Almost one year ago, I lay down a general plan for the development of the engine, lots of things happened since the campaign was funded, and there has been progress, but not at the pace I expected.
But now, I have much greater control of my work schedule, and it’s time to get serious. I also spoke with my friend Exodus Destiny Dragon, and he’s up to continue pushing the development
I still believe the original model, based on “capabilities” and “engine aspects”, is the way to go to get to the first release. I will include an additional facet: a plotline, for a game using the engine.
You may wonder, why is this important? and I believe it comes down to… motivation. It is hard to keep a constant influx of motivation when working on an engine, it’s cool to see things come together, but it’s too easy to lose direction if there isn’t something tying everything together.
From that initial plan, we have covered the following:
- Move around the map
- Pick up an item from the map
- Talk with a NPC
- Check the inventory of a party member (Some progress)
- Drop an item on the map
- Enter and leave combat mode
- Attack an enemy within melee distance
- Attack a far away enemy
- Day and Night Cycle: Some progress
- Follow player
How does the plotline affect this plan? all the items will be steered towards the construction of the scenario supporting it.
When the game starts the intro is displayed as follows:
- The Avatar has been summoned back into Britannia, arriving during the night in a forest near Yew.
- He finds Shamino and talks with him, learning about what has happened on Britannia.
- They decide to head back into a safe place but are suddenly attacked by a group of soldiers led by Lord Asteroth of Empath Abbey.
The game starts in a forest clearing at night in combat mode (Similar to Ultima VI)
- The Day/Night skyline indicator is visible, showing night.
- The party is the Avatar and Shamino, they take turns to attack the enemy.
- While in combat, the party members can move around
- The Avatar is armed with a sword so he can do melee attacks
- Shamino is armed with a bow so he can do ranged attacks
- The enemy soldiers attack the party members using melee and ranged attacks
After 2 turns, Shamino is shot by a magic bolt by Lord Asteroth and is taken out of combat. Cutscene unfolds:
- Out of nowhere, Iolo appears along with a band of resistance members
- He shots Lord Asteroth with his crossbow and forces the soldiers to flee.
- Then they disband leaving the party alone.
- Iolo says they must seek refuge on his hut to the west.
- Party is transported to Iolo’s hut.
Inside Iolo’s hut, the Avatar can:
- Save the Game, Exit and Restore
- Examine Iolo
- Talk to Iolo using keywords
- Ask Iolo to join the party
- Open and close its main door
- Read a book containing Iolo’s notes during the Quest of the Avatar
- Get a key and use it to open an inside door going into his workshop
- Go to the second floor
- Examine a wall finding a secret lever (Revealed by Iolo in conversation)
- Use the lever to open a hidden door into a room with a mystic sword.
- Switch main character to Iolo
- Get Mystic Sword
- Examine Mystic Sword (in Inventory)
- Get Magic Axe
- Get a bag
- Switch main character to Avatar
- Check Avatar’s inventory
- Check Iolo’s inventory
- Put Mystic Sword into bag
- Put Magic Axe into bag
- Take Mystic Sword out of bag
- Give Mystic Sword to Avatar
- Make Avatar Use Mystic Sword (Wear)
- Get yellow and blue potion
- Drink Yellow potion, recover 5 HP
- Drink Blue potion, recover 5 MP
- Get lute
- Use lute (go into instrument mode, can play using numbers)
- Exit instrument mode
- Use torch in the wall (put it off)
- Use torch again (light it)
- Get torch
In the area surrounding the hut, the Avatar can
- Move around, having the party members follow him.
- Examine the trees around
- Examine a rock laying around
- Get the rock
- Drop the rock
- Examine crate (Has some corn inside)
- Move rock into crate
- Examine crate, pick corn from crate
- Use corn, be less hungry
- Read a gravestone
- Check the status of Shamino
- Talk with Shamino, ask him to leave the party.
- Talk with Shamino, ask him to join the party.
- Get bucket, drop next to cow.
- Use Cow (bucket gets filled with milk)
- Attack Cow (Switch to combat mode)
- Cow flees (peaceful animal AI)
- Switch off combat mode
- There are two friendly NPCs around (resistance members). They are hiding at Iolo’s
- The friendly NPCs sleep at night in the barn, go to the fields during the morning, and have lunch at home at noon.
The party travels south
- Smooth transition into another map segment (forest)
- Time goes on into dawn and morning.
- Party attacked by headlesses group. (Switch into combat mode)
- Cannot switch out of combat mode.
- When a headless is killed, he drops a corpse
- After killing all headless, combat mode is automatically turned off
- Corpses of headless can be examined as containers, they can have a club or not.
Or the party can be defeated…
- If the headlesses or the soldiers kill the party, it’s game over
While implementing this flow doesn’t ensure the engine is completed, I believe iterating over it making it progressively better and more flexible every time will push forward the development of the engine.
Now comes the question about the dates. The idea is to produce biweekly builds and the plan is to have a working version of this flow within 20 work weeks, as detailed here.