Open Kimono

Dereth Forever was born back in November 2017. The core of our charter stated:

We are working out of the public view for a very simple reason: to minimize unnecessary distractions, criticism, and drama.
Once we have a viable product in place, we will release the source code of Dereth Forever to the public under the GPL 3.0 license.

Our original goal to viability for release was the following:

  • Physics
  • Combat
  • Monster AI
  • Emote Tables
  • Tools for Content Creation

We have made a lot of progress. We have a good start on physics, we have tools for content creation that are ready for beta testing and have initial an implementation for the emote system. However, we have not hit all of our milestones that we has set for releasing open source.   In our internal discussions we have decided that while developing privately helps with the distractions, it limits the pool of resources that might be available to contribute to our efforts to bring Asheron’s Call back for the community. That is, and has to stay, the number one priority.

We are going open source earlier than we had envisioned, mainly  to encourage others to join us in our quest to bring back Asheron’s Call.    In the next few days, we will make our repository public.   Our primary focus is two fold:  First get a playable version of the server out as soon as we can for the community.   Secondly, provide robust content tools to allow the massive work needed to put all of the missing content back into AC to get to the level of game play as of the 2017 shutdown.   Content tools are about ready for prime time.  Content Site

If you want to download the code to just follow along – great.  If you are a developer with Reverse Engineering experience or a C# ASP.net MVC developer, we would love to talk to you about contributing.     Hope to see you guys in Dereth soon.

 

The not so “secret” secret is out

Over the last week or so, people have started to stumble across our project.   Welcome!   As we posted in our first blog post, the reason for the low profile was to focus on the coding and delivering a product to the community.   It really is that simple.   That focus has allowed us to make some great progress both on the emulator side as well as content creation.   We are well aware that there are other Asheron’s Call emulators in the works.  Some are still under development,  along with PhatAC that had to stop development after achieving so much in such a short period of time .   We did our best to explain our reasoning for starting another in our inaugural blog post Dereth Forever : A New Beginning

We are well aware that a some folks in the community view this fragmentation in a negative light.   “Why can’t everyone just work together and we would have our game back already?”  That is a feeling that everyone who loves the game can certainly empathize with.  PhatAC, ACE, Dereth Forever and other as yet unknown emulators that may be out there, speak to the fact that the effort to bring AC back has never been a smooth one.

We would like to take just a moment to assure anyone who maybe concerned that everyone here at Dereth Forever loves Asheron’s Call as much as you do.  We, like other teams, are putting in countless hours to making bringing the game back a reality.   We are taking the path that, in our opinion,  gives us the best opportunity to accomplish that mission.    We are committed to a GPL license for our game server and will release the code with our first release of a server build.  That is not only core to our charter but our solemn pledge to you, the people of the community.

We wish no other emulators any ill will and in fact are grateful for all of the talented people that have worked many many hours over the years to help make any emulator project possible.   OK, enough of that, back to coding.

Content Editing – Importing and Exporting

Greetings, Isparians!

We’re trying to wrap up the first pass of the Content Editing tool, but wanted to call out a feature we decided to add this week. We know that a large part of the remaining AC base is off playing deprecated copies of another unnamed emulator. We also know that you have ways to extract and import data into those worlds. The last thing we want to do is fracture the AC player base over which community to dedicate themselves to when having to create the content, whether that unnamed emulator or Dereth Forever. So the question is, why not both?

We will be adding the ability to import, edit, and export json files from that unnamed emulator into our Content Editing system. In the process, we get a copy of it, of course, and you can help rebuild the world for us as well as have a nice easy to use tool to rebuild worlds in the other emulator. We’re still working on the details of how we will give people sandboxes to play in and not corrupt data in the process, but we’re confident we can reach a solution that benefits everyone.

– Behemoth

Dyeing

Today we were able to merge in the code necessary to implement dyeing of clothing and armor.  Our newest developer Iron Golem was able to get it working properly and replace a lot of other really bad code in the process.  We also have dye failure making your favorite shade of pink, too.

Physics – a lesson learned

Physics was going great.  We got everything loading, were able to see it loading properly with Sharp DX 11, and were excited to be making great progress.  We knew it was a risk to use an engine instead of copying the internal physics to the game.  We had server-side motion incremental motion mirroring and could have even done some client position validation rather easily.

Then we wanted to add movement mirroring over and around static objects.  This was for 2 purposes.  The larger purpose was so that we could “move” things on the server.  Mainly, monsters.  This requires being able to move stuff over objects (cell data) on the ground.  This is mainly stuff like tables and chairs, but includes ramps and places in the world where there is more than 1 place you can be, vertically, for the same x and y values.  Bullet failed us here.  This required custom placement manipulation.  We were already doing some of that for movement prediction, but that was movement over ground terrain.

Without fully implementing this movement over stuff, we realized that the only way we could really utilize a third party physics engine was for collision detection.  But even then, it was a half-solution.  We have to do collision detection for moving over/around cell objects anyway.  Bullet doesn’t even get us that.

So, we’re cutting bait on using Bullet as a physics engine.  We will continue to use it for the ability to see what’s going on in the engine we’ll end up rolling by hand and utilize the SharpDx11 stuff we already have to render it.  This is still a great tool, we just can’t use it in the way we had hoped.

That said, we’re going to go as far as making portals work on the old system.  Projectiles and server object pathing will have to wait for the new system to get put into place.

-Behemoth

Physics, Part 0 – Physics Kills

Greeting Isprians!    Work continues on making Dereth Forever a reality.   The Big Bad Behemoth Golem has been slaving away in the bowels of Tenkarrdun Foundry hammering physics against the fire hot anvil of Asheron’s Call.    Our happy band of Golems are working on different areas of the code base – but all eyes are on the big guy toughing out the physics beast.    Stay tuned – more updates to come.