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Exit: PlayStation VR

Let there be light

May 19th, 2018 by Holy at

Here’s an interesting stopgap release — it’s not what I’d planned, and it’s a demonstration first-and-foremost — but it’s also an official release, because it includes some of the best performance enhancements for Windows 7 and later Windows, and fixes some bugs that had arrived too late to be patched. I’ve been hard at work ever since I acquired a PlayStation VR in order to apply it to Sword Of Moonlight, but got taken off guard by the headset’s enchanting home-theater mode. (More on it later.)

There are so many possible releases, all up in the air, right now, never mind VR; Nevertheless, in the last several days it’s been the only thing I can think about. I expected to release a full PlayStation VR demonstration, except for the headset that I received seemed to have apparent display anomalies that forced me to send it back for a replacement, and so in the meantime I could only finish the demonstration’s visual component:

[text in center was undoubled at the time this picture was taken]

I felt desperate to achieve a visual. I went to lengths I wouldn’t normally to make it work on my (puny) workstation. And now that it works (including double-vision and nontrivial lens distortion effects) and does so on an inexpensive, integrated chip in a box that will fit in the palm of your hand, no less, it’s still only half as exhilarating as the ability for Sword Of Moonlight to do this at all, without changing how it works in some more fundamental way. It is doing so now not by summoning raw horsepower but by achieving a clean, steady frame-rate, for the first time in its so far brief history.

Needless to say this has profound implications for games, even if surely, these problems would be solved some day, what’s important is now is that day, and the problems are no longer, or at least, have been not insufficiently mitigated for the time being.

Forum Discussion

Things to come

April 30th, 2018 by Holy at

This is going to be a short post: I’ve been working hard (and often) on a major release that expands upon the profile editing tools and integrates them into the main experience; The crude “DLC” tools for making all new building-blocks for custom projects or to share. It’s taking a long time. There are five tools, and a sixth is needed. Though small, they’re very dense, each of them. They are to be seamlessly integrated by replacing the 3D model viewing elements with the new tools, since they include views of the 3D models. They have a lot more personality, and they are able to use the same extensions as the player, and so appear identical to the games. Upon completion, only the level designer will remain to be similarly upgraded. I feel that I will want to embark on that project, since it will otherwise appear not up-to-code until I do so.

In other news: In days I will have a PlayStation VR at my side, that I’ve ordered exclusively to add a stereo display feature to Sword of Moonlight. Since I learned that the headset would be perfect, I’ve thought about it somewhat, for at least a couple of weeks, off an on. I think it’s going to be a quick and painless operation, one that is likely to be more-or-less completed within this month; In which case a VR release may happen before these tools are released.

Forum Discussion

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.

Continued: Spinning plates!

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

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