Alpha 10.1

Alpha 10.1 is out. It features following bugfixes:

  • Fixed mission save warning message text in MapEd being clipped (and having duplicate lines)
  • Fixed repeating objects near borders when resizing a map
  • Fixed popup message shown when replays has ended
  • Fixed crash on selecting dying unit
  • Autosaved savegames should not go to the Recycle Bin
  • Fixed wares render in houses
  • Fixed changing of groups and units position in MapEd using RMB
  • Fixed Blanks dying inside Cottages without ever going to Tavern to eat
  • Fixed removal of Coalmaker’s smoke emitter after destroying the house

Download links:
Knights Province Alpha 10.1 (installer)
Knights Province Alpha 10.1 (7z package)

Posted in Downloads, News | 6 Comments

Alpha 10 is ready

What’s new in Alpha 10:

  • Particle effects (smoke for houses work, smoke for damaged houses, dust effects for plans placement and for house destruction, emitters that could be placed on terrain in MapEd (e.g. mist).
  • SSAO (aka prettier lighting)
  • New custom antialiasing (FXAA2 and FXAA3.11 partially)
  • Smoothed out unit animations
  • Revised house-placement (Trees and other objects block house placement from all 4 sides now, Added house plan icon showing where the road for the entrance needs to be)
  • Imported more unit models and animations
  • New maps from 2018 mini-competition
  • Allowed builders to uproot trees and small stones
  • Revised fish-catching
  • Quick unit/house selection panel in game UI on the right (Ctrl+1//0)
  • Revised wind effects to act uniformly on flags, particles and map objects
  • Expanded undo/redo in MapEd (units, houses, etc.)
  • Unified main menu and gameplay options pages
  • Separate volume controls for sounds (alerts, effects, menu)
  • New map decoration objects – stockade fences
  • Revised and fixed house unlock order
  • Reworked AI
  • Revised food nutritious values
  • Sound for messages opened and closed
  • Displaying proper music titles in options menu
  • And as always a whole lot of bugfixes and smaller improvements

Download links:

Knights Province Alpha 10 (installer)
Knights Province Alpha 10 (7z package)

Posted in Downloads, News | 16 Comments

Recap of events since Alpha 9

In loosely chronological order:

  • Finally set up Patreon page in June. If you wanted to support the game’s development – now there’s a way!
  • Set up itch.io page. Nothing major, just another location to advertise the game.
  • The game was reviewed by Nookrium and Dan Field. Collecting as much as 100k views on YouTube combined!
  • We’ve had 2018 mini-competition for mapmakers (see earlier news)
  • Github issues tracker is getting more attention now. If you have an account and need to report an issue with the game – feel free to use it.
  • Discord server is active as ever. There are different channels for general discussions, mapmaking, bugreports, ideas and others.
Posted in Events, Site | 2 Comments

2018 Christmas/NewYear mini-competition results

Mini-competition is over and I’m happy to announce the results!

We have 5 maps in the competition:

  • “Hodor” by Thibmo
  • “Longfingers Legacy” by Klassix
  • “Winter Stand” by Krom
  • “Xmas Tree Combat” by DarkianMaker
  • “Man Versus Man Versus Beast” by Eduardo Beltrame

Hodor

Score 22.

Comments from judges:

  • Nice skirmish map
  • Nice map but approaches to camps are very wide for the size of the map

Longfingers Legacy

Score 22.5.

Comments from judges:

  • Very much like the details and usage of game assets
  • The maps looks OK, but please, less copy-pasta!
  • Would work well for a competitive map but could do with some more asymmetry. Could also do with a natural expansion of sorts for players to compete for

Winter Stand

Score 24.

Comments from judges:

  • The map looks great, nice addition for sure. Personally I would enjoy iron being available, though not all maps should have iron.
  • A lovely asynchronous map, but the river choke point is really too narrow for a proper fight against a defender

Xmas Tree Combat

Score 21.

Comments from judges:

  • Minimap and the whole idea look very nice to me. Simple and fun )
  • Very obvious X-mas reference. Haven’t seen a pure battle map yet, brings back KaM memories, bonus points for that. :smiley:

Man Versus Man Versus Beast

Score 21,67.

Comments from judges:

  • Unusual experimental map!
  • A very chaotic but interesting map, think it could’ve done with some more playtesting though
  • The amount of wolf dens…. wow. Interesting concept, too. But does need polishing.

Winners and prizes are:

  • 1st place with score 24  – Winter Stand by Krom
  • 2nd place with score 22,5 – Longfingers Legacy by Klassix (awarded Steam game of his choice (up to 15$ or equivalent))
  • 3rd place with score 22 – Hodor by Thibmo
  • All participants with maps scoring 20 or more – awarded with a small Steam game by Dah, called “You Can(Not) Survive”:

 

Posted in Events, News | Leave a comment

2018 Christmas/NewYear mapmakers mini-competition

Due to lack of time and small number of maps sent in, competition is prolonged till next week – 30 Dec!

Winter is coming along with Alpha 10 of the Knights Province! Let’s celebrate this with a competition! Task is simple – create an addon map for the game using built-in map editor (and optionally, dynamic scripts). Submit the map until December 23rd 30th. Await for results and get your prize soon after.

Participation rules:

  • New single-player map (can have support for upcoming skirmish/coop play)
  • Created in Alpha 10 wip (latest version available on Discord #new_versions)
  • Meet basic quality standards and be playable
  • Size M+ and any player count
  • Can be several maps per participant, but only one best one is competing for the prize
  • Jury members can participate, but are not eligible for 1st and 2nd place prizes
  • Best maps will be included into the game (for that you will need to write explicit permission, giving map away under CC BY SA)
  • Any map can be disqualified for undisclosed reasons by anonymous jury’s decision
  • Submit to kromster80@gmail.com or Discord #general_eng until midnight December 22nd 29th CET
  • Judging will be starting on December 23rd

Each map will be judged by the jury (DarkianMaker, Krom, Lewin, Maps, Thibmo). Map with the most points – wins. Points will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Visually pleasing design (up to 10 points)
  • Gameplay (up to 5 points)
  • Detalization (map objects, emitters, etc.) (up to 5 points)
  • Quest elements (dynamic script) (up to 5 points)
  • NewYear/Christmas references (up to 3 points)
  • Support for skirmish/coop play (up to 5 points)

Prizes are:

  • Scores 20 and above – small Steam game from community member Dah. Mention on the games website
  • 3rd place, small Steam game, mapmakers role on Discord channel
  • 2nd place, small Steam game, mapmakers role, Steam game of your choice (up to 15$ or equivalent)
  • 1st place, small Steam game, mapmakers role, Steam game of your choice (up to 25$ or equivalent), attribution in map description as mini-contest winner

FAQ

Feel free to ask for clarifications, they will be answered here.

Posted in Events, News | 3 Comments

Food values

All Knights Province units need food to eat (well, except machines and animals). Otherwise they die of hunger. So dedicating a large portion of town to a food production is a good thing. But how much food is needed anyway? Let’s look into how much units eat:

Warriors can not leave their duty, so they get their food delivered by serf, which gets picked randomly in Camp/Store and tops warrior’s condition to 100%.

When citizen get hungry, they come to nearest Tavern that has free places inside (each Tavern can fit only 6 units at once). Typically when unit comes to Tavern he is at 13% full. When inside, unit will eat food in order it is listed in the Tavern until being 90% full.

I’ve been asked several times about food values for citizen, so here’s a small chart:

  • Fish – 0.5
  • Cider – 0.3
  • Bread – 0.4
  • Sausages – 0.6
  • Ale – 0.3

Please note, that above values are subject to change and should be considered correct only for current Alpha 9.1. In upcoming Alpha 10 values will be tweaked to:

  • Fish – 0.4
  • Cider – 0.2
  • Bread – 0.4
  • Sausages – 0.6
  • Ale – 0.3

So for example, in well stocked Tavern, unit will eat Fish+Cider+Bread and walk out, keeping Sausages and Ale intact.

Posted in How things work | 8 Comments

Alpha 10 nearing its release

Alpha 10 is going out of “work in progress” stage. Now its features are mostly done and last bugs are being ironed out.

Come by and take a stab at it in “Knights Province” Discord channel. Feedback is welcome!

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Site updates

Links page:
Updated Polish site forum link, as it moved to new hosting. Reorganized links order a bit, to bring more active hubs to the top.

Contributing page:
Added Patreon link to the top. Ungreyed some contributing activities.

Posted in Site | 5 Comments

Misty Mountains

There’s a new map being made for Alpha 10 of Knights Province. Called Misty Mountains. Giving word to map’s author Klassix:

“Mainly this map is for the future multiplayer, but of course AI handles it too, but surely it won’t use the flanking mechanics I tried to apply in the corners . You can be attacked in early game by 2 sides. Wolfs and Bruno the brown bear will take care of any fool trying to fast push you with 3 militia through the middle.

If we will be able one day to slow down unit movement with a special snow texture (or option) I will apply this on the middle to slow things down a bit. I did my best to balance things for all 3 players and suggestions are as always welcome.

Cheers!”

You can check out the map in Alpha 10 wip available on Discord channel.

Posted in Live progress | 2 Comments

Copying animations between units

Last week started with a thought – “Copying skinning and animations from unit to unit should be trivial, right?”

Let’s see, but first – some intro:

Disposition

All games need to store their assets (models, textures, sfx, etc.). For most games assets are prepared and stored in a way that their engine requires. With a custom engine, this goes a bit other way round – engine is created around common formats of asset formats that engine’s creators chose. Of course each game (and Knights Province is not an exception) might eventually distill required pieces and rearrange them in a way to speed up data loading and enrich with engine-specific features (i.e. KP has add-on info for house building steps or vertex weights for terrain tiles).

I’m mostly using Lightwave 3D format (LWO) for in-game models. I’m fairly experienced with it and when I need to create or tweak a model – Lightwave 3D is my tool of choice. Currently ~90% of models in the game are in LWO format (to be distilled later on, to improve loadig times and save space). Since all models were mostly static in early games life and I knew how to model staticobjects, I used LW to model placeholder houses and units.

However, game also needs animations, and that’s something I’m not really experienced nor skilled at. So after creating sample unit animation I went to hire freelancers to do better models and animations. Now I had to deal with their preferences, since asking someone to create both good models AND requiring them to convert it to format unknown to them is a tough/expensive thing. Fortunately, there’s a common ground – FBX is kind of a standard file format when it comes to models and animations for games. Most freelancers use it (also OBJ, but it’s less common).

So I was tasked with extracting models and animations from FBX. Since LW can open FBX files, I decided simply to use LW to convert FBX and call it a day. LW animation format is quite complex (and complicated). To extract animation data needed for the game, I wrote a special Python plugin to export animation frames into a text file in compact and straightforward form. Because of all that, existing process of animation import is rather lengthy:

  1. Obtain FBX animation from freelancer
  2. Convert FBX to LWO
  3. Tweak skeleton setup in LW
  4. Export static skeleton from LW to game format with a Python plugin
  5. Export animation same way

In actuality that’s a tedious 19-step process prone to mistakes. It works okay for 2-3 models, but it’s unbearable for anything larger.

So far game has just a bunch of animations. It would be nice to reuse some, e.g. walking unit animation is the same for all citizen (for warriors it’s a bit different, since they walk with regard to carried weapon).

Idea

It would be great to copy common animations from models who have them to the rest (e.g. idle and walk animations).

To make things right, I decided to write FBX animation importer. It’s not strictly necessary for the task, but once I’m at animations, it’s better to fix several adjoined areas. I already had code to read and parse FBX file format (few in-game houses are actually FBX, not LWO models). Expanding the code with reading of skeletal and animation info should not be that hard .. so I thought.

Last week was dedicated to that task. Things learned and reinforced:

  1. Anything that seems trivial could easily take 20 hours because of unforeseen details, auxiliary things and need to wrap it all into a neat “API”.
  2. Even with unforeseen details, if something seems doable (i.e. without involving words “automatically” or “somehow” in its description), it’s really doable, just needs more time.
  3. The way FBX and LWO stack transformation operations is different (and learning that alone cost me a day).
  4. Automation is great. Writing a small dedicated tool to convert, copy and launch preview instead of manually doing the same – saved my sanity.
  5. When something seems about right, but not quite – it’s almost as good as wrong.
  6. Animation bugs are fun:

Plans

Now with swordsman animations working, I intend to:

  1. Re-import  existing unit animations (and throw out LWO animation code)
  2. Write methods for copying skinning between models
  3. Tweak couple stray errors in skinning
  4. Have all units have common walk/idle animation in Alpha 10
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments