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Exit: 2015 Archive

I hadn't eaten all day.

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 by Holy at www.swordofmoonlight.net

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.)

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A light at the end of the tunnel...

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 by Holy at www.swordofmoonlight.net

Exit: Behold!

I’m not sure where to begin. There’s a new mega-release up. With lots of surprises in store! It finalizes the jumping model, and adds a way to lower the point-of-view 1/3rd, letting you pass beneath things at about 22% below head level. It might not sound like much (these figures are adjustable) but even for the default height — that’s a bit on the short side — this comes out to about a full screen at nose length; which will seem like a lot.

The new feature complements jumping, since jumping now requires the release of the ground-based movement inputs. If you do not jump but instead move away, then you are able to squat/hunker down in this way. If running this is automatically done so that you do not have to stop to do so. If pressed up against a passageway or obstruction, beginning to run will pass beneath it at walking speed, at which point you can stop running if you only wish to enter the space. (If you do not jump while running you simply return to a walking gait. This should go without saying.)

There is the beginning of a way to run at full speed. There is no penalty for doing so at this time. It is not possible to run at full speed when there is not room to stand fully erect. Doing so requires that you hold down all three buttons. This release was supposed to add the ability to look behind while running, by holding down either button, so that when they cancel each other out you run at full speed instead. Run for your life as it were. However because a bigger priority was finalizing the jumping model, all efforts got directed at its complement in order to fill the hole opened up in the control scheme…

Continued: A light at the end of the tunnel…

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I give you the future!

Friday, May 8th, 2015 by Holy at www.swordofmoonlight.net

Exit: Literary Machines

Fuh, fuh, fuh, finally, I’ve done it, after all…

Gosh, I don’t know where to begin. Unh-uh, I started last year like in October, or sometime around that time, working on what I thought then would be a two month project or so; or that’s what I was psychically prepared for anyway. What I set out to do was to make a text editor for Sword of Moonlight with the immediate objective of providing a graphical interface way to translate/customize the in-game text that is basically built into the game-player. I knew it would be more than that, and to call it a text-editor, while factual, is not exactly accurate, since those two words are more or less inextricably bound to being a compound word that doesn’t quite capture what I had in mind for Sword of Moonlight; not then nor now. The general nuts and bolts of it haven’t really changed from the offset, still it’s been six months all told, and only then to be able to release the bare minimum functionality of a complete system, and only so that I can give it a rest, before I’ve had more of one thing than I can physically bear.

The “text-editor” itself it turns out IS none other than SOM_MAIN in the flesh. As the title suggests, this is the first tool you encounter when taking Sword of Moonlight out for a spin. Until now it hadn’t actually been a tool, but instead three buttons, with three simple functions, and a fourth for quitting Sword of Moonlight; or the Exit, which is where the name of this blog is taken from in fact. MAIN is actually short for Main Menu, which is a little bit of a play on King’s Field, because that’s what its in-game menu is called. But this new editor side of SOM_MAIN completely changes the meaning. The new SOM_MAIN is a labyrinthine tool rivaled only by SOM_MAP in its outgrowth of screens. It is completely independent of the other tools, it represents the text of the game and that is all, unencumbered by the game project files. This way the projects themselves are able to be language-neutral, and the text removed from the projects can be freely edited, translated, annotated, and organized independently of the projects’ structure.

Continued: I give you the future!

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Say goodbye to dirty windows forever!

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 by Holy at www.swordofmoonlight.net

Exit: After all this time

It’s been quiet, too quiet. I’ve been at work on a new release for five months now. I wanted this post to be about a release including a halfway usable version of the new tool I’ve been working on all of that time; or actually, the truth is I wanted that a month or two ago.

But instead what I do have is technically a kind of a milestone. To begin with, here I am announcing a new release, one that even warranted changing the minor version number. The “technical” milestone is this release puts a stop to a longstanding problem of debris collecting on Sword of Moonlight’s tool suite’s “windows”; for example when another window is moved in front of one of Sword of Moonlight’s. Luckily it hadn’t been a bigger deal since Windows Vista because it works differently.

However if for any reason you need to use the Basic or Classic modes, or Windows XP (I have a nettop with XP installed myself) then until now there wasn’t much you could do beyond occasionally grabbing your window and taking it to the bottom of the screen and back to force it to clean up its act. Ha! Yeah, not cool. And while it may not seem like a whole lot, especially if you’ve moved on to newer Windows, nevertheless working correctly across the various supported versions of Windows and their various modes as well is at the very least a necessary step on the road to a Sword of Moonlight “beta”.

Continued: Say goodbye to dirty windows forever!

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