Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - FrozenEmpire

Pages: [1] 2 3
Announcements / Announcement: Beta testers wanted
« on: April 12, 2020, 19:17:55 PM »
Hi! The Unity version of War of the Solstice will be moving next week into a period of final beta testing...

We'll be looking for a small group of beta testers... if you wish to get access to download the current Unity build for extended play and helping to iron out any remaining bugs, then please send me a PM on the forum.

At this stage, the build is for the Windows platform only, although a Mac build is also planned down the line.

Recommended desktop system specs:
- Quad core CPU/processor > 3 GHz
- Free System RAM > 4 Gb
- Desktop GPU with > 3 Gb RAM (6.5Gb for Max detail settings) / SM5.0 / DirectX 11

Having said that, would be good to test on a range of different hardware/systems to verify actual performance.

Let us know if you're interested in contributing.
Many thanks and Happy Easter!

Development Log / Unity completion timing and next steps 2020
« on: February 22, 2020, 10:40:46 AM »

Welcome to the new format forum!

Most of the outstanding points have now been completed
  • Added graphic settings screens
  • Added load / save game screens
  • Added in-game Guidance text overlays
  • Added frozen wastes to terrain map
  • Finalised details on various graphical items
I'm currently in the process of re-grouping on the final steps needed towards release and intention is to get it out there within the next 2-3 months.

There is a reason for that. I fully intend to move on in 2020.... with Doomdark's Revenge !

Hugely looking forward to modelling the Icemark terrain and all it's new features, and especially integrating the tunnel system.
Of particular aims, wanting to see the large forests of Icemark rendered with new pine tree models, surrounded by mist... and all in the red and yellow dawn lighting :)

Stay tuned....

Development Log / Unity build preview
« on: March 09, 2019, 12:00:00 PM »

I’ve been asked a couple of times recently for progress updates, so thought I would share the current status in March 2019 ????

The wheels are still turning, although as always its taking longer than expected to iron out the numerous details that need to be finalised. I guess that’s part of the problem of not working to a deadline – it can take as long as it takes. Having said that, I’m really looking forward to the point where I can switch from the LOM scenario to the DDR scenario in the future… I think it will bring a new sense of progression to the whole project.

So what are the main headlines outstanding until a Unity build can be released ?
  • Graphic settings screens
  • Load / save game screens
  • In-game Guidance text overlays
  • Animations for 3D characters in front
  • Add frozen wastes to terrain map
  • Add location detail maps
  • Final details on various graphical items
The actual core game itself is playable at the moment, so it is very much about finishing the above supporting screens together with finalising quite a few graphical details.

This last couple of weeks I decided to take a detour from Windows and try to build the project for the Mac OSX platform. It’s the first time ever that I did anything on a Mac, so also a bit of a learning curve to get through. Also the first time I applied cross-platform considerations to my development, so there was some rework to be done in removing dependence on Windows libraries in the core plugin. That and some specific considerations for the Mac platform (like the path separator being opposite to Windows!), and the project finally got built successfully and runs quite nicely on a MacBook Pro around ~25fps.

Now that the detours over, I’ll be getting back to the main open points and pushing on to completion. I’ll leave you with a short clip of some initial steps in the game… going South from the Tower of the Moon, and coming upon the Hand of Dark with it’s audio/visuals 🙂

Development Log / Game migration to the Unity platform
« on: December 31, 2017, 08:25:52 AM »
Seasons greetings everyone!

I thought I would give an end of year update on current activities and let you know that as always, developments have been ongoing in the background during 2017.

The focus this year has been on learning the Unity game engine, and migrating the War of the Solstice over, in order to open access to many interesting new possibilities for future development.

The migration to Unity initially posed certain key questions, not least of all whether I should rewrite the entire game in C#. After having spent a ton of hours developing and debugging the current game, it’s not exactly desirable to have to start again and port all the code over to a new language...

Luckily some investigation showed that Unity supports native C++ plugins, therefore it seemed like an obvious decision to re-package the core game logic, or “backend” as I refer to it, into a C++ plugin. It was actually a reasonably straightforward exercise, and I now have a backend .dll which is being used by both the existing game written in native C++ code, and the Unity version in development. This means that all the Midnight game logic remains intact; no need to redevelop, rewrite, retest. Result!

It has also proven a good decision to develop the soundtrack last year in the FMod Sound System, since this is also available as a plugin for Unity. So all the effort put in by Wayne and myself to create the atmospheric soundtrack can be plugged straight in to the Unity version of the game. No further audio development required. Another result!

The main work has been in porting the “frontend” ie graphics and user interface to Unity, and learning about all the features and possibilities that brings. To be honest I think I’m still scratching the surface, but as you can see from above, the graphical quality and flexibility has been taken to the next level on this platform. The asset store has some really good assets available which have saved me from creating everything from scratch; this is one of the great benefits of moving to such a platform, and it’s clear to see that the speed of development should eventually outpace that which I experienced on the existing game.

I really appreciate the very visual style of Unity development; you write something, you add something and you can very quickly see the results (or not as the case may be !!). It’s also good that you are “forced” to design and build in an object based way, and it makes it easy to reuse scripts, objects, shaders really easily. Once you get to know Unity a little, you really do focus on the fun parts of game development, and not so much on the low level coding and graphics API’s.

The only bugbears I have with it so far, are having to regularly navigate the version updates that are ongoing (and making sure that I have chosen assets which are well supported and maintained!), and a few inflexibilities in the rendering system compared with doing it natively. Having said that, the pros definitely outweight the cons in my view, so it’s definitely been a positive experience so far...

So why am I doing all this… still looking ahead to getting Doomdarks Revenge added in. The possibilities within Unity should make this far easier than it would have been to do natively, and should bring many nice additional touches too ????

More as it happens… for the moment Happy New Year!

Development Log / Next patch release is almost ready
« on: April 22, 2016, 20:05:08 PM »
I've been steadily working my way through almost all of the feedback given since the original release, and implementing as many of the changes and suggestions as possible. I also found a few bugs along the way which have also been fixed. Needless to say, it's taken up a little time!

I'm now in the tidying up phase and preparing the next release for download, which should be made available in the next couple of weeks...

Support / How to save and load campaigns
« on: January 14, 2016, 21:52:29 PM »
If you press SPACE then the menu toggles to the 2nd row of icons which does contain the LOAD and SAVE features.

Autosave occurs after each night processing, and you can do it manually by pressing the icon at any time.

The only option you have to reload an existing campaign at the moment is to start a new campaign and then load the existing one using this method. A bit clunky I know and I will get the “Continue Existing Campaign” on the main menu working as soon as I can.

Support / How to send saved campaigns for analysis
« on: January 14, 2016, 21:48:54 PM »
In the \lom\scenarios\default\saves directory you will find 2 files with the campaign name (1 .mdb and 1 .mes). If you can email those to me at, then I will be able to continue from where you last saved…

Support / [Dormant] Recruiting lords already engaged in battle
« on: January 14, 2016, 21:46:11 PM »
In the original game I believe you were able to recruit a lord even engaged in battle. Here it seems impossible, if that lord is already engaged in battle, recruiting him (and helping him to escape) is impossible. Is that on purpose?

Support / [Bug Fixed in] Recruited lords not fighting
« on: January 14, 2016, 21:39:57 PM »
Nix wrote:

I recruited Shimeril and attacked a burning keep northwards, while I went on with Luxor on to Xajorkith (I was just testing). Well, the thing is that I sent Shimeril to a keep with several thousand Doomsguards for tens of days (until Luxor eventually died in Xajorkith) and there was no fighting except for the first day. Lots of Doomsguard gathered in that keep. but apparently kept in friendly terms with my Shimeril…

Support / Performance Hint
« on: December 31, 2015, 01:17:40 AM »

If your machine is challenged in the graphical horsepower department, then try running the game in the Semi-static rendering mode. This mode disables the continuous rendering of the screen and only performs a render when necessary ie upon user action. Whilst this does remove some of the nice finishing touches that the normal rendering mode contains, it should significantly improve the frame rate on less capable hardware.

Announcements / Announcement: Next major release date
« on: October 17, 2015, 17:07:47 PM »
The next release of War of the Solstice has been scheduled for 22nd Dec 2015 (The winter solstice always seems a fitting time to me to release anything Midnight related!)

Progress has been good on the audio side this year and this is thanks again to the exceptional talents and support of Mr. Wayne Britcliffe, who over the past 18 months has written and provided numerous musical pieces, ambient tracks and sound effects for the soundtrack to the game engine. (For those who are not so familiar with Wayne's prior involvement in War of the Solstice, he also created 99% of the 3d models and texture maps used in the 3d frontend)

Together with engine integration of FMod Studio, we have been working away at pushing the midnight environment in a new way that has not been tackled before in any other Midnight remake; a fully immersive audio environment that develops alongside the traditional gameplay. Audio adds another dimension that a purely graphical experience cannot match up to. Through the hand crafted pieces that Wayne has composed, we feel that this adds something really special to the Midnight playing experience. In a couple of months, you will be able to decide for yourself :)

Development Log / Selecting lords from the Explorer view
« on: September 29, 2015, 23:00:52 PM »

One of the additional features requested was to be able to select lords from the map explorer view...

This is now built in and working. Pressing "SELECT" takes you to the recruited lords list view, and there is a "MAP" icon on this page which brings you to the map explorer, from where you simply hover over a lords shield, and click to select

Development Log / FMod Audio development progressing nicely...
« on: September 29, 2015, 22:16:13 PM »

Here's an example of the powerful audio development environment of FMod Studio, which is being used to build up a dynamic soundtrack for the game engine.

Some good progress continues to be made on this front :)

Development Log / The battle continues...
« on: January 31, 2015, 23:40:55 PM »
Well another winter solstice passes and another new year dawns, and again I find myself being ever hopeful that this year is the one where the next release of War of the Solstice makes it out...

2014 saw some good steps on the engine side, and the framework was laid down for a completely new audio environment within the game...

There is still much to do before I'm ready for the next release, so I really hope that you can show continued patience, for which I am very grateful. I know that it has been a long while coming already...

One thing is clear, Midnight will be advancing in a couple of special unique ways ;)

For the moment, I've posted a couple of updated demos to get a feel for the progress

Development Log / Latest version demo (includes audio) - Jan 2015
« on: January 31, 2015, 23:06:38 PM »
New main menu screen in action

The demo from the latest version currently still under development

Pages: [1] 2 3