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Afar | Online RPG

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What is Afar?

Afar is a free online RPG game with multiplayer elements. It is all about exploration, storyline, and battles.

Released in the last quarter of 2010, Afar has been in production since 2007 but kept falling back. The game was restarted from scratch as a PHP game in it's current state, and was quickly released. Since release it has ammassed 200 players, with a record of 100 online at one time.

The State of Afar

Since the game is constantly (as much as daily) updated, it is hard to keep a project thread organised, and so instead I am writing this semi regular newsletter to place in all my threads around the place.

Where is the game currently?

Last time I spoke, there was no battle system, inventories was a big thing, and we had about 20 players around the world.

Build 2

Build 2 greatly enlarged the screen resolution, specifically with future plans for apps in mind and based on player feedback.




The navigation system and random battles are a new feature. That's right, battles!

We now have a basic turn based battle system. At current all you can do is attack, and the view is head on, but there are some tactics to it all:

- Different equipment has different stats for how much damage will be dealt
- Choosing your profession gives you boosts in certain weapons
- Swords give you melee exp, which makes you harder hitting with a sword
- Bows give you sight exp, making you better with a bow
- Different enemies are weak to different things

This is just a shell however and not representative of the eventual goal for the battle system, which will have animated sprites rather than a front-on view.


The World

As it currently stands, this is our world map:



The marked off regions are not yet created, but are planned.

You navigate the world using the four arrows shown on the screenshot above, but you can also access some key areas via the world map, once you have unlocked travel to them.


You gain gold as you play or by defeating enemies, of which there are currently ten. I am not revealing the algorithms and they are ever changing as I tweak and balance the game. You can at current spend this money on items in shops.

You can also gain gold by referring other players; how to do this is shown in game on the main screen.



Structure

Afar is created using PHP and javascript, with phpBB providing a base for account authentication and forum posting. It uses graphics provided by First Seed Material and others created by myself.

The amount of my own code has risen a lot since last time I spoke to you. The battle system was created entirely from scratch for example, as well as various other systems. Most of the game aspects are my own code, with the phpbb backbone merely serving as a good base for authentication, forums, and moderation as well as the admin cp.


[marquee][/marquee]

Quests

Quests are under construction. You can complete most of the first one, but there is no reward yet. The second is in development and they will both be finished around the same time. The current "testquest" storyline revolves around vampires.



System Requirements

You must have javascript enabled for the domains:

vengeance-rpg.com (for now)
afar.ws
jquery.com

jquery is a javascript library, visit the jquery.com website for more information.

Otherwise your gameplay will be severely hindered. I may block users who do not have javascript activated in future because this may cause unfair advantages; it doesn't at the moment (other than making screens such as the inventory just not work).


High Scores

Because of our now large userbase we now have highscores. You are rated on either your gold amount, or your cumulative exp from all stats.

Stat signatures are available which update regularly:



If somebody registers from your sig, you get gold!


Accessing the game

http://www.afar.ws


Inspiration

The Netplay project for getting me into creating MMOs,
VDex for making me realise my old idea of making games using forums could actually work
W3schools for teaching me PHP
Tomas for helping me with javascript and showing me better ways of doing things
Everyone who helped me with Vengeance before <3
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 11:15:10 PM by mouse »

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This looks pretty awesome. You have to be my most favouritest new old member ever :)

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Thanks.

At the moment updates are happening daily, (www.twitter.com/vengeancerpg) but I think I am going to do a "This week on Vengeance" newsletter that I can update threads like this with.

Tonight I am going to work on a rebalancing - introducing a battle system has kindof unbalanced gold gaining.

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Let me see, when was the last update...

16th December (Thursday)

Adverts

Added advertisements to the game. Their placement is temporary while I see how well they work (or not).

Battles

Battle damage now takes your stats, your enemy's stats, and your equipped weapon into account.

Working out how much damage you will do...

a = (0...damagestat)
b = (0...weapondmg) / 2
c = (0...enemyagility) / 2

damage = a + b - c


damagestat = either melee, sight, or perception (depends on your weapon equipped). If you have no weapon equipped, this defaults to '1'.

weapondmg = the damage stat of your weapon. Steel sword, bow = 5; silver sword = 10. These are temporary stats.

enemyagility = the enemy's evasive skill.


Let's take an example:

Equipped weapon: steel sword (5)
Melee: 10
Enemy agility: 5


a = (0...10)
b = (0...5) / 2
c = (0...5) / 2

Max damage: 10 + 2(.5) - 0 = 12
Min damage: 0 + 0 - 2(.5) = 0

Random Encounters

Leave the port heading East and you will be able to test out the random encounter system. This involves four new enemies, which do give gold as a reward.

Last location

Created a "last location" system which remembers the last "area" you visited and can take you back there. This is being implemented in the battle system for obvious reasons.



17th December (Friday)

  • Santa hats!
  • Gift system (for delivery of santa hats)
  • Random encounter button added to a few maps
  • A few graphical improvements added about the place
  • New route: Tiben to Straupuft (fair few scenes, under construction still tho)
  • Redesigned home page
  • Set up a twitter account for quick news feeds; integrated with homepage


18th December (Saturday)

  • New graphics plus coastal areas
  • New route from Tiben/Straupuft to the Sea Fortress
  • Opened the Sea Fortress, nothing to do there yet however
  • vengeancerpg New merchant selling baskets of apples
  • created mechanics for enemies blocking areas (a troll on a bridge, for example)
  • New "causeway" background graphic to neaten up the coastal areas
  • Rearranged the "discussion forums" section to look nicer



19th December (Sunday)

Friends lists
View someone's profile and you can choose to add (or remove) them as a friend. Friends show on your profile (character sheet) at the bottom in a nice little list. Benefits of having friends will become clearer later on.

Leaderboard
Created a basic leaderboard based on gold on hand. Better leaderboards will come soon, including the ability to create your own leaderboard for a group of friends, or perhaps a gaming clan.

User find
You can now enter a user number to find their profile. In future I will update this to allow username searches.

Additions
Created space for some new NPCs and added some new graphics about the place in preparation for future updates.

Backend
Minor to you but a lot of rearend coding changes which will smoothline the production process for me.



20th December (Monday)

  • It is snowing.
  • You can now travel to a new world map - but there isn't anything to do there yet.
  • Preparations done for a possible Christmas event
  • Major battle system algorithm changes to put more emphasis on items equipped and stats rather than random as hell
  • You have to wait five minutes to battle on the same map... so explore the world! There are battle areas all over the place if you know where to look
  • Stat changes on most equippable items
  • Armour now affects how much damage you receive. The damage is an average of all your items' stats
  • Slight graphical and positioning changes about the place
  • Fixed battle system "last location" error
  • Fixed all errors noted in "Technical Support"
  • Fixed several errors which may have caused problems in the items inventory
  • Slight streamlining of some database tables for easier updating
  • Optimised a few SQL queries which should speed them up hopefully





21st December (Tuesday)

  • New temporarily barren route from Tiben to West Gate
  • Some new graphics
  • A few quick tweaks to battle functions


The world map is now switch controlled and you can only travel to areas that you have already visited. By default you can visit the base camp.

There are also now multiple world maps - though one doesn't have much there at the moment. You can travel between ports to switch world maps.



In the map above you can see I can only travel to Tiben, Base Camp, and the Myre.

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Vengeance has been nominated for Project of the Season for Winter 2011. Vote here if you wish to support this project: http://rmrk.net/index.php/topic,41338.0.html

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Wow, thank you, that's a great confidence boost.

Unfortunately we're on a very brief haitus (a couple of days) while I get some Uni coursework out of the way.

A lot of improvements are planned - the fire caverns were just released, a dungeon with various new enemies. This will be followed by "The elemental dungeons" (yes, a cliche, but a fun one!) which will provide access to elemental weaponry and other items.

For more updates see www.twitter.com/vengeancerpg

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Sneak preview of "Build 2":

Before



After


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I have decided to split the "very large expansion" up and release it in chunks, as that way you get more content right now. The first part I have titled Beasts of Afar, as it is an update to the enemies database.

It was planned for tonight but has been pushed back to tomorrow (Friday) due to the amount of work involved. It is "mostly done".

Update: I lied, the update is now live and finished.


What does the expansion involve?

At the moment there are five enemies to fight while traveling the world of Vengeance (which has been for a while called Afar, if you weren't aware!). There are a few others scattered around dungeons, but these are not available in random encounters.

The Beasts of Afar expansion adds 30 new enemies (that's right, brings us to seven times the current amount) to random encounter tables.

But that's not all! The expansion also involves the creation of random encounter groups. These are area-based groups of enemies, meaning you encounter a different set of enemies in each mini region. Farms will have different enemies to the desert, which will have different enemies to the fire caverns.

This update brings us to 49 total enemies, which includes 14 special instances from dungeons and quests (therefore 35 available in random encounters).

Three of the enemies added are only available to paid members (at current that service is unavailable, and only two people have these accounts as well as myself, for they have done work for the game or have generously donated to keep us online; however the service is coming in the near future) in the Damascan Sands region. This is a peninsula of 20 maps including a new city, that will be available during or shortly after the Beasts of Afar expansion.

Look out for the expansion tomorrow if all goes well. Until then have fun fighting the... five enemies in the game!
« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 11:49:09 PM by mouse »

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We're running a competition to win a Knighthood but so far nobody has even entered it. Pretty much if you sign up now and start the competition you're very likely to win.


----

Added two new books. One is a history book, and details key events in a timeline from the past 3000 or so years. The other is a bible... homage? Not really spoof, it's just a "holy book" which is used by the religious establishment in the game. It is intentionally poorly written but I may have overdone it.

There are now 80 items in the game therefore.

The books are free, and can be bought from the book store in South Tiben.


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Server Migration

Please note that Afar will be inaccessible for between 1 and 24 hours from now, due to necessary moving of servers. I can't give you an estimate because it's due to the DNS configuration, which will take up to 24 hours depending on how many changes are in the queue. That's out of my hands unfortunately.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

After the migration vengeance-rpg.com will not work. The new permanent address is afar.ws. Please update your bookmarks if you haven't already!

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Quoted from the forums:

Hello there!

Exciting things are happening with Afar. Unfortunately they're exciting for all the wrong reasons. Mainly, things are just breaking all over the place.

A few weeks ago you may know, we were wiped out as a result of a hack elsewhere on the web server. We are back fine, with no content lost at all! However, the hack had some unfortunate repurcussions:

1. We need to get off this web host. They own our domain unfortunately, so we are switching to http://www.afar.ws as our domain; this means we had to change everything and it hasn't gone as smoothly as we'd hoped.

2. A domain used to host our images was removed by the domain provider because the index was empty. They didn't realise there were thousands of images still on the host in a subdirectory.

What does this mean?

Basically over the past few weeks we have been fighting hard to fix all links across the game to the new afar.ws and afar.ws/img domains.

What this means to you

Things will be broken. They will. This is unfortunate, and needs to be fixed, but they will be broken.

Please, and I can't stress this enough, don't feel bad reporting any errors! We will work to fix them as soon as possible. But if we don't know about them, then you will have to wait until we find them!

We are being vigilant in fixing these errors but there are a lot of them. Currently page.php is fixed (the file that runs the majority of game processes such as exploration and other functions), all function files are fixed (so you won't lose any data or anything), but posting, and general template files, may be broken. This means there is potential for:

1. broken images
2. broken links

Broken images: if you find one, and want to report it, please right click -> view image and find the URL or name of the image file and report it to us. This is an easy, easy fix, but if we don't know the image is missing there is nothing we can do until we find it in our searching.

Broken links: you may find yourself plonked on the index randomly instead of where you should be! This is because the link is going to vengeance-rpg.com and not afar.ws. This is also an easy fix, but again if we don't know about it there is nothing we can do until we find it.

I am very, very sorry about all of this, and I will try and make it up to all of you who keep the game alive and thriving.

I am deeply sorry if any of you have tried to play in the past few weeks and not been able to.

This is in all an incredibly dire situation to be in - but the only way from here is up.

Welcome to Afar - the free browser game.



We now have an IRC channel for out-of-game support.

Please visit #afar on synirc.com if you need help of any kind, and don't threat to message AmyPond.

http://mibbit.com/?server=irc.synirc.net&channel=%23afar&nick=afar???&settings=07c413133cd4572e5c6a3419b89da443&noServerTab=false




To make up for all this crap I will be working on a new update to the enemies table adding around 30 new unseen enemies to the game. They will range from rabbits to DRAGONS. Everyone loves dragons.

I don't know when that will be finished but I'll work on it.

Then it's time to get spells sorted!