Saturday, December 3, 2011 is up

Just a quick blog to mention that is up and running.
Future Magelore posts will be moved to that site and this blogspot will be retired..
Big changed coming up for magelore - I'm switching to what I think will be a more interesting magic system.
That's all for here.
See you at

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Job crunch on again...

Very ironic that my last post was Job Crunch Ended, since I've now inflicted another crunch on myself.  The codebase I was thrust into at my current job was somewhat horrendous so I'm writing a new opengl engine for it from scratch (actually bootstrapping off my Magelore engine though pretty much all will be replaced by the end of it).

This means, alas, Magelore progress has slowed to a crawl again.  I hope this doesn't become my Duke Nukem Forever - though amazing that has been released before Magelore. My nephew is in the game, but he'll be all grown up by the time the game is released - I may have to take a second photo of him and he can appear again as an older sibling :)

At the moment I'm deep inside writing a new asset pipeline. I'm really happy with it - all auto-refreshing, super simple, clean and tight code. Maybe I'll bring some of it back to Magelore but there's really no point since Magelore will always be 2d sprites, whereas the engine I am writing is very much targetting 3d models and shader pipelines.

I've taken the adds off this site also.  I think I can afford the 3c per year they are raking in, and it gives people better access to the archives now.

Till later.. catch me on Twitter   @podesta1971

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day Job crunch is over

I think my main day job (read paid job) crunch is mostly over, so hopefully I'll get some more Magelore done. I've still managed to squeeze in a few polish bits and pieces and bug fixes over the last couple of weeks.

I've restructured the starting area so you get access to the shop earlier and before the "please buy the full version" blocker is reached. I've also added 3 secret areas now to the first dungeon. I think the secret areas work quite well (one requires a key found in a crate in the dungeon),  so I'll definitely be putting in lost of secret areas around the place.  One mechanic I really want to use is passworded areas, where you need to gather clues from people and collectables in order to get through to the secret area.  At the moment the reward is generally gold, but I'll probably add some cool enchants that can only be learnt from items hidden in secret areas.

Story wise, I'm stuck again - which means I spend a lot of time polishing instead of getting the content going again. While its great that the game will be so polished, I really need to force myself to continue the story and get the game released.  There's plenty of extra (non-critical) polish I can do after release.

Bugs - had to add more infrustructure in for tracking down some annoying load/save game bugs.  Looks pretty stable in game now but may map editor is still generating bad IDs occasionally and I haven't tracked down what the repro is for that.. Should be easy to fix if I can work out "when" it is happening.

UI - did some more polish to the UI, especially the keyboard entering. The numbers have particle effects behind them now and rise/fall in a more interesting way. Much happier with it.

Grues - finally, after some Twitter talks with my friend MadGarden - author of the latest Sword of Fargoal - I've added some Grues. These are the mystical creatures from Zork which appear and kill you if you try moving in the dark. I think it works quite well in Magelore - you always have a light spell so no reason to go walking about in pitch darkness.   I'll close with some Grue screenshot goodness.

Don't go walking in the dark or the grues will eat you.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Weekly Update

I'm going to try and do a quick update at least once a week to help keep momentum going on the project.

Again I'm in some crunch time on my day job - which currently involves working on a distributed F15/F18 simulator. Still, I'm managing to sneak in a few hours a few nights a week.

Right now I'm trying to remove a couple of rare bugs... I recently restructured all the Spawners so I could set spawner parameters per map,  where previously you could just reference a spawner type by name and had to have it setup in a global definition file.  This has created some issues with invisible spawners blocking your path.

The load/save of levels is the biggest thorn in my side.  It's quite volatile to changes to any systems,  and with the game content getting longer,  I really don't want to have to start from scratch each time to test things. Generally its pretty stable at the moment, but I do have at least one rare bug to track down.  So I'm adding some new debug logs to track it what caused it next time it happens.

Content wise,  I've finished all the tutorial and starter missions and have my first quest set in the second city.  I've been stuck at this point for a few weeks now,  and found myself concentrating on polish and features which is always easier than adding quest content.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Updating again...

Its been a while since I've update the blog. Work on MageLore really slowed down at the start of the year but I've gotten back into it in the last couple of months and made some real progress.  So I thought it was about time to update the blog and start showing off some of the improvements.

Firstly, you can now be a male or a female. I thought this simple choice would open up the demographics a bit. The female character is the first composite human picture in the game, made from two attractive female celebrities, though I'd be impressed if anyone can guess who they are.

I've been reworking the upgrading system to try and make it more palatable to a broader audience, but without losing the ability to customise your characters.  Instead of upgrading 5 stat points per level, you now get to choose a single stat to upgrade from a drop-down screen that will appear.  To compensate for this simplicity, there are now 5 mage classes that you pick on creating a character. Each class has some specific benefits that are intended to influence the play style.  While it is no World Of Warcraft, it seems to be working pretty well in my playtests so far.

The virtual joypad has been replaced by a swipe interface. Based off the feel of Sword of Fargoal, you can now swipe in 8 directions to move around. A swipe direction is maintained by not removing your finger after the swipe. In the video I've enabled a debug mode that shows how the virtual joystick tracking works.

The HUD has moved to the top left of the screen and shows your level, gold and mana/hitpoints/xp. Pressing the player level square takes you to the inventory screen where you can view stats, learn spells, or inspect your inventory and missions.

There is now a quest helper which will track a single quest on screen showing where to go next to complete the current task. For kill tasks, this will take you to the area where the enemies spawn. Having this prevents you from ever wondering around aimlessly and lost, especially if you find yourself on the main map but forget what you should be doing next. It also removes some of the "find the objective" gameplay, so I've had to compensate in other areas, like having hidden rooms and treasure to discover.

The Time of Day counter is now a circular motion. This makes it much larger and seems to work marginally better though I'm not 100% happy with it yet.

I've removed the night/day/war/peace complexity from the enchantment slots. All slots are simple active slots now.  The old system was a little to abstract and detached from the gameplay to work. So again, its been simplified to reach a broader audience. To compensate for the loss of depth,  each slot can now be collecting magical essence from enemies and placing it on the slot. Upgrading a slot increases the strength of the enchantment for that slot,  so the player still has to choose which enchantments to put in the stronger slots.

There are some other changes but its late so I'll end up here and continue again in a week or two.
The video today goes from character creation to near the end of the tutorial mission.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

New blog on up on AltDevBlogADay

Just a quick mention that I've posted my first blog on AltDevBlogADay.  It looks like the blogs on that site will be focussed more on the technical aspects of Magelore such as how the engine is formed, and how I solve particular coding problems in Magelore or in general.

So I will continue to blog about the month to month progress of Magelore to this site.

I'm flat out with work at the moment - both my day job and Magelore, so I won't post a full blog now. I have made a few graphical improvements to Magelore's front end.  I've added a data driven particle system so I can hopefully add nicer effects for magic and much quicker than before.  I've also tweaked the load/save system so all levels will now be persistent,  but I can still and and remove objects during title updates, so that was fairly important to me.

I'll definitely try and get a new blog out over the next week with pictures and video.

Till then,  cao cao cao.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Just a very quick update to mention that I have signed onto

so future magelore blogs can hopefully be seen here to and more frequently.

I'm not really sure what I'll blog about,  but I expect Magelore will get a fair mention and any progress I make on Magelore will appear in a blog there for sure,  hopefully with lots of lovely videos of progress.

I'm undecided if I should continue to post here also. We'll see how things work out.