D ue to the limitations of the original game, we are constantly trying to improve on the gamecode. Our coders, modelers, quest-scripters and shipbuilders are currently making wonders, tweaking and improving the playing experience to the limits of what the game is capable of. As most quests involve work-arounds due to these limitations, we are digging deeper and deeper into the original gamecode and the core.
eing the official mod-pack compiler, pirate_kk is our main coder. He is the guy who is gathering all the mods that people made and making them work together - a very difficult task.
However, he still does a lot of modding on his own. He made the ´Captureable Black Pearl´ mod and the ´Raise Flags´ mod. He also did the ´Capture Colonies´ mod and he is the guy who made the "Selectable Storyline"s mod for Build14, still fixing and finishing work on this. With the introduction of new nations the Build, his ´Different Flags´ mod is in the works, making room for several more new nations will most certainly be a swill to every aspect of an expanded gameplay!
Maximus has during the years loaded enormous amounts of his work into the Build. For Build13, he is the reason for you being able to talk to enemy ship captains and choose your own character from the start. Transfering cannons back and forth between ships. He also added many new ship decks and captain´s cabins. While also improving CouchCaptainCharles´ Loot Corpses mod and made a new interface for Build 14. Currently, he is trying to port parts of the Build from Storm Engine version 2.0 to 2.5. That is one huge goal to obtain - and we sincerely hope, he will get away with it!
Hook has returned! For the past months, it has been a bliss to see him work day and night like a mole, only coming to the surface in the forums when he has more stuff to add.
This time around, he mainly improved CouchCaptainCharles´s ´DirectSail Mod´ - which is now working very well!
DirectSail could best be descriped as a fanatic realism-mod for the hardcore and skilled player, enabling you to sail from one island to another without consulting the worldmap at all for navigation and updates. All technical details like food-consuming, time-related quests and repairs are calculated and taken care of - and the player can fully concentrate on navigating and sailing his ship! A full day passes each hour at sea and the player will get sailing XP for his efforts. Of course, the crew and officers still needs to be paid every 8th of the month.
Although not completely finished, Hook also made a tremendous amount of general gamefixes, such as improvements to the ´AutoSkill´-mod. Here are a few more:
- the sun azimuth, sky-textures and time of day seamlessly adjusted to another, to make the sky more realistic.
- the game now cycles through several tracks and not just the first track in various locations.
- extended the silence time in between tracks, especially when DirectSailing.
Maturin is the guy who made the new ´Realistic Weather Mod´. He exploited the engine's capabilities to make the weather changes already previously coded in evolve from the previous weather you had, instead of being all random. Additionally, he did some experiments with generating huge waves. Unfortunately, he had to leave us before the mod was completely finished and we are currently trying to figure his (rather sophisticated) code out in order to improve this new weather-system.
Hook is doing tweaking on Maturin´s ´Realistic Weather Mod´ to sort out the last of the rough edges.
As we have no official modleader on our team, Pieter Boelen is the guy in front, always at work in our forums. He is a great asset, as it is a great advantage for a team to have at least one guy who is always around, as everybody else is working more or less "on and off". Although not directly involved in the huge coding projects, Pieter is the allround modder - initiating new projects, testing and helping people out with suggestions for alternatives.
Last time I checked, he was working on new generic and location-specific loading screens and made some slight adjustments to Hook's improvements to the ´DirectSail´ mod which renames the relative bearings to points as still used aboard ships in real life. But with the recent release of the internal alphas, Build14Alpha 8.5 and the new released alpha 9, he is working on testing the game and attempting to fix the bugs being reported!
Sooner or later, it is unevitable for every good modder to dig into at least the basics of coding. When someone makes a new model carrying its head under an arm, it´s a great (scripted) illusion - since it is his idea, it has to be done by himself. Another example would be someone who made a model jump off a ledge in a quest - in a game without relative physics! People - wonders are being made to this mod!
Next on the Developers Journal will definately be about the modeling and questwriting/scripting progress.