Generating portraits

I had planned to do an update for today, but instead ended up using both thursday and friday first working on portrait generating code that is used when starting a new game and then on updating all of the player item data files.

Generating the portraits at the start of the game actually turned out surprisingly complex. Generating a random portrait for an NPC is actually pretty simple – I only need to look at the faction/origin of the NPC, background (governor, soldier, etc) and then I can generate a portrait at random. Generating it for the player is harder. Are you changing your faction? Well, theoretically that doesn’t really need to affect how your character looks. Change your background? That only needs to change your clothing/items – unless you are switching to something like the Slave or Native background, which obviously can have an effect. And then, of course, I need to figure out a good way of dealing with player designed character portraits. Right now, I don’t really have a good idea for that, so that will probably not be a feature to start off with, but I’d hope to add it later.

With a little luck, the first version with the new character portraits will go out on the closed beta channel soon, and then out to everyone else shortly after. Closed beta will be important to do first, though, because when you load an old saved game with this update, the game will have to go through all of the characters in the save and generate a portrait for them. As you can imagine, that has every chance of resulting in interesting bugs.

Regarding the bug reports sent in about player wealth, I’m looking into the issue, but unfortunately haven’t pinned down the cause yet.  I’ll put out a patch as soon as I have (as always).