Archive for August, 2009

Newsflash Gordon

Heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update. I’m still quite busy with writing papers for university but as I got 1.5 weeks until I need to hand in the next one, there is sufficent time to finally post an update here. Enjoy!

Project management department

Some of you might have tried to update your PARPG SVN checkouts lately but wondered why SVN reported an error. We’ve recently restructured our SVN repository so the game’s path has slightly changed. If you’re doing a fresh checkout, use this URL to just grab the game itself: http://parpg-svn.cvsdude.com/parpg/trunk/game/

For the ones who have already checked out the game in the past and would like to update now without having to download all the files again, check out this guide at the forums that explains how you can do so: SVN switch to new game path

The download article at the wiki was updated to reflect these changes as well: how to download PARPG

Programming department

In the programming department, there are a bunch of ongoing refactoring efforts. We were lucky enough to attract quite some fresh blood lately and the new guys are becoming acquainted with our code right now. While some refactoring efforts already found their way into our SVN repository, it’s still a long way to go. If you’re interested in the details, check out the programming section of the forums to get an idea of the ongoing refactoring discussions: programming department section

As we had to cope with a bunch of problems and staff changes in the programming department lately, we’ve decided to establish a so called “board of programmers” to address these kind of issues when they arise. The board of programmers will consist of three seasoned developers; bretzel, tZee & Kaydeth have decided to step up for the task. These three developers will have two main tasks:

  1. Coordinate the efforts in the department, defining the programming roadmap.
  2. Making final decisions in cases where a topic has been discussed in detail with all other programmers but an agreement couldn’t be reached nevertheless.

As every board member has one “vote” in the second case, there should be no draw situations and this new mechanism hopefully helps to decide tricky cases that turned out to be roadblockers for us in the past. In case any board member has to take a longer break from the project, the remaining two programmers and the project management will ask a candidate of their choice if he or she would like to become a new member of the board for the time being.

Graphics department

In the past, we used to rely on Blender as prefered 3d modeling package for PARPG. While we were constantly attracting new programmers lately, finding more artists who don’t mind working for free on an open source project seems far harder. Therefore we decided to change our stance concerning the 3d modeling software to use. 3d artists can now use whatever software they like as long as it does the job for them. The obvious drawback is, that we’ll have to create rendering setups for these packages so that the produced renders look the same regardless of the used software.

But we feel that it’s worth the effort; so if you’re using any other 3d modeling software than Blender, feel free to apply now as well! The best place to do so is the introduce yourself board at the forums.

3d modeler Sirren completed his first set of animations for the player character: standing idle and walking around:
Raider 270 degrees PCSRaider 315 degrees PCS

Concept artist Border created a soviet soldier, carrying a flamethrower:
Soviet flamer

Seothen continued to work on the Dr. Felix Weir concept and created a first work in progress full body shot of him:
Dr. Weir full body shot

Suzi, one of the new artists on the team, drew some props that you could be pretty useful when it’s cold outside:
Cold climate props

New 3d artist monkeyface modeled an improvised crossbow – reusing a leaf-spring – and bolts for it. And yes: he likes Fallout as well, just in case that wasn’t obvious from the first picture ๐Ÿ™‚
Leaf spring crossbow

Crossbow bolts

Last but not least: Border created a first mockup for the graphics user interface of PARPG:

Game mechanics department

There where two main topics in the mechanics department that have been discussed lately.

There have been discussions about possible ways of implementing levelless character progression. Check out the details at the forums: character progression in PARPG

Furthermore we’ve put the map layout topic back on the agenda. We initially decided to use separate maps for indoor areas of buildings, like it was done in the Infinity Engine games. However with the recent staff changes, it seems that the still involved developers might rather favour an approach as used in Fallout: the ground levels of buildings were usually part of the map where the building resided in the first two Fallout games.

This way you could basically shoot through doors and windows and combat was quite fun. Nothing has been agreed upon yet, but the whole point is basically up for discussion again: reevaluating PARPG map layout

Writing department

Zenbitz brought up two setting-related proposals lately. Check out the state of the world and how to play the game threads at the forums.

That’s all for today. Next news update scheduled for Monday, 31st of August. See you then ๐Ÿ™‚

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You’re my Waterloo

… I’ll be your Stanley Park. Heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update. I know that you’re prolly disappointed due the lack of the updates lately and I’m truly sorry about it. The project went through a bunch of problems lately, university-related deadlines are nearing and my procrastination mentality didn’t help either. As I’m still rather busy today, here’s little newsflash rather than a full featured update. Hope you enjoy it nevertheless.

Programming department

There has been some confusion how to apply for the project so at first I want to clear up some things. Lately two programmers emailed me (Tomasz from Poland and Karanveer from India) and I tried to reply to their emails. Unfortunately they found us via sourceforge.net and used the email fuction there. For some odd reason the sourceforge.net email functionality seems partially broken, at least I couldn’t reply to their emails and I only have their sourceforge mail address, not their real one.

Here’s the point: if you want to get involved in the project, please use the introduce yourself board of our forums. That’s the prefered method and the only one that is basically not prone to any issues. You need to register at the forums and activate your account, that’s work but creating a full featured game is basically a lot of work.

As I hate to start with bad news, I’ll bring them up as second news item now. Unfortunately the planned programming department IRC meeting didn’t take place as planned. There were a couple of reasons for it and we’ll have to address them in the long run to get things back on track in this field. Maximinus is very busy with his newborn son so we can’t expect that he devotes much of his really spare time to the project at this point. Fortunately there has been an influx of new programmers lately but that also means that it will take some time until the new programmers are familiar with the project workflow and the code to contribute to PARPG at full speed.

One of the new programmers on the team, Kaydeth, updated the programming department roadmap at the wiki lately. I can’t comment on all the issues in detail at this point but for anyone who wants to know more, check out the thread about the topic at our forums.

Graphics department

Due the lack of updates lately, there are simply too many new graphics assets to be covered in a single news update. Feel free to check out the updated gallery at the wiki for a full list of new assets. Here’s a selection of four pieces of art recently created.

Icy cave by Kingston:
Icy cave by Kingston

Soviet monument by Border:
Soviet monument by Border

Water tower by Continuum & Simonced:
Water tower

Cook knife by Sirren:
Cook knife by Sirren

Writing department

Not much new to report in the story department. We’ve agreed upon fleshing out the two different storyline proposals until the end of August (deadline: 2009/31/08). After that we’ll discuss the pros and cons of both and will try to agree upon one within one week. That should give the writers enough time to properly present their proposals to the public to ensure a fair process. For more information, check out the thread at the forums.

Project management department

First and foremost a important note about FIFE. FIFE was recently migrated to a new interface by their host cvsdude.com. Therefore the SVN and Trac URLs have changed:

Note: I’ve already updated the URLs at the PARPG wiki (download article). However anonymous SVN access is currently broken for FIFE. We’ve mailed their host about it and hopefully they can fix it before the weekend.

In Germany we have a saying: “Was lange wรคhrt, wird endlich gut” which translates to about “What takes a lot of time, will work out fine (in the end)”. After several months I was able to successfully register PARPG at sourceforge.net. I couldn’t initially do so as there was a vaporware project that already occupied the project id. Fortunately sourceforge admin Chris helped me out in the end and once he looked into the matter it took only a couple of hours to set the project up. Thanks again for all the help Chris ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, PARPG can be now found at sourceforge as well. Here’s the URL: http://sourceforge.net/projects/parpg/

That’s all for today. Next update scheduled for Monday, 17th of August. Hopefully maturity will help to update the news more regularly when I’m 25 ๐Ÿ™‚

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