Not that I’d actually been away or anything. I just haven’t been spending much time posting here, since there wasn’t a lot to say.
Oh sure, there are lots of new and changed things. I’ve fixed up a bunch of bugs in the procedural geometry generation and in collision detection (you can now walk on the floor of the simple building you can see in this screenshot, for example; you couldn’t do that before!), and I’ve started adding the ability to put colour into the procedurally built buildings (although still only very simplistic). I’ve spent some time working on proper trees, but haven’t really got them working properly yet — mostly because I’m trying to fit them into my existing procedural geometry framework.
But the big exciting change (which I’ve been sitting on for a while now) is that I’ve gone back to the “painting on the terrain” interface for crafting the world geometry. Painting the terrain just felt right. And yeah, it raises a lot of technical challenges for a world as large as we’re talking about here, but I’d much rather have something fun, rather than sacrificing fun for an easy coding job! And honestly, I feel a little silly for initially discarding this interface, what with how much fun I had playing with it.
I’m now midway through the process of removing the old “Town” building. Or rather, I have actually removed it; I just haven’t finished creating all of its replacements. The first major new building is the “Inn”, which is where players set their “Homes” to, and will typically return to before logging off. The next major new buildings are the “Weapon Shop”, “Armor Shop”, “Craft Shop”, and “Auction House”. Only the “Weapon Shop” and “Armor Shop” will be implemented for milestone one, but these four buildings make up the bulk of the new MMORPG Tycoon 2 economy. New in Tycoon 2, players will earn cash from defeating monsters and/or completing quests, and can then use that cash to purchase weapons and armor to help them.
The weapons and armor work in a very simplistic fashion; each has a “level”. If the wielder of the weapon is the same level as his weapon (or nearly so), then they get the weapon/armor’s bonus. Weapons give a +1 bonus to “Attack”, and armor gives a +1 bonus to “Defense”. By giving the weapon/armor a level, the player will need to purchase new weapons and armor from time to time, in order to continue to gain a benefit from them. It’s possible that in the future I’ll add the ability to have special kinds of weapons and armor (which perhaps offer greater than a +1 bonus, or have usage requirements), or to have quests or monsters “drop” weapons and armor when defeated. But for the initial milestone, the only way a player will be able to get them will be to purchase them.