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New Lupan Characters and Screenshots

Tuesday, July 5, 2011 11:27am
jeff
Lead Developer
It's time to close out the month of June. I was on vacation last week, and I wasn't quite ready to write up this post before I left - even if all the content is completed, it can take a couple days to finalize everything and create the final screenshots.

Male Lupan Character


First up for the month, presenting new male Lupan character:

(This is a development screenshot, and should not be taken for how the game will appear at launch.)

You may be wondering what it is you see above the Lupan's right shoulder... it is, in fact, a staff. While the alpha release won't immediately feature inventory or equipment, we thought it would be fun to give testers the option to choose from one of a variety of decorative items while creating their character. The options will be limited, and won't provide any functional ability yest - but rather are simply 'for fun', and give us an opportunity to see how the growing collection of future equipment/inventory meshes fit into the actual game.

Here's another view of the character and staff... credit goes to Alex for the character texture and the staff:

(This is a development screenshot, and should not be taken for how the game will appear at launch.)

High-Res Screenshots


It's been a few months since I produced any new screenshots from the client, and to be honest we aren't doing much world building yet, so there isn't a much to show that is new there. Up to this point, however, the screenshots have been blog resolution, so I thought I'd link in a couple high-resolution screenshots, for fun:
(These are development screenshots, and should not be taken for how the game will appear at launch.)

Technical Developments


Work continued through most of June on the new server, as well as improving the client.

One of the biggest reasons for starting this new server was to solve the problem of handling characters in an endless space: Previous servers had simply echoed movement and chat messages from one player to all other players in the game, but such a simple approach isn't feasible with 30 or more characters in the world. To handle hundreds of players, the server has to be optimized to only update players near enough to see one another when either one performs an action. Solving this problem turns out to be a bit more complex than you might think.

In solving that problem, I've also made the server a lot more active. Rather than just passively echoing messages between players, the server now runs a full simulation - which means it can control it's own objects, such as enemies and NPC's. This new system is so robust, in fact, that any game object can now be made interactive, performing it's own actions in response to multiple triggers. World builders will be able to access this additional functionality through the same GameObject editor and scene building tools they've already been using.

The last technical improvement for the month is a bit boring - but something of which I'm very proud of. In June I ran Toi and the Antilia client through some memory analysis tools, which checked how "well behaved" Antilia is with memory. The tool discovered only a handful of memory allocation errors - less than 10 - which I was able to resolve in a single afternoon. That means is that, as of now - there are no memory leaks in Antilia (that is not to say there are not bugs). When the client is shut down, every single bit of memory I use is properly freed.

For an engine and application with over a quarter million lines of code - I think that is quite an accomplishment.

Lore Wiki Highlights


New content added to the Antilia Lore Wiki in June includes:
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