Jan 20

Year in Review: 2017

Hi everyone! It’s that time again, when I look back at how things have gone over the last year.

January 2017

Added a side quest. Created the demo. Bunch of bugfixes.

February 2017

Showed off the demo at the Ultima Dragons 25th anniversary Bash, and fixed a bunch of bugs that were found at that event. Also made a number of balance changes to the early game.

March 2017

March was mostly a bugfix month- carpets became terrain, looped music no longer bugged out if you loaded a game, you may freely poison yourself with green potions, added a bunch of features- fences, animals, trees.

April 2017

Added “Open” as a keyboard command because most players expected it to be there. Expanded/improved some maps, including an entire new map for the main castle, fixed a lot of bugs, added a lot of dialog and plot. Improved the conversation system so a person you’re talking to can tell if you’re poisoned. ESC leaves an empty battlefield. Added street signs and casks.

May 2017

Added a new property that prevents cooks from walking into fireplaces, not realizing they were dangerous. XP gain is affected by karma. Fractional damage now described as a “scratch”. Moving north from the castle is now blocked. Save screens now show a short version of a map name. Upgrades to the map editor. Changed flow of early game to encourage visiting the king first thing. Naurglen has new, improved maps, and gave it two entrances. Keys work better (can be used themselves in addition to doors auto-unlocking if you have the right key, allowing locking doors).

June 2017

Wall torches can be extinguished. Crystal Barrier spell reworked as Crystal Prison. Clocks now show current time. Moved Open Gate down in level (and Iceball up, increasing its damage). Redid the game’s frame. Rewrote the rendering engine.

July 2017

Added sun and moon. Added the ability to have conversation responses dictated by an arbitrary function call. Added a number of time related functions (time between, is time after, etc). Stopped using a tile’s opacity for dim light, instead using a shadow overlay. Started work on the new inventory system, using a graphical grid. Removed Awaken from spell list so I don’t have to write “why did you wake me up?” dialog for 100 NPCs. New spell is Audachta Scribe, which copies spells into your spellbook. Bugfixes to scrolls. Moved “Wear/Wield” to “Ready”. Ready, Use, and Open use the new inventory UI.

August 2017

Officially started work on NPC schedules. Rivers consider the edge of the map to be water for purposes of which segment is drawn. Wrote most of the NPC schedule editor and started on game code.

September 2017

Schedule editor all the time, until surgery. Then, work did slow down. Officially announced that I was working on NPC schedules, and also the launch of my Patreon.

October 2017

Created holding maps for NPCs who leave a map but are going to return. This allows some to travel between maps. Map editor gained a function to show you where everyone is at a particular time based on their schedules. Added the (W)ait command, and hooked sleeping at inns into it. Finished schedules for Naurglen, and dialog modifications relating to them.

November 2017

Put coding on hold to work on the Art Of the Dark Unknown book. Finished writing the book and the Almanac over the span of November. Also released my first in a series of design diaries.

December 2017

Gave spells a “long desc” that shows while you have it selected in the spellbook. Once you have a spell, you know more precisely what it does. Rewrote the map editor to use the new rendering code. Continued making layout and content updates to the books.


And there you have it. I wasn’t as good as I’d like at keeping my changelog up to date as I worked, so I might have missed something. But it hit the highlights- NPC schedules and the near-completion of the books. Was it as productive a year as I would have hoped? No, it wasn’t. But a deceptive amount did happen, nonetheless!

Here’s to another year, and hopefully by the end of it, there will be a game!