Hello! This is the very first developer log/progress update for Athios’ Project Pinion that was announced last year. We held many meetings and developed a lot of ideas that we want to share with you! For this post, I really wanted to focus on one of the main parts of the project: generating the tower/dungeon. You can look forward to other posts by other staff members regarding different aspects to the gamemode in the future. This will be a fairly technical, behind-the-scenes look at what I’ve been up to. Background
Like most things (granted you have some experience), procedural dungeon generation might initially sound easy. However, there were big questions I had to tackle:
How will rooms be built?
How will they be placed in the world?
How do I connect these rooms?
Where do I put the start, end?
The most popular form of dungeon building I’ve seen involves rooms and corridors being shaped and built by the generator (see this article), but because Minecraft is a 3d game, it’s quite hard to do that in an aesthetic way (we don't just want flat walls!). My main inspiration for the algorithm I put together was Zorbus (reddit post), which had a dungeon-generator that allowed for me to see dungeons being built step by step. Zorbus also uses a pre-built room approach, which is what we intend to have. My Algorithm
The biggest challenge I had to face was room collision. I could’ve just made every room into a rectangle and made it easy to detect room collisions, but that would lead to a lot of false-positives and create a far smaller dungeon than I wanted. It would also limit how wacky we could get with the shapes of rooms. To solve this, rooms are saved with a “collision map” that tracks which x- and z- coordinates have blocks on them (the Y coordinate is irrelevant, dungeon floors won’t vary in height that much). When the dungeon is being placed, it also has its own collision map that tracks the composite x- and z- coordinates and can quickly compare with room collision maps. I could have compared the block locations directly, but that would take up a lot of memory and severely limit the amount of rooms that can be placed. With this approach, I’m able to read collision maps extremely quickly and compare them extremely quickly with little memory usage. Here is a picture of the first dungeon created with my algorithm:
Wow! A dungeon!
After working out some of the bugs, I was able to generate this dungeon:
The main issue with this dungeon was the lack of rotations; notice that all the pieces have the same orientation. To solve this, every room file is read by the dungeon builder and rotated, and it turns 1 room into 4! After a bit more math to rotating the collision map and knowing where to place the Minecraft structure, my dungeons were looking like this:
Very exciting! A cool part about this builder is that the generations are seeded, just like a Minecraft world. Each dungeon has its own seed and can be recreated with the same seed. These two dungeons have approximately 450 rooms, take less than 2 seconds to generate, and around a minute to place (Minecraft isn’t too optimized with structure placements!). At this point, the main limiting factor is the JVM Stack Size; A.K.A. needs more ram! When given 4x the stack size, I was able to generate a 1800 room dungeon in about 5 seconds, but took 6 minutes to place.
I do want to clarify, these timings can’t be expected of the final product as this is very bare bones generation. Also, we don't plan to make dungeon floors nearly as big (the 1800 room version is around 1,000x1,000 blocks). These are stress tests to show off how good my algorithm is.
Here are some more pictures from the dungeon building process:
The team has been working really hard to develop the concepts and ideas for other parts of the gamemode. This is just one small part that didn’t require a lot of specifics to get started, so I did! As far as an ETA, I can’t give you one, but our goal is to have a basic dungeon playable by summer. Stay tuned for more Project Pinion Progresses!
It’s been a little while since 1.18 was released. There’s good reason for that!
Lib’s Disguises (important plugin) needed updating and our very own overownerlorddev Martoph put his own efforts into an update for it.
Also. There was a major security issue that affected Minecraft. Athios should be fine, but if you’re interested in knowing more, here’s a link to information from the Minecraft website.
Anyway. Athios 1.18.1 now. Update your Minecrafts. See what’s new below!
The New GUI
Starting with the SnD menu, we’ve updated it so you can easily browse your options. Access this by right clicking the compass in your hotbar!
The Sword allows you to choose your kit for the round! Fairly standard. (Tip: Left click the compass to access this instantly!)
The Exp Bottle works as does Blaze, showing you your many achievements and any rewards you have yet to claim.
The Comparator brings you to your preferences. Set what you will.
The Anvil is how you may modify the hotbar layouts of kits.
The Skull (excellent example on display) will bring up your stats in chat. Don’t worry, no one else can see them.
The Book sends a link to a brief video tutorial on basic SnD gameplay.
Titles, subtitles, action!
There’s always that one player that hasn’t realized their team’s bomb is armed.
Even though it shows up on the scoreboard.
Even though it pops up in chat, repeatedly.
Even though there’s a loud, distinctive sound.
So we added a Bomb bar that ticks off the seconds till the bomb detonates.
You have one less excuse for not paying attention.
There are other various additions as well. A few examples rest inside the spoiler.
Killstreak! Keep it up!
You won! Good job!
All prompts have been set into different categories so as to not disrupt gameplay. The Title section (VICTORY!) is only used before and after the game, while Subtitles (+5 Credits +3 Points) is used for certain events, such as Poison.
It can be hard understanding what happened sometimes. After all, this is Search and Destroy, the game with 20+ kits. (Play now at play.athiosmc.com! Version 1.18.1) It can be tough to learn or memorize them all!
With this update, you will be alerted for certain interactions in your Action bar (located right above your hotbar) rather than in chat, making it harder to miss.
Overclocked Ultra 𝔉𝔢𝔫𝔦𝔵 Wireless RGB Ergonomic Gaming Kits X
We added or updated effects on kits where relevant. Some have sounds. These only play to relevant players.
Images in the spoiler.
ipad not included
Bursts visibly start smoking when overheated. As a reminder, shooting while in this state will kill you. (that’s bad)
We’ve packed more explosion into this explosion.
Explosives will sparkle a little if their RPG is charged. Cute
If you’re cold, they’re cold. Bring them inside
New advancements in spectral sighting sciences have led to Ghosts and Wraiths being more obviously dead on death2.
It’s very hard to share the new audio sound effect through a gif and text, but I’ll do my best anyway.
Pretty cool, huh?
Our Medics now display that they have plenty of healing energy through sparkly particles. If you don’t see particles, they’re running low! You’ll have to take damage later, sorry for the inconvenience.
Number 1 Victory Royale
Leaderboards have been added. Technology exists for more stats in the future.
Yeah SnD we bout to get down (get down)
10 votes on the board right now
Map Testing Pool Update
New maps have entered the arena to fight for their lives. Will you cheer them on, or will you hope for their deaths in battle?
Local Athios Artist @shadowstarcat / annisdying has made an incredible image for this update.
Please direct the direction of your eyes to the image below.
Project Pinion Progress (P3? PPP?)
So how’s it looking on that project we mentioned?
Pretty good progress I’d say. There are a lot of details that we need to go through, as well as things that need deciding.
We’re still in the very early stages. Something to get out of the way early though, is layouts.
How do we procedurally generate each floor? How do we want players to ascend the tower? What does a typical floor look like, and what can you expect to find on a floor? How can we do this in a way compatible with what we can do as builders and what Martoph can do with his magic text? How do you connect different rooms? Lots of questions.
As it turns out, making the jump from 2D to 3D complicates it. But we believe we have some solutions and are working on answering those. We know some wrong answers, and we know some acceptable answers. We hope to find the secret answer so we can unlock the true ending. More on that later. Don’t want to make this post too long.
End of Post
The weight of the world bears heavily on Fenix.
Lobbies and maps on the server are yet to update.
This will be addressed soon.
The gamemodes, as they are, don’t seem sustainable for growing the server. We’ve seen discussion about this and have been planning on what to do next. We also thought that involving the community in what’s going on behind the scenes would be a good idea.
So here is what is up, my fellow gamers.
Starting with our current gamemodes:
Search and Destroy, the main attraction of Athios and nostalgic link to many for a server long gone… doesn’t cut it.
By its base design, it needs a decent amount of players for maximum fun -- 20 or so, ideally more… Ember Hours helps, but that’s more of an event than a gamemode.
It is not friendly to new players at all. Most kits have something special about them that can only be learned from repeated trial and error. Learning all these kits wouldn’t be too difficult, but there are no respawns. Make one mistake and it’s over, which is very easy to do as a new player. It’s not very encouraging. It’s something experienced players have gotten used to, but a new player is far more likely to play a more forgiving or fast-paced gamemode.
We struggled with content creators on this as well. Even when we managed to tear one away from Hypixel’s talons, they either struggled to understand and play the game themselves, or their viewers did. Again, not an encouraging system.
SnD needs players, which we couldn’t get for that gamemode. Okay, what then?
Our next move was to revive Disasters.
We planned that it’d be playable and fun, even with only 1 player. And I like to think that’s still true, though it does get lonely. It’s more fast paced compared to SnD as well, with games taking 3 minutes at the most. The base objective is fairly simple as well. Things happen. Survive them! The disasters have quite a bit of variety to keep it fresh every round, as well.
But it hasn’t popped off either. So what’s the issue? It could be a lack of endgame goal or something else to grind for. There wasn’t any real meaning to winning or losing beyond what you gave it. No reason to keep playing. It’s very much a minigame, rather than a gamemode.
Finally, on a server of our current scale, there’s always downtime between games. If you lose, you need to wait for the rest of the current game to end. If you die in the beginning, which isn’t unlikely for a new player, it can be a long wait… Compare this to a big server, where you can join and start a new round within 30 seconds at most.
We could keep trying new content creators, but this does pose a financial risk without guarantee of returns.
So what’s next?
We wanted to make a gamemode that would address the key issues we identified with SnD and Disasters:
Playable solo or with few players
Easy to learn/simple objectives
Here’s what we have to offer on that end.
A hybrid survival/roguelite gamemode.
In the center of town lies a tower which stretches forever into the heavens, offering fortune and danger to bold climbers.
Gather resources in the wilds and bring them into the tower for a stronger initial advantage.
Inside, face custom enemies and acquire special loot.
Use your experience and items to aid in future runs.
Buy and upgrade a house or free build on a plot in the town.
Play solo or party up with friends.
Here’s some more details about the tower:
We plan on it being split into multiple themed sections. Climbing the entirety of the tower in one session is not advised.
As you ascend, enemies get tougher and loot gets more valuable.
Floors within sections will be procedurally generated.
Should you die, you will be sent to the tower’s entrance with only what you brought.
We’ve got a lot more planned, but who knows what’ll happen during the testing cycle. Don’t want to promise something we can’t keep!
On that note. Something we do want to have in the future is a beta for this project, at least the tower portion. We’re planning to get you a playable beta by Summer 2022.
What does this mean for SnD and Disasters?
Both gamemodes are in a mostly balanced state, though balance patches are of course possible. Bugs are also there. To be fixed. There is currently one major update for SnD currently being worked on, focusing on modernizing its aesthetics with titles, subtitles, action bars, and all that fun stuff. (Note: Can be disabled via /prefs) Let’s face it. SnD was a gamemode that came out sometime before 2013 and it sure looks the part! We’ve already fully planned out on what changes will be happening, so you can expect the Aesthetic Update in the “near” future.
Once this is done we’ll be focusing all attention on Project Pinion. SnD and Disasters will continue to be maintained and balanced, but we aren’t planning on any more major updates for a while. Expect to see map rotations continue, as we’re still accepting submissions for both modes.
Additionally, since we expect Project Pinion to have a longer development time, we’re committing to consistent design and development updates. We want to keep you all in the loop and get your feedback along the way.
This is a big move we’re making. We started as a small community of gamers who grew up on SnD, and we’ve grown to have some big goals. Thanks to everyone who’s stuck around so far, and to everyone who’s joining us on this. We’ll see you in the Tower!
Hey guys, apologies for the lack of notice for this update but everything below is live now!
Death God - Added Death God to the kit pool
Pyro - Armor enchantments decreased to Blast Prot 6, Fire Prot 4, Projectile Prot 2, Prot 1
These changes are intended to revert a past overbuff and make Pyro not seem so tanky overall.
Centurion - Removed Sweeping Edge from sword (it didn’t do anything)
Added Sharpness 1 to the sword
Decrease Axes effectiveness against the shield from 5 energy to 3
Ghost Punches no longer stop the shields hit points from regenerating
While blocking Centurion now gains 40% damage resistance
Now Centurion will feel a lot safer behind their shield, as they should.
Burst - Bursts recoil damage has been adjusted slightly
When fully overheated, requires 2 seconds before cooling down
Burst dies if they shoot while overheated now
Added proper msgs in chat for the new feature
Burst has wielded a powerful weapon and top tier armor for a long time, its self damage mechanic hasn’t been enough to offset that. We’ll be watching over these changes to see if further adjustment is needed.
Ghost - Changed their sword enchantment to Sharpness 1
Ghosts now make footstep sounds
Ghost has always been a staple kit, these changes intend to align with the overall archer nerf and push ghost into a supporting role.
Arbalist - Armor reduced to the following
Shortbow - Armor reduced to the following
Archers deal an infinite amount of high damage while in total safety. Testing the waters with a general armor nerf, we’ll look at the “infinite” part of their ability if a future change is needed
Longbow - Reduced Punch 3 to Punch 2
With the updated combat system Longbow was really flinging the enemy, this is just meant to push it back in the other direction.(Note: This iteration of Longbow is still stronger than the pre-combat update Longbow)
Porcupine - Removed Thorns, being hit with arrows now increases your swords damage
Gain .5 dmg per arrow capped at 12 arrows (ouch)
Armor Enchants changed to the following, Projectile Prot 8
Porcupine has always been weird since your thorns would override your sword's damage, no thorns no problem. This does slightly change how the kit plays, but overall you still want to get shot and then head into battle!
Dwarf - Removed Slowness 1 after you delevel
-Compass now accurately tracks invisible kits
-The last man standing fuse is now a one time use
-You can now place crates (and other killstreaks) under blocks, they’ll travel through as if the blocks above were never there
Based on the map poll we put out,,, a while ago(sorry). We’re rotating out a few maps
-Valley of Death
Getting into the Halloween spirit here are some spookified maps being put into the map rotation for the season.
Oh and the Halloween Cosmetics are available again!
We’ll be hosting some Ember Hours tomorrow at 8pm EST, hop on to see the new changes and earn some boosted credits!
This is a smaller update than we’ve released in the past, a lot of this was stuff we’ve been trying to get together for a while but other things had priority like.... the Aesthetic Update which will be following this one and like the update name states will be overhauling Athios and SnD especially to the aesthetic standards of todays minecraft servers, more details coming soon.
There has been some hot discussions recently about where Athios is and where it should be going, don’t worry all of this is being discussed internally and we want to let you guys know once we come to a conclusion.
Hi. Been a while, huh? Hope you enjoyed the summer! There’s still some to it, but September is starting soon, and with it, both the school season and the actual season of fall. (or autumn i guess)
We’ve been doing a lot of planning on what we want to get done in the somewhat later future. We’ve also done a lot of planning on what’s coming in the very near future.
Traps have been scattered across the map. A result of carelessness, or was it intentional?
Watch your step, or else you’ll be ensnared and injured!
Aw man, there sure are a lot of creepers around. Their explosions won’t damage you, but the landing might!
The very world crumbles away! Seek refuge in the center of the map.
You are very hungry. Don’t let anyone take your only food, or else you’re going to starve!
Hot steam erupts from beneath the earth. Watch the ground or be launched into the air!
The sun’s oppressive heat intensifies. Buildings start to melt away. The heat intensifies. Houses slowly melt away. The heat intensifies. The ground melts away. The heat intensifies.
Gravity is taking a vacation. Jump higher, float longer! ...Move slower.
Patches of nasty mold infect the world, appearing and disappearing at random. Kind of gross. Don’t breathe it in. Or stand near it.
They’re very late for work. Don’t get in the way.
The smell of ozone fills the air. Sparks gather near you. It’d be best not to get close to anyone. (Physically)
This place is infested. They’re eating everything! They’re eating everyone! Get out of there!
Power-ups now have more flare to them.
The map name is now in the sidebar.
Now requires a minimum of 2 players to be chosen.
There is now 10 seconds of downtime between cycles.
Removed. Not a popular or fun disaster. Also had a few mini-disasters where Chickens would spawn and perish immediately.
The Floor is Lava
Water mostly no longer turns to obsidian. Tracks block updates between cycles, so destroyed or converted blocks no longer turn into lava.
A boss bar has been added to make it more clear on how to survive.
Cures now spawn in addition to power-ups, rather than instead of. Spawns 5 every 30 seconds at power-up locations and is indicated with a cyan particle.
Maps in testing phase not mentioned remain in testing.
Huh? What’s that?
Well… “Official Gamer Hours” has been an idea for a while. We needed a bit of time to figure out how we’d do it. This is our implementation!
We’re also calling it this to not confuse it with the currently existing form of Gamer Hours, which is really any time when players are online.
Anyway. What to expect?
Ember Hours will be at a slightly different time and day on a 4 week cycle. This is to allow for more flexibility in who can actually play! The schedule is as follows:
Saturday 7PM EST
Friday 3PM EST
Friday 7PM EST
Saturday 3PM EST
We’ll be starting it this Saturday at 7PM EST!
Staff will activate boosters for more credits. Hurray for the economy..!
Sidenote, Fenix will soon start announcing boosters. We will announce when this is functional. Make sure to get the @gamer tag on the Discord, as that is where you will be notified!
In the future, there will be other things boosted as well. :)
Keeping it Fresh
If it’s the same thing every week, what makes it interesting?
We have some ideas for that. We’ll do our best to make every week distinctive, focusing on weird maps, specific free kits, or whatever else comes to mind. If you have ideas, you’re free to share them!
Release Date this Friday, August 20th!
The Future of Athios
That header probably scared you a little bit, but Athios has no plans to close or go anywhere anytime soon! You probably noticed a lack of noise from the staff team over the summer, but we’ve all been trying to enjoy ourselves before most of us head back to school. Once the school year arrives, we aim to dedicate more time to Athios and form that groove again. We have many ideas and plans for the coming updates, and are really excited to show them off. This update may not feel like the biggest thing after such a long hiatus, but we definitely still have the drive to continue delivering cool new things.
Secondly, we are going to slow down the advertising for now. Our social medias will still be active and maintained, but Athios is going to take a break from content creators. We really need the time to focus on how we will be able to maintain a bigger playerbase, and how we can achieve better retention. We’ve had highs and lows this past year as far as player count goes, and we decided the best way forward is to make sure we can steadily grow rather than create large spikes every quarter or so. We know that we can effectively get players, but can’t really keep them. Athios may not see any increase in our playerbase in the near future, but know that is intentional. We will resume with big advertisement initiatives after the coming updates.
P.S. Thanks to @Smalusion who wrote most of this update post!