Saturday, 9 October 2010

Forum URL change. Music contrib

After my account expired unfortunately, I had to reregister, and no way to create domains anymore. :( Anyway I've chosen the shortest URL possible which is now Forum has been updated to phpBB3 3.0.7-PL1 too, as the whole server has been dist upgraded recently, and it rendered the previous db instance incompatible. Luckily an update db helped, so all the things are up and running again as before.

mvrasseli has visited us again and started to create a great new combat music track for jcrpg. Check updates here.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Back from hibernation: updating to fresh Ardor3D repo and lwjgl 2.5

Yeah, long time no 'buzz' here. I was preparing to release a unified version of latest release's patched version, maybe I will do that now that ardor3d and lwjgl are updated in SVN. A lot of changes in the Ardor3D repository, but luckily with a few really slight changes in my code jClassicRPG is alive and kicking with 'em. :) Soon to start planning and researching the dialog/quest/trade system which is the last major missing 'part' of the game to call it alpha. Ain't that cool news? It might be for those folks who would be ready for the innovated classic multi character party adventure jcrpg will aim to provide. ;P

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Anyone with Mac who succesfully tested latest fixpack?

If you happen to have tested the latest fixpack for MacOSX it would be great to hear about that! If noone reports back trouble with that I will repackage the test release this week. Check the before-last blog entry for the download details.

324 downloads so far in less than one month with minimum publicity (no Happypenguin or Freshmeat entry or other major sites yet). I'm happy to see these numbers. :) Otherwise have a nice football time or whatever if you hate soccer. :D

Friday, 11 June 2010

First online Video of jcrpg since converting to ardor3d

Qubodup @ freegamer has just uploaded a high quality (720p) video to youtube of jcrpg's latest SVN revision's playtest. Thanks qubodup, you're the FOSS demi-god recording genious! If no-one shows up with new test results reporting bugs, i'll soon repackage the 'Almost Pristine' release and republish and will do a bigger promotion @ different sites. This video nicely shows how you can explore the hybrid old-school tiled outdoors combined with smooth terrain!

Monday, 7 June 2010

MacOS hotfix for crash in shader loading

If you run into shader problems on your Mac, plese use this new fixpack (unzip in game's dir overwriting all the stuff): link. Probably other nvidia owners might be affected by this, if you get an error in your log related to 'mod' (modulo), try this hotfix.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Fix pack download is available

Fix pack for 'Almost Pristine' release is here for you to download and test!

Fixing a few things:

- MacOS nVidia crash (const int in shaders for float values are not acceptable with MacOS nv driver)
- Background terrain color flickering with nvidia cards
- Depth of field shader for lower precision cards is now working, without blurring whole screen
- Zooming unit texts are now not oversized after multiple zooming
- Adding missing binary cache for OBJ models
- Mouse look is now switched OFF when entering combat

Thanks for all your testing. Please give this fix pack another try soon, so I can roll out and announce the release later for major publicity (happypenguin, freshmeat etc.) as well...

Grab the package, unzip it in the game's folder, overwriting all (including your jCRPG-engine dir and all its content). This one is only for the latest release.

Linux intel vga quarter year release still NO-GO

No luck with the new driver release (im using the testing repo of Arch to grab it for my notebook): gma965 still crashes: java: brw_wm_surface_state.c:591: brw_update_renderbuffer_surface: Assertion `brw->has_surface_tile_offset || (tile_x == 0 && tile_y == 0)' failed.

Rant, rant, rant, why did they spoil this with crashy assertions. :/
(Commenting out the assertion, things run flawlessly. With crashes)

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Fixing technical issues

Currently working on ironing out nVidia related shader issues. Like... Depth of Field precision issues came into picture. Solved. Next thing is : light is flickering on the terrain with nVidia cards. Another fatal error with character creation is fixed. After fixing these i'll roll out another release this time with bigger publicity. Thanks for all the folks who helped to discover the problems with the new release! (especially: qubodup, tidbit, people at Hungarian Unix Portal.)

And yeah, happy 3rd birthday jClassicRPG. :D

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Help with testing and feedback

So far I've received very valuable feedback from some of those who have tested the new release. Yesterday I even uploaded a fixed package to based on some crash report.

Today tidbit reported issues with DepthOfField effect, for him nvidia + windowXP combo results in a fully blurred scene. Obviously this isn't okay. So far he's the only one having such trouble. It would be nice to have some feedback if it works for you or not. (You can switch on / off DoF in options menu.)

tidbit also had some random crashes with OpenAL bundled with jcrpg. Do you have trouble with it? So far he's the only one reporting that kind of crash.

The more feedback, the earlier these things might get fixed.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

'Almost Pristine' Release

Yes, we're ascending to the next level of our destiny through the obstacles of the great dev-eater beast of Tiredness and Desperation. We have entered the sanctuary of the miraculous Release again. Here we stand astounded and in silence, holding back breath. We are aware that something great surprising and of elemental effect may happen anytime. As we are there awaiting for some never-ending minutes, a booming sound starts to cite something strange, slowly - pressing each word. Listening carefully we try to memorize what's being told:

- Ported to Ardor3D engine, to resolve stability issues
- New buildings (by tidbit)
- New voicpacks (by various contributors)
- Bugfixes
- New secondary terrain added for large view distance
- Corrected Shadow and Depth of Field effect

Right after finishing these words, a glowing globe elevates from out of the darkness of the Sanctuary. Yeah, now you know what awaits you, jcrpg's next sneak-peek enchantment is in your hands like a crystal ball. It may be that it helps you to look into a distant Future... so let the Trial begin!

Candidates for Testing - don't hesitate! And don't forget to report back at the forums, trac or IRC chat channel.

If you wish to make the dev happy, don't forget to donate some bucks to the project through paypal (at the left side of the blog, the links positions your browser there). It will help to keep the enthusiasm high and reassure the exhausted developer. It still needs ~-$327$ (see Project Budget on the left side of the blog) to have a 0 budget regarding the music creation costs.

Please note, that the project greatly lacks female voice packs, so if you happen to be a kind lady, please stop by and create a voice pack for the game. :)

Next step in the project plan is to work out dialoges/trading/quest system, so after this technical release, we'll concentrate on gameplay elements again.

Under Macintosh you will need to run the from console as clicking it might not start it if your OSX is not configured to run it as script. Please note that most probably game won't run with Intel video cards as recent Intel GPU driver releases under Windows and Linux caused the game to stop working.

'Almost Pristine' release is out. Proper Announcments later

It's too late in the night here to write a proper release post. Anyways grab the package from the site if you feel the urge. :) Link. Proper Download/Install instructions under the Download link as usual!
PS: Quick fix for some smaller issues done...uploading a whole new package. Sorry! (Fixing: audio crash when out of channels after combat, logs are now written to User Appdata/home instead of the game directory) Going to post link in the official announcement post soon here.
PS2: Done. Link above now points to the fixed zip.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

We got highlighted. Release: almost ready, dist builder script done

The freshly refactored site of Ardor3D engine contains jClassicRPG as one of its highlighted projects. It's grand to see our humble project on the site of the great engine. The release with Ardor3D is really close, I have even produced a test tar.gz with the recently updated ant task. I've repaired some fresh smaller bugs and integrated the remaining voicepacks contributed by Bunches, Rigardi and MaximB. Thanks folks! :) The planned date of release is next monday... hopefully it will be met. I need to test things on Windows and nVidia yet and then it's ready.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Content integration, preparing for release

As the tasks related to migrating to Ardor3D are all done I've started to work towards the release. Out of two remaining content integration task just completed one: new shop and guardpost buildings (by tidbit) are now placed in towns of humans and boarmen. I still need to integrate those voicepacks that landed the contribution depot some months ago. Project soon to celebrate its 3rd birthday, hopefully with a brand new test release. :)

Monday, 10 May 2010

Ardor3d based code committed to SVN

The new official SVN root is now . jME2 based code is moved to jme2_obsolete/ branch. Qubodup, the almighty FOSS genius is already helping with testing the newly committed game code. He checked out SVN, installed maven tool to be able to compile the jCRPG-engine subproject (using 'mvn clean install' command). I've already fixed some issues and updated some documentation. If you like the idea, you can try to help test the SVN codebase this way, before the release will be out. If you have an Intel GPU I cannot promise it will run (I already wrote about this here). Most probably it won't. Nvidia and Ati should be fine. Hopefully this may change with later releases of Intel drivers (it used to work with older drivers...).

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Things are pretty close to release

Time spent on squasing the few remaining bugs and adding parameterization to the starting view distance of the new clipmap terrain (which made possible the usual arbitrary setting of the old tiles view distance) means that all of things related to the Ardor3D based release are in place now. I still want to do some profiling and updating the content hieararchy before commiting the stuff and rolling out the release. Stay tuned... :)

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

FYI: Save games and chars in user home (.jclassicrpg subdir)

Smaller news is that save games, screenshots and created characters are going to be saved in your home directory under '.jclassicrpg' sub-directory -- instead of the game's main directory's sub-directories. Packaging the release will be easier for distribution package maintainers (if there are any...I know of one package only tho' - for OpenSuSE -, but later there might be more packagers as the project gets more complete). Other lesser tweaks happened since last post, leaving around 2-3 things on the TODO list before committing and releasing the first Ardor3D version of jcrpg.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Forging a perfect weapon takes a lot of time

It takes a heap of time to get the things really polished and perfectly working. I've stumbled upon a dozen of smaller things that block the way. 80% of them eliminated, so the code is getting into shape. A few still left on the list but I hope to get those done in the next week or so. Well, just to name one heavier problem that took hours to conquer was Terrain reloading... starting at a different point than new game's origo rendered it it's origo is the saved coordinate of the player and that way it's working flawlessly.

tidbit is restlessly helping out the content side. This time a new guardpost has been raised from the ground. Thanks tidbit!

I have some bad news, some newly inserted 'assert' codes in the current stable and development version of Intel GPU driver for linux (gma965 that I know of) is making the game stop just upon starting... I hate to say, but without removing those assertions directly in the driver game won't start for you. If removed, it works okay... ATi and nVidia drivers are both working nice under Linux/Windows - except ATi's framebuffer doesnt render texture shadows (Rikard @ ardor3d pointed me to some sites were people had the same issue, thanks), so you can assume that the shadows of the foliage won't be rendered (under both Win/Linux). nVidia is perfectly fine again.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Depth of Field shader porting to Ardor3D - screenies

I've been messing with the Depth of Field render pass today, porting it from jme2 to Ardor3D. Finally it worked out quite nicely! Could find my previous fault I made when ported an ogre3d example to jme2 - near blur wasn't working. The new ported version is fully functional and a tad bit more optimal as well as the depth buffer generated by drawing the root pass is used instead of generating a new one. Focal plane, nearblur and farblur depth are all parameterized. I'll polish it a bit more. Thanks Rikard of the Ardor3D team for helping the process with many useful pieces of advice!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Clash of Terrains - we hope you like it

Texture baked realtime on terrain with TexturedGeometryClipmapTerrain is starting to get into shape. The baked texture isnt going to be of high qualty, to prevent CPU overburden. As the heights of the terrain point are exactly matching the old tiled terrain heights it blends more or less okay with the old system. In the game while walking around it's really fast. But the loading of the saved games takes about twice as long. Anyway now it's possible to see the faraway deserts, mountains etc. I'll try to look into adding some kind of vegetation to the further away parts too, but the edges wherre the detailed vegetation meets with the low detail... might look too will need some experimentation... Well the terrain still needs a proper Normal buffer calculation as well, hope to see that Ardor3D terrain codebase is going to get that someday.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

New buildings by tidbit + further testing/bugsquashing with Ardor3D version

Pleased to inform you that in the recent weeks tidbit created some nice new 3D content, namely new buildings for a temple and a shop. Thanks! Meanwhile I've been pushing the tests/validation of the ported code, squashing some upcoming problems and bugs. It looks like it is steadily becoming more and more finalized. Latest improvement was the restructuring of the directories containing textures and creating a separated media-raw hierarchy which servers as convenient base for batch converting images to the different detail levels and ultimately to DDS file format. I'm happy to tell that now 98% of the images are converted to DDS with mipmaps with AMD ATi's Compressonator and that all of these finally got their proper detail level versions (high/middle/low/low_png) obsoleting most of the textures found in the 'common' category. The DDS part was hiding some traps for me, for now I had to change to use the Compressonator instead of the GIMP DDS plugin as that one was generating DDS with missing mipmap levels somehow - interestingly it was okay under Linux + ATi, that way I didnt notice until I tested it under Windows where it presented small gaps in the texture. (Another thing that I should rant about is Intel's driver -- works under Linux but the UI part crashes under Windows + Intel GPU... this is still unresolved, funny thing is that if I downgraded to a 3 years old Windows Intel GPU driver the crash went away.)

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Migration done, next is profiling/testing

I can proudly report that conversion of code to Ardor3D is fully completed! Water reflection, particle effects, load/reload is now working nicely. Next comes testing and profiling, further stressing stability and memory consumption before I consider the whole story to be finished regarding Ardor3D. I have some performance regressions, but I couldn't yet correctly set up the use of DisplayLists with Ardor3D's SceneCompiler. BTW water reflection looks nice...

Friday, 26 March 2010

Ardor3D: Smaller things, little tweaks, maps

Got some progress again, little things standing in the way of porting were eliminated. DDS images reintstantiated this time not flipped (ardor3d's DDS loading has been recently rewritten from scratch, and it works like a charm, image flipping is now correct too). Save/Load game lacked the screencapture functionality, now that is solved as well, this time at last saving smaller sized images so save games won't take too much space.

One major thing that was successfully ported is the World map window and the Local map HUD element. Those needed realt time texture generation, and that part was nicely restructured in Ardor3D. Following their UpdateTextureExample (which demonstrates the technique how the Renderer can render directly to texture's byte buffer, partially or fully redrawing parts without reallocation), I could finally add that element to the array of ported things.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

UI is ardorized

Most of the UI and input has been successfully ported to work with Ardor3D. I'm happy to get use of the BMFont feature of a3d, which made it quite easy to turn the used TTF fontset into the non-monospace bitmap based font A3D can use. I had to use this program from AngelCode, which is windows only, but luckily it's only needed once for one font set. Porting the UI spatial picking and connecting in UIMouseAction into the trigger based mechanism of Ardor3D and connecting keyboard event into the InputBase event handling made the whole UI usabel with mouse and keyboard again. Core class of the triggers and player's camera movement is now JClassicRPGClassicControl.

Next major tasks are animated models' loading and particle systems (magical light effects and such). -- side note, still couldn't crash the engine in the native part (driver or lwjgl)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Shadows, walking around, great stability

Quick report from the field: ParallelSplit shadowmap pass of Ardor3d is unleashed along with the bloom. Most of the static content loading is working plus now a basic walk input handler with keyboard and mouse is functional. That way I could test dynamic loading/unloading of the world. Fixing some issues now it's working just like it was with the jme2 engine. A lot of things to do yet before the migration is considered complete... Great thing is, still no native part crash! :)

Friday, 12 March 2010

Static parts are starting to look quite right!

I'm still messing with the new possibilities Ardor3D terrain system adds to the pool, meanwhile I've finally ported my special micro heightmap based tile to terrain batching system to Ardor3D. It was a bit of a work, but now that I've taken care of a heap of other smaller things in the code, static parts are starting to look like they should. :) With further help from Josh and Rikard @ ardor3d I could integrate new things and resolve bounding volume issues. Now culling is working perfectly, and thus FPS rocketed to around those values I was used to under jME2, or even higher. Also I'm experiencing very good stability, so far no native part crashes neither on my Intel GPU nor the ATi GPU notebook. The memory it needs to load the initial state isn't bigger than it was with jme2, maybe even less.

After porting the old tile to terrain system I had for jme2, i'm starting to think about combining the GeometryClipmapTerrain of ardor3d with my terrain system, that way I can prevent my head from a series of aches related to object placament and such... Well, you can check the screenshot of the current state of the art - in the background you can spot how the new clipmap terrain fits (not too nicely yet) with the old detailed terrain in the foreground.

If I can manage to combine these too, we'll have the best of both worlds, new and old: almost infinite view distance for the terrain (at least the mountains and plains even if not the trees and buildings) plus the detailed view of the surroundings. The FPS / memory hit is not high/minimal with the ClipmapTerrain so far, so it's worthy to try.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Further converting to Ardor3D

Nice progress is going on here with converting the project to Ardor3D engine. I've ported Obj loader of JME2 to Ardor3D. With a lot of help from Joshua (lead dev of Ardor3D) finally I could repair the remaining problems with the migrated Geometry batching too. That two made the static object rendering mostly complete. Also the partially billboarded trees are working now. After that I managed to integrate the GeometryClipmapTerrain of Ardor3D to replace the current awkwardish method how terrain was created in jcrpg's jme2 version. Still it's very basic integration: needs a lot of tweak like texture generation, dynamic loading and even alpha holes. I've created an extreme view distance screenshot for you, but it's really not for normal use, ate a lot of memory and gave low FPS - there's need for Level Of Detail based on distance for the trees and such to make it usable later. Anyway, check the screenshots (one with very high distance, one with normal. :)

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Ardor3d test migration in progress

I'm in heavy evaluation process, taking closer look at the two alternative 3D engines for migration. Currently in a long process to convert the existing sources to use Ardor3D, to let me test how the new engine performs. Stability is the most important factor. Most of the codes in my experimental workspace are converted to Ardor3D. I could take a screenshot of the main menu. I still need to find a way to refactor the Input, the Terrain and the Audio system of jcrpg to let it work with Ardor3D's architecture. Hopefully the most beneficial will be the Terrain part, as there's a nice shader based terrain that streams data, and can produce 'megatexture' to cover the terrain. This will take a lot of time, I can foresee. But hopefully will lead to a better 3D architecture, speed and look.

If things settle down I'm planning to move to a different SVN repo, possibly googlecode. I'm a bit frustrated with SVN speed at times. Now will be the time to do so, as I'm restructuring the project while doing the migration stuff, moving the media to an upper directory, to let developers checkout less data. Also jcrpg will now build with Maven.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

New Voicepacks contributed! Twitter for jcrpg. Migration to JME3 under consideration.

Hello again! Things are slowly-slowly creeping to a spinning up here, hopefully now that I'm less inclined towards actual gaming - finishing Witcher I'll get back to business, developing the game. Right now I'm starting to consider migration from jme2 to 3d-engine jME version 3 created by lead dev MomokoFan @ jme forum. I'm looking at the project and how complete and stable it is right now before deciding to migrate or not.

But other kind folks too are relentlessly keeping things going on. For now latest great additions are two male voicepacks created by Rigardi from Austria and MaximB from Israel (author of Linux Gaming News). Both packs are of great quality, Rigardi's pack is one for a sane and fair person, while MaximB created a 'Drunken Dwarf' pack. Now we have 3 voicepacks with the previously announced female pack by Bunches that will be integrated to the game soon. Thanks, guys! :)

For your information I've opened a microblog at twitter that will be the quickest way to follow jcrpg dev progress on my side. Follow me here: It may also feature tweets about other linux related things too, so don't be surprised if you get something like: "hey, new catalyst out, more things broken" or "woohoo, new kernel is faster than anything". ;)

Friday, 29 January 2010

Testing things with ATi catalyst 10.1

I'm moving my development to a notebook with ATi GPU. First it was a bit of a PITA, and I was really scared how things were starting to look (officially unsupported videocard (HD5650mobility)), but finally... Freshly installed Arch Linux 64-bit, a little bit of manual xorg.conf editing and slowly everything got into place. The game runs nicely with openjdk6 and latest Catalyst 10.1 (from the Arch AUR build repository).

I'll try to spot the bugs in the currently used shaders under ATi and start to hunt down some other problems if they appear. If things get okay I'll start to work on designing the story/dialog/trade thingy to come so we have some goals for our next milestone, the alpha stage jCRPG.

PS: For those curious, with this card the game (high settings, shaders, 1322x768) performs around 130-160 FPS under Linux/Catalyst. Not bad, eh, from Java? :)

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Female Voicepack contribution by Bunches and Donation!

Good news in the new 2010 year! Project got a few new members on the forum! Long time lurker and tester Bri (aka dragonbait) joined us there and right after Bunches came who I had known from bit'o'moander (unquie classic RPG related forum) and chimed in with a supercool new voicepack - our first fully-fledged female voicepack ever! Many thanks to Bunches! :-)

Right after these great events just today the project received a new donation that will help to cover more of the pending costs (related to music creation). Many thanks to Greg Wilcox from the USA!