Today's update finally removes the concern over 'losing your cave'. If you log out of the game while in a dungeon, or if the game server restarts, your dungeon instance will be restored for you when you log back in, whether you log out for a minute, a day, or weeks.
SCI64 test client
We're looking for some help beta testing a core change to the game client.
The internal SCI script interpreter has been rewritten from scratch. No longer is it a 16-bit virtual machine from 1994, but now a 64-bit one from 2022. The game's internal memory manager has been expanded to allow the creation of millions of script object handles (from the current limit of 65536), which drastically expands the quantity of things we can have in a single room.
If you would like to help test this version of the client, find the sciw64.exe executable in your game directory and use that to play the game. There are a number of extra safeguards put in this version to help catch errors.
Note that this is an early test, so please do expect this client to be unstable. We will collect crash reports and fix things up before releasing this as the main client.
Thank you to everyone in the community for sticking around and supporting the game. We hope to continue to add new features and content to the game.
The Harvest Festival 2022 update is out today! Following our traditional Halloween festivities, please visit the following destinations:
– Hallows End
– Pumpkin Patches
We’ve seen reports of some odd creatures that have returned to the land. Keep a lookout for them, it’s not clear what they’re trying to say.
Some new Halloween themed loot awaits you in the world, including a new baldric, mask, and pumpkins. The event hosts have also been stocked with new things to win, so be sure to hunt them down!
State of the Game
We would like to give you a brief overview of what has been going on behind the scenes, and a taste for our future plans.
Firstly, our business name has changed to Realm Worlds, LLC which you will see reflected on your Stripe payment receipts. The business members are Michael (“RDragon”) Nicolella, Jaxson (“Jax”) Kosolofski, and Roger (“Grumpy”) Aasheim. Notably, Sam (“Redbeard”) is no longer part of the development team.
We’ve made great progress on improving game stability over the last year, in particular on the game server side. All known server crashes have been fixed and we currently aren’t tracking any further ones.
There are still a handful of stability issues that remain in the game client, and we will continue to investigate and fix these. We have fixed a number of issues including increasing the number of internal ‘handles’ available (again). There are a number of unfortunate crashes that exist inside the ‘ActiveSkin’ UI library that the client uses, but we don’t have the source code to that library to be able to make fixes, and the software was abandoned around 20 years ago. More details about this are below.
Over the last few months we have been contracting with a couple of professional music designers (Nadia Wheaton and Alex Williamson) to create rearrangements of the game’s original MIDI music. This has been progressing steadily and a handful of the new tracks have already been added to the game. Today we are releasing Alex’s work on rearranging the combat music - enjoy!
During this process we also discovered that some of the tracks in the game were based on some old works from renaissance composer John Dowland. You might recognize his pieces 'Orlando Sleepeth' and 'My Lady Hunsdon's Puffe'. We also found that the game uses 'Never Weather Beaten Sail' by Thomas Campion. If you recognize any other tracks in the game, please let us know! We hope you enjoy the fresh version of the music.
We are finishing up an update that was on the test server several months ago. This will allow players to log out in a dungeon for hours, days, or weeks, and have it be restored when you decide to come back. The days of ‘losing my cave’ will be over. This is also expected to work across game updates or crashes.
We have stopped development of the Unity client and the port to mobile devices. We don’t have the resources to spend on such a large development effort, and there is no indication that making the game available on mobile devices would increase the player base, especially not without a sizable marketing investment.
Though we are no longer working on the Unity client, we are still committed to improving the existing client and eliminating some of the legacy issues that have been plaguing the game for some time. We think that making incremental changes to the existing game will deliver value to you faster, and be more attainable with our small development staff.
We have a rewrite of the game client’s graphics engine nearing completion that replaces Sierra’s software renderer in the current client with one based on Direct3D 11. This will eliminate the 8-bit palette restrictions we have with the current artwork, let us increase the resolution of the game for modern displays, and allow us to use the GPU to accelerate rendering the game world.
The High-Rez client will allow us to drastically improve the quality of artwork in the game. We are currently working with a concept artist to prototype ideas for reimagining the world. We will share some sneak peeks from this collaboration soon.
Relatedly, some of you may be familiar with ‘ActiveSkin’ which is the 3rd party technology that was used to code the existing user interface. This technology was abandoned 20 years ago and is a primary source of instability in the game client. There is no way for us to make bug fixes to that code, so we plan to gradually replace the existing UI with something new. This will also enable us to more easily add new UI screens, including trade windows.
New End-Game Content
We understand the hunger for new content! We have some new end-game content updates that are early in development. We don’t have anything further to say about this today, but we did want to mention that we are working on something and we will share more about this at a later date.
Thanks again for sticking around to enjoy one of the oldest virtual worlds on the internet. The game has been alive for over 25 years now, and we hope to keep it running for many more.