The latest version currently still under development has the following new features already completed:-
- Removal of TME library dependency (due to further development on the library being abandoned)
- Adjusted main scene colours and font colours to be more in line with the original ZXSpectrum version
- Replaced main game font
- Reduced the default draw distance to 6 (same as the original) – the new shader techniques allow this to look acceptable now
- Addition of debug overlay for ongoing development support
- Addition of new layouts ready for DDR support
- Addition of depth-of-field to main view, distant objects get progressively out of focus
- Addition of volumetric mist algorithm ready for DDR support
- Addition of volumetric lighting algorithm
- Addition of media playback module for DX9 builds – capable of playing .avi and .mp3 files amongst others
- Finished feature to fade out banners and flags beyond a fixed distance, they now fade to generic type banners
- Fixed bug causing “choppy” sound effects – DirectSound didn’t like the buffer volume/pan being adjusted every game scan
- Recoded map explorer screen, now using main rendering methods
- Recoded moon rendering, the part in shadow now fades into the background, as you see in reality
- Recoded star system handling and rendering efficiency
- Recoded snow handling and rendering efficiency
- Recoded water representation for lakes and seas
- Recoded terrain rendering to be more efficient (baked terrain transitions into pre-loaded texture map)
- Recoded lighting algorithms – eg introduction of per-pixel lighting
- Recoded all in game menus based on DXUT GUI format (no GDI menus required any more)
- Recoded all fixed function pipeline rendering methods to use shaders requiring SM3.0 support
- Recoded all text handling to UNICODE format, to be compatible with the DXUT Extension libraries
- Simplified the calling structure to a lot of functions within the game engine
- Underlying DirectX integration recoded based on latest SDK framework (has simplified the integration considerably)
- Upgraded engine to August 2008 version of the DirectX9 SDK
The demo from the latest version currently still under development
The frozen empire website has been moved to the WordPress format to make it look a bit more presentable and also to take advantage of some of the convenient features offered with the format (blog entries, comments, gallery handling etc)… I plan to post some updates showing the more recent advancements that have been developed (very slowly!) in the background over the last few years…
“The Lords of Midnight” and “Doomdark’s Revenge” have been a massive part of my homebrew coding hobby over the years.
I have many fond memories of playing the games, times which don’t seem to be 28 years ago at all. Since those early days I attempted to produce an updated version of Lords on the ZXSpectrum, then AtariST, then Amiga500, and then PC, which finally resulted (with some help from Chris Wild and Wayne Britcliffe) in the production of my remake “War of the Solstice”.
A memorable highlight for me was when an email from Mike appeared from nowhere in my Inbox whilst he was working in California some years ago. It was only brief to say that he liked the look of my remake and would have a closer look when he got a bit more time. I was touched by the fact that he had bothered to make contact with me like that.
The current work on the iOS version and the prospect of Eye of the Moon actually happening was something that I was very much looking forward to.
On 10th October 2012, the gaming industry indeed lost a true legend.
There is a new Map of Midnight available on the Maps page. A few broken links have been removed.
This release is only available as a full engine download. Get the update from the Downloads page. Links to previous downloads have been removed, since they are now becoming redundant. A full list of improvements can be found in the updated RELEASE NOTES…
Some broken links have been fixed.
This release is available as a patch, and also as a full engine download. Get the update from the Downloads page. Links to previous downloads have been removed, since they are now becoming redundant. A full list of improvements can be found in the updated RELEASE NOTES…
This release includes the full 3D frontend, with all Wayne’s models and maps, plus the CLASSIC and TME frontends also. Get the update from the Downloads page
After some time out, development has picked up again on the army integration. A fair amount of progress has already been made to put all the building blocks of the army unit representation together, including idle poses, animated movement, animated camp fires (with some dynamic lighting effects), animated tents, and some further objects still to come. See the gallery for more snapshots…
The next release date (V0.05) is the winter solstice, 21st December. This will be a full release of the engine bringing it right up to date (including all frontends 3D, TME and CLASSIC). Game play is expected to be the same as in V0.04.
Some dead links were also removed from the links section, and some existing links were moved to their new homes.