Author Topic: Ultima Ratio Regum (0.8 released after five years!)  (Read 159119 times)

Tzan

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 193
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (v 0.7 released, 18th April!)
« Reply #165 on: February 08, 2016, 05:52:20 PM »
Quote
To further illustrate this point, here are some examples of the scenarios that can arise:

In an MMO all these issues are solved by spawning a 3x3 grid of zones.
I worked at Turbine for a while, they call them land blocks, which are 160 meters.
So if you stand at the edge you need to see creatures in the next area, so they need to be spawned.
In most MMOs NPCs never leave their land block.
Some important elite creatures in World of Warcraft seem to cross over but I dont know how they parse their maps. But its just one guy per big area.



jim

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 380
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (v 0.7 released, 18th April!)
« Reply #166 on: February 09, 2016, 04:30:05 PM »
It would be awesome to be a spice merchant. Just wandering the roads with mule in tow.

UltimaRatioRegum

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Username says it all, really.
    • View Profile
    • Ultima Ratio Regum
    • Email
Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (v 0.7 released, 18th April!)
« Reply #167 on: February 09, 2016, 10:47:42 PM »
Combat will appear, but as an advanced option for advanced players rather than the norm.
Well, we'll see if this won't be a norm.  ;D

EDIT: But how the character will gain money then, by work and theft? I don't want to make my character a thief. And also I think this will be more like simulation than a boring puzzle game.

Haha, challenge accepted! But I'm confident. As for gaining money, see my reply below, but basically I see trade, haggling and conversation as being the major methods for money acquisition.

Quote
To further illustrate this point, here are some examples of the scenarios that can arise:

In an MMO all these issues are solved by spawning a 3x3 grid of zones.
I worked at Turbine for a while, they call them land blocks, which are 160 meters.
So if you stand at the edge you need to see creatures in the next area, so they need to be spawned.
In most MMOs NPCs never leave their land block.
Some important elite creatures in World of Warcraft seem to cross over but I dont know how they parse their maps. But its just one guy per big area.

Hmm, interesting. The never-leave-their-land-block thing is a good point to note the difference, though; URR's NPCs are much more ambulatory!

It would be awesome to be a spice merchant. Just wandering the roads with mule in tow.

This is... actually pretty close to what I have in mind. A lot of trade, a lot of haggling, a lot of talking, little fighting!

Tzan

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 193
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (v 0.7 released, 18th April!)
« Reply #168 on: February 09, 2016, 11:21:25 PM »
The player is always at the center zone.
If an NPC wanted to leave the 3x3 it would be at least 1 zone away.
When it enters an unloaded zone, just instantly assume its at its destination on time.
I would probably use 100 not 200 for unseen movement. The player will never see it.

If the player moved to follow him and even was faster, it wouldnt matter because the NPC destination zone would load as soon as the player entered the adjacent zone. He could follow like normal and even catch up if he was faster.

I wouldnt even bother resolving where in the newly loaded zone he is because the player is at least 200 spaces away.

UltimaRatioRegum

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Username says it all, really.
    • View Profile
    • Ultima Ratio Regum
    • Email
Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (v 0.7 released, 18th April!)
« Reply #169 on: February 10, 2016, 06:09:57 PM »
That may well have worked if I'd done the 3x3 loading model! At this point way too much has been committed here to make it work, but I obviously acknowledge my mad method isn't the only method :)

Tzan

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 193
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (v 0.7 released, 18th April!)
« Reply #170 on: February 10, 2016, 08:44:34 PM »
Yeah I wasn't expecting you to change anything as you had already mentioned you had fixed all the odd conditions.

UltimaRatioRegum

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Username says it all, really.
    • View Profile
    • Ultima Ratio Regum
    • Email
Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (v 0.7 released, 18th April!)
« Reply #171 on: February 15, 2016, 12:20:27 AM »
Another big one this week! Even though AI is still not finished, it feels as if things are moving quite a bit smoother now. It’s less like I’m adding in new code, and more like I’m just tweaking the code to make sure that each class of NPC in each situation (particularly more unusual ones like monasteries and castles) behave correctly. This is still going to take some time, but the major mind-numbing difficulty of the actual coding process is pretty much finished; now it’s just a mopping-up task to make sure tellers can use the code written for monks, soldiers use the code for guards, and so on and so forth, and that everything is suitably applicable to every scenario rather than the small subset of scenarios I originally used to get the system up and running (i.e. guards). As such, this week a lot of new NPCs have started working correctly in their schedules, and various amusing or peculiar bugs found along the way have been fixed. My rather bold goal last week of finishing AI entirely hasn’t been met (ha! I was so naive, and will never make such an absurd prediction again), but we’re still getting closer and closer, and it certainly emotionally feels like the home stretch… at long last. Sorry again for the late-evening update; there’s just so much to do that I find myself coding all day and then suddenly quickly typing the update post before I go to sleep…

Tellers

Tellers now go about their day correctly. The bank remains open all day for people to come in and sit down and wander around, and guards naturally keep guard all day but the teller is only there in the day time. I’ll probably change it at some point so that once the teller exits, ordinarily people won’t path into the bank, but for now that’s going to be how it works, since there are only so many tiny additions and minor things that 1/6000 players will notice, that I can implement in any given release. Here’s a teller packing up and deciding it’s time for a relaxing snooze:



And the same from outside:



And entering their home, with a rather jumpy gif due to the volume of de-bugging stuff happening in the background, but you can still see that the teller enters, realizes they need to find the stairs, finds them, goes up them, finds bed, goes to bed.



In the process of handling bank tellers I also discovered a weird bug where either priests could spawn in a middle-class map grid, or bank guards, but not both. This was a result of a silly “elif” where I should have written “if”, and this promptly got fixed!

Priests

Priests seem to be doing their thing correctly! Priests (and worshipers) doing their normal routine in the day time:



And then I left, came back at midnight, and sure enough found the priests sleeping in their cells:



And then, at the appropriate time, the priest awakes and starts doing her thing!



Merchants

Look at this merchant going into their shop first thing in the morning!



Truly magnificent.

Walking Through Walls

Found a funky glitch involving pathfinding through cities that wasn’t correctly taking account of where doors inside and outside the city actually went. Basically, in this city, an AI was trying to take this path:



Once I was in the grid below the one in the top-left, it couldn’t spawn properly since it was trying to spawn at a gate that didn’t exist. The path had been allowed because, sure enough, none of those map grids were blocked – i.e. were oceans or mountains or deserts – and a pathfinding map of the area basically looked all green, and didn’t take account of where gates are and are not! I tried to find an elegant solution to this problem, but failed, so I just changed the city pathfinding algorithm to consider any tile outside the city to be blocked (and I’ll think of a more elegant solution later, for when I want NPCs to move from city to city). So before, the pathfinding grid for these map grids looked like the one on the left, and it now looks like the one on the right, so city NPCs have to move always within a city, even if going out-and-in would be more efficient, because taking account of gates is too damned confusing.



Pleb Purge

I noticed a tiny weird bug where sometimes, upon entering a map grid in which the NPC needed to “catch up” to where they should be and would have been if the grid had previously existed, they would reach a tile away from their destination (e.g. a door to a building or gate to another district) and then just dance around the tile for a while. It took quite a while to figure out the issue, but the problem was that the game was spawning the random crowd NPCs *before* getting the important NPCs to catch up to their positions, and so there was a truly tiny chance (I probably encountered this in 2/200 game loads before I figured out the issue) that a random crowd NPC would be spawned on an important NPC’s target square, and prevent them from reaching it. Therefore, when you enter a grid, the game now ensures that a) there are no random NPCs standing in the exact tiles in front of gates to other districts, and b) that there are no random NPCs seated on the exact “endpoint” tiles of any important NPC. As such, from what I can tell, this weird little bug (which admittedly wasn’t a game-crashing bug, but still merited dealing with) has been resolved.

Other Bug

Also ffound one bug where certain important NPCs, upon leaving a building, wouldn’t change their internal x/y coordinates to an appropriate external set because they were looking for the wrong kind of door, which resulted in them leaving buildings and being magically transported on top of buildings, into lakes, into trees, etc. This no longer happens.

Next Week

Well, more AI stuff, of course. What else?!

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

Since AI stuff is proving so complex, I’ve decided not to move forward the release – I still think the conversation system is absolutely vital – but I’m going to put out a secret, intermediate release, to a small team of playtesters, to make sure that the pathfinding system all works correctly. Despite my best efforts, there’s no way I can really test every single possibility exhaustively. If you’re interested, leave me a comment! This won’t be until probably next month, and would require you to basically wander around the world, entering buildings, looking for NPCs, leaving buildings, entering other map grids, and just basically doing anything you can to upset their scheduling.

Aleksanderus

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 179
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Champion of the unknown
    • View Profile
Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (v 0.7 released, 18th April!)
« Reply #172 on: February 15, 2016, 01:35:02 PM »
I want to be a tester becouse I have got GREAT "ability" to find bugs!

UltimaRatioRegum

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Username says it all, really.
    • View Profile
    • Ultima Ratio Regum
    • Email
Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (v 0.7 released, 18th April!)
« Reply #173 on: February 16, 2016, 07:40:24 PM »
Hmm, I cannot tell... are you being sarcastic?! Why the "s?  :o

UltimaRatioRegum

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Username says it all, really.
    • View Profile
    • Ultima Ratio Regum
    • Email
Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (v 0.7 released, 18th April!)
« Reply #174 on: February 22, 2016, 12:22:50 AM »
In light of the death of one of my literary/academic heroes, an Umberto-Eco-focused blog post discussing his work and its relevance to URR. Back to AI next week!

http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2016/02/22/umberto-eco-and-urr/

Rev_Sudasana

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 175
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Armoured Commander
Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (v 0.7 released, 18th April!)
« Reply #175 on: February 22, 2016, 08:29:27 AM »
Is there going to be an in-game tribute to Eco? Something subtle that doesn't break immersion?

UltimaRatioRegum

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Username says it all, really.
    • View Profile
    • Ultima Ratio Regum
    • Email
Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (v 0.7 released, 18th April!)
« Reply #176 on: February 22, 2016, 11:49:08 PM »
Oh, yeah, though I haven't decided what yet :).

UltimaRatioRegum

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Username says it all, really.
    • View Profile
    • Ultima Ratio Regum
    • Email
Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (v 0.7 released, 18th April!)
« Reply #177 on: February 29, 2016, 10:35:52 PM »
———– Call For Playtesters ———–

Firstly this week, before anything else: I’m still looking for a small team of playtesters to test out all the AI stuff in the next URR release, probably starting some time next month. If you’re interested, please send me an email to mark at my domain name, and also link to your Twitter, or Facebook, or something that shows me a little about who you are, and just give me a line or two about why you’re interested and how much time you’d realistically be able to give it – please be honest! I want people who can really contribute to making 0.8 the best it can possibly be. I’m recruiting people to basically wander around the map, go into every building they can, check the NPCs are there and behaving sensibly, and do everything they can to mess up the schedules of the important NPCs. I’d suggest being able to commit at least 6+ hours would be a decent start, but I might ask for more if someone quickly finds a major bug, which I correct, and then upload a new playtesting version. Either way: if you’re interested, give me a shout! I should add, though, that’s it’s possible I’ll just decide to upload an explicit “beta” version with some massive warning saying THIS VERSION MAY NOT BE STABLE and let everyone test it… or I might not. So I’m not yet certain whether I’ll do a closed or open playtest for 0.8 (which I’ll probably just call 0.7.5). But to give me an elite team in case I do decide to do a “closed” test, please let me know if you’d be available by the method outlined above…

———–———–

This week we’ve been continuing to really push Roguelike Radio towards a major re-launch: our recent episode on Strategic and Tactical decision-making (http://www.roguelikeradio.com/2016/02/episode-117-strategy-and-tactics.html) is particularly excellent, I think, and I highly recommend it. Meanwhile, we have another fairly big update this week, which is pleasing, since it shows that things are progressing at a good pace (although I do have a fortnight’s work here, so naturally there’s bound to be a lot). I’ve covered a whole bunch of new NPC types in the last two weeks, and it’s proving very reassuring that the pace at which I’m moving through these things continue to accelerate. Much like I said in the entry before my Umberto Eco post, at this point the task is more “check each bit of code works for each kind of NPC” than “add major new bodies of code”. It’s slow and difficult, but it’s coming together, and it feels so reassuring and pleasing each time a particular class of NPC seems to be working correctly and I can move onto the next one. Here’s a run-down of what we’ve had added since I last URRpdated you all:

Merchants

It turned out that merchants weren’t even close to finished, due to a significant complexity in getting NPCs to spawn at the right time when they are moving between things on a single grid of the world map, i.e. in this case they both live in work in the same district. This needed a lot of new code that would note when they should be spawned in certain scenarios, even if the player hadn’t seen them acting before then, but as far as I can tell this now works perfectly. The code should also carry over into a range of other NPCs that I’m slowly working towards testing, but suffice to say, merchants now appear in their shops at the right times and don’t appear at the right times. Here’s a merchant going from their house, leaving it, wandering across the map, and going into their shop to start the day’s business.



Non-Cathedral Priests

Priests in standard religious buildings now behave appropriately, find their way up to the correct floor when they sleep, etc. Here’s a priest deciding to turn in and going to their bed – and this would happen in the abstract too, of course, if the player wasn’t nearby:

And then later on, they wake up, head downstairs (I foolishly let them get a few tiles ahead, but you can still see that we’re following them in a few glimpses on the upper floor), and start going about their way, in this case first settling down in one of the chairs in front of the altar.



And here’s a priest in another church going up to their bed late in the evening:



Archive Guards

Archives – found in crypts, below cathedrals, and only in theocratic nations – now always have their guards switch over correctly. This necessitated a little extra complexity because they aren’t on the ground floor, but I’m pretty sure this now works correctly no matter what. Here’s a changeover from the outside, into the crypt, where the guards switch…



…and then the other guard heads upstairs, and out! (From a different crypt that was generated later, hence the change in layout)



Arena Guards

Arena guards now change over correctly, which means that at this point, I *think*, all guards, whether inside or outside, all work correctly on their schedules. It’s very possible that some other weird bugs still lurk out there, given the complexity of the thing, but I’ve been going around trying everything I can think of to break the game, and thus far I haven’t been able to.



And they get home, and I immediately barge in:



Archivists

Archivists have a super-simple schedule – get up, work, go back to bed – but they now do it correctly regardless of the player’s actions. I entered crypts at various times of day at various points in their schedule, and always found them correctly sleeping or working at their desk regardless. Here’s a gif of an archivist deciding it’s time to call it a day (they do sleep in the crypt/archives beneath a cathedral, which might make them a little peculiar once the conversation system is implemented). These NPCs were also quite tricky because they have various bits of special code determining where they should be sitting most of the day, and their relationship to the guards around them, and they aren’t on the ground floor of the building which adds to code confusion, but still, here we go:



A little bit of dialect generation…

In a spare couple of hours in the evening of Friday 19th, I officially started work on dialect, and therefore speech, and therefore conversation, generation. I have almost nothing to show for it yet, and I’m not really going to dedicate much time to it until all the AI stuff is working, and I’ve distributed the special playtesting version, and I’ve taken a week or two off, but: even from the earliest things I have right now, the variety is going to be amazing. More on this in a month or something, but I just had to take a minor break from coding this never-ending AI nightmare, and I’m incredibly excited about how speech generation is going to look.

Next Week

I’ve been doing the AI for around three months now. You all know the drill. MORE AI STUFF!!! As I’ve said before, though, the amount of new stuff I’m adding is slowly decreasing as time goes, and most of the time now is testing the existing code for every variation of NPC in every scenario. There will come a time when the issues of URR’s AI are finished… but alas, it is not this day. But soon!

Aleksanderus

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 179
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Champion of the unknown
    • View Profile
Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (v 0.7 released, 18th April!)
« Reply #178 on: March 01, 2016, 07:01:04 PM »
+1 to open betatests!

UltimaRatioRegum

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Username says it all, really.
    • View Profile
    • Ultima Ratio Regum
    • Email
Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (v 0.7 released, 18th April!)
« Reply #179 on: March 04, 2016, 10:06:15 PM »
Your vote has been noted!