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Solace Crafting update for 27 April 2021

Beta v - Map improvements

Share · View all patches · Build 6608335 · Last edited by Wendy

Patchnotes via Steam Community
This build has not been seen in a public branch.

Regardless of my surgery, which is still very sore, the world map interface is definitely one of the most difficult things I've created. The old map, still on the main branch, had a number of things slowing it down, a big one of which is the runtime creation of textures and sprites. I knew for sure that I needed a way to recycle the textures and to set up a multi-threaded solution for altering them in runtime, but that doesn't mean there's a book I can refer to that says: "Ah yes, in that case, write it like this."

I tried several different ways to get what's called torodial updating to work, wherein you move tiles from the left edge to the right edge or top to bottom and vice versa. It doesn't sound very difficult, but when you're doing it on an undetermined scale, in two dimensions, in varying step sizes, and you're bad at math like me, it ends up being a serious puzzle.

In the end it feels like it was an exercise in simplification. I'm now using a method that tracks positions, checks them against the current desired tiles, and sends those that have fallen out of range to an "unused" bin for recycling, similar to a common system used in game development called pooling.

This system is now generating the map data based on the noise math in runtime, rather than waiting for a terrain to generate it's splatmap when it turns on for the first time and write that out to disk. That means that you can now drag the map around to anywhere and it will load it in, whether you've been there or not. The final step in this series of updates will be to predetermine the locations for encounters, town resources, and rare resources separate from the spawning rules for everything else, so that the map and resources scanners will also be able to show all of those things, whether you've visited them or not.

There are however still some minor problems with the map interface I want to address tomorrow, such as the rulers on the side of the map are not giving correct values (more math), and the map is loading from the bottom to top, as opposed to starting from the middle and building outwards. I wanted to first get the changes as are, up so that our beta testers could give them a whirl and hopefully give me some input or spot any problems I haven't yet uncovered.

There is also still a variety of ways I could make the map load much faster. For example right now, each map tile is 100x100 pixels, and there are 20x20 tiles on the map. Changing each tile to 50x50 pixels would make drawing the map 4 times faster. And that could be a user setting for people to set themselves if they're running on a lower end machine. I'll see how it feels to other players first though.

Additional changes to this patch include player icons with names on mouse over for when connected to multiplayer, as well as the ability to now mouse over solaces to see their names. This too could be a toggle, to be displayed always, without mousing over... I've yet to actually try that, but it wouldn't be hard, and may be better. Please let me know what you think.

I'm supposed to get my stitches removed tomorrow, but it's far from back to normal. Sorry for the sudden delay in everything.

v 2021.04.27

  • Updated map tile and icon drawing and management methods
  • Added other players to the map when in multi-player
  • Fixed a math error causing sharp edges around the biome starting area
  • Offset the initial noise to reduce the chance of the starting area being surrounded by ocean for new worlds (will not affect already created worlds)
  • Added player and solace names to the map on mouseover

You may need to restart Steam for the update to begin.

To opt into Beta you only need to go to your Steam Library, right-click on Solace Crafting, select Properties, click on the Beta tab, and opt-in to the beta.

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Changed depots in beta branch

View more data in app history for build 6608335
Windows 64-bit Solace Crafting x64 Depot 670262
Linux Solace Crafting Linux Depot 670263
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