Milestone 16 is possibly our most exciting milestone build yet. Not least because it means that we’re rapidly approaching Early Access!
Let’s talk about some of the exciting new things which have happened between Milestone 15 and 16!
100% GPU-based terrain editing
Can I make that title bigger and bolder? I want to make it bigger and bolder, because yowza!
This is possibly one of the single biggest and most important tech changes that’s happened in MT2’s entire development history.
Back in Milestone 15 and earlier, we built the game’s map entirely on the CPU. I had done a lot of work to make that process as fast as possible, and it would make use of every hardware thread your CPU would provide, but it still took a couple seconds to build the map even on my extremely fast development machine. Which meant that we couldn’t do it interactively while the game was running; it had to happen behind a loading screen.
I mean, it was kind of understandable because it was building a map the size of World of Warcraft, but it sucked that there were frame rate stutters every time we had to do even a small modification during gameplay, say, to level the ground under a newly-placed building.
Now that the whole map-building process has been ported to run entirely on the GPU, it happens almost instantaneously. It means that we can rebuild the terrain whenever we want while the game is running, at virtually no frame rate penalty. It means that when you edit the terrain, I can now smoothly animate the terrain into the new position!
We now have the ability to place World of Warcraft-style flight paths; transport points which let players rapidly (though generally for a fee) travel from one place to another.
Characters can now have their model colors changed! Want pink crocodiles? It’s now possible!
The new character customisation tool still lets you mix and match costume parts, and also now allows you to customise hats and tails as well!
I AM ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL
You can now take over control of any entity in the game! Take control of a monster and go out hunting players, or take control of an NPC in order to punish a cheater, or even take direct control of a human player’s character, and move them where you want, or just them killed for a laugh.
(caveat: they might not thank you for doing it)
One of the big problems in MMORPG Tycoon 1 (in my own opinion) was that there was never enough information about where your game’s problems were. You’d know that players felt there weren’t enough monsters, but you wouldn’t know where people were when they thought there weren’t enough monsters.
As part of Milestone 16, we’ve added a display which shows exactly where particular thoughts are occurring in the world!
Multiple loans are now available. As before, you start with a small loan, but you can now actually pay it back, and (if desired) take out larger loans on fixed durations.
Warn and Ban Players
Players have been cheating for ages (most commonly with speedhacks and item dupe bugs), but there wasn’t much you could do about it until now! Now if you detect a player cheating, you can now issue them with a warning, which will stop them.
At least for a while.
Or alternately, you can just ban them! Warns and bans also work for players who are throwing tantrums. At least for a while.
Or you can just issue warnings for the fun of it. You do you!
Harassing Other Players
My favourite new player behaviour: when throwing a tantrum, a player may choose to grief other players by finding powerful monsters and luring them into town, to kill players who weren’t expecting to be monstered while shopping.
PVP duels have been added to the game! You need to develop it in the tech tree, but once you have it you can enable it and let your players challenge each other to fights.
(Support for full-world PVP is planned for the future, but isn’t in MS16)
Every marketing expert I’ve asked told me that I shouldn’t mention this. “Nobody will care”, they all said.
But I’m the one writing this blog post, and I get to talk about the stuff I want to talk about, and so I’m totally going to tell all you fine people that we’ve switched from a crusty old xorshift PRNG to the shiny new xoshiro PRNG for generating our random numbers!
It’s faster and better and produces results which are subtly more random! And everybody loves random numbers being more random, right? Right?
All of that is just a small selection of the new stuff that’s been added since the previous milestone build. (Although obviously the random numbers are the most exciting part, which is why I saved them for last)
Milestone 17 is going to be all about content, and doing the last little wrap-ups to prepare for possibly releasing into Early Access.
Big-ticket features which have me excited about looking ahead to MS17:
- Players teaming up into parties.
- Boss monsters.
- More new scenarios to play through!
See you all back here soon, when we reach Milestone 17 and start making plans for Early Access!