Posts Tagged gaspard

Towards a busy summertime

Welcome to yet another PARPG update! After the storm the project is still afloat, but let’s start from the beginning.
First of all, we assumed the only way to continue would be with headless type of management. At least until someone with proper management background or skill comes along or someone takes enough initiative to become the de facto project lead. There have been some substantial changes made to the way we operate to accomadate this. We all know the current state of the project and the direction that PARPG is heading in and so our duties are more elastic now. There is some infrastructure, mindstate and workflow mess that needs that needs to be taken care of. We all intend to seek out things to do or wait until some pop up for us. We will all help each other, rely on each other and support each other in our work; communicate what we need, expect or what would help to make progress. No one and no task is to be left alone.
With these conclusions in mind, the project is aiming to release a playable demo ASAP. Playable in this case means a working basic quest engine – so that player would be able to solve a simple beer quest.Β Beliar is making big leaps forward in pursuit hit this goal. During only last week he fixed some issues with saving the game state, add a new “Look” option to the inventory items, cleaned up the code just in case someone will show up.
When some of us are gone, what happened in 2D department you may ask? Well, its not as 2D-ish as you would expect :D. Gaspard made a proposal for a new quest “Radio Gaga”. JustinOperable is trying to step up to fill a major void in the team and is attempting to learn Blender so heΒ can make 3d models for the project until a more skilled modeler comes along. We also have our first three, trivial GUI-related sound effects proposed. Also, two of us (JustinOperable and I) worked to write this entry. And a little injection of new 2D artwork was made, mainly new inventory items.
Qubodup was kind enough to cover our progress with his video (and helped to post this entry too :)). You can watch it here:

PARPG – Alpha Version of open source Linux Post-Apocalyptic RPG

Whats with the project then? Not “barely afloat” like it was in April. Not stalled or ceased. Yes, yes, we are alive and kicking.
We still need you, dear reader. Any experienced pair of hands cannot be overvalued. We have a whole world to create, almost every quest, phrase, location or item needs your invention to happen.
Everyone is also encouraged to play dice with UH-Guard. Lets keep the forums and our dialog around the project alive πŸ˜‰

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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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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

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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 πŸ™‚

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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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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All I ever want …

… is just to overthrow the government. Heya and welcome to yet another weekly PARPG news update! This weeks update is heavily packed with the results of IRC developer meetings that took last Friday.

Programming department

The original plan was to report the results of the programming department IRC meeting that was meant to take place today. Unfortunately not all programmers did make it in time, so the meeting is postponed for now. We can hopefully find a new date for it soon as there are a lot of code design-related questions to be discussed. As soon as we’ve agreed upon a replacement date, I’ll post a short notice at the blog!

Graphics department

But now our visual magicians! At first we would like to welcome a new concept artist on the team: Seothen. He recently found us via our advert at the gamedev.net forums and decided to create a first character portrait for us. Enjoy Dr. Felix Weir:
Dr. Felix Weir

Seothen is currently looking for suggestions what kind of outfit Dr. Felix Weir should wear for a full body shot. In case you would like to provide suggestions, head over to our forums and let us know!

3d artist Continuum decided to donate a bunch of his models that he had originally created for Fallout mods to PARPG. Some of them feature textures from cgtextures.com so we’ll need to retexture them to avoid license trouble. The cgtextures.com assets are released under a license that is incompatible with our chosen favourite CC 3.0 BY-SA. Anyway, here’s a shot of one of his models, more can be found at a thread at the forums:
Tank

Concept artist Gaspard created three new character drawings over the course of the last week. Here’s an Ex-Soviet soldier, now working as a hunter; more at the forums as well:
Ex soldier, now hunter

Blender modeler Lamoot got inspired by Zeli’s improvised weapons and started to work on an ice axe melee weapon. Still untextured, but there you go (and of course, there is a thread about it at the forums):
Untextured ice axe

And here’s yet another visual teaser for you: 3d artist Sirren created a Nagant revolver for you and he’s open to all kinds of feedback:
Nagant revolver

The vast majority of the new 3d models can be already found in our Subversion repository. However not all assets are properly documented with LICENSE files at this point. You can get an idea which models are problematic due usage of cgtextures.com assets by taking a look at the trac changelog though.

As we had so many new 3d models and pieces of concept art that were created by our graphics department over the course of the last week, we couldn’t show you everything in this news update. If you don’t want to miss anything, check out the updated gallery at the wiki.

Game mechanics department

The IRC meeting that took place last Friday was originally meant to be a pure writing department one. However as writing and game mechanics can be closely linked together, we discussed a couple of game mechanics-related questions as well.

We’ve argued about the potential appearance of children in the game and if the player character and NPCs should be able to kill them. As the most of us are fans of RPGs that feature choices and consequences, we agreed upon an approach similar to Fallout: there are children, you can kill them but there will be (sometimes rather severe) social consequences of such kind of behaviour. Furthermore also usage of drugs as game mechanic was discussed. PARPG will not feature any superpower drugs; drugs will rather give you a small egde in a specific situation at cost of rather drastic disadvantages. We think we can balance things pretty well and avoid overpowered drugs e.g. by giving them a high addiction rate. There will be rather few chemical prewar drugs; home-distilled pre- and postwar alcohol (moonshine) will be a lot more common.

For the ones of you who played a pen and paper session of Call of Cthulhu: we’re currently exploring how well stress as gameplay mechanic would work. At the moment this is still in the brainstorming stages so don’t get too excited but in case we decide to actually implement it in the game, it could work similar to the sanity points system of CoC. You could combine this with choice and consequence in dialog as well: a totally stressed character might lose temper and freak out, dramatically changing his options in dialog with other characters.

Besides the brainstorming at the meeting, Zenbitz started to work on a proposal of the state of the game world as well as what kind of characters stats should be featured in PARPG. Fell free to join the discussion at the forums.

Taking a shot at contributing to a new field of work, artist Gaspard started a thread how barter economy should work in PARPG.

Writing department

As already mentioned above: the first game mechanics and writing department meeting took place recently. As we’ve discussed quite a lot of aspects and I can’t cover all of them to full extend, please check out the results as well as the full meeting log if you’re interested in any details.

Most important newsworthy piece of information concerning the writing department: we currently have two promising storyline proposals in the works. One of the main differences between them is the nature of climate change and how the postwar societies (fail to) cope with it. One storyline proposes that the climate is getting colder and colder, while the other one focuses on thawing and how it affects the game world.

As we have to decide for one or another storyline in the end, the plan is to have a public discussion at the forums about both proposals. Each side should have the chance to present their proposal with pros and cons and furthermore elaborate on the gameplay that they would like to implement following this proposal. Furthermore I’ll try to get in contact with a climatologist to get some feedback which storyline might be more realistic; it might turn out we can’t find a climatologist or that neither scenario is scientifically realistic, but it’s worth a try. In the end the opinion of the to be found climatologist will be one argument amongst several others; while we care about realism to a certain extend, the storyline should be interesting and challenging for the player so realistic gameplay is not meant to be a principle for its own sake.

The proposed roadmap concerning the storyline is: give each side two weeks to flesh out their their proposals and present them to the community at the forums. After that we’ll give everyone one week to explore pros and cons of each one and to make up there mind and will try to agree upon one storyline after that. The next step will be trying to incorporate compatible aspects of the storyline that was not chosen if possible.

Last but not least: mvBarracuda (read: I) found out that you can actually do something worthwhile with a degree in modern history. As we’re currently exploring how World War III broke out, he volunteered to use his super history skills to come up with a historically somewhat realistic storyline for the branching of history in PARPG and how WWIII emerged. Stay tuned πŸ™‚

That’s all for today. See you next Monday (or maybe Tuesday, in case the programming department meeting is rescheduled for next Monday) πŸ™‚

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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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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I am the rain

Yes! It’s Monday again, that means it’s time for yet another news update πŸ™‚ As always: lots of progress over the course of the last week so I’ll keep things short and you simply click through the various links if you find a topic of interest.

We want you for PARPG

First and foremost PARPG seems on a good way lately. We got now developers involved in the writing, game mechanics, programming, graphics and project management departments. As the needed infrastructure is in place as well, we would like to expand now by finding additional contributors for the project. We’re currently especially searching for:

  • Musicians: composers & sound effects engineers.
  • Graphics artists: 3d modelers (Blender user prefered) & concept artists.

If you would like to get involved in the project, check out the contribution guide at the wiki and get in contact with us at the forums or the IRC channel. In case you don’t have an IRC client installed on your system at the moment, you can join the channel via your browser by clicking on this link: http://irc.parpg.net.

First Blender rendering setup in SVN

Our graphics expert Lamoot created a first rendering setup in Blender for testing purposes. Feel free to check it out in the SVN repository. Furthermore an article about possible inspirational graphical references has been compiled and the graphics field research article has been extended.

PAR – the PARPG asset repository

We’ve been searching for a software solution for artists to contribute to the project without forcing them to get used to the Subversion repository. The number of free digital asset management solutions out there is rather limited but we found the interesting ResourceSpace application and it looks like just what we’ve been searching for. Fortunately one of our new programmers (more of him later on) volunteered to set things up for us so that you can now access the PARPG asset repository at http://assets.parpg.net. If you’re interested in the details and the rationale of using a digital asset management solution as addition to the existing SVN repository, check out the art discussion thread at the forums.

Programming department guidance

Besides some ultra secret plans for story engine (read: check the wiki if you’re interested in the details), icelus invested quite some time over the course of the last week to flesh out documentation how to get started for interested programmers. If you’re considering to get involved in the programming field or are just curious, check out the code structure and the code design workflow proposals as well as his additions the contribution article.

Tie joins the gang

Reinforcements for the programming department have arrived! Tie is a Python programmer from Sofia who hasn’t only sponsored the server for the PARPG asset repository but he’s also already getting his hands dirty with coding. He recently refactored and extended the Rio de hola code for our needs.

Furthermore he’s currently working on a playground for the story engine. It’ll be based on PyGame to give the writers a chance to play around with the story format. As we already got two developers involved who are running Mac systems, using FIFE for the playground wouldn’t have been a good solution at this point. FIFE builds on Mac systems in theory but the build process itself seems to be awfully complicated. By using PyGame for the playground, we can give the writers something to get their hands dirty with while we can try to find a Mac maintainer in the long run who can try to come up with easier to follow build instructions for the platform. If you’re interested in helping out testing FIFE on your Mac system and you actually also got a Linux development background (otherwhise frustration is bound to happen), please get in contact with us.

Retain an overview

With all the new developers contributing to the project lately, it’s important to retain an overview to avoid chaos. We recently started to restructure our ToDo list and added a section for milestone planning now there as well. The idea is that the developers of each department add the important tasks to the corresponding milestones so contributors from other fields of work have a good idea what’s currently being worked on and which tasks still lie ahead of us before we can tackle the next step.

GUI sum-up

Another new contributor is Gaspard, who currently compiles a list of all suggestions for the graphics user interface of PARPG. There was quite some lively discussion at the forums about the topic lately so he decided to make the next step and is currently summarizing the concepts at the wiki. Feel free to check the article out or even contribute to it.

Game mechanics update

You’re right: a PARPG news update is not complete if it lacks the weekly dose of game mechanics fun. Zenbitz has been on a design spree again and wrote down his concept for use and study-based learning and also compiled a catalog of possible item types that might appear in PARPG.

Next news update coming soon

The next news update will already come to you at Friday. It might be a pretty short one as I’ll be quite short of time this week due preparing a travel to The Hague. I’ll be attending an United Nations simulation event entitled WorldMUN. The event will start next Sunday and end at Saturday, 28th of March. That’s the reason for the early news update at Friday as well. Next news update after that is scheduled for Monday, 30th of March though it just seems like a great opportunity to post something at Wednesday, 1st of April as well. We’ll see πŸ™‚

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