One day, delay

Heya and welcome to NOT yet another PARPG news update. This is just a short news flash that the official weekly news update is postponed to tomorrow due reasons explained below. We had our first writing & game mechanics department meeting last Friday and a programming department meeting will take place at the project’s IRC channel today.

If you would like to take part in the meeting, join us at our there, the meeting will start at 3PM GMT. As I would like to cover the results of the programming department meeting in the next news update as well, it won’t be released today, but tomorrow 🙂

Update: turned out that the programming department meeting has been postponed due lack of programmers who could make it in time. So you can expect to see the news update in a couple of hours!

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Fire water burn

Heya and welcome to yet another weekly PARPG news update! This week our roofs are not on fire, they’re on ice 🙂

Programming department

The programming department still focused on discussing the future structure of the code in the last two weeks. The class design draft as well as possible design tasks were discussed among the involved programmers. Unfortunately we didn’t anticipate that a large influx of new programmers also means that there’s the need for additional coordination and planning among the team.

To ease the coordination, we’re currently planning to utilize Trac’s ticket system for the programming department. You can read about it in detail at the forums. Furthermore we’re planning to have a first programming department IRC meeting, prolly at Monday, 13th of July at 3-5PM GMT. It’s not 100% set in stone but in case we agree upon a different date and time, I’ll let you know at the blog. Details about the planned meeting are outlined at the forums as well as at the wiki.

Graphics department

In the graphics department, we got three different visual teasers for you this week. One piece of concept art, one splash screen and furthermore also a 3d model. Enjoy it!

Steyr 69 submachine gun by Sirren:
Steyr 69 submachine gun

Arctic death splash by Justinoperable:
Arctic death splash

Snowy rooftops by Zeli:
Snowy rooftops

Last but not least I spend some time bringing all the fine pieces of 3d models renders to our (former) concept art gallery that serves as new gallery for all kind of project art now.

Writing department

As we’re currently hotly debating possible storylines for the game, there has been increased interest in finding logical flaws in the current proposals to improve them. Therefore we would be glad if we could find a climatologist (amateur or professional) who could provide us some insight and give us feedback how realistic our proposed storylines when it comes to explaining the nuclear winter setting. If you’re interested to lend us a hand, please get in contact with us at the forums.

Besides this call for expert feedback, there’s plenty of other things to report in the writing department. Composer Dave Matney decided to help out in the writing department to get things on track. He recently wikified all NPC proposals that have been posted at the forums before. Furthermore he also brought NineOfHearts‘ and his storyline proposal to the wiki as well.

Their proposal is one among a bunch of others. Readlock decided to help out in the department as well by wikifying the other proposals so their can be found in one central place now.

As there are still plenty of open questions in the story department that need to be answered in the long run, we’ve decided to have a first meeting of the writing department at the project’s IRC channel. The meeting time is not 100% set in stone (see the planned programming department meeting) but in case there are some last minute changes, I’ll post a short notice here at the blog. If things go like planned, the meeting will take place at Friday, 4PM GMT. For details, check out the forums and the wiki.

Project management department

Two neverending stories are continued to be told in the project management department today, though one of them has hopefully come to a happy ending now. First of all we were suffering from Trac ticket issues again. Anonymous users couldn’t submit any tickets but fortunately our host took take of it rather fast and now ticket creation seems to work just fine 🙂

Furthermore I’m still trying to register PARPG at sourceforge. I don’t want to go into the details again as they’re outlined in former blog postings but it seems that sourceforge can’t manage to complete a server moving process within a full year. Anyway, I’ve created a ticket at the sourceforge tracker and hopefully we can actually start to use our account rather soon as a release is planned for late summer / early autumn if things go well.

That’s all for today. See you next Monday 🙂

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The walls of Jericho

Heya and welcome to yet another weekly PARPG news update! This time the nature of the update is a bit different to what you’re used to get here. The main reason is that we recently had our first official developer meeting at the IRC channel of the project. So this news update contains far more plans for our next steps while the older updates often purely focused on reporting the progress of the last week(s). Such a change comes with certains advantages and potential drawbacks.

One main advantage is that we can give the community an idea where the project is hopefully moving to; on the other side there is the risk of promising but not being able to deliver later. So take the plans outlined today with a grain of salt 🙂 But enough of the disclaimer stuff, let’s get to actual news reporting!

Audio department

Composer Dave Matney is currently working on a remix of the first ingame audio track that was produced by MeinMartini. Dave currently records some guitars and percussion and the remix aims to deliver a more Falloutesque atmosphere. We’re all looking forward to the final version and as soon as it’s available, you’ll read about it here.

Programming department

Looks like our recruitment efforts work out pretty well in terms of finding programmers for the project. tZee discovered PARPG recently and decided to get involved right away by submitting a first patch to improve the mapchange handling.

With the influx of quite a bunch of new programmers over the course of the last weeks, it seems to become more and more important to refine the workflow of the department to cope with the new situation and ensure collaboration and coordination. Therefore tZee opened a thread at the forums to discuss how the future class design could look like.

Last but most important news in the field of programming: we’re planning to ship a first official public release of PARPG, simply called “Techdemo 1” around late August if things go well. If you’re interested in any details, check out the specific milestone page at our Trac repository. Not much information there yet, but it will hopefully get fleshed in more detail over the course of the next week.

On a related note: Maximinus decided to not just talk about junior staff development but to actually implement the concept! Congratulations go to the new proud mom and dad 🙂

Maximinus son

Graphics department

There are good and somewhat bad news as far as the graphics department is concerned. Let’s start with the good ones 🙂 Zimble recently wrote a guide how to create tiled walls in Blender; check it out at our wiki.

Tiled walls by Zimble

As you might have already noticed: there is a lack of graphics-related updates lately. Unfortunately the vast majority of the graphics department is inactive at this point. We recently discussed possible reasons at our IRC meeting and it turned out that our current lack of an agreed upon story really hinders the graphics artists on the team as well. We’ve started a roll call at the forums; this thread is meant to discover structural problems that affect the work of the department so we can try resolve them as next step.

Game mechanics department

We had some plans for a so called “game mechanics playground” application; basically a text-based testbed for the game mechanics department where they could play around with the mechanics and tweak them. We’ve decided at the IRC meeting yesterday than instead of going for an external testbed, the game mechanics testing could and should be done ingame as well. As FIFE comes with out of the box support of a console, it should be pretty easy to use it for these kind of testing purposes as well.

Once the programming department has agreed upon a basic game structure, implementation and ingame testing of Zenbitz’ mechanics proposals can start.

Writing department

Unfortunately quite a bunch of tries to really get things started in the writing department did not work out in the end. Fortunately new programmer on the team tZee got a writing background as well and volunteered to help with providing structure and guidance. His proposals can be found at the forums.

This said: there has been quite some activity in the writing department lately. Writer NineOfHearts started to flesh out a draft of the game’s story with some help of composer Dave Matney. Hopefully the draft finds its way to the wiki soon, so we can use it as basis for further discussion as well as source of source of inspiration especially for the graphics department that vastly rely on the writing department in this regard.

Project management department

A couple of good news in the project management department: former FIFE developer Stefan a.k.a. MuteX kindly accepted our plea for hosting the PARPG code documentation. The docs reside on the same server as the FIFE documentation that is hosted by him as well. The PARPG docs are updated daily, so feel free to check them out: PARPG epydoc code documentation

Community members who didn’t have an IRC client installed yet could visit the project’s channel via the browser-based mibbit client. Unfortunately our chosen IRC network irc.freenode.net banned mibbit clients lately. No need to worry though: they fortunately offer a new browser-based client that can be accessed via irc.parpg.net now.

Last and prolly most important: we held our first official IRC developer meeting yesterday. I won’t report the results in detail here because the most news-worthy ones have been already covered and you can check out the remaining ones at the wiki. For the ones who can’t get enough of all this stuff and want to find out how such a meeting actually works in detail, feel free to check out the log of the whole meeting as well as the applied meeting workflow.

And as we were pretty satisfied with the outcome of the first meeting, more project as well as department-specific meetings are planned for the future. Check out the new meeting board at the forums for all details and ongoing discussions.

That’s all for today. See you next Monday 🙂

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The doors of perception

Heya and welcome to yet another weekly PARPG news update! Let’s get started right away 🙂

Audio department

We’re proud to report that new fellow composer on the team MeinMartini created his first ingame music track for the project. Although it can be found in our Subversion repository as well, it’s far more fun to listen to it in the game itself. It’s amazing what a single audio track can add to the atmosphere of a game that is largely still in early concept stages.

Programming department

Before you could listen to the new ingame music, somebody had to implement some audio playback functionality. Team veteran maximinus volunteered and brought this kind of functionality to the game recently.

Furthermore we’re glad to introduce a new programmer on the team: meggie. She’s been hardworking in her first two weeks of her involvement and already implemented some simple random NPC movement as well as switching from one map to another. Maximinus decided to use his mapmaking skills and created a little building interior map to test the new feature.

Outside view:
Outside view

Building interior:
Building interieur

If that wouldn’t be enough, maximinus was on a real PARPG working spree over the course of the last week. He wrote down his personal proposal for features of a first official PARPG release and furthermore also documented all existing code that is in place via the Epydoc annotation system. The docs can be found in our Subversion repository but they need to be downloaded via an SVN client to be viewed at this point. We’re considering to offer auto-updated docs (updated daily) that can be viewed online as well, similar to the existing FIFE documentation project.

Graphics department

PARPG artist Zimble recently extended the tile creation tutorial at the wiki. The latest version features some extra information about the proper rendering size of tiles in case you’re using an alternative sampling filter.

And now it’s time for our weekly “positions on the team that we would like to fill” annoucement 🙂 As you might guess from the lack of picture-heavy updates in the last two weeks: we’re short of active 2d & 3d artists at the moment. The majority of the already involved artists on the team are currently rather busy either with real life in general and especially job or university assignments in particular. So in case you got some 2d or 3d creation skills and would like to lend us a hand, please get in contact with us!

Project management

And a last announcement for today: we’ve agreed upon a date for the first official PARPG IRC developer meeting. The meeting will take place next Monday, 5-7PM GMT. In case you’re confused about the whole timezone aspect: here is a great website to look it up: http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/.

The meeting will take place at the project’s IRC channel and we appreciate the participation of interested community members in the meeting. In case you got no IRC client installed on your system yet, you can connect to the channel via your normal webbrowser by clicking on the following link: irc.parpg.net

The plan for the first meeting is to discuss the roadmap that was proposed by maximinus and to coordinate the efforts of the different departments towards this goal. It turned out pretty hard to find a common date for a meeting considering that we got active developers from North America (USA & Canada), Europe and Asia (China). Therefore we’ll try to rather have two kinds of meetings in the future:

  1. Department meetings, that members of a specific department (e.g. the graphics department) try to attend.
  2. Project meetings, where at least one member of each department should be around to coordinate the efforts between the departments.

I’ll create a section for the project meetings at the wiki until the weekend so we have a plan what topics to discuss at Monday.

That’s all for today. See you next Tuesday I guess; seems to be better to deliver the news update after the meeting has taken place.

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Through the looking glass

Heya and welcome to yet another weekly PARPG news update! This time I had to struggle a bit to make it in time so I hope you don’t mind the newsflash style of coverage again. I ran out of time to flesh out all the details and I didn’t want to delay the update for a day or two.

Audio department

We’re glad to announce that PARPG developer Dave Matney has been promoted to the lead audio guy on the team. Dave has been following the project for over a month and started to spend more and more time on it in the last weeks. He’s the person to talk to when it comes to audio-related demands from now on. That does not mean he’ll act as exclusive contributor to the department but that he feels comfortable coordinating the audio efforts. We’re of course still looking for additional developers, either composers or audio effect engineers. But with Dave stepping up, there is finally somebody who can act as a competent contact person for new interested contributors in the field.

Programming department

Our programmers spent quite some time on improving PARPG since the last week’s update. Bretzel added an ingame options menu to the game where you can change a couple of options, including resolution, display mode and the renderer to use. Furthermore he also added to quickslots to the inventory that can be accessed rather fast without opening your backpack:
Option menu by Bretzel

Maximinus’ figured out how to split larger object into several tile-width pieces to work around z-ordering issues. His Python script can be found in our SVN repository. Furthermore he also implemented a way to display text description above ingame objects and added highlighting of these objects when you hover over them with the mouse as well:
Object highlighting by Maximinus

I totally forgot to mention it in one of the last news updates, but PARPG contributor Bhayden was the one who implemented the screenshot feature recently. We were puzzled why the feature itself worked fine on Linux but refused service on Windows systems. It took us some time until FIFE developer Cheesesucker figured out that “:” is not a valid character for filenames / paths on Win32 🙂 The fixed code resides in SVN now and screenshots are finally working for the Windows version of PARPG.

Graphics department

The graphics department has taken a well-deserved rest after the massive and image-heavy update last week. Nevertheless concept artist Gaspard overhauled the GUI design article at the wiki. Loyal contributor qubodup compiled a concept art gallery there as well; so it’s easy to find all the pieces in one central place now 🙂

Project management

After the last week’s annoucement that we’re looking to set up a developer meeting at our IRC channel, zenbitz proposed to create a doodle for it. If you have never heard about doddle: it’s a pretty nice way to arrange meetings online. If you’re a PARPG developer who hasn’t filled out the doodle yet, please do so until Saturday evening. We would like to hold the first bi-weekly meeting next week if nothing goes wrong and therefore would like to announce the date of the meeting in the news update next at Monday. In case we end up with Monday or Tuesday, the meeting will not take place at the 15th or 16th but one week later, at the 22th or 23th of June as we would like to annouce the meeting at least two full days before it actually takes place.

FIFE news

If you want to create a game, you usually need a tool to build levels for with it. While FIFE already featured a map editor tool, it was not really a convenient helper and felt often awkward to use. Fortuntelay FIFE developer Cheesesucker stepped up and decided to rewrite large parts of it and I need to say that the new version of it is definately a _huge_ improvement. So why do I feature FIFE-related news in a PARPG update? For two reasons:

  1. The new editor tool will make the life of our levels designers much easier so PARPG will benefit from it to a large degree.
  2. Self-adulation: I take credit for digging up the new editor interface icons. They were taken from the excellent SVG icons project, that released their work under the GPL.

And as this update is not as eye candy heavy as some of the ones before, we thought that it would be a good idea to show you at least a screenshot of our PARPG map loaded into the new editor. The new ice tiles have been created by Blender artist Zimble:
Rewritten FIFE map editor by Cheesesucker

That’s all for today. See you next Monday 🙂

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Back from the dead

Heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update. Three full weeks have passed since the last one and I’m truly sorry for the lack of updates lately. I’ve been really busy with university and although I know a lot more about the reconstruction of the failed state Liberia with the help of the UN now, I rather would have liked to post an update or two in the meantime instead of investing so much time into a presentation I had to give last Friday. Anyways, now that I’m done with it, I got some free time on my hands this week so here’s your promised dose of PARPG news. This time it’s more a newsflash than anything else. While I’ve been busy with real life, the others – especially the graphics department – has been hardworking and there’s simply too much to report to do so in detail. Feel free to browse the forums to read about all the details.

Programming department newsflash

Maximinus had to wrestle with some of FIFE’s quirks lately. Frustration grew and we were actively looking for possible alternatives to FIFE just to be not stuck with it as only possible engine. It seems while FIFE comes with a bunch of quirks indeed, it’s still the best option for the game that we have in mind. A more detailed explanation is provided at the forums.

Python programmer Bretzel continued to work on the inventory code. After we covered his standalone version of it in the last news update, we’re proud to present a screenshot of its new ingame version:
WIP ingame HUD

Furthermore: we’re still looking for a Mac-based C++ programmer to help us with getting FIFE running on Macintosh systems. While it does work in theory, building FIFE on Macs is incredibly complicated; therefore our Mac-based developers would really appreciate a helping hand. If you’re comfortable programming on Mac and got some solid C++ background as well as Linux experience, please get in contact with us at the forums.

Game design newsflash

Zenbitz has been hardworking as every week and continued to flesh out his thoughts on wounding.

Graphics department

Ohh boy, these artists don’t seem to be sleeping. While this update contains a whole bunch of images, there are about a dozen more at the forums. To save myself some time I’ll simply show some of their latest work and link to a recent thread with more pictures. Enjoy 🙂

Shrew81

Warehouse render (WIP version posted in the last news update):
Warehouse

Slegdehammer:
Sledgehammer

More weapon renders by Shrew81:
http://forums.parpg.net/index.php?topic=213.0

Zimble

Building interieur:
Building interieur

More renders by Zimble:
http://forums.parpg.net/index.php?topic=214.0

Zeli

Zeli is one of the new concept artists on the team.

Reindeer panorama:
Reindeer panorama

Improvised weapons:
Improvised weapons

Sirren

Sirren worked on a bunch of inorganic & organic models for PARPG lately.

Valmet RK 62:
Valmet RK 62

Animated reindeer:
Animated reindeer

More renders by Sirren:
http://forums.parpg.net/index.php?topic=190.15

Project management newsflash

We’re currently trying to establish developer meetings at our IRC channel on a regular basis; preferably at least twice a month. In case you’re interested to take part, head over to the forums and let us know which day of the week would be best suited for such a meeting.

That’s all for today. See you next week 🙂 Hopefully with less topics to cover that I can therefore flesh out in more detail.

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On the upswing

Heya and welcome to yet another weekly PARPG news update! As we got quite a bunch of topics to cover this week, I’ll keep things short and in case you’re interested in the details, you can always check out the threads at the forums as well as the articles at the wiki.

Overhauled combat system

Zenbitz has been rather busy lately but he invested some of his spare time into overhauling the Combat system proposal. If you’re interested in the details and the ongoing discussion, check out the thread about it at the forums.

On a modeling spree

It seems like the whole graphics department is on a modeling spree lately. 3d artist Shrew81 continued to work on his hut model and the latest – basically finished version – turned out quite well:
Hut 3d model by Shrew81

Furthermore he also started to work on a larger warehouse so we can use this building for testing purposes. At the moment the programming department is investigating how larger objects can be implemented into the game without running into z-ordering and blocking issues. Anyway, here’s a work in progress render of it:
WIP warehouse by Shrew81

Sirren has been hardworking as well and has started to model a second female raider. You can check out the latest work in progress version at the forums:
WIP female raider by Sirren

Inventory goodness

Every RPG needs a player inventory. So Python programmer Bretzel teamed up with graphics artist Sirren to investigate how such an inventory could be implemented – programming-wise as well as visually – for PARPG. The current version of the inventory code is actually still a standalone FIFE client but that’s just the first step; the next one will be to properly integrate it into PARPG. For those who are interested in the details and would like to test the inventory themselves, head over the the forums and check out the two threads about it there. For all the others, here’s at least a visual impression of the first draft:
Inventory client by Bretzel & Sirren

O Tile Artist, Where Art Thou?

Despite all the latest efforts in the graphics department, there is still plenty of room left for additional contributors. At the moment we’re searching for graphics artists who would like to work on creating ground tiles for the project. Lamoot recently wrote a guide about the topic at the graphics section of the wiki. Unfortunately he’s rather occupied with fleshing out the other guides at this point so we would appreciate any help in the field so we can see finally see some snowish looking tiles ingame. If you would like to get involved, head over to the introduction board of the forums and let us know!

Programming efforts

Maximinus refactored large parts of the code to ease the work of potential newcomers in the department. A proper data model has been implemented and the map data has been split up. That means that objects and NPCs are cleanly separated from static map data now.

Now refactoring itself does not provide any material for fancy screenshots but he wanted to provide some eye candy for this week’s update nevertheless. Therefore maximinus imported Sirren’s latest model to give you an impression how it looks ingame:
Ingame model tests

Last but not least he also commented on the next steps for the programming department. Might be pretty interesting especially to programmers who consider to contribute to the project but also to everyone else who’s interested in PARPG’s future plans in this field.

Trac spam issues addressed

Unfortunately our trac system has been invaded by spammers a couple of days ago. We had to deactivate ticket creation for anonymous users to stop it. Fortunately our host cvsdude.com addressed the issue rather fast and installed an anti-spam addon; anonymous ticket creation is activated again and hopefully the spam problems are gone as well.

On the upswing

Despite all the economy recession going on at the moment, the project seem to be on an upswing nevertheless. It can’t be coincidence that the new graphics artists on the team Zimble decided to apply with the model of a windmill. We’ll hopefully find a place for this one in the game as well:
Windmill by Zimble

That’s all for today, see you again next Monday!

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Crates, we need crates!

Heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update! This week we got a number of interesting topics to cover: an updated roadmap for the programming department, some first guides for the graphics artists, new work in progress 3d models as well as progress in the writing department.

Updated programming roadmap

PARPG programmer maximinus updated the programming roadmap with some new tasks lately. Hopefully this kind of provided guidance helps interested programmers to find a starting point for exploring the PARPG code. Furthermore he compiled a little checklist for programmers how to get started with PARPG in general.

Writing brainstorming

After it has been rather quiet in the writing department in the last weeks – we’re still a bit puzzled how to tackle getting started in this field – our writer egalor started to flesh out the region of the former Baltic States at the forums. The version found at the forums is pretty much just a first step and he appreciates all kind of feedback. Nevertheless it’s a step in the right direction to get things started in this department again.

Searching for new developers

As there is still a lot of room for additional developers on the team, we decided to include this call to arms in a news update as well. You can contribute as a programmer, graphics artist, composer, writer, gameplay designer or project manager. A couple of new developers showed interested in the project over the course of the last week but we generally don’t announce the introduction of new developers. We want to avoid pressuring the developers who often are not sure how much time they can spend on such a project. So we prefer to cover the activities of any developers once there’s actually something to report besides that they’re somehow (interested to get) involved in the project.

New graphics tutorials

The whole graphics department has been really hardworking lately. Let’s start with our artist Lamoot, who recently started to work on tutorials for the department. You can check the list of tutorials at the wiki. Furthermore he improved the Blender rendering setup to ease the work of the involved graphics artists. You can grab the latest version of it from our Subversion repository.

The first two tutorials that he has finished are how to create simple tiles and how to create snow materials.

Crates, we need crates!

You can never have enough crates in a game. If we had not decided to create an RPG, we surely would have agreed on creating a Sokoban remake 🙂 Anyway, our new graphics artist shrew81 knew about our Sokoban dreams and decided to create some crates for the project; mainly for rendering tests but as said: every game needs at least one crate, or even more.

Crate 1Crate 2Crate 3Crate 4

Besides these crates he started to work on some weapons as well as scenery objects for PARPG. Check out his art thread at the forums.

Character models, part 2

As already reported last week: 3d artist Sirren is working on character models based on JustinOperable’s sketches. They’re still work in progress, at least the rendered versions of them; the actual models are pretty much done. So don’t worry about the quality of the smaller preview versions in the pictures: the final renders and ingame versions will look better 🙂

Raider:
Raider

Woman:
Woman

That’s all for today 🙂 See you again next week!

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From sketch to model

Heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update! As promised: now delivered weekly again.

An important advantage of weekly blog updates is that the number of topics to cover can be usually kept rather low. This time we’ll take a look into the latest map tests and present Zenbitz’s thoughts how combat could work in PARPG. Last but not least we’ll show you how a piece of concept art evolves from a mere black and white sketch to a colorized version of it and finally into an actual (work in progress) 3d model.

Map code tests

Maximinus has continued to play around with the map code of the game and tried to find out if there are sane alternatives to splitting up larger objects – e.g. buildings – into smaller separate tile-wide pieces. So far it looks like splitting objects is the way to go as it’s hard to work around z-ordering and collision (blocking) issues otherwhise. If you’re interested in the details: check out the thread at the forums. Maximinus does also plan to update the forums with new pictures of his latest tests on a somewhat regular basis. A thread has been opened for this purpose.

Try yourself

As building FIFE and running PARPG is usually quite easy (depending on the distribution that you use in case of Linux), some users might simply want to check out the latest changes themselves instead of just staring at screenshot. As we’ve changed the path of the game folder in SVN lately, the old guide at the wiki was not up to date anymore. So in case you tried to check out PARPG from SVN in the last days and it didn’t work for you, take a look into the now updated download article at the wiki.

Combat considerations

Zenbitz spent his week on thinking how the combat system in PARPG could work. He collected a whole couple of possible options and wrote them down at the wiki. Feel free to check out the combat article there.

From sketch to actual 3d model

As pictures often speak more than 1000 words, we’ve got some visuals for you again. Concept artist JustinOperable (yes, it’s a pun) started to create a bunch of black and white character concept drawings for the project. The next step was to colorize these drawings so they could be used as inspiration for an actual ingame model. Graphics artist Sirren was the one who started to work on an actual 3d representation of such a female ingame character.

Most important: the model is still heavy work in progress; so please keep that in mind! We know that it will still need quite some work but as we try our best to keep all progress transparent, we decided to rather post a work in progress version instead of hiding it from as long as no final version of it is availble. All kind of feedback is appreciated 🙂

Black and white sketch:
Justin's black and white sketch

Colorized version:
Justin's colorized version

Work in progress 3d model:
Sirren's work in progress 3d model

That’s all for today. See you again next week!

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Don’t look back (into the sun)

Heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update. This one has been in the pipeline for several weeks and I would like to apologize for the massive delay. The original plan was to bring it to you around the 1st of April but a lot of unforeseen events occured.

ET (not) call home

While on my trip in the Netherlands I wanted to check the status of the project on a regular basis to have an idea what’s going on and to provide any help if needed. Unfortunately the WLAN connection in the beach resort where our delegation stayed was totally broken. I just had a working connection for two hours at the last evening when I moved to another bungalow where the connection was barely working (for a limited number of users).

Some delegates already arrived slightly ill at The Hague and after one week of close contact a vast number of delegates was infected as well. When I got back I felt sick and to make things even worse, it took me almost two weeks to get rid of the nastiest flu I’ve ever had. Thank god for modern medicine and antibiotics 🙂

Now that I feel well again, university started in this very week so there was not much time to take care of PARPG-related tasks either. You see how things add up :-/

Setbacks and changes

Our stance on public relations was, while staying positive, to always offer a rather realistic and honest report about our progress but also potential setbacks. Unfortunately our (now former) lead programmer icelus stepped back from his position while I was abroad. That furthermore means that our plans for a rather sophisticated story engine / AI system are on ice at this point as we rather want to tackle things in smaller steps now to avoid getting involved in something too large and ambitious. It will take some time to cope with the new situation and we’re sad that icelus left.

On the other side I’ve personally encountered such setbacks while working on FIFE. A single leaving developer does not usually make or break a project. What is important to the success of such a rather large scale undertaking is that the developers don’t give up early and stick to the project in the long run. We’ll work through it 🙂 Fortunately a new programmer – maximinus – already stepped up and is working on PARPG now. More news about his efforts later on.

Something to look at

As it’s often more fun to actually have something to look at instead of just reading about progress, here’s something for you! Graphics artist Gaspard found the time to create some nifty concept art for the project despite his tight schedule at art college. Enjoy: Gaspard PARPG concept art

Even more to look at

New programmer maximinus and graphics artist (but also writer eleazzaar teamed up to bring some visuals into PARPG. We’re still in rather early engine evaluation stage so don’t expect anything sophisticated at this point; they simply decided to play around with environment and transition tiles. You can check out the whole discussion about the topic at the forums.

Here are four little screenshots showing the progress from simple flat tiles to a more sophisticated transition layer approach:
Tiles #1

Tiles #2

Tiles #3

Tiles #4

Zenbitz galore

There would be a whole bunch of things to report about the efforts of Zenbitz after such a long news dry spell. But to save myself some time I’ll focus on two examples instead of covering all the details in this news update. He wrote down his ideas for encumbrance, inventory and clothing at the wiki; the topic has been further discussed at the forums as well. Last but not least there is a call for feedback concerning (non) action point-based combat systems: http://forums.parpg.net/index.php?topic=156.0.

Reintroducing regular news updates

While I’ll be rather busy in this semester to finish my last courses in university so I can tackle the final exams in autumn and winter, I still plan to spend time on PARPG on a regular basis. I just finished planning for my semester’s schedule and I got several hours of free time on my hands every Monday to take care of news posting duties 🙂 So stay tuned for the next news update, coming to you at Monday, 27th of April (not at the 20th, that would be too early since today is Friday and I prolly won’t spread the news about this news update at the forums where we advertize before Sunday). Have a pleasent week 🙂

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