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Epic Adventure v0.14.0 Released, Plus the Future...

2mo
#1
Today I have finished Epic Adventure v0.14.0 which should be hitting all platforms over the coming days. This update adds Charcoal which can be created by smelting a Log in the furnace. Also, pretty much all wooden items can now be used as furnace fuel. This update also vastly increases the speed at which logging/mining/attacking occurs.

Beyond that though, I wanted to discuss the future of Epic Adventure a bit. The truth is, there are a lot of really good ideas and things I want to do with this game, but they are all sort of hampered by some stupid design decisions that I made from the very beginning of development, making it exceedingly difficult and time consuming to add new features and content to the game.

Even the graphics are a hassle, as simple as they look. For instance, I have been wanting to add more walls to the game beyond the simple wooden wall that exists. However, each wall object in the game requires 48 different images which all need to line up together so that all possible configurations of creating a wall will properly connect. The same goes for rocks in caves and other terrain elements. This is a very annoying and time consuming process in and of itself.

The game world is split into chunks, which is fine, but I originally implemented this is having each chunk be a totally separate map, whose processing and entities are completely disconnected from the rest of the game world. What is happening in one chunk has no relation or impact on what is happening on the chunk next door, and changing this requires a complete reworking of the server side code.

For rendering, Epic Adventure uses the Scroll2d engine that I originally created for My Land. This engine does not lend itself particularly well to the chunk layout of the game, as it works on an x:y coordinate system that cannot go below 0:0, meaning negative numbers are not possible. This is why in My Colony 1, the map could only be expanded East and South when using the annex land option, and not to the North and West. This is an issue in Epic Adventure because I would like to make game "look like" it is not broken up into chunks, even though it technically is, similar to My Colony 2.

Because of this, I have determined to consider Epic Adventure a proof-of-concept or a tech-demo for a brand new game engine that I will be switching to, and to end development of the game at this point. I will be taking the best parts of Epic Adventure and reusing a lot of it's code, but pushing it into a brand new open-world RPG engine that I can use across several games, including Gone Rogue 2, as well as whatever will be the spiritual successor to Epic Adventure, which I am thinking about calling My World or something to that effect, in tradition of keeping with the "My" series of games.

So for the purpose of the rest of this post, I will be referring to the continued development of what is now Epic Adventure as My World, however there is no guarantee that My World will be the final name. But I need to use something to talk about what will be changing in the new engine, and what will be carried over from Epic Adventure.

To start with, the My World engine will probably straight-copy the game HUD/UI from Epic Adventure, including the crafting/smelting menu, as well as the "belt" inventory and so on. Not that these things don't need improvement, but copying what is already there will give a big boost to the development.

For rendering, I will be replacing the Scroll2d engine with the Scroll3d engine that is currently being used in My Colony 2. Scroll3d is vastly more advanced than Scroll2d and renders faster on more devices thanks to using WebGL instead of software rendering. My World .png artwork will be replaced with Voxel Paint graphics like in My Colony 2, and player characters will still use My Tokens characters thanks to the new Mini Voxel Tokens introduced in the latest My Tokens release.

The reason for this change is that it simply makes it way faster and easier to create graphics and assets for the game. For instance, I said that a wall in Epic Adventure requires 48 different images. In My World, it could be made with either 1 or 2 images, one for the sides, and optionally a different one for the top. Scroll3d was also build with chunk-type worlds in mind right from the beginning, again look at My Colony 2 for reference.

My Colony 2 has a complete game-editor and modding platform built in, and I want My World to have the same thing. Not only does this allow other users to create content for the game, but it allows me to work on the game from a web browser from anywhere. For instance, if we spend two weeks with family, I can take my laptop and still work on My Colony 2, because I have the game and Voxel Paint in my web browser wherever I'm at. It would be nice to be able to do that here as well.

I mentioned that I want this engine to also support Gone Rogue 2, which I've been wanting to make for a while now. This means support for other RPG style elements. It will need a full dungeon generator, as well as support for NPC's, shops, dialogs, etc. A lot of these things I was planning to add to Epic Adventure anyway, because I was originally going to use the Epic Adventure engine to make the Gone Rogue sequel. But to have this in the new engine, along with the game editor built right into the game, will actually give players the ability to create their own RPG adventure games as My World mods. There are a lot of possibilities here.

Anyway, this is a long term project. What I want to do is take what I've learned about crafting games from Epic Adventure, what I've learned about modding/endless worlds from My Colony 2, and what I've learned about multiplayer from a whole host of games, and merge them into a new Open World/Adventure Game engine. It might be called My World, and the first version will be pretty similar to the current release of Epic Adventure, except in 3d. It will be a lot like when I originally converted My Empire from Scroll2d to Scroll3d, except this requires more substantial changes than that one did. But for the first release, I plan to have everything that the current Epic Adventure has, and then move forward from there.

So there it is, I hope that this doesn't disappoint anyone, but I think that the new game has potential to really shine in ways that it would be hard to make Epic Adventure do so. But let me know what you think, and stay tuned for more!
Owner of Ape Apps
1mo
#2
I like the idea. I remember you showing all of the images that you had to draw for one wall. I know how tedious game design can be.

The scroll3d engine would be better because it could allow you to have an elevation and sea level element, or even an underwater element. I’m feeling like “My Realm” sounds better since it is an rpg game, but that’s just my opinion. How will you implement underground mining and house construction though?

I feel like you could create a cave system via z-levels. For example, each Z coordinate could be tied to a different playfield. ground/sea level could be z:0, higher elevations could have a negative z value, and lowlands/caves/underwater/underground could have positive z values, or vice-versa. You could traverse between these playfields/coordinates via stairs/cave entrance just like the old game.

Each chunk could contain data for all playfields at the same x and y coordinates(kind of like how minecraft chunks go all the way down to the bottom of the world), eliminating the need to repeatedly unload and load chunks when switching playfields. This way, you just need to pull different tile and object data from each chunk depending on the value of z. The chunk object is always in memory, but not all of its data has to be. You would only have to load/unload chunks when the player moves around along the x and y axes.

If the player is at or above sea level, they will want to see the ground below and above them. I’m not sure how this could be done when each z level is a separate playfield. People might want to dig into a mountainside to make their base, and that wouldn’t be possible if you put everything at and above sea level into one playfield.

Either way, i look forward to the future changes.
Epic Adventure
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Ape Apps, LLC is an independent software development company founded in 2010 by Brandon Stecklein. Over the years, Ape Apps has published over 400 apps and games across various platforms. You can get in touch with Brandon on Twitter or by leaving a post on his wall @bastecklein
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