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The Road to v1.0


The Orchestrator

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Greetings Metanthropes,

 

In this dev Blog we want to shed some light into our development process, and share with you our plan for releasing version 1.0 of Metanthropes - Early Access for Foundry VTT.

 

We still have quite a long road ahead of us to meet all our Early Access Milestones, and version 1.0 is the first step in this direction. With the upcoming v1.0 release, we want to embrace Narrators that wish to run Sagas (campaigns) and also bring the game up to the most modern standards of FVTT development, namely support for Foundry VTT's v12 and an upgrade to the underlying tech. More on this later, however, the main feature of v1.0 will be that we will introduce Player Progression, allowing for Protagonists to spend their EXP in a more structured and guided process, than what is currently available.

 

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In order to accomplish this, v1.0 will bring about a heap of changes under the hood. While we have been evolving the underlying codebase as development ramped up, especially between versions 0.6 and 0.10, we did so without caring much about potential impacts to existing Worlds. With the upcoming change to v1.0 and onwards, we will be supporting and ensuring that whatever World/Actor/Item you create with the system, you will be able to keep, when upgrading to future versions.

 

When development of Metanthropes VTT begun, almost a year and a half ago, we were mostly focused on enabling the desired features of the system, and we were not too worried about how we did what we wanted, as long as it sort-of worked. However, since then, we learned a lot about how to properly do things within FVTT and with v1.0 we'll be refactoring a lot of the underlying code in adherence to FVTT development best practices. This will give us the ability to provide Multi-language support in future builds, optimize our build process with more automations & less manual guesswork, and provide tools and guidance for potential contributors to the project. We will elaborate more about these topics in a future blog post.

 

In this Blog, we want to present some of the features that will be part of v1.0 release cycle. By release cycle, we mean that with the initial release v1.0, it won't have every new feature included, and that we will be releasing later builds, to fully enable the new content. So let's dive into some details and take a look at some of the upcoming features!

 

Support for FVTT v12

 

As part of v1.0, we will be adopting Foundry VTT version 12 as the supported version for the game. Soon after, we will be dropping support for v11, as the feature list of v12 provides us with functionality that we need to unleash the vision we have in store for Metanthropes.

 

The first major benefit and most obvious change for Metanthropes v1.0, will be a new look for the majority of the user interface. All the Actor & Item sheets will be re-done with the new Application V2, giving us a more clean look and massive improvements in performance and overall feel. You can take a look at this section of the Development Update from the FVTT team, recorded back in March 2024, where they talk about some of the features of AppV2. We aim to introduce these UI changes with the initial release of v1.0 and iterate to expand the new UI in later releases.

 

The second major benefit of v12 adoption is that we can take advantage of the Scene Regions that v12 introduces. You can watch this FVTT Dev stream for more information. These Scene Regions go hand in hand with many Metapowers that have an Area of Effect in their Activation - for example the Cosmonaut Metapower of Dark Energy Projection, gives you the Distance Manipulation ability, where you can indicate a hexagon on the Grid, and whoever passes through that hex, gains additional Movement. This, and many more similar activations could now be fully automated with the application of Scene Regions.

 

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Upgrade of underlying technologies

 

Besides FVTT v12 support, the upcoming Metanthropes v1.0 will also make a major transition to the way data is stored, taking advantage of the newer Data Model system that was first introduced in FVTT v10. This new feature, will enable us to take advantage of a more robust way of storing & validating persistent data.  This change is quite huge in terms of effort, as it requires us to re-define everything for Actors and Items of the system, which in turn requires us to re-write the HMTL that creates the Actor and Item sheets.

 

Given that v12 also introduces the Application V2 as we mentioned above, with the new type of Actor and Item sheets, it's the perfect storm to update both at the same time. While the effort is underway, it gave us the opportunity to also make many improvements in other adjacent areas of our codebase, so we have decided to spend the extra time to refactor and improve the overall codebase quite dramatically with v1.0 and although these changes won't be 'visible' by Players or Narrators, they will make development of future content much easier for us in the future. So it's matter of doing a lot of major changes now, so we can have a smoother ride down the road, later.

 

Early into the release cycle for v1.0 will also come the official support for some of the amazing 3rd party Modules. We will talk about this in more detail on its own Blog soon™ but suffice to say, that our plan includes supporting some really great modules that exist out there. If you have a favorite Module that you simply can't live without, please let us know in the comments below, so we can make sure we look into supporting it for Metanthropes.

 

As part of the v1.0 release cycle, we will also be implementing Actor Active Effects for the majority of Buffs, Conditions and Metapowers of the game. This means that Combat will automatically track Durations for temporary effects and greatly improve the overall flow and speed of the game by taking away quite a lot of the manual things a Narrator has to keep track of during Action Scenes. We will also be automating the Damage / Healing and Resistances calculations. Coupled together with the Scene Regions, once complete, this set of features will greatly impact the pace of Action Scenes.

 

Last but not least, as part of v1.0 we will be introducing a 'Compendium browser' feature that will allow Narrators and Players to quickly import content from the Compendiums into their Actors, so there won't be a need to have all the content imported into your World. This will greatly improve the loading speeds and overall feel of your Worlds, reducing clutter and overhead.

 

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Now there are many more features and improvements scheduled for v1.0, so stay tuned for our next Blog where we'll take another look at the progress so far. If you would like us to elaborate more on a specific technology or upcoming feature, let us know in the comments. We do want to make such development Blogs more often, so let us know in the comments what topics you would like us to cover, how often you'd like to read a Dev Blog such as this, and how much technical depth you'd like us to present.

 

…and as always,

 

Stay Legit,

Stay Meta.

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