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Exit: Frames per second

Speed of life

August 2nd, 2020 by Holy at www.swordofmoonlight.net

Today I published a body of work that’s been underway for some weeks. I’m doing a write up since things have been quiet around here in the meantime. I’ve been doing three projects with some overlap, 1 has been my ongoing work on the Sword of Moonlight animation file format, and 2 at some point I realized a simple way to have the animations playback at full speed at 60 frames per second, as opposed to playing out at 30 frames per second, and 3 because of this change numerous other parts of the player software had to be upgraded to double speed at the same time. At the same time I’ve been looking at the model of a human arm that appears when you use your weapon in the games, and how it is positioned on screen, since Sword of Moonlight does it differently from King’s Field. I don’t know if it’s based on Shadow Tower of if it just does it its own way.

All of these things have come to a head keeping me from publishing anything until now. By working on the animation front I’ve been able to refurbish the arm model in order to support changes to how it’s displayed. It’s long been at odds with some extensions. It’s been possible to make an all new arm model, but in this case I’ve been able to take the original and work on it further without disturbing its information content. That’s a milestone in its own right, since it shows it’s now possible to improve on the original animations that are included with Sword of Moonlight’s sample art work and retelling of King’s Field. I wanted to bring the arm up higher and make it larger on screen. I couldn’t do that without editing it to look nice up close.

The arm effect is also upgraded to look nice at 60 frames per second in what was one of the greater challenges I faced. It now has four times as many animation frames. It turns out showing something commonplace moving fast in your face in first-person is hard to do with great efficiency. I’m releasing this work as a patch to the current release this time around. It coincides with a crash fix and I’ve just been dumping patches into this release right now while I work on King’s Field II. I worry about getting swept up in a side project as its deadline draws near.

Forum Discussion

Intruder alert!

July 5th, 2020 by Holy at www.swordofmoonlight.net

So, it turns out when I migrated the site to a new host a while ago I didn’t know that the authz_svn_module module had to be configured to get vanilla protection of the Subversion files containing the Sword of Moonlight downloads, so it turns out somebody or something was making revisions to the files, so I’m scrambling to try to restore it.

If you had the misfortune of downloading these files, the first ones are listed on the full page of this post (go through the “Continued” link) so you can see if you have these among your personal files. If you do I recommend deleting your installation and go back through the download and install process.

Continued: Intruder alert!

Forum Discussion

Unleashing monsters

May 16th, 2020 by Holy at www.swordofmoonlight.net

It turns out King’s Field II monsters exceed the limit Sword of Moonlight imposes. I feel like the limit doesn’t make much sense, but From Software saw fit to limit it to 128 so-called enemies for a given level in your project’s video game. KFII treats its characters and monsters identically, and caps them at 200 on each of its two-story zones. SOM had a layer system that was disabled before it was published. I’ve since restored it, some time last year I think. It would have allowed each layer to have 128 more monsters, in which case its limit may have been 256 for a two-story level, which would have exceeded KFII’s limit.

When I restored the new layer system I decided to limit it to level geometry, so that layers don’t bring in new elements like monsters. That’s a better system because I imagined layers can be used to tackle the artistic limits of SOM’s grid based level design. I suspect not many game systems use grids any longer, but it’s something I feel is a great strength for SOM. I think there is lost wisdom in many of its anachronisms. By putting monsters on layers it isn’t clear what happens when they cross between layers or if that would even have been possible in the original system that got disabled. By artistic limits, I mean things like, you might want a layer to just be a ceiling for example, so you can have a lower ceiling on some section, or just have the elevation of the ceiling be independent of the floor. If you can’t do that you have great limits in design possibilities since the only other way to do this is to make new tile models for every combination of floor and ceiling. The new layer system can represent many things like a plane of water or mist or fog or just plug holes in the existing tile configuration. Anybody who’s ever worked with SOM runs into these limits.

Continued: Unleashing monsters

Forum Discussion

Making "modeling" software

March 29th, 2020 by Holy at www.swordofmoonlight.net

For a very long time I’ve pursued a side project of developing art productivity software to support Sword of Moonlight. For many years I’ve worked on developing COLLADA as a format for storing “3D” art for use by game projects.

Since mid-to-early last year I’ve been busy developing an actual application for artists to use in place of popular 3D modeling packages like Blender. That’s taken up most of my time, and I was doing it in preparation to work on my personal game project to port King’s Field II to Sword of Moonlight.

Continued: Making "modeling" software

Forum Discussion

Every part of the controller

February 22nd, 2020 by Holy at www.swordofmoonlight.net

I’ve been itching to write a post for this blog ever since my last, if not for a subject. If I had staid course I think by now I’d have a release of the 3D modeling software I’ve been developing ever since earlier last year. But I have something better since not long ago I heard from the Moratheia project it’s back on (this was posted sometime earlier, complete with a new image) which shortly put me to work on Sword of Moonlight!

I’ve not put out a new release since mid last year, and hadn’t intended to release this one now after just 2 or 3 weeks except I want to write a blog and publish an unplanned fix for the PlayStation and Xbox trigger buttons I’d rather not sit on.

Continued: Every part of the controller

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There's no place like home

November 30th, 2019 by Holy at www.swordofmoonlight.net

For a while (several months) it’s been unclear what was going to happen to this site since I had to move it to a new hosting company and it wasn’t clear if I would be able to find one. Because I didn’t know what would happen and wanted to keep a banner up to communicate the situation I’ve abstained from blogging until the situation had been resolved.

That banner is still available as the previous blog post (to this one) dating back to March. I refer you to it for details. First the old company decided to wait on its deadline to move, so I had more time to work with, but my account ran out of funds, and under the circumstances it didn’t make sense to buy a new long term plan. But lucky for us, by this time I finally found news that the staff of the old company (and maybe some clients too) endeavored to make a new company out of its ashes, and so my decision about where to go next was made crystal clear. That’s the greatest relief and the best possible happy ending I could have dreamed of. The new host is called Opalstack, and there’s a link at the bottom of the page layout here.

I hope to make up for the absence of blog posts in the coming months. Below pictured are two blog subjects that might have been, that received only update lines in the aforementioned banner posting. The first image is of a new effect that blends the seams in map geometry together. This is something that I suppose Sword of Moonlight should have had all along. It was omitted like many things because the software’s tendency to neglect anything not required by the pack-in remake of King’s Field. The second image is a new extension that makes it possible to have transparent elements to base their opacity on their volume along an imaginary line between the viewer and pixels. It’s per-pixel in other words. Combined with the new layers feature it enables many special effects.

Lately I’ve been working on a precursor to the Daedalus 3-D project so that I can make progress transferring King’s Field II’s animations over to Sword of Moonlight. And most lately I’ve been dividing my time trying to transfer this website over to this new host, that has not been a simple job, owing to some technical challenges that I may go into in the forum-discussion accompanying this blog post. It’s possible not everything works.

Forum Discussion


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