Now with Blog!

Woo, we now have a blog!  I’ve imported the old content from my previous posts at IndieDB so it doesn’t look so empty 😉

I’ll continue to update both locations, but IndieDB usually takes about a day until my posts are approved.  The blog will auto-import from Twitter/Facebook, so this page makes a good one-stop shop for both short and long updates.

RPG-style dialog boxes and FPS boost

Hi all!  I’ve just released Build 344, which has a couple big changes.  There’s also been a few other updates since the last post, so here’s an overall update:

The RPG-style dialog boxes I’ve been hinting at are now live.  Right now, they’re only visible when you read a sign, but in the upcoming major Quests update, they’ll play a big part in NPC dialog:

RPG-style dialog box

Framerate Boost:  I know a lot of people have had issues with framerate.  I’ve done some pretty major changes to the engine rendering subsystem, which on my laptop has actually nearly DOUBLED the framerate.  Additionally, there was an issue which caused framerate to leak as you explored the world.  I’ve found the source of that issue and fixed.

Easier use-key:  You no longer have to look at signs & doors, and they have a larger radius — this makes using them with the E key much easier

Server migration:  We’re now up and running on a new server.  Performance should be about the same, possibly slightly faster.

Well, that’s it for now!  Look forward to the upcoming Quests update — it should be a lot of fun.  I’ve finished most of the engine code for quests, and now it’s mostly up to me making quest content.  In the meanwhile, play 8BitMMO and don’t forget to tell your friends 😉

Edge Shading

I’ve added edge shading to the latest build, 298 (click here to play).  It’s not perfect yet, but it’s actually quite handy for seeing which items are on which height levels.  I also made a small optimization to lighting to help render somewhat faster, although there are additional optimizations to speed this along.

Here’s a screenshot with edge shading and lighting turned on:

And here’s the same area without it:

8BitLighting & new buildable items

Alright, the S5 release is done! Here’s the big new features:

  • Lighting!
  • Grief protection – now you can only pick up items that belong to you (or have no owner). You also can not build in the same tile as someone else.
  • Roads – travel 2x as fast
  • Signs – Press E to read. Type /signwhile next to a sign to set the message.
  • Doors – Press E to open. Comes in two varieties, yellow handle doors that allow everyone entry, and red handled doors that only admit the owner.
  • IRC integration – you can idle in #8bit and chat back and forth between players in-game
  • Password reset via e-mail (only if you registered with an e-mail address)
  • Right sidebar displays latest news & relevant links
  • Facebook / twitter feeds set up
  • New, faster world renderer
  • Gold can be picked up and is now correctly added to money instead of going into inventory
  • Lots of misc bug fixes & performance improvements

Known issues:

  • Sometimes on death, you get stuck on a black screen. Just say /home to fix.
  • Lighting doesn’t recalculate when the world changes
  • Signs in some tiles are hard to read (for now, just place in another tile next to it)
  • In-world text (text shown over players & npcs) looks like butt. 😛
  • There’s an occasional server crash I haven’t tracked down yet

Please give it a go and let me know your thoughts! :)