FreedroidRPG 0.15rc1 is out!

Wed Nov 23 2011

The FreedroidRPG development team is happy to present FreedroidRPG 0.15. FreedroidRPG 0.15rc1 comes almost exactly one year after 0.14.1, and brings a lot of improvements: more than 1700 changes were made! This release was done by the usual suspects but also our four Google Summer of Code 2011 students, as well as many people who made their first contribution to FreedroidRPG.

Below is a condensed list of the changes that were made for 0.15.

Engine

  • A new way of commanding your army of take-over droids is available: Multi-Bot Broadcast. Now you can issue one command to all of your droids that are on the same map level, making management of a large number of bots much simpler.
  • Loading a saved game saw a dramatic performance increase.
  • Armor rules were improved: armor gives you damage reduction. Hit/miss is handled separately.
  • The Network Mapper in-game program has been added: It displays all the enemies on the current level on the automap for a short time. Remember, you need to have the automap enabled and turned on (default key TAB) to use the skill!
  • Positional audio was implemented: now you can tell where and how far away that pesky droid is!
  • The level editor interface was improved, making the process of level creation much simpler and more intuitive: map labels, enemies and their relevant information can be placed, moved around and edited inside the editor and using the mouse, rather through a text file.
  • The user interface now properly handles various screen resolutions and aspect ratios (this is still a work-in-progress however).
  • Damage is now calculated and applied to NPCs only when the weapon actually lands, greatly improving the feeling of the slower weapons such as the sledgehammer.

Graphics

  • Tux, the player model, has gone through a makeover: it is now taller, more handsome and more plump. Furthermore, new types of animations are now supported for different types of weapons.
  • A new droid model, the Lawnmower, was recently added. Though seemingly cute and benign, it is known to be quite ferocious when angered, so... Keep off the grass! Kevin owns one.
  • The shotgun weapons now fire actual shotgun shells with pellets and spread.
  • Multiple layers of floor tiles are now implemented, enabling various combinations of transparent floor tiles.
  • The Exterminator gun is a fearsome weapon, the strongest in the game; firing it is not for the weak of character, and it now shows in its blast graphics.
  • Each add-on now has its own unique graphics.

Maps

  • Slasher Mountains and the Worker mines, the levels south of the town, have been remapped.
  • An automated robot factory nicknamed the Hell Factory was finally added to the game. It is the final level of the game.

Dialogs

  • A new character, Will Gapes, has been added to the Hell Fortress with its own quest.
  • Several new quests were added (no spoiling!).
  • Content was added to various signs throughout the game.
  • John, a new character, has been added as well as a puzzle game involving teleporters.
  • Some characters will now speak in a slightly different manner if the player is followed by a Red Guard.
  • A new quest involving a new character, Ewald's long-lost servant robot, has been added.
  • The beginning of the game (the conversation with Francis) is now more fast-paced and involves more action.
  • Chandra, the town sage, now knows more about Linarians, the player's race.

Various

  • Breakable brick and glass walls are now clickable and are highlighted when pointed at.
  • A materials tab has been added to the add-on crafting UI, specifying how much of each material the player has and how much is required to craft the add-on.
  • C-net, the town's community network, is now horribly meme-aware. Don't be tempted to run any programs you might find on it...
  • Performance improvements in OpenGL mode (up to x5!) and SDL mode, making the game playable on all computers that still run.
  • Many spelling and grammar errors, as well as other linguistic unacceptabilities have been corrected in the dialogs.
  • Many Win32-related bugs were fixed.
  • The game now starts in windowed mode by default.
  • Small memory leaks were removed (and a few new ones added!).
  • Exits and entrances to underground levels are now displayed in yellow on the automap.
  • Unaffordable prices in shops are displayed in red.
  • The widgets in the level editor are now semi-transparent for easier overview of the map, particularly in smaller resolutions.
  • The meme plague continues to claim victims across the world of FreedroidRPG, and even Kevin's girlfriend started showing symptoms of it; avoid infection, or something might happen to your base. All of them.
  • For easier testing of new graphics, obstacle and item graphics can now be reloaded without restarting the game using a key combination: Left Ctrl + Left Shift + Left Alt + G.

October 2011 Progress Report

Tue Nov 01 2011

Hello, and welcome to FreeDroidRPG's monthly progress report for the month of October! Here are some of the highlights of what's been happening:

Programming department

  • The formula for calculating the chance of an attack to hit has been changed, solving the bug where the chance to hit would go over 100%. Thanks to Sebastian Offermann.
  • Damage is now calculated and applied to NPCs only when the weapon actually lands, greatly improving the feeling of the slower weapons such as the sledgehammer. By Bryan Conrad.
  • The game no longer crashes when loading an old or malformed save file. Thanks to fluzz.

Sound department

  • Arthur Huillet fixed a potential crash when playing a positional sound with an unknown emitter or listener position.

Writing department

  • A dialog loop with Duncan's quest has been fixed by Miles McCammon. Thanks to Starminn for reporting.
  • The strange end-of-game message that is shown after the game is won has been removed, by Bryan Conrad.
  • Francis now gives a small reward to the player, depending on how helpful the player was. By Xenux.
  • Countless more spelling, grammar and language fixes in all in-game texts, by Miles McCammon and Starminn.

Some of the smaller changes made this month:

  • The town guard that is supposed to escort the player around town now does his job properly, thanks to Sebastian Offermann.
  • A bug was fixed that caused a crash when an NPC couldn't find a waypoint. Thanks to Bryan Conrad.
  • Sebastian Offermann separated the settings of hacked bots, meaning each preference can be addressed individually.
  • Xenux fixed a bug with the stamina bar which would cause it to be longer than its frame.
  • The countdown for the takeover game no longer overlays Tux's head in low resolutions. Thanks to Bryan Conrad.
  • Innumerable small bugfixes, much polishing and many under-the-hood changes in all departments by all contributors.

All in all, 46 changes were committed during October.

We wish to thank everyone who contributed to the game, as well as to urge anyone with an idea, request, criticism, bugfix, or llama, to contact us, report a bug and maybe even submit a patch, and we will wash your llama for a nominal fee. Who knows, you might even find your (or your llama's) name on this list next month!

-The FreeDroidRPG Team

Disclaimer: There is no chance in the world we will actually wash your llama.


September 2011 Progress Report

Sat Oct 01 2011

Welcome to FreeDroidRPG's monthly progress report for September! The developers are taking a well-deserved break, right after the busy period that was the Google Summer of Code, but we assure you we'll be back on our feet shortly and working hard on this great game to make it even greater! Some of the things that did happen this month:

Programming department

  • Xenux implemented a new formula to calculate the experience the player is awarded with for each level. It is explained in depth here.

Graphics department

  • The game is now properly able to fall back to non-atlas mode, thus allowing older graphics cards that don't fully support the texture atlas format to run the game nonetheless. Thanks to Józef Kucia for fixing and CB8 for reporting!
  • Each weapon in the game now has its own unique animation when wielded by the player. Thanks to Infrared.

Writing department

  • Starminn spotted and corrected some spelling and grammatical errors in the dialogs of Duncan and Tutorial Tom.

Mapping department

  • Matthias Krüger made several changes to the game's levels throughout the month to improve their functionality and appearance.

Among the smaller changes:

  • Item labels are now transparent and less obstructive. Thanks to Matthias Krüger.
  • A small (software) bug was squished that involved running out of memory in the sound cache, thanks to Józef Kucia for fixing and gorgonz for reporting!
  • A bug in the leveleditor that caused a crash when placing an enemy and confirming its default values was fixed, by Józef Kucia.

All in all, 19 changes were committed during September.

Once again we wish to thank everyone who contributed and ask anyone who has something to say, suggest, add, correct and fix to contact us, report a bug and maybe even submit a patch. You might even find your name on this list next month!

-The FreeDroidRPG Team


August 2011 Progress Report

Thu Sep 01 2011

Welcome to FreeDroidRPG's monthly progress report for the month of August!

Programming department

  • Matei Pavaluca improved the interface of the built-in level editor, making the process of level creation much simpler and more intuitive: map labels, enemies and their relevant information can be placed, moved around and edited inside the editor and using the mouse, rather through a text file.
  • Cătălin Badea changed the way the user interface is handled: instead of scaling a single image to fit the resolution, which sometimes produced ugly, pixelated images, each UI component is broken down into several pieces, enabling proper scaling and stretching.
  • The handling of NPCs and shops has been de-hardcoded, and is now easier as it does not require re-compiling the game. By Xenux.
  • The player's maximum health is now calculated using a new formula, explained here. Thanks to Xenux.

Writing department

  • Miles McCammon added some more one-liners for the droids to say while they resolve to hack every living thing into pieces.
  • The clumsy system of subdialogs is slowly but surely being replaced with the new dialog topics, by Maria Grazia Alastra and Xenux.

Mapping department

  • Matthias Krüger made many changes to the game's levels throughout the month to make them more aesthetic, accessible and orderly.

Some of the smaller changes:

  • A validator has been implemented for map labels, thanks to Józef Kucia.
  • Bryan C fixed a bug where the portrait of the droid in the hacking screen would not be aligned correctly or even shown.
  • A water beautify function has been implemented in the editor to automatically optimize the appearance of water borders. By Józef Kucia.
  • A small but noticeable delay when switching from a weapon that required one type of Tux animation to a weapon that required another was fixed, by Józef Kucia.
  • Innumerable tweaks, polishes, bugfixes and more bugfixes in all departments by all contributors.

All in all, 129 changes were committed in August.

August is only the summary of the achievements of the students who worked on FreeDroidRPG during the course of the Google Summer of Code (GSoC); for 17 weeks, our 4 students, Maria Grazia Alastra, Cătălin Badea, Matei Pavaluca and Józef Kucia worked hard on improving different aspects of the game, submitting many patches, making changes under the hood, fixing bugs and having some of their work mentioned here. A big Thank You to our GSoC students!

As always, we wish to thank every contributor, and urge anyone with an idea, request, question or correction to contact us; if you find a nasty fat bug, visit our bug tracker, and if you want to take on an issue yourself, submit a patch for it! If you do, you might even find your name on this list!

-The FreeDroidRPG Team


New Bug Tracker for FreeDroidRPG

Tue Aug 02 2011

We have recently set up a new bug and feature request tracker for FreeDroidRPG, and it can be found at

bugs.freedroid.org

This tracker is simpler and faster, and is customized to best serve our testers and everyone who wants to file a bug report or request a feature. The old tracker at sourceforge.net will remain in place until all the bugs have settled in their new home; if anything about the new tracker seems odd or broken, please open up a ticket right on it!

-The FreeDroidRPG Team