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 2012-10-15 - sir_herrbatka


I had unexpected computer problems last week and I’m trying to make this post cover two weeks…

Scrawl finished work on the spell creation feature.  Thanks to his good program planning at least part of the spell creation code can be reused for the enchanting feature.

gus worked on the traveling feature. He made a GUI which displays prices and you can now travel between places.

pvdk altered the launcher’s data files tab. It uses a new model, but we unfortunately don’t yet have support for multiple esx files in the engine!

Cory Cohen is working on the ESMTool. It displays human readable labels and it also provides record dumping with more details.

Greye made minor changes to the ESMStore. It nows allows storing additional records not loaded from esm/p files, but created in game, with the ability to modify these records. One situation where this is needed is during character creation, where the player decides his/her character’s race.

Zini fought/is fighting with non-standard GCC extensions. He also enabled C++11 mode for compiler flags, but at the moment it’s nothing more than an interesting detail. Standard coding for OpenMW is still the de facto of C++03. When C++11 is supported by the main compilers, then we’ll add support for it. This means the earliest we’ll see C++11 in OpenMW is the second half of 2013.

Did you notice the tag cloud on the right? Scrawl, zini and the rest of the development team are now not only programmers, but also tags! Funny!

the week in review 2012-09-30 - sir_herrbatka


If you did not visit our forum recently you could miss new theme. It’s done by jedd and necrod, looks very nice and integrates with wordpress theme. This is not everything, lgro — our admin installed a brand new anti-spam plugin that should reduce the daily cleaning for admins and moderators — it seems to work good.

We have also quite a lot of programming progress. Scrawl added skill gain for training books and also started to work on video playback feature so maybe finally you will be able to see the intro movie as well as create spells since scrawl also works on it. In addition, as usual some bug fixing, most visible for global map not updating when it’s pinned.

gus started to work on fast travel service: silt striders, boats and guild guides will be finally able to take you to the other towns. It seems that guild guides works just as silt striders and the only difference is that mages are located in interiors and will take you to the other interior so game is not able to calculate distance and in this case it just assumes that travel will cost 10 gold and be instant.

drpaneas (a new developer) started to work on his first task that is implementing a failed action. It’s quite important!

Mark76 showed up on the forums recently. Nothing has changed for the multiple esm and esp support but zini thinks about splitting it so it won’t be so overwhelming.

Zini on his own works on proper alchemy implementation. Needless to say current solution was nothing else then a prototype and was never intended to go into the 1.0 so it was just too strongly tied to the GUI and was just not planned properly. This is about to change.

greye is working on the old task of record saving. It’s very important task for both game and the editor.

The week in review 2012-09-02 - sir_herrbatka

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.

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.

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.