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Mordor XP: The Demise Of Dejenol February 2006 Update

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Ahhum...

Yes, we know that we are one month late with this update; the reason for this is that in December both Crusher and myself were very busy - too busy, in fact, to write the bi-monthly update. We always like to start writing early in the month, after which we apply spelling and grammar corrections, add/remove content, select the pictures to use, etc. Believe it or not, it is in fact quite a lengthy and time-consuming process...

Anyway, as said, mostly due to the holidays, we had less time than normal to spend on writing the update, and we decided that we'd rather release no MXP update than a bad update. For this reason, we decided to postpone the update by one month... user posted image

We'll try to stick to bi-monthly updates in the future, though... user posted image

Current state of the project

We will never mention a release date to the public, because of the extra tension that would create for the development team. So far - there is still a lot of work ahead but - we are still on schedule for the date we have set ourselves....

CVS? What the...

We have finally set up a CVS repository. It has been quite a hassle to set it in place, but I'm quite pleased now, that it's finally done, since this improves distributed development a lot.
For those who don't know what a CVS repository is, a short description: a CVS repository is a version-tracking system which allows several people to work on the same files more easily.
For example, if person A and person B are writers, then person B now no longer has to e-mail the description file to person A once he finishes his descriptions. The process now is: Person A "locks the file" (in order to make sure that person B doesn't change the same file at the same time, otherwise there would be a "conflict" on the binary file), "adds the descriptions" and "commits the file to the repository" (which means it adds the changes he has made to the central place).
But enough with the technical mumbo-jumbo, let's get on with the update... user posted image

A few facts and figures...

Our talented writers have been doing exceptional work in the area of description writing of both monsters and items, and they are moving at a quick pace. At the moment, some of our descriptions hint at things that may show up in the storyline, and there will be a story-line exclusive items and monsters as well...

At this point, we're unsure whether we will write any spell descriptions, because there are still lots of monster and item descriptions to be made, but who knows... user posted image

We have started moving maps around the dungeon to come up with a coherent dungeon which increases in difficulty. We're also very pleased with the maps that were submitted to the monthly map contests; we will be integrating those into the game as soon as we can... (Please keep 'em coming user posted image )

During the next months ahead, we will also start the refining process to make the area monster appearance as balanced as possible. This may include moving some monsters down/up a few floors or even changing the groups monsters appear in.

The art!

The graphical artists are continuing to create many pictures for both items and monsters. As mentioned in the previous update, we want to apply a step-by-step identification process for items. (Step 1: show un-identified item picture. Step 2: show the real picture and the real name. Step 3: show the real picture, the real name and stats, along with the item description).

We will also be applying the same process for monster pictures, so a seeker will become much more important for survival in the depths! Most of these un-identified pictures have been made, and all of them are done in a cartoonish style. While we don't want to spoil you with all of the pictures, we don't want to keep a sample from you either. user posted image

Here you see the picture for un-identified warriors:

user posted image


Bugs and features...

The game itself is stabilising, and the number of bugs left is diminishing (but there are still many bugs present that are being tackled one by one. There are a lot of new features to implement; fixing bugs alone would be boring, of course, so we are trying to keep a balance between fixing bugs and adding new features. Adding new features brings us some new bugs to fix, so we are managing to keep each other pretty busy. user posted image

One of the new features which we have been implementing is a "fixed game interface." The idea behind this is to keep the same window-structure as in plain Mordor, but the windows are placed in such a way that you come to a "windowed frame". (Notice that we will also be applying a skin to this interface to make it visually more attractive.)
While this is different from plain Mordor, and while we know some people will have a hard time adjusting themselves to the fixed windows, we feel that this is certainly an improvement over the original Mordor interface.

Screenshot...

As an example, an all-in-one screenshot featuring the library screen can be seen below. This should give you a general idea of what the fixed interface will look like. It also shows a sample of the descriptions our writers have come up with, along with the excellent art our artists have created. The following screenshot shows a picture of the Defender:

user posted image


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We are always looking for talented people to join our quest, check the Mordor XP Recruiting page for details!

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