Rituals of the old features

At this point all the features are subject to change!

This list represents our current situation and plans for the future. There are absolutely no guarantees that everything on this list will get implemented nor can we say with a certainty when these features will get implemented. Also keep in mind that the items on this list are not in any particular order and the list might be incomplete.

History

Rituals of the old takes place on a planet where occupation by the great galactic imperium has ended generations ago freeing the people from serfdom. The troops of the imperium were suddenly recalled to fight in a far away war for the immortal sun emperor on the other side of the galaxy. The troops left behind all the technology that they could not carry, leaving it scattered around the globe. The old machines are now mostly broken or defunct due to lack of maintenance. The primitive inhabitants of the planet have reverted back to using more primitive tools in their daily lives.

The world

The world of the Rituals of the old is calm on the surface. Players are not forced into conflict unless they actively start taking sides and looking for trouble. As you dig deeper things will start to reveal themselves as they truly are. A world torn with deep conflict between the past and the present. The influence of the cult of the immortal sun emperor is still very strong, but some people have started to doubt the word of the invaders and have revived the worship of the old gods which was forbidden by the great galactic imperium. The use of magic is also still forbidden and it's practitioners are persecuted and burned alive on the stake, but after the fall of the imperium the followers of the old ways have been forming covens in secret. Deep beneath the earth, sensing the changes in the ether dark and terrible things have started to awaken from their slumber...

Technology

The technology level in the game is a mix of medieval, modern and futuristic with the primary focus on medieval.

Inspiration

Our inspiration comes - beside our twisted imaginations - from a variety of games and other sources such as the Ultima series (mostly Ultima 7 and the Ultima Underworlds), Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday, Sword of the samurai, Moebius: The orb of celestial harmony, Phantasie III: The wrath of Nikademus, The Elder scrolls III: Morrowind, Plague of the moon, Planescape: Torment, Another world, the literary works of H.P. Lovecraft, Aleister Crowley, Lewis Carroll, Frank Herbert, James G. Frazer, Eliphas Levi and many others.

Legend

TODO
We haven't started working on this yet.
Underway
We are working on this.
Trouble
This feature is uncertain or waiting for something. Read details.
Done
This feature is done.

Core features

Octree
Octree for world data. Storing, retrieving, updates, etc. A fundamental part of the game engine. We will use our own implementation for this.
Networking
Networking, ie. handling the transfer of data between the game server and game client. We will use Netty networking library for this. It's still a lot of work.
Basic UI
User Interface. It's the means through which you interact with the game. We aim to eliminate all the excessive UI metaphors and instead increase players' interaction and immersion with the game world.
Launcher
The game launcher. This is what starts up when you click on the game icon. Sets up java and library settings for you automatically. Also contains settings, login, etc. The usual.
Verification and login server
This includes the registration of player accounts, logging in, safe handling and storage of user credentials etc. The security of our players is one of our major focuses.
Inventories
Basic inventory handling for players and game world objects.
Player interaction with the world
Playing animations, collision detection, handling click events etc basic stuff.
Sound system
Sound event system so that we can play sounds.
Configuration
Basic configuration system for settings.

Gameplay features

Gameplay features are waiting for core features
Can't do much before more of the core features are ready. Expect more information and progress on this in Q1-Q2 2017.
Building
Support for placing and breaking blocks.
Crafting
Support for making items. The ideology here is that the less UI metaphors we can use the better. In the ideal situation we will have general animations for everything and instead of using UI workbench or such you will actually be holding items and attaching them to each other, building stuff from ground up from smaller parts. Working on actual objects on anvil, vice, using tools on them etc.
Minigames
Most skill based actions will be minigames. What does that mean? When you pick a lock, you will be presented with a minigame where you will actually have to pick a lock. You wish to make a shirt? You will first have to use a loom to make cloth. It will be a minigame. You wish to brew alcohol? It will be a complicated minigame and it will take a long time to be ready. When you make a sword, it will also be a minigame - You will need blueprints to know what you are doing. Then you need a forge and you need bellows. You will first have to melt iron into a billet. Then you heat the billet and put it on an anvil and start hammering it with a blacksmiths hammer. You will also need your tongs to handle the hot iron. You will need your water or possibly mineral oil for quenching. You will need to sharpen the sword, make the grip, goard and pommel and attach them. And so on. As such it will not be a simple matter of clicking a few things from the menu and BLIM your sword magically appears. You will actually have to work for it. All these things will, hopefully, lead into balanced and working player run economies on multiplayer servers.
Farming and growth
Farming and growth will be semi-realistic and there will be growth seasons. Growth times will be realistically long (relative to the length of the day) by default. Getting food won't be just a matter of throwing a few seeds on to ground and gobbling up bread in a few minutes. If you live outside the society and don't plan ahead you most certainly will perish of hunger.
Animal husbandry
You will be able to grow livestock.
Combat
Combat will aim to be - eventually - semi-realistic. Most focus will be given to melee weapons such as swords. A fight between two unarmored swordsmen of equal skill should realistically last from 15 seconds to up to 2 minutes. Basically the first one to get a blow in wins. Combat will be event driven non-realtime strike-counterstrike/reaction based combat with timed windows during which the opponent can react.
Magic
There will be ritual magic in the game. I will not go into details. But it will not be the kind of magic where you throw fireballs at your opponents. Magic is rare, dangerous and magic users are shunned, hunted and burned on stake or worse.
Basic spawning and respawning
Player spawning and respawning will be handled in the most simple manner.
Advanced spawning and respawning
Player spawning and respawning will eventually be handled by an elaborate system where you sometimes die and sometimes you only end up near death and you are saved but in a very bad shape. There will be several varied ways to survive and to come back from death. Surviving and coming back from the dead will always come with a price. This will replace and complement the basic spawning and respawning.
Survival
Hunger, thirst, sleep, disease, mental health, permanent injuries and survival against the elements. Survival outside the comfort of civilized society will be semi-realistic and, difficult.
Electricity
There will be electronic circuits, generators, batteries, wiring, transformers, vacuum tubes, switches, buttons, machines, etc. The goal is to make them semi-realistic and not dumbed down.
Mechanical gadgets
There will be mechanical transfer of force, ie. waterwheels, windmills, etc.
Space and planets
The ultimate goal is the expand Rituals of the old into space. We will design the game from ground up to support semi-realistic physics in space, vacuum, gravity, pressurised spaces, the escape of pressure, the consumption of air in enclosed spaces, etc. But the actual implementation of space and other planets is scheduled quite late in the development when everything else is ready and polished. Whether we will ever get to this depends greatly on whether Rituals of the old will be a financial success or not. Travel in space will be semi-realistic, ie. it will take extremely long to get anywhere. Humankind has not developed means to leave our home galaxy. Travel between stars - while it is theoretically possible in the game - is not a realistic prospect with the default settings. Traveling to other planets on the other hand in the same solar system will be possible but also takes a long time by default. The universe of Rituals of the old - against many of the more popular theories of modern day science - will be void of life. Most planets are inhospitable places - chunks of rocks incapable of supporting human life or life of any kind. The most you can expect is a rare algae or moss. Unlike in real life in Rituals of the old the humankind is alone in the universe.
Boats, airships and flying cities
We hope to add the ability to build boats and airships of any shape and design which can be sailed smoothly through waters and the skies. The airships would mostly be powered by balloons, propellers or sails. The success of this endeavour depends greatly on how well we are able to overcome the obvious performance issues that are going to creep up and how well we are able to optimize the game. Do not expect this feature early in the development. It is not a high priority because of the time and effort required.
Simple AI
Simple fast AI that can handle pathfinding, attacking, etc.
Complex multilevel AI
Complex multilevel AI to replace the simple AI. Will support simulations of life in cities, villages and other habitats on top level and more detailed simulations of daily routines on lower level when player characters are in the area. Will support understanding of situations and interactions, reactions, combat tactics and understanding of what kind of tactics the player character is employing and of the general threat level to the NPC. NPC's will have jobs, friends, routines, frequented places, hobbies, opinions, personalities, beliefs, etc. and things done to NPCs will affect their opinion and they will communicate what they know to their surroundings. We will try to avoid magical ESP and to make NPCs resilient to clever tricks and abuse by players and effective in combat against player threats through statistical analysis of the tactics used by the players.
Cannons
Cannons with semi-realistic physics and loading.
Projectile weapons
Hand held projectile weapons with proper trajectories, spread and semi-realistic physics and behavior.
Chat and voice chat
The ingame text and voice chats will be radius based by default. Sound insulating structures between the speaker and the listener will prevent the chat from being heard properly. At first the (text) message will get inaccurate, ie. "H-llo th.re!", then unreadable "H-,.- t .- ." and finally the message will disappear completely. You won't be able to speak or hear people underwater, in vacuum, etc. You get the general idea. The chat will support embedding of links, images and other media with previews (with the ability to configure these off both from server and client side. Permissions can also be used to limit their use to only certain group of users from the server side) and a proxy system for increased safety.
Capture and torture
The ability to capture and to tie up players and to torture them.
Skill system
Just like in real life people are born in the world of the Rituals of the old with different kinds of aptitudes. You cannot be good at everything. You will be proficient in learning some things, you will have difficulty in learning others and you will be mediocre in most things. No matter how hard you try you will never be able to master all skills, you are just born that way. This will, hopefully, lead into situations where players have to work together to thrive. You can learn skills by watching someone do something a few times and then practicing it yourself. You can also learn skills from books. We won't display any skillpoints to the player even though they do exist in the background. We think that would be counter intuitive and encourage grinding rather than the natural life and workflow.
Karma
Karma system will keep track of people's actions. Different kinds of actions and behavior will bring different kinds of rewards and punishments. The karma system will be designed in such a way that it supports our ideals of existential nihilism. There are no heroes or villains and the world is not in need of saving. In Rituals of the old one man's hero is another man's villain. The karma system will also enable us to balance several aspects of the game such as player - player interactions. While it does categorize some actions as constructive and some actions as destructive the data will be used to better define the personality of the player character and to give the player character opportunities according to his playstyle.
Factions
The cult of the immortal sun emperor, the thieves' guild, the brigands, the red sun, the coven, the company, the ancients, the great galactic imperium, the technoharmadan, etc. The idea is that there are different forces at play in the world which affect the world. Ideally we would like to achieve some depth to all this and not just have this typical "hey, here you go there are 4 factions, wanna join one we'll give you quests!" because that's dumb and annoying even if the storylines are good.
Personal notebook
You have a notebook with you. It will always be with you and you won't be able to lose it even if you die. Things in the notebook are saved on server side so if you play on a new server you will start with an empty notebook. One example how the notebook will be used: If you see an interesting engraving in an ancient temple you can take out your notebook and make a sketch of it. Later you can use that sketch to make those engravings with a hammer and a chisel. You cannot write in the notebook your own notes manually, for that you will have to use a regular book which you can lose. The notebook will in general reflect things your character knows. Sometimes you knowing things is enough. Sometimes even if your character knows things it is not enough. Some feats will require also aptitude and skill - and if you don't have the aptitude you cannot aquire the skill. You are not meant to be omnipotent in this game.

Server management

PSI
Persistent Safety Instigator. Integrated grief management. Rollbacks, snapshots, client side realtime preview of rollbacks with a time slider and the ability to mark/remove certain parts from rollbacks from different time periods/per player/etc. Seamless integration of the admin features into the lore of the game world plus cool effects. Intelligent rollbacks with rollback zones temporarily removed from the normal flow of the game. Automatic adjustment of rollback speeds by default for optimal performance so that rollbacks don't hose the whole server or cause unnecessary lag.
SEER
Surveillance and Entity Engagement Recorder. Total tracking of everything that the players do on a server with the ability to see all the events that took place in different locations replayed back to the admins second by second on local client - complete with chat logs. Like watching, winding and rewinding back a surveilance tape. Integrated to the game and lore as the admin seer ability.
ESP
Extended Surveillance Presence. The ability to summon/dismiss an extra admin HUD which shows information about the players in real time - their status, ratings and what they are currently doing.
BOK
The Book Of Knowledge. Store, share and retrieve local information about players, their histories and actions. Also shows the players' global ratings (number of bans, etc), name histories, age of the account etc.
SAD
Statistical Analysis Daemon. The SAD reality is that there will always be hacks and cheats - for almost every game in existence - and there is nothing that can be done to prevent this completely. That is why rather than spending enourmous amount of time on trying to keep up with the hackers we will instead put an extra effort on this type of general analysis tools whose function can further be customized by the server owners. SAD attempts to assist the servers owners to detect griefers and hackers. Server owners can configure automatic actions to be taken based on the information the server gathers on the players. These actions can include but are not limited to increased user surveillance status, automatic bans, permission or permission group changes and other custom actions. We will include default settings to cover most obvious cases, but how each server handles their server specific grief detection rules is left to them - making it more difficult and unpredictable for the hackers to circumvent detection.

TODO: Add more cool stuff

This serves as a final reminder that this feature list is not complete, may be missing important things and is subject to change over the course of time.


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