Moondial Madness Update

From last week’s Update #227, and picking up from the first mention of changes to the Moondials, a Moondial Madness update from Scott “Scottie” Jones!

Recently we did some re-ordering of the celestial bodies in the heavens. Additionally there are now more game systems directly tied to the positions of these celestial bodies. For instance Town Sieges are directly tied to these. Due to these changes Richard “Lord British” Garriott has decreed that we update our orreries to not only accurately reflect these new sequences but also add the constellations in an outer ring. The first pass is to update the Darkstarr Moondial that players already own. We also created a new Silver Darkstarr Moondial that will only be available through our Referral program when that comes back online. Other variants that look very different from the Darkstarr versions will then be created including a craftable version (more mechanical in nature) and an Ornate version for the Add On Store that will come in a variety of sizes ranging from table top to a giant version that you can walk under!

The updated Darkstarr Moondial is live in Release 41. Stay tuned for updates on when the other versions will become available.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Scott “Scottie” Jones]

OK!!! After having the chance to consider and discuss the feedback, I was able to talk with Starr and Richard, and the decision was made to scale the constellation placards down by 15% further! After testing this by going into the game, hitting “V” a few times to go into first-person mode, and trying to read the runes at the new scale, it seems it’s still possible to make out the words, which is really all we were trying to maintain… This is the “normal” way they’ll be seen with the character near them for size comparison…

…And here are two images of them up close and in first person… Thanks so much for the input, everyone… You should see those changes in the next build Monday morning! I think that the shrinking of the constellation size has helped make these symbols less “overbearing” than they were before…. More of a delicate statement, if you will… ^_^

Craftable Moondial:

Ornate Moondial:

As I move forward with the new Moondial versions, allow me to show you the current state of the Craftable version (top) and the Ornate version (bottom)… The Craftable version is essentially complete, as far as the model goes, but I’m in the middle of changing out all of its materials so that it will eventually look like it’s made of all sorts of variants, instead of just gold and silver… For instance, the constellation placards will look like they’re wooden cutouts covered in copper trim to strengthen the edge and provide more punch to the inner symbol visual…(as compared to the darker wood “background”)… But now you can finally see the beginning of my ideas for the visual style of the Ornate Moondial, with its magical aetheric projections, and its glowing mechanical bits forming a new base…

I’m hoping to get Justin to help me apply the cool shimmery effect he was ably to create for the constellation overlay in the sky-dome itself (when you use either the astrolabe or any moondial), since that will help create an understanding that it’s the same magic/aetheric tech that’s allowing you to see it… It is this Ornate Moondial design that will be used for the various sizes I discussed earlier, from the small table-top version to place on a desk in your player-house, to the gigantic ones that fill a Village Lot or Keep Lot size, which will look something like this (though perhaps with a few more “glowy-bits” as part of the rest of the materials too… I kind of like the idea of some dimly-illuminant designs on the upper and under-sides of the solar ring, and possibly on some of moons themselves)!

As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t had the chance to scale them perfectly yet, but this gives you a good idea of how impressive they might feel when placed on your property or in the village square of a player-owned town! As opposed to the chaotic look of the Darkstarr Moondial, the orderly and upright graceful arcs that pass through the center of each moon help one’s eye determine their alignment between the glowing sector borders. It will be possible to walk beneath them to view the coolness from inside the aetheric, projected constellation image, and see up-close the location of the moons as they follow their glowing orbital paths through the sectors of the sky, clearly delineated by the longitudinal lines of the heavenly sphere…

I took a stroll up onto the balcony ledge of a nearby building to take a gander at what it might look like from a small distance, resting at some town center… I really think this will make for an impressive sight when viewed by those living within viewing distance, seen from some high castle balcony, or glanced at when visiting adjacent, multi-story pubs and shops…especially at night when the glowing projections will shine the brightest!

As these get closer to being done,…I’ll share some final images a bit later on!

Hopefully you’re enjoying the progress!

Scottie ^_^

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