Push To Exit Pre-Alpha

Discuss Daggerfall Unity and Daggerfall Tools for Unity.
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Interkarma
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Push To Exit Pre-Alpha

Post by Interkarma » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:19 pm

Hey everyone! I'm looking at the list of major features remaining in Daggerfall Unity, and it's looking pretty thin these days:
  • Final 40% of spell effects
  • Buy spells from mages guild
  • Magic items & potions (and related crafting UIs)
  • Custom character creator & history questions
  • Vampire/werebeast gameplay
  • Daedra summoning
There are many smaller items to tackle, plus a substantial bug fix and polishing pass needed before 1.0. But in terms of feature parity with classic, we're very close to the point I'd be comfortable exiting pre-alpha. I would like to reach this point by late 2018 or early 2019 at the latest. So the push is on!

To help stay focused over the next several months, I'm setting myself a few ground rules to follow. I may add to these at any time. If I feel something or someone is dragging my focus away from the task at hand, then I'll refer either myself or the other person back to this post. If you guys see me going off on a tangent, I want you to refer me back to this post. :)

Here goes:

Core Features Come First
This means the roadmap (including quest system and spell effects) will have priority over everything else. I want to spend as much time as possible actually cranking out core gameplay from this point forwards. The mod framework can continue to build out as this is largely independent of the core now.

Bug Fixes Must Be Bug Fixes
By this, I mean fixing something in the Bug Reports forum, not just moving code around or "improving stuff" that's already working in the game. I don't have the time to test major changes to code that has already been battle-tested and running for years now. Every fix must be focused, purposeful, and crystal clear.

Minimal Distractions
I always try to help end users, modders, library hackers, quest authors, and other generally-interested people by supporting them with new changes and additional support in the base game. That is about to dry up for a while. I love everything you folk are doing, but I only have so many hours in the day. If there's something you want to see in the base game, you might have to wait for a bit before it can happen.

Limited Touch To Core
Unless it's supporting a core feature or fixing a very clear bug (see above), I want to see as few changes to the core as possible. I want to establish a baseline of quality and stability in the game from this point moving forwards. This doesn't mean the core is off limits, but it does mean that I'm going to be a lot more protective of changes to base code.

Quality, Quality, Quantity
I will be much stricter on myself and others from this point that code is of a reasonable standard. There's no point getting the job done if it's a hot mess at the end. We're actually pretty great at fixing stuff around here and things usually don't stay broken very long. I'd like this to continue this so the game keeps getting better day over day. I want our alpha to be more stable than most games' betas.

New Contributors, Please Look Into Mod System
I definitely don't want to exclude new developers from coming into the project. But as far the base game is concerned, that ship has already sailed. My feeling is this late into the project, we've already found every core contributor that's likely to be a part of the base game anyway. I will start directing new contributors towards the mod system as a way of learning about the project and experimenting in a way that doesn't involve changing the core.

This Is Only Temporary
Our community spirit is a big part of what makes this project special. Our open acceptance of newcomers and hacker mindset is much too valuable to lose. The name Daggerfall Unity doesn't just refer to the engine, it's a battle cry for what I want the project to achieve for the Daggerfall community as a whole. So all of the above is only temporary. Once the base game is done, I'm going to take a few steps back to see what the community can do with it. I want the game to belong to everyone. But for now, I can't spare the time to chase a constantly moving target. I need to stake the end-game and just get this thing done.


Thank you everyone for your continued encouragement and kind words around the project. This is a free game made from love in my spare time with the help of others also working out of love in their spare time. Sometimes that encouragement is the only thing keeping us going.

Cheers!

Mike
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Re: Push To Exit Pre-Alpha

Post by Mike » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:59 pm

I'm speaking as a coding/programming illiterate, but from the general standpoint of project management, I agree 1,000% with everything above. Just browsing the forums recently, although I completely understand and applaud your desire to support the community, it seems you've been spreading yourself pretty thin with detours into non-core projects. But this renewed focus on core features, bug fixes, and overall stability will build a strong foundation for all these community efforts and more during the alpha and beyond. As always, looking forward to more progress and updates over the next few months, but as I mentioned elsewhere, don't be afraid to take a break to recharge your batteries once in a while. :)

However it goes, thank you and the other hard-working core contributors once more for bringing incredible new life to the first CRPG I ever played.

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Jay_H
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Re: Push To Exit Pre-Alpha

Post by Jay_H » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:30 am

Interkarma wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:19 pm
I want our alpha to be more stable than most games' betas.
Haha, I'm actually surprised DFU's been in pre-alpha for this long, since it really has been that stable. I recognize this is a matter of content rather than bugs, though. Also, compared to games like Fortnight and RImworld, I see your point.

In any case, I'm happy to see this. Anything I suggest from here on has the implicit statement, "If anyone ever has time to do it," like within a span of years :)

I've also been working a little too hard on my DFU stuff so I'll be pulling back over the next little while.
Try over 90 all-new quests in the first Daggerfall Unity Quest Pack.

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Interkarma
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Re: Push To Exit Pre-Alpha

Post by Interkarma » Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:21 am

Thank you for understanding. :)

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King of Worms
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Re: Push To Exit Pre-Alpha

Post by King of Worms » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:31 am

I also agree 100% with this decision of yours Interkarma.

DU made a huge leap in last year thanks to You and massive support of dedicated contributors like Hazelnut who made basically whole 0.6 and big chunk of 0.7 ahead of schedule, Allofich who made major part of 0.8 etc, huge overall efforts which deserve a standing ovations!

I think community can take care of itself now in a sense that lots of questions and requests can be answered by someone from us already.

You focusing on the core and other changes you described is a good decission and will help the project as a whole.

Good luck in a development process, thank you for making this all possible!

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Uncanny_Valley
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Re: Push To Exit Pre-Alpha

Post by Uncanny_Valley » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:09 pm

Just do what you need to do. The community will understand and support you all the way. :)

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Hazelnut
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Re: Push To Exit Pre-Alpha

Post by Hazelnut » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:28 pm

Interkarma wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:19 pm
Hey everyone! I'm looking at the list of major features remaining in Daggerfall Unity, and it's looking pretty thin these days:
  • Final 40% of spell effects
  • Buy spells from mages guild
  • Magic items & potions (and related crafting UIs)
  • Custom character creator & history questions
  • Vampire/werebeast gameplay
  • Daedra summoning
There are many smaller items to tackle, plus a substantial bug fix and polishing pass needed before 1.0. But in terms of feature parity with classic, we're very close to the point I'd be comfortable exiting pre-alpha. I would like to reach this point by late 2018 or early 2019 at the latest. So the push is on!
Just FYI I had planned to do the point highlighted in green (potions, not magic items) and possibly summoning too. They're both offshoots of the guild services system, as is buy spells & enchant but I figured that you'd do those since it's related to spells. I need to get up to speed on what you've done with effects system to plug into potion usage, unless you'd rather do that bit as well.

Other than that, there are some minor features like reputation propagation and possibly the rep gain/loss differences from default documented on the UESP but unfortunately I've had no replies to by request for info in viewtopic.php?f=19&t=910 so guess I will have to find time to research and verify myself.

Hope that helps you understand my plans - please say if they interfere with yours in any way.

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Interkarma
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Re: Push To Exit Pre-Alpha

Post by Interkarma » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:28 pm

Most happy for you to take this over at some point, just give me a bit of time to get the ball rolling so you can see how I'm planning to integrate potions with the existing effects. I have some reuse in mind. It should be fairly simple for you to come up to speed once I get to that, then you can take over the feature and crafting UI. Sound good? :)

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Interkarma
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Re: Push To Exit Pre-Alpha

Post by Interkarma » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:45 pm

Hi All. Just a quick update for this one.

We're getting very close to 0.5 being done. I'd like to start wrapping up this feature line and move to a stable build soon for my own mental health. :)

I've updated the Roadmap with final items for 0.5. From this point forwards, I won't merge any PRs unrelated to 0.5 to master. Only magic-related features and bug fixes will be merged. All my focus will be on wrapping up the bulk of magic & effects and progressing the game to a new stable baseline.

For any new features and other changes, I've created a 0.6 branch on git. I'll keep this updated with master, and new work can go to 0.6 for now.

Once we've achieved 0.5 stable, I'll roll everything back into master and start on 0.6 stable. This will likely signal the last big push through to the end, as almost everything through to 0.9 has been completed by our tireless team.

A big thanks to everyone involved in the core. We're nearly there, you guys! Just a little bit further to go now and this thing is on the home stretch.

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Jay_H
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Re: Push To Exit Pre-Alpha

Post by Jay_H » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:05 am

Interkarma wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:45 pm
We're getting very close to 0.5 being done. I'd like to start wrapping up this feature line and move to a stable build soon for my own mental health. :)

A big thanks to everyone involved in the core. We're nearly there, you guys! Just a little bit further to go now and this thing is on the home stretch.
Hooray for mental health! :) I know I've said it before, but this is the last big challenge. After that it's all refinement. Then we can talk about your retirement plan :)

Have you spent some time just playing DFU with some of the new mods and quests? I really love it. Nobody would mind if you took some time to recharge once the new build is out.
Try over 90 all-new quests in the first Daggerfall Unity Quest Pack.

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