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June 24, 2016


Work is going slow atm…

Hey Guys.

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.

by Perle at June 24, 2016 05:15 PM

June 23, 2016


The Problems of GearHead2


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:

  • Commit to 2D isometric graphics which will be compatible with GH1 and future GearHead projects. That way working on one project will potentially benefit other projects as well.
  • Narrow down the focus to this time and place. GH2 takes place in the L5 colonies during the rise of the Red Mask Raiders; their sudden appearance and mysterious origin should drive the major events of the game.
  • The game opening needs to set the tone. The spinner colonies need to have a different feel than Earth; more high tech and glamorous. Less Battle Angel, more Tiger and Bunny.
  • Polish up what’s there, and get rid of that which doesn’t work.

by Joseph Hewitt at June 23, 2016 02:10 PM

June 22, 2016


Fixing up plots


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.

by Joseph Hewitt at June 22, 2016 02:40 PM

June 21, 2016


QuakeExpo2016 16-30th of July, register your virtual booth now!

Seem like some people want to revive the old QuakeExpo tradition this year, which is after all the 20th anniversary of Quake1:

Booth pre-registration started on the 18th of June, and the for those that wonder what it is all about:
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.

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.
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.

Personally I hope we will see some projects picking up the quite awesome mobileVR port of Darkplaces: 

P.S.: Slightly OT, but the Inside3D forums (all about Quake1 engine programming) have a new home at

by (Julius) at June 21, 2016 02:55 PM

June 20, 2016


Bear Bastard and other good things


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.

by Joseph Hewitt at June 20, 2016 03:36 PM

June 18, 2016


OpenClonk Editor

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.

The editor can be launched easily directly from the main menu.

The editor can be launched easily directly from the main menu.

Editor startup screen

Editor startup screen

Fortunately, this is changing now! We are reworking the old “console mode” to be a full-fledged standalone editor capable of creating a variety of interesting scenarios.

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.

“New Scenario” dialogue

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:

  • Less cluttered user interface: All tools and viewports are arranged into dockable dialogues so there will be no more floating “object property” dialogues that got lost behind the viewport somehow. Of course if you want you can still undock elements such as viewports and e.g. move them off to a second screen. All tools (player/object/landscape cursors, brush modes, etc.) have been combined into the command bar on top.
  • New editor main interface

    New editor main interface

  • Easy-to-use object properties: When selecting an object, its basic categories can be set directly in a property list on the right. With properties, you can connect switches with doors, create enemy AI clonks, configure goal and rule objects, etc. Properties can use custom delegates for each type. For example, the shape delegate can be used to mark a region in the map such as trigger regions for enemy AI clonks. Colors can be chosen from a color dialogue box, numbers can be set in a spin box, etc. More complex types such as arrays of IDs can be defined in script.
  • Connecting a spin wheel to a stone door is very easy. Targets are listed by distance and the hovered element is highlighted in the viewport (left door in the example screenshot).

    Connecting a spin wheel to a stone door is very easy. Targets are listed by distance and the hovered element is highlighted in the viewport (left door in the example screenshot).

  • The object creator shows a list of all loaded definitions. Simply select a definition from the list and use a single click into the landscape to place the object. Object placement has a preview and allows rapid placement of many objects.
  • Simply select an object in the list and left-click to place it.

    Simply select an object in the list and left-click to place it.

  • Selected objects can be rotated and scaled by dragging a scaler and rotator knob. Rotation in multiple of 45 degrees es possible by holding Shift.
  • Drag the pink round knob to scale and rotate the selected object.

    Drag the pink round knob to scale and rotate the selected object.

  • Obscured or lost objects can be found in the object list. The list is organized by containment so objects in chests can also be found. Effects are also shown and can be edited.
  • Landscape painting has been improved: Instead of the brush preview in a hidden toolbox (that showed the wrong size anyway), you can now see the projected brush size as an overlay while painting materials. For static maps, the landscape can be switched to a “flat chunks” mode that makes it easier to draw e.g. vertical tunnels for stone doors or find any remaining sky pixels underground.
  • Shows the new brush preview (white circle) and the new

    Shows the new brush preview (white circle) and the new “flat chunks” mode, in which it’s easier to see errors in the map. Flat chunks mode can be enabled and disabled at runtime.

  • Start positions and start properties such as wealth, materials and construction plans can now be set easily through a “player start” object. Player start objects can be placed anywhere to denote a possible starting position. Multiple start positions can be defined for each team in melees or simply as random possible starting points. To make things easier for newbies, scenarios created through the “new” command already contain a centered player start object.
  • The player start object (here: One start object for each team in a team melee) can be used to determine player start positions and conditions.

    The player start object (here: One start object for each team in a team melee) can be used to determine player start positions and conditions.

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!

by Sven2 at June 18, 2016 05:46 AM