[WF-Announce] WorldForge Project Update

Anders Petersson demitar at worldforge.org
Sun Dec 12 00:06:53 PST 2004


WorldForge Project Update
=========================

http://www.worldforge.org/

Here is the first of what is hoped to be tri-monthly updates. They
intend to give a good overview of what is happening in WorldForge.

In case you become inspired, pop in a mail or visit us on irc.

Enjoy!


Table of Contents

      * Releases 
      * Clients 
              * Sear 
              * UClient 
              * Ember 
      * Tools 
              * EntityForge 
              * WFUT 
      * Games 
              * Mason 
              * Blue Mason 
      * Media 
              * Media structure 
              * Media and Once 
              * Media by Damien 
              * Media by zzorn 
              * Media by Jayr and munin 
      * Infra 
              * FTP 
              * Autobuilder 
      * Servers 
              * Indri 
              * Cyphesis-C++ 
      * Libraries 
              * Eris 
              * Sage 
              * WFMath 
              * WFTK 
      * IRC bots 
              * jasmine 
      * Related projects 
              * CloudCastle 
              * Thousand Parsec 

Releases
========

2004/11/30 skstream 0.3.3
http://www.worldforge.org/news/news1101861390_2848411

2004/11/19 Cyphesis 0.3.6
http://www.worldforge.org/news/news1100887464_4829111

2004/11/09 Eris 1.2.1
http://www.worldforge.org/news/news1099966501_486078

2004/10/13 Atlas-C++ 0.5.91
http://www.worldforge.org/news/news1097623304_6744621

2004/10/06 Varconf 0.6.2
http://www.worldforge.org/news/news1097096106_2375729


Sear (Simon Goodall)
====

http://www.worldforge.org/dev/eng/clients/sear

AlRiddoch has been doing work on a GUI for Sear. Also some work on using
the new wield and use op's for tool use. The next stage of work is to
port Sear to the new Eris version.


UClient (Ron Steinke <rsteinke at w-link.net>)
=======
  
Recent achievements
------------------- 
      * Converted the terrain code to take height data from Mercator
        (this is a 2.5D ISO client, so I couldn't just borrow Apogee
        code). 
      * Removed libxml dependency. 
      * Cleaned up how we pass default values to varconf.

Current goals
------------- 
      * Better organization of media config, separating: 
             1. 'skinning' media 
             2. entity media 
             3. other (terrain tiles, ambient music, etc.) 
      * Move to eris 1.3/sigc++ 2.0/lua 5.0. 
      * Change the way we use scripts, to improve skinnability by giving
        the user some control over the interface.

Current speed of development
----------------------------
Fairly steadily right now, as I've got some personal time between jobs.


Ember
=====

http://www.worldforge.org/dev/eng/clients/ember


EntityForge (Kai "nowhere" Blin <blin at gmx.net>)
===========

http://www.worldforge.org/dev/eng/tools/entityforge

Recent achievements
-------------------
Improved user interface using gtkmm2.4

Current goals
------------- 
      * Win32 builds. 
      * Documentation. 
      * Static object loading.

Current speed of development
----------------------------
Slow.

Reasons to have a look
----------------------
Should build in win32 now.

Help needed
----------- 
      * Needs a working md3 loader. 
      * Some difficulties with the win32 build.


WFUT (Simon Goodall)
====

http://www.worldforge.org/dev/eng/tools/wfut

The last update added support for a proxy server. Future work includes 
allowing users to specify download location, and saving preferences 
(perhaps using the Preferences API)


Mason (Hans "zzorn" Häggström <zzorn on irc.worldforge.org>
=====                         <zzorn at iki [dot] fi>)

The old mason design notes are available on the Mason homepage.
http://www.worldforge.org/games/mason/technology

There has not been any updates to them for a few years though (partly as
we are waiting for the technology to catch up), so they are in an idle
state.

Here we could use persons with python / javascript (?) knowledge and an 
interest in working with the server, client, and media teams to nail 
down the interfaces.

They could go through the game designs, refresh and modify them where 
needed, pick some prioritized features, and start implementing the Mason
rules.

I believe nowhere is/was working with this, but we could use more
people.

zzorn is the original designer of most of the Mason rule systems, and 
can be contacted about questions and discussions regarding them.


Blue Mason (Anders "Demitar" Petersson <demitar at worldforge.org>)
==========

The closest thing to a webpage is currently the design doc:
http://teal.worldforge.org/~demitar/bluemason/blue_mason.html

Blue Mason is supposed to be a short term realizable and releasable
game. The goal is to get a basic functioning release out before the
major conferences.


Media structure (Hans "zzorn" Häggström <zzorn on irc.worldforge.org>
===============                         <zzorn at iki [dot] fi>)

The contact persons for this are zzorn and munin.

The renaming proposal is available in the email archives at:
http://mail.worldforge.org/pipermail/media/2004-October/001408.html

Recent achievements
-------------------
The new media repository naming convention has been posted on the
relevant mailing lists, and reviewed.  There was a few small additions
to it.

Current goals
-------------
Implementing the described changes, this means adding directories for
low, high, and original resolutions, and moving and renaming the
textures and models.

After that, setting up a system to build a game files only -bundle of
the media repository would be good.

Current speed
-------------
Idle.

There has been no progress lately, but in principle we could start with
the changes anytime we have some idle time. Nagging to me (zzorn) about 
it on irc will help. ;-)

Reasons to check this out
-------------------------
This makes the media repository easier to use both for artists, clients,
and potentially for causal downloaders that are not interested in the
original files.

Help needed
-----------
Volunteers to help with the naming would be welcome. Note that the media
repository is over a gigabyte to download, and renaming requires svn
access rights, so people that already have access rights and the
repository checked out will find it easier to help.

Improvement suggestions and comments about the new naming scheme are
also still welcome.


Media and Once (Hans "zzorn" Häggström <zzorn on irc.worldforge.org>
==============                         <zzorn at iki [dot] fi>)

http://www.once.net.nz/

Communication channels are open, but at the moment there has been little
movement of art between the projects.

The cooperation could perhaps be activated a bit more, with active
looking through the Once models and textures and importing them to
worldforge, and more actively promoting the media resources available
from worldforge, as well as making it easier to use them.  This would
also make it easier for other open source projects to use WF media, and
potentially contribute.


Media by Damien (Damien McGinnes <mcginnes at netspeed com au>
===============                  <damien.mcginnes at defence gov au>)

What I've been working on:

Code
---- 
      * Blender to Cal3d script was reworked and is included as part of
        Blender2.34 release 
      * Blender to MD3 export was released and can be found at
        http://home.netspeed.com.au/mcginnes/md3-export-0.2.py

Textures
-------- 
      * quadruped_v2 was recently modified for feet/hooves. Some of the
        textures in svn need to be changed to support this. 
      * Added a grey chicken texture (just a recoloured red tex). 
      * Fixed the greyhair texture to support the most recent quadruped
        v2 template. 
      * Working on a goblin texture. I've got a lot of alligator skin
        pictures that I'm going to compose together.

Models
------
Chicken:
  Status: Rerigged and animated to support Blender2.34 Cal3d exporter.
  ToDo: Needs more textures.
  svn: 3d_objects/creatures/avian/chicken/

Horse: 
  Status: Rigged, textured - Goes well with munins 'motttled_oker'
    texture, animated - has Walk, Trot, Gallop, Eat animations.
  ToDo: Work on gallop animation, more textures, model tack (bridle,
    saddle, ...).
  svn: 3d_objects/creatures/quadruped_v2/horse/

Horse continued: 
      * Animations improved (thanks Jayr for pointing out that I had the
        hind knees backwards). 
      * Added saddle, blanket reins.
        http://home.netspeed.com.au/mcginnes/screenshots/horse_bridle.png 
      * Textures for black and brown saddles. 
      * Had a go at mounting malebuilder on the horse it actually works
        quite well, and is yet another reason to get a scheme for object
        attachment working in our clients.
        http://home.netspeed.com.au/mcginnes/screenshots/malebuilder_rides_again.png

Cow:
  Based on cow model from openfrag.org
  Status: Reworked, Textured, Rigged. Animation improved. Currently it
    walks, eats, sits and dies.
  ToDo: More animation.
  svn: 3d_objects/creatures/quadruped_v2/cow/

Deer:
  Status: No change recently.
  ToDo: Retexture for the quadruped_v2 change.
  svn: 3d_objects/creatures/quadruped_v2/cow/

Spider:
  Status: Modeled from scratch. Textured to insect template. Rigged.
    Animation started.
  ToDo: Texture, more animations.
  svn: (will upload soon) 3d_objects/creatures/insect/spider/


Media by zzorn (Hans "zzorn" Häggström <zzorn on irc.worldforge.org>
==============                         <zzorn at iki [dot] fi>)

I'm working on a grassland dipvira warrior, and a suitable texture for
it. Early screenshots:
http://mail.worldforge.org/pipermail/media/2004-October/001408.html
http://purple.worldforge.org/~zzorn/screenshots/dipvira_fighter_02_mesh.jpg

I'm also planning to work on various templates, like the wagon template,
and continue learning blender.

I will probably also do a template, a few models, and textures for space
ships, for my CloudShooter game.


Media by Jayr and munin (as reported by Damien)
=======================

In other news, Jayr has rerigged the Goblin and Malebuilder models and
the new rig is heaps easier to pose.  Theres still some work to do with
the vertex weights in both models, but the uv mapping still looks ok.
Some of his new animations put us all to shame. ;)

I've got no idea what munin is up to but there were some nifty butchers
shop screenies posted in #media.


FTP (ip change)
===

We wish extend a big thanks to malcolm for excellent hosting of our ftp
for so long.
___/o o
(   \__O o    <--- an entire bag of kudos for malcolm
(___/

Supposedly the ip of the changed at the end of the month, however
because of our excellent infra team I doubt anyone even noticed.


Autobuilder (Anders "Demitar" Petersson <demitar at worldforge.org>)
===========

http://teal.worldforge.org/~demitar/autobuild/

Recent archievements
--------------------
Now builds and packages entityforge on mingw32.

Current goals
-------------
To package sear and uclient for mingw32 and to change the default
display to show the actual error rather than only the status.


Indri (James Turner)
=====

http://www.worldforge.org/dev/eng/servers/indri

I've been working on reviving indri, restructuring the code-base to be
more manageable and easier for other to contribute. All of the code that
depended on the SpiderMonkey JavaScript runtime engine is now gone, and
what remains in a cut-down stub that should work as a simplified game
server in the next few months. Like Eris, indri is now using Atlas-C++
0.6 and also a tiny, hand-rolled scripting language. The basic plan is
to get a flat, static world populated with hard-coded entities that sear
or ember can connect to, and then start incrementally adding features
(back) in.


Cyphesis (Alistair Riddoch)
========

http://www.worldforge.org/dev/eng/servers/cyphesis

Check the latest release for more news:
http://www.worldforge.org/news/news1100887464_4829111


Eris (James Turner)
====

http://www.worldforge.org/dev/eng/libraries/eris

I have been working on the new version of Eris, including doing a 
development pre-release (version 1.3.0). The new version features 
considerable API and performance improvements, support for simple 
motion prediction, and is generally easier to work with than the older 
versions. In addition, the new version uses Atlas-C++ 0.6, which offers 
further performance improvements. I expect to do another development 
release in the near future, and then release 1.4.0 sometime in the new 
year. Feedback on the API is welcomed prior to freezing it for the 
stable series!


Sage (Simon Goodall)
====

http://www.worldforge.org/dev/eng/libraries/sage

No work on this for a while, although new versions of the OpenGL headers
are causing huge amounts of compiler warnings which need to be
addressed.


WFMath (Ron Steinke <rsteinke at w-link.net>)
======

http://www.worldforge.org/dev/eng/libraries/wfmath

Recent achievements
-------------------
Bug-fixes.

Current goals
-------------
Improve unit tests.

Current speed of development
----------------------------
Mostly idle, the library is basically stable.


WFTK (Ron Steinke <rsteinke at w-link.net>)
====

http://www.worldforge.org/dev/eng/libraries/wftk

Recent achievements
------------------- 
      * Better smart pointers, especially for media resources. 
      * Improvements to the application mainloop. 
      * Some widget cleanup, esp. in dialogs.

Current goals
------------- 
      * Redo the code in ScreenArea that handles calculating widget
        sizes and show()/hide() to be more efficient. 
      * Rework the text widgets.

Current speed of development
----------------------------
Very slow, I've mostly been focusing on uclient.


jasmine (Hans "zzorn" Häggström <zzorn on irc.worldforge.org>
=======                         <zzorn at iki [dot] fi>)

There's a proposal for a cool 'probability of person x to be online at a
specific time of the week based on previous weeks' -feature for mbot.

It has a detailed description of the feature, with easy to understand
pseudocode:

http://purple.worldforge.org/~zzorn/nick_awareness_pseudocode.txt

Anyone skilled with python and interested in bot programming is
encouraged to add this feature to jasmine ( in cvs:
forge/tools/irc/mbot/ ).

Contact zzorn for details on the feature proposal, and mithro for
details on working with the mbot codebase.


CloudCastle (Hans "zzorn" Häggström <zzorn on irc.worldforge.org>
===========                         <zzorn at iki [dot] fi>)

Short summary
-------------
Cloud castle is an umbrella project for a Java based game client,
server, and world & content editing tool.

It resides in cvs at:
http://purple.worldforge.org/cvs/forge/libs/CloudCastle/

It has no website at this moment.

Recent achievements
-------------------
A (java bean) component based construction tool, which can be used for
procedural objects of many kinds.  Still under development, so not yet
usable for end users:
http://purple.worldforge.org/~zzorn/screenshots/Procedural_Editor_02_Random_number_generator.png

Packages for working on procedural plants, buildings, and textures with
the construction tool are started, and have a few components for testing
purposes currently:
http://purple.worldforge.org/~zzorn/screenshots/Procedural_Room_02_Randomized_radial_room_scultor.jpg
http://purple.worldforge.org/~zzorn/screenshots/planteditor_01_first_plant.jpg
http://purple.worldforge.org/~zzorn/screenshots/planteditor_01_first_plant.jpg

To give direction to the CloudCastle development, I started building a
relatively simple game, preliminarily called CloudShooter. It's planned
to be a fly-over-planet surface, and shoot-at-enemies while driving to
waypoints type game, with an arcade feeling to it. (A bit like Terminal
Velocity, if you have played that).

http://purple.worldforge.org/~zzorn/screenshots/cloudshooter_03_fixed_skybox.jpg

Currently it is in very early stages of development, so not yet
playable.

It has game objects with appearance, physics properties, and behaviour.
It uses the jMonkey Engine for 3D, and javaode for physics.

Current Goals
-------------
For the component editor, the next steps are a way to enter values
directly in the UI for primitive fields, then XML export and import,
support for plant, building, and texture documents, and then an alpha
release.

For CloudShooter, the next targets are a small neural network based low
level behaviour layer for simple behaviours like keeping the ship with
the right side up, turning in a given direction, and flying forward.

After that, player input for controlling a ship could be implemented.

Later higher level, probably manually coded behaviours for target
finding and tracking are planned, and some simple following and
avoidance behaviour.

A texture template, models and textures for space ships are also on the
todo list.

A terrain is also needed relatively soon, for defining the terrain we
could use a component based approach that can be edited in the component
editor (requires an additional 2D top down editing view too, for control
points of features on the map).

Current speed of development
----------------------------
The component based editor is relatively idle at this moment.

The CloudShooter evolves steadily.

Reasons to check this out
-------------------------
Latest screenshots from CloudCastle projects are posted at:
http://purple.worldforge.org/~zzorn/screenshots/?C=M;O=D

Help needed
-----------
Help would be appreciated!

Java developers can find many interesting areas to work with in the
component editor and CloudShooter, as well as other parts of
CloudCastle.

Modelers and texture artists interested in creating space ships and
scenery for a somewhat arcade style game would be welcome too.

We also need a good, immersive story and plot for CloudShooter, as well
as ideas for how to make it interesting and unique, so game designers
with some emotioneering knowhow or arcade / space / scifi game design
ideas would be very welcome also.


Thousand Parsec
===============

Thousand Parsec has produced a playable game called MiniSec. This game
includes many features you would expect from a 4X game including,
colonisation, ship building and combat.

Thousand Parsec is now concentrating on polishing and play testing
MiniSec. As well they are working on producing their next milestone game
MTSec. This game plans to add more complicated combat and the option of
ship and weapon design.

Other developments include the production of the next version of the TP
protocol, a new C++ client library and forums on the website.



And from the project update committee I wish to extend the thanks to all
who helped making this possible.

Until next time, happy hacking.
--
Anders "Demitar" Petersson
WorldForge: Liberty, Brotherhood, and big fat piggies.



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