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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You just haven’t earned it yet, baby

Heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update! We’ve got something exciting to announce today: the scheduled release date of the first public PARPG techdemo!

Project management department

But before we get to that, some important personal announcement from my side: I’m sorry to make this step, but I’ll have to take a temporary break from the project for the next two months to focus on my studies. There are still a bunch of papers that I have to finish and I’m incredibly bad a multitasking. Don’t worry, I’ll be back but for now I just need more time to sort out my life.

This said: fortunately PARPG developer shevegen decided to step up and will take care of project management duties for the time being. I’ll elaborate on the details below.

Project meeting

As previously announced here at the blog: we have held an IRC meeting last Saturday to discuss the most important current issues and to pick up some steam again. Thanks to everyone who took the time to actually be around and contribute to it. Here’s a quick rundown of the results of the meeting:

Developer activity

The sad news is: right now we’re extremely short of active developers who can help us moving the project towards a first public release. One major headache has been the lack of actual conflict resolution power in the different departments. Fortunately PARPG programmer maximinus is back from his baby break and decided to step up again, acting as senior programmer and head of the department. Having a formal lead hopefully helps to resolve conflicts in the future.

Transition to FIFE 0.3

Good news from the FIFE team! They’ve recently released version 0.3.0 of their isometric game engine and it looks like they’re on a good way towards more frequent release in the next couple of months. Unfortunately the view_performance branch improvements didn’t make it into this release but we’re still hoping that the changes get merged into the FIFE trunk before we ship our first PARPG techdemo.

One of the most important improvements of FIFE 0.3.0 is the more standard-compliant module import scheme. With the new release, you’re not bound to a hardcoded folder structure anymore but your FIFE-based game can reside anywhere as long as the engine is properly installed. Unfortunately the new module import scheme made some changes to PARPG necessary and as we’re short of active devs right now, Zero-Projekt developer chewie has helped us out by porting PARPG to the FIFE 0.3.0 architecture. Additional kudos go to pirum for providing the actual DIFF to apply and to maximinus for the patch review and bringing it into SVN.

Unfortunately there is still one unresolved problem with our PARPG map editor at the moment. We’re using a custom maploader and mapsaver for the editor and as FIFE doesn’t provide a clean way to utilize these custom loaders, we had to implement it with a rather hacky approach in the past. This approach does not work anymore with FIFE 0.3.0 so we’re currently investigating how we can fix it. FIFE will provide a clean interface for utilizing custom loaders in one of the its releases, but until then, we’re bound to finding some kind of hacky workaround again.

Techdemo release schedule

While open source projects often follow the principle of releasing early and often, it’s also natural that projects want to make a good first impression and therefore take some extra time to deliver a somewhat polished first public release. We’ll have to be brutally honest and admit that with the current lack of active developers, we won’t be able to pull off a polished first release even if we wanted to. Therefore our plans have slightly changed.

One of the few things we can hopefully address before we ship a first release is the status of the QuestEngine. It has to be extended so that users can actually play through our small quests without having to utilize the ingame console. Even in case we can’t make that happen until then, we want to annouce that the release of the first public PARPG techdemo is scheduled for Wednesday, 10th of March.

Here’s the plan: we’ll try to fix as many obvious bugs as possible (including the lack of QuestEngine functionality) until the end of February. After that we’ll move into release preparation mode and work out how to package what we’ll have at that point. A first public release will hopefully help to attract additional new contributors.

My temporary departure

As mentioned above: I’ll have to take a break from PARPG to sort out my life and to finally finish some papers for university. It’s not a topic I’m eager to talk about in detail but I can say that the last months should have been more productive studies-wise. Partially because of my involvement in this project and also because I terribly suck at multitasking.

The fine young lad shevy stepped up and will take care of my duties while I’m away. He has full access to pretty much the whole PARPG infrastructure so he can set up new SVN & trac accounts and take care of all the other tasks which are part of the project management position. I’ve compiled a list of important tasks to provide some guidance and I’m positive that he’s the right guy for the job! Good luck and kudos for stepping up 🙂

Full meeting log

In case you’re interested in the details, you can check out the full log of the IRC meeting, starting at the 2010-01-30T15:26:32 timestamp, here: http://logs.unknown-horizons.org/%23parpg/%23parpg.2010-01-30.log

That’s all concerning PARPG for today.

Next news update will be brought to you by the fine shevy. See you back in April and all the best to the brave PARPG devs who hold the fort while I’m away.

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Back from the dead part II

Heya dear PARPG community members and developers.

As you might have noticed: I’m back from the dead but unfortunately I have to take a longer break from the project to sort out my real life. We’re currently in a quite critical stage of the project and there are still quite some steps in front of us before we can ship our first techdemo release.

This said: there are important topics to be discussed, e.g.:

  • Who’s still active and can contribute to the project at this point?
  • How do we want to continue towards our first release?
  • How can the project best cope with my temporary departure?
  • How can we address the problem of a lack of clear code architecture? How can we try to attract an expert in the field who could help us out?

Therefore I want to invite every interested community member and even more important every developer who contributed to PARPG at some point to attend this important meeting.

A more complete list of topics can be found here: Important PARPG project meeting

Unfortunately we only know that the meeting will be held at Saturday, 30th of January 2010. That’s already this Saturday!

The actual meeting time will depend upon which developers want to attend the meeting. Due having developers from all over the world, we might have to leave out one or two devs; or they would have to get up for it in the middle of the night. That’s surely not a good solution but there’s no real alternative to it in such open source projects where developers are spread around the globe.

If you want to take part in the meeting, please let us know at the forums AND tell us when you would have time for the meeting. The final meeting time will be set tomorrow at 6PM GMT! I’ll update the blog posting with the meeting time as soon as it has been decided.

Edit by shevy:

The meeting will start Saturday (tomorrow) at 15:30 GMT

Come and join, please, no matter if you can only attend earlier or later.

Meeting thread at the forums: http://forums.parpg.net/index.php?topic=644.0

Regards,
mvbarracuda

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PARPG SVN r461 video

An update just got in. Open source veteran and long time project supporter qubodup grabbed the latest version of PARPG from SVN and recorded a video of it. Feel free to check it out at youtube:

Kudos to qubodup for his continued support 🙂

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The Jonestown portrait massacre

Heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update! The holidays are over so it’s now back to work for us 🙂 Still moving towards the release of our first techdemo.

Project management department

As already mentioned in the introduction: most of us had to take a break from the project in December and over the holidays to spend some time with the family and to recharge our batteries. The original plan was to post this update some time after Christmas, but seeing that most of us were still on a break, I’ve postponed this news update until today. The plan is to shoot everyone on the team a short email, hoping that a bunch of devs will be back in action over the course of the next week.

We’ll give you a more accurate picture of our resources in the next news update; right now we don’t really know who can invest time into PARPG in early 2010 to finish our first techdemo release.

Audio department

We reported about Sindwiller’s contributions in the audio department in our last update in December and while most of us have been enjoying the break from the project, Sindwiller has continueed to work on his audio track in the meanwhile. The current version is still work in progress but the volume level has been normalized and a couple of other details have been tweaked, so feel free to check it out: Snow may never end – work in progress audio track by Sindwiller

Programming department

Altough our own programming department has been rather busy due the holidays, there are some exciting news to report nevertheless. First and foremost: the FIFE team plans to ship a new stable release after there hasn’t been such a release in one and a half years! Stay tuned for FIFE 0.3.0 and let’s hope that they can manage to finish the work on it until the scheduled 2010/01/20 release date.

We at PARPG have been always using the latest SVN version of FIFE so the lack of new official releases did not really affect us. But if you would have to compile a complete list of changes and improvements over the last 2008.1 release, you might need to invest a couple of days to not miss anything. So that’s a huge step for the FIFE team and we keep our fingers crossed that FIFE development will flourish over the course of the next months and years. A release date announcement can be found at the FIFE blog: FIFE 0.3.0 release date annoucement

We do keep our fingers even more crossed that one specific improvement makes it into this 0.3.0 release. As mentioned in our last PARPG news update: we’ve encountered performance issues that showed up when you used FIFE in combination with very large maps due the huge number of map instances. The underlying problem has been identified by a number of developers, including PARPG programmer amo-ej1, so FIFE guru phoku decided to look into rewriting FIFE’s view code.

Although the rewritten code does already reside in a branch in FIFE’s SVN repository, it has not been merged back into the FIFE trunk yet. There are still a number of smaller problems, but they can be hopefully fixed soon so every FIFE-based project can profit from the vastly improved performance of the new code. We’ve tested it on a number of system ourselves and encountered improved performance up to 400% (read: yes, that’s four times as fast as before) on some systems in combination with our profiling map. If you’re interested in the details and/or would like to test the branch yourself, head over to our forums and check out this thread: testing the view_performance branch with PARPG

Writing department

While most of us enjoyed their free time, zenbitz continueed to work on the ingame dialog scripts. Feel free to test the latest version of them yourself!

Graphics department

In case you wondered about the title of the news update and what the heck it is supposed to mean. Well, we saved the best for last 🙂 So here we go, a whole bunch of new portraits, created by our concept artists. Most of them have been drawn by Gaspard, with the exception of the Ula portrait, which has been created by JustinOperable. Enjoy them 🙂

Camilla

Camilla

Synnove

Synnove

Hoadir, the husky

Hoadir, the husky

Kimmo

Kimmo

Jacob

Jacob

Ula

Ula

Character pinups

Character pinups

There are actually even more new and refined portraits at our wiki gallery. E.g. an updated version of the female guard shown before or Dig, the bouncer, created by comscar. Feel free to check them all out.

That’s all concerning PARPG for today.

Last but not least: the fine folks at Iron Tower Studios released a first combat demo of their upcoming post apoc ancient Rome indie RPG Age of Decadence. Their persistence in continuing to create a game against a lot of odds and especially their fair, open and transparent way of community interaction has always been a great source of inspiration to me and without their example, PARPG might not have been founded at all. So to give credit where credit is due, check out their combat demo and feel free to head over to their forums to provide feedback. They actually care about it 🙂

Next news update scheduled for Monday, 18th of January. See you then.

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