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”.
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!
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.
We’re celebrating an anniversary on the site. It was exactly one year ago today, that we moved to our current forums. The forum migration involved moving all the archives from google cache and amazon to the new forum “archive section”, but we had no choice. Thanks go to Lgro, our website admin! You gave OpenMW something essential to its current progress. The old website and forum had been left without any administrator, were invaded by spam bots and suffering from frequent periods of down time. In fact, we still can’t close the old forum properly; it’s still out there somewhere, dark and gloomy. Like the inside of a dead snail’s shell… or the city of Moria. Readers, if you decide to go looking in the old forums… remember not to dig too deep.
Despite the departure of the creator and lead developer of OpenMW, the remaining team members decided not to give up. They started this new website, the new forums, and reorganized the project. And here we are, in what will hopefully prove the most productive year yet for OpenMW. So raise some glasses, “To new life… to our phoenix! Santé! Mazel tov! Prost! Skål! Na zdorovie! Salud! And cheers!”
Speaking of new life, here’s what’s happened since we last talked:
Edmondo, the maintainer of OpenMW for gentoo, fixed a few recent problems that were preventing OpenMW from running on Gentoo (We are once again using submodules). Gentoo users can once again install OpenMW.
There’s been progress on our editor, thanks to Eli2. Auto completion was added and filters can now be imported from files. Lgro also pushed some bugfixes and added support for different types of encoding.
_greye is halfway finished with the player control task (a rather large task composed of five sub tasks). He’s got movement and turning working, but camera nodes still need to be completed. Right now _greye is working on fixing bugs related to objects crossing cell borders.
Corristo implemented the correct Ogre main loop for OS X, so Mac’s enjoy the speed of the cursor being freed from the tyranny of FPS.
Gus is working on moving and creating objects.
Scrawl added the basic features of the main menu. It has Return, Options, and Exit buttons.
Jhooks1 got the new
capsule box shapes collision method working on creatures.
Zini is working on yet another refactoring task, this time in the mw-subsystem. Refactoring code helps make it more organized, readable, and even efficient.
We are merging all the finished 0.17.0 features and fixes into the main branch of the engine and beginning preparations for our next release. Though thin in terms of new gameplay features, 0.17.0 includes major changes under the hood. For instance, the Shiny shader library makes shader development easier by allowing the same shaders to be run regardless of a user’s choice of the OpenGL or Direct3d rendering subsystems, graphics card, and OS. While, the new animations system that’s now in place improves performance.
If you have been following OpenMW, then you know what a picture like this means.
Here’s a link to the blog post the picture references that explains its meaning
We need a lot of testing this version. You can help out OpenMW by reporting bugs.
Another week — once again brings things that moves our project toward playability and full compatibility with Morrowind. It’s true that we are once again progressing with nice speed.
Since animation task is closed both jhooks1 and Chris was left without a task, but happily not for long…
Jhooks1 currently returned to physics implementation — you probably noticed that collision with npc is flawed: It’s very easy to get stuck and in general behavior is very different then in Morrowind. This is not surprising at all since the way collision with npc works is itself not like in Morrowind. To make story short: while player character has it’s own collision capsule (sphere that replaces the actually body mesh for the collision) npc are still half baked and use the body mesh for physics. That’s the source of problems.
Jhooks1 is now busy with enabling the collision capsule also for npcs. That should solve most (if not all) problems in this area.
Meanwhile Chris is researching the morrowind feature not actually present in the vanilla game but often used in mod enthusiasts content: Billboard nodes. Most of you seen only billboard trees that adds a lot of eye-candy to the game, especially when compared with plain flora — but yet, the billboard nodes itself are more universal. Currently it’s hard to tell if this feature will be present in OpenMW any time soon since experiments didn’t brought ultimate insight.
greye continues being awesome. Dropping related job is finished and this week He is actually working on two branches. First off He started (and made a nice progress with it) task of player control. That’s a big road blocker for a few… sorry Did I wrote “a few”? For a countless other tasks and features that are yet to come!
gus is back! And He is programming again! I missed him a lot — He is a really friendly guy… and developing openmw makes him super cool.
gus works on Object_movement_creation branch to add new script instructions related to object movement and creations. In theory, objects should be able to cross cell borders. Although It’s not tested, now we have script instructions to test it… effects will be known next week.
This branch attacks roadblocker at least as large as player control. We must finish it before adding another large features.
Eli2 works on editor. Not just this week, but now it’s time to say that actually this is a really good job. Although a lot of it is actually mostly provisional It already looks pretty good: The filters are working, the list displays items. Personally I see the beginning of the editor I would like to work with: very simple approach, very minimal yet ergonomic design, more then just enough of planning.
We need the editor, sooner or later, and it would be better to have it sooner — before OpenMW 1.0.0 so We won’t need to hold work on long awaited modding features in the game data format only because there is no editor to work on this format in the first place. Everybody would love to have multiple exteriors and other goodies, right?
Although our multiple esm and esp support is still in embryonic state mark76 helps to test it a little. After returning from India and sharing the experience about it. He created a few small test plugins to expose complications in the current implementation. It can take a long time before issues will be solved and this long awaited feature will debut in the release.
Zini decided to add a brand new options “–script-console” and “–script-run”. The first one enables additional console only commands that are intended to test our engine (currently none) while –script-run allows to point a file containing script instruction that are about to be run on game start.
Sorcerer, a new developer that joined us recently works now on task of importing configuration from morrowind.ini to openmw.cfg file. The importer is functional right now and soon should be complete.
Scrawl does not work on OpenMW at the moment, but instead He focused on the shiny lib, supporting us this way. He implemented LOD material generator and although we are not going to use it before OpenMW 1.0.0 at some point it may become a really handy tool for us.