So Many Updates

Well where to begin. Realms has had so many updates it really starting to “hang together” as an actual game at last.

I’ll just list a few of things rather than blather on for ages about each one.

  • Monsters now have a chance of dropping a chest which in turn has a chance of dropped varying quality and number of items.
  • Monsters can have “body” loot too. So if it isn’t in a chest it’s actually on their body instead.
  • Indicators have been added for corpses that contain loot. The corpse will decay a lot slower if it has an item on it and it will never decay if it has a quest item. Quest items corpse have spinning Q and other items would just have a spinning star.
  • Monsters can now have multiple attack animations (again I’ll need to find a good animator at some point because my skills are mediocre at best).
  • Particles can now fly in the direction of something. This is first used by the Ghost of Venril monster that haunts the graveyard. It spews forth green plasma/lightning.
  • Killing a monster now gives you some experience points. This meant I needed to have text notifications that float and fade to show how much you gained.

I spent rather a large amount of time finding an annoying lighting bug with the animated models. They just weren’t being effected by the color of the lighting enough for some reason.  After a few hours of head scratching i realised 2 lines of code were in the wrong order between the static model shader and the animated one. Annoying but it looks suitably beautiful now.

Another large change is pretty much the whole UI. The “hotbars” have now been replaced with a more console friendly layout. I think it looks a whole lot neater too.


The first 4 are for the primary weapon, the next are for the secondary, the third for the ranged weapon slot (or a wand etc) and the 3×3 block are for assigned spells or items.

The health and power bars are much smaller/clearer/neater too and I think a lot nicer.

I’ve started to add in the skill/weapon merchants which will use the same UI to try and give consistancy but that’s not ready for human consumption.

We almost have an actual game!

Until next time…..


Misty Ruins and Ghosts


Ok much progress was made which is always rather nice.

I had to make some editor tweaks to make things easier on myself but I won’t bore you with those.

I couldn’t resist adding a post-processing effect. You’ll notice in the video below everything has a slight blur where the bright/dark areas have a large change. This effect is called bloom and it simulates how our eyes handle bright light. There’s a slight bleeding of the bright color into the dark. It’s a fairly cheap effect to do (in terms of processing). I was a bit of a brain ache to get it to work with both the deferred rendering and the forward rendering parts of the game but hey.. I think it adds something.

So anyway enough technical stuff. After being inspired by some ruins I was wandering around in real life. I found some nice ruin models on one of the various model sites and took probably far too long importing and tweaking them. Along with a bunch of tombstones, gravestones and broken rubble. On of this I made an old ruined road (with the help of my new color map editor) an added in the essential ground mist/fog that’s always in graveyards (although I’ve only ever actually seen that on TV if i’m honest).

Here’s a little video of the ruins so far. The player is using the ghostly shader for now while I get it just right:


So yeah I found a nice bunch of ghostly models to use but then I realised I have no way of drawing an animated transparent model… So yeah I had to add that which took a little longer than I’d hoped. Kinda looks fairly ghostly at least.

Once I’m happier with that i’ll add in my ghost model and give him a particle effect of trailing faint mist.. maybe green mist or something, We’ll see what looks good.

My player needs some skills so I’ve finally got around to designing a nice Skills UI with my “project manager” (the person who keeps me from fiddling with shadows for 6 months). So I’ll be adding that. But I need someone to teach you these skill.

So for that i’ll need a old man (a sage). Every good RPG needs a wise old man. I’m in the process of importing a sage and giving him a  ruined shack to live in.. That will be at the end of the faint path from my previous post. That means the character screen with need skill tabs and I’ll need to make a UI for the sage for you learn the skills as well…

So much to do, so little time..

Until next time!

The Slightly Angry Village Woman


So much progress made, boringly a lot of it is hidden away a bit from anyone actually ever seeing it besides me but regardless. Mucho progresso made-o. Yeah I’ll never do that again.

Ok for starters there is now a mini to go with the main map which shows a spinning golden arrow to show which way you are facing. And to go with that the game now has a compass. Strangely enough that’s actually making it easier for me to not get lost in my own world (yep I’ve done it).

Here you see these new UI additions.


Ok moving on since the whole quest cycle is now finished (well it is now anyway) I need to branch out and make some surrounding areas more populated with things to do. I’ve started to make a narrow path leading to an old sage’s house. This meant I needed to make some improvements to my instancing and soft particle editors. They were both missing vital undo/delete functions.

It’s just way too annoying to reload the game if i place a bush I don’t want in the wrong palce or hack the data. Also to make the narrow path I had to use one of my spare ground textures from blendmap 2 (the first map is grass, stone, mud. The 2nd is cobbles, snow – for now and now sandy gravel).

Even that wasn’t enough to make a satifactory narrow path so I added in something I’d wanted for a long time: A color map. This basically allowed me to bright/darken or adjust the color of a 1 pixel of the terrain map. which translates to about 50cm squared. It just makes it possible to make things look more natural and will be very useful in the future.

Oh also I needed more types of long grass and bushes. Anyway those of you who follow me on twitter will already have seen the beginnings of this mysterious path.


So there’s the bushes and soft particles (a little ground fog/mist throw in) and here is the path itself with the next texture mapping and color map. Subtle but then it’s meant to be an old worn path. I’ve turned off one batch of foilage temporarily so you can actually see it.. Pretty effective I think.


Ok and there’s more… well at lot more in terms of coding.

NPC now support multiple animations finally and they can roam following paths and play a specific animation at each step at whatever speed is selected.

So now we have woman with a slightly angry walk following a triangle i’ve laid out for her to follow. Maybe she doesn’t like triangles.


At least she has a shadow.. as do all the NPCs now and that’s the final major thing that was added. Next up I’ll be be adding said sage and battered house and maybe a broken cobble path to some spooky ruins.

The fun bits basically!

Until next time.

Building Builders

It’s not all sunshine and roses or whatever the expression is…

The last week or two were spent making “builders” to help my make my villagers (and other monster type things) behave how I want them to.

As you can see I ended up needing a bunch of panel of info to make a quest builder. This allows me to make quest steps of all different types (kill things, collect things, find a special thing, speak to someone or  go to a err special place). I can order them or allow them to be done simultaneously along with set any relevant text dialogue for the various NPCs.

This was a large (and not particularly exciting) slab of coding but hey, it’s done now. So now I can add 1 or more quests to an NPC.

In other news I had to do something about the bounding area of an roaming enemy. They can roam around in their area just fine but what about if they’re attacked (and therefore start to run after you) and get to the edge of their area? Well my solution was to allow them to go to twice the side of their bounding area once they’re attacked and if they get to the edge of that (ie that would probably mean you’ve run away) they will give up and spin around and head back to their area. While they’re heading back they’re also unattackable. This is pretty much how it works in Final Fantasy 14 and Everquest (not sure about World of Warcraft as I’ve never played it) and various other RPGs. I’ve never been 100% happy with that solution but the alternative aren’t that great either (monsters that chase you forever or you being allowed to just stand outside the monsters area and pick them off from range).

We have a new NPC type too. Female Peasant Roamer NPCs. Handily I found a way of using the same skeleton from the Male Peasant NPC so therefore I can use the same animation. At least as a base anyway, I can always tweak it.

This then means I need a “roamer builder”. She can’t just randomly roam around like a mad woman or zombie so she’ll need to follow a “script”. For now it’ll be moving from A to B, pause for x time, turn left/right. She can play a selected animation along with each step. With those step types I should be able to make her wander around the village in an eventual loop. Much like the West World characters although she won’t be quite as intelligent.

Some smaller stuff. The player now hold’s he weapon properly and I added a sparkle to follow his weapon when he attacks, like so:


Oh and when a monster is killed it now updates the quest journal with a message to say that the player needs to kill more or that they’ve finished that step of the quest (also with a green tick). I’ll need to make it so you get your reward soon!


And finally the slope is now checked to prevent you walking up sheer surfaces although that’s not perfect yet since you can turn at a shallow angle to the surface and creep up it slowly but I’ll fix that later by checking the slope angle (as suggested by a nice guy on the Monogame forum).

Until next time..


Roaming and Targetting

Ok loads of updates. Some of which took absolutely ages to get look reasonable.

First up I continued where I left off (which is rare for me since I tend to hop around rather a lot). So before I had it to a quest npc (a male peasant farmer) would offer you a quest to help him with a rodent problem. You can accept this quest and will be offered an item to help you complete the quest. A dagger in this case.

The quest object is added to the player object and appears in your journal a a quest name. Nothing too complicated there but it works pretty elegantly at least and lends itself to easily making so I can save the game state (ie the Player wants to quit and play something else – heaven forbid).

Ok so now I needed some rodents for said rodent problem. I already had my rats kinda walking in a straight line and following the terrain if i told them to however that’s all they did. Unless you attacked them in which case they will follow you to the ends of the earch (around 25km away in this case) and try and kill you. Since they hit for hardly anything that would take probably hours for a rat to kill you. These are, after all, the started quest monsters.

Anyway so I had to make the roam but not too far away from the farmers farm or else what kind of problem would he have exactly? “Oh these rats that are 10km away are bothering my crops?”. I’m not even sure rats eat corn.. but anyway. So the rats first had to roam within an invisible bounding box. That was simple enough,  I just had to add some code to the editor to allow you to set the min/max for the box and save it for each rat.

Now onto the roaming itself. There a simplistic AI for this. The rats have 8 different actions they can perform. One of these is randomly picked after a random time (only a second ish) and they will various in turning rate, speed, animation speed. Also they will avoid each other and try not to make it too obviously they’re in an invisible box.

Here’s a video showing how that looks. I’ll tweak it some more but i’m fairly happy with it:

So there you have it. Next up i’ll be making it so you can kill the rats (which already kinda is done) and make them respawn after a while. They will leave a corpse for a few minutes first and possibly even drop some treasure. Oo Treasure!

On a side note I’m really starting to see why there’s such a long list of people in the credit at the end os PS4 game. Wow there’s a lot of work. I’m glad I didn’t go with my original idea of making an MMORPG. I mean this isn’t going to be Witcher 3, let’s be realistic it’s also not going to cost £50-60. Also remember, No Man’s Sky was only 2-3 guys at first (6 in the end) and that was a pretty huge success. I loved it anyway.

Until next time.


Quest and Tasks

Ok lots more work behind the scenes with a bit more for you to actually see this time. So… NPC/Quest Characters can now have quests/tasks attached to them.

Quests contain some text for the name, what the quest giver will say to you to entice you to do the quest, an initial reward (for example something you’ll need to actually complete the quest) and any number of final rewards. Also, of course, it contains what you actually need to do.

When you select an NPC who has a quest for you he will talk to you about it and a summary of what you’ll need to do and what your reward will be with pop up too.

You can accept or decline this and then, if accepted, then “Quest Accepted” will dramatically appear and the quest object is attached to your player object.


Before this of course I needed to actually make a version of my villager that wasn’t a merchant (I only had a merchant). He stands by his farm and fidget a bit (weird how hard it is to make a fidget animation not look ridiculous). He’s also set as a different type of NPC so now I have enemies, merchants and quest/task npcs. And as I mentioned above npcs can have quests attached to them.

I also had to find a nice shiny font which I semi copied from Final Fantasy 14 (not literally – just based on before i get sued). There’s is far nicer than mine but I’m happy enough with the result.

Next up I need to make the initial quest reward appear (I’ve made a dialog for this already) and then when you accept it, it will appear in you bag and you should be able to use it (a dagger in this case).. So yeah a lot to do before you can complete a whole quest cycle (get – do- get reward) but that’s what I’m aiming for.

I keep seeing mist rising from trees in films and TV shows. I’d really like to add that effect to my game but I have to resist adding effect after I found myself spending 2 months getting ground fog looking just right.

Anyway, until next time…


Realm of Buttons

Well it’s not all swords and sorcery, sometimes you have to focus for a little while on the little things. In this case buttons and icons.

The game now has items which can have all manner of different attributes attached to them. Things like their quality, value, weights and they can also have any number of required skills attached to them (ie so your could  carry a crossbow in your bag but you couldn’t actually used it with no knowledge of say bows and maybe specifically heavy crossbows – or maybe with some penalty without all the required skills).

Items all needed an icon to represent them so I added in a few items for starters: A basic healing potions, a dagger, a mysterious scroll, a leather belt, a chain mails hat and leggings and a couple of others.

The Character Screen’s Inventory tab now allows you to click and move items around to arrange them in your bag and have your character use them by dragging and dropping them over the relevant equipment slot. Like so:


That all works rather well and is hopefully pretty standard stuff for role playing game fans. I’ve done it in a kind of Dungeon Master style but in more of a Final Fantasy 14 layout (without the confusing armory chest idea that I wasn’t a fan of).

Another screen I needed was for when you open a chest or a merchant or villager gives you an item. This is the “Reward Screen” which is the featured image at the top.

And finally I needed yet more buttons for you to be able to answer questions from the villagers and merchants about transactions or accepting some task they offer you (also I had to make it so you could only actually talk to a villager from a reasonable distance away). So the buttons for this are like the screenshot below:


So what’s next?

Well, I need to tie all this together now so I have story line for the game planned out but I don’t really want to start making that yet until all the pieces work together. So next up is to make it so an NPC (villager) can offer you an item (A dagger), which you can then equip in your weapon slot. He will also offer you a question to help with the rat problem they have West of the village (a classic kill 10 rats quest). After you kill a few rats (lets make it 3 just to be different) then you can return to the villager and he will give you a reward (a healing potion). If all that hangs together then I have rewards working, inventory working, quests working, combat working and well.. lots of stuff working.

Exciting stuff.

Until next time…