Posts Tagged writer

Gin in tea cups

Heya and welcome to yet another weekly PARPG update! This time we’ll cover a bunch of interesting topics: progress in the fields of writing, mechanics and programming, efforts to find a lead writer as well as some general remarks about the future of the technical framework that we’re currently evaluating.

Rio de hola >> PARPG

After some brainstorming on the IRC channel, an interested programmer convinced me to actually get the engine evaluation process started by using an existing FIFE client as basis for PARPG. This way we won’t need to start from scratch, got a starting point code-wise and also assets in place that can be used for testing purposes without pressuring our departmens to produce something at this point.

A copy of the FIFE techdemo Rio de hola has been added to the PARPG SVN repository. Feel free to check out the current status, so far there’s not more to see than in Rio de hola but this will hopefully change soon. A guide how to download, build and run the latest version of PARPG has been added to the wiki.

Ice, icelus, baby

The interested programmer I was talking about is icelus. He recently found the project via our advert at HappyPenguin and decided to take a look into the project. So far he’s digging through the engine code and already improved the pathfinding code of FIFE in the meanwhile.

Yoni comes to rescue

Building and running FIFE on icelus’ system wasn’t as easy as thought. Unfortunately it seems that there is a very rare problem that shows up on few linux-based systems. It’s similar to the segmentation fault issue that we faced on some systems whenever an exception was thrown. Fortunately yonibear from Unknown Horizons (a.k.a. OpenAnno, they recently changed the title of the project) came to rescue again. The proposed workaround fixed the problem for icelus, so in case you encounter a segfault on your linux box as well, check it out.

Searching for a lead writer

While we fortunately found a first dedicated developer for the programming department (plus a bunch of additional interested possible contributors), we’re still trying to find a writer who wouldn’t mind the responsibility of playing a lead role in the field of story writing. If you’re an interested writer who is a native speaker (or just as fluent in English), enjoys post apocalyptic fiction and non-cliche roleplaying games, get in contact with us! Where are all these dedicated literature students who would like to get their hands dirty?

Zenbitz strikes again

Our game mechanics guru zenbitz was hardworking over the course of the last week and came up with proposals how innate abilities could work. Furthermore he came up with a proposal for realistic wounds and damage as well. Last but not least zenbitz digged up a thesis about interactive storytelling in computer games. While the concept seems not really suited for a cRPG like this project, there are some interesting thoughts about story analysis in literature and how the concept could be applied to computer games as well. Feel free to give it a read!

Maps, we need maps!

Lamoot worked on the world map for PARPG lately. While the current version is quite large compared to other RPGs that feature a map based on real world geography (obvious example: Fallout), our approach got some advantages. We’ll focus on creating a rather small one major town / location demo before investigating how many locations we could realistically try to include in a timeframe of 2-3 years. With a rather huge map we have the chance to always add more locations if needed while setting at least a certain frame to avoid total lack of focus. You can check out the latest version of the map at the setting section of the wiki.

Content license discussion

Qubodup brought up the question what kind of licenses we’re planning to use for the assets (audio, graphics, text) we’ll create for PARPG. So far it seems that the team favours the a Creative Commons license that permits modifications to – as well as commercial usage of – the content if proper attribution is given. We haven’t agreed on either using a share-alike license or not. If you would like to know more about the Creative Commons licenses, you can check them our here. If you would like to contribute to the ongoing discussion, you can do so at our forums.

All your sourceforge account …

… are belong to us! Just a quick update about our efforts to overtake the sourceforge account of an existing project. It seems that the original maintainer hasn’t replied to the sourceforge email and now we’ll have to wait for two more weeks. If he doesn’t interfere until then, we can take over the account and start utilizing the sourceforge help wanted functionality for PARPG. I shamelessly (ab)used my FIFE account for the purpose at the moment, but it sounds like a good idea to use the project account of the project that you’re recruiting for.

FIFE development revived

Last but not least: we recently had a FIFE IRC meeting again to revive active development of the engine. LinuxDonald coordinated the meeting and there were a bunch of topics discussed and agreements reached. Most important there are three major changes planned for the next months: redesigned audio API, rewritten more efficient renderer as well as UTF8 support for pychan to ease i18n. If you’re interested in all the details, check out the meeting log at the FIFE wiki. We might actually release a new FIFE snapshot over the course of the next weeks as it has been 8 months and around 200 commits since the release of 2008.2. The ongoing discussion about the release takes place at the FIFE forums. The new release will focus on bugfixes as the FIFE team currently lacks the manpower to further flesh out the Rio de hola concept. But it might sound worse than it really is: with Unknown Horizons, Zero-Projekt and now prolly PARPG as well, FIFE development has good potential to flourish over the course of the next months.

That’s all for today, see you here next week!

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Cleaning up (before she comes)

Heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update!

We’ll start with some aspects that the team has agreed upon in the course of the last week:

  • PARPG will feature a branching tree dialogue system as found in Fallout and the Infinity Engine games.
  • Graphics will be rendered from a real isometric perspective, not using similar orthogonal perspectives such as dimetric or trimetric projection.
  • Player and NPC movement will happen on a square-shaped grid. Some other games use a hex-shaped one but art creation seems far easier for squares and we can’t foresee any obvious mechanics-related reasons why we should go for a hex grid.
  • Rivaling factions will occupy different parts of the world map.
  • Crafting mechanic as found in Arcanum. Creating custom ammunition or moonshine (as fuel or booze) are possible use cases.
  • Post-game slides to show how the actions of the player character influenced the game world. Yes we got inspired by Fallout & Arcanum again 🙂

Furthermore a lot of brainstorming was going on at the forums, wiki and especially the IRC channel in the last days. Nothing set in stone besides the point outlined above but we discussed mechanics such as food, water and sleep management as well as character classes vs. class-less ruleset and character backgrounds that you could choose at the beginning of the game.

The work on PARPG seems to come along quite well and considering that we wanted to have agreed on the basics of setting and mechanics to start recruitment in early March, we seem well on track. At the moment we’re currently trying to fill two specific positions on the team:

  • Python / C++ programmer for engine evaluation. We’ve decided to give FIFE a try but we don’t want to set things in stone before somebody, who has experience in the field, helped us with engine evaluation.
  • Writer for fleshing out the story. So far only the setting has been somewhat fleshed out, but we would appreciate help from a native speaker with an interest in writing and literature to come up with a story that suits the setting.

Concerning engine requirements for evaluation purposes: qubodup and zenbitz recently started to compile a list of such requirements at the wiki. They’re both coming from a game mechanics background so while we can compile list of features we like to see supported, we’re lacking somebody with the programming background who could actually turn the list into a real engine requirements list. Both articles should be a good starting point for interested programmers nevertheless:

Furthermore the fantastic qubodup recently awesomified our blog, forums and wiki themes. Great work qubodup! Last but not least our graphics expert Lamoot started to compile a list of other isometric games and how they’re implementing certain graphics-related features. Such a list should be pretty useful when it comes to implementing these kind of features later into PARPG: Graphics field research.

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