Friday, February 25, 2011

Screens of the day 01

Once in a while I want to document something that I am working on that is experimental, unstable or just pure work in progress and lacks the usual polish. For these occasions I have created the series called “Screens of the day”. It will contain random content, things that I just started working on and maybe will scrap tomorrow. This way all the ideas that might not survive will get their tiny moment of spotlight. The one rule is that I will only talk about things that warrant a screenshot, but these posts will also lack the usual tighter structuring and clever puns. Why did the chicken cross the road? To have a chat with the mailman! See?

Zoom levels for isometric

I am currently trying out a bunch of features that will make the isometric engine better and bring higher feature parity when compared to the potential of the 3D engine if I ever finish it. I already added borders, short wall visualization mode, and now zoom levels! Here is the first zoom level:

And the second:

As you can see, there are a few bugs and I did not have time to figure out a formula to compute the height difference between levels on different levels of zoom. I can get away with the bugs because I am posting under the section “Screens of the day”, where bugs will be frequent. But the last level pretty much offers whole map overview which I do like. I did a very basic resizing, so there are some artifacts visible. These can be fixed by making sure resized tiles tile correctly (tile). Framerate is good, but scrolling speed is abyssal when zoom is increased. Also, cache starts to eat up memory like crazy.

Stockpile browser enhancements

This is an experimental feature that I think will become the new standard. I have slightly redesigned the stockpile browser for overview and utility. When selecting a category from the top row, like “Plants”, you get a second row of filters. It starts with “All”, where you can see all items that you have and are directly related to plants, like plants, seed, cocked plants:

Item borders are color coded by general category. Then you have a set of icons showing you what the item is. Icons show you the hierarchy of items/processes that lead to the creation of the item. E.g.: a raw plant will show the icon of the plant, a cooked plant will show an icon of fire followed by the plant, a chair will show an icon of a chair followed either by the tree or stone that it is made of (and more material types in future). And then you have a sub category expressed in words and color coded. Then you can filter your list to display only items that have special properties. Let’s say you only wish to see the raw plants that you have:

Or maybe just the edible ones:

This category contains only raw plants that can be eaten raw and not coked ones. But you have another category for plants that can be coked:

Again, cocked plants are not in the list: They have their own tab:

And finally, you get a tab where you can see the seeds:

This preview has two flaws. First, it does not contain tree fruit. Second, the list is still made up of DF items. I am in the process of coming up with my own original plants and plant properties, but I started with trees. I’ll talk about my take on the trees some other time.


  1. The Zooming is a really great idea!
    Could there be a Hotkey/Option to show every above ground Z-Level if i want to? So that i see the whole map at once?

    And the stockpile overview is a lot better than that of DF, i like the idea of the icons showing if it is cooked or not.

  2. To Dennis: there already is: 'F'. You can't really play as such, but it is good for overview.

  3. Overview is what i miss the most in DF, so it is great that you do something to improve this issue.