Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall - All News
Tuesday - October 04, 2016
Daggerfall - Daggerfall Unity - On Quests
Daggerfall Unity has made some good progress and is in the process of developing quests for its latest builds.
Fast forward a couple months: 0.3 stable is now tagged on Live Builds page and I've started work on the quest system in earnest. This post is the first in a series documenting the journey from raw bytes to a working feature.
When adding a big new feature, there's always a technical planning stage before commencement. I need to understand which of Daggerfall's binary files are involved in the feature, learn how much is already known about those files (sometimes a lot, sometimes almost nothing), map out the additional details I need to know before I can re-implement that feature, and finally start cutting some code.
Sometimes it takes a few iterations, as writing code to pull apart the binaries is itself a journey where new information is learned. I don't know what I don't know, and often that new information results in a new iteration with better understanding. There's basically a research-implement-compare loop going at all times throughout development of Daggerfall Unity. It can be a bit draining.
Items for example needed considerable research to bridge the gap between "enough knowledge to make an item editor" and "enough knowledge to fully implement items in a new engine". Believe me, there's a huge amount of work needed between having a file spec with lots of unknowns and building a completely functional equivalent. Most of my time is spent somewhere in that gap.
So when starting quests, I set out to learn everything I could about the binary formats and the work others had done before me. I was pleasantly surprised to learn:
- Quests are among the most well-understood formats, thanks to the work of several early Daggerfall hackers (notably Donald Tipton and Dave Humphrey).
- Tools exist to edit live quests, but more importantly decompile the QRC and QBN files to a human-readable source file (thanks to Template v1.11 by Tipton).
- Early Daggerfall modders already had a good understanding of creating quests for Daggerfall - there's an established process.
- Quest files are one of the few cleanly decoupled things in Daggerfall. Unlike items which have template data hard-coded in the executable, quests are nicely self-contained.
Wednesday - June 01, 2016
Daggerfall - Daggerfall Unity 0.2 Release
Daggerfall Unity 0.2
Daggerfall Unity 0.2 is now available for general download. Key features of this build are:
- Nearly complete item back-end. Monster loot and treasure piles coming soon.
- Inventory UI.
- Setup helper UI.
- Persistent data for settings, keybinds, and saves.
- Hundreds of small bug fixes and enhancements.
- Travel map (Lypyl).
- Almost complete support of dungeon actions (Lypyl).
- Updates to enhanced sky (Lypyl)
- Dungeon and interior auto-map (Nystul).
- Realtime reflections (Nystul).
- Animated grass and birds (Uncanny_Valley).
Posted on May 29, 2016 by LypyL
Interkarma has asked me to write a quick overview about the upcoming modding feature that will be in version 0.3 that I've been working on.
Currently mods need to be built into a Daggerfall Unity project to work, which is an obvious limitation. Interkarma has gone out of his way to support a bunch of different mods, even including them into Daggerfall Unity releases, but this takes up a lot of his time and has always been a temporary solution.
The new modding system takes advantage of Unity's asset bundles, and allows mod creators to export the assets that make up their mods (textures, models, c# scripts, prefabs and so on) from Unity to a single file which is then loaded at runtime.
Exporting to a mod file is easy and done with a simple window inside the Unity editor:
Saturday - December 12, 2015
Daggerfall - Daggerfall Unity 0.1 Release
The remake of Daggerfall in the unity engine has made some progress.
After several test iterations, Daggerfall Unity is feeling reasonably solid across the two main platforms Windows and Linux. A huge thanks to all testers who helped discover early bugs and quirks. There's obviously still more to fix, and a lot of game features to implement, but we have a pretty good starting point with this build. At some point, I need to push a stick into the ground and say "it starts here."
It Starts Here
Daggerfall Unity 0.1 is now available for general download. Key features of this build are:
-Create a new character or load an existing character from a classic Daggerfall save.
-The entire world of the Illiac Bay is ready to explore at 1:1 scale to Daggerfall itself. Go anywhere, enter any dungeon, and explore any town.
-Quick-save and quick-load your progress.
-Dungeons are populated with fixed and random enemies just like in Daggerfall.
-Basic combat mechanics with the ebony dagger.
-Game console for enabling god mode, setting run speed, teleporting around world, etc.
-Lypyl's enhanced sky mod with dynamic skybox, procedural clouds, and even phases of the moon!
-Nystul's beautiful far terrain mod and improved terrain generation.
Thursday - July 23, 2015
Daggerfall - Retrospective Review @ RPG Codex
After reviewing Arena Deuce Traveler (RPG Codex) has now written a retrospective review about Daggerfall. So how does the classic from 1996 fare today? Here are the answers.
Monday - January 26, 2015
Daggerfall - New Tools For Unity
Looks and sounds exciting here is a desription of Daggerfall Tools for Unity.
Daggerfall Tools for Unity is a code asset which acts as a bridge between Daggerfall’s binary data files and Unity3D. It consists of a mature API for opening and converting almost all of Daggerfall’s content files – plus a set of editor windows, example classes, and prefabs for quickly converting Daggerfall’s environments into fully functional Unity scenes.
The underlying API, called DaggerfallConnect, is a battle-tested C# library that has been under development since 2009. This library is already used by content exploring tools with thousands of downloads and has been retooled specifically for use inside Unity. Full source code is included for everything related to Daggerfall.
Accompanying the API is a suite of components and editor windows to interface between Daggerfall’s files and Unity. You can import any mesh, block layout, city, building interior, or dungeon with a single click. There are dozens of options to control how content is imported into Unity, using either the editor or directly from code.
Everything you can import with the editor can also be imported fully procedurally at run-time, allowing you to build vast worlds out of Daggerfall’s content and extend however you like with Unity’s broad feature-set.
Thursday - October 16, 2014
Daggerfall - Deep In The Dungeons
Rock, Paper, Shotgun posted a new article a few days back that takes a look back at Daggerfall, and compares the game to the Dark Soul series.
This feature was originally published as part of our Supporter Program. Please do sign up for one bonus feature every weekday (plus assorted game-related gifts), selected highlights from which will eventually appear on the main site too.
An exploration of the uncanny architecture of Daggerfall’s dungeons and the interconnected worlds of Dark Souls.
Dungeons, as a concept in games, are one of the great pillars from which disbelief is suspended like a ragged banner. They are functional objects, from the perspective of designer and player alike, but their function as part of a world is unclear. Occasionally, they are prisons of a sort, as their name suggests, but they are more likely to be ruins of uncertain utility. As to the question ‘why are ruins so often underground?’, we can perhaps answer by recognising that no visible architecture is required on the surface if such complex spaces are buried. The conjuring of the momumental without the pesky need to build the monument.
Saturday - November 19, 2011
Daggerfall - Mods and Ends @ RPS
Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Adam Smith writes about running Daggerfall these days with mods or via the XL Engine, which we've discussed before:
Then there’s the XL Engine, which is the main reason for this post if you discount the nostalgic warbling that follows these two paragraphs. If you haven’t heard of the XL Engine already, it’s a custom-built framework to run old games. Essentially, it totally overhauls them, with all sorts of visual enhancements and improved modding support, so it’s almost as if they are being ported onto modern systems. Daggerfall XL is far from finished yet but it’s a hugely intriguing project, which is seeing steady progress.
It goes without saying that Daggerfall is never going to look like Skyrim, but the results, even in the current 0.199 version, are impressive. As with so many mods, the work that has gone into this is astounding. The assets for the games aren’t publicly available so they have been rebuilt from the ground up. And in Daggerfall’s case that’s a lot of ground.
Tuesday - October 04, 2011
Daggerfall - Matt Chat 118
Matt Barton's latest Matt Chat video is Daggerfall, offering over 20mins of gameplay and discussion:
This week, I finally get around to retrospecting Bethesda's 1996 masterpiece Daggerfall, the game that for many fans is still the best ever Elder Scrolls game. While not without its share of bugs and interface issues, it's still a terrific achievement and demonstrates the possibilities of procedurally-generated content in CRPGs. Just don't make the mistake I did of not checking ALL the options for keyboard and mouse. :)
Still, the resulting misadventures are pretty darn funny.
Sunday - September 18, 2011
Daggerfall - Retrospective @ PC World
There's a short retrospective on Daggerfall at PC World (with a link to a guide to get it running in Win7):
What Daggerfall lacks in accessibility it more than makes up for with variety and freedom of choice: At one point you can choose to save a local villager from a rampaging band of werewolves, or join with the beasts and become a werewolf yourself. Sneaky skills such as lockpicking and pickpocketing allow budding vagabonds to get rich quick, but ply your thieving skills poorly and you’ll attract the ire of local guardsmen. Ply the skills exceptionally well and you might be invited to join the Thieves’ Guild, which opens up an entirely new branch of quests to complete and loot to collect--but brands you an enemy of rival guilds. The possibilities seem endless, and while this sort of open-ended gameplay inevitably leads all but the most focused players to spend hours wandering the world aimlessly, that’s not always a bad thing. In my experience, exploring all the nooks and crannies of a virtual world is half the fun of playing an expansive RPG like this.
Wednesday - August 31, 2011
Daggerfall - 15th Anniversary
It's the 15th Anniversary of Daggerfall, so head over to the Bethblog to see some pics of an unboxing of an original copy.
Saturday - March 06, 2010
Daggerfall - DaggerXL v0.16
DaggerXL has moved to 0.16 in short order, with elements of the UI now functioning:
I’ve released version 0.16 with some of the UI is implemented. After the title screen you see the Load/New/Exit screen – Load will (for now) load your quick save game (same as F2 once you’re in-game), Start will begin in Privateer’s Hold (the previous default) and Exit will immediately exit the program. Hitting the highlight keys will have the same effect (L, S and E).
Friday - March 05, 2010
Daggerfall - DaggerXL v0.15 Release
We haven't mentioned this project before but DaggerXL - a Daggerfall engine recreation to allow Bethsoft's classic to run on modern hardware - has reached a v0.15 release. Here's their description, by way of introduction:
This website is for the project DaggerXL – A Modern Daggerfall Engine Recreation for current Operating Systems and hardware – essentially it is a remake in the spirit of a port. It will ultimately fully emulate the game of Daggerfall and then optionally enhance it by refining existing features and adding new gameplay elements that were originally intended. The game will make use of hardware acceleration providing higher resolutions, color depth, greatly improved visibility, better texture filtering, enhanced performance and more.
DaggerXL is be just an engine, you need the original game data to play. I will not distribute any Daggerfall assets or knowingly provide information on obtaining free copies of the game – other then the version provided by Bethesda themselves. This is a legal project, I do not intent to step on Bethesda’s toes or violate their copyrights.
A bit about v0.15. Still a long way to go:
Version 0.15 has been released, which is basically a bug-fix release. The fast travel UI is slightly better, you’ll no longer “randomly” teleport to a location when clicking on a region – this was caused by holding down the mouse button while the mouse happened to be over a location. You now start at the edge of a location, looking in, rather than at a seemingly random location (which could be inside a building). If you travel between regions, models will always have their textures swapped to the correct region corrected textures, even if it was loaded previously. Some missing textures will be displayed now, which caused some really weird results in some locations. Some block record errors have been fixed, so the missing tiles (such as Wayrest) will now show up, in addition there would be some incorrect tiles on occasion which are also fixed.
Thanks, Toni (and zzajin and Dark Savant for raising this on our forums).
Friday - July 10, 2009
Daggerfall - Released for Free
In celebration of the 15th Anniversary of The Elder Scrolls series, Bethesda has chosen to make the second iteration, Daggerfall, available for free download on their website. The game is released "as is", meaning no technical support will be given by Bethesda.
- Here's the announcement on the BethBlog.
- Here's the direct download link from elderscrolls.com.
Dark Savant on the forums has made us aware of an alternative version of Daggerfall including patch, display changer and a modern control patch.
Information aboutElder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Play-time: Over 60 hours
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Released at 1996-08-31
· Publisher: Unknown