Today we're going to be taking a look at the Sandbox Player, accompanied by some of the composition work for the soundtrack. Not all the tracks used will make the OST, but are nice to listen to during longer videos.
We hoped to have the Patch 0.2.4 live by now, but at the eleventh hour as we were packaging and testing the patch to upload to Steam, we discovered a bug in the engine build we've been using. That bug was very quickly fixed by the engine developer. Unfortunately we now have to wait around 9-14 days for the next build to become available. You can track the latest status over on the Steam Forum.
In the month since the last blog a lot has been added, and Sandbox is really starting to come together. For the first time we're able to "play" maps designed in the Sandbox Editor. I say "play" loosely at this stage, "mess around with systems" might be a more accurate description.
Construction is up and running, with several level one buildings and their associated professions available for Peasant training. Character's have unique faces, varying skin tones, and a few dodgy haircuts. Females are now fully trainable in all available professions. Lobbyists for the Campaign to Stop Female Peasants Being Used As Cannon-Fodder can lay down their protest billboards, as equal opportunities are finally with us.
To help get everyone started when Patch 0.2.4 arrives, we've published the Sandbox Player Guide on Steam, which we'll continue to update as development progresses.
One of the most significant additions is the revised City Walls system, which can now traverse steep cliffs and rivers. Gatehouses, stairs, and tower siege defences are all in, but we'll leave those for you to uncover once the patch is published.
Hovering the mouse cursor over sections of wall and repeatedly hitting U on the keyboard simulates the impact of boulders from Goblin Trebuchet. Any idle Peasants will run to the wall and do their best to repair it before any larger enemies breach the walls.
Workshop and Engineer
The final profession for inclusion in Patch 0.3 ( we'll be adding more thereafter ) is the Engineer, capable of constructing ingenious traps and turrets in the fields around your village to help fend off any raiding parties. Engineers can be trained by building a Workshop.
Level of Detail models are a trick developers use to boost frame rate performance by reducing the complexity of 3D models as they move further away from the camera. We've now added in LOD models for all three tiers of building upgrades, and incorporated LOD into the character customization system. There's more work to do, for example on the terrain, but it's already starting to have an impact.