Have you tried the new version of OpenMW? Did you liked it?
There wasn’t much in terms of shiny new features, but as usual a lot of work on engine basics took place and that paves the way for version 0.18.0. There are a lot of really cool tasks open on the roadmap, something for everyone. We can implement long awaited features (or prerequisites that are necessary for those features).
If progress remained stable, then we could bring large chunks of gameplay with each new version. The project’s at an amazing point. Want to implement a new skill? Go for it. The code is ready. We may need the formulas first, but Hrnchamd (famous for making the Morrowind Code Patch) is helping discover them. You can look on wiki page to see what formulas he and those other reverse engineers have figured out.
Maybe you’d prefer to implement level-up? Sure get on it, skills (the ones we’ve implemented) can now improve.
Would you rather implement sleeping and resting? OK, they are ready to be worked on.
GUI tasks are often neglected, so maybe take the trainer window or spell buying window tasks?
We can finally we can support the walking animation. It “just” needs to be finished first.
Developers solved a number of smaller issues this week.
For example Scrawl fixed many bugs, added the ability to hide GUI elements by pressing F12, and added a new GUI window for quick keys.
Greye is our AI specialist, but since we weren’t ready to implement it he worked on other features. This week, Greye started to loading AI packages into the engine. We can’t do anything with them yet, but that’s another first step that’s been taken.
Dgdiniz is a new developer who recently finished his first task (moved Sounds into Action). It was a typical beginner refactoring task and he behaved like a gentleman on the forums. 😉 Dgdiniz praised our clean and readable code. He is not the first person to notice it. This is due in part to zini’s endless struggle to refactor and control things like a general in battle. It makes quite a lot of difference!
Now Dgidiniz has moved on to working on getting the training window to work. MyGUI does not have the best documentation, but we have some experts in our team that have worked with it before, including scrawl, gus.
Zini currently is merging branches and making sure that everything works as it should. While also solving bugs.
jhooks1 wants to merge collision shapes into the master branch. Before that can happen the old kinematic controller and actor physics code needs to be removed so he is focusing on making all stairs climbable with the current system.
Another week, another post for you, dear readers. This summary includes the most significant changes by our veteran developers, but there are some folks doing important work that is not credited here. So thank you to all our contributors.
Last week, I wrote about the shaders used in terrain rendering. This week scrawl, using shaders, reduced the amount of code for terrain implementation by 75%. THREE CHEERS FOR EFFICIENCY!!!
OpenMW employs shaders for our skybox, water, and soft shadows. Scrawl has worked on refining the first two, resulting in marked visual improvements over the original Morrowind. The process of refining shaders will continue, so expect many perty pictures and videos. Great work Scrawl!
Speaking of great work, Chris pushed a large number of code revisions (50!) towards integrating .nif animations into Ogre3d’s animation system. Once complete, this will prove to be a more efficient method for animations and boost OpenMW’s frames per second. It works… to some extent. Currently, animations are lacking integration with the physics system, some meshes (for unknown reasons) are not animated, and other meshes occasionally ( and seemingly randomly) are not animated. However, clothes (including robes) are working, as well as the majority of creatures. We cannot give you an exact date when it will be finished, but what needs to be done to get physics integration working is mostly understood. The other issues are cryptic and it is difficult to tease out their causes.
Meanwhile Zini, our fearless leader, finished the magical effects drain and fortify. Also, the bug in the auto-equip logic was fixed, as well as a few other bugs in various areas. Zini also refactored the code for dynamic statistics and merged a lot of branches into the main development branch.
Reverse engineering formulas is going well. The ingredient eating formula appears close to completion (some things still need to checked and verified) thanks to Lazaroth. The acrobatics task is also progressing nicely, BrotherBrick is using his powerful server to calculate data points and Epsilon is a very dedicated worker, designing formulas to test. It may be finished as early as next week.
As you probably noticed, the site was down. This was due to a sudden and sharp increase in page views that occurred when OpenMW made the news aggregating website slashdot.org. A veritable horde of readers clicked on the story, passed to our site, and soon all I could do as an admin was log into the server and watch with shock and awe as the heart of apache processes was torn out. Normally we get 10,000 page views a month, and because of slashdot we had 25,000 in one day.
However, we benefited as many new developers and contributors have discovered us and are now joining. So we’d like to say, Thank You Slashdot! And despite the setback of the site being down, the development team continued their work as usual.
Zini was working on the refactoring task when he found many unnecessary “includes” in the source code. Don’t worry readers about what includes are, all you need to know is that many were unnecessary and that translated to slow downs in compile times. Many users complain that it takes forever to compile and build OpenMW and while users could perhaps view compiling OpenMW as exercise in patience, they won’t have to as removing these “includes” improved build times by nearly half.
He also worked on proper skill development implementation. As of now, the only skill that can be seen in game is Alchemy (and even it’s not finished), but that will soon change.
Scrawl has been tinkering with shaders. Interestingly, he found that using GLSL shaders caused build time improvements twenty-one times. Since the number and complexity of shaders OpenMW uses can be described as “modest”, the impact on the total compile time is negligible, but it’s still intriguing.
jhooks1 is still working with animations.
Figuring out Morrowind’s formulas has finally gained momentum. Myckel is bravely working on alchemy, and he has a couple new colleagues on the forums which include Epsilon. Epsilon is developing scripts to speed up the testing phase exponentially. It’s great work and we welcome them to the team.
After an extensive phase of testing and five release candidates later, 0.16.0 is out. WeirdSexy made a video can be viewed in the previous post. It’s interesting that many users discover our project via YouTube, probably more than through Google. I shouldn’t be surprised since this is the Web 2.0 era after all.
Other people are pushing OpenMW forward in other ways. In terms of features, I need to mention Myckel. The situation makes me a little ashamed because Myckel is not a programmer, but he is reverse engineering the formulas related to alchemy. It’s an important project, so important that zini says its the only thing holding back progress with this implementing alchemy. But it’s not just alchemy, there are many formulas that are still not worked out. There is nothing stopping ME from doing this task besides laziness. The situation is even worse — because most of the formulas on our wiki were put there by a single person. Something is not right.
Zini can’t progress with the alchemy task yet, so he started another round of refactoring. This time it’s the MW-subsystem. All information important for developers can be found in this topic: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=863
There is bad news because animating with OGRE3D is stuck in place again. Hopefully not for long this time.
pvdk is on-line and so the launcher is seeing modifications again. Configuration options are available as well a better graphics menu for it thanks to serpentine. Maybe less important but still nice.
scrawl is focused on few bug fixes right now. He already fixed infamous black textures bug on DirectX and now he is creating new changes in the graphics.
Eli2 who previously worked (toying?) on head tracking experiment now is working (toying?) on the editor. I would L O V E to see awesome stuff right there so go for it Eli2!