Hi everyone, we’re finally here. The last update for Medieval Realms dropped on the 8th of October 2020. Two and a half years later, the new Medieval Realms plugin for Rising World is now live. Read on for all the details.
It’s great to finally be able to share with you what I’ve been up to since JIW Games announced they were moving the game engine from JMonkey over to Unity.
As you may already know, I decided I was going to re-write MR from scratch. This presented a great opportunity to improve on the fundamental functionality of the plugin.
The Research Phase
I began this project by learning game design using the Unity game engine. I purchased “a few” books and took “a few” online courses.
All of which led me into creating a Unity based survival game myself (and a couple of other 2D platformers along the way).
These games, albeit crude and obviously not something I had the time to fully invest in, did give me a great learning experience. I got as far as making a procedurally generated world in which I was able to run around with a character who could then chop trees down for logs with an axe.
I can tell you – that was that a lot of work just on it’s own! 😮
All of this gave me first-hand experience in how these kinds of games work. From creating the terrain using various noise functions, adding weathering effects to enhance the landscapes naturalness, to the all important event management and handling.
Side note: as of writing this version update, I can’t seem to find any more recent screenshots from that particular world generation project, so we’re stuck with the early rather pointy lanscape screenshots from my blog I’m afraid. But believe me when I say, the weathering algorithms make the landscapes look a whole new level… anyways I’m digressing. 🤐
In the end, underneath all this lovely eye candy it’s just data. Lots and lots of data. Vertices, indices, normals, and of course rules, plenty of rules.
So I decided to think what else could we do with this data?
After some thought I decided I would write a procedurally generated data overlay plugin for Rising World.
Not one layer, but multiple layers. Layer-upon-layer of procedural data goodness. In fact there’s well over 100 layers.
The result is that Medieval Realms now builds on top of Rising World adding a huge amount of additional data for the plugin to pull from.
The server creates irregularly shaped regions (Realms) each with their own procedurally generated name (names like Oakton, Theingrave, Goldberg, etc…) spread across four different kinds of Realm – Humans, Elven, Dwarven and Cursed.
The result is one Realm may be high in one or more natural resources but low in others.
This forms the bedrock of the Advanced Crowns Economy System (ACES).
I will just quickly mention there are also difficulty multipliers (think DND) all over the place and ready to be hooked into in future MR releases.
Boarderzones between rivals increase the danger; for example, a Dwarf living deep inside a Dwarven Realm will live a much easier life than an Elf trying to make it out in a Cursed Realm.
I’m also working on a DND style Class System to interface with the various races, but more about this in the future.
When you first log into Medieval Realms you’ll be asked to choose whether you want to play as a Human, Elf or a Dwarf.
Currently this determines which NPC kingdom you belong to. In the future, when new updates drop you’ll get the chance to choose again, as this will have an impact on the perks your character will recieve. But in the meantime, don’t worry too much about being stuck with a character class… well not yet anyway.
After you’ve chosen your Monarch, it’s time chose your avatar! There’s 45 avatars to choose from, 15 for Humans, 15 for Elves, and 15 for Dwarves.
Currently there are just four kingdoms (three of which players can join) each with their own monarch. But the structure is all in place to allow for players to start their very own kingdoms. This will drop in future releases once more of the gubbins are in place.
This update of Medieval Realms is all about getting a strong foundation to build on. You can’t build a castle if your foundations are built on sand.
As I’ve invested a lot of time creating the back-end system for Medieval Realms – a process of which I’m still heavily into, the front-end has taken a bit of a backseat. So until the back-end is done, the front-end Graphical User Interface (GUI) is going to utilise a temporary one.
Expect unoptimised glitchy images, repeating graphics and general basic-ness.
This is really just there so you can see all the relevant information without having to keep typing in commands. I don’t know about you, but in games, I really hate typing out commands. This menu can be toggled on and off by pressing the Realms Menu key – that’s mapped to the R Key. It updates in real-time so no need to log out and log in again, or toggle the menu for refresh.
Please note though, that the Illness, Broken Bones, and Bleeding counters are currently not hooked up. I literally ran out of time and have not yet been able to get this bit coded yet. My “to-do list” is pretty big, and seems to get bigger by the day.
The eagle eyed amongst you may notice there’s a Regional Deity field – that’s right! There are now over 250 pagan deities.
Each Realm has its own god its local inhabitants worship (or choose not to worship, the consequences of which are yet to be seen 😉). This system is designed to be fluid. So expect sacrifices, ancient rights, magical amulets and more to come in the future. These pagan gods form the backbone of the MR Magic System (in development).
AXES 2.0 Land Management
But most importantly, the player-controlled area protection system is back. AXES 2.0 builds on the knowledge I gained from writing the original AXES back in early 2018. This time AXES 2.0 integrates into a comprehensive permissions system and utilisese caching to speed up performance by reducing SQL database calls and minimises lag.
So, as before, players can buy land deeds and take ownership over the land. You can purchase land deeds by pressing the Purchase key – mapped to the P Key on your keyboard. I’ve also made sure that the “Friends” feature is back so you can grant (and revoke) full access to your land to friends and family members. More about this later.
Deeds and Land Protection Status
One more thing to note here in regards to Land Management that’s important to know.
If you’ve not played MR for six months your land “Protection Status” goes into a state of “Vulnerable”.
Vulnerable land can be taken over by other players. The status of Land Deeds are indicated both in the Realms Menu, and via the Deeds icon in the bottom left of the screen, just under the current Realm readout.
The Land Management Menu is accessible via the B Key. This will allow you to both name and sell you land. When more advanced land management features come into play, I’ll be adding those options into this menu.
The permissions system I breiefly mentiond is sitting in the background ready for when Player Owned Kingdoms are ready. But until then, you’ll have to stick with the NPC Kingdoms.
Pressing the U Key will toggle your land view on and off. I couldn’t use the V key as with the previous MR – as the V key is now default mapped to the voice chat😢. Who uses any in-game voice chat anyway? 🤔
The NPC Monarchies
A quick introduction to the Medieval Realms Kings and Queens.
Ruler and King of the Dwarven Realms; King Goldemar.
Both loved and feared; Queen Cynethryth, Queen of all Humanity.
Legendary and unwavering; King Erlking, King of the Elves.
Personification of death, commander of the Cursed; Lord of Shadows.
Press the Z Key and you’ll open up the Options Menu. This will be replaced by a more MR style menu in the future, but at least for now you can access all the features without having to type in commands.
From this menu you’ll be able to Fast Travel to Spawn, set your own Fast Travel Point (future updates will allow for more than one PFTP), Travel to your FTP, Add a Friend, Remove a Friend, List Friends, Set PvE Mode (switchable every 7 days), Set PvP Mode, Set Chat Colour, and finally, Place a Bounty on another players head.
Crown – The Original.
Crowns are back. That’s right. Rising World’s first ever Economy System is back! Launched way back in 2017, and revamped for 2023.
You’ll probably be wanting to know how you can get your hands on them; after all you’ll need them to buy land! Well, unfortunately not all the API is there so we can’t get shops, which includes the bank, to work yet. So we’re left with just one option – crowns for time played. But wait! This time there’s a twist.
Every half hour of gametime you’ll be able to stumble upon a random amount of crowns, which will be added to your balance. But beware, when you die this reward timer resets, meaning another half hour to survive before you can find any crowns.
Finally, the Realms Bot is being reprogrammed from scratch. But don’t expect much from the Bot for now. You can however type into the console /help for a list of commands that display information that’s not yet available via the GUI.
Support MR and continue it’s Development
If you would like to support MR and it’s future development please consider joining my Patreon page. Patreon membership starts at as little as £1.00 a month and really does help.
You can also do a one-off monthly or yearly donation via Paypal.
Thanks for reading, and hope to see you in Medieval Realms soon!