Medieval Monday: What’s to Drink?


Another great Medieval Monday blog from Allison Reid. Hop over to her site to read it. #writing #indiedev

Allison D. Reid

Much of what we drink today on a daily basis would not have been available in the Middle Ages. Coffee wasn’t brought to Europe until the 1600s, and was met with suspicion—even sometimes condemned by the local Church. And though Britain in particular is now known for his proud heritage of drinking tea, it was not introduced until the 16th century, and did not gain popularity until the 17th.  Anything that required refrigeration was difficult to keep, and only consumed fresh, when available. So what did medieval people drink on a daily basis?

drinking-brawlThere is a persistent rumor that water was avoided due to widespread contamination of waterways by pollutants and bacteria. This is actually not the case. While plain water was certainly nothing exciting enough to sing songs about, it was regularly drunk by itself, or used to water down other drinks. Even though they had no…

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UMA Dynamic Character Sytem


During my Twitch session this afternoon I decided to show off the customization aspects of the UMA character system. This time, I remembered to record the session and you can find it on our YouTube station, below or if you prefer to check out the raw version before I cleaned up the video, you can find it at our Twitch Channel at https://www.twitch.tv/watregames.

While I did want to show off how one could customize a character, I also wanted to show developers who might want to use UMA how to create a base character recipe and a wardrobe recipe.

Those of you following Ryan’s ICE videos will soon see a Twitch on ICE where he shows the AI working with the UMA characters as well as how he put the character into the game. So stay tuned!

Hope you enjoy the video!

Teila

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The various versions of Unity…Why we use the free version


I was reading some posts on the Unity forums today and thought I might explain to people following our game why we use Unity Personal. I am sure you will see it pop up in our test builds so you may have some questions or concerns.

When Unity 5 was released, a decision was made by the company to make some changes to the free version of Unity. Unity 4 had a very under developed version of Unity 4 with some server limitations. Shadows were hard, render to texture was not included, image effects did not work with the free version, there was no profiler to optimize, etc. While it was a great tool for learning Unity, it quickly because very limiting as our game development needs grew.

With Unity 5, the company decided to provide for free the fully featured engine, with every single feature included in Unity 5 Pro, except for a few services, some which are available to us as a separate purchase.

Unity did make the unfortunate decision to name it Unity Personal Edition, which provided fodder for many jokes on the Unity forums but also caused many players of games made with the free version to think the games were made with a non-commercial version of Unity. Unknown to them, Unity Personal Edition is a commercial version and can be used by companies who make less than $100,000 in revenue from games/applications created with Unity.

Obviously, most of us in the development mode, unless we have previously used Unity to create very successful games, have less than $100,000 revenue with Unity. Over $100,000, we will be required to purchase Unity Plus and over $200,000, we will be required to purchase Unity Pro. Again, the differences are minor.

For a small team like ours, using a paid version of Unity would actually limit us more than using the free Personal Edition. We now can add or subtract team members easily, without any licensing issues. Since teams cannot mix licenses, with Pro or even Plus, we would have to purchase a version for a new team members or ask them to provide their own. At $125 a month for Pro, that can add up. The only thing we would get that we don’t have now that could really affect our game would be a custom splash screen, which honestly, we can do without until we publish.

I see Unity forum posts every day where new Unity users complain about the high cost of Pro and honestly believe that the free version will limit them. It makes me sad, because I am so sure some walk away without realizing the potential of this free, fully featured option. Even worse, some risk legal action by pirating the Pro version for a splash screen…and a game that could be removed after months of hard work because it is using an unlicensed copy of the engine.

Every business needs to make decisions that impact their viability. For our company, using Unity Personal during our development period makes sense. Unity has been generous in their efforts to democratize game development for all, solo developers, small teams, hobbyists and professional studios who are just starting out. By putting our money into new assets, hiring artists and programmers, and upgrading our technology instead of paying for the same engine we can get for free, we feel as though we are maximizing our chances of finishing our game. Unity doesn’t require royalties, like some engines and if we make over $100k from our game, we will be more than happy to share the wealth with Unity.  In my opinion, it is a win-win situation for both companies like ours and Unity.

So, when you see Unity Personal Edition on upcoming builds, know that we are making good fiscal decisions with the best potential for the development of our game.

Small Update: We are finishing up our cooking skill and it is awesome. We are starting on the weaponsmith skills and I think you will like the unique mechanics we are adding. The character system is ready to go and we will start making new clothing for the less medieval-looking cultures. Terrain is becoming more and more amazing, with a future update adding growing fields that can be harvested, trees that can be chopped down, and beautiful terrain textures that should increase immersion.

I have volunteered some time to help a little bit with the UMA project before it’s release. Those amazing developers have given so much to an open source project, I feel at least I can give a bit back..even though it is a fraction of what they do. I do love the Unity community. 🙂

I will post more soon, but in the meantime, Enjoy!

Teila

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Need Diverse Games has launched Game Devs Against #MuslimBan on teespring


I usually leave my politics elsewhere, but this touched me. GDC offering refunds to those who cannot attend the conference due to the Muslim ban. We have a vibrant and diverse community and it makes me sad that so many are being affected.

I Need Diverse Games

front

Gaming is a global industry, and the immigration ban, better known as the #MuslimBan is affecting the industry. This ban means a lot of developers will have to skip the annual Game Developers Conference Feb 27-Mar 3, 2017.

Others cannot leave the country out of fear of being refused re-entry despite having Permanent Residence (Green Card) or possibly being questioned with a US Passport and a “suspect” name or appearance.

GDC has already stood with those affected, even offering refunds to those who can no longer attend the conference. We could do no less to help. Funds raised will go to the ACLU and other organizations fighting this illegal & unethical immigration ban.

Buy a teeshirt, sticker, mug, hoodie or tank for the next ten days via Teespring

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Reblog Allison


I love to re-blog these tidbits of medieval life. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do. If you go to Allison’s blog, you will find many more! #writers @gamedev #indiedev

Medieval Monday: Horses

Sadly, my hit the reblog button sent it to the wrong blog and can’t get it back so just posting a link today. Read it if you can!

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Medieval Monday: Travel


Love this! Medieval travel! #gamedesign #writing

Allison D. Reid

travelTravel in medieval times was a challenge to say the least. In and between rural areas, there might not be more than a narrow, beaten earth path. Overly wet or snowy weather could make such roads impassable for long stretches of time. Bandits, weather, and wild animals all added to the hazards of the road. Though main trade routes were larger and better maintained (better guarded as well) they were far from comfortable. Wagon tires were primitive, made from flexible sapling wood, and transporting anything heavy was fraught with difficulties. When possible, pack animals were used by merchants who needed to get their goods from village to village. Travel by sea was no safer than travel by foot or beast, and the sea claimed many a historic figure, including the son of King Henry I.

heraldic-regaliaHowever, history shows that in spite of the dangers and discomfort of travel, it remained…

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Our new Twitch TV Channel


Hello!

We have some exciting news. Yesterday, I gave my very first presentation on our new Twitch TV Channel, https://www.twitch.tv/watregames although sadly, I forgot to record it! Oops!  I guess we can call it a beginner’s mistake. I do plan to redo it and record it this time as I think it is something everyone would love to see.

I presented a walk through of the system we are using to create our character system. Followers were able to watch me create a character, make changes to the body and face, add hair, clothes, and change colors. I was so nervous but it really was fun. 🙂  I look forward to the next one and this time, I will record a video and embed it here.

I am hoping later tonight to showoff a build we made of a prototype city with characters walking around and engaging each other using our AI system.

We hosted Ryan, one of our programmers, as he showed viewers how to use ICE Creature Controller, which is the AI we are using in our game. Since he barely scratched the surface of this complex AI, I am sure he will have more. By request, he will show us how to make herds of animals and flocks of birds, or maybe butterflies.

Just in case you want to see a little of how it is done. 🙂 Enjoy and thanks, Ryan!

Teila

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