Sunday, April 7, 2013

NOWHERE - Alpha 51 - Colony

Rolling through the colony
NOWHERE Alpha 51 is now available for players who are preordering / alphafunding the game. As usual, you'll find the new download on your account page.

Windows and Linux builds are available, Mac OS X build follows soon.

Windows and Linux users also have access to our in-game IDE called "Liminal". See this and this blog post for more details. The editor is young and relatively limited, but can be toyed with a little already. Here are the most important hotkeys:
- F12: Exit immediately (also works in the regular game)
- F1: Toggle between IDE / Game
- (In workspace) Middle Mouse Button+Drag: pan across UI
- (In workspace) Ctrl+Mousewheel: zoom UI in/out

Changes:

- Game: The "City" test map has now replaced the old "Rock" test map, and become the "Colony" test map.
- Game: The algorithm for the city generator has been vastly improved and features lush mock structures and surfaces that are early precursors to what the colony will look like. The colony is randomly generated on each launch and covers about 1600 cubic meters of ground. There is no collision code yet.
- Game: The player movement physics has been changed from movement-based to force-based and works now a lot more like a multidirectional matter exhaust drive; your vehicle accelerates up to 120 km/h. When doing hard turns or not pressing one of the directional keys (WSAD), the motor applies correctional and braking force to stay on course or bring the vehicle to a halt.
- Game: The cameras FOV has been increased from 75 to 90 degrees.
- Game: post processing shaders are back, and enabled by default.
- Game: sentients have been taken out on short notice. The code needs to be optimized further.
- Game: Fixed game not launchable on win32 if path contained spaces.

Under The Hood:

- A few smaller optimizations.

Known Problems:

- Linux: On dual monitor setups, the engine may not recognize the screen resolution correctly. The launcher script explicitly starts the game in a 1280x720 window for now. (a problem caused by SDL missing a X11 feature on the older 32-bit Debian machine I have to use for building; this has low priority for now).
- Linux: If double-clicking the run-script in Nautilus does not work, launch the script from the terminal (./run-nowhere, ./run-liminal).
- Linux: The build is for 32-bit systems. Some 64-bit platforms do not provide 32-bit support libraries out of the box. 64-bit Ubuntu e.g. requires the ia32-libs package to be installed, which is part of the official repository. Other distros may require additional libraries.

- Nvidia cards (some? all?): I got reports that at least one of the shaders does not compile correctly; As I did all work on an AMD past week I didn't notice. The problem will be fixed in the next alpha.


- OSX: The game is currently not deployed within an .app folder yet. You'll need to launch the run-nowhere script from the root folder of the unpacked archive instead. Double-clicking works.
- OSX: No Liminal editor yet, due to a fairly messy situation where PyPy stock builds are 64-bit, but Awesomium which Liminal depends on is 32-bit, thus rendering both components incompatible to each other. As long as PyPy offers no 32-bit macosx builds and Awesomium sticks to 64-bit, this issue can not be resolved.

Up ahead:

- Continous development on both editor and game as we move forward.
- Drive the backstory forward and rearrange the gameplay around our new terrain techniques, starting with populating our space with the sentient swarm AI. The sentients are not hostile, but they inhabit the world, and interaction with them is a key element of the gameplay.
- Flesh out the colony in which the sentients will be living and create places where there's something to do.

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