Here’s June’s big update. The bugs and fixes continue to get smaller and smaller with each passing fix, and they’re generally taking less time, being more and more obscure, and often involving text or grammar for sentence generation rather than things which actually cause the game to crash. With that said, some new crash bugs around pathfinding have arisen, but – see below – I think they are now all fixed, and hopefully no more will appear as bug-fixing and tweaking continues. Without further ado:

– Fixed some more crash issues surrounding people not being able to tell you they are not currently wearing any jewelry. 
– Monasteries can no longer spawn on rivers, thereby preventing some very strange generation of their local maps if the player decides to explore one.
– Fixed an issue where one of the guidebook entries was too long, and consequently “leaving” some of its text on screen even after the player navigated away.
– Non-religious NPCs can now definitely always correctly respond to religion-based questions.
– NPCs from a religion not based in the nation they currently live in no longer tell you their cathedral is in their current nation / city, rather than the place it genuinely is.
– NPCs without armour no longer sometimes tell you they have armour and then crash because they can’t find information about it, and NPCs with armour no longer sometimes tell you they don’t have armour. AND NPCs with armour no longer sometimes tell you they do, and then in the next sentence (from the same NPC) tell you they don’t.
– Asking certain NPCs for their perspectives on religious heresy no longer leads to a crash if they don’t really care about it.
– Fixed an issue with clerks who spawned at random in places like parliaments incorrectly thinking they were important, and thus behaving in a manner inappropriate to their station.
– Resolved another strange issue with banks at night and tellers appearing when they should be asleep, and similarly, an issue with tellers not appearing in the day time.
– A rare bug with NPCs attempting to leave the grid the player is on, while the player is also leaving the grid, has been solved… I think?
– Relatedly, fixed a very complex and strange issue where if two or more guards are moving off a grid at the same time, then sometimes they get confused about where to go because they look at each other as potential guard exchange partners (i.e. the guard they switch guard duty with), and then they freak out and don’t know what to do. Pretty sure this is fixed now.
– Fixed a timing bug which could trigger if you left a grid and then returned before the predicted time it would take, in the abstract, for an NPC to reach its next objective; this would cause the game to just lock up as it tried to figure out the NPC’s movement.
– Similar and related to the above, also resolved a problem where sometimes an NPC couldn’t make it to where they were supposed to be (hypothetically, in order to estimate how long a particular path would take), and now the game notices if they’ve got stuck one tile away from their target, and ends the counter there, just adding “1” to whatever the total was to represent what the final step would actually require (for example, if an NPC is currently blocking the way, but will not be in the future).
– Confirmed that a wide range of buildings – such as taverns, churches, cathedrals, jails, and others – do not crash when you spawn them in day then return at night, or in the next day. 
– You can no longer travel into the ocean; I will shortly be adding quick alternatives for getting across the sea.
– Fixed a bug where an NPC already on their bed will try to find their bed, and without thinking to look underneath them, will cause the game to lock up as they search, desperately, for somewhere to sleep.
– Fixed a similar bug where sleeping people were sometimes being transported through walls; this must have been rather distressing.
– Talking to someone in a tribal civilization about religion, laws and money no longer leads to a crash.
– Fixed some name generation things which made certain items of clothing too long.
– NPCs now properly tell you what is special about their armour (which is to say, nothing, because I haven’t coded that yet).
– Added information about policies which haven’t previously had clear effects or impacts.
– Fixed a bug which I had not noticed until just a couple of days ago, but now I see it would have actually affected a huge number of religious buildings in city centres and potentially elsewhere as well: guards for archives are no longer selected at world generation if there is no archive beneath the cathedral, which is almost always the case, and so this bug would have applied to almost all cathedrals when the game later tries to find a place for this guard, only to discover there is nowhere for them to go…
– Removed a bunch of irrelevant chaff from the “Load Game” screen.
– Hunted down and resolved a pretty large bug where, again, guards might be sitting on top of each other and the one who was supposed to go home wasn’t sure what to do. I’m not sure why this bug was still sticking around, but I’ve put in some catch-all code in case this ever happens, and this should really never be a problem again.
– Fixed an issue where servants or slaves, in a mansion that had been spawned or previously visited at night, wouldn’t know quite how to get back to work in the daytime.
– Resolved a rather complicated issue, whose cause (again!) I don’t fully understand, where after walking around for a long period of time and then returning somewhere guards had previously been spawned, one of the guards was on the roof. Of a different building. I have absolutely no clue how this person got up there, but I’ve now implemented a system which checks for guards (or equivalents) who are on rooftops (???), and then looks at guard locations on that map grid, finds the empty one belonging to the appropriate civilisation, and moves the guard there before the player gets a look at their strange behaviour.
– Related to the above, the game can now notice any guard out of position and put them back in their rightful place, which should catch any potential future errors of this sort which I’ve never even observed (if they exist).
– Fixed a bug where certain conditions would try to remove a bed as an option for an NPC to move to, but if the bed wasn’t already in their list of valid movement targets, it would crash trying to remove it (since it wans’t there). Again, not entirely sure what caused this, but it has now been dealt with. 
– Made sure that priests in castles which contains priests of multiple religions (with particularly open-minded rulers) all behave correctly at night and in the day.
– Servants or slaves in castles, when you have spawned the castle in the day but then return at night, now correctly spawn in / move to the appropriate beds instead of becoming paralysed with indecision on the ground floor.
– Handled issue with priests not turning up correctly in their beds in districts containing multiple religious buildings.
– Fixed a problem with buildings in hunter-gatherer settlements sometimes being spawned just a little too close to each other, and thus potentially blocking off an entrance.
– Handled an issue in religious districts with some random NPCs, at night, not really knowing how best to worship in the religious building they have selected.

At this point there are only two “major”(ish) bugs I haven’t fixed: one involving multiple ambassadors trying to sleep in the same bed (although one imagines this would do wonders for diplomacy), and one involving mints still crashing if you go back into them later. These both seem to be fairly big tasks, but I aim to tackle them in the coming days; I believe the former will be easier to deal with than the latter, but we’ll see how it goes.

So, that’s everything for this month. The rest of June is pretty clear at this end, aside from one academic paper I need to finish writing (about Super Mario Maker: this has become a rather exciting side project I’ve been working on for a couple of months now, particularly focused on troll and “kaizo” levels and the communities of players who both design and play these monstrosities / masterpieces). At this point, however, I’m really trying to push URR 0.8 out. There’s so little left to do now, so little left to check: of course I’m going to miss some bugs, and I fear, maybe even a couple of crash bugs, but I’m doing my absolute utmost to make this as stable, complete, and finished a product as I possibly can. Next update hopefully soon!


  • 0.8 looks better and better with every update! I’ve been waiting for it since 0.7 came out, so I am hyped beyond belief. Also, good luck with the paper! That in itself sounds like a fun new thing to look forward to.

    • Thank you my friend!! Can’t wait to get it done; and at some point soon I do need to do a blog post about recent publications, so I’ll definitely include a non-paywalled version in there 🙂

  • Wow, these bugs about behavior were pretty funny xD
    As Niko said before, this is my most anticipated game ever, each of these update posts fuel up my hype 🙂 Thank you so much Mark.

    • Thank you Gustavus! This kind of positive feedback honestly means so much to me, it really does.

  • I absolutely love the way you make these devblogs. Your comments and descriptions are great.

    Thank you for your hard work.

  • Well, I’m not sure how I missed you switching blogs, but I am happy to have randomly checked.
    Most of all, I am really glad to see that things are going smooth and well for you personally, as it was sadly not the case a little more than 1 year ago IIRC, and then for URR. I love reading about those posts almost as much as I would love playing what you’re working on (best parts being those random bugs where you imagine it applied in real life:
    “What are you doing up there on that roof man?”
    “See this guy on the streets? He keeps walking, that bothers me…”
    “ಠ_ಠ”). I’ll wait patiently until you’re happy with what you want to share, whenever it is, as long as you’re happy doing it.

    Thank you for having the crazy perseverance of working and sharing about such a crazy project of yours (which is closer to digital art than game IMHO ^^) [I would have used “amazing” instead of “crazy”, but then I remembered you have one – single – file for this madness (I promise I’ll try not to bother you with this again :p )]

    A long time lurker.

    • Hey there! Thank you so much for the message and the kind words :). I agree, I do find some of these bugs pleasingly entertaining – I think the structure of the world with lots of “real-world” stuff lends itself rather well to a bit of comedy here and there. And thank you re: the perseverance! It’s genuinely great to be back at it, and as you say, it has definitely metamorphosed into something more digital-art-y at this point. I really do appreciate the message a lot. Now, back to a weekend of coding for me…

  • Oh WOW!
    Many articles to read!
    I didn’t come to this blog for a long time, happy to see new updates 🙂
    Now, onto the reading…

  • Great news! I’m really looking forward release of 0.8. URR v. 0.8 is on the top of my highly anticipated games.

    Ps. Have you ever thought about releasing game on Steam?

    • Thank you my friend! I really appreciate the comment :). Re: Steam, I would consider it but only when it’s a little further along. 0.8 might be my last version, but if it isn’t, I’m definitely open to the Steam option in the future, but that would be a LONG way away. I’ve only really worked myself back into coding in the last six months, so I don’t want to get ahead of myself!

  • Keep! It! Up!

    You’re doing something amazing.

    Also, congrats to you on your news job. Australia is beautiful 🙂

    • Thank you Eddie! I was only there for three days (one jetlag, two campus visit), but I was very taken with the country even in just that short time 🙂

  • Beautiful!! Even Dwarf fortress doesn’t come close and the product isn’t even finished yet!!

    I am really looking forward to this!!

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