Dev Update - Digging, Panning, and Smelting!

As I started adding quests to Antilia it quickly became apparent that I'm going to need a wider variety of things to do as quest objectives. I've been working on a quest/story for the Lumberjack and Mason Guilds, and that lead to digging, panning, and firing bricks in kilns.

Hi everyone! I've been meaning to write a development update for the past couple weeks now, and with each week I've missed my list of new features grew more intimidating. I best write it today before the list grows any longer!

My primary focus continues to be getting Antilia to a point where there are enough things to do in the game that community testing makes sense again. With the quest systems added in the last update and several new gameplay systems added in this update, I can say confidently that progress is being made on that front. Antilia still needs more content to go with the new game systems, but I'm starting to reserve time for that as well.


Atmospheric effects have been improved recently with multi-color fog.

Digging

Antilia now includes shovels and a basic digging mechanic. What you dig up is largely determined by the terrain type under foot, and can include immediate findings (for example worms when digging in grassy terrain) as well as "samples". Samples can be panned and sifted at a Panning Workstation to recover more interesting resources and treasures.

Digging is currently functional but still needs additional work:

  • I'd like the character's position to impact the frequencies of rewards - so in theory if you're finding good resources when panning "Burning Sands - Sample C" there may be a specific location on the map where that sample drops more often than A or B.
  • The digging animation still needs work.
  • I need to add an AI Behavior Node for digging. (This is important for a specific quest.)


Grab a shovel and start digging to discover new resources and collect "samples" for panning.

Panning

Once your character has dug up some samples, you'll want to refine those into useful resources at a Panning Workstation. First you'll need some water containers (like clay jugs) to fill with water at a nearby water source. Fill up the panning station with water, then add your samples to start panning.

While in development I'm experimenting with two panning modes right now - Auto Panning and Hand Panning. I'm undecided right now which direction we'll ultimately go in or keep both.

  • Auto Panning - Place water and samples in the input tray and you can walk away while the station pans the materials entirely on it's own. (If we keep both modes, in this mode the resulting rewards will be limited by a ~80% "luck" factor, so you'll miss some of the rare stuff this way.)
  • Hand Panning - This mode still requires water and will cost energy. Using this mode pans a single sample at a time, and each time a small mini-game pops up. By playing the mini-game you can boost your luck for panning rewards up to ~150%. This mode is slower and requires more interaction, but the rewards are better.

I'll continue to experiment with that and see if it's worthwhile keeping both modes.

Info:Antilia's current design philosophy is that by allowing multiple characters with assigned behaviors we shouldn't want workstations that are automatic on their own, but rather that the player switch to another character while one is "working". In practice it feels strange for a character to get locked in place doing something like smelting when so many games do it differently (having a character animation that plays would help a lot of course.) The idea was that by introducing a mini-game system workstations could be a little more interactive.


The panning workstation separates samples into useful resources.

Smelting

Many "samples" in the game include a variety of resources including sand, clay, and sometimes gems and ore. Sand, clay, and ore can be refined into glass, bricks, and ingots at a smelting workstation (kiln).

I just got the smelting workstation working over the past weekend, and I kept it simple for now. Currently it just needs fuel and raw materials to refine.



The new smelting workstation can refine metal ores into ingots, sand into glass, and clay into bricks.

Miscellaneous Improvements

Taipii Base Camp Improvements

As the number of characters and guilds continue to grow the limited space for buildings in Tasii Garden has become noticeable. I've given the old "base camp" in what is now Tasii Garden a second pass, replacing a pond and few buildings with more tents.



The old base camp has been expanded with more tents and a better flow.

Tasii Garden Sawmill

Recent quest and lore writing has prompted me to move the  Lumberjack Guild from out near the Blue Coast to be located just east of the base camp. This new location has a waterfall, allowing the sawmill to be powered by a waterwheel. For story reasons I didn't want this particular sawmill to be powered by miiraun, and it made sense to move the building. A building nearby has also been designated the Lumberjacks Guild hall on the Isle of Kasau.



Tasii Garden now features a sawmill with waterwheel for the Lumberjack Guild.

Masons Guild Hall

Meanwhile the  Masons Guild hall found a home in a much more remote location on the edge of the Burning Sands region. Here they have the space to lay out rows of bricks to dry under the light of the Miiraun Star before firing them in kilns. The Masons Guild is growing their influence on the Isle of Kasau, seeking to improve local building materials and influencing village leaders on the island.



A new Masons Guild hall has been set up in the Burning Sands.


Rows of mud bricks dry in the sun outside the new guild.

Liquid Containers

Liquids can now be gathered and stored in containers such as Clay Jugs. These containers can be filled by standing in a body of water and accessing the "Fill" option from the inventory. Liquids have a base type (water, milk, oil, pitch, etc.) and a secondary type (for water those might be pure, fresh, muddy, salty, etc.)



Liquid containers can be filled with different kinds of liquids.


Right click on a container while standing in water to fill it.

Experimental Mini-game Framework

While working on panning the idea of a mini-game came up as a way to make the workstation more interactive. Developing small mini-games in C++ with the overhead of compiling and linking all of Antilia after each change proved very time inefficient. To make mini-games more approachable I implemented a small framework of lua functions for drawing shapes, getting input, and playing sounds without needing to re-compile or even restart Antilia. These games are intended to be very simple with only basic graphics and lasting only a few seconds.



A very basic mini-game built with the new framework.

Rewards System

While working on the Panning Workstation it became apparent that I needed a better "rewards" system. The treasure boxes in the game have some of the logic I needed already, so I turned that into a generic system accessible by all components and server-side lua scripts. This system solves several common problems. For example it can handle complex cases such as rewarding a skill card by default but then falling back to a bonus token if the player already has the skill. It will be used for both quest rewards and NPC drops in the near future.

Lore

Last but not least I've been doing a lot of writing lately. Much of it is quests and NPC conversations (which I don't want to spoil), but along the way I've been adding new information to pages on the website, including:

That's all for this update, thanks for reading!

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