April normally is known for the start of spring weather, a bunch of rain, and things getting greener every day. Well, that's exactly what's happening at Feudums. We are definitely starting to "green up" as our project's roots get deeper. It won't be long now till we see some things blooming! Here is what we've been working on this past month:
- Steve made some tweaking on the underlying notification system and added minor UX enhancements to the dev site for testing (ie. a better linking module).
- Fixed a bug that a "leave this field blank" textbox appeared on some forms after Module updates.
- We identified a breaching attempt into the Feudums website. The site was shut down for a few hours until we've investigated and fixed the situation and reported the attempt to the hosting provider. It seems the attackers were trying to exploit a security issue in one of the modules we're using. No data or content has been compromised (user data is stored on our cloud platform, not here anyway) and the hole has been since patched by the module's developers. We've also revised and in some cases, tightened our security settings.
- As much as it's hard to believe, we're actually working on the server-side (cloud) Game Catalog now.
- Game instances are based on the Local Game code from the previous month, but optimizations and enchancements were made, especially for the extra features necessary to work in the cloud.
- We're also working on the Game Worlds' persistency and the communication APIs for both the game client and for our "backoffice" admin panels. We have made continuous progression towards the working MMO experience.
- Weather Effects: Mat ran into a blocking issue in a paid plugin that was preventing us to complete this task (and a couple others, since it's related to rendering issues). We've discussed this with the plugin's makers and were told they're going to put up a fix in "about a month", so we've temporarily suspended working on this.
- Instead, Mat made a couple Unity Editor specific enhancements (like custom drawers to make a couple components easier to configure).
- Mat also fixed a couple Seasons related bugs, like a camera background issue when changing Seasons.
- Also, we've started to work on the Shores, as those edges of our water tiles are really dull. We've developed a method to merge River and Shore placement logics and rendering steps, so that won't slow the engine down either and we can also enhance Rivers a bit.
- We've also cloned our sample WorldBuilder AI and started to severely enhance it. We have two goals here; first, to create a World Builder that can procedurally generate "believeable" maps that can be later used for our initial playtests; and to also deliver, based on the updated World Builder, an "AI" that can be tamed to provide advanced Map Creator functionalities for modders (like "sculpting" sizable regions with a specified "jitterness" and terrain type by a single click). The latter isn't just for modders, it could also speed up map-related tests for us.
- At the end of April, it can now procedurally generate maps that seem more natural and are completely seed-based.
- Mat also started to re-read and update his old Game Design Document about the actual game logic as it seems that refreshing his memory will come handy in a matter of weeks
- Sándor worked on elements for the in-game GUI - like icon sets for the Game Catalog and the Client GUI - and a full hd "poster" for the game.
- He also added a few new CoA design elements, including two variations for the Double Headed Eagle you were asking for a few weeks ago.
We have an ongoing poll for modding priorities, please take a look and cast your votes. We've also re-opened our other poll about platform priorities, don't forget to also vote there if you haven't already. Yes, both questions mean we're crawling towards a new demo.