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SWUM 1.0 Alpha Preview
By: Talibar Zukro , on: 2015-02-13 17:35:40
As we get closer and closer in development with the game, eventually we will be hitting 1.0 of our SWUM Engine.

Now, some of you may remember "Star Wars Unleashed". This project started as a joint effort with them and eventually broke off from that. The original engine used was SWUM which stood for Star Wars Unleashed Manager. At this point, when we began joint discussion of this game, we still called the game interface and engine SWUM. As such, the name remained.

Therefore, this preview is of SWUM 1.0 Alpha. When the game is a bit more operational and reaches version 1.0, we may or may not rename the engine that drives the game. In the meantime however, note a small preview of the work that is being done behind the scenes for in-game playing:

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Still not dead--- More work being done - scripts
By: Talibar Zukro , on: 2015-02-08 20:25:44
Hi all,

Yes, we are not dead. Yes, progress on this game is slow as ever. I am no longer putting up deadlines or expectation dates. Unfortunately I need a little more time to work on this game and the features I have planned.

I am taking a lesson from other games that are similar. When something is somewhat done, its hard to get your character where you want it to be. If things are not planned accordingly, you end up also having to re-do a bunch of code.

The best thing to get established right now are some in-game devices such as items, travelling and scenarios. Artwork is essential as well as database structure. The more I tinker with this game, the more I need to change the database. In some cases, in order to work to how I would it need it to work, complete resets are needed. So, I know this is a frustrating wait, but the pay off will be worth it. Programming wise, with the exception of Star Wars Combine, this is the most advanced Online multi-player RPG Star Wars Sim. For now, anyway...

Moving on to the work I have been doing. Bug fixes on the forums and features are still being worked on. Scenario roleplaying is the biggest thing on my to-do list. I am excited to announce that I have begun work on a scripting engine today. The engine itself consists of two parts: Input and Output. Input is what the user puts in, output is what is displayed as a result.

The scripting engine will be available to all users for the following purposes:

1)NPC Dialogue and action scripts.
2)Automatic Player Dialog and action scripts.
3)NPC Posts to have your characters interact with during a scenario.
4)Item interaction
5)Electronic's Interaction
6)General Actions interaction

Most of these things will be limited to the admin team, however, you will be able to use them as well. As I said, the engine is a multi-platform engine that works on all aspects of the game on all browsers for all OS. You, as the regular user, will mostly use this scripting engine to have your NPC's talk and perform and for custom items that you may create.

The engine is my own brand of scripting that allows you to do the most basic things very easily - such as dialogue interaction. It would be as simple as this:

-->-->Greetings<--<--Hello there, my name is Talibar Zukro::ER

say("Good to meet you Talibar. My name is Mr. NPC.")::EC

Basically the script above will allow you to greet the NPC if you wish. In return the NPC Greets and introduces himself to you as well. So, as simple as scripting can get for dialogue interaction. However, as the root engine is Javascript, you will have some similar syntax capabilities that JS provides such as comparisons, conditionals, variables, etc..

The engine will basically parse(safely - no DB accessvor actual HTML/PHP Printing will be allowed nor function with this engine) into Javascript source code. The engine will have global variables that will allow you to access Player information, Faction information, planet/city/facility information and NPC Details. The scripting engine can be linked together via Global Variables that will be detected between scripts. This will allow for quests and adventures to be allowed.

What is currently coded into the engine:

1) Basic Dialogue functionality. Saying and responding is currently possible.
2) Some variables are available regarding the players details such as name, rank and faction.
3) Javascript engine for variable declaration, conditionals, comparisons, etc...

What is not coded:
1) Safety measures to prevent hacks or having the engine do things that it shouldn't do.
2) Some more Global Variables for players, NPC's, galaxy and faction.
3) Specific Admin and Quest functionality.

A brief description regarding NPC Dialogue for Scenarios:

In a scenario, a GM may choose to pre-program some NPC Scripts(Which can be changed at any point in the scenario). These NPC's are not found in-game and will only be found in a scenario. Basically, if the current roleplayer walks into a particular room, the GM may decide to pop up an NPC. The character can choose to roleplay as he wishes or give up the roleplay for a chance to talk to the NPC which will be pre-programmed. You must finish the roleplay. If the roleplay is cancelled for any reason, you may resume where you left off. If after a specific time or when the GM deems it necessary, the rest of the conversation can be simulated to completion.

So, even though things are slow, some major enhancements are being worked on for awesome functionality and game play. So hang tight!
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Sync to Launch on 10/13/14
By: Talibar Zukro , on: 2014-10-05 08:27:39
Hey Guys,

Just your friendly admin coming in with the latest news on our site and its reset. We are scheduled for Monday 10/13/14 and should go into 10/14/14.

A reminder e-mail will reach all users on Friday 10/10/14 for this reset so that all may be prepared and set to come and join us on that day. We are working on a couple of new activities to start then as well.

Keep a lookout. See you all soon!
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Faction Leaders
By: Talibar Zukro , on: 2014-09-22 22:46:25
Hello there everyone. Before I go ahead and perform a game reset, I am still looking for volunteers to take the lead in becoming faction leaders, if possible. At the moment we still need leaders for the Hapes Government and for the Rebel Alliance. If there are any takers, please let me know.

I am also willing to take on minor factions into the game if you are interested. To do so, you will need the following:

*7 members that you can gather(Must have their approval first before presenting to me).
*A banner size logo and a smaller button sized logo of your faction.
*A Clear and detailed faction description and background.

Once you have those items, we can discuss if we will start you with your own faction. Let me know guys!
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Complete Wipe of your accounts
By: Talibar Zukro , on: 2014-09-21 14:19:39
Either this week or the next I will be performing a complete wipe of all the accounts on the site. Why will I be doing this? Simply because I made too many changes to fix so that this game won't contain errors when the updates go live.

I will leave some faction leaders/admin available with barebone accounts in which they will need to adjust in their profile. But other than those exceptions, all users will need to re-register their accounts. So this does not come as a surprise, I will be sending a game wide newsletter listing the changes and that the wipe will be days away.

Again, this is to avoid errors and have a more strict sign up rule on those creating characters.

Upon new registration, you will see that you can choose only a few planetary locations as opposed to the ones you started with and can travel to now. The reason for this is that the planets are now hard-coded into the game(Ground travel, rooms and such). Every player that registers will begin with a random amount of OOGP's. You will also randomly test you for force sensitivity. If you were force sensitive now and still wish to remain so on new registration, please let me know once you register and what your previous character's handle was. You will also all start with a base set of credits that will enable you to purchase some basic items. In addition to that amount of credits, you can receive a random amount of credits from 1 to 10,000,000,000(Very hard to get over 50 million though).

To travel, you may purchase NPC Transportation. If you were lucky enough to have enough credits, you can purchase a ship.

For factions, this is how many credits you will begin with at start based on your canon power in Star Wars:

Rebel Alliance:
2,000,000,000 credits plus a random amount between 50,000,000 and 1,000,000,000. You will begin with 1000 OOGP's.

Galactic Empire:
100,000,000,000 credits plus a random amount between 500,000,000 and 5,000,000,000. You will also begin with 1000 OOGP's.

Hapes Government:
The Same as the Empire.

Black Sun:
The same as the Rebel alliance.

If you have any questions, please let me know. Thank you all for watching!
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Still here. - latest update
By: Talibar Zukro , on: 2014-09-13 10:08:42
Not much on the development side I'm afraid. My family and I have just moved to a new home, so everything is all over the place. This week we will be going on vacation. But once I am back, we will get things going again. Sorry for the lack of appearance.
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Travel System Update and Handle Changes
By: Talibar Zukro , on: 2014-08-22 23:44:56
First off, I wanted to say that progress on Factions is moving along very nicely. I may be able to actually make it for the end of the weekend. We shall see. But it looks promising. Forums will also be running again soon.

Now on to the travel system... I will be implementing a bare bone system for travel that will work as a temporary stand in. Everyone will randomly be placed in a hangar on a certain planet. You will all default to the local planets starport. From there, you can take the transport system to a different location. Depending on where you are travelling, you will need to pay a certain amount from your credits. This is a temporary system as I mentioned. Travelling will gain credits for you. These are currently the only planets you may travel to from the start: Coruscant, Corellia, Endor, Tatooine, Hapes, Falleen, Yavin 4, Naboo, Hoth, Bespin. As the game expands, more systems and planets will be added as well. This change will occur possibly next week.

One last thing... Handles. Many handles are not legitimately given. I will mark in the database who has a bad handle. Once that happens, when you log in, the game will not allow you to continue until you choose a new handle. When you have that new handle, an administrator will have to accept it and then you will be able to proceed once more. This again should be sync'd next week. Right now though, I am giving priority to factions so that must come first.
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By: Talibar Zukro , on: 2014-08-17 21:31:37
Alright.. I have delayed bringing in any new features into a sync as I am working out some kinks due to factions. Some issues are occurring for factions. But when it is all said and done, the following "initial" features will be available for everyone who joins a faction:

1. - Private faction forum. You won't be able to exchange OOGP just yet. But you will have the generic start up forums for your faction.
2. - You will be able to submit a join request as well as leave a faction.

For Faction Leaders/Owners, you will start with the following features:

1. - Forum Moderation for your faction.
2. - Accepting/declining members.
3. - Banning Members.
4. - Viewing member list
5. - Viewing your factions credits and OOGP.
6. - Adding to the faction Timeline. This will remain permanent. Once you submit an entry, it can not be removed. All future leaders/owners will be able to see it.
7. - Submitting personalized Faction news for only your faction.
8. - Ability to post on the GNN for the respective category.
9. - Faction leadership privileges. Only one for now. This will handing over leadership to another user if you choose.

The game will start with 4 factions and not the original 3 I had in mind. We will have the Galactic Empire, The Rebel Alliance, The Hapes Government and Black Sun. We already have a leader for the GE. But I am taking applicants for the other factions. PM me if you are interested.

The faction feature is planned to be finished by the end of the week as long as my personal life goes as planned. If not the end of this week, a good chance that it will be next week. Keep watching this spot!
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Update to the Home/About page
By: Talibar Zukro , on: 2014-08-03 15:12:51
I have gone ahead and updated our Home page link(Or the first page everyone see's when coming to the site). Let me know what you think!
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Who needs permissions anyway?!?!?!?
By: Talibar Zukro , on: 2014-08-03 14:55:53
I have sort of taken the liberty of turning the news page into a development diary until I release the immense updates I have performed on the staging server.

One of the pitfalls of web sites in general falls on permissions. I shouldn't say it is a pitfall. Permissions really help keep things in order and undesired things from happening. Unfortunately, permissions can become sort of annoying. In one sense you make something more secure and much cooler. Then you realize you just broke 100 other "Important" things you really needed to work. Part of the reason why I take long times away from the game when creating a project so complex is because sometimes the smallest of the small can take away functionality. You are then left doing a search that can take hours and some times days to find where the culprit went wrong.

For example. I recently had a permission setting which would allow you to assign a group to a forum category and to a particular forum under that category. Works well for categories. I can transport myself to a topic when I manually type the address in the address bar and my permissions are there to view the topic. However, click on the topic and your permissions go nuts. I spent 3 days (Not 72 hours straight, mind you) trying to find the culprit in about 3,000 lines of code. The reason behind the error? I missed putting an underscore on a database table name. Yes, I missed this: _ . I know many my wonder why I disappear at times and this is the reason. Either I am taking a very long time searching for a mis-typed name or looking for where I missed the comma or semi colon, etc... Or I may have went through hundreds of hours of searching, finding the solution and would now like to take a rest. Sometimes you need to step back and when you come back to the task at hand refreshed, you work faster and more adequately.

In addition to the more annoying things like that, you have to think of everywhere permissions would need to work. So for instance, in the sense of a forum, you have these issues to contend with when it comes to permissions:

1)Who can view the forum: Anyone, a member group, a certain individual and/or administrators?
2)Permissions need to be set for the board, the categories, the forum, the topic, the mod/admin/gm tools and the editing feature. Miss one of these, and though a hacker would not be able to see the categories or topics... He can take a guess at an id number and pop right through to edit someone's post or view a topic he shouldn't be seeing.
3)Adding permissions for a particular forum means adding permissions for a certain category. Easy enough. You add a group to a forum, you can automatically add it for the categories. Otherwise, even though you have access to the forum, if you do not have access to the category, you wont see the forum.
4)Removing permissions becomes more complicated. If you remove a group from a forum you can remove it from the category too, then you wont see that forum or category any longer. However, if your group is assigned to other forums under that category... You can not automate a process to remove the group from the category. Now you have to make sure that there are no other places the group belongs to before removing it from the category. Is this hard? No, but requires a lot of concentration not to break something else. And finally...
5)This all becomes even more complicated when you have sub-forums within a forum.

I say finally... But these are the big things to worry about when it comes to forum permissions.

With all that being said.. A few posts ago I mentioned that there were some bugs. I am getting closer and closer to getting rid of those bugs. I know this seems like I am taking a long time. But please take a look at this site. Take a look at the features. Then imagine all the tools you are not seeing that administrators see. I have coded all this with my own code. I am not borrowing software from anyone or anywhere. The last time I had my project manager tally up the lines of code I had put into this (That is not to mention the lines missing from edits or mistakes or upgrades that I have done in the past 2 years) it came to about 146,000 lines. A 350 page novel contains at most 120,000 sentences. So, you can see there is a lot of work that goes into this.

Let me tell you though.. The ACL Permissions in this game are going to be extraordinary. I only hope I make it hacker proof as well. But, I just wanted everyone to know how hard I have been working on this. This is not to show off or gloat. But I writing this because I have recently received e-mails stating that I am not working hard enough or fast enough on this game. I can understand the frustration, but I also have a personal life on top of writing such a complex site and game on top of the site. For all of you who are waiting patiently, I thank you for your support and patience! Keep coming back to read more updates.
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