Archive for March, 2010

PARPG in need of new maintainer

The PARPG project is looking for a new maintainer who wants to take the project over.

Current situation

The project lost quite some steam in the last months and we decided to ship what we’ve achieved until this point as techdemo 1. Now that techdemo 1 has been released, a number of devs stepped back from their positions or are missing in action. Some developers who are still involved at this point have started to compile an early proposal for techdemo 2: PARPG techdemo 2 proposal

The role of the maintainer

There are two possible ways of approaching the open maintainer position:

  1. Act as project manager
  2. Act as lead developer

Project manager approach

The project manager focuses on spreading the word about the project, keeping the community up to date about progress or lack thereof and recruiting new developers for the different departments. First and foremost you would have to attract a new lead developer who takes over responsibility for heading the programming department of the project. Our old lead developer recently stepped back from this position and chances are small to make important steps forward in the programming department without somebody in charge who feels responsible for it.

Lead developer approach

The lead developer approach is different to the project manager one as you’ll rather act as lead developer of the programming department yourself instead of trying to recruit somebody for the job. This comes with pros and cons. While it will be easier for you to push the project forward code-wise as you don’t depend on any help from others in case you can’t attract additional contributors, you’ll also have less time for project management tasks that might be rather vital to the success of the project. At some point, the project has to attract new contributors at least in the graphics departments (2d & 3d), so you’ll either have to find somebody who takes over the recruitment tasks or do so yourself.

Development departments

Here’s a more detailed listing of the situation in the different development departments:

Project management

The former project manager barra (me) stepped down recently to focus on gratuating from university. So there is currently nobody who takes care of the project management related tasks. A list of important tasks has been compiled at the project wiki to give interested contributors who are willing to help out in this field some pointers to get started: list of important project management tasks

If you’re tackling the maintainer position from the project manager point of view, you’ll likely invest most time into these tasks.

Programming department

The old lead developer maximinus recently stepped down from his position as well. Two contributors in this field are left: b0rland & beliar. While both has been contributing to PARPG since several months, they don’t have the time on their hands to take over the lead developer role. So this will be up to you in case you decide to go down the lead developer route as new maintainer.

The main tasks of the lead developer are to support the other developers who are still around to further flesh out the techdemo 2 proposal and coordinate the implementation efforts once you’ve agreed upon the plans for this release.

Graphics department

Right now there is only one 3d artist (Sirren) and one 2d artist (Q_x) left on the team. As there are quite a bunch of graphical assets available in SVN, finding additional new contributors in this department is not strictly essential to the success of the project in short term perspective.

However you’ll reach a point sooner or later where you would likely want to add new graphical assets to the game so recruiting new contributors will be quite vital to the project in long term perspective at least.

Audio department

While there is currently no composer who’s working on new audio tracks for PARPG, the situation is not that bad. A number of composers contributed audio tracks to PARPG since the project was founded so there is no immediate need for new tracks for the next releases.

The situation looks quite different for audio effects. Techdemo 1 basically ships without any audio effects and it would be welcome if this would change with the next release.

At the end of the day audio effects feel like icing on the cake to me though. While it would be great to find an audio effects engineer who contributes to the project, additional graphical assets seem even more essential to me at this point.

Writing department

Zenbitz, who’s also the lead game designer, recently stepped up and decided to volunteer for coordinating the writing department as we were not able to set a story frame into stone yet. Attracting new developers in this field is not useful until a story frame has been fleshed out that provides both enough room for creative freedom but also enough guidance to ensure that writers follow a general agreed upon direction.

Game mechanics

As mentioned above: zenbitz has been the lead game designer since the project was founded and he intends to stick to PARPG. You can check out his game design plans at the project wiki: PARPG game design

So there’s no immediate need to attract additional contributors in this field at this point.

PARPG infrastructure

The entire infrastructure (blog, forums, wiki, trac, svn, etc.) will be left in place for at least another full year. I’ll try to be around and do my best to support anyone willing to take over the maintainer position.

Ways to contact me

In case you want to discuss becoming the new maintainer of the project, feel free to contact me via IRC or email.

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Media gallery extended

The brave qubodup recently gave our media gallery section at the blog an overhaul.

You can now listen to all ingame audio tracks that ship with PARPG there now as well. Feel free to give it a listen.

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PARPG techdemo 1 video available now

A fine lad who goes by the name of igronomicon recorded a video of playing around with PARPG’s techdemo 1 release.

Feel free to check out his video at youtube:

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Towards techdemo 2

Now that techdemo 1 has been released two days ago, the team is starting to look forward towards the 2nd techdemo. Obviously a number of planned features and content didn’t make it into the first one so these aspects are hot candidates to ship with techdemo 2.

PARPG developer b0rland did the first step and compiled an early techdemo 2 proposal at the wiki. We appreciate every kind of feedback, both from developers as well as from the community.

A discussion thread about the priorities for techdemo 2 has been started at the forums. Feel free to contribute.

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Let’s go surfing

Heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update! This is a just a mini update to yesterday’s release announcement.

My permanent departure

I’m sorry to say so but it turned out that I won’t have more free time on my hands in April. There have been changes in real life and I simply don’t have the time and the energy to continue my job in project management. That’s why I’ve decided to ship this first techdemo release of PARPG and retire after that.

The reason why I’m announcing my departure now, is that the increased public interest due the recent release hopefully helps to find a new maintainer for the project. I do still strongly believe in the concept of an old school isometric 2d RPG but unfortunately time for me has run out.

Unfortunately not many of the formerly involved devs are still active at this point. But I’m sure that a new project manager can find a new interested developers for such a project.

Lessons learned articles

In case I got some free time on my hands in the next weeks, I’ll start to post a couple of personal lessons learned articles at a new blog. The articles will cover my experiences working on PARPG: what turned out to be working well, what didn’t work out at all, what could have been done better or tackled from a different angle. Hopefully these articles are useful for everyone who works in a similar field in a software project. They hopefully turn out to be even more useful for everyone who considers to pick up and revive this project.

PARPG infrastructure

To increase the chances that somebody actually picks up the project, I’ll leave the entire infrastructure (blog, forums, wiki, trac, svn, etc.) in place for at least another full year. I’ll pay for the hosting and will be around and do my best to support anyone willing to take over.

Maintainer / project manager tasks

In case you wondered what kind of tasks a maintainer / project manager would have to take care of, take a look at this list at the wiki.

Ways to contact me

In case you want to discuss becoming the new maintainer of the project, feel free to contact me via IRC or email.

That’s all concerning PARPG for today.

Not sure who will post the next update at this blog. In case we can’t find a new maintainer for the project soon, the next update will be prolly the first lessons learned article mentioned above.

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PARPG techdemo 1 finally available (updated)

Our first techdemo release is finally available for Linux, Mac and Win32! This release is based on PARPG SVN trunk revison 522. Built against and tested with FIFE SVN trunk revision 3236.

Preamble

This preamble has been written to give you an upfront overview of the current status of the project. In the last months the project slowed down considerably and we basically decided that we’ll rather release what we have right now instead of trying to implement more features and add more content, risking to collapse before we reach the finish line of the first release.

This said: we didn’t manage to fix a number of bugs and didn’t reach the original aim to implement a couple of quests that you can actually play through. You can walk around, talk to other characters, change to different (placeholder) maps, listen to background audio tracks and play around with the settings. That’s it. It’s possible that this is the first and last official PARPG release due the issues we are facing lately. Hopefully this release will help to attract some fresh blood that will get the project back on track. If not, it was at least fun for us to spend a year of our life on such a project and release what we have achieved to the public. And move on after that.

Download

Linux, Mac, BSD variants

Win32

License

  • All Python code is licensed under GPL 3.0. For the full license see: [PARPG]/game/license/gpl30.license
  • Assets are either licensed under Creative Commons 3.0 BY-SA or public domain. For the full licenses see: [PARPG]/game/license/cc30_by_sa.license & [PARPG]/game/license/public_domain.license
  • Most directories contain a .license file that states under which license the specific assets in the directory are released under and who created them. Use this file to properly attribute developers in case you reuse PARPG assets in your project

Supported operating systems

PARPG is officially supported in combination with these operating systems:

  • Linux (32 & 64bit)
  • Win32 (32 & 64bit)

PARPG should nevertheless also work with (prolly some tweaks required):

  • FreeBSD (use Linux install instructions)
  • Mac OSX
  • OpenBSD (use Linux install instructions)

Install process

Linux

  1. Unpack the fife_r3236_src.tar.gz archive to a folder of your choice (called [FIFE] from now on)
  2. Install scons using your package manager
  3. Install swig using your package manager
  4. Install Python 2.5 or 2.6 and a matching version of PyYAML if you don’t have them installed yet
  5. cd into the [FIFE] directory and run: scons ext && sudo scons install-python
  6. In case you encounter any build errors, install the necessary libraries and try these pointers
  7. Unpack the parpg_td1_r522_src.tar.gz archive to a folder of your choice (called [PARPG] from now on)
  8. cd into the [PARPG] directory and run: ./run.py

Mac

  1. Unpack the fife_r3236_src.tar.gz archive to a folder of your choice (called [FIFE] from now on)
  2. Install scons using macports
  3. Install swig using macports
  4. Install guichan using macports
  5. Install Python 2.5 or 2.6 and a matching version of PyYAML if you don’t have them installed yet
  6. cd into the [FIFE] directory and run: scons ext && sudo scons install-python
  7. In case you encounter any build errors, install the necessary libraries and try these pointers
  8. Unpack the parpg_td1_r522_src.tar.gz archive to a folder of your choice (called [PARPG] from now on)
  9. cd into the [PARPG] directory and run: ./run.py

Win32

  1. Run parpg_td1_r522_win32.exe and install PARPG to a location of your choice (called [PARPG] from now on)
  2. Make sure that you’ve installed (Active)Python 2.6, PyYAML and FIFE (they either ship with the installer or can be downloaded with the help of it)
  3. To run PARPG itself, cd into the [PARPG] directory and execute run.py (should be automatically associated with your Python 2.6 interpreter)
  4. To run PARPG with file logging, cd into the [PARPG] directory and execute log_parpg.bat; the log will be written to logfile.txt

Map editor

Known bugs / limitations

  • FPS rate tends to be rather slow on some systems; the FIFE team is working to address this in their view_performance branch, for details see http://forums.parpg.net/index.php?topic=570.0
  • While it’s possible to talk to the NPCs, you can’t solve any of the quests without using the ingame console (see ticket #229)
  • Some unit tests are broken (see ticket #253)
  • Random music playback hasn’t been implemented (see ticket #250)
  • PARPG crashes on exit in combination with Windows Vista 64bit if FIFE is built via MSVC 2005/2008 (see ticket #114 for a workaround)
  • There is no regular main menu, you’ll have to use the [ESC] key to access the placeholder menu (see ticket #118)
  • Containers don’t support taking everything out of them at once (see ticket #225)
  • You can’t drop items onto the ground (see ticket #223)
  • Some map objects are semi-transparent while they should have been rendered opaque (see ticket #251)
  • Full list of open tickets can be found at http://parpg-trac.cvsdude.com/parpg/report/1

How to provide feedback

You can reach the development team in a couple of ways and provide feedback:

All feedback is welcome!

Acknowlegements

We thank everyone who supported the project and believed in the idea of creating an old school isometric 2d RPG despite the general trend of more and more higher budget cross platform (read: consoles and win32) 3d RPGs. We do especially want to thank qubodup, a loyal follower who supported the project since its first steps and has helped us by spreading the word about PARPG with his ingame videos and his continued news coverage at http://freegamer.blogspot.com/

Furthermore we want to thank the developers of FIFE, the engine of our choice. Without you this project would not have been possible at all and we’re glad that the project is finally in good hands again now. If you want to find out more about FIFE, check out their website http://www.fifengine.net/

The PARPG developers

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PARPG techdemo 1 release tomorrow

Heya PARPG community 🙂

I don’t have the time for a detailed announcement, but we’ll ship our first official PARPG release tomorrow. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to implement some functionality that was originally planned for this first techdemo. But in the end we’re rather happy to release what we have right now before risking to collapse close to the finish line.

We’re just uploading release candidate packages for Linux and Win32. If you would like to help us testing these packages please visit PARPG’s IRC channel!

Hope to see some volunteers and see you for the final release tomorrow.

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