May Technical Status Update: Building Interiors, Workshops, Outlines, Hidden Work

Things are slowly coming together. Some new developments have occurred in programmer town, and we are delighted to finally show you what we spent the past month-and-a-half doing.

Bluntly, things are coming together at last. People can harvest resources, process them in workshops, and convert them to other resources. People have their own actions as well; if people can’t eat, for instance, they’ll die. Poets still wander the hills, trying to be inspired by things. The noble aurochs plough through the land, and so forth. Want to see a sneak peek? Read on for some new features…

Building interiors. At first, we didn’t want to show building interiors, and wanted them to appear as little black boxes. We decided that this was basically no fun (you can thank Daniel for this one) and then we set to work augmenting our building code with interior generators. This also meant adding doors which worked into buildings, which means punching holes in walls, which means… well, additional complications. So here is a building exterior:


and here is its interior:


To see what’s in a building, simply mouse over it. In this case, this is some kind of middle-class house, as you can tell by the single bed. The doors work, incidentally, and people will open them, close them, and hop up and down stairs appropriately. You will also see that buildings now have trim on their sides to make them more realistic; trim for the roof is on a TODO list, but is more complicated due to the roof geometry.

We can also support, yet again, more complicated buildings without explosions. Note how this building has a lot of interesting curved walls, modules, and holes for doors and stuff.

Workshop modules now work. Here, for instance, we see a refinery in operation. To queue jobs, simply click on the workshop, pull up the Build menu, and start queuing work:


A humble overseer will appear, with his work party. In this case, this is a refinery, which refines Foul, Unscientific Wood into Imperial Quality Charcoal (Her Majesty’s Preferred Brand).


Wood gets put into the oven…


… and charcoal emerges. People will then place it in a stockpile, or – if no stockpile is available – anywhere that they feel like. Other workshops are working for making planks out of logs, so there’s a lot of things you can do now once you chop a tree. Multiple machines can exist in the same workshop, and people will use as many machines as are available to them.

Objects now have outlines, to indicate what you’re clicking on! The glorious outlines you love from Dungeons of Dredmor are back, and just like in Dredmor they make everything better.

A grove of the Great Northern Outline Pine, a wood favoured for use in frames, trim, and mouldings.

A grove of the Great Northern Outline Pine. Its wood is favoured for use in framing, trim, and moulding.

Here, for instance, we are outlining a tree, as overseer Darwin looks on approvingly.

One of the other things that we needed was, of course, a particle system.  None of the off-the-shelf ones that we tried met with much success, so we eventually decided to write one ourselves.  We’re not going to regret that at all. Hence, a particle system editor appears! (It’s not very effective.)


If art is indeed pain, you can see why the art team is so productive. (Now don’t all writhe at once, the harmonics created by synchronized suffering tends to produce cracks in the Artistic Punishment Sphere.)

Additionally, you can now tie things like particle systems and sound effects to animation frames individually via the importer.

Micah has done a lot of “hidden work” which is important, but not something that we can really show screenshots for: cleaning up our internal message handling code (read: rewriting), fixing networking issues, cleaning up the way Lua scripting works, and adding memory management for Lua objects to ensure that they actually free their memory when deleted. Also, there have been another zillion bugs fixed, et cetera, et cetera. Next up on his TODO list: the “events” scripting framework, which is all scripting for everything that isn’t a character action or an in-game object. Think of things like royal proclamations, getting technology, Selenian Moon Fungus rains, etc.

In terms of big ticket TODOs, we have a list on our whiteboard. I’m not going to show you the list, because it’s a large list full of some secret stuff we’re not talking about yet, and some of which you know from previous blog posts. The two major implementation jobs remaining right now are “citizen social features” and “combat”, as well as a number of smaller jobs (“GPU skinning”, “global world state”, “job cancellation”, “cults”, etc.) It’s starting to converge on a game, though, and once those are in maybe we’ll have something we can send to a few trusted playtesters and get some feedback on.

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18 Responses to “May Technical Status Update: Building Interiors, Workshops, Outlines, Hidden Work”

  1. Wootah says:

    It is so beautiful!
    What is wrong with Red Outlines?

    Also, the concept of decorating the inside of a building based on the character’s alignment (ie cultist) adds tons of flavor to the game.

    In terms of work flow and gameplay, I remember mention that there would be overseers and then there would be a more generic set of workers. How much personality is going to be attributed to workers? Will each of them have their own dwelling they can decorate based on their personal preference(with skulls when they are doing their off hour human sacrificing)?

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  2. Mr. Peepers says:

    You know Milford men make excellent cultists. I don’t know if I trust this Micah character.

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  3. Annih says:

    Cool stuff, I really enjoy the tech updates.

    A couple concerns of mine:
    That refinery oven seems… rather tame. I’ve been hoping that the machinery in this game would be more exaggerated, any comments on that? Is that just a “small” oven, with larger versions available?

    Also, how will objects/entities behind buildings be displayed? A lot of games don’t display such things well, and end up hiding them.

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    • D3F3N357R470R says:

      That oven is actually a more domestic type oven standing in for a large kiln type oven. It’s going to be used for baking bread, etc. Worry not, we have Lots Of Big Scary Machines.

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  4. Chainlinc3 says:

    “roof geometry”
    That makes me giggle an inordinate amount.

    As far as building interiors go, I am extremely pleased by this development. It was something I’d been sort of wondering about but had assumed would be too bothersome to implement. So, huzzah for pleasant surprises!

    Will we be able to garrison buildings? Like, if a squad is ordered into a building, will they try to use windows as firing positions, or will they just mill about in the living room until the cultists come knocking at which point they all start milling out the door? Because I’m kinda sorta really hoping for the former. >_>

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  5. Tyler says:

    I love the vomit, blood, and skulls….

    No really, I do, I do…

    It’s just, well if it wouldn’t be to much trouble, could we get the vomit in Cornflower Blue? and, well maybe a nice string green stripe pattern on the skulls?

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  6. Bropocalypse says:

    Oh, whew. The update was a day late and I thought the world was coming to an end. I guess you guys are making up for the fiasco some weeks ago when you accidentally updated on Tuesday instead.

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  7. OddProphet says:

    Got a new laptop SPECIFICALLY for this game, but I have no idea if it will be enough. God have mercy on the men who sold it to me if I can’t run the game.

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  8. JJcoolPants says:

    I just found this game yesterday, and I’m already super excited about it. Keep up the good work

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  9. William says:

    Damn, was so hoping for a glimpse of an Elder Horror…..

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  10. Skyknight says:

    …So some people grew up “enjoying” the TASTE of charcoal? I don’t know if this is a result of low-key water filtration, or yet another example of how a good chunk of the Empire’s homeland has fallen into Polluted Wasteland territory. (Fun thought: Is the Empire open to the idea of multiple kinds of progress? For instance, you could measure progress on an XYZ graph, and you want all three axes on the positive side. And then you could argue that while the Empire is doing fine on the Y axis, the Z axis is still on 0, and the X axis is plummeting into the FAR negatives…I just worry that the Empire’s idea of a Perfected World wouldn’t look too dissimilar to Cybertron.)

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  11. Robert Tseng says:

    Windowless Demesnes’s: because when you are inside, you should be inside, and if you pine for the outside you should go stand outside. And do remember to close the door, you are letting the outside inside.


    Glorious outlines for the outline god!

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  12. Justin Kominar says:

    Whom do I have to stuff in a steam pipe to get involved with alpha/beta testing this wondrous machination you’re building?

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  13. tentacled-godqueen says:

    A question: since we’re now seeing the inside of the factories, how does this effect the gratuitous steampunk machinery-outside-the-factory so you can see it concept?

    And I assume more decorative stuff will be added to the buildings as time goes by?

    (Also thank you for not making the outlines red this time 😛 …not that it really mattered much because I played Dredmor with colorblind mode on but red is hard to see)

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