It’s hard to believe that OpenMW 0.1.0 was released just over 10 years ago! What began as a barely functional ESM viewer is now a complete replacement for vanilla Morrowind and a complete engine for creating original games. There are still a few features that need to be polished, like shadows and AI recastnavigation, but the project is almost ready to become version 1.0, signalling to the world that OpenMW has full parity with the original Morrowind engine.
But that doesn’t mean that our work is complete. OpenMW’s project leader Zini, with feedback from the project’s most active contributors, has produced the first draft of an enormous design document detailing the next steps that they think the project should take. The major focus is on improving modding capabilities (including “newscript” support, most likely Lua) and beginning the process of de-hardcoding game mechanics to allow mods to drastically alter gameplay.
Now we need your help. We’d like for as many people as possible to review this post-1.0 design document and provide their feedback. Have a change that you’d like to make? Submit either a Merge Request on GitLab or a Pull Request on GitHub. Want to talk about it with other contributors? Discuss it on our forum. This document is far from set in stone and will change as the project evolves.
Let’s work together to plan how OpenMW will enter into its next ten years!
One pain point for OpenMW has been that contributing means signing up for multiple accounts. Notably, our code repository, bug tracker, and wiki are on completely separate servers with separate login processes. Additionally, some developers prefer GitHub due to its popularity and some prefer GitLab due to it being open source, just like this project. So we’re reorganizing tools to make contributing easier.
Starting today, OpenMW code will be available on GitLab while being bidirectionally mirrored with GitHub. This means that our open source project is now hosted on an open source platform, while still allowing the countless GitHub contributors who have submitted code over the years to continue to do so on that platform if they choose. In addition, our Redmine issue tracker has been retired and all the issues have been migrated to GitLab. Our wiki is still in the process of being migrated, but will be hosted on GitLab as well. This allows everyone to use a single account for tracking issues, contributing code, and writing wiki documentation.
We hope that this will make the process of contributing to OpenMW better for everyone, and look forward to all sorts of new contributions!
Ever since the AI was implemented, OpenMW has been plagued with a few irritating bugs. Guards running against walls and people randomly walking off cliffs, among other things. All of these seem to boil down to this: The pathfinding AI needs to be improved. There has been some attempts to do this, but none of them has come very far. Until now.
Elsid, who previously had just started on a few pull requests in november last year and then wasn’t really heard from, suddenly posted this massive pull request. Why is it massive, you say?
Well basically, elsid is implementing Detour from a navigation mesh toolset called recastnavigation. You can read details about it in the link, but to summarize, recastnavigation calculates where the AI can and can’t walk, and then creates a navigation mesh for the AI to use.
People have already built OpenMW with elsid’s latest commits to try it out, and it seems to work great.
In the above video, user Gluka tried it out in the Tamriel Rebuilt town of Kragen Mar because that town does not have a path grid yet. The NPC’s are still able to navigate the town without problems.
So if elsid manages to get this to work well without too much of a performance hit (remember, this feature isn’t done and there is still a chance that there are problems that he can’t solve), then this will surely revolutionize OpenMW.
In other news, the shadow branch is still moving forward in a steady pace and there has been a lot of small neat bug fixes and feature implementations merged that will further enhance the experience in the upcoming version 0.44.
After the new year, development has been quiet and there hasn’t been much of interest going on in OpenMW… or so I thought until I checked out the latest feature on the bugtracker. We now have a settings menu in our launcher that allows easy access to various optional features that were previously hidden in some text file that most people didn’t even know existed. Thanks to Thunderforge, enabling these options will soon be a simple matter of checking a box. It’s not quite clear if this feature is to stay in its current form, however, as we may revise it to be part of ingame options after getting OpenMW to its post 1.0 version state.
In other news, AnyOldName3’s work on bringing shadows back to the OpenMW engine is still ongoing and can be followed here on github. Those who have the know-how to build OpenMW’s shadow branch have reported that the results are night and day in terms of visual stability compared to earlier iterations.
Christmas is over and Santa has left a little present for everyone.
On the 25th of December a patch for TES3MP landed, fixing bugs, enhancing server scripting and introducing a new interesting feature. Version 0.6.2 allows players to play NPC sounds and animations on themselves. Essentially, your character can now say almost anything that an NPC of your race and gender can say, using the new /speech command, and you can also play any of the NPC idle animations using /anim.
In addition to that, TES3MP has upgraded to the latest version of OpenMW, meaning that new features from OpenMW’s main branch such as Scrawl’s keyboard shortcuts are now included.