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Messages - HobGoblin42

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News & Announcements / Bavarian Support and a new Senior Team Member
« on: March 27, 2019, Wednesday, 04:59 pm »
We are happy to announce that Realms Beyond has received additional funding from the FilmFernsehFonds Bayern!

The additional funds of 100.000 EUR are flowing directly into development, translating into more high quality content for you to experience.

Senior Level Designer Janos Toth joins our team to fill our world with dangerous dungeons and tranquil villages for the player to explore. He has formerly worked on games like Battle Isle, History Line, Sacred Underworld, Sacred 2, The Settlers 5 and Spellforce 3, bringing plenty of experience with the RPG and RTS genres with him. You can check out his portfolio here.

Soon, we will also post a development update about the game. We have been hard at work optimizing our tools, especially the dialogue tool, in order to allow for heavy branching in quests and conversations, and to give player decisions as heavy an impact as possible. In our next update we will show off the capabilities of our dialogue tool in detail, along with some example dialogues.

Stay tuned!

Goto Blog Post

Map Editor / More information on game audio?
« on: March 26, 2019, Tuesday, 12:13 pm »
We're using FMOD and it supports OGG beside WAV and MP3.

Gameplay Discussion / Particle editor
« on: February 25, 2019, Monday, 08:58 pm »
Can you share more information about how the particle editor works?
Is there any (remote) chance we will be able to import particles from other 3d apps?

We'll explain the FX editor in a later stage of development, right now, I can only offer you a screenshot that shows the editor:

And no, there will be no option to import shader or FXs from other software, because our approach is very unique.

News & Announcements / Combat System #4: AI for Turn-based Combat Systems
« on: February 24, 2019, Sunday, 04:46 pm »
Is Realms Beyond using multithreading, multiprocessing, hyper-threading?

We're using threads, but with a turn-based combat system, you can't really benefit from parallel computing except the AI evaluation process.

Outside combat, some NPC tasks are running in different threads (like pathfinding).

Gameplay Discussion / Fatigue and Exhaustion
« on: February 24, 2019, Sunday, 04:41 pm »
Will we be able to deviate from this with custom races?

Yes, you can modify every race attribute/feature from outside.
In general, we don't have any hard-coded parameters or properties for races or classes in the game. The game code itself doesn't even know specific races like Humans and Dwarves, or classes like Figher and Wizard.

Script System / Please avoid these mistakes with your UrWelt editor
« on: February 24, 2019, Sunday, 04:32 pm »
HobGoblin, which approach does the game have to Mods? Neverwinter-night like or the Elder Scrolls like?

If you want to change existing elements, you need to replace the related configuration files and scripts with your modified versions.

To add new elements, e.g. new races, spells, feats, items, etc. you can simply add new configuration files that be will be included by the game automatically.

Site Feedback / Season timed out!
« on: February 22, 2019, Friday, 09:10 pm »
There seem to be a problem with the session cache in the SMF 2.0.15 version.

I made some minor change, can you please check again and report?

News & Announcements / Combat System #4: AI for Turn-based Combat Systems
« on: February 20, 2019, Wednesday, 03:05 pm »
Will random encounters be fought on randomly generated maps, or will there be a limited number of generic pre-generated maps used like in TOEE?

We don't have purely randomized maps but we combine different pre-edited parts to create individual encounter/wilderness maps that correspond to the environment of the world map.

News & Announcements / Combat System #4: AI for Turn-based Combat Systems
« on: February 20, 2019, Wednesday, 12:55 am »
When we started out working on the combat system we had a lot to do to lay the basic foundations. We had to get our character animation system running and implement stuff like combat logic, hexboard generation from level topology, or hexboard queries for paths and floodings at runtime.

That left little time to care about something as high level as AI (Artificial Intelligence). As a consequence our first prototype for AI ‘grew’ with time. At first, all it could do were melee attacks. Then we added ranged attacks. Then we implemented an enemy spell AI for intelligent placing of area spells (trying to maximize hits on enemies and minimize hits on allies). Finally we included rather specific routines (like fleeing) for characters that suffered from spells like fear. We realized that AI has to be able to deal with script spells that are loaded at runtime (a feature that could be interesting for future modifications). To allow for that we coded routines that simulate spell executions and judge their effects in a more general way.

Thus our prototype grew and grew until we were sure that we covered every capability that could possibly be required. Then we started to build it from scratch to make it more flexible and debugable. And now we feel like we can finally talk about AI.

Combat AI Debug Visualization in Realms Beyond

 The paradigm we had in mind for development has always been: What do we expect from a turn based AI?
Well, technically, we expect a lot! A demon wizard that fails to choose his fireball spell over a magic missile, or who fails to place the fireball in a way that maximizes damage on the player party is a no-go. An assassin who simply attacks her closest target instead of trying to stab your wizard in the back is not only little immersive – it also obliterates strategic bottlenecks like doors. And a human NPC ally that is not able to plan his path avoiding enemy attacks of opportunity is an annoyance. So when we talk about expectations from a ‘technical’ point of view, one can say that we expect ‘a lot’. A good (D&D 3.5 based) AI has to be able to perform a lot of intelligent choices for enemies that we expect to behave intelligent.

Assuming that we built an AI that is able to live up to those expectations, it is time to consider a different connotation: What do we expect from AI not in terms of quality but in terms of personality?
If every enemy behaved optimally the challenge would be maximized – and immersion would be gone. We want goblins to horde around their closest enemy. We want orcs to ignore attacks of opportunity. And an ogre might even be too stupid to leave an area that is affected by a damage-over-time spell. Even beyond ‘intelligence’ enemies should show personality in every decision that gameplay offers: While most races ignore unconscious or otherwise helpless enemies on the battle field and proceed to face those player characters that can still fight, certain foul creatures like goblins or gnolls should be known for finishing off their helpless foes. It’s those little twists that make combats immersive.

We hope that – apart from the challenge of making our AI capable of  ‘good’ decisions – we also do a good job to diversify enemy behaviours enough to allow you to detect patterns and become especially hateful of one enemy or the other.

A combat in 'Knights of the Chalice'

Once again, allow us to mention Knights of the Chalice here. It is owing to that game that we had a very precise idea about what we had to do when we first started prototyping our CPU-controlled opponents. The AI of KotC (and, of course, its excellent encounter design) made almost all combats interesting. It may be prone to crowd in bottlenecks (a fact can be exploited a lot once you get the stone wall spell) but hey – weaknesses are something you also expect from an AI to have fun, another fact that we are well aware of.

Hopefully, we can soon present you some more combat vids that display various AI behaviours. Until then, feel invited to tell us what you think about our ideas and what you consider important for a turn-based AI. And if you have a memorable story to tell about a combat against an especially cunning AI: please share it with us.
Goto Blog Post

Gameplay Discussion / Fatigue and Exhaustion
« on: February 18, 2019, Monday, 08:02 pm »
Yes, the game has some kind of fatigue (the name isn't final yet).

All of your character must rest from time to time. Most of them need to sleep as well  - some, like elves don't sleep but meditate. Not only to memorize/restore spells but because it's part of the world simulation.

Script System / What are the limits on making/editing feats?
« on: February 18, 2019, Monday, 07:56 pm »
Knights of the Chalice 2 disappointed me when the author said that game wouldn't allow for making of new feats beyond simple numerical modifiers.  What about in Realms Beyond?

Well, that depends on the individual feat.

Some feats require are very deep integration in the core game code, for example Whirlwind Attack but the majority of feats can be implemented with one or more modifiers.
We've opened the rule system as much as possible, but for some very unique feats, you possibly still need to add customized code.

Gameplay Discussion / I'm playing Druid
« on: February 16, 2019, Saturday, 12:41 am »
What about in-battle party switching if we have more than 5 npcs following us?

We don't have party switching, but the combat isn't limited in regard of player controlled characters. In worst cast, some followers only show up in combat but not in exploration mode.

Gameplay Discussion / I'm playing Druid
« on: February 16, 2019, Saturday, 12:38 am »
So it won't be like IWD1&2? Well, shame if not, you'll be more like Pathfinder, Pillars, Divinity OS2, instead of rare prize like IWD1&2, Divinity OS EE & Baldur's Gate 1&2, which has such feature.

As I said, we're thinking about creating 3 characters immediately and then creating 3 more in the early beginning of the game. But that heavily depends on the introducing story part which isn't final yet.
I personally don't need to create all 6 characters at once, because it would need more than one hour before the game actually starts.

I think, the more relevant point is not when but if you can create all members (you can).

Gameplay Discussion / I'm playing Druid
« on: February 15, 2019, Friday, 02:02 pm »
I would like to create only four members, and not whole 6 at the campaign start, if possible.

That's a detail we're still thinking about.
Creating all members before entering the world for the first time comes with some serious disadvantages regarding pacing and story telling.

Map Editor / User-Made Paid Mods & Scenarios
« on: February 14, 2019, Thursday, 03:30 pm »
Will users be able to make mods/scenarios and legally sell them?  Some other games allow this, like StarCraft II.  If so, what else should we know at present of such?

User created mods and content distributed via Steam Workshop and or our webpage will be free of charge.

For semi-professional teams interested in creating their own RPG with the Realms Beyond engine (UrWelt Engine), we can talk about licensing but this needs to be a stand-alone product.

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