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Spinning plates!

March 18th, 2018 by Holy at

So, I realized recently a bug was introduced into the level design tool — not long ago, but not so recently either — that is so sinister that I stopped everything to prepare a new release in order to minimize the possibility of spoiling anyone’s fun.

Truth is, I was looking for an out anyway, since the latest work has spun off into multiple different directions, some completely unpredictable. The genesis of this release sprung from an inspired moment, that I couldn’t have predicted at all, at the time. And ended with only the basics of that idea realized. Instead, the focus of this release became a small side project to find a way for the tool’s two number tables to be able to set a column to the same value for more than one row at a time — in any combination. I wanted to do this since two or three releases ago, because this will be important in the future, in order to fully take advantage of a new way to adjust the order items are displayed in game menus. The basic problem being that the items need to be in the game before they can be so adjusted, and until now there was no easy way to do that than to manually select every one individually and input a quantity figure into these tables.

The reason this mushroomed, is the tables themselves are unique among the element’s of Sword of Moonlight’s tools. And since they are only in two relatively insignificant places, I had not personally spent a lot of time with them, and now that I was doing so, I saw their evidently substandard state, and felt it was high time to bring them up to code, whatever it took.

The other standout highlight of this milestone release (1.2.2) is I was finally able to get to the bottom of why Sword of Moonlight’s button elements appeared different from the bitmaps embedded in the program data, and so all of the button bitmaps have been replaced with composites of the originals and their degraded versions — or how they’ve actually appeared to the end-user up until now. For the gray buttons, it wasn’t simply possible to use the actual image, because its hue is much more red, and so does not appear designed to blend naturally into the background images that the buttons are displayed over.

Up to now, new buttons appeared with this red coloring, and so could be distinguished from old buttons. Now everything is even.

Other highlights to look out for tie back into the most recent few releases: For one, the level design tool can now generate all-or-any-combination-of 3D “maps” at the same time, and can test any one without opening it up into the tool. The idea to do this did not occur to me at the time, but it is a very natural outgrowth of the next-to-last release. The tables work builds on three releases ago. And what I’d originally endeavored to work on builds onto the previous release. I did as much work as necessary in the last day so to not leave anything unfinished to do with it. But it is still not practical, and is only available with the English language package in this release. It is only the beginning of a richer feature set for “items” in games; most address swordplay.

This final item is an ongoing effort, since it touches on many aspects, of which only the first is enabled by this release.

– - – - –

Unrelated, in the interim, I also seem to have done a job restoring the WebGL and SOM database features inside this website, including some enhancements. The work was spurred by the server here having been migrated to a new operating system, which broke some programs at the binary level. I’ve also taken down numerous blog postings from the past, which I would categorize as being of low or dubious information, primarily having existed to signal the “lights are on” on a month-to-month basis.

One last piece of news, which I’d considered making the focus of this month’s blogging, is that a new Sword of Moonlight forum has been created at in the hopes of A.) attracting outsider participation with a low barrier to entry and casual atmosphere, and B.) establishing a neutral ground zero that can receive a sudden blast of interest in Sword of Moonlight without going down, especially because I have to keep the spam countermeasures here as locked down as can be to not manually deal with the stuff on a regular basis. The forum is not active right now, and will probably remain so, but I intend to add links to it around here before long.

Forum Discussion


February 16th, 2018 by Holy at

Here is the latest release: the first in a three part series; parts 2 & 3 to come later, but not next. Two weeks in the making … it extends two quantities peculiar to audience point-of-view characters to both supporting characters and historically non-character participants (i.e. traps, etc.)

Briefly, part 2 will introduce a newly modular particle effects framework. It will utilize these new quantities to lessen and intensify its effects. Even still, they are welcome and timely additions. And part 3 will extend its adverse side-effects to supporting characters.

The math differs ever so slightly. In course, the mathematics extension set has been amended to encourage customization and products future-proofing. Per always, details are provided inside the Forum Discussion, along with unplanned enhancements and corrections notes.

Forum Discussion


January 31st, 2018 by Holy at

I’ve prepared a new release in 3 days flat, and am rushing it out to make this January 31 blog post.

I am very eager to work on Sword of Moonlight again. I’ve been absent since mid December, working on various things, some tangential to Sword of Moonlight, but mostly I’ve been very frustrated, feeling as if I was not being productive, whether or not I have been, the feeling persisted. Ostensibly I was working on a difficult problem to do with writing XML like documents and accoutrements to ZIP archives, within a framework of my own devising that is — as it turns out — perhaps too transparent for its own good. I cannot say why that work drug itself out for so long, other than it’s highly conceptual and because it was in service of a “software library” its bar is much higher than Sword of Moonlight’s. Adding insult to injury is the feature itself is more a logical gap than a pressing matter — no one really needs it, but logically it should be part of the feature set. It’s refreshing to be able to turn out a new and important feature in 3 days in comparison.

This release adds to Sword of Moonlight new modes for for the first time to be able to see the world model’s boundary geometry. Sword of Moonlight could get away with this as long as developers weren’t in the business of working with boundary geometry. If you found yourself in that boat, you could only play-test the product and inside it virtually rub yourself up against every surface to determine if they are satisfactorily impermeable or not! While this may sound like just good wholesome fun, it isn’t exactly a good use of developers’ time. I myself was doing boundary geometry modeling work toward the end of 2017 and I stopped doing it, because I could see that, by working blind, my work had been prone to error and time consuming. And so I resolved to work on the absent-feature problem, before resuming my modeling effort to polish and streamline the From Software staff’s artistic contributions.

In brief, one of the main editor’s screens is expanded, and a secondary goal involved changing its workflow to make way for near-term expansions, since it will host most if not all of the new map work features in store for 2018 (all of which will serve the greater goal of bringing a complete reproduction of King’s Field II to Sword of Moonlight in 2020 in recognition of both product’s respective 25th and 20th anniversaries.)

Forum Discussion

Maps and menus and items, oh my!

December 15th, 2017 by Holy at

I’m presently dividing my time between Sword of Moonlight and finishing a rewrite of the COLLADA-DOM library that began at Sony. A month ago (30 days or so) I took a break from the other project and so — of course — returned to this one. I never got around to complementing the previous release as I’d intended to do. I usually ease back into this work by taking on smaller, more varied appetizers before I settle in for a main course. I do a few of these more substantial jobs every year.

This blog-post is about a new release; The substance of which is hard to categorize. It came about as a surprise; In short, I bit off more than I could chew.

Currently I’m postponing the major finishing touch in order to return to the other project for a time. I think this release grew from my experience having explored the Moratheia 2.1 demonstration in the months prior. I experienced some difficulties with it that I thought ought to be addressed. This release addresses two areas of concern.

Continued: Maps and menus and items, oh my!

Forum Discussion

Let there be light

October 30th, 2017 by Holy at

October was a good month for Sword of Moonlight. It started with an unscheduled release that turned into possibly the most consequential yet, and because of it I was able to really dig in to Moratheia’s 2.1 demonstration (pictured) resulting in a string of “patch” alerts on the back of the new release, the likes that can only come about from many hours of genuine, uninterrupted play.

Combined with the first surprise release from late this year, in Moratheia’s project Sword of Moonlight appears able to make a fully professional showing. The earlier release removes pixellation from detailed images that form cutout shapes that are applied to two-sided paper thin polygon shapes. It sounds like a cheap effect, but Moratheia makes use of this to great effect, as can be seen in its many fine tree limbs (pictured) and grasses. The second surprise release is more or less an omnibus that started with the simple objective of extending the kind of geometry that can be walked over without encountering glitches, but would snowball to enhance and make perfect the solidity of Sword of Moonlight’s artistic worlds.

Furthermore, in this process, insidious, showstopping bugs were isolated and eliminated from Mortheia’s demo.

I believe that very soon Sword of Moonlight will be suitable to stage a competitive commercial offering. Moratheia appears poised to be the first such offering. That said, that Moratheia exists at all is nothing to sneeze at. Sword of Moonlight is very user-friendly, but also many parts of it are strictly off limits to users, and so I cannot endorse its fitness as a complete product at this time, and do not expect to be able to do so any day soon. Nevertheless, Moratheia is living proof that with enough patience and know-how, Sword of Moonlight can deliver very impressive results.

Forum Discussion

Escape from Sword of Moonlight

September 29th, 2017 by Holy at

Seems I just can’t quit Sword of Moonlight! Earlier in September I made up my mind to work on the MHM files that are counterpart to the MSM files from last month. No one really knows what these acronyms mean. I hazard to guess Map Hull Model, and who knows for the S in MSM. Sculpture? Possibly its Japanese.

I thought it’d be a small project, because there is — or ought to be — far fewer MHM to MSM files. I added value to the exteriors set by fitting it together vertically, forming terraces, that look like a strip mine. This is something users like to do with the odd set that is experimental compared to the interiors. It’s the only one that isn’t a level of From Software’s remake of King’s Field included with SOM, an enticement doubling as a demonstration.

Continued: Escape from Sword of Moonlight

Forum Discussion

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