Manifest Destiny Milestone 5 Release Notes
I'm going to be writing this in between waiting for compilations and doing map testings (which take at least a couple of minutes each time I test), so forgive me if it's a bit disjointed.
As I write this, the M5 release of MD hasn't happened yet. I'm still tracking down a final bug which is particularly tenacious. But I figured as long as I have to wait around for testing, I may as well get this done, so that once the release is ready, it can be put up as soon as possible.
I haven't done release notes before, because I've felt everything that was done was pretty well spelled out in the Milestone threads and the design docs. If you want to know what has changed since the last release, I recommend checking out those items. This isn't really going to be a release notes thread (despite the title) because it isn't necessary, but rather a series of points that need to be clarified. So here we go:
1) The map drawing during world creation is temporary. One of the design philosophies in this game is that the host should be able to play the game along with their players with no inherent advantage over the those other players, if he or she so desires. That can hardly be true if we show him or her the map before the game starts.
The map is there right now for testing purposes (and also to make it a bit more interesting for you guys, it's not very interesting watching a progress bar fill up, so instead you can watch the map develop).
That being the case, I haven't spent a lot of time perfecting the drawing routines, which brings up our next couple of points.
2) The drawing routines are very poorly optimized. As a result, the program gets pretty unresponsive when you have the map turned on. If you want to change a setting (such as changing from elevation to plate view, or exit the screen, or close the program, or whatever), it may take a while for the program to acknowledge your mouse click (up to a minute is not unusual). If the drawing routines were permanent, I would multi-thread the map to keep the program responsive. But they aren't, and that's a lot of work I don't want to spend the time on for something that's going to be ripped out of the program eventually anyway, so I'm just going to ask you guys to work with it for now (and yeah, I know it's a pain in the ass).
3) The current default value is for the map to update itself after every 5 iterations (this can be chagned to whatever you want, if you change it to 1, you will see every frame, but it will take 5 times as long to go through the routines due to all the drawing). If you change a setting (such as change Elevation drawing to Plate drawing) it may take a few iterations for the routines to catch up with your request.
4) Even if you turn on the map, nothing will draw during the world initializastion phase. There is nothing to draw, the data hasn't been set up yet. The map will begin drawing during the tectonic plate setup phase.
5) If, for some reason, you want to remove the random element from the map drawing, just put some number in the random seed box before you start the world building routines. If you put this same number in every time, you will get the same map every time you run.
6) Speaking of which, if you see something you think I should know about (like a crash), note the value that is in this box (if you don't put one in manually, the program will do it for you). Give me this value. That way I can reproduce your exact map on my end and see what you are talking about.
7) Given the amount of data flying around during the world building process, the whole thing takes a while. Depending on your machine, expect it to take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to build a world from start to finish (using the default value of Infant World, it will be longer if you select one of the others).
8) The elevation view is fairly unrefined. Any elevation below 0 is shown as blue (water). Above 0 it scales from near-black to white (from low to high elevation) along a grey-scale. These are certainly not meant to be final colors, they'll be refined as we get topsoil and biomass added to the equation.
9) The initial movie is tempermental sometimes. I've noticed on slower computers it won't play unless you move the mouse around (!?!?). If the movie doesn't come up or won't play, just hit the mouse button or any key to skip it and go to the load screen. If you guys notice any other patterns to what it does or doesn't do, let me know. The AVI player has been a bit of a thorn in my side for some time now.
Okay, I think that's all I wanted to say. I have another build ready, so it's back to watching the map morph for me...
"They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian ... They're not laughing now." - Bob Monkhouse