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The XL Engine is and will remain free, donations are purely optional but greatly appreciated.

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There aren’t any cool screenshots in the post but there’s a lot of information about the merger progress and release, post merger plans and some surprises. :)

Update

I’m still working on refactoring the world system. So far the object and logic system are finished. The XL Engine takes the Object/Logic system from DarkXL and extends it. Now objects (i.e. entities/actors) are purely component based rather then using a mix of inheritance and components like DarkXL engine. Objects can have one or more Logic components – which can be implemented in either script or code. These control the function/AI of the objects and almost all of them will be implemented in scripts (except for the player and networked objects). If you have multiple logics on a single object, then they are simply run in order. This allows for simpler, reusable, behaviors to be chained together. Similarly there’s a game data component which is used by the scripts or game code, render component to handle various types of renderable objects (voxels, sprites, models, etc.) and so on. This will allow user mods to add new enemies, powerups, items, weapons, etc. or modify existing logics all through script code – allowing powerful modding capabilities without worrying about the OS or compiling code.

In addition the object pool system from DarkXL has been made to work with the new object system and extended to efficiently support growing as much as needed – limiting the number of run-time allocations necessary without putting a hard limit on the number of objects that can be in the world/level.

I’m still working on refactoring the sector code, the goal of which is to have all the Blood, Outlaws and of course Dark Forces levels rendering correctly as well as being functional (i.e. doors, switches, triggers, etc. working). I’ve already implemented the WorldCell and Cell Loader interfaces (basically these load the map, dungeon, exterior, etc. data and then converts it to a proper WorldCell). This basically means that the game code can call a single function to load a map/cell/etc. and add it to the world. The engine takes care of the rest. I will be gone for a week on a trip but when I get back I should be able to start showing screenshots in the actual game worlds.

Finally there will be some limited gameplay for Blood and Outlaws in the release. In addition to the levels functioning, there will be at least one enemy and one weapon implemented. With more to come post-release.

Multiplayer

Originally I was going to completely hold off on multiplayer until the single player was much further along. However I realized that this isn’t really a good idea. So my main focus will continue to be single player, however I will be adding networking support and simple multiplayer to the merger build. The reason for this is simple, if I don’t architect this system will multiplayer in mind then I’ll wind up redoing stuff later (again). In order to make sure I’m doing it properly it needs to be tested, which means I make simple multiplayer available.

So here’s the plan: coop and deathmatch – no extended rulesets, just basic support until single player is further along. The primary focus will be on DarkXL since it is the most complete, with support for Blood and Outlaws as well since they are best setup for it. DarkXL doesn’t have all the necessary sprites but I’ll reuse the existing enemy sprites in “creative” ways for testing.

 

Post-Merger Plan Changes

I’ve already talked about this on the forums, but I’ll put it up here for those who missed it.

There will be some changes to the post-merger plans, mostly related to DaggerXL.

For DarkXL, the goal will still be to finish the Beta – making DarkXL a full and complete replacement for DosBox.

For DaggerXL the original goal was to continue working on the missing features promised for 0.20. However at this point I think the dungeon gameplay is probably good enough for now as-is, even though it still needs some more work. I’m going to move to the NPC and shop systems and then guilds, quests and reputation. The idea is that once we get to quests and dungeon gameplay becomes important again then I can spend time on the dungeons and enemies again but even with the current implementation, once you add NPCs, quests, guilds, shops and so forth the game will become much more “real” and playable. This will be helped tremendously by the UI scripting system and UI tool being developed during the merger process.

BloodXL and OutlawsXL will be all about implementing enemies, weapons and other gameplay elements.

8 Responses to “Merger Update 4”

  • Tim Noyce:

    Lucius,

    Again it never ceases to amaze me how quickly things are starting to fall into place.

    This is all excellent news.

  • It amazes me how all of this is getting accomplished by one man! Good work so far! It is truly appreciated!

  • pauLL:

    A really interesting read, even for a no-nothing such as myself.
    Enjoy your week off and I look forward to the next update.

  • Lucius!

    I’m pumped that things are moving forward. Once you release the multi platform beta of DF and it’s playable on Mac OS X, I’ll dedicate an entire weekend to doing nothing but playing through the entire game! Super excited.

  • Draken:

    As always, Lucius, you shock and amaze us. I like these mini updates. Really keeps things feeling more active in comparison to before.

    Obviously I’m here for DaggerXL more than any of the other stuff, but the prospect of other ancient games to play is interesting nonetheless.

    Enjoy your time off as you’ve certainly earned it several times over.

  • Bobbles:

    Cant wait to play Daggerfall again thanks for doing this, have setup using your earlier releases and really enjoy how well everything is rendered the depth and feel plus the fact that daggerfall is the biggest game word outside of modern MMO’s ever made please finish daggefall for that will define you as a programmer – thanks.

  • Kinasin:

    Keep up the good work and I can’t wait for daggerfall. Enjoy your trip.

  • JoF:

    Just to say: Multi-player + DAGGER XL = DAGGER AWESOME.

    But maybe I’m overreaching a bit here.
    Anyway, keep up with the good work, the XL engine is amazing :-)

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The XL Engine is and will remain free, donations are purely optional but greatly appreciated.