The Old World: Conversation System

Introduction

Heyo guys!

I’m here to talk a bit more about the Conversation System which I’ve spent a little while designing and I hope you will enjoy it!

This system is a bit unique compared to other Conversation Systems you may have encountered so I’m going to explain a few systems before getting onto the goodies.

Familiarity System

One of the core systems which the conversation system heavily relies on is the Familiarity system. This system in itself is composed of different smaller systems which have their own functions.
Two of these subsystems is the one that keeps track of the character’s Personality and the other keeps track of Familiars.

The Personality subsystem simply keeps track of the unit’s likings, reputation and other various personality traits, such as being sarcastic, evil, cruel, good etc.

The Familiar subsystem keeps track of when a unit is spotted, when such an event occurs a “snapshot” is taken where it saves the body properties, currently equipped gear and inserts that into a list of other snapshots. This data will allow for a very good way of exchanging information both between PlayerNPC as well as NPCNPC,

Yes, NPCs will be essentially using this data and conversation system to exchange information about the world.

Even if these snapshots save what you’re currently wearing doesn’t mean that the NPCs will immediately remember the information correctly, this depends on several factors.

A Familiarity score is calculated from variables such as, how many times the unit has been seen before, the time since last seen, the time in between seeing the unit, the time of encounter and the lighting during encounter. These are only a few factors which are needed in order to calculate such a score, obviously talking to an NPC will increase this score of being recognized.

This opens up game mechanics such as being able to commit a crime, change your outfit and possibly fool the people which saw you committing the crime. Or you could possibly stalk an NPC, understand what they were, get similar clothes and commit a crime and later pin it on that unit.

As you can see with such a system it opens up a lot of cool new game mechanics which I think will be quite interesting to explore.

Concept Image of Conversation UI

Conversations

Now this is the real meat of this post, the Conversation System.
As I mentioned previously and which I hope you’ve noticed by the Familiarity system explanation that this conversation system is a bit different from similar systems previously.

This system is a bit unique in the sense that it will be dealing with a lot of dynamic data.  Anything from various generated area names, town names, towns, NPCs, familiarity data to quests and tasks.

So obviously due to dealing with such a massive amount of dynamic data the conversation system itself has to be fairly dynamic. This includes being able to select more than 2-3 different response messages which most other games uses.

I’d argue that you need to be able to select both the Topic of the conversation and even the Response Type, which is exactly what I started designing the system around. This will allow for having 2-3 different responses per Topic and per Response Type, which is a lot of different conversation responses and which is exactly what an RPG of this size deserves.

Topics

Topics will be selectable in the conversation GUI, these topics will be selected depending on relevance to the current NPC, so for example if the NPC is a good friend of yours in-game, you won’t start getting suggested Topics about getting to know the NPC (Such as asking for his/her name etc.).

The relevance will be calculated depending on where you currently are, reputation/standing with an NPC and even time of day etc.

Topics will essentially be a guiding point for your conversation in order to properly interact with the AI in the world and retrieve relevant and necessary information.

Response Type

Being able to choose Topics of the Conversation is good and all, but it’ll only get you so far, in order to properly interact in a good way you need to be able to respond in a specific “tone of voice”.

Which is why currently the design for Response types will include such types as “Hostile, Friendly, Neutral” but also thinking about types like Sarcastic, Vague in order to properly interact in the way you’d like to.

Concept Image of Conversation UI

By combining these two concepts I believe it will create quite a unique and interesting way of interacting with the world. It also allows for a fairly cool way of exchanging information, not only between you and the AI but even in an AIAI situation.

By forcing the AI to use this system in order to exchange information you inherently add a delay before everyone in a town knows something, or perhaps you are able to silence the information before it reaches another Unit.
An example of this would be if a unit sees you committing a crime, in regular games you’d be instantly guilty and guards would start chasing you, however by using this system a witness would have to see you and in some way exchange that information, either via screaming or running and telling people.

But due to this inherit latency of information exchange you will be able to silence that victim and stop the spread of information. Which I find adds quite a cool game-play mechanic.

Conclusion

I hope you all enjoyed my explanation of the conversation system or at the very least found it interesting.

Cheers!

The Old World: Lighting, Networking and Transitions

Introduction

Hey everyone!
So cleaning up after the mess of completely rewriting the Map system took a bit more time than anticipated, but that’s game development. But anyhow it has given me a bit more time to work on some new fancy features.

Lighting System

First up is the Lighting system. The system currently supports dynamic lights of different colours and movement. I will only be showing off Torches at the moment because the other stuff really deserves to be shown off in a video. Currently the dynamic shadows are a bit off because I messed them up in this version I’m showing off. But here are a few screenshots of nightfall.

When night falls the environment turns a very subtle shade of orange as displayed in this screenshot.

Networking

I’m almost done implementing Networking into the game.
You’ll be able to directly start the server in-game and have your friends immediately join you in your own world.
The current plan is to support a minimum of 16-32 players on such a server but I do have plans to create a Dedicated server application further down the line to allow for people to host their own servers and this will support a higher player count.

Here I am showing off 1 server and 2 clients connected.

I’ve also been working on a The Old World Launcher which takes care of automatically downloading and updating the game if there is a new version available. This will be available soon to our testers when we start testing the Network aspect of the game.

Transitions

I’ve also started working on more transitions to try to eliminate the grid completely and make the world look better overall. These transitions still need a little bit of polishing but as you can see from this comparison it does look a lot better than without transitions.

With Tile-Tile transitions.

Without Tile-Tile Transitions

Close-up of the Diagonal height transitions.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this update and I have a lot more to show off but we’ll save that for next update.

Cheers!

The Old World: Let’s talk about Empire AI.. maybe?

Introduction

So lets discuss the Empire AI to a larger extent, I know I’ve talked about it in the past but there has been a lot of changes and a lot more additions are incoming with my new finalized design for it. So I think it’ll be quite interesting to discuss this iteration.

Core Systems

In this section we’ll go through the core systems for the AI, the systems which essentially makes everything tick and work correctly.

There are a few minor core systems like the Project, Job, Threat systems but these systems are either a means of interacting with the world or for data retrieval to make the main core systems function in a proper fashion.

Empire AI Core

This is the Core of the AI and all other systems I will be discussing are sub-systems of this main system. So what the Core takes care of are adjusting Resource spending ratios, in essence what happens is that the Core will move resources to either the Production or War system depending on certain parameters, one of them being Threat level of the Empire. The Core also adjusts the allocation of Units for the different systems as well.

A broad example would be if the Empire has a high threat level over a large duration of time, it will start shifting resources and units over to the War system causing it to become a more hostile and war-like Empire and vice-versa if the threat level is very low it will most likely spend more resources and units on the Production system.

But these spending ratios will never drop below a certain point so that no extremes such as 100% on War and 0% on Production occur.

Production System

Starting off with the Production System, here are a few broad examples which this system takes care of.

  • Constructing Production Structures (Farms, Houses, Blacksmith, Roads etc.)
  • Production Researches (Tools, Materials, Construction Methods etc.)
  • Delegating Production Related Jobs
  • Housing for the Population
  • Reproduction (This will be moved to NPC AI Layer later on)

There are a few more nitty-gritty details which can be left out but the essential goal of the system is to take care of the Production-side of the Empire as you can see from the examples above.

Currently it also takes care of delegating Harvesting of Doodads jobs for the NPCs but this will be moved up a layer into the Empire AI core and requests for resources will be sent up the chain to the Core’s Resource list.

War System

This is a fairly interesting and different system from that of the Production System because it takes care of the defensive and offensive side of the Empire.

Yet again let me give you some broad examples:

  • Guards (Patrols the Empire on the lookout)
  • Defensive Structures (Walls, Towers)
  • Offensive Structures (Outposts, Siege Buildings)
  • War-based Research (Weaponry, Structures)

There are a few sub-systems for this system in order to properly make it function and to not give me a headache when implementing it, such as Guards AI, Offensive-Attacks AI.

Because I do not want Guards to be some half-witted nutters I’m going to have a sub-system which keeps track of Guard routes and where Guards are suppose to be stationed so if a guard notices that another guard is missing from his post it will start alerting other guards and cascade through the system to tell that something is not as it should be and therefore causing a higher alertness level within the Empire.

Research System

This system is rather simple, as you can tell from the name it takes care of all kinds of researches.

Essentially all it does is delegate research jobs depending on a research priority list to NPCs and these will in turn start researching a research at a library if one has been built.

This system is however not active if no library has been built within the Empire.

Trade System

Now here is a very interesting system to discuss. Everyone has heard of Trading systems within games throughout the years, instant trading with other Empires or transport trading etc.

I’ve opted to go for a Transport trading system for The Old World and my reasons are that it allows for a lot of fun game-play elements. I’ll go into this very shortly.

Here’s another example list what this system takes care of.

  • Moving Resources to Trading Post before shipments
  • Establishing Trade with other Empires (Messenger is sent to foreign Empire)
  • Takes care of Shipment documents

Here’s where the interesting bit comes in, As you can see from above I mention something about Trading Documents.

These documents will be in-game Items which holds data for the Shipment, this data being such things as:

  • Destination
  • Route to take
  • Inventory of Shipment
  • Time of Dispatchment.

This data is quite interesting because it allows me to implement a few neat game-play mechanics. Maybe you break into a trade-post and steal this document, or copy it and decide to ambush this shipment during it’s journey, or decide to give this information to a group of bandits, or an Empire, or Empire generates a task for you to defend said transport etc. etc. List goes on and on.

Related Systems

These are systems either directly linked to the Empire AI in-order for them to function correctly or they’re just assisting systems to some other systems in the long chain of AI abstraction layers.

Map System

Now this is yet another very interesting system, this has nothing to do with the Terrain Map. This system takes care of Item-based Maps which contain various data. These items aren’t just going to be used for a way of keeping track where things are, they’ll be a way of interaction between you and the AI.

Here are a few examples in what way they can be used to interact or pass information from you to the Empire or vice-versa.

  • Empire Resource Scout

Empire generates a task of scouting for resources which you may or may not accept. In order to properly pass information about your scouting to the Empire you will be needed to use a Map-Item. When this Item is used it’ll analyze the terrain, doodads, npcs around you, so that when you scouted an area with a resource you’ll be able to record this on a map and hand it back to the Empire.

  • Empire War Scout

Empire generates a task for you to scout a specific location or a foreign Empire’s location. As mentioned previously a Map analyzes and records terrain,doodad,npc data, you can easily go to said location, record the data and hand the map back to the Empire easily transfering information.

  •  Empire Attack Plan

As mentioned previously with the Trading System it has so called trading documents, however in the War System there will be Attack Plan Documents which holds data about an attack or scouting missions etc. Later on if you have a high enough standing with an Empire you’ll be able to form these Attack Plans yourself.

Familiarity System

This system is an assisting system for NPCs and is used for NPCs to identify other NPCs or Players.

So essentially what this system will be doing is keeping track of certain parameters of units and their gear when met in order to correctly or incorrectly recognize another unit when meeting it.

Some of the data it collects and saves is

  • Current Equipment
  • Familiarity Parameters
  • Name
  • Last Seen
  • Chance of Recognize

This will allow for a lot of neat features such as, units recognizing you or other npcs for deeds which they may have done and will acknowledge them. The chance of being recognized depends on a few parameters but the main one being the more you’re recognized the higher the chance will be. But it also allows for you to trick units by changing gear but only to a certain extent.

But this can also be used as a method of transferring information about someone to others, so if you murder an npc and another unit sees you doing it, if it’s a civilian, it will most likely run off and tell others but if you manage to catch up and.. well.. “silence” that unit you’ll essentially get away with it.

“Quest”/Task System

The “Quest” system in The Old World is a bit different from other games because they are generated depending on the environment and you do not only retrieve them through the means of talking to units and them directly giving you a quest.

A lot of.. tasks.. are “given” by you from perhaps overhearing NPCs discussing the state of an Empire and how they’re running low on Wood or Metals etc. which gives a reason for you to eavesdrop in on conversations between NPCs because it may contain useful information.

There are also a lot of different types of tasks to accomplish, here are a few examples of basic and more advanced tasks

  • Basic Tasks
  • Resource Gathering
  • Resource Scouting
  • Construction of Structure
  • Advanced Tasks
  • Attack Planning
  • Establish Trade
  • Infiltrate Empire
  • Scout Empire
  • Steal Research Documents
  • Steal Attack Plan Documents


These are only a handful of possible tasks that may be generated and more will be added further down the line.

The Old World: Crafting System Addition & Video

Introduction

Heyo everyone!

I apologize for the lack of content updates as of lately, the reason being that I’ve been mostly implementing new base systems to allow for new features and fixing old core system after the new Map system switch.

But development has been trucking along nicely and with the current schedule we’ll be starting internal testing of the Alpha to iron out any potential bugs/game crashes and adding in a lot more contents and graphical updates in the upcoming few weeks.

New Crafting Implementation Video

New Crafting System

As you can see in the image below the Crafting List has changed quite a bit. The reasoning behind this has been that when you start accumulating more and more Items and gain access to more and more Recipes, it’ll become very hard to navigate through a singular list of all possible recipes.

So instead of having everything in one list, I’ve split Recipes up into separate Catagories.

The icons on the right are the Main Catagories, i.e: Materials, Tools, Construction, Cooking, Weaponry etc. the next list is the Sub Catagories and then finally the Recipe Item which you can craft.

Now something very exciting about this new system besides the structuring is the system I’d like to call Compound Items. Which are essentially Items that are built up from lots of smaller ones. In the image below you can see a Bow being crafted by choosing the Bow Base and a Bow String.

Because of the final Item crafted is built up from smaller ones, it allows for customizability not only cosmetically but also in terms of properties.

A good example is Swords where a larger blade (such as a Claymore) will have a slower swing speed but higher damage and a larger range, compared to a smaller blade (such as a Scimitar) which has a faster swing speed but less damage.

In the image below you can see all of the current Stone Sword combinations that are in the game, Keep in mind the sprite-work isn’t complete quite yet and there’ll be more added to this list.

But it gives a good example of what can be created. Another thing to keep in mind is that these are only Stone swords, there’ll be a lot more materials to craft Swords and other various things from.
Examples being Wood, Copper, Bronze, Iron, Silver, Gold etc.

Conclusion

I feel this addition to the crafting system will add a lot of depth and power yet in an easy to use and navigate menu.

Hope you all enjoyed the video and this article.
Cheers!

The Old World: Building a House & New Map System Inc.

Introduction

Heyo everyone! Not to be alarmed, we are not dead, heck, we’re far from it!
We’re all currently working hard on developing a wonderful Alpha version of the game.

I’ve also brought a small treat in form of a short video update!

Building a House Video

Here is a short video where I take you through 3 simple steps for creating a basic house & also talk a little bit about the map system and two small funny and enjoyable spells. Enjoy!

New Map System Explained

As I briefly brushed over in the video above, I am not completely happy with the current Map System inside the game.

To quickly explain it, imagine the current map system to be a sheet of paper, now the paper can either be indented or raised up, but there is no way of breaking through that paper. So essentially there is no way in TOW to dig tunnels and caves etc.

But fear not! I have a pretty neat design for the new map system that is already being implemented which will allow for all of these wonderful features.

For the nerdy

Essentially the Map Data in the new map system will be stored in a 2D Array std::list, which’ll allow for quick insertion and removal of cells.

Side-Note: I put block inside quotation marks because it can whichever geometrical type possible, but just for sake of explanation I’ll use the term block.

How this data will be structured is as follows:

Every “block” will have 2 values, a Height value and a TileID value.
Air “blocks” will not exist which saves memory.
Every “block” with a TileID value of 0 or above is a valid Tile.
Every “block” with a TileID value of -1 is used for Generation.

The (-1) Value “block” is used for generating a new valid “block”. Upon this generation, if there is nothing below it will generate a new (-1) “block” under itself, However if there is already a “block” below, it will not.

By designing the map system in such a way that I’ve explained, you save A LOT of memory which would have otherwise been completely wasted if everything was pre-generated because most areas underground for example, will for the most part probably never be explored, therefore using memory which could be used for something else, or simply not be wasted.

Rough Calculations:
Rough worst-case scenario of memory usage:
3-4MB/Layer if all possible blocks in a layer is generated.
(((1024/3)^2)*8Tiles*4Bytes)/1024 ~= 3633KB
Rough Dig hole straight down for 500 layers:
(8Tiles*4Bytes*500Layers)/1024 ~= 15KB

Conclusion

Hope you lot enjoyed the video and my explanation of the map system!
I’m going to try to update more frequently with content in the upcoming weeks.

Cheers for all of the support so far!
Laters.

The Old World: Alpha Trailer & IndieGoGo!

Introduction

Heyo everyone! A lot of interesting things have been going on both inside the game and outside. I’d like to say that we’re fast approaching Alpha.

We also call upon you awesome amazing fans out there that have been following The Old World since its birth but you new fans are just as awesome!

In order to reach our currently planned Alpha release date we require another 2-3 months of full-time development, Here is where you amazing people come in, we have started a campaign over at IndieGoGo. Every little bit helps! Even if it is just sharing this link!

What if you do not get funded?

Do not fret! Because this campaign isn’t make-it-or-break-it nor is this project, this will only post-pone our currently planned release date for the Alpha by roughly 3-4 months.

So either way, this game is happening.

Trailer

I’ve put together a small 2min trailer with the beautifully written music by CitizenMusicUK.

Nitty Gritty

So lets get into some more nitty gritty details of the The Old World Alpha and current development stuff.

These are the currently planned features for The Old World Alpha
- Generated Quests
I may have spoken about this feature previously, but to reiterate these will be generated by various sources (Empires, Bandits, Magical stuff etc.) All depending on the environment & situations that may occur. An simple example being to kill off a pack of wolves that have migrated and are now hunting a farmer’s sheep. But these range up to Assassinations, Infiltrating an Empire to steal Research Books etc.

- Semi-Generated Conversation
- Lighting & Day/Night Cycle
- Player Controlled Empires
Just as it sounds, you’ll be able to build up your own Empire from Scratch, or Infiltrate one and gain power.

- Generated Dungeons
- Wind System
This system will allow for a more advanced world in terms of game mechanics.(And really neat Sailing boats.)

- Group AI
This AI will take care of smaller groups of NPCs, ranging from such things as handling how a Pack of Wolves will interact with the world, when to migrate in-case their hunting grounds might become depleted, up to larger things like how a pack of Bandits might behave, if they should keep roaming the world pillaging or if they should settle and start an Empire (Probs a really War-heavy, hostile one).

- Magical Energy 

During Alpha Planned Features

- Multiplayer

When all of these features have been implement the Alpha will be a fully working and playable one. With in-theory endless amount of content hours because content is generated all the time depending on what happens inside the game.

So! Lets move onto what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks.

Free from the Grid!

Yes! We are finally free from the clutches of the Grid. If you have been following The Old World for a while you may have noticed that previously you only moved in 4 directions and always moved 1 Tile at a time.

This era is now over! You now have 8 directions of pure freedom and can change direction in a whim.
The change allows for a lot of neat improvements to the game as a whole, combat becomes a lot more speeded, Doodads can be very close together, fade out doodads that are obstructing the character etc.

Lets demonstrate this by a quick concept mockup.

Currently/Soon
Disregarding the Tree being disproportionate to the character and surrounding environment, this shows off a prime-example of what can now be done.

Something you can also very clearly see in this image are transitions, I’m currently working on better transitions inbetween tiles to make it look a lot nicer.

“Biomes”

I’ve also implemented ways of calculating different areas to respond correctly depending upon Humidity & Temperature. I wouldn’t call these areas Biomes per-say but more like Dynamic-Biomes which can change depending on environmental factors.

Here is an Initial State of “Biomes” for a newly generated world.

Initial State

To explain this world map a bit more,
Yellow Desert
Brown Warm Steppe
Dark Green Regular Foresty Areas
Bright Green Plaines
Grey Tundra
White Snowy
Really Dark Green Swamp’ish

All these and tons more can be generated and dynamically altered by using the Temperature and Humidity systems. As you can see some parts are very blocky but this was a first iteration of the Algorithm, I’m going to start implementing a smoothing algorithm which should adhere to this problem.

Conclusion

I’d like to take this time to thank all of you for supporting and following the development of this game. The Old World has been in development for nearly a year now (7 days left) and this isn’t even the beginning.

There are so many game design ideas I have that I’d love to have implemented in TOW, but for now I’m implementing the most important ones to make it a fun and a truly unique experience for all of you awesome people.

Also thanks goes out to IndieDB for creating and having an awesome service for us Indies!

Cheers!

The Old World: Combat Stress-test Teaser Video & Major Improvements

Introduction

Hey there everyone,

I thought I’d put out a small article before I release a new video update next week explaining more about the additions and improvements to TOW.

Stress-test Video

Here is a small stress-test video of the combat mechanics currently in place, although keep in mind there are still large tweaks and edits that needs to be made but I think the first test turned out pretty decent even though there are a lot of things going on simultaneously.

Item Additions

There has been a ton of new Item additions both system wise and Items added.

In terms of System additions I’ve added support for basically any Item you could think of which means I can now easily implement tons of Items without too much effort.

When it comes to Items I’ve mostly focused on Combat related Items such as: Arrow, Poison Cloud Arrow, Explosive Arrow, Water Arrow, Bow, Sword, Axe, Throwing Knife, Knife and tons of other Elixirs that can either be thrown or consumed.

Infuse System

As I had mentioned in my earlier development video I talked about something I’d like to call an Infuse System. This system will make you able to Infuse an item with different properties, some of which may be really simple such as: Increases Agility by 5.

But will also include more fun Infuses like: 20% Chance of casting a Fireball on your next Melee Attack, 25% Chance of Random Teleportation when damaged.

Buff/Debuff System

I’m currently implementing a Buff/Debuff System which will support a lot of plain things like DoT(Damage over Time), HoT(Healing over Time).

But then there are more fun things, an example would be: Say you’re being chased by an Enemy and you decide to turn around and throw an Elixir of Random Teleportation, this will cause a Debuff on the target enemy (If said Elixir hits) which might be something along the lines of:
- Every 10 Seconds Unit is Teleported to a Random location within 20 tiles of origin.

This might be useful or not but still a small little fun taste of what is to come and what is possible with this system.

Improvements

Improvements I have made in general are quite immense even though not really visual.
These include:
- Rewrote entire Doodad System.
- Rewrote entire Projectile System.
- Rewrote entire Job Manager System for the Empire System.
- Rewrote tons of Logic for the Empire System.
- Fixed Research System for Empire System.
- Added 8-10 Plugins for Item System to support all different kinds of Items.
- Rewrote how Items are dropped from Doodads.
- Improved both performance and memory management.

This list might not sound like much but in terms of code and the way these systems work now the improvements are immense and will allow me to easier and faster implement various new things.

Conclusion

So as a conclusion, it’s been a little while since my last development video but you should expect to see on at the beginning of next week which will explain these changes a bit more detailed as well as show off a ton of new and exciting things.

The Old World: Player & Item Skills/Attributes

Introduction

Heyo! This week I’ve been implmenting fancy new attributes and skills for both the Player and the Items inside the game.

The main Attributes of the Player are
Strength, Stamina, Agility, Intelligence,
Spirit, Wisdom, Charisma, Verbosity, Dexterity, Veracity
.

All of these attributes have their own particular function, such as Strength increasing Melee attack damage or Stamina increasing HP etc.


I’ve also implemented a heap of secondary Attributes, such as Crafting, Woodchopping and other various ones. These aren’t just for keeping track of how much you’ve crafted or chopped wood but will actually be beneficial.

For Example: if you were to craft a lot of items you might get a bonus that will allow you to have a chance of crafting double the amount. Other bonuses might include increasing any of your main attributes by a small percentage.

Video Update

So without further introduction, here is a fancy new video update, Hope you enjoy!

The Old World: New Video Update (Minions, Fire, Map System)

Introduction

Heyo! After being on a small hiatus and been working silently I am back with a quick video update and some pretty music!

A lot of changes and tweaks has been made to the Map Generation process which has so far ended up looking pretty good.

A Minion system has been implemented and is being worked on, this will allow both the player and other NPCs to summon up to 5 units that will act as your “party”. You’ll be able to send these minions away to destroy doodads, collect items or attack other units (In-case you’d prefer other people to do your dirty work).

Video Update

Here is a new video update about TOW, hope you enjoy!

Fancy Music

Also here is some fancy concept music created for The Old World by a good friend of mine.

The Old World: GUI Actionbar Split

Introduction

Heyo, Recently I’ve been working on mostly improving the Empire System and it’s progressing quite nicely as well as playing some Thief: The Dark Project (Yes, the 1998 Game) to draw inspiration for the Stealth system.

I’ve come up with a lot of good ideas as well as gotten suggestions for the Stealth system from you guys that has really helped to shape up a pretty good design for it and even new Stealth-based Quests such as Kidnapping/Retrieve Quests (Cheers to dark_matter_mobius) and also new types of quests such as stealing Research books from other Empires.

ActionBar Split

So the major change to the Action-Bar part of the GUI is the split. Basically this will allow Players to have 2 different items selected and be used at the same time.

ActionBar Split

Benefits

The benefits that this change enables are immense, this means Dual Wielding, using Spells and Weapons at the same time without quickly having to change which items are selected, having both Spells and Elixirs selected at the same time etc.

Items in the Action Bar

Bow Example

To give you an example by using a Bow and having several different Arrows. In most games you usually have a kind of quiver or specific inventory slots for the use of Arrows.

Instead of using this traditional method which I feel is quite stale and makes it harder to switch Arrows in mid-battle because you usually have to open your inventory and switch the Arrows about.

By using this split method all you need to do is change which Arrows is selected in order to switch to which kind of Arrow you want to use which makes it easier to use an incapacitate arrow, switch over to an explosive one, shoot the at enemy and watch it explode in its face.

Bow Example

Dual Wield Example

As I mentioned earlier this system allows for dual wielding so you could basically have a Sword and a Shield equipped and perhaps mid-battle you want to switch the shield for a sword and go barbarian on the enemy, Hacking’n'Slashing the enemy into bits.

This system will allow for such a thing very easily, just the push of a button to be exact.

Dual Wield Example

Conclusion

At first this GUI change might not seem like a big deal but hopefully this article has answered why this change is quite a large and important one and also allows for a lot of neat new stuff.

After all, who hasn’t wanted to slash an enemy with a sword whilst throwing an Elixir of Poison into their face and casting a Fireball spell as well as blocking another enemy’s attack with a shield.

P.S
The next update will be quite large and mostly about the Empire System, there are some really quite sweet stuff that I will be talking about, Researches, Research Books, Basic Quests, Self-Populating Villages and if I have time enough I will start working on implementing the Player-owned Empire stuff.

Stay tuned!