The recipient of every major "Best RPG of the Year" award, The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall revolutionizes the world of role-playing games, creating a new standard in 3D graphics and role-playing expansiveness. The second chapter in The Elder Scrolls, Daggerfall contains, literally, hundreds of hours of gameplay. Prepare to experience your new obsession.

Starting off in Daggerfall can overwhelm the senses. No other game has such a huge world to explore. Travel around a land mass twice the size of Great Britain, exploring dungeons, castles, tombs, and even alternative dimensions. Just to walk from one end of the world to the other will take over 2 full weeks in real-time (we actually tested this!) Converse with over 750,000 characters that inhabit this world. Daggerfall is a game that sets new boundaries with over 200 hours of gameplay. It's no wonder that it took almost 3 years to develop this epic game.

You can literally do anything you want and go anywhere you want. Join a guild and climb in rank to become a respected member of a Knightly Order. Become a spy and infiltrate the royal ranks, and even rebel against your own king. Become a thief who slips in and out of the shadows and steals the rare treasures of the world. There are six different endings, if you choose to play out the main story quest, but ultimately the life you choose to live will be a unique experience that no other gamer will encounter.

Image RSS Feed Latest Screens
Daggerfall Art Back Daggerfall Screens Daggerfall Screens
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Streaming World - Part 2

About Daggerfall Tools for Unity with 0 comments by Interkarma on Nov 26th, 2014

In the first part of this series, we looked at how the world in Daggerfall is constructed from multiple 1000x500 pixel maps, and how procedural techniques can be applied to add more fine detail to Daggerfall's height map.

This article shows how continuous height map data generated by world readers is injected into scene as continuous meshed terrain and how terrain is landscaped into flat areas for cities.

First up, I have chosen not to use Unity's native terrain system. There are several reasons for this, but chiefly is that Daggerfall terrain textures work very differently from Unity. In Unity (like most modern 3D engines) the terrain is textured using a splat map - a special texture which determines how detail textures are to be blended at every vertex. Daggerfall on the other hand uses a grid of quads textured from a selection of 56 tiles. These tiles are earth, sand, grass, stone, and road with hand-painted transitions between most states.

TerrainTextureTiles

Above is the temperate terrain set as viewed from Daggerfall Imaging 2. There is one complete set of 56 tiles per climate base (desert, temperate, mountain, swamp) with one variant for snow and another for rain. To save texture space, these tiles also use UV modification to be rotated, flipped, or both rotated and flipped where required.

In order for the terrain to blend seamlessly from wilderness into city tiles, it becomes necessary to build a custom terrain system which understands how Daggerfall works. This unfortunately excludes the default Unity terrain. The code is modular however, so you can always replace part or all of my terrain system with something else.

With the decision made to create a Daggerfall-like terrain system, the next stage is to transform raw height data into streaming mesh samples and format ground for locations.

The first step of this journey was actually implemented a few weeks back in the 1.1 update. See article Time & Space and More for details about PlayerGPS and WorldTime components. Suffice to say, the toolset already has a good understanding of where the player is in the world and what locations are nearby. I will copy an image from the time and space article here as it pertains to world streaming.

WorldStreaming

Above is a snapshot of the world in pure numerical form. Each of these tiles represents a Map Pixel (discussed in part 1), which is the size of a full-sized city. The player is standing at the origin of Daggerfall city at map pixel 207, 213. In the immediate vicinity are Ripwych Commons to the north-west (206, 212) and Copperfield Manor to the south (207, 214). Keep an eye on them, as we'll be seeing more of them soon.

At a high level, the StreamingWorld component stores data much like the above. It keeps track of a small bubble of world space around player in a 2D array. As the player moves, tiles are shifted up, down, left, or right in the array (based on direction player is moving). New map pixels are loaded as required and everything is occasionally snapped back to near origin, which avoids precision errors at extreme limits of the map. From the player's perspective, they are walking endlessly into the distance. In reality, they are on a terrain treadmill.

Inside each of these map pixels a DaggerfallTerrain object is created for the entire area. This is generated procedurally from Daggerfall's height map combined with smooth noise to add small details. This terrain is then broken up into several DaggerfallTerrainChunk objects, which represent the actual mesh objects and colliders for the player to see and walk on.

The edge vertices and normals of each adjacent terrain are stitched together to create a nice continuous terrain. The next screenshot shows a 3x3 terrain area, once again centred on Daggerfall, with the tiling texture system discussed above. Right now it is just set to grass. I also have turned up the noise scale to make the deformations a little more interesting.

StartingTerrain

The locations are there in memory, but nothing is being drawn yet. Before we can insert locations, some foundations must be laid. First come the appropriate texture tiles. Unlike the earlier screenshot, the locations are centred inside their map pixel. Daggerfall city is in the middle, Copperfield Manor is to the south, and Ripwych Commons is just barely visible to the north-west.

LocationGroundTextures

Now location textures are in the right place, but there's a big problem - cities in Daggerfall need a flat plane to sit on. This raises two questions. What level should the terrain be flattened to and how can everything be smoothed out cleanly?

I evaluated several different methods for selecting city level. The below screenshot shows a few of them without any smoothing.

FlattenVariants

I didn't like the highest point as it made everything feel too raised. The average is pretty good as the city is leveled evenly in between all deformations, but I rejected it also as another pass was required to determine average elevation after applying noise. World height was very cheap to obtain but sometimes felt a little too high or too low. I ended up settling on median bilinear height (from the map reader), which is also very cheap and consistently landed somewhere between the world height and true average. So that's the level I went with.

The next stage was to blend the flat areas into the random terrain. Interestingly, even full-sized cities like Daggerfall do not really fill their entire map pixel. They have a band of 14 tiles around the outside to use as blend space. These even have special index (>55) to indicate not to use RMB-defined tiles and instead blend with terrain.

The blending process gave me serious headaches for a few days. I tried several different methods of blending heights but none of them gave me a perfect transition from the rectangular city area all the way to edge of terrain. In the end, I created a system of building scale maps with linear rolloff from edge of city to edge of terrain. This uses linear interpolation for the straight rects and bilinear in the corner rects to keep everything smooth.

What is important is the scale is 0 all the way around terrain bounds and smoothly reaches 1 at the location bounds. Drawing the scale map for Copperfield Manor looks like the following. Each of the points below represents the blend weight for random terrain vs level terrain. The further out from the centre rect, the more influence random terrain will have. It looks similar to a pure radial falloff, but if you look carefully you will notice everything converges on a rectangular area, not a single point as would be the case with radial.

ScaleMap

Applying the scale map gives us a nice smooth transition from flat area into random terrain. The terrain features can still express themselves, but the transition feels natural and remains completely walkable even with lots of noise.

SmoothedTerrain

From here, it's a simple matter of plopping down locations where needed and let the player go exploring.

The next part of this series will be about enhancing details of terrain. I will discuss adding textures outside of cities, improving elevation noise, and adding trees and other wilderness flats.

Media RSS Feed Latest Video
Downloads RSS Feed Latest Downloads
DaggerXL Version 0.199
Daggerfall

DaggerXL Version 0.199

Jun 27, 2012 DaggerXL Demo 11 comments

Contains XL Engine Launcher, version 0.199 of DaggerXL and build 9.50 of DarkXL.

Version 0.198 Released - Bug Fix Build
Daggerfall

Version 0.198 Released - Bug Fix Build

Mar 9, 2011 DaggerXL Demo 7 comments

Version 0.198 is mainly a bug fix build. One fun feature,though, is that random monsters are no longer just bears - though they still aren't correct.

DaggerXL Version 0.197
Daggerfall

DaggerXL Version 0.197

Mar 8, 2011 DaggerXL Demo 0 comments

The current pre-alpha version of DaggerXL - version 0.197. Please note that this is still a work in progress and that many features need to be implemented...

DaggerXL Version 0.195
Daggerfall

DaggerXL Version 0.195

Mar 7, 2011 DaggerXL Demo 1 comment

luciusDXL made this, obviously. I'm just re-uploading it here because the other file server was going down a lot.

DaggerXL Version 0.181
Daggerfall

DaggerXL Version 0.181

May 18, 2010 DaggerXL Demo 0 comments

The current pre-alpha version of DaggerXL - version 0.181. Please note that this is still a work in progress and that many features need to be implemented...

Daggerfall - Full Game
Daggerfall

Daggerfall - Full Game

Jul 10, 2009 Daggerfall Full Version 24 comments

Bethesda has released their second Elder Scrolls game, Daggerfall, as freeware. The classic RPG is notable for its enormity – being large and ambitious...

Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 32)
maxammo
maxammo Jun 15 2014, 1:58pm says:

My character grinds on city guards for xp since some monsters have immunity with lower tier weapons. The guards will arrest you when they successfully land a hit on you. For added bonus try playing a ranged type character.

And some inns are known to have Daedric Weapons.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Goat‪
Goat‪ Aug 18 2012, 1:00pm says:

It kind of sucks how a game made 3 years after Doom didn't ever get official modding tools or a source code release.

+4 votes     reply to comment
DEAD_FiSH
DEAD_FiSH Oct 19 2013, 11:47am replied:

None of the Bethesda games saw the source code release.
Trust me, fans would bury Bethesda so deep with bug fixes and new upgrades. It's kind a no wonder they never released a source code.
They should really, I mean the games are single player. Who gives a damn, give fans the freedom if you stop supporting the games.

+2 votes     reply to comment
cordenand
cordenand Jul 12 2012, 6:19am says:

simply one of the best games ever made burn alive any one who says otherwise lol

+2 votes     reply to comment
TheConsul
TheConsul Feb 14 2012, 9:46pm says:

LOVED Daggerfall, I just wished they could've implemented everything they (Bethesda) had in mind when they were developing this and didn't had to rush it. The bugs were pretty bad when it got first released and was never completely dealt with, but when you over look the bugs it truly was a fantastic game. The lore in DF is really deep and I love that aspect also.

Just remember when playing Daggerfall:

SAVE OFTEN.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Distort
Distort Dec 2 2011, 10:29am says:

This is what started Skyrim, all bow down to it's ancestor.

0 votes     reply to comment
adfjkndjklnhdfs
adfjkndjklnhdfs Feb 6 2012, 12:23am replied:

actually I pretty sure Arena started Skyrim...

+12 votes     reply to comment
sethfc
sethfc Apr 30 2011, 11:13pm says:

Anyone that wants to play on newer systems can either use dosbox or a virtual PC

Also look for the fully made setup version with auto configed dosbox if setting it up otherwise is too difficult.

+2 votes     reply to comment
faulk
faulk Mar 13 2011, 12:57am says:

If they would port this to the ds or some other handheld, I would be very pleased. And I would buy it. :-)

+5 votes     reply to comment
Dervich
Dervich Apr 2 2011, 6:42pm replied:

I have 64 bit but sorry I cant remember how but its possible, don't go and buy something you don't need

+2 votes     reply to comment
Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Icon
Daggerfall
Platform
Windows
Developer & Publisher
Bethesda Softworks
Engine
XnGine
Contact
Send Message
Official Page
Bethsoft.com
Release Date
Released Jul 30, 1996
Game Watch
Track this game
Share
Community Rating

Average

9.4

56 votes submitted.

You Say

-

Ratings closed.

Style
Genre
Role Playing
Theme
Fantasy
Players
Single Player
Project
AAA
Boxshot
Boxshot
Sequels
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Released Nov 10, 2011
Logo
Oblivion, Released Mar 19, 2006
Logo
Morrowind, Released Apr 25, 2002
Logo
Daggerfall, Released Jul 30, 1996
Logo
Arena, Released Mar 1, 1994
Logo
Twitter

Latest tweets from @elderscrolls

Nothing beats a family dinner for Thanksgiving. Pass the sweet roll! T.co

20hours 36mins ago

RT @Bethblog: He went to Jarl!!! #HappyHolidays T.co

Nov 26 2014, 6:24pm

Every kiss begins with Arkay #happyholidays from T.co T.co

Nov 26 2014, 1:41pm

RT @Bethblog: When being late for class because of Skyrim is no longer acceptable T.co

Nov 25 2014, 2:04pm

RT @TESOnline: Visit the #ESO Battlemaster’s Corner to discover today’s featured player build. Send us yours! T.co http:/…

Nov 24 2014, 5:50pm

RT @DCDeacon: So Mudcrabs are a metaphor for...? "How Skyrim is teaching university students about the decline of US empire" T.co

Nov 24 2014, 11:59am

Embed Buttons

Promote Daggerfall on your homepage or blog by selecting a button and using the HTML code provided (more).

Daggerfall Daggerfall
Daggerfall
Statistics
Rank
702 of 25,689
Last Update
1 year ago
Watchers
51 members
Mods
2
Files
8
News
13
Features
3
Reviews
3