Archive for October, 2009

Taylor-made (sic!) strategies

Heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update. Two weeks have passed since the last regular one and I have to say that they were rather eventful for the development team. Let’s jump into the news update right away.

Project management department

We’ve published our first official press release at the blog recently and sent it out to two websites, hoping that they would pick up the story in their news sections. Fortunately the old school Fallout fansite nma-fallout.com covered it and we’re quite grateful for their support to help spreading the word about PARPG. Feedback has been generally positive, if you’re interested in the details check out the news discussion thread at their forums. We thank NMA admin Brother None for his continued support of the project!

Programming department

There are a bunch of potential topics to cover in the programming department but I want to focus on the prolly most important one first: PARPG developer or1andov ported the FIFE map editor for PARPG so it’s now possible to create and edit PARPG-specific maps via the editor instead of doing it by hand. The editor has been working since quite some time on Linux but it took us a few days to figure out some specific win32 problems that held us back from using it on this platform. Fortunately Kaydeth found the culprit in the end and fixed the issue.

The FIFE map editor is a great tool but it’s not the most user friendly one; there is definately room for improvement in this field. We’re currently working on a map editor tutorial but there are still a lot of aspects of the tutorial that we will have to flesh out in the course of the next weeks. I’m rather short of time right now but hopefully I can continue to work on it, especially on the weekends.

The last two weeks have been quite productive for the entire programming department. New Python programmer amo-ej1 created a tool to automatize XML animation file generation for agents (=(non-)player character(s)). You can grab a copy of it at our Subversion repository. In the meanwhile Kaydeth continued to clean up the code base to ensure that it’s compatible with the PEP 8 Python coding standard proposal.

I can’t cover all of the recent developments in the department in detail. So if you would like to know more, please check the full project timeline of the last two weeks at Trac.

Writing department

The work on the techdemo is coming along quite nicely in the writing department. Game mechanics designer zenbitz and community member shevegen decided to step up by starting to flesh out the techdemo quests article at the wiki. Feel free to lend them a hand by contributing. Both of them can be often found at the IRC channel of the project so you’ve got a good chance to get a hold of them there.

Graphics department

Despite the small workforce in the graphics department at this point, there is quite some progress to report in this field. Fallout modding veteran Continuum created a junkhouse residing on a fundament of barrels:
Junkhouse render by Continuum

3d artist Sirren created the first building for the upcoming techdemo – a guard tower:
Guard tower render by Sirren

You surely remember Sirren’s agent animations that have been covered in some of the recent news updates? Russian Flash developer Dragon created a little web application to show the animations in action. In case you haven’t checked them out yet as you didn’t want to build FIFE from SVN sources, feel free to give his app a test: http://lab.dragonnoid.ru/flash/isometry/

Last but in no way least, concept artist JustinOperable created a first character portrait for the upcoming techdemo. Check out his awesome drawing of the female guard character that will be used as portrait for the dialog interface:
Female guard portrait by JustinOperable

That’s all for today. Next news update scheduled for Monday, 2nd of November. See you then 🙂

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Press release #1 available

We recently decided to spread the news about the project to a larger audience, hoping to attract some new contributors this way as well. Here’s our first press release that we’ll send out to two smaller websites today; hopefully at least one of them picks it up and features it in their news section. Don’t wonder: the press release features all sorts of information that you already know if you’ve followed the project over the course of the last weeks and months. It’s rather meant to summarize some vital points, not to introduce any new information for the insiders.

About PARPG

PARPG – short form for Post-Apocalyptic RPG – is an isometric 2D roleplaying game inspired by classics of the golden age of the genre such as Fallout, Arcanum and Planescape: Torment, while being set in the harsh winter of post-nuclear Scandinavia.

It is the undertaking of an independent development team to create an old school RPG in the spirit of the aforementioned games while offering the game itself and all tools created as free downloads. The complete source code of the game and tools as well as of all assets (maps, graphics, text, music, etc.) are released under open source licenses. PARPG is entirely written in Python and powered by the open source game engine FIFE.

Project and team philosophy

The work on PARPG began in early February 2009 and over the course of the last months a team has assembled to create a single player roleplaying experience. We have decided to use isometric 2d graphics instead of trying to tackle the complexity of a 3d engine. The undertaking is ambitious enough so the team would rather focus on the game play of PARPG than to compete with commercial projects in a battle for the best next gen graphics glitz that you can’t win as an indie developer anyway.

PARPG is meant to feature meaningful choices and consequences throughout the course of the game. There will be multiple paths to complete quests including non-violent ways. Combat will be fought in a turnbased manner, inspired by the combat mechanics of the first two Fallout games. Furthermore we are aiming for well-written detailed branching tree dialogs.

What sets PARPG apart from other independent RPGs is both the non-profit nature of the project as well as the open development philosophy behind it. The entire development wiki as well as the forums are public; the same goes for the SVN repository where the sourcecode and all assets are stored. This way interested community members can always grab the latest version of the game and test it themselves.

A first release

While there is still a long way to go before we will see a full featured release of PARPG, we would like to release a tech demo of PARPG as soon as possible. This first release is planned for the end of 2009 and will hopefully already feature a simple inventory / object / looting model, basic branching tree dialog, a first customized version of the FIFE map editor to create PARPG maps as well as load and save functionality.

Looking for additional contributors

Creating a complex roleplaying game is an ambitious undertaking so the team appreciates every helping hand. While there are open positions in all development departments (programming, graphics, audio, game mechanics, writing) we would like to emphasize the we are currently in severe need of additional 3d graphic artists. You can use your modeling tool of choice and while we can offer no monetary compensation due the non-profit nature of the project, getting your models into a release surely makes a good portfolio piece.

If you would like to lend us a hand, don’t hesitate and get in contact with us by introducing yourself at our forums. If you want to talk to the developers you can join the IRC channel of the project as well.

Additional information

Now you are curious and would like to know more about the project? Check out the development blog, the project wiki or head over to the gallery for all the eye candy.

Promo kit

A promo kit has been released for everyone who would like to cover the press release. The kit features a selection of concept art pieces, renders, animations and screenshots, released under Creative Commons 3.0 BY-SA. Please check the included readme.txt for details.

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PARPG promo kit available

Heya and welcome to a short instant news update.

Now that we’re moving into the direction of a first public release of an although very small and rather limited techdemo of PARPG, we would like to spread the word about the project to a bigger audience. We’ve compiled a first promo kit containing selected animations, concept art pieces, renders and screenshots. The material provided in this kit is meant to be used by everyone who would like to help spreading the word about the project. All material released under CC 3.0 BY-SA.

Check out the included readme.txt file for all details. You can grab the first edition of the promo kit here: PARPG promo kit October 2009

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Day of unity

Heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update. Sorry for the lack of updates lately but I had to take a break from the project to sort out a bunch of problems in real life. Now I’m finally back, reunited to PARPG. Let’s get started right away, the vast majority of the news update will cover our plans for the first public release of PARPG that we hope to ship around the end of the year.

We were holding an IRC meeting of the entire development team recently to discuss the plans for our first public release. This update is mainly a rephrased extended version of the meeting notes. If you’re interested in all the small details, check out the full meeting log!

Programming department

The are a bunch of news to report in the programming department. While the blog was quiet for the last weeks, we found a bunch of new programmers with our last new update in August. One of the new guys is or1andov (known as superfluid at our forums), who’s currently working on the dialog engine of the game. While API documentation and general code annotations are still missing for the dialog engine, you can already test it yourself by grabbing the latest version of PARPG from our SVN repository.

Here are some screenshots for your viewing pleasure and yes: this orlandov is a funny guy 🙂

The beer quest:
The beer quest

The cattle rustling quest:
The cattle rustling quest

Furthermore we’re trying to implement the following code-related features for our first release until the end of the year:

  • Simple inventory/object/looting model
  • Basic dialog engine supporting branching tree dialog
  • Getting the FIFE map editor working with our customized maps (editor currently mangles our maps due custom data used)
  • Optional: saving and loading (serializing/deserializing of the gamestate)

Writing department

Unfortunately we still haven’t figured out how to merge the two different storyline proposals that have been brought up in the past. As we don’t need a fully fleshed out main storyline for the techdemo, we’ll rather focus on bringing two small quests into the game so we can test the whole framework.

Quest #1 will be about beer brewing / booze distilling: http://forums.parpg.net/index.php?topic=458.0
Quest #2 will be a fedex in its purest sense: http://forums.parpg.net/index.php?topic=459.0

If you’re interested in helping to flesh out these quests, check out the threads at the forums linked above and your quest design might end up in the PARPG techdemo 🙂

Both quests are meant to offer some alternative paths to resolve them as well as some consequences depending on the choices that you’ve made. Some possible alternative paths were discussed at the meeting, check out the details in the full log.

Graphics department

The required graphics assets for techdemo 1 will naturally largely depend on the two planned quests of the techdemo. As soon as we have the quests fleshed out in terms of ways to solve them, we’ll compile a list of needed graphical assets for the graphics department so our graphics artists can start to tackle these ones.

4-5 different NPCs + 1 PC with a full set of animations (standing around idling, walking, running, using, picking up) are meant to be featured in the techdemo. These animations can actually already be found in SVN. Graphics artist Sirren created a whole set of new NPC for the first release.
Long coat (female):

Long coat (male):

Farmer (male):

Traveler (male):

Right now we’re still short of graphics artist, Sirren is basically the only active artist on the team at this point. If you are a graphics artist who likes the concept of the game and would like to help us, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us by introducing yourself at the forums!

As every update: there are bunch of new 3d models and concept art pieces that didn’t make it into this update. Feel free to check out the gallery at the wiki to see every piece of art that has been created lately.

That’s all for today. Next news update scheduled for Monday, 19th of October. See you then 🙂

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