Friday, 29 February 2008

Local Map born

For the ease of wandering around the on screen world map has been substituted by the newly coded LocalMap. This one shows the nearby terrain of the same height level the player walks on. You can easily spot blocking trees and water around without turning. Later this one will be rather useful inside - let's say - a labyrinth or currently inside the mountain caves. ;-) Meanwhile the fox has been added again to the possibly spot and encountered animals. It was created and contributed by KhaaL@freegamer. Again, this all is inside the SVN repository.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Contributions, contributions, contributions

Well, o, well, free game dev community is doing a really good job and it's getting better every day - jcrpg benefits a great lot of it. So thanks for all you people who contributed around! :-) Leonhard for his shiny new portrait (already in the last release, and one in the works), Tranberry for a fresh new main menu and a bunch of jcrpg related logo versions, texts and banners, plus the icon images made yesterday. I'm really starting to believe in the power of the open source game development community - what could be done to an operating system, can be done to the gaming if we do it seriously even if having much fun while doing so. There are already a plenty of open source games out there in continuous betterment, some going back to years... so it's a fun thing to ride this tide.

Hard rocky road for jcrpg too but I'm starting to believe it's viable even in the middle term. Check the awesome menu shot for now. And yes, some minor optimizations have been added to SVN, maybe can result in a performance bonus of 10%-15% - new config options added for switching of logging and more precise tree detail configuration.

Project still in need of 3D and 2D contributions. All will go under open free media license (CC,GPL) - building other possible current and later free open source games, not only jcrpg. Check the forum for details of what's needed the most.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

The "Winter Killer" release is out

"Main menu added with working Save/Load/New Game options. Sounds and in game music added along with the new Audio System. Character generation screens with many skills and classes along with currently 4 new races were added. Party setup for new games is working now. On screen party portraits view to visualize your party was added. A set of portraits was added for use with the character generation."
Download, test and report back here or at the forum. :-)

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Skills under tuning

The screen for skill tuning of char creation is nearing its completion. Much hacking of UI elements and some tweaking of the underlying class hierarchy of skills, persons and professions were executed. Also I patched up my Eclipse IDE to prevent crashes, and decided to switch back to AMD64 bit JVM 1.5, using 1.6 resulted in often crashes with Eclipse. Otherwise I run the game with JVM 1.6 with no problems, so I recommend you to use 1.6 although game runs with Sun JVM 1.5 too.

One more important thing to mention is that I've begun to use the new language utility + more accentuated. Still many labels are hardcoded in Java, but I plan to support multilingual interface with the possibility to use localized later.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Hard work put into UI - Character Creation maturing

Let the screenshots speak. I'm too tired at the moment after working on jcrpg's UI widgets and character creation screens for hours. :-) (There's been some nice sound additions for animals into the game committed into SVN. Check the latest SVN for howling wolfs and the wild gorilla and all the UI improvements for New Game subscreens.) PS.: Missing Charisma and Karma added to attributes this morning - before you'd complain. :-)

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Sounds like a misery

Adding some sounds to the game like walking resulted in problems - if sounds are too many too close to each other some of them are not played. Currently trying to fix this thing. Sounds I've found at the fine site It's great to have'em in the game, the world feels to start to expand again into another dimension. :-)

Friday, 15 February 2008

Music added to Main Menu and Game View

Music! I've added some of my old XMs (xtended mods - 'old' file format for multi channel tracked music) to the game's SVN repository as .ogg files. Also created AudioServer class for audio operations which is now wrapped around jME's audio extension library. It plays .ogg and is rather professional and easy to use. Can stream as well! :-) The music was converted to .ogg files, and is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works. I hope it won't scare you away totally. ;-) The 'game view' track is currently for testing purpose to see if there are or not problems with audio performance during heavy loads. Seems to work okay on my 1.6GHz single core. :-) You can download and listen to them here, or check SVN for the in-game experience!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Constructing the New Game screens

Started to tread the path to a new game with a created party. This is useful for several purposes: this will enhance EntityMember code wrapped around attributes and skills and such, will create the base class/race concept of jcrpg, and also makes necessary to create java code for complex input UI elements like buttons, lists, image selector, labels etc. All of these things are interesting I think, I enjoy creating the new concept of screens and internal mechanics. :) PS: I forgot to mention that the intent is to create a UI that is easily usable through and only through keyboard. ;) (I know, I know, but there is and will be a big lot of thinking how to make this comfortable, easy to use.)

Sunday, 10 February 2008

UI for the party - 2D portraits needed

I was doing some kind of prototyping for character portrait display on the HUD. It's checked into SVN, but really it does not relate to anything coded as characters and classes, just a plain UI coding with hardcoded image paths and such. But I will publicize it, so to let people know that jCRPG is now in need of 2D fantasy portraits for the characters! As you can see I've used public domain portrait paints not really related to fantasy or classic RPGs to demonstrate how the screen will look alike (more or less, :-) as there will be some more gfx for HP and such bars and some more frames for it).

So hereby I call classic RPG fans with some major or minor talent in 2D painting to the cause! If you can, please, create some portraits, share it with us and release it under CC-by-sa / GPL or other free license! You can upload things at the contribution forum after registering to it. If you can point out already created fantasy portrait ( or pictures containing quality human(oid) faces :-) ) media under free license, don't hesitate to share it here as a comment or at the forum.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Xstreamely fast development for Save/Load

Java is powerful and robust. Now again it's demonstrated with the help of XStream the extremely easy to use XML serializer under BSD (opensource) license. Thus with a little care GameStateContainer is converted to an XML hierarchy containing all data and reading it back is just another use of XStream. I had to add some Java "transient" keys here and there to avoid serialization. Now a "single slot" save/load is available, with zipped XML save file. I will soon improve it to multi slot save-load which is more comfortable for the generic use. But the proof of concept is ready again. There's a pitfall although - if Java class fields and hierarchy changed the old save/game becomes incompatible with the new game loader. Anyway I think it will work great when jcrpg becomes stable but this is a very important thing to care about later - plan carefully the gamestate classes and only change them when its truly necessary.

All this is checked into SVN repository. Brave ones can test it. You can continue your wandering around the world if you had to quit previously but saved the game. :-D

PS.: multislot save/load ready in SVN, check the screenshot.

About the look and all

theotherhiveking one of jcrpg's oldest donor of models and fan has raised a question about the look of jcrpg. Thinking about it while answering I happened to find it important to clear this thing up in a more highlighted way, in form of a blog post quoting the thing.

"...make the graphics prettier.. actually al those smalls bumps look really bad. I would make them a LOT bigger, not taller.
Also smoothing would help, mountains look like pyramids..."

"Mountain look might be improved later but the classic cubic tiling used in jcrpg definitely adds a cubish or pyramid like look for many things.

The bumps cannot be really bigger, because tiles that make the soil are again smaller cubes, it cannot be improved programatically, and neither would fit the classic style jcrpg aims at. So it will never look like modern RPGs, because it's not a goal of jcrpg."

So it might turn down some people that jcprg is aiming at a style that is non-realistic or modern enough and in general can be found weird, but all the architecture and programming of the game is so much wrapped around 3d cubic tiling of the classic genre style (Bard's Tale, Wizardry series) that it cannot really deviate into a direction of the modern 3D buildup of games like Oblivion and such. Hope it won't scare away people. Maybe it is something different than the current style and main stream, but I'm really optimistic that this gives a strong character to the game that actually can be loved if you get used to the style.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Main Menu, GameState and such

I've added main menu to the game, pressing F10 brings it up. You can restart your wandering around now, jcrpg reinitializes 3d core and game state when doing so. On someone asked for screensaving button, I've found that jME can bind it easily to a key, so I've set F12 for that purpose. You can use it to make shots of the game. It will save a png in the root dir of the game. GameStateContainer class was created to contain all the things that should be saved and loaded in the game. Refactored much of the code to add it. Now I'll add save/load to/from XML file format, and right after I'll start to create the first primitive version of character creation pages - nothing serious but we are approaching a state where we cannot go further without attributes and skills.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

The "Animal Outside" Release

It's been a while. Well, I've stabilized positioning of encountered beings, put some turning to face the player in it and fixed some things here and there like adding an encounter acknowledging dialog (first primitive interactive menu in the game :-) ). So I thought it's time to unleash it. There's plenty of things to code that opened up while connecting things together in Ecology/Entity*/J3DMovingEngine/PlayerTurnLogic classes, so hard work ahead...closing up on encounter choices, skills, handling danger and combat situations...

Headlights: "Ecology System and ecology generation with 3 type of animal packs (gorilla, wolf, warthog) was added, Encounters' system draft version was implemented, World geography generation was boosted with Cave and River addition, Animated /rigged model loading (Gorilla), Text box log and choice box window added to UI elements, World map colorization was extended, 'UI ruining shadows' bug fixed."

Download, run and report back! ;-) See ya!

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Draft version of Encounter in SVN

You can check it out. Very simple rules of grouping and such but it gives a hint how it will look alike. 3D encounter visualization very primitive version is also in SVN. Each turn the units that you may face will be added to the 3D scenario while previous turns' units are removed. They will walk in circles and no calculation for surface and such. But I count it as the first dynamic game play experience because when it will get complete it will work mostly like that draft version: walking, reaching next turn, engine counts encounter possibilities, player faces encounters deciding what to do, doing friendly or hostile acts, reaching end of encounter, walking ... ad infinitum or death. :-) and the same applies for AI encounters between the non-player units.

...and so happened that jcrpg developer was as brave as to say jcrpg reached an important theoretic milestone. Soon(er or later) a release will follow too.