November & December 2013 Progress Report

Mon Jan 06 2014

Hello, and a Happy New Year! The end of one year and the beginning of another is always time to stop and reflect on the past, as well as plan for the future. Throughout 2013, FreeDroidRPG developed in many areas and saw many changes, and its future is more fascinating and promising than ever before. The world is coming to life with denizens who have more ways to talk and more things to say, flowing rivers and swaying oceans, a strange new plot that is slowly being revealed, and the engine that is driving it all growing stronger and more flexible. These are some of the changes that accompanied the end of 2013:

  • Xenux added advanced logic for the refurbished arena in town: fight against waves of bots in different difficulty modes, and try to impress Mike, the arena master!
  • fluzz added Lua bindings, which will allow for easier and quicker referencing to the various components of the game in the event scripting system and new dialog engine. The first use for this framework is accessing functions used by the player character.
  • Xenux introduced item IDs, which are separate from the item name displayed to the user; this will help with translation efforts and improves code sanity.
  • Event triggers were reworked and are now simpler, more reliable and more flexible, by Xenux.
  • A bug was fixed that caused only the first six slots out of the ten in the quickbar to fill automatically as the player picked up items. Thanks to Xenux.
  • Various fixes and tweaks that make the game's engine a friendlier place were made, as well as dialog improvements, by all contributors.

All in all, 67 changes were committed during the months of November and December. 547 changes were committed during 2013.

Now, and always, we thank you, who read these reports and followed the project throughout its growth. We thank those who took part in that growth, both past and present, and welcome those who will do so in the future. That could be you, and there are many ways to contribute: contact us, submit a feature request or bug report, or a patch. You might even be featured in a progress report this year!

-The FreedroidRPG Team

September & October 2013 Progress Report

Sat Nov 02 2013

Hello, and welcome to FreeDroidRPG's progress report for September and October! As the seasons change, the game grows and develops, and these are some of the changes that occurred during these two months:

  • fluzz rewrote the game's engine dialog. The new engine, which was being developed for quite a while now, uses the Lua scripting language more heavily, and is expected to raise the expressive power of the game's dialogs to an as-of-yet unknown level, projected to be pretty high! Documentation of this recent addition is ongoing, as well as the process of converting the many dialogs currently in the game to the new format required.
  • Various fixes were made to the actual text within the dialogs, as well. Thanks to Matthias Krüger and GiBy.
  • The tutorial was stabilized and improved through a series of changes to the relevant map and dialogs, by Matthias Krüger.
  • The animated water in the game was improved: it flows smoother and is more visually appealing. The conversion from static to animated water with throughout the game world is nearly complete. Thanks to Infrared and Matthias Krüger.
  • Matthias Krüger fixed a bug that caused the positions of randomly spawned droids to be written to a data file when saving in the level editor.
  • Many different improvements and bugfixes were made in the game engine, by all contributors.

All in all, 140 changes were committed during September and October.

As always, we thank everyone who contributed, and call invite anyone with an idea for an improvement to contact us, make it official on the bug & feature request tracker, or show us how you think it should be done on the project's ReviewBoard. Who knows, you might find your name in this list in the future!

-The FreedroidRPG Team

July & August 2013 Progress Report

Tue Sep 03 2013

Hello and welcome to FreeDroidRPG's progress report for July and August! Development of the game is continuing vigorously, and the improvements are well-felt in all areas. Here are just a few examples:

  • The two arenas in town have been merged into a grand redesigned arena, thanks to Xenux. A complete revamp of the way the arena works is in progress.
  • A bug was fixed that cause some programs not to add heat to the player. Thanks to Xenux and Bob.
  • fluzz fixed a possible build error caused by differences between the bundled Lua library used by the game and a system-wide install of an older version.
  • Clicks on the skill window while the inventory is open no longer results in items under it being picked up, thanks to Bob.
  • Xenux implemented item drop classes that can be defined per level, and that will be used by chests and barrels. This will allow more advanced or difficult levels to contain better equipment to aid the player.
  • Multiple dialog improvements, fixes and code simplifications were made, by Matthias Krüger.
  • Matthias Krüger and Xenux hunted down and slew several elusive bugs hiding in the deeper crevices of the codebase.

All in all, 38 changes were committed in July and August.

It is well worth mentioning the various works in progress undertaken by various members of the team. fluzz and GiBy are working on re-implementing support for and reviving the translation of the game to various languages; Infrared is working on making the current endgame smoother and more rewarding, as well as extending it according to the new background story proposal; and Justin Johnson is working on sound effect, possibly the area most in need of reworking in the game, which includes putting together a comprehensive sound design reference document and improving the underlying engine code.

We have also been contacted by the LibreTees project, a startup aimed at creating promotional wear and material for libre/free open-source projects; we will be working with them to bring the designs of FreeDroidRPG to a T-shirt near (and then on) you!

Finally, we want to thank every contributor, and to ask anyone with an idea for an improvement to contact us, take a look at the bug tracker, or delve into the code and resurface with an awesome patch. Who knows, you may even find your name in this list in the near future!

-The FreeDroidRPG Team

May & June 2013 Progress Report

Mon Jul 01 2013

Hello, this is FreeDroidRPG's progress report for May and June! The most notable event that happened throughout this time period is that long-time project manager Arthur Huillet has officially left the position after nearly 8 years of leading the team and the game to the successful state they are in today. We thank Arthur for all those years of guidance and vast improvements, both to the game and to those who worked on it, and wish him all the best in all his future endeavors. It is unanimous among the team that the project simply will not be the same without him (the average developer age, for one); we can almost imagine the game itself protesting, trying to keep the memory of Arthur inside of it...

But, well, other things also happened! Here's a short list of the highlights:

  • Xenux has worked to improve the game engine through converting various modules into Lua in order to make them more accessible to content creators. This includes events that are triggered when obstacles are interacted with by the player, reworking the item specifications and refactoring skills.
  • Another variation of animated water has been added, as well as sand floor edges that will replace the current static water-and-dirt tiles, utilizing floor layers. Thanks to Infrared.
  • An exploit was fixed that allowed finishing the dilithium quest without collecting sufficient crystals, by Matthias Krüger.
  • Obstacles are now selected by their name rather than by a number assigned to them by the game, making it easier to add and manage obstacles for contributors and making the code a little more sane. By Xenux.
  • The player now receives a proper explanation about the Red Guard escort in the town. Thanks to Xenux and Matthias Krüger.
  • Eino Keskitalo detected and fixed a documentation error where the package libjpeg-dev wasn't included in the dependencies for Ubuntu.
  • Many small improvements to various areas of the game world as well as dialogs and scripting, by Matthias Krüger and Xenux.

In total, 78 changes were committed in May and June.

Once again we wish to thank everyone who contributed, and ask anyone who wants to improve the game with anything from an idea through a patch to a typo fix to contact us, visit the bug tracker, or try your hand at fixing things in a patch. You may even find your name in this list some day!

-The FreeDroidRPG Team

March & April 2013 Progress Report

Wed May 01 2013

Hello, and welcome to FreeDroidRPG's progress report for the months of March and April! We've had two stormy months, marked by a vicious attack by a devious hacker that added big, red frightening text to our home page, an attack which we've held off successfully thanks to the team's ingenuity and resourcefulness, and by a smooth transition to SourceForge's new git repository setup. The game itself wasn't left to gather dust on a shelf, either, and this is a list of some of the major changes:

  • Mike Fleischmann changed the way the repair skill works: the chance of fully improving an item steadily increases with the skill level, and if the level is at its maximum, the player has a small chance of either damaging the item or improving it. Additionally, the repair manual (which upgrades the player's repair skill) has been released for sale by the game's NPCs.
  • Until now, the only obstacles which could have been "opened" and have item contents were chests. This was changed and the first obstacles to show this are bookshelves, which can contain great (digitized) tomes of ancient lore... Just don't make too much of a mess when searching them. Thanks to Infrared, fluzz and Matthias Krüger.
  • Are you a fan of diversity? Do you already know all the chord's to the town's music track by heart? Would you like to control the way your environment sounds? Well, Matthias Krüger's new experimental radio may be just the feature for you. Visit the nearest terminal and adjust your jam today!
  • Miles McCammon added a description of the game's shops and their interface to the tutorial.
  • In the level editor, a new action clears the redo queue, as is the norm in most applications. By Xenux.
  • Many optimizations and cleanups in the game's code that ensure a smoother and more stable playing experience, by various members of the team.

All in all, 84 changes were committed during March and April.

As usual, we want to thank everyone who contributed to the game, and ask of anyone who has an idea, suggestion, query, bug report, patch, free time and will to help out to contact us, take a look at our bug & feature request tracker, or show us how you think things should be done with a patch. Who knows, you may even find you name on this list in the future!

-The FreeDroidRPG Team