Posts Tagged Zimble

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 🙂

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 🙂

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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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