Friday, 28 March 2008

Beware! Bears in SVN.

Archenemy @ (a Hungarian game development site) has contributed his bear creation to jcrpg under CC-BY-SA 3.0 license. It's a really nice wild bear with a moderate blood thirst. I've modded the texture of it to make a polar bear version out of it. Check the shots! :-) Meanwhile slow progress in Party Behavior window. Pressing F2 will bring it up. You can check a very preliminary version of it in the SVN.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Easter over - Some planning

I've been planning and thinking about the interaction system of jcrpg now and then right after facing the fact that I had a too much input dependent plan for it the first time I started to implement it. I've reconsidered it, and the Interception window will be reduced to a quick preencounter selection of groups to meet (in case of player started encounter -- if AI is starting an encounter AI will decide who to include in it). Instead I intend to add a so called player behavior selection that allows player to select which Interception skill will each of the characters use while moving around (e.g. looking for traps or prospecting for minerals, searching herbals, trying to cover/hide the group, tracking, collecting fruits and food). Also on this screen I'm planning to include selection for behavior regarding encounters with friendly/neutral/hostile groups - so you'll be able to set if you want to initialize an encounter at all with any of these kind of groups around you. This will greatly impact what happens to the player while moving around. Due to the relaxing period of Easter very few things were committed to SVN along with a new portrait done by Benjamin W. Schram at freegamer derivated from Scibotic's previously created portrait. I'll join the business again now when time for OS dev comes in surplus again.

I've been testing the game with the release's default config on a rather crappy integrated nvidia card (7050PV shared memory), and it's not totally unusable at a high resolution. :-) Also check this video if you don't already run the release - it's about animated gorillas and party setup.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Blog design facelift by Tranberry

You're already looking at the brand new shiny design drawn by Tranberry! He's done a great job again. Thanks, Tranberry!

Meanwhile the forum of jcrpg got another boom of change too, it's been split up into 3 subforums (General, Contribution & Development). I'm closing on the UI part as the next development part to get closer to a game-play logic available for playing actually. :-) Interception, Encounter and TurnAct pages are next to be implemented. Yesterday I've committed some UI related bugfixes and added Delete Character option to remove unneeded old characters from the list on party setup page. Beware: it deletes those files actually, so backup them in your file manager (./data/chars dir) if you'll need them later. :)

PS.: I've added a screenshot of the old design just for the memento. If you're an RSS reader don't mistake it to be the new design. :)

Saturday, 15 March 2008

The "Contributionary" Release

"UI graphics were completely redesigned including main menu, character creation widgets, on screen display. Some new character portraits were added. Code optimization for 3D and loading performance were done. World and Ecology generation configuration through XML file were developed. Some mushrooms and other vegetation appended to flora and fox re-added to possibly met fauna.. Local map was implemented and added replacing mini world map on the HUD. Sky-sphere lighting bug was fixed along with other minor bugs. Turning around camera rotation was expanded with view position changing to add a better view of the faced things around."

This was largely possible because people like Tranberry and Emmanuel contributed so much to the project. Such people keep going the free open source gaming projects go ahead, so a big thanks go out for all of them - after their name being carved on the stone tablets of jcrpg Hall of Fame!

Download test and report back here or at the forum! Also if you feel like having talent to model and contribute 3D animals or paint nice portraits, 2D small vegetations (like the mushrooms) to show the open source world how good you are at that - the Hall of Fame is just waiting for you too. All contents are going under CC or GPL license so other projects can benefit of them as well. See you at the forums! ;-)

Friday, 14 March 2008

Code contribution and UI refactor

A new contributor has appeared as a swift wind around jcrpg. Emmanuel has done a great job to externalize configuration of Ecology and World generation into XML files thus providing the long awaited method for parameterization of both World size, geography ratios, climate ratios, landmasses and a full spectrum of Ecology parameters to add percentage (per climate basis too) of likeness of an animal group to appear somewhere etc. Nice job there! A foodchain based animal population generation is being under implementation... so the need for new 3D animal models are rising again, so that we can include them in the new shiny eco-sphere of jcrpg! Modelers, get your mouse and blend something for jcrpg's free 3D media collection! ;-)

Meanwhile this all happened, Tranberry@freegamer has refactored even more elements of the UI. The whole HUD, Character generation pages, Main menu, Load icon, wow, this is a big lot of job again! :-) All things are committed to SVN as usual. This weekend you can expect a new prealpha test release coming.

PS: Almost forgot about main documents being started: architecture and gameplay concept.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Great things ahead...

But for now let's get some relaxed moments while watching the sun go down deep in the jungle under an attenuated light lit sky... let the future rest for a while... Before the storm will come.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Bug ironing out, performance tuning

Long time since last post. Well, much hours of work were put into the code in this while to make things faster, less stressful for the CPU/GPU. First, render cubes in the World has been backed up with some short time caching which boosted geography loading when entering new areas. Then a bit of caching put into GeometryBatch creation which added a big load of unload of CPU use. ;-) Performance logs inserted to many parts of the codes helped a lot. Unnecessary update render state calls were also removed from GeometryBatch creations. All this makes difference in the fluency of walking around in jcrpg. Following that, I've found a mem leak and tracked down the clues to Local Map and World Map texture updating. Now it's in the works, LocalMap is fixed with the help of this jMonkeyEngine thread. WorldMap still waits a big rewrite.

All this was ongoing while Tranberry kept up his huge amount of work hours put into jcrpg UI redesigning, and as a side work he has created two wonderful portraits. All is in SVN.