Sorry for the quiteness the last time. Work is going in the background. But it is going slow. The next version of Q3Rally is planned around September, maybe earlier.
Please stay tuned. I will keep you informed.
Also check out the development planet.
So I’ve started playing GearHead2. In certain ways, GH2 is much more advanced than GH1. In other ways, it’s a giant mess.
Most of GH2’s problems are the direct result of my not having clear goals. My first intention was for GH2 to encompass the entire GearHead universe, planet by planet. However, instead of deciding at the start what the end state would look like- at minimum, a list of cities and worlds to include- I just meandered around to whatever areas captured my interest.
In addition, I wasted much of my development time on experiments that didn’t pan out. I spent a long time trying to make an OpenGL interface that looked decent; the final SVN commit from Sourceforge removed this. The hidden encounter mechanic turned out to be no fun at all. I really don’t know what to make of the Performance minigame that I added.
This wasted time becomes even more apparent when considering the things that should have been improved. The opening of GH2 is just terrible; the PC is dropped off in an empty house with no narrative intro or anything much to do. The graphics, which I spent an awful lot of time working on, often look worse than those of GH1.
But there’s also a lot of great stuff. NPCs, especially lancemates and arch-enemies, get some actual character development. Many of the locations and challenges are quite interesting. The plot generation is fantastic.
So, here’s what I plan to do:
This week I’ve been updating some of the plots from the early days of GearHead development. Many of them have serious problems- they don’t scale difficulty to renown properly, lack email or memos, and deal poorly when the player character goes off-script. The easiest way to update missions, or at least the way that will probably introduce the fewest new bugs, is to simply copy over the dialogue text from the old plot into an up-to-date plot template.
Unfortunately, not all plots are simple missions. The “BusinessDeal” plot is a mess, and I’m not sure that I’ve ever encountered it while playing. Similarly, the kidnapping story is riddled with bugs and I’m not sure there’s any good way to set it right. I may end up disabling some of these plots until such a time as they can be rewritten.
The picture above is from the story Hey Greenbot! in Alien Lives. If you’d like to help me out as I prepare to finish my graduate studies, it’s available at the Polar Bear Comix webstore in cbz format.
If you are a qexpo old-timer: The format is virtual ‘booths’ set up for a limited number of days just like the past. But unlike the past, this site has a built-in comment and messaging system. The site-wide stream of discussion is available on the ‘Activity’ tab. However, any booth owner may disable comments on their particular booth page by checking the ‘Comments Disabled’ category.Focus is mainly on Quake1 engine derived projects (Darkplaces Engine for example), but in the past there were usually also a few Quake2/3 engine projects in it. Fully FOSS is not a strict requirement, but quite common, and the engine is of course GPL licensed.
We also have a fancy event calendar to be populated. Events occurring prior to the Expo days may be posted, but it is requested that there be an event coverage booth, news, or other tie-in available during the Expo itself.
If you’re a new-timer wondering what the heck this is: The Quake Expo concept is based on virtual ‘booths’ where people show off projects, provide tutorials, or share nostalgia. See the links at the bottom of the site for previous years. The idea is a bit retro given all the possible online outlets for creativity now. But that’s one of the reasons to have it- with so many islands of forums, social media groups, and code repositories, it might be nice to come together for a few days and see what everyone else is doing. The time limitation is key. Booths will only be open for two weeks and afterwards the entire site is closed and archived.
I’ve been waiting a long time for this arse to make his appearance.
The latest GitHub commit fixes a number of bugs and adds two new lancemates. I hope to make a proper release before I head to San Francisco next week, but not tonight because this stuff has just barely been tested.
One of the main strengths of Clonk has always been its easy script interface and its openness for user content. Unfortunately, players often don’t realize how much they can do in the game because we don’t ship an editor and few players will dig into the game folders to realize they can create their own content.
First, the editor will be easily accessible from the main menu of the game. No more tedious navigation to developer pages hidden on our website is required.
Second, the editor has been streamlined to be easy to understand and throws you right into the action. There is now a “new” button directly on the welcome page of the editor which allows you to set a name and basic parameters for a new scenario. The new map is automatically created and loaded into the editor for you. Recently edited scenarios can also be re-opened directly from the startup page. In the future, we also seek to add quick tutorial links onto this page.
The editor itself has been written in Qt, a state-of-the-art and cross-platform user interface toolkit that contains all the little things like dockable toolboxes and native user interface widgets which make the program easy and fun to use. Many new features have been introduced:
The editor has not made it into the master game branch yet. However, if you are comfortable with git and compiling your own engine, you can check out the qteditor branch. German speaker can also follow the editor development blog on clonkspot.
Note that this is a newbie-friendly editor for creating simple scenarios only. To do advanced scripting, build objects or contribute to the original game, you can either look at Windmill or follow the guidelines on our development page.
If you have additional ideas or suggestions for the new editor, please leave a comment here or in the forum thread!