the week in review 2012-10-29 - sir_herrbatka

Ruminations of alchemy, animations, and death

The Alchemy implementation is complete. Bug testing has revealed some issues that will surely get resolved soon.

Zini is also working on the “Death” branch. There was a bug where everything/everyone was insta-killed. That is no longer a problem, but there are more to be fixed.

The newly finished quick travel services in the “Travel Dialogue” branch is being refactored by Gus.

Pvdk continues working on our launcher with the support for profiles now back!

Greye is working in the “Storedevel” branch on lower level structures of the engine, rather than on user visible features ─ but that doesn’t make it unimportant. In fact quite opposite: without it we would be screwed in many ways.

Chris is digging around in the animations. The number of commits increases, the number of issues decreases but the goal of fully implemented animations is still far away…

The OpenMW engine is so big and interrelated that every feature requires quite a lot of work…

Eli2 as usual continues to work on the editor. Stopgap json serializer has been replaced with the qt variant. There was also Qt5 experiment ─ not very important from practical point of view but some of you may be interested that “It works”.

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The week in review 2012-10-21 - sir_herrbatka

Welcome! All of you!

The OpenMW editor, which some of you might not even be aware of,  has been progressing stably for quite some time now. Eli2 is currently focusing on loading and saving projects. Once this groundwork is finished, other features can be edited more quickly.

Scrawl is not working on shaders at the moment (mark this historic date on your calenders). Instead he’s working with zini on the alchemy implementation. The new code needs to be integrated into the game engine, and also requires its own GUI. He made the original alchemy window, so clearly he’s fit for the current job. Scrawl is becoming a true MyGUI adept. When the GUI first appeared bugs appeared with it, but these are getting squashed now.

BTW, compile time of OpenMW on Scrawl’s computer is about 2 minutes.

Zini assigned the “Death” task to himself. I wouldn’t be surprised if WeirdSexy’s videos get a little more of thriller/horror feel or maybe something ala Overgrowth. Hopefully WeirdSexy will also be able to show some more animations as Chris is working on this feature. Although getting animations to behave correctly is not trivial, the concept has already taken shape.

lgro, the fearless spambot slayer, holy guardian of… eh never mind. Lgro is working on books. The task proved to be harder then it first appeared to be. The only current benefit from Lgros effort is realizing there are problems that need to be solved in the parser. Lgro promises to do the trick, but it will take quite some time.

Another careful operation in the works is on the performance of cell loading. For some users loading is very slow. To fix this, Zini introduced changes, and the testing brought some surprising results. Unfortunately surprising in the negative sense. Honestly, nobody knows what to do! But the team will figure this out, eventually.

 

The week in review 2012-09-10 - sir_herrbatka

Welcome again, here’s the news report.

Jhooks1 was so nice to describe what He is up to do. Great, since I’m actually ignorant in all technical related topics and in addition to this quite lazy so let’s just quote it:

I am still working on the NPC/creature correct collision shapes task.

I had the task done, but I decided instead of scrapping the PhysicActor class that I would redesign it (too much valuable code). The new class is going to incorporate the Rigid Bodies (based on box shapes) and use pmove to allow the creature/NPC to collide with the world around it. Right now only the player gets to collide with the world through pmove, so this work is essential to having NPCs and creatures running about.

This is a lot to take in and change around though (and it seems like 3x the work of the original task I set out to do). I hope I can get a solution up and running soon.

In addition to this the fix, jhooks1’s work to smooth out the animations shortly before the 0.17.0 was finally merged to the master branch.

Zini worked on actiontarget branch to implement target handling in action class — solving issue number 370 on our bugtracker.

Eli2 made quite a lot commits for the editor. These mostly regard filters, since that’s was the subject of discussions on the forum recently. No surprise since it’s a crucial element of the whole concept.

Hrnchamd’s doing excellent work on finding and documenting internal Morrowind gameplay mechanics. For example, he nailed down the formula for training costs so Dgdiniz was able to progress with his task. The following picture shows OpenMW on the left and Vanilla Morrowind on the right.

Pretty picture.

Scrawl pointed out that the scroll bar is not needed in OpenMW, because there is no need to scroll such short list.

Finally, I just learned about a feature OpenMW has over vanilla Morrowind. In Morrowind you cannot teleport the player to a cell while using variables as coordinates. This limitation is just painful! Although modders were able to bypass it partially thanks to script extenders and some really fancy tricks like those used in the tent mods but those ugly hacks tend to deliver a lot of problems. OpenMW does not have this limitation, so teleport away!

The week in review 2012-08-26 - sir_herrbatka

The 0.17.0 release is set for next week, as we’re just waiting on just a few builds. Our superstar WeirdSexy gifted us with another excellent demonstration video. We’d be lost without that smooth voice… but our project is an international effort with K1ll‘s a juicy German accent, ap0 has both French lover and English down, while there is the true Norwegian Black Metal growl of Rebel-Rider

Eli2 is making good progress on the editor. At some point the code will be mature enough for others to join the effort. Let me reiterate: we need the editor in order to add desirable post-1.0.0 features.

As for the Example Suite, greendogo had contacted many talented Morrowind modders asking to use their works. Westly has given us permission to use his custom races, vurt’s allowing us to use his nice trees, and in general we’re gathering a very nice set of art assets. If you are a Morrowind modder that has work that you are willing to let us use, please let us know on our forum. These assets may be very useful for future Total Conversion projects that don’t want to have anything in common with Morrowind (including actually owning the game). The Example Suite’s story thus far is deserving of a … B or perhaps even C grade.

Lgro is setting up a jenkins server. It will allow us to have automatic nightly builds of OpenMW, and allow you to test the newest features without compiling on your own.

I would love to write about the future plans but this has to wait until new version is released. That’s any moment so be patient like me!

The week in review 2012-08-19 - sir_herrbatka

Guess what, 0.17.0 is very close to release.

Zini completed the mw-refactoring task. This Herculean work improves the readability of the source code for new developers. This week Zini changed his Linux distribution from Ubuntu to Mint, we don’t know if he changed his desktop wallpaper from Ubuntu-orange to Mint-green, but speculation is rampant.

You will be finally able to see your character! The 0.17.0 release  for the finishing touches on player control. This includes the new camera which allows not only “First Person Perspective” and “Third Person Perspective” view, but “Vanity Mode” will turn on automatically when the player is idle. I couldn’t find a nice link about vanity mode, but it allows you to (or the game to automatically) rotate the camera while moving or stationary. You have _greye to thank for this awesome new feature!

That’s all for 0.17.0. Let’s move on to the OpenMW Example Suite.

OpenMW is getting close to playable and the OpenMW team needs the help of modding community to creating the OpenMW Example Suite. This suite will allow anyone, including those who don’t not yet own Morrowind, to test OpenMW. Therefore it cannot contain any Bethesda/ZeniMax owned art assets. We believe this suite will boost our user and developer base, resulting in people purchasing Morrowind and putting OpenMW to the test of running the original game. Our engine will provide greater modding capabilities to the mod community once completed, bring native support to Linux and Mac OS X, help out the project will be mutually beneficial.

Location and Setting
The suite will take place on a small island with a fishing village. There will be a dungeon and a crypt (which is already built, and has been the entirety of this project up till now). In addition, there will be a few wilderness areas like a pine forest and some small fields. The player will be a resident of the tiny island village who goes off to kill some monster, fetch some pretty object from the dungeon, or escort someone from the crypt.

Purpose
It’s called OpenMW Example Suite as opposed to OpenMW Tech Demo, because we don’t want a jumble of unrelated rooms strung together to display all of the engine’s abilities, like some tech demoes. Instead, it will be a micro-game that, aside from exhibiting the engine’s functionalities, is aesthetically pleasing and coherent. Through our small island, with its basic kill and fetch quests, we’ll be able to display the functionality of a tech demo. Additional quests and dialogue can be implemented until we have exhausted the feature showcase. Once each feature has been demonstrated at least once, we can consider the OpenMW Example Suite complete, with any future additions to it as icing on the cake.

Getting Involved
If you are willing to help, please visit this forum thread and acquaint yourself with the task, what’s already done, who can be of help to you. Thanks for your time. Cheers to keeping Morrowind alive! Below is a description of the tasks that need to be completed.

Up next is news on 0.18.0, which has already begun development.

Scrawl is making progress on the GUI and input system rewrite. We now have mouse sensitivity sliders: one for the GUI mode and one for the game itself (there is only one, but x and y axis can be adjusted through editing a file). Warning! The GUI sensitivity is updated in real time (meaning it does not need OpenMW to restart) so think twice before pulling slider to the very far left…

jhooks1’s work enables the use of set angle instructions for NPCs. He also fixed the jittery animations bug in 0.17.0 making them smooth as butter. You’ll have to wait until 0.18.0 to try it out.

Eli2’s work on editor has past the experimental phase. We want more developers to get involved, because it’s currently a one man project, but there is no need to rush… yet. We won’t really need the editor before OpenMW 1.0.0, because it’s only at that point that we will add new script instructions. However, a better designed editor would be an invaluable tool to the modding community even now

And thanks to all the users who reported bugs. Your help is invaluable to us making a superior and stable engine. If you find something wonky in OpenMW check our bugtracker to see if it’s been reported. If it hasn’t, either register on our bug tracker or let us know on the forum that something is going wrong.