image ©Maxim Nikolaev
Post-release catchup party! 2021-11-26 - lysol

Hello again!

While there have been several huge announcements we’ve wanted to share with you lately, we decided to wait with these news until after the release of OpenMW 0.47.0 to avoid stealing too much of the hype. Sorry for that, but we hope you understand. Now, without further ado, let’s dig in!

Lua is merged

Let’s just begin with, arguably, the biggest one. Petr Mikheev worked really hard on this huge contribution, and the extensive code reviews and feedback from the rest of the team were fantastic. The result is that the basic framework for OpenMW’s future scripting language, Lua, was merged into master a few months ago. This in itself doesn’t actually do much for the end user, but modders can already explore its functions. The real power, however, will be unleashed once gameplay mechanics, user interfaces, various graphical features and other exciting things are controllable through Lua scripts, in what we often refer to as the “de-hardcoding” of OpenMW. Some of this is currently being worked on, or even has already been merged, like Urm’s basic framework for a Lua-controlled GUI and Mikheev’s Lua-controlled camera and raycasting.

One important clarification needs to be made, though: OpenMW-Lua will not be compatible with MWSE-Lua, the 3rd-party scripting extender for Morrowind.exe. We aim to make our scripting engine at least as powerful as MWSE-Lua, but since MWSE-Lua is being developed for a different game engine, mods made for it will unfortunately not be compatible with OpenMW. Current MWSE-Lua mods will therefore have to be rewritten, or at least refactored, to be able to function in OpenMW.

And again, to make it perfectly clear: the implementation of Lua in OpenMW is still in its initial stage and will become more powerful as time goes by.

We will discuss Lua more in future blog posts.

Soft particles and sky shaders

If you are like most people, you might feel a bit annoyed by the fact that particles from things like fire look so obviously flat when looking at the source of the flame. Cody Glassman fixed this by implementing soft particles. There’s a video example in the merge request, and the difference is huge.

Cody also recently got his sky shader branch merged into OpenMW master. This is a feature that has been requested for quite a while now by people wanting to do great looking shaders for OpenMW. And now that the sky shaders are here, people like vtastek will be able to play around with the look of the sky, for example making the sky blend a lot better with the fog.

One exclusive feature OpenMW has is the automatic and dynamic generation of navigation meshes which greatly enhances the AI’s pathfinding. Basically, OpenMW creates a map of the currently active game world that tells the AI where the terrain is walkable and where it is not, preventing situations where NPCs walk straight into walls or jump down cliffs. The creation of this map is done at runtime in a separate thread, so most modern multi-core computers won’t notice any significant performance loss because of this. For people with weaker computers or mobile devices, however, loading times can be significantly longer. Because of this, elsid is working on a feature that will store the navigation meshes in files once they have been created, making the generation of them only necessary once.

Zoomable world map

Ever wanted to be able to zoom in and out on the world map? See more of the world at the same time? Or less of it, with more detail? Now you can, thanks to Cédric Mocquillon’s new feature that allows for different zoom levels of the map, including automatically merged map markers when zooming far out and a smooth transition between local and world map when zooming in. Simple yet so effective and a very nice addition to the engine.

Raindrops keep falling on my head…

…and into the water too. Let’s face it, OpenMW’s raindrop ripples look pretty terrible. Or rather, they were looking pretty terrible, since wareya took the matter in his own hands by making an actual good-looking raindrop ripple effect. You can see how they look using a nightly version or visiting the merge request’s GitLab page. Neat, right?

No more adding mod directories in the openmw.cfg file

Well, unless you want to of course. Anyway, Frederic Chardon has had this merge request up for a very long time, but after a lot of discussion regarding its design, it seems we will finally see it merged soon. This means that you will soon be able to add and remove data directories directly in the OpenMW launcher. Finally!

Magic effects are reworked

Evil Eye has been working relentlessly on OpenMW, and a truckload of MRs merged lately have been his work. One of his bigger projects has been the rework of magic effects. For most people, this probably won’t be very noticeable since there are mostly under-the-hood changes, but quite a few differences to Morrowind’s original engine have been solved thanks to this huge task of his. Check out the merge request here. If you’re a Morrowind purist that has been annoyed with OpenMW handling certain magic effects differently compared to the original, you’ll like this one a lot.

That’s about it. Or really, it’s far from it, but we’ll have to round off this blog post somewhere. Thank you so much for sticking around with us through all these years. We’ll see you again another time!

Want to leave a comment?
OpenMW 0.47.0 Released! 2021-11-04 - Atahualpa

Another year of busy and fruitful development lies behind us — and the OpenMW team is proud to announce the release of version 0.47.0 of our open-source engine! Grab it from our Downloads Page for all supported operating systems.

With over 180 solved issues and a plethora of new features, this release is on par with the enormous 0.46.0 release we had last year. Brace yourself for object paging which allows OpenMW to finally display distant statics, proper support for groundcover mods, an improved lighting system, more efficient and robust physics, the new, optional over-the-shoulder camera, and much, much more!

In addition, countless bugs have been solved — both for the vanilla game and for a variety of mods to ensure even better mod compatibility in the new version.

Check out the release announcement video by the hacking Atahualpa and the slashing johnnyhostile, and see below for the full list of changes. There are also a German release video and a German changelog available.

Known Issues:

New Engine Features:

New Editor Features:

Engine Bug Fixes:

Editor Bug Fixes:

Miscellaneous:

Want to leave a comment?

Finally, after much hard work to get all the cool new features ready for release, we have our first round of Release Candidates, or “RC” for short. RCs are simply release binaries for testing, to make sure everything is in order for a release. That’s right, testing! So we would be very grateful if you would download an RC for your OS of choice, test it a bit to see if it works without any issues and report any findings you make to our Gitlab issue tracker. Please make sure to check first that whatever you find is not on the tracker already.

Thank you and we’ll see you again on the day of the release!

Downloads are found here.

Starting with version 0.13.0, each and every main release of our engine has been accompanied by a release commentary. For me and many others, the release videos have always been something to look forward to, a strangely satisfying means to highlight OpenMW’s progress throughout the ages — and a great opportunity to mess around with our beloved Fargoth!

Our channel has now reached 10,000 subscribers, a truly gigantic number for such a niche project like OpenMW. A huge thank-you to all of you for your continuous support! Rest assured, though, that we are not reaching for the stars here and that we will still concentrate on publishing release commentaries in the future instead of featuring puppies or kittens. But a little celebration seems to be appropriate, which is why I present you with an updated version of our 2013 video “A Visual History of Changes to OpenMW”! Sit back, relax, and have fun. — And thanks again for your support!

Want to leave a comment?

As if the last post wasn’t long enough! We need to share some updates regarding Lua and the upcoming lighting improvements. Welcome!

Lua

Petr Mikheev just reached a major milestone with the upcoming Lua scripting system: The first playable Lua test mod is live! Note the word “test” here of course; this is nothing of interest for you guys that just want to have fun and play a great RPG from the early 2000s enhanced with cool mods. But while the mod in itself might not be too exciting, it still proves that things are actually moving forward and that we are getting closer and closer to a world where OpenMW has greatly enhanced modding capabilities compared to today. Here is the link to the forum topic, and here is the one to the merge-request.

Lighting

In the last post, we talked about how Cody Glassman is working on support for more than 8 lights per object. Well, his merge request has evolved into something even more. As it is right now, the fixed-function math used for Morrowind’s light attenuation, which is faithfully identical in OpenMW, do not actually allow for good attenuation at all. This manifests in light seams, visible popping, and mismatched object lighting, which you may have noticed in previous builds or the original Morrowind engine. With the arrival of Active Grid Object Paging in the upcoming 0.47.0 release, it became clear that a change was needed to squash these issues once and for all. Thanks to under-the-hood changes to lighting and a brand new attenuation formula, all of these problems are cleaned up wonderfully. The lighting should look pretty much the same as you remembered it, but with a level of polish that hasn’t been seen before. As a preview, here are some before and after shots placed side by side for you to compare. We think you’ll agree the OpenMW experience is about to feel even smoother!

That’s it for today. Stay safe everyone, and stay tuned for the next release!

Want to leave a comment?