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.

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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Streaming World - Part 1

About Daggerfall Tools for Unity with 0 comments by Interkarma on Nov 17th, 2014

For the last week or so, I've been knuckling down on creating a fully streaming overworld in Daggerfall Tools for Unity. If you're not sure what I aim to accomplish, here's a brief overview of how I want this to work from the Unity Editor.

  1. Setup DaggerfallUnity singleton as normal.
  2. Add prefab StreamingWorld into scene hierarchy.
  3. Add prefab PlayerAdvanced into scene hierarchy.
  4. Set player virtual position in PlayerGPS and virtual time in WorldTime.
  5. Hit Play and explore entire Illiac Bay, entering any building, any dungeon, and experiencing full day/night cycle with climate and seasons.

In many ways, I'm already very close to this goal. The tools have procedural loading of cities and dungeons, virtual time and space, climates and seasons, day and night, interiors and exteriors, and more. What's missing is a full terrain setup and intelligent loading/unloading of blocks as player traverses the world.

You can probably imagine what a huge job this is. While I am working very quickly towards this goal, it will be another 3-4 weeks before it all comes together in a state that I'm happy with. To maintain regular updates over that time, I will split news on my progress over multiple articles.

In this first article, let's take a look at Daggerfall's height map and how it translates into useful terrain.

Similar to the 1000x500 maps found in POLITIC.PAK and CLIMATE.PAK, Daggerfall also stores a 1000x500 elevation map in WOODS.WLD. Here's a grayscale dump of that data (click for full size).

HeightmapFull

You can also see a nice false-colour version of this map here.

Like most height maps, dark areas are low elevations (values of 2 or less are water) and bright areas are high elevations. Daggerfall also stores a noise map in WOODS.WLD, which I'm not going to talk about as I plan to use a better method of noise generation.

To better understand the scale of this data, here is a zoomed-in 10x8 sample grabbed from along the northern coastline (I have brightened image so individual points are easier to make out). Each of the below squares represents a single "map pixel", equivalent to one full-sized city like Daggerfall or Wayrest. If you measure the time it takes to cross from one side of Wayrest to the other, it would take 10x that amount of time to cross the below sample west-to-east.

HeightmapZoomOriginal

Once the scale is understood, it becomes apparent there's not much height data here considering the actual size of terrain represented. This is why Daggerfall's terrain is mostly flat. It's stretching a single height sample over a huge area then modulating that with a little noise. Sometimes you can fluke a nice bit of terrain, but it's very rare. On the whole, the overworld in Daggerfall is very flat and bland.

To improve this situation, there needs to exist more data in between height samples above. This new data must be quick to sample, use very little memory, and create a continuous grade between samples with plenty of interesting variety. To accomplish this, I am combining a few basic techniques.

The first problem to solve is the rate of elevation change between map pixels. It's incredibly boring to have a huge flat area abruptly stepping up or down into yet another huge flat area. Our baseline needs to be a nice continuous elevation change from sample-to-sample.

I have added a new API method called GetHeightBilinear(). This quickly samples any point in the 1000x500 map with any number of bilinear interpolations between samples. The result is a much smoother overworld full of curves as each height sample blends into the next.

Below is the same zoomed-in terrain sample using bilinear interpolation to create additional sample points across the surface.

HeightmapZoomWithBilinear

If written out to a full-size image, this would be 128000x64000 pixels, enough to create a reasonably detailed overworld at the same grid resolution found in RMB blocks. New sample points are created on the fly from existing data, and it doesn't require any additional memory.

There's still a problem however. Despite having nice continuous samples, the terrain is still quite boring. The next technique is to add some noise and break things up a little. I'm using a fast simplex noise generator to create small variations at ground level. Below is an example of noise overlayed with interpolated heightmap.

HeightmapZoomWithBilinearNoise

You won't see it in the thumbnail, but if you click through to full-size image you will see small whorls of coherent noise added to the height data. Compare this with the blocky first image, and you can see just how much fine data has been mathematically inserted. This can be scaled to any grid resolution and tweaked as required.

Of course, this is just the beginning. The next step is to create real terrain chunks from this data and tune noise generation towards interesting-looking terrain based on climate data.

Before wrapping up, I will leave you with the following image of a small patch of terrain (equivalent to 2x2 RMB blocks, or 1/4 the size of a full city. I have noise turned up to show the kind of deformations possible.

TerrainChunks

Over the course of the next few weeks, I will continue building on this foundation, adding better texturing, cities, and climates into the mix.

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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
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Daggerfall
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Released Jul 30, 1996
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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Released Nov 10, 2011
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Daggerfall, Released Jul 30, 1996
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