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Author Topic: Ultima Ratio Regum (0.8 back in development!)  (Read 326359 times)

Ultima Ratio Regum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (0.8 back in development!)
« Reply #3180 on: April 20, 2019, 11:12:37 am »

New bugs always replace old ones! You know it’s working when the new bugs don’t make everything explode, heheh.

Impressed by the update, this is such a long and fascinating project

Thanks Doris! And ha, yes, indeed so; although I am pleased to note that the regularity with which new bugs arise in the testing process is definitely shrinking :)
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FakerFangirl

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (0.8 back in development!)
« Reply #3181 on: April 21, 2019, 05:39:01 am »

Neat. I live in Canada and my best friend is in Australia. (We don't meet up often.)
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Ultima Ratio Regum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (0.8 back in development!)
« Reply #3182 on: April 21, 2019, 08:02:20 pm »

Neat. I live in Canada and my best friend is in Australia. (We don't meet up often.)

Huh! Yeah, I know a couple of Australians in Canada, and vice versa, too; I don't think I'd quite expected the connection between the two to be as strong as it is (although in hindsight, I probably should have?).
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Ultima Ratio Regum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (0.8 back in development!)
« Reply #3183 on: April 25, 2019, 12:02:13 pm »

Things slowed down a little in the past few weeks due to a lot of unexpected travel and some job negotiations (more on this very soon), but here’s another set of fixes and corrections:

– Fixed a complicated bug which spent a long time to hunt down, and involved guards trying to exchange positions with other guards. Normally if you enter a map grid, relevant NPCs will spawn and play out an appropriate number of actions before you gain control of your character. For example, if a guard entered the map grid twenty turns before you enter the grid, then the guard needs to catch up with those twenty turns in the real grid rather than in the abstract grid. Normally it is possible for a guard in that “interim” period of movement to find the guard they should exchange positions with and exchange positions with them;  however, in some cases this wasn’t happening, and both the new guard and the old guard were standing on top of each other once the player properly entered the map. This, er, shouldn’t have been happening. I eventually discovered it was because in very rare situations, the “old” guard would spawn later than the “new” guard, and so the new guard would walk to where the old guard should be but not find the old guard, then the old guard would spawn on top of them. The new guard is not then programmed to detect being on top of the old guard (as that should never happen!) and so the two would just stand still doing nothing. This has now been fixed! Upon moving the new guard into position, if the new guard is where the old guard is shortly going to spawn, the new guard just takes two steps back; then once they’ve spawned the new guard will meet the old guard properly, and everything will work correctly.
– Resolved an issue where sometimes a set of guards or equivalents, upon returning to a building after leaving that building to sleep, would not be able to figure out where to put themselves if the player entered the map containing that building long after they switched back over with the previous set of guards (I know, it’s a complicated one). I’m not entirely sure what the cause of this was, and I actually think there’s a good chance this was caused by my own playtesting (and fiddling around with saving/loading to test other things) rather than a bug in the game itself, as I’ve never encountered this issue before, and the save file I was testing stuff on I had been playing around with a lot before this bug emerged. Nevertheless, redundancies are important, so I have now implemented a system whereby a generated building stores the initial locations of all guards or equivalents, and if a later guard ever cannot figure out where to return itself to for whatever strange reason, then the guards will look at this master list, find a location which matches their class (Guard, Knight, Sodier, whatever), and an x/y/z coordinate set which hasn’t yet been occupied by a different returning guard, and put themselves there. Sorted.
– Found another issue related to the above where sometimes you would get two guards trying to go to the same location if you returned to a location after a long period away, because one of them would have recognised it was where their guard “partner” was stationed, while the other would see it as a free spot. This has also been fixed.
– Resolved a minor issue with NPCs selecting homes in appropriate districts under certain conditions, particularly if the player has previously been in that map grid.
– Fixed quite a few points where words could be duplicated, such as “that is not a question I want to give an answer to to”, and I’ve now hopefully got to the bottom of the last of these.
– Handled a bug slowing down NPCs who were trying to find a path to staircases in larger buildings, yet spent most of their time dithering around and examining walls in great detail.
– Fixed issue with some soldiers being unable to properly about their ranks with appropriate grammar.
– Handled a very strange issue where iron bars, such as those in jails, dungeons, or between an audience and an arena, very rarely become invisible.
– Handled a problem where Tellers don’t spawn correctly in banks if you first enter the bank after the first day of world generation.
– Changed the name of the speech category “Past Life” to simply “Life”, as this is far more descriptive (since you can ask them about their current job and things like this).
– Fixed issue where plants could not spawn inside a nomadic citadel, and crashed the game.
– Resolved a problem with NPCs who spawn in town halls in towns not having any idea where to go, and getting stuck in an infinite loop of uncertainty.
– Resolved a problem involving NPCs in barracks in towns, not knowing what to do when they decide to go for a wander (unlike in military districts in cities, where there is always something for them to do). These NPCs can now always find something relevant/sensible to do when they decide to move.
– Fixed an issue with some NPCs in taverns being unable to find their way to the door when they’re done drinking (and I do appreciate that there is an obvious comedic interpretation of this particular bug).
– Soldiers in castles no longer crash the game as a result of not knowing what to wear.
– NPCs are now even less likely than they were before to clog up a doorway and thereby block you or anyone else from going through it (I thought this was completely fixed before; it wasn’t; I now once more think it is completely fixed…)
– Wandering versions of important NPCs like priests and the like can no longer be asked questions which would make them crash, such as “what relics are there here?” while they’re walking through the streets and therefore nowhere near any relic of any sort.
– Finally, resolved a bug where sometimes reloading the game, going immediately to fast travel, and taking a particular path (NE or NW after moving N, SE or SW after moving S, etc) will take an infinite amount of time, and the game will attempt to perform 9999999 turns before giving up. I am not entirely clear why this happened, but it no longer does. No infinite hikes for anybody!

So: more progress, getting closer and closer! My list of buildings and conversation possibilities to check is getting shorter and shorter as time goes by, and it has now been well over a week since I found any large bug. This means I’ve almost exhausted everything I know I need to playtest, and once that’s done, I’ll be onto polishing things like menus, displays, information, and the like. More coming in early May!





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Little

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (0.8 back in development!)
« Reply #3184 on: May 12, 2019, 11:56:58 pm »

Always love reading the updates!
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Sebastian2203

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (0.8 back in development!)
« Reply #3185 on: May 21, 2019, 02:58:22 am »

Posting to watch, you are awesome btw.
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Ultima Ratio Regum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (0.8 back in development!)
« Reply #3186 on: May 21, 2019, 12:25:23 pm »

Always love reading the updates!

Thanks my friend!

Posting to watch, you are awesome btw.

Aw, thank you! So glad you like the project.

--

Welcome to May’s URRpdate! Things are still moving along, and rather pleasingly, it has now been a full month of coding since I discovered any more major bugs. Now, maybe that’s tempting fate, but I choose instead to read it as a very encouraging step forward. It does actually seem now that only small bugs remain, and many of these are not even crash bugs. Nevertheless, in the past couple of weeks I’ve manconqaged to resolve more issues, and I feel like we are very nearly now at the stage where I’m just polishing the front-end of things like menus tooltips and the like, in preparation for the final release. It’s all very exciting! But without further ado, here’s the latest:

– You can now properly talk to non-religious NPCs from all kinds of civilizations about their beliefs, and none of those conversations cause the game to crash. Individuals from “free religion” civilizations can also intelligently give different answers depending on their preferences.
– Priests no longer always spawn (for some reason) on the same tile as the altar within their religious building, thereby making it hard to find the altar unless you know the priest is standing on top of it.
– Prisoners can now properly tell you that they are prisoners when asked about their “job”.
– Prisoners can tell you everything about their past crimes, their sentence, when (if ever) they expect to get out, and so forth, without ever trying to generate a sentence they can’t figure out.
– Jailers no longer crash the game when you ask them about whether any particularly important or interesting prisoners are interred at their jail.
– Jailers no longer sometimes just decide they fancy a career change, wander out of the jail they are in charge of, and immediately crash the game because they have no idea what to do once they get outside.
– Entering a building which will (in a potential 0.9) house a regional representative in a democratic nation no longer crashes the game from time to time.
– Mints and Banks no longer sometimes crash the game when you enter them at night (I think?).
– Fixed a few more double-word issues (yep, I hadn’t actually caught all of these last time, but now I think I have… again).
– Handled a bug which made world generation, in extremely rare cases, get stuck in an infinite loop of trying to generate certain aspects of a civilization’s culture.
– Found an extremley rare issue where sometimes an NPC can sometimes find themselves off the road in a city district and fail to figure out what to do or how to get back onto the road. I’m not entirely clear what causes this issue and I’ve only encoutered it once, and this was just because the NPC in question was screaming in the debug log  while I was playing. As such, I’ve added in a new bit of “catch-all” code at the end of NPCs deciding where to walk next, which – if they somehow find themselves in that situation – will encourage them to walk back onto a road and resume normal behaviour. I also inserted a catch-all after that which states if finding their way back is also for some reason impossible, then once the player leaves their line-of-sight, they will just despawn.
– Handled a few more buildings where it is possible for furniture to spawn in such a way that someone sitting on a chair, for example, can block a door and then all the people who in the building can no longer find their way out. For any 0.9 I will definitely implement a more general solution here allowing NPCs leaving or entering a building to walk “through” someone sat in a chair, but this solution will do for the time being, and should deal with the issue.
– Removed a handful of special NPCs who were being generated at world generation but not spawned in the world; this shouldn’t have caused any issues (famous last words), but it’s better to be safe than sorry for the time being.

This is a slightly shorter update than last time because I have also been hard at work on a chapter for a forthcoming book (alongside a number of world-building luminaries!) about world-building. In it I talk about how important I think social, political, economic and cultural detail is to creating a convincing and “breathing” fictional world, looking at Ultima Ratio Regum but also other game series which have always stood out to me in this regard, such as the earlier Command and Conquer games (the Tiberium series, that is), many of Paradox Interactive’s games, the Deus Ex universe, and several others. Although I’m really enjoying writing this – and the book about world-building it’ll be a part of will, I think, be something quite special – this has taken up some of my coding time in the last fortnight or so.

Now, the rest of May is pretty busy at this end – I’m going down to Washington DC to talk at this year’s International Communication Association conference to chair a panel on live streaming and talk about Twitch and the games industry. As such, the next update will be some time in June. See you all soon – and the journey is nearly at its end!



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