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News

18 August 2015

August 2015 - 0.16 RC1 Announcement, Call for Testers & Translators

The FreedroidRPG team is proud to announce the first release candidate for version 0.16! This version has been in the making for several years and contains many changes and improvements, representing the work of many contributors.

Source tarball, Windows and MacOSX installers are available on ftp.osuosl.org.

Note that our Git repository is now on GitLab.

 

Here is a quick list of some major changes from 0.15.1 you're likely to notice:

  • Translations are back! The game can now be read in a selection of languages, and the following languages are bundled with the game by default: Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, German, French, and Swedish. More languages are being worked on by volunteers, and translators (and proofreaders!) are always welcome to join us on Transifex.
  • The various interfaces of the game have been refactored and are now widget-based, allowing them to be displayed better in larger resolutions.
  • Higher-level bots will now see through the Invisibility program.
  • The arena in town has been redesigned entirely. Bots are now fought in waves and in several difficulty levels.
  • The game ends a little less abruptly, and the player has the opportunity to enjoy compliments (and other words) from several characters.
  • Background images have been added and remastered, including widescreen versions.
  • A new, rhythmical music track has been added, and can be encountered near the Hell Fortress.
  • For the modders among you, the game's dialog engine has been restructured, and now uses pure Lua and employs bindings for NPCs and the player. Many new Lua functions have been added and can be called via dialogs and events. The remainder of the game's data is now also specified in Lua, for many of the same advantages.
  • An effect timer can be shown in the Heads-Up Display by enabling it in the game's settings. No more waiting blindly for Emergency Shutdown to wear off!
  • A new terminal model has been announced, advertized to be more hardened and robust than the classic model. Many of those with security in mind have already switched to using this new model, and if you have the right clearance, you can already see secure terminals in various sensitive locations, silently guarding their secrets.
  • Water runs. From who? To where? Only the water knows.
  • Countless annoying bugs were squished and shiny tweaks were squeaked.

 

Note that this version breaks compatibility with older savegames. Specifically, new or modified map elements will not be available when playing with savegames from 0.15.1, and this may cause a crash when the game goes looking for them. To make the most of the current state of the game, please start a new character.

We want to take this opportunity and call out to testers and translators - we need your help to make the final release as polished as possible! Bugs need to be found, and translations need to be proofread by as many eyes as possible. Check out translations on FreedroidRPG's page on Transifex, show us a bug you found in the wild, try to write one yourself, or just come and talk to us. To make this the best release possible, any help and feedback is appreciated!

 

-The FreedroidRPG Team

 

18 March 2015

May 2014 - February 2015 Progress Report

Hello, and welcome to another FreedroidRPG progress report! It's been a long while without updates, as our brave devs have been fighting a siege of crazed bots, but a handful of brave messangers have managed to breach the enemy lines and bring us news of the drama that took place with regards to the game:

  • Jesusaves implemented different droid sensor types, allowing some droids to see the player even through the invisibility program. This represents a significant rebalancing of the later game stages, and a step in the direction of more varied and interesting enemies.
  • Work on translations by fluzz has continued, and now languages with wider character sets are properly supported. Thanks to Xenux, Matthias Krüger, Jesusaves, and allejok for their efforts to translate the game into French (FR), Czech, German, Portuguese (BR) and Swedish, respectively. Localization efforts are arranged by GiBy on Transifex - you can help too!
  • Scott Furry added automatic parsing and uploading of the game data to the wiki. This includes levels, droid types, NPCs, quests and ingame items. The task of maintaining the documentation of the game world has thus been lifted from the devs, who may now focus on running away from bots.
  • The lua bindings used in dialogs were improved and expanded, and now cover functions for NPCs as well as the player. By fluzz.
  • Xenux converted the management of skills to lua, increasing flexibility for content creators in defining the in-game programs the player character can execute.
  • The countdown for effects (such as paralysis, slowing and invisibility) can now be configured to appear on the Heads-Up Display, immediately above the player character (Tux). Thanks to Gregory Lozet.
  • fluzz refactored the sound engine, speeding up functions related to positional sound, adding fade-in, and refactoring the sound cache.
  • Amy de Buitléir added the Omega Island to the game world, accessible via ferry to the north of the town. What mysteries do the enigmatic denizens of this cryptic island hold? How do they fit into the violent chaos into which the world has found itself thrown? Even we do not yet know...
  • The graphics for the common 614 security droid were refreshed, enhanced and beautified, thanks to basse and Infrared.
  • Scott Furry constructed a tool to visualize the structure FreedroidRPG's dialog files, the Dialog Node Mapping Tool. As the game's plot unfolds, this tools is expected to provide writers a clearer view of the flow of the player's interaction with the story and the best direction to expand it. Graphs for the current dialogs can be seen here.
  • A bug was fixed involving the in-world mouse position not being updated after closing the dialog screen. This caused the unwanted reopening of dialogs due to too much clicking. Thanks to fluzz.
  • Text shown in the console area at the bottom of the game screen is now wrapped according to the entire width of the area. By fluzz.
  • Bullets can no longer be fired in the opposite direction to that the player is facing, thanks to fluzz.
  • Duon Khang Nguyen improved the game's automake system: third-party makefiles provided by lua (which comes bundled with the game just in case) are properly recognized and used by automake when building. Additionally, intermediate object files are no longer renamed by automake, preventing other issues with lua library linking.
  • Various enhancements and corrections to the game's dialog were made, by Xenux, Matthias Krüger, Kibergus, Jesusaves, Scott Furry and others.
  • Many performance and stability fixes and improvements, by fluzz, Matthias Krüger, Gregory Lozet, Xenux and others.

In total, 296 changes were committed since April, 2014.

And as always, we want to thank everyone who contributed and invite anyone with an idea, feedback or other contribution to contact us, open a bug or feature request ticket, or submit a patch to ReviewBoard and try your hand at bug-squashing. Who knows, you might even find your name on this list!

 

-The FreedroidRPG Team

10 May 2014

March & April 2014 Progress Report

This is FreedroidRPG's progress report for the months of March and April! Due to an unfortunate mishap involving digits, earlier we released a progress report from the wrong year, but everything's sorted now - these are a few of the notable changes that went into the game recently:

  • The main menu now contains an entry for Languages, giving access to the localization of the game; this concludes many months of continuous work by fluzz. We remind you that translation is happening over at Transifex, and anyone who wants to help can create a free account and start translating here.
  • Ammunition specifications were de-hardcoded by Xenux; this will ease localization for ammunition types, allow greater flexibility and make things simpler for developers and modders alike (in addition to paving the way to easier automatic wiki updates, a WIP by Scott Furry)
  • Gregory Lozet fixed an old bug that caused the game time to speed up after winning or losing the game.
  • Duon Khang Nguyen is working on improving the game's compilation process: the first submitted patch simplifies the build by preventing an unnecessary renaming of intermediate files, avoiding issues involving Lua library linking.
  • A corrupted waypoint connection in John's puzzle was found and fixed, thanks to Infrared and Matthias Krüger.
  • Xenux fixed two issues in the level editor: one that made selecting items on the floor challenging, and another that caused visual distortions under certain conditions.
  • Numerous improvements and optimizations were made to the game's engine, thanks to fluzz and Xenux.
  • Multiple changes and improvements to the game's dialogs were made, by Matthias Krüger.

All in all, 59 changes were committed in March and April.

And now, we'd like to thank all contributors, and remind anyone who wants to become a contributor that they have many options: multiple ways to contact us, a handy bug and feature request tracker for specific feedback, and, for patches, we have ReviewBoard. Who knows, you may even find your name on this list in the future!

 

-The FreedroidRPG Team

1 March 2014

January & February 2014 Progress Report

Hello, this is FreedroidRPG's progress report for the months of January and February! The beginning of the year has been promising despite some erratic weather, and these are only a few of the improvements that were made to the game in this time:

  • After much work by fluzz, support for localization and internationalization of the game has been re-introduced! Work in this area is nearing completion, and anyone who wants to contribute to the translation of the game can create a free Transifex account and start translating here. Translation efforts are spearheaded by Giby.
  • Several of the game's backgrounds have been remade in higher resolution and different aspect ratios, by basse.
  • Jesusaves fixed a bug that caused bots equipped with ranged weapons to cross map level borders in order to fire on targets on neighboring levels.
  • Scott Furry fixed a bug that caused the arena bots to respawn outside of the intended area and kill the arena master.
  • The player now gets a small reward for their pains after clearing the Disruptor Shield Base late in the game, thanks to Jesusaves.
  • The 543 Harvester bots that populate the desert west of the town can now drop standard bot parts. Thanks to Scott Furry.
  • We are inviting Gentoo users to install and play the game, using the improved documentation. Thanks to ZetaNeta.
  • Tutorial Tom will no longer attack the training targets in the tutorial and steal your XP. By Matthias Krüger.
  • Many other fixes and changes under the hood were made by various contributors to make the game's code a slightly friendlier place.

All in all, 168 changes were committed during January and February.

And so, we want to thank all contributors, and ask anyone who wants to become a contributor and get thanked to contact us, tell us what you want to see with a feature request or bug report, or get into the thick of things with a patch. Who knows, you may find your name in this list in the future!

 

-The FreedroidRPG Team

6 January 2014

November & December 2013 Progress Report

Hello, and a Happy New Year! The end of one year and the beginning of another is always time to stop and reflect on the past, as well as plan for the future. Throughout 2013, FreeDroidRPG developed in many areas and saw many changes, and its future is more fascinating and promising than ever before. The world is coming to life with denizens who have more ways to talk and more things to say, flowing rivers and swaying oceans, a strange new plot that is slowly being revealed, and the engine that is driving it all growing stronger and more flexible. These are some of the changes that accompanied the end of 2013:

  • Xenux added advanced logic for the refurbished arena in town: fight against waves of bots in different difficulty modes, and try to impress Mike, the arena master!
  • fluzz added Lua bindings, which will allow for easier and quicker referencing to the various components of the game in the event scripting system and new dialog engine. The first use for this framework is accessing functions used by the player character.
  • Xenux introduced item IDs, which are separate from the item name displayed to the user; this will help with translation efforts and improves code sanity.
  • Event triggers were reworked and are now simpler, more reliable and more flexible, by Xenux.
  • A bug was fixed that caused only the first six slots out of the ten in the quickbar to fill automatically as the player picked up items. Thanks to Xenux.
  • Various fixes and tweaks that make the game's engine a friendlier place were made, as well as dialog improvements, by all contributors.

All in all, 67 changes were committed during the months of November and December. 547 changes were committed during 2013.

Now, and always, we thank you, who read these reports and followed the project throughout its growth. We thank those who took part in that growth, both past and present, and welcome those who will do so in the future. That could be you, and there are many ways to contribute: contact us, submit a feature request or bug report, or a patch. You might even be featured in a progress report this year!

 

-The FreeDroidRPG Team

2 November 2013

September & October 2013 Progress Report

Hello, and welcome to FreeDroidRPG's progress report for September and October! As the seasons change, the game grows and develops, and these are some of the changes that occurred during these two months:

  • fluzz rewrote the game's engine dialog. The new engine, which was being developed for quite a while now, uses the Lua scripting language more heavily, and is expected to raise the expressive power of the game's dialogs to an as-of-yet unkown level, projected to be pretty high! Documentation of this recent addition is ongoing, as well as the process of converting the many dialogs currently in the game to the new format required.
  • Various fixes were made to the actual text within the dialogs, as well. Thanks to Matthias Krüger and GiBy.
  • The tutorial was stabilized and improved through a series of changes to the relevant map and dialogs, by Matthias Krüger.
  • The animated water in the game was improved: it flows smoother and is more visually appealing. The conversion from static to animated water with throughout the game world is nearly complete. Thanks to Infrared and Matthias Krüger.
  • Matthias Krüger fixed a bug that caused the positions of randomly spawned droids to be written to a data file when saving in the level editor.
  • Many different improvements and bugfixes were made in the game engine, by all contributors.

All in all, 140 changes were committed during September and October.

As always, we thank everyone who contributed, and call invite anyone with an idea for an imrovement to contact us, make it official on the bug & feature request tracker, or show us how you think it should be done on the project's ReviewBoard. Who knows, you might find your name in this list in the future!

 

-The FreeDroidRPG Team

3 September 2013

July & August 2013 Progress Report

Hello and welcome to FreeDroidRPG's progress report for July and August! Development of the game is continuing vigorously, and the improvements are well-felt in all areas. Here are just a few examples:

  • The two arenas in town have been merged into a grand redesigned arena, thanks to Xenux. A complete revamp of the way the arena works is in progress.
  • A bug was fixed that cause some programs not to add heat to the player. Thanks to Xenux and Bob.
  • fluzz fixed a possible build error caused by differences between the bundled Lua library used by the game and a system-wide install of an older version.
  • Clicks on the skill window while the inventory is open no longer results in items under it being picked up, thanks to Bob.
  • Xenux implemented item drop classes that can be defined per level, and that will be used by chests and barrels. This will allow more advanced or difficult levels to contain better equipment to aid the player.
  • Multiple dialog improvements, fixes and code simplifications were made, by Matthias Krüger.
  • Matthias Krüger and Xenux hunted down and slew several elusive bugs hiding in the deeper crevices of the codebase.

All in all, 38 changes were committed in July and August.

It is well worth mentioning the various works in progress undertaken by various members of the team. fluzz and GiBy are working on re-implementing support for and reviving the translation of the game to various languages; Infrared is working on making the current endgame smoother and more rewarding, as well as extending it according to the new background story proposal; and Justin Johnson is working on sound effect, possibly the area most in need of reworking in the game, which includes putting together a comprehensive sound design reference document and improving the underlying engine code.

We have also been contacted by the LibreTees project, a startup aimed at creating promotional wear and material for libre/free open-source projects; we will be working with them to bring the designs of FreeDroidRPG to a T-shirt near (and then on) you!

Finally, we want to thank every contributor, and to ask anyone with an idea for an improvement to contact us, take a look at the bug tracker, or delve into the code and resurface with an awesome patch. Who knows, you may even find your name in this list in the near future!

 

-The FreeDroidRPG Team

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