s utility belt. The subtle details of the old models was getting lost, especially with the camera zoomed out.
Of course, the obvious change for the Blacksmith is to give him his own individual character instead of making him more or less a palette swap of the Carpenter.
For those of you who missed the live streams last week, here’s what we did. This shot is of a fully stocked Weaver workshop, complete with a spinning wheel, loom, and dye rack!
Lots to talk about this week. Most importantly, were are very happy to welcome Albert to Team Radiant! Albert is Tony’s old college roommate. We’ve been bugging him to come help us with Stonehearth for a while, and our persistence finally paid off. Albert has a lifelong passion for simulation and strategy games, so needless to say he fits in perfectly here. He also brings some amazing math and programming skills to the team. We have immediately set him upon the beast of world generation.
So a big part of my work this week has been to pump out more terrain concepts to give Albert a better feel for the kind of world your townies will live in. Just to remind you, Stonehearth will have a more stylized terrain model than your typical voxel game, with elevation tiers inspired by tile-based, 16-bit RPG. Here’s our original concept of some foothills.
And here’s one of the new WIP concepts I’m working on, at 1/16th scale. This shows a much larger area at a much lower level of detail. The point of this concept is to show the different shapes and colors of the different terrain types, and also show how the land will transition from plains to mountains.
To give you some idea of scale, imagine a whole city nestled in the plains and foothills between the mountain and river.
I’ll be doing another development stream this Thursday at 4:00 P.M. Pacific time in the U.S. You can follow along at http://twitch.tv/radiantentertainment. A few of you guys have asked for more development streams, even if they don’t come with the usual Q & A. Apparently you guys just like watching work, to which I say….why not? So a few minutes after I post this, I’ll go ahead and fire up a stream just of me working. We’ll see how this goes.