Posts Tagged maximinus

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 🙂

, , , , , , , ,

No Comments

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 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!

, , , , , , ,

1 Comment

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!

, , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

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:

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 🙂

, , , ,

No Comments