The walls of Jericho


Heya and welcome to yet another weekly PARPG news update! This time the nature of the update is a bit different to what you’re used to get here. The main reason is that we recently had our first official developer meeting at the IRC channel of the project. So this news update contains far more plans for our next steps while the older updates often purely focused on reporting the progress of the last week(s). Such a change comes with certains advantages and potential drawbacks.

One main advantage is that we can give the community an idea where the project is hopefully moving to; on the other side there is the risk of promising but not being able to deliver later. So take the plans outlined today with a grain of salt 🙂 But enough of the disclaimer stuff, let’s get to actual news reporting!

Audio department

Composer Dave Matney is currently working on a remix of the first ingame audio track that was produced by MeinMartini. Dave currently records some guitars and percussion and the remix aims to deliver a more Falloutesque atmosphere. We’re all looking forward to the final version and as soon as it’s available, you’ll read about it here.

Programming department

Looks like our recruitment efforts work out pretty well in terms of finding programmers for the project. tZee discovered PARPG recently and decided to get involved right away by submitting a first patch to improve the mapchange handling.

With the influx of quite a bunch of new programmers over the course of the last weeks, it seems to become more and more important to refine the workflow of the department to cope with the new situation and ensure collaboration and coordination. Therefore tZee opened a thread at the forums to discuss how the future class design could look like.

Last but most important news in the field of programming: we’re planning to ship a first official public release of PARPG, simply called “Techdemo 1” around late August if things go well. If you’re interested in any details, check out the specific milestone page at our Trac repository. Not much information there yet, but it will hopefully get fleshed in more detail over the course of the next week.

On a related note: Maximinus decided to not just talk about junior staff development but to actually implement the concept! Congratulations go to the new proud mom and dad 🙂

Maximinus son

Graphics department

There are good and somewhat bad news as far as the graphics department is concerned. Let’s start with the good ones 🙂 Zimble recently wrote a guide how to create tiled walls in Blender; check it out at our wiki.

Tiled walls by Zimble

As you might have already noticed: there is a lack of graphics-related updates lately. Unfortunately the vast majority of the graphics department is inactive at this point. We recently discussed possible reasons at our IRC meeting and it turned out that our current lack of an agreed upon story really hinders the graphics artists on the team as well. We’ve started a roll call at the forums; this thread is meant to discover structural problems that affect the work of the department so we can try resolve them as next step.

Game mechanics department

We had some plans for a so called “game mechanics playground” application; basically a text-based testbed for the game mechanics department where they could play around with the mechanics and tweak them. We’ve decided at the IRC meeting yesterday than instead of going for an external testbed, the game mechanics testing could and should be done ingame as well. As FIFE comes with out of the box support of a console, it should be pretty easy to use it for these kind of testing purposes as well.

Once the programming department has agreed upon a basic game structure, implementation and ingame testing of Zenbitz’ mechanics proposals can start.

Writing department

Unfortunately quite a bunch of tries to really get things started in the writing department did not work out in the end. Fortunately new programmer on the team tZee got a writing background as well and volunteered to help with providing structure and guidance. His proposals can be found at the forums.

This said: there has been quite some activity in the writing department lately. Writer NineOfHearts started to flesh out a draft of the game’s story with some help of composer Dave Matney. Hopefully the draft finds its way to the wiki soon, so we can use it as basis for further discussion as well as source of source of inspiration especially for the graphics department that vastly rely on the writing department in this regard.

Project management department

A couple of good news in the project management department: former FIFE developer Stefan a.k.a. MuteX kindly accepted our plea for hosting the PARPG code documentation. The docs reside on the same server as the FIFE documentation that is hosted by him as well. The PARPG docs are updated daily, so feel free to check them out: PARPG epydoc code documentation

Community members who didn’t have an IRC client installed yet could visit the project’s channel via the browser-based mibbit client. Unfortunately our chosen IRC network irc.freenode.net banned mibbit clients lately. No need to worry though: they fortunately offer a new browser-based client that can be accessed via irc.parpg.net now.

Last and prolly most important: we held our first official IRC developer meeting yesterday. I won’t report the results in detail here because the most news-worthy ones have been already covered and you can check out the remaining ones at the wiki. For the ones who can’t get enough of all this stuff and want to find out how such a meeting actually works in detail, feel free to check out the log of the whole meeting as well as the applied meeting workflow.

And as we were pretty satisfied with the outcome of the first meeting, more project as well as department-specific meetings are planned for the future. Check out the new meeting board at the forums for all details and ongoing discussions.

That’s all for today. See you next Monday 🙂

  1. #1 by Gary - June 23rd, 2009 at 18:09

    Excellent news – thanks for the update! We at PAMedia are excited about the possibilities! I only wish I had time to contribute to the project.

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