Archive for November, 2009

Obstacle 2

Sometimes there seem to be an endless number of obstacles to jump over in the course of developing a large scale game from scratch. In the end it all comes down to persistence to work through all of this. This said: heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update!

Project management department

As a bunch of interested community members have checked out the SVN versions of PARPG, here’s a somewhat important announcement. The FIFE development team recently released a new version of their Win32 DevKit (which has been formerly known as the Win32 compile SDK). In case you’re running an SVN version of PARPG on your Windows system, you should switch to the new DevKit as soon as possible as the old 2008.1-r1 compile SDK will stop to work as soon as you update your FIFE checkout. The new DevKit addresses a very annoying guichan utf8 issue and furthermore introduces Python 2.6 support. That also means you’ll actually need Python 2.6 to run FIFE-based games on Windows and furthermore you’ll also need PyYaml for Python 2.6 to run PARPG.

I don’t want to go into any details here at the blog. If you run PARPG on Win32 right now, check out these two articles:

In case you can’t get PARPG working with the new DevKit, head over to our forums.

Programming department

As this is a _very_ image heavy update, I’ll keep programming-related remarks rather short in this time. amo-ej1 created a dialog checking tool that helps the writers to validate their scripts. Saritor started to refactor our GUI code and created an architecture proposal for the GUI module at the wiki as well.

Graphics department

Let’s welcome new artist comscar on the team! His handdrawn snow shoveler concept has been digitalized and refined by veteran Gaspard:
Snow shoveler

Gaspard also created a snow panomara concept entitled Alone in the wilds:
Alone in the wilds

Fallout modding veteran Continuum created a set of rusty barrels. The model together with the textures that have been taken from burningwell.rog can be now found in SVN as well:
Collection of barrels

Unfortunately I forgot to cover the creations of new artist on the team EGO in the last news update, so let’s take care of it this time. He created a mockup of the techdemo mall location that can be used as source of inspiration by our 3d artists:
Mall #1

Mall #2

EGO furthermore also created a lone explorer concept art piece. Enjoy it:
Lone explorer

I promised a whole bunch of new images in this update, so you’ll get a whole bunch! Let’s also welcome Q_x on the team who created this main menu mockup:
Main menu mockup

We introduced a screenshots section at the gallery in the last news update. In the course of the last two weeks we’ve updated it with a couple of older shots that hadn’t been added yet. Feel free to check it out.

I know that I sound like a broken record but we’re still short of 3d artists who could model objects for the upcoming techdemo with their modeling tool of choice. In case you’re interested in getting involved, please introduce yourself at the forums.

As we are still short of 3d artists right now, concept artist Zeli had a stab at 3d modeling and created his first model for PARPG: a multi level building. Looks like he has a hand for this:
Multi level building

That’s all for today. Next news update scheduled for Monday, 30th of November. See you then 🙂

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Mirror, mirror on the wall …

… who has the fairest portrait of them all? Heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update.

Let’s start with a little disclaimer before we take a closer look at the events of the last two weeks. I’ve mentioned this in the past but as days since the last news update have been quite productive for us, there is more and more progress that I could cover in such a news update. But the news updates would take far longer to write and would be very long-winded if I would actually do that. This said: if you’re interested in all the little details, there are various ways to stay up to date:

I’ll try to avoid missing any major contributions but sometimes it simply happens, especially in busy weeks. If you want to see something specific featured in a news update, simply give me a gentle pointer by posting in the news update thread at the forums.

Project management department

With the project growing and growing over time and considering there has been quite some developer fluctuation it gets harder and harder to coordinate the departments and to keep track of progress and tasks we still have to take care of. Our programming department copes pretty well with it though despite a whole bunch of developers who are involved in the field. This is mostly due using the Trac software for coordination and progress tracking purposes.

While we were a bit worried about using Trac for all departments as it takes some time to figure out how to use it, alternative workflows turned out to be more complicated and/or frustrating. So we’ve started to move more and more tasks to Trac tickets so we can keep track of who’s working on what, which tasks have already been tackled and which ones we still have to take care of before we can tag a milestone as completed. We’re aware that this will be a rather long process but this announcement is basically the first step to utilize Trac more and more as it’s pretty much impossible to handle such a complex project otherwhise. If you’re interested in the details that lead to this conclusion, check out the discussion at the forums.

Programming department

The programmers have agreed upon establishing a short weekly round table meeting to talk about who is currently working on what and to clear up any questions and problems that came up in the process of tackling these tasks. The meetings take place every Saturday, 6PM GMT at the IRC channel of the project. If you’re interested in the results of first two weekly meetings recently held, check out the meetings section at the wiki.

Our programming staff was able to implement a couple of new features and fixes over the course of the last two weeks. Saritor, who has been around for quite some time, submitted a larger map change patch so you can finally move to other maps now (and back again as well) without crashing PARPG. As the other devs were quite pleased with Saritor’s contributions, he’s now a core developer on the team. Which is basically just a fancy term for a developer who has earned the special trust of the others and therefore gains write access to the SVN repository. Congrats and we’re looking forward to tackling this project together 🙂

New Python developer on the team Vaporice has started to flesh out a proposal how the quest engine could work in PARPG. The submitted code can be now found in SVN after it had been reviewed. And there are more good news to cover: Kaydeth recently fixed save and load functionality so you can finally save the game and load it again as well.

Writing department

Zenbitz recently revamped the starting page of the writing department at the wiki. It should be a bit easier for new interested writers to get started now.

This said: he also worked on ingame dialog and the drunkard character now features his written lines. Feel free to check it out yourself by testing the latest SVN version of PARPG. For those who don’t mind waiting until the techdemo release, here’s at least a sneak peek: Drunkard dialog

Graphics department

Concept artist Gaspard got inspired by zenbitz and recently started to clean up the graphics department starting page as well. In the meanwhile Zimble documented the settings of the Blender rendering setup at the wiki. At the moment we’re trying to attract additional 3d artists and as we don’t want to limit them to using a specific 3d modeling package, we have to figure out how to recreate the setup in terms of camera position, shadows/lighting, etc. in different 3d tools. Hopefully somebody can actually use the documented information to set up his favourite tool for PARPG and start to contribute art to the project.

While there have been ups and downs in all departments, the graphics department, especially the 3d art section of it has caused us some major headaches simply because there is a lot of content to be created for our first techdemo and the number of active developers in this department is rather small. We’re still hoping that more 3d artists get interested in PARPG but the first public release might actually help to spread the word about the project and reach artists who didn’t know about the project before. Let’s see how that works out.

We recently added a screenshot section to our wiki gallery, so feel free to check it out. Right now there is only one screenshot (the drunkard dialog) but I’m sure that it will fill up nicely over the course of the next weeks. This said: there is more new content to see at the gallery. Gaspard also created a whole bunch of new character portraits. Here are just two of them; the others can be found at the gallery.

Hatman:
Hatman by Gaspard

Farmer:
Hatman by Gaspard

That’s all for today. Next news update scheduled for Monday, 16nd of November. See you then 🙂

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