Empty Ur, no longer!

When we got our hands on this code and started reassembling the pieces, we were able to walk around in Ur fairly quickly. It was an amazing and emotional moment for all of us. We could only run the game locally, so there were no other people. What made it more lonely was that the world was totally empty! There were no rocks, trees or animals; no street spirits or shrines, or even quoins! The task of putting them back was more than a little staggering!

Upon investigation of the XML data included in the repository, it turned out that there were 21,457 items in Ur that existed all the time…that does not count anything that a user could place, like notes, food items or anything else that could be dropped.  To complicate things further, we knew WHAT belonged on the street, but we had no indication as to WHERE it should be placed. The only way to get these things back? We had to add them one at a time.

Thanks to our resident genius Scheijan, and a handful of people who enjoy (seemingly endless) mindless work, we have a system that allows us to “tag” an item based on full street snaps, which would place the item in the game in the approximate right spot with some scripting magic. Without the parallax effect, this is not a totally accurate process, but it does a good enough job for now! Here is an example of how items look when you can’t account for parallax:

Close, but not quite!

Close, but not quite!

You can see how the arc of quoins is squished – on the tagging page, it probably looked like it was spread out the correct way from the landing on the right to this bigger landing I’m standing on. You can also see how the tree is a little too far back to be accurate. But, it’s THERE!

This is what an unconfigured animal spawner looks like, along with a poor, mismatched street spirit:

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 5.14.25 PM

Signs of life…

All of these things will be fixed in what we are calling “Step 2”, which is going to be a fairly major QA process to configure all the spawners and street spirits, randomize the types of quoins that show up on each  street, along with moving the trees, rocks and quoins to their proper positions. I’m currently working on how I would like to tackle this, but some other technical wizardry must happen first. Each item in Ur had its own “God Page” which allowed the developers to configure every possible asset to each item. We don’t have the code for the God Pages from Tiny Speck, so we’re going to have to come up with our own. Scheijan and Aroha are debating the best way to handle it!

Finally, this is a visual summary of statistics that represent a few weeks’ work:

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 5.34.41 PM

I can’t believe how far we’ve come! We thought we’d done an amazing thing when we’d placed 1000 items. There are only about 8 of us doing a majority of the tagging! We intend to keep up the good work while the coders work their magic to get Ur back to the way it’s supposed to be!

27 thoughts on “Empty Ur, no longer!”

  1. I’m soooo excited. I miss Ur very very much. I can’t believe you can walk around in there now. So jealous. Hurry Hurry!!!!

  2. This is awesome! I miss Glitch so much. I don’t know much about coding but I would be willing to learn if someone could teach me or let me read some sort of manual. I also have a few screen shots available if you need some reference streets.

  3. Seeing this makes me miss Glitch all the more..I would love to help,I have lots of time but sadly no knowledge,if there are any tasks for people that have no talent I am the one to call..

  4. Following your posts makes me so hopeful and so melancholy at the same time! This is amazing. You’re all amazing…

  5. I wish I could help too, but I can’t code or do anything else useful as far as stuff like this goes, nor do I have the time right now. ;_;

    Still, seeing the progress you guys are making makes after a hard and long day, or a crappy morning that much better!

  6. This is a wonderful achievement! If non-coders can help in ANY way what-so-ever (making virtual cups of tea?) no, seriously, I can’t code but if there is anything routine, mundane that can be done PLEASE let us know – wanting to help!

  7. Seriously amazing! I’m not a codemonkey, but if there is anything repetitive and tedious that would be easy to learn, just let me know. I have all the time in the world on my hands and I’m a fast learner.

  8. Thank you so much I cant tell you how long i’ve been wanting this game to bud and grow once again i cant wait to go and get new badges and I’m so happy someone and a team gave this another go i was really ticked tiny speck didn’t keep it no offense but seriously slack?

Leave a Reply