Good news—I've now finished all the downloadable scene stuff. You can now design a scene in Blender, export it, upload it to the Internet, and play it. If you wanted, you could run a server which would allow other people to play your scene, but at the moment there isn't much point because interaction between players is so limited.
Well, I for one am raring to see the game in action...
For people who don't have access to Linux, I've uploaded a video
so you can see where we're up to. I'm also now able to start on the website and the Windows version, so hopefully there will be something to see soon on that front.
BTW, does anyone know a good open source program for generating Windows installers? NSIS seems to be dead (last release 2009). WiX looks viable but rather low level, so difficult and time-consuming to use. What would people think if I were to use a tool which is free but not open source, or a fully commercial tool which costs money? Remember, this would only affect the generation of the installer packages for Windows. It would have no impact on anyone's ability to play or create worlds.
I'm tempted to use a commercial tool here, to avoid getting sidetracked. It would be very easy to waste a lot of time messing around with the Windows installer, and that would delay the game.
About the wolf, I think the reason you like it more than the tree is because I based it off real photos of wolves. The tree was more ad lib, so it's a bit shapeless. Right now I'm fleshing out the animation for the run cycle. It's rather difficult. I've had no experience in organic animation, so it's difficult to get it so it looks natural.
Well I certainly find ad-libbing difficult.
I find modelling from photographs hard, but things which are entirely made up are much harder. (I was just thinking, personally I think I find this project fun because the difficulty hits roughly the right spot... It's not routine programming, but nor is it the kind of blue-sky research where it would be easy to get completely stuck.)
We'll need some sort of attack animation, I suppose. A scratch should be fine I think. Even in Skyrim the wolves just kind of jump towards you with their mouths open!
I love the running wolf animation. I did think of one thing to check, though. He's running on the spot; if you add some forward motion, do his paws stay still at the times when they are supposed to be in contact with the ground? I struggled for ages with that, when I was trying to do the walk cycle for the player character.
One thing I was wondering was, what will be the relationship between player's worlds. I remember the discussions about each world having a real location in the universe- is that still on?
I'd like to see links between the worlds, but obviously there is a huge amount of work to do before we can even think about it. If I ended up implementing it (rather than Jim or some other volunteer) I'd probably go for magical portals rather than spaceships, but that's a detail.
For instance, I might have a world where I've put a chest full of Legendary High Elven Battleswords. I equip two of these and I'm able to slay every single creature that I've put into my world. Now I want to enter someone else's world. Do I keep the swords?
I think the only way to do this—looking even further ahead now—is to allow trust relationships between worlds. Perhaps we both build a world, and they are roughly comparable in terms of weapons and strength of monsters. We might arrange for our worlds to trust each other, so items, money and character stats are portable between them.
What I think might be good is some sort of universal point system. Every item is worth a certain number of points. So maybe an Ice Dragon of Krakmar would be worth 23,000 points to the player who slayed it, and a Loaf of Friendlyfruit-bread would be 20. When travelling between worlds, anything you haven't 'earned' has to be paid for in points. So that would stop me taking my epic swords into someone else's world and cheating.
Interesting. If I'm understanding you right, you're saying that worlds would have standard building blocks. I can put an ice dragon in my world, and then some central authority notes the fact that it has been slain by player X. As a result it credits him with 23,000 points.
The first thing, I suppose, is that it would standardise the worlds much more. You can take an ice dragon off the shelf and drop it into your world, but you can't implement something that is totally new, like awarding points for solving a puzzle. The other issue, I think, is that a central authority would have to notice the killing of the ice dragon and award the points. I'm not sure how you would make sure that the central authority couldn't be scammed by games that report kills which didn't happen.