A Year, a Day, Then, Now, and Tomorrow

Hello everyone! Given how long it’s been since I’ve posted here, I think we should catch up on things. So, the last post talked about the “Upcoming 1.1 Update” which has now long since been applied and I’m working the 1.3 update. Since last November, a lot has happened, so let me see if I can get you a quick version so we can talk about what comes next.

Update 1.1, the “Christmas Update”, finally went live in April, after I came to terms with the fact that what I wanted to add to it just wasn’t going to get added anytime soon, and that by forcing myself to try and make it work I was just burning myself out. That feature was “Places”, which I was and still am very excited to add in the future. Once I finally realized my objective was outside my capabilities, I stripped out or locked down as much of the code as needed, and released what I had–and yes, much of the code for Places is mostly functional just either restricted off or entirely commented out in the live game’s code.

What did make it 1.1 was Realm capitals, abolishment, and descriptions, new settlement buildings and settlement descriptions, a fix for the ages old database dump on bad password input, character retirement, an update for character travel speeds, a new character relationship type, improved conversation identification, and some server-side code to better handle the many different descriptions we added and already had: the Description Manager.

What didn’t make it, as I said before, was Places. Places were supposed to both fill the space between settlements, and let players leave a mark on the map without having to create new settlements everywhere. The main problem came down to getting the page that would let you view nearby settlements to actually grab and render that list correctly. In 2017, it wasn’t in my skill set, and I hesitate to say it is even now.

Once those went live, three months later I released 1.2, the “Family Matters” update, which added “Houses”. Despite their name, Houses can be used as clans, tribes, dynasties, families, or any other similar unit, and were intended to bridge the divide between characters and realms. Given that there are now 54 unique houses that have been created in the four months since their creation I’m happy with their usage. As part of Houses, we also introduced set of server-side instructions, these onesĀ  a bit more complex than those from 1.1, to handle requests for things: the “Game Request Manager”.

Like the other various services in the game, the Game Request system as a whole provides a framework for things to be run in the game. In this particular case, it created a system for both myself and other developers to have the game understand basically any place in the code where we want a player to be able to request something of another player. In the initial release, this is the system that handles players applying to join a House. In the implementation though, that request is a player using their character to make a request of a house. The framework itself however, allows requests to, from, and about basically any logical entity in the game. Realms can make requests. Settlements can be requested. Even permission to enter can be managed through this.

In time, this will be expanded to fix the issues we’ve known of in various parts of the game, about knights being to just join without a lords consent, and realms being able to just flip instantly. You could even use this to ask a lord for a distant estate or ask a knight to manage one. With the Game Request system, we have a way for all of this to handled.

In the future, if you’ve been playing the game or following the development, you may have heard that we’re currently on version 1.2.2, the “Staging Sieges…” update. This update is a series of updates that will be focused on making the game understand what a siege is, how it works, what it affects, and what a player can do with one. Sieges, from a players view, will add relatively minimal new content for the amount of work they require, but they will drastically change how warfare works (not to mention the various updates between 1.1 and 1.2.2 that patched a few longstanding issues with military related actions).

After this update, you won’t be able to walk up to a well-fortified city, attack it, and take it over all in a couple days. You’ll move your forces towards the city, declare a siege, build siege equipment, launch an assault, take the walls, and launch a final battle to clear out any remaining defenders hiding in the castle.

Of course, there’s no guarantee you get that far though. Siege equipment takes time to build. And who knows how many defenders there’ll be. Or if reinforcements will reach them before you can take the place.

Then again, maybe your forces will just sit there for months, hoping to starve out the city. Or the defenders might leave their defenses in order to break the siege, as sieges are relatively simple ways to cut (pause) trade in and out of a settlement.

Alternatively, maybe the reason your forces aren’t seeing the defender’s army is because that defender is busy sneaking to your lands to siege you back. As a siege stops all goods going in and out, and the supplies for your army are included in that.