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Exit: Sword of Moonlight Archive

I'm trying for escape velocity

Sunday, September 11th, 2016 by Holy at

Exit: Time to Go

This site/I have been very quiet. I think — or want to predict — that this is a calm before a storm. I am in the process of redirecting my energies in order to pursue a higher profile status for myself and Sword of Moonlight. It doesn’t mean I’ll necessarily succeed; but I don’t know why not. It’s always difficult to say, because my life experience has been one that: if you attempt to do anything worthwhile where software is concerned, you basically must be prepared to go it completely alone, and to greet a completely unsympathetic wall, every day, as if it’s an outpouring of supportive, eternally grateful, fellow people, that are totally there — not a figment of your psyche willed to be so to spur your work at all; just like everything else you must will into being, tirelessly, day in, day out, for an imagined audience, that apparently could care less if you exist or not! but will paradoxically manifest one day, as if you’d always done so. It’s frankly mad, but it gives me a purpose, where otherwise my life would — I believe — be dull and unmeaningful.

And not for want of alternatives. My life is actually charmed. Which just makes it all the more difficult to willfully break its mold. Anyway, I feel like the time is right to go for broke. I don’t know how, but I will exhaust my options. The most difficult part is considering changing my lifestyle, or traveling again, or even moving if it comes to that. I am very isolated. It’s ideal for software development, and there’s no change I could make that would be more ideal for software development, but like I hope I communicated, raising the profile of this project I think must entail more than mere software work. I’ve done plenty of that for years. And it’s definitely reached a head. But I think to go on like this risks never parting the curtain on the world-stage.

Continued: I'm trying for escape velocity

Forum Discussion

Before heading back to work

Sunday, February 14th, 2016 by Holy at

Exit: A brief respite

2016 is all about getting 3D artwork in-and-out-of Sword of Moonlight. In fact this work began at least two months prior to the new year. And so by February a malaise had set in. I needed a vacation from this work. Just for two or three weeks. Not recreation-no of course not. Just a new kind of work.

So after two weeks, we have a new micro-release that adds footstep sound effects to the player-protagonists among other things. Footsteps have been curiously absent for a while. A long time frankly. I endeavored to figure it out a while back. It would be my next odd job and the next step in the process of making the PCs seem analogous to NPCs — Non-Player Characters.

There is a single, simple footstep sound, which most of the people-like NPCs already use; although it turned out that From Software fumbled, and assigned different sound effects to either foot, left-or-right, the other sound evocative of a peg-leg. A possibility is the non-peg sound, deemed superior, was added by an employee who neglected-or-did-not-realize that each foot had its own point-of-attachment. As a result the NPCs walk with an aural limp, or an asymmetric sound. It’s unsurprising it went unnoticed, as From Software published Sword of Moonlight absent quality assurance authorities — for example, Sony or Sega — and so this is not-uncommon outside of the King’s Field remake-kit: wherein NPCs do not walk.

These NPCs’ artwork is not part of this release, although it is part of this year’s initiative to ease development and management of 3D art regarding Sword of Moonlight. Their footsteps are not the only concern.

Continued: Before heading back to work

Forum Discussion

Not a bad year at all...

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015 by Holy at

Exit: Not a bad year,

I’ve written a year-in-review in Sword of Moonlight’s board on GameFAQs:

In addition, there’s a new patch available for the previous release that is easy to miss. This patch addresses the reservations I had about the new high fidelity analog controls extension that snuck in at the last moment. It’s definitely worth trying. The controls have never been as refined as this. If only because before recently they never had to be!

Forum Discussion

And, pours and pours and pours.

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 by Holy at

Exit: The Saga Continues

It’s half urgent micro-release, half follow-up to the previous release. Oh, did I mention? there’s a new release! Yes, already. I know; it’s been like two weeks. I also want to write about some of the activity that will be underway before work begins on the next release, if only to pad out this blog post.

First/foremost there’s a stupendous virtual memory leak that this release takes care of. It isn’t a legacy bug, and I don’t know how far back it goes. Likely either a long way back, or just a release or two back, since I’ve recently been wreaking havoc around the places where the bug lived.

It would not have been apparent until now anyway, because I had not until recently worked with a project ambitious enough to really take a toll on the system’s memory. Still I want to stress that it’s very important to update to this release immediately.

There are various extensions that I will touch on in the Forum Discussion, however the other main bit I want to write about is to do with the “pinning” system introduced in Windows 7. I’ve worked on this a few times in the past, and still it wasn’t until I recently began using Windows 10 with a new computer that I noticed problems; perhaps problems that are not apparent in 7.

Regardless I’m now confident that this release does pinning correctly. It doesn’t include the very limited task list of recent releases because Microsoft seems to have changed how it works. I have ambitious plans to return to the task list later, but beside being final, and correctly pinning standalone games, the pinned program now acts as a host for all open Sword of Moonlight programs, meaning that if everything is working correctly there will only ever be one copy of it on the task bar and system tray, paving the way for the “always on experience” I’ve long longed for.

Continued: And, pours and pours and pours.

Forum Discussion

When it rains, it pours, and pours and pours

Saturday, September 19th, 2015 by Holy at

Exit: Computer Graphics

Every time I have to pen this blog post I wish I could think of another new way to announce that there’s a new SomEx release, hot off the presses. It’s a kind of hell in miniature. Nevertheless I guess, without further ado, there is — once again — a new release. This round there’s a lot to cover, and it’s all about graphics. So get comfortable, but be sure that you keep one eye on the graphics at all times!!

So kidding aside, it all started out innocently enough. I’d wanted to at last do something for the little-halos-underfoot shadows the non-player characters ride around on. Visibly they are fine, just the way they are, only I need Sword of Moonlight to be a rugged implement, and these spot shadows that stick out into thin air and slice into uneven terrain just aren’t cutting it. Of course if there were always ample, level, standing room, then this wouldn’t be a problem. That is, as long as you don’t look closely, you won’t notice them hovering a millimeter off the ground in the same airspace as the soles of their characters’ feet!

So, I thought I was owed a break and these spotty, little shadows look like as good a distraction as any. That was more than a month-and-a-litany-of-graphics-extensions ago. Not the least among them is the freak accident of history that you can read about in last month’s blog post. For reasons I decided it would be a good idea and side project to first reform Sword of Moonlight’s relationship with the “z-buffer” with a mind to make it act like a regular computer game, or at least make it more maintainable and more predictable — frame rate wise. It was an open-and-shut-case except for little niggling details that kept coming up all throughout this release.

Continued: When it rains, it pours, and pours and pours

Forum Discussion

I hadn't eaten all day.

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 by Holy at

Exit: I have chills,

Today I invented a perfect anti-aliasing technique that I hadn’t envisioned. I don’t know that it’s ever been used or independently invented before. Often times I feel like my life is movie.

The technique, like the others I’ve pioneered for Sword of Moonlight during the recent months is unorthodox. It was born out of getting just right up to the finish line and wanting like mad to make it across. It’s completely “free”. Both in the sense that it doesn’t impact performance at all, literally, and is ready for all GPU based integrated graphics or whatever. And in the sense that I am certainly not interested in holding it to my chest. To the contrary I wonder how to get it out to the masses?

I’m shifting my focus with Sword of Moonlight to being all about this technique. The Moratheia project looks like a movie. Maybe I’m lovesick, but it looks like Pasolini’s Canterbury Tales. I’m not sure why, something about the author’s artwork to be certain, but it’s never looked fully real before like it does now. I caught that film recently on Netflix so it’s fresh in my mind.

There is really very little to this. Except it imposes some restrictions, and the map editor tool chain may require special attention. For the map geometry cracks are everywhere, it feels like a PlayStation game, like classic King’s Field, but that’s no excuse. To use this technique the vertices must be manipulated in “homogeneous space” so there has to be common vertices everywhere; I haven’t seen any non-map tile elements that don’t adhere to this.

There are also some trouble with decal like polygons. I will probably see about making everything that isn’t map geometry decal like, but I don’t know if that is universally supported by hardware, and I don’t know how to implement it in a shader. This has to do with manipulating the vertices again. It doesn’t change the depth at the vertex, but it does inside the polygon.

There is a lot to attend to. This movie like quality is so impressive, it feels like it could be a clean break from the history of video games into something fresh and exciting (sometimes my life doesn’t feel like a movie. Sometimes it feels like one of those games, where you are all alone, the center of the universe, but no one else your equal nor peer. That much is a damn shame.)

Forum Discussion

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