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


July 2011 Progress Report

Mon Aug 01 2011

Hello, this is FreeDroidRPG's monthly progress report for July! As always, the developers are working on improving the game in ways both highly visible and more subtle. This is what we've been up to this past month:

Programming department

  • Maria Grazia Alastra implemented global Lua variables, which can simplify complex operations in dialogs and are already in use in several.

Graphics department

  • The Tux and NPC animations were the latest and final additions to the club of graphic assets that utilize a texture atlas, which is a more transparent format that also yields better performance than the previous. By Józef Kucia.
  • Multiple layers of floor tiles are now implemented, enabling various combinations of transparent floor tiles. Thanks to Józef Kucia.
  • 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. Thanks to Infrared.
  • Each add-on now has its own unique graphics, by Infrared.

Writing department

  • Xenux implemented dialog topics, enabling dialogs to be subdivided into several subdialogs simply and easily.
  • The player now needs to be in possession of proper credentials in order to enter the Hell Factory. By Matthias Krüger.

Smaller, but no less significant changes:

  • The behavior of the Toggle Grid button in the level editor has been changed: left-clicking on it enables or disables the grid, while right-clicking on it changes the grid mode (full grid or partial grid). By Cătălin Badea.
  • When the screen resolution is too small to display all of a menu's content, the menu scrolls. By Hike Danakian.
  • When scrolling in the level editor, scrolling speed is consistent regardless of FPS. By Józef Kucia.
  • A bug preventing waypoints and floor tiles from being dragged on to the northern and eastern borders of a level was fixed. By Matei Pavaluca.
  • A bug was fixed that enabled selection past the last item in the top row in shops. Thanks to Samuel Pitoiset.
  • It is now possible to load unfinished nethack games in c-net. Take frequent breaks! By Miles McCammon.
  • Many, many other bug fixes, tweaks, polishing and applications of duct tape.

All in all, 114 changes were committed in July.

July was exciting indeed, and we wish to thank everyone who contributed and helped improve the game. If you have an idea, something that bugs you or even an actual patch, don't be afraid to contact us and talk about it (and of course submit the patch!) You might even find your name on this list!

-The FreeDroidRPG Team


June 2011 Monthly Progress Report

Fri Jul 01 2011

Hello, this is FreeDroidRPG's monthly progress report for June! It's summer for those of us living in the Northern hemisphere, but the devs are nonetheless working through the scorching heat (or not) to bring you a better game. Here are some of their achievements in the past month:

Programming department

  • A workaround for a system lockup or broken rendering experienced by users of some Mesa driver versions has been implemented by Arthur Huillet.
  • Pavaluca Matei implemented drag & drop support for waypoints, for easier creation of levels.
  • Support for events triggered by the death of a NPC has been implemented, thanks to Xenux.
  • A level exit event has been implemented, along with a first use-case in the quest involving Ewald's 296 droid. By Maria Grazia Alastra.

Graphics department

  • Obstacle graphics have been moved to their own texture atlas that is generated when the game is compiled, thus improving performance. Thanks to Józef Kucia.
  • Graphics reloading now includes floor tiles, and works in SDL mode too. By Józef Kucia.

Mapping department

  • Xenux added a disused stockroom level and a mini factory to repair the player's equipment.
  • Beware of surprises and traps in the Hell Fortress! Thanks to Matthis Krüger.
  • Various small improvements and tweaks have been made in all levels, by Matthis Krüger.

Writing department

  • JK Wood improved and standardized some of the grammar and spelling in various dialogs.

Some of the smaller changes made:

  • The game now detects automatically what resolutions are supported by the screen, replacing the hard-coded list that was previously used. Thanks to Bryan Conrad.
  • The game window is now centered on the screen on startup, thanks to Bryan Conrad.
  • The lines connecting special waypoints in the level editor are now colored in red, for easier recognition and handling. Thanks to Pavaluca Matei.
  • Innumerable bug fixes, improvements, tweaks and cleanups under the hood that make the game faster and more stable.

All in all, 110 changes were committed in the past month.

That concludes the month of June; once more, we wish to thank each and every contributor for adding to the game, and urge everyone who wants to do the same to contact us or even drop in a patch. Who knows, perhaps next month your name will be on this list!

-The FreeDroidRPG Team