The Week in Review 3/17/12 2012-03-17 - OlderTroll

Look, you can read news in four languages! It would be great if we could get volunteers to write Spanish, Mandarin, and Hindi versions. If you would like to make news posts in your native language, then please send Lgromanowski a private message on the forums and he’ll help you get started. You may either do a direct translation from the English news OR you may write a more detailed one yourself. sir_herrbatka prefers people write their own versions because:

Thank you all! I’m proud of you.

a quote from our main writer, sir_herrbatka, about the additional news languages.

Let’s turn now to development news.

Coding for OpenMW is easier than ever as submodules have been merged into the mainbranch repository. Werdanith presented the idea to Zini and he happily agreed but corristo is the person who did all the job. The submodules were a remnant of a bygone, they were not useful, and complicated maintaining code. Here is a quote from Chris about the change,

“… that’s actually what drew me back to start hacking on OpenMW again. Modifying and maintaining those submodules was rather bothersome.”

There you have it; all you c++ programmers have one less excuse for joining the OpenMW team.

This brings me to my topic, welcome back Chris (KittyCat on irc)! Chris was previously a developer with openmw and is returning in grand fashion by undertaking a large redesign of the openmw sound system. The current design is a mess with the mwsound subsystem, openengine, mangle, and the output and input backends all used in various capacities to render sound. The redesigned sound system will have the soundmanager handle all sound rendering instead.

scrawl made another commit on github to the skybox and is now working on adding the minimap. At this stage there is no arrow functionality. Terrain is also missing because terrain rendering is in a separate branch. Here’s a screenshoot.

zini has finished with the inventory backend and distinguishing armor types (which determines the correct sound effect after pickup). There is still no auto-equipping for npc’s, which means no clothed npc’s. Hopefully this will be done shortly.

werdanith completed the task for rendering sounds when picking up items and also solved the sound regression from openmw 0.12.0.

Corristo continued working on path grid rendering, a feature needed for debugging AI in pathfinding.

jhooks1 is still on the monumental physics redesign. He recently got movement to work in noclip mode and will soon start working with collisions. God speed jhooks1!

gus is getting close to finishing his work on dialogues, but filters still need to implemented.

There has been a lot of linux love this weekas artorius created 32 and 64 bit rpms for Fedora. Detailed instructions on getting things setup can be found here; viewtopic.php?f=8&t=599

Also on the linux front, K1ll and brotherbrick finished making the ubuntu ppa. You can now install openmw on Ubuntu using Automagic and also, hopefully, update it.

With the help of K1ll we now have a few PPAs that people can use.

I’m proud to say that our ‘official’ Ubuntu packages can be found here:
^– includes 32 and 64bit packages from Lucid to Precise that is statically compiled and does not need users to worry about libbullet nor libogre.

For those wishing to use static (*.a) libraries:

For those wishing to use dynamic (*.so) libraries instead:

Fork me on GitHub
News again! 2012-03-05 - sir_herrbatka

Good day to you all!

OpenMW 0.12.0 has been in feature freeze for a while now and is currently being packaged up neatly for your consumption and joy. Thank you packagers! It will likely be available in a matter of days, so just hold on another 48 hours…

Testing and fixing packages on our three supported systems has eaten up a lot of time, but exciting work has continued on OpenMW 0.13.0. Its progress has been so remarkably fast that I dare say development is going smoother than ever before.

Scrawl has finished work on the sky for now. Weather effects are limited since they composed of particles and we haven’t implemented particles just yet. The sky looks very impressive, just like in Morrowind. Once again, I’m very happy with the progress in this area. It was a fast, smooth and elegant job and the result is a beautiful working skybox (we kicked cealum to the curb!). Take a look at this screenshoot.

And now! Quote of the week:

I have only the tiniest understanding of what you guys are talking about. Let me be more clear by “understanding” I mean it’s like waking up in a UFO and overhearing two aliens speak to each other about some an amazing glowing device in the room. You know they are having a discussion about said device because occasionally one or the other points at it. It’s like that level of comprehension…

ElderTroll expressing his feelings on the forum thread where the massive work being done by Yacoby and Scrawl on terrain rendering is discussed. These two are doing a truly fantastic job. Yacoby had a succesful idea for a workaround for vertex colours (quote: “OMG! I don’t believe that it’s working!!!!!!!!!!1111oneoneoneeleven”) which had not been working previously, but which are needed for terrain rendering. Meanwhile scrawl implemented terrain material, which improved performance.

It brings me great happiness to say that terrain rendering is finally feature complete. Its inclusion as an enabled feature in OpenMW depends on the release of Ogre3d 1.8 as we can’t put an unstable lib as requirement for a stable OpenMW. The wait for Ogre 1.8 gives the team the ability to do performance improvements like shortening loading times and generally polishing it for version 0.14.0.

Werdanith the brave has started exploration of the Dwemer ruins containing the soundmanager code. The code was not touched for aeons and is in pretty bad shape. The situation is similar to that of the rendering refactoring that happened a while ago ─ without refactoring no new features.

Jhooks1, our Isaac Newton, continues his work on physics. That’s another 0.14.0 task and with its release months away,  I’m very hopeful that the major kinks will be sorted out.

Also, the above post should be free of the most scandalous spelling and grammar mistakes thanks to ElderTroll who volunteered to correct the news section. A number of users on forum said the errors are charming and adorable, but those compliments come from a bunch of ugly nerds. So sorry guys (which certainly most, if not all, of you are), but I don’t care about your opinion 😛

This image is from yacoby. You can see terrain and sky enabled. It’s amazing!


All of you know what’s this anyway 2012-02-26 - sir_herrbatka

The 0.12.0 is near. Actually only package testing has left, well unless something goes wrong again. Lgro had a lot of struggle with libboost ─ it worked in different ways depending on version. Finally solution has been found and to this point It seems that morrowind path finding finally works as it should.

Scrawl started to work on skybox and weather implementations and soon after got very good results. So good that actually Zini started to think about moving skybox to openmw 0.13.0, even if weather still will be unfinished just because sky looks awesome on its own and most certainly It will be ready on time. I must say that I’m very happy since We finally can get rid of cealum that didn’t do what morrowind sky needs to have and is a fps-killer.

Sadly no chance for terrain rendering in 0.13.0. Water+Terrain+Sky would be so awesome, but It won’t happen before 0.14.0.

Jhooks1 is digging in few places and sometimes findings are ugly. Remember Project Aedra physics? Ultimately it seems that the problem cannot be solved by simply tuning few values. It looks like we are about to see a lot of recoding in our physics implementation.

OTOH jhooks1 was also messing with animations, and maybe finally the performance stopper was found. Needs testing. Meanwhile you can see this video

Also it’s worth to mention that another crashing bug was solved. Heart in the Akulakhan’s Chamber is different then all other creatures and that proved to be a little nasty. But it’s fixed now. Bravo Jhooks1!

Dudes on IRC channel (our IRC channel is on freenode) say that it’s not advertised enough. Well, ok. So here is just a short compilation of memorable quotes from the channel:

|werdanith| interesting, sitting on the couch, watching on TV journalists arguing about exactly how !@$!$# we are

|pvdk| gus: never got into that, I did install gentoo though
|pvdk| back in the days, 14 years old, me and a friend, printed the whole install guide

|Sir_Herrbatka| anyway
|Sir_Herrbatka| Did anybody thought about using their skybox code?
|Sir_Herrbatka| It seems to work the same way as morrowind one
|pvdk| Sir_Herrbatka: well i thought about it right now
|pvdk| i thought: lets steal it!
|pvdk| steal their skies!
|Sir_Herrbatka| and? 😉
|Sir_Herrbatka| they have a pretty water too
|pvdk| nice! let’s steal that too

|raevol| some of my favorite things come from finland though: linux, korpiklaani, vodka…
|werdanith| vodka is finnish?
|raevol| probably not originally
|raevol| but they make good vodka

|Yacoby| it is trivial for the loss of productivy it brings
|pvdk| yeah need another vid card for it though
|pvdk| haha how so?
|Yacoby| I can “work” and watch a film 😛

|swick_| i got skyrim run in wine 🙂
|pvdk| nice!
|swick_| running on lowest settings and in a 800*500 resolution
|pvdk| 800×500
|swick_| did not event know the resolution exists :/

|werdanith| scrawl: gus might know
|gus_| scrawl: 42

|Yacoby| I know a guy who ran arch testing on his server
|pvdk| Yacoby: wow…
|pvdk| why?
|Yacoby| for the lols.
|Yacoby| it was sometimes up for entire days

|Pjstaab| why freenode?
|Pjstaab| all the cool people are on chatspike
|pvdk| wow hi Pjstaab
|pvdk| chatspike didn’t want us
|pvdk| they said we werent cool enough

|Sir_Herrbatka| NPC Activation only works on each npc’s lower body.
|Sir_Herrbatka| openmw is perverted by design?
|pvdk| Sir_Herrbatka: hehehe good pickup line to use on a pretty girl
|pvdk| Sir_Herrbatka: “Let me activate your lower body girl”
|pvdk| or something like that
|Sir_Herrbatka| try and share report about resoult
|Sir_Herrbatka| 😉
|pvdk| maybe i will 🙂
|pvdk| “openmw got me laid!”
|Sir_Herrbatka| I would put this on blog
|Sir_Herrbatka| would be very good PR

New roadmap! 2012-02-19 - sir_herrbatka

Let’s start with important news: We decided that openmw should focus on smaller, but more frequent releases. It seems that every single release of openmw up to now was delayed badly. And that’s bad since It means that features must wait very long for testing. Bugs can be tricky to fix when a lot happens in the code meanwhile.

In openmw 0.13.0 We won’t see terrain rendering as It needs to wait for new version of OGRE to be added without unneeded pain. Waiting does not go well with new concept of frequent releasing. But we have another killer feature: dialogue GUI! GUS did very well on this one, and did already a lot ─ the rest needs fixing another partially broken stuff and Zini is on it just after finishing equipping item task (jhooks1 wouldn’t forgive delaying it).

And water rendering. Water is mega-important and easily seen feature. Jhooks1 did awesome job again. This will be include in new version of openmw as well.

This two features would be enough for openmw 0.13.0 on they own. Any other big features needs to be moved for 0.14.0 or even 0.15.0.

And Let’s not forget about the openmw 0.12.0. We are almost done here. Just a little more tuning and We are ready. It’s all in lgro hands. This are good hands (frequently washed). 😉

Recently new developer joined us. Welcome Scrawl, one of the vdrift-ogre developers where He plays the role of graphics guy! Although advance graphics features needs to wait for openmw post 1.0.0 there are still tasks to be done, even in rendering. We still miss particles, need a proper skybox, weather…

ElderTroll wrote article for the freegamer about open source morrowind engines.