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Topics - Sami

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1
Development News / Going canoeing - from Koivula to Driik, so to speak.
« on: August 12, 2022, 06:19:47 PM »
The year off from coding has truly brought my way something else than sitting in front of the computer.
Next up is sitting in a canoe instead - and paddling some 120 kilometers through Kokemäki River all the way to reach the sea at Gulf of Bothnia.
Well, luckily I get to stand and walk as well as we'll be camping outdoors.
This expedition is about to start tomorrow, and I'm sure you'll be hearing more about it when I come back.


Everything's packed and I'm off to canoe - for a week or so.

This is is river a route which you can paddle in UnReal World too.
The world map of the game is always somewhat randomized, but you can still find some river floating from Koivula to Driik.
This can be imagined as being the Kokemäki River.
In reality the route is 120 kilometers long, but the game world map scale is smaller.
When put on the game world map the route would be like this.




Our destination is an island in the Gulf of Bothnia about 10 kilometers from the mainland.
If everything goes okay we'll reach it in a week.
And who knows if this inspires me to tweak the paddling code in the game just a little bit - when it is time to sit in front of the computer again.

2
Development News / Summer Sale on Steam - and a few pics
« on: June 28, 2022, 07:15:29 PM »
Steam Summer Sale is going on for those you seek an opportunity to enter into Far North for a discounted price:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/351700/UnReal_World/

Otherwise, I just wish everyone a good summertime, and share a few photos around the development chambers.





Cheers!




3
Development News / A new piece of primitive music by Enormous Elk
« on: June 12, 2022, 05:30:12 PM »
We're happy to present you a new piece of music and a video.
"Illalla, lammella" (In the evening, by the pond) can be viewed at Enormous Elk YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdSW9Z46DhE

Like mentioned earlier this was recorded and filmed while I was visiting Erkka last month. You'll also see the authentic setting of the live recording, by the pond.
Post-production took a little longer than expect because my right hand is still in a cast, but even though this was mostly edited with left hand we're happy with the mood and result.

Cheers!

4
Development News / Greetings from a grove
« on: May 30, 2022, 09:03:17 PM »
Greetings!

As you may know I'm spending sort of a year off from coding and concentrating more on the real world stuff. But the absence from the development chambers doesn't mean a radio silence. I'm happy to post a little news and photo feeds occasionally to stay in touch with You adventurers out there, and that's what people have wished for too. So here we go ...

I recently had a minor accident with my right hand and now need to keep a cast for a month, but that's not stopping the roaming in the woods. Hehe, you know this from the game too - the many activities might be slower, but doable.
So here's a photo greetings from one beautiful May day in the grove forest. These woods are half an hour walk away from UnReal World development chambers. This is a very special place since there are lot's of conifer forests to see here in Finland - as you may have noticed in the game too - but this kind of grove like leaf tree habitats are more rare.















And by the way, if peeks into these 2022 real world endeavours is your cup of coffee I'm building up a habit of more regular posts at my buymeacoffee page:
https://www.buymeacoffee.com/SamiMaaranen
It's kind of like an alternate media channel to see and support not the game development, but the game developer's lifestyle. Or whatever.

Take care everyone,

-Sami (UnReal World creator, gap year adventurer)

5
Development News / Going with the flow
« on: May 12, 2022, 10:47:06 AM »
Well, hi there everyone!
It's been a while, and time to cheer you up with a few pictures from the real world.
I visited Erkka the last weekend and we refreshed ourselves by going with the springtime flow.
The flow also lead us to playing and recording a piece of primitive music.
The song is well in the post-production phase in my devel... err... mixing chambers and will be released as a short music video showing more footage in the vein of these stills.
After a quite long pause in this kind of recreational primitive arts it was such a good flow that we found and followed.









6
This year, in 2022, we are celebrating the 30th Jubileum of UnReal World.
The game was first released in the summer of 1992, so the 30-year milestone will be reached this summer.
Now what will this special year of celebration bring upon us, and the game?

When it comes to coding and development, I will be taking it real easy. It is likely that we'll see some updates to the game, but mostly I'll be devoting my time for variety of other things. So I'll kind of celebrate the 30 years of development by taking a year off from the usual coding flurry. This also allows me to better contemplate on the future of the game as there some challenging overhauls in our sight. One is moving to higher resolution and modern aspect ratio. The year is early, and these thoughts are scattered, so more news on this front will follow later on. But yes, it is truly so that I will take a year off from the usual, practical, hands-on development. Planning, brainstorming and a little something easy paced remains, though.

Nevertheless, during this year of celebration we will be bringing you some recreational content from the North, out and away from the development chambers. What it will be exactly remains to be seen, but I'm sure this year off will bring along many occasions, incidents, experiments or artistic projects to share or publish.  There are some ideas bubbling under already.

On this thursday, 27th of January, it will be my 47th birthday. I started working on UnReal World at the age of 15 and two years later,  at the age of 17, the first version was released to the public. Now the 30th Jubileum, or 47th birthday, may feel like an occasion to offer me a drink or something, and for that purpose I quickly created "buy me a coffee" page.
https://www.buymeacoffee.com/SamiMaaranen
It's a simple support channel I've been asked to allow even earlier.  Now it's up and will remain so at least for this year.  I'll reserve the right to decide the drink to buy with your support :) , but big cheers anyway!
(And surely the regular donations page also works for gifting some squirrel hides.)

So these are the news to start this year with.  Feel free to comment or ask if something comes to your mind.

Yours,
Sami (UnReal World creator)


The developer is currently out the office ...
 

He's skiing in the woods following two elks...


He will be back occasionally and eventually.

7
Development News / Year 2021 now added to development history log
« on: January 13, 2022, 02:02:07 PM »
Briefing of the year 2021 is now summarized up at "Development history of UnReal World" section at the homepage.

You can take a look at the development history since 1992 page here:
https://www.unrealworld.fi/urw_devhist.html

8
Development News / Season's Greetings
« on: December 22, 2021, 04:22:44 PM »
The midwinter and holiday season is at hand!
It is time to send you our warmest Season's Greetings with a few moody photos from this very day.
Thank you for 2021 to those who already roam the UnReal World, and welcome into the Far North, all you new adventurers.


We have just passed the Winter Solstice on northern hemisphere, and the amount of daylight now slowly starts increasing. Otherwise the winter in Eastern Finland continues in decent -20 degrees celsius temperatures with delightful amount of snow. Sami (UnReal World creator) heads towards the real world in horizon.


Merry Christmas, Tree. This mighty spruce grows beside the village road, not very far from the development chambers.


Now let's survive the midwinter, and see you again in 2022!

9
Development News / Version 3.71 released - a small bugfix patch
« on: November 17, 2021, 03:16:00 PM »
A small bugfix patch, version 3.71, has been released to address the following issues:

 - fixed: some faulty animal snow penalty calculations

On few occasions the fatigue rate of animals moving in the deep snow wasn't calculated right. This could result either in animals tiring too easily, or too little.

- fixed: distributing offered traded items among foreign traders wasn't always working

You might still end up in "can't carry" trade situation, even though the trading party would have capacity to carry the offered goods. Hopefully this is fixed for good now.

- fixed: Crash/shutdown related character data loss on Windows systems

On Windows system crash or computer power loss might result in character corruption which at its worst erased character data to the extent of making them unrecoverable. This issue has been now addressed with extra safety measures and internal backups which hopefully prevent the worst case data losses for good. Should you experience Windows crash the game now tries to recover character data automatically from internal backup files upon loading the character again. You may still loose some moments or few map loads in the character's life but the game hopefully goes on more reliably.

- fixed: UrW mobile controller not working on some systems

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That's all folks. Four fixes in total. You'll find the release on Steam, Itch and also available for Lifetimers.

10
Development News / Seasonal Steam sale and Kekri customs
« on: October 30, 2021, 07:02:37 PM »
Harvest festival sale is on at Steam and in the Far North we do celbrate Kekri.
So let the new adventurers be respected with the discount, and the ancestral spirits with our special Kekri costumes and customs...

During this festivity period you can grab the game for decent discount on Steam.

It's Kekri, not halloween, in the Far North.

Kekri is an ancient Finnish harvest festival celebrated in the fall when the annual agricultural activities were all accomplished and the harvest collected. Kekri meant the end of the crop year, which was a big turning point. It was the time when the souls and spirits of the dead wandered around and visited the living. The ancestors were respected and welcomed. Sauna was heated up for them, and meal prepared too. The living celebrated accordingly, and so do we.


Kekri Goat

Kekri time included tradition of Kekripukki (Kekri goat) figure. People would dress up as horned creatures, wearing furs or coats upside down, and went around in their disguises and were offered food and drink.
So, what does a decent developer of tradition rich game do to follow the tradition?
Yes. He dresses up as Kekripukki.



We wish you happy and haunting Kekri time, or Halloween - if that suits you better.
Celebrate and participate!



11
We're happy to announce that version 3.70 has reached the stable stage and is now released and available on Steam, Itch.Io and Lifetimers will find the release at the designated forum section.

If you were playing 3.70 beta versions, you should know that there's also new content added since the last beta. And if you weren't playing beta versions at all, then prepare to discover a lot. But first a little look at the key features with a few screenshots.

Key features of version 3.70

The key features of version 3.70 version deal with the moon and the moonlight, fibre processing with new textilecraft skill, snow penalty for all the creatures and snow crust, lots of new character portraits, tying equipment adjustments and additions, crafting fishing rods and hooks and usage of baits, option for metric units, and so on. The list of additions and fixes is long and you can find the full changelog at the bottom of this post.


Trudging through the deep snow the escaping elk tires itself easily while the hunter gliding with skis on snow crust travels easily.


There are lots of new character portraits added, and also an option to ask whereabouts of village water supply.


The autumn nights are already dark, but during full moon there's enough light for example to go fishing - with self-made fishing rod and hooks, that is.


Textilecraft in action. We have a new batch of harvested nettles retting in the water, and prepare to spin some yarn from earlier extracted nettle fibres.


Version 3.70 changelogs

First, here's changelog since the latest 3.70 beta version - new content to be aware of for those who have already been playing the beta versions.

3.70 (stable) changelog - new content since 3.70-beta 3

- added: whole lotta new portraits, and specific portait categories for old men and sages

A good bunch of new portraits have been added for kids, female and male characters. There are also two new portrait categories specifically for old men and sages. Portraits in these categories are exclusive for those type of NPCs and can't be associated with other NPCs nor chosen as a player character portrait.
MIGRATION NOTICE: NPCs generated in the previous versions continue to appear with their previously generated portraits.

- added: bowstrings as a separate functional part of a bow

Bowstrings are now featured as a craftable item of their own. Bowstrings wear out in use and thus need to be replaced every now and then. Crafting any bow now requires also a bowstring item, so you need to have a bowstring ready in order to make a functional bow.

* crafting a bowstring

Bowstrings can be crafted from [M]ake-menu under [W]eapons category. Bowstrings are made out of multiple strands of yarn twisted together, but also thin cordage can be used for a makeshift bowstring. Upon crafting a bowstring you can select the material, yarn or cord, to be used.
It's faster to make a bowstring from a cord and the required length is also far lesser, but bowstrings made out of cords are also always of lesser quality. Your textilecraft skill determines the success of making a bowstring. Due to item usage complexity bowstring crafting is hard-coded and not to be found in editable diy_*.txt file.

* bowstring breakage and replacement

Good quality bowstring can last up to thousand of shots or so. The lower the quality the faster the bowstring is prone to break. When the bowstring breaks a message is displayed and the bow gets described as "bow with no string". Naturally you can't shoot with such a bow anymore until a new bowstring is added.
You can check out condition of a bowstring in strung bows with inventory command. Upon selecting a bow to examine you will see how the bowstring looks like.
You can add a new bowstring to a bow with no string with [a]pply command. First apply the bowstring, and then select a bow to be strung with the string.

- added: [a]pply command can be used to remove hook from a fishing rod or to unstring a bow

Sometimes you want to remove the old fishhook or bowstring at will and it can be done with [a]pply command.
To remove a hook from a fishing rod [a]pply the fishing rod on dry land. The reason for doing it on dry land is that otherwise the fishing attempt will be initiated.
To remove a bowstring from a strung bow just [a]pply the bow anytime.
If you try to attach a fishhook or bowstring to fishing rod or bow that already carries those item parts you'll be notified of these new removal mechanics.

- added: spruce quick-bow - a simple craftable makeshift bow

Spruce quick-bow is the most simple and quick to make type of a bow. It's made out of a single branch that is cut from a standing spruce tree. It goes without saying that this type of bow is not a high performance weapon, but it is efficient enough for hunting squirrels and other small game.
Spruce quick-bow can be crafted from [M]ake menu "Weapons"-category. There's also SPRUCE QUICK-BOW game encyclopedia [F1] entry available for more information.

- removed: primitive bow and juniper bow - newly introduced spruce quick-bow replaces these.

- adjusted: villagers reclaiming heavy loads

Previously villagers would crowd endlessly around items they wanted to reclaim and restock if the load of whole stack was too heavy to pick up. Now they try to pick up such loads in smaller stacks, and if that should fail also they will eventually give up.

- added: craftable cords and ropes from yarn

You can now craft cords and ropes from yarn. These options can be fround from [M]ake menu under [T]ying equipment category.

- adjusted: cord and rope crafting requirements and applicable skill

Crafting any cord or rope now also requires a branch which is used as an aid for twisting the strands firmly together. The applicable skill for crafting yarn based cords and ropes is now textilecraft.

- changed: generic "cord" item name and quality

The generic craftable makeshift "cord" item which is made out of strips of clothing is now called "cloth cord" and its finished quality always remains on inferior side.

- updated: game encyclopedia [F1] entry for CORD and ROPE

- adjusted: "Set a net" now shows only tools in "Fishing" menu

- modding add: 'first word' value for [naming:] tag

Using 'first word' with [naming:] tag will get value of the first word of selected material/item name.
For example, material requirement and naming such as:
{Cord} [remove] [name:%s product] [naming:first word]
would result in finished item called 'yarn product' if 'yarn cord' was selected as the material, or 'linen product' if 'linen cord' was selected. And so on.

- adjusted: fatigue accumulation when moving by watercraft

Type of the vessel and implement used to move it now matters to how fatiguing it is to move by watercraft. In general it is more strenuous to move by raft than by punt. The implement used to move the vessel also matters. Shoving the watercraft ahead with sesta takes more effort than paddling.

- adjusted: companions pay more attention to closing doors

Companions now always try to close the doors they pass. This is to avoid them letting domestic animals, or warmth, to escape from your settlements.

- fixed: possibility of NPC portrait being the same as player character's portrait
- fixed: carried load unit (lb/kg) in statistics window not changing if system of measurement was changed during the gameplay
- fixed: sneaking while skiing on snow crust didn't reduce the speed
- fixed: dried cuts as fishing baits got used up in one single fishing attempt
- fixed: [nominlen] crafting tag not calculating tying equipment stacks properly
- fixed: NPC's excess bartered good might be distributed also to the village animals
- fixed: auto-shortening of tying equipment in crafting recipes not always reducing the weight accordingly
- fixed: boy NPC weights generated wrong and too low
- fixed: plants not burning in fire

Version 3.70 major changelog - since the first beta release

To view all the new content in version 3.70 the full changelog is here:
http://www.unrealworld.fi/370-changelog.txt

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Cheers, and happy adventures!

12
Development News / Wrapping it up for a stable release
« on: October 01, 2021, 01:53:25 PM »
Seems like all the most critical bugs have been fixed by now and 3.70 beta has been around for such a good while that we don't expect any nasty surprises anymore. So wrapping things up for 3.70 stable starts now, and the release is expected early this month.

The few latest additions to 3.70 that were finally accomplished are craftable cords and ropes from yarn, and whole lotta new character portraits.
Just a little more work and patience is needed and then it's out.

13
There hasn't been serious showstoppers with 3.70 beta, so in addition to fixing the remaining bugs I've been relieved enough to also continue working on the few features that didn't quite make their way into first beta releases. So when the stable version comes, it's won't only stabilize the newly added goodies but also adds some new stuff to explore. For example craftable, breakable bowstrings as a separate functional part of a bow.
Yes, that's where the textilecraft additions will bring us now.

Bowstrings will be featured as a craftable item of their own, and they wear out in use and thus need to be replaced every now and then. Bowstrings are made out of multiple strands of yarn twisted together, but also thin cordage can be used for a makeshift bowstring. It's faster to make a bowstring from a cord and the required length is also far lesser, but bowstrings made out of cords are also always of lesser quality.
     Good quality bowstring can last up to thousand of shots or so. The lower the quality the faster the bowstring is prone to break. When the bowstring breaks a message is displayed and the bow gets described as "bow with no string". Naturally you can't shoot with such a bow anymore until a new bowstring is added.

Another bow related addition is a spruce quick-bow - a new type of craftable bow. Spruce quick-bow is the most simple and quick to make type of a bow. It's made out of a single branch that is cut from a standing spruce tree. It goes without saying that this type of bow is not a high performance weapon, but it is efficient enough for hunting squirrels and other small game. This type of bow is strongly based in history, specifically that of the Saami hunters, and it is a fascinating method to make a bow quickly out in the wilderness. You can see me making a spruce quick-bow in the nearby woods in this video (on my traditional archery related YouTube channel): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYR91okTjlM
Heh. It's surely different to craft these things with lines of codes in the digital realm than with an axe in the northern wilderness, but it's nice to master the both ways :)

And there's even more features still pending to be added for the stable release. Stay tuned.

14
3.70 beta-3 update to fix a few bugs has been released for Windows, Linux and OSX on Steam, Itch.Io and for lifetimers at the designated forum section.

On Windows version the listed bugs have been remedied already, but now all the supported platforms are in sync.
With this patch there should be no critical beta bugs anymore, and polishing the lesser annoyances continues.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Version: 3.70 (beta 3)

** Saved characters from version 3.50-> are compatible with this version. **

BETA NOTICE:

This is a beta release. There are likely bugs, things are still somewhat under construction, and some of the listed improvements will be tweaked and polished further in patches to follow.


- fixed: weather for migrated characters getting corrupted

Migrated characters now experience reset of the weather upon loading them in 3.70 beta3. So the weather of migrated characters isn't exactly same as when they were saved, but as the reset is based on time of the year the change is most often quite unnoticeable.

- fixed: laggy movement on some map areas

This was related to how seeing through saplings was handled, and on some occasions data checks endedup in slow loop.

- fixed: domestic animals triggering your traps

- fixed: small weight units (g, oz) shown in carried load statistics together with false basic unit (kg, lb)

Now carried load is shown in basic units - either kg or lbs.

- fixed: character creation modes "easy" and "too easy" unexpectedly quit due to option points miscalculations

- typo: "kgs" abbreviation used in metric system units.

It's now always singular "kg", as it should be.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cheers!

15
Development News / 3.70 beta, the weather, and the forecast
« on: July 07, 2021, 10:41:05 AM »
If you are playing 3.70beta with migrated character there's one trick you should know.
Due to migration issue the weather gets corrupt at some point and to avoid that you should delete WEATHER.DAT file in the migrated character's folder.
Do the file delete when the game is not running, and once it's done there are no further troubles with it.
With new characters it's all working nicely from the very beginning.

We're confirmed to have the above issue and few other lesser troubles fixed for all platforms the next week. That's a new beta release forecast.

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