Posts Tagged seothen

Newsflash Gordon

Heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update. I’m still quite busy with writing papers for university but as I got 1.5 weeks until I need to hand in the next one, there is sufficent time to finally post an update here. Enjoy!

Project management department

Some of you might have tried to update your PARPG SVN checkouts lately but wondered why SVN reported an error. We’ve recently restructured our SVN repository so the game’s path has slightly changed. If you’re doing a fresh checkout, use this URL to just grab the game itself: http://parpg-svn.cvsdude.com/parpg/trunk/game/

For the ones who have already checked out the game in the past and would like to update now without having to download all the files again, check out this guide at the forums that explains how you can do so: SVN switch to new game path

The download article at the wiki was updated to reflect these changes as well: how to download PARPG

Programming department

In the programming department, there are a bunch of ongoing refactoring efforts. We were lucky enough to attract quite some fresh blood lately and the new guys are becoming acquainted with our code right now. While some refactoring efforts already found their way into our SVN repository, it’s still a long way to go. If you’re interested in the details, check out the programming section of the forums to get an idea of the ongoing refactoring discussions: programming department section

As we had to cope with a bunch of problems and staff changes in the programming department lately, we’ve decided to establish a so called “board of programmers” to address these kind of issues when they arise. The board of programmers will consist of three seasoned developers; bretzel, tZee & Kaydeth have decided to step up for the task. These three developers will have two main tasks:

  1. Coordinate the efforts in the department, defining the programming roadmap.
  2. Making final decisions in cases where a topic has been discussed in detail with all other programmers but an agreement couldn’t be reached nevertheless.

As every board member has one “vote” in the second case, there should be no draw situations and this new mechanism hopefully helps to decide tricky cases that turned out to be roadblockers for us in the past. In case any board member has to take a longer break from the project, the remaining two programmers and the project management will ask a candidate of their choice if he or she would like to become a new member of the board for the time being.

Graphics department

In the past, we used to rely on Blender as prefered 3d modeling package for PARPG. While we were constantly attracting new programmers lately, finding more artists who don’t mind working for free on an open source project seems far harder. Therefore we decided to change our stance concerning the 3d modeling software to use. 3d artists can now use whatever software they like as long as it does the job for them. The obvious drawback is, that we’ll have to create rendering setups for these packages so that the produced renders look the same regardless of the used software.

But we feel that it’s worth the effort; so if you’re using any other 3d modeling software than Blender, feel free to apply now as well! The best place to do so is the introduce yourself board at the forums.

3d modeler Sirren completed his first set of animations for the player character: standing idle and walking around:
Raider 270 degrees PCSRaider 315 degrees PCS

Concept artist Border created a soviet soldier, carrying a flamethrower:
Soviet flamer

Seothen continued to work on the Dr. Felix Weir concept and created a first work in progress full body shot of him:
Dr. Weir full body shot

Suzi, one of the new artists on the team, drew some props that you could be pretty useful when it’s cold outside:
Cold climate props

New 3d artist monkeyface modeled an improvised crossbow – reusing a leaf-spring – and bolts for it. And yes: he likes Fallout as well, just in case that wasn’t obvious from the first picture 🙂
Leaf spring crossbow

Crossbow bolts

Last but not least: Border created a first mockup for the graphics user interface of PARPG:

Game mechanics department

There where two main topics in the mechanics department that have been discussed lately.

There have been discussions about possible ways of implementing levelless character progression. Check out the details at the forums: character progression in PARPG

Furthermore we’ve put the map layout topic back on the agenda. We initially decided to use separate maps for indoor areas of buildings, like it was done in the Infinity Engine games. However with the recent staff changes, it seems that the still involved developers might rather favour an approach as used in Fallout: the ground levels of buildings were usually part of the map where the building resided in the first two Fallout games.

This way you could basically shoot through doors and windows and combat was quite fun. Nothing has been agreed upon yet, but the whole point is basically up for discussion again: reevaluating PARPG map layout

Writing department

Zenbitz brought up two setting-related proposals lately. Check out the state of the world and how to play the game threads at the forums.

That’s all for today. Next news update scheduled for Monday, 31st of August. See you then 🙂

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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 🙂

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

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