July 31, 2012

You've got to be skidding

Well here we are again to look at some of the latest progress in SuperTuxKart development. Without further ado, let's get on with the news.

Nolok doing a Gnunapping
Some more work on the first story cutscene has been made, especially fixing problems related to the camera and adding Nolok's spaceship, abducting Gnu. Also added is the capacity to show subtitles in cutscenes, and animated sound effects and particle emissions. Still to be done is getting a couple vocal effects and tweaking a couple things related to the animation.

Stephen has done a few nice changes to stkaddons.net, most of which are not immediately obvious to users. But among other things: direct URLs to individual addons now looks nicer, and a management panel for moderators and admins has been added. Older revisions will now be automatically deleted after a while with the exception of the newest one (obviously), or if it is the last supported one for a specific STK version, so it will never delete critical revisions of an add-on.

Debug view of skidding AI
In other news, the AI (artificial intelligence, or otherwise known as "computer player" in some games) has been improved to determine if it can use skidding or if it needs to brake during a turn in order to follow the drivelines. Pretty nifty, and makes it look quite a bit smarter (with the exception of some tracks, where it has problems due to losing ground contact due to elevation). It still needs a few tweaks, and is therefore not enabled by default yet. So whenever the AI gets the ability to seek out nitro and item boxes by themselves, I predict people may have to get better at driving smart and use the new skidding bonus to keep up. Of course, AI will be AI and most likely will have a few weaknesses still, and will also depend on the difficulty chosen, so I doubt we'll get an AI which is nearly impossible for humans to follow. So any improvement to the AI is a good improvement, and this is most certainly a good start.

Another nice addition to the game is the ability for it to save the current window position, so if you restart the game and it's in windowed mode it will start where you left its window last. This sounds superfluous, but for multi-monitor setups this means you can have it always start in one screen while you have other stuff on the other screen, without having to move it there manually every time.
We also received a few patches from nathanm32292394 (phew) fixing a few memory leaks and improving support for graphics drivers that don't support non-square and/or texture sizes which aren't power-of-two.

I think that's about it; if you think I've missed anything just yell, and also if there's other things I could do in order to make the blog better. See you next time, and until then: goodnight out there, WHATever you are!

88 comments:

  1. Some suggestions:

    In beginner mode I think AIs should go without swerving to pickup pickups. However in the higher modes this would be used by those very lucky AIs.

    In 0.7.3 English I've noticed that the grammar for the lap selector is not so good. Right now it goes 1 laps 2 laps 3 laps. It should go 1 LAP 2 LAPS 3 laps.

    And as a matter of fact I do care about the pictures. Could you post some shots every week and blogposts monthly. It's an agonizing wait.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My guess is: no screen above an article = 50% less readers :)

    The Twins: why don't you simply play the game every week? What do you need the screens for?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't like downloading the game weekly. I do have 0.7.3 but I'd like to see more of the latest.

      Delete
  3. OK, added a screenshot. Was going to add another but got problems with tearing (possibly due to sync to vblank not working with my video drivers).

    I won't do screenshots every week simply due to the fact that many changes are not visual, and thus it would not make sense if I don't have anything new to show.

    With regards to AI: the AI will be less smart at easy and medium difficulty levels, no worries. Also, it is not certain how smart the AI will get in time for 0.8; maybe we'll have to settle for braking and skidding first.

    About the grammar: yes, it's not perfect, but I'm not sure if we care to support special cases like that. If we got a patch, we'd certainly use it though. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Auria made a feature to take a screenshot within the game itself (limited to being in a race), so I was able to get another good screenshot without tearing. Awesome! :D

      Delete
  4. When there are graphical updates though..?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then it makes more sense to bundle that with the usual posts I make monthly. Otherwise it would just be images in some of them, and only text in the monthly ones, which doesn't seem like a good idea in practice. I kinda need to wait for interesting developments to accumulate before making a blogpost is worth it, or I'd post a lot about smaller changes and the posts would get less interesting as a result, I think.

      Besides, the blog is not meant for writing about each and every new change. If you want to read about every change, you can subscribe to the supertuxkart-commit mailing list here: https://lists.sourceforge.net/mailman/listinfo/supertuxkart-commit or otherwise bookmark http://cia.vc/stats/project/supertuxkart

      Delete
    2. No Email. Sorry.

      I think overworld could do with a billboard somewhere. If you run into it it will show you the previous challange system (0.7.3) to simplify it for some users.

      What is the story of the overworld?

      Delete
    3. Same here.

      There should be a Hire Nolok To Kidnap GNU Again button so that you can reset the challenges.

      I think that the high-scores website should be accessible from the game kind of like the high-scores thing.

      Delete
    4. I hate having to find the challenge files to reset. It feels like I'm cheating.

      Delete
    5. Hero, in 0.8 challenges will be kept per player, so to start over you can simply create a new player (and possibly delete the previous one)

      Delete
  5. Having some news about new available addons would be very nice :-)
    And even sometime some news about unfinished tracks would be good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Check the forums and stkaddons.net.

      Delete
  6. I compile the latest SVN on OS X 10.8 using cmake. Fullscreen doesn't work; it does work in the 0.7.3

    EDIT: I shouldn't have to enter the *** captcha when I comment via google

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've noticed that on SuperTuxKart Add-ons (stkaddons.net) all the text across the bottom displaying announcements overlaps so you can't really read what they say. It also gives an unseemly look to Stephen's work.

    This does not effect the text in game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've figured it out.

      If you're using Firefox 14.0.1 click on the Scripts button (for Ubuntu users this in the top left hand corner. For Windows users it's bottom right) (you can't miss it. Look for an over decorated S) and click on "Temporarily allow all this page". Reload the page and you'll be taken on a... text slide show.

      Delete
    2. Speaking of which...

      When I attempted to sign up for posting addons on stkaddons.net it asked for my Email address. Always the optimist I skipped it. When I attempted to register it did not like the lack of an Email address. However when I wrote tuarus@telus.com (a fake Email address since I have none) it said that I would get an Email link to start up my account. So could you please take out the Email. It drives me nuts.
      Possibly you could write None?

      Delete
    3. Same problem. Hate it.

      Someone please get Stephen to change this. It's a shame that people have to be unintentionally excluded from releasing addons for an outsource game.

      Operator? Get me Stephen please.

      Delete
    4. Sorry, we don't want spam-bots auto-registering so we need e-mail verification, and additionally if someone posted a lot of non-welcome stuff we need some kind of accountability. Furthermore, we might use stkaddons accounts for more down the line, e.g. for online multiplayer (but people will be able to play without accounts, just without unique names).

      Getting an e-mail address shouldn't be too hard, and if you're too young to be allowed one that's unfortunate, but that's how it is. Hopefully you are still motivated when the time comes and you have an e-mail address.

      Delete
    5. I might argue with the first paragraph of your comment but it will be difficult to do my idea anyway.

      You commented via a Form as they are called. These basically send an e-mail back to the server which interprets it and changes the site accordingly (or just gives it's master the comment).

      If you could use this method but allow larger files (like the stuff that makes tracks tick) you could get this going. To avoid computers you could use the same method that you have to go through to comment on this blog.

      Accountability is always a problem.

      I doubt you'll do this. It is really complicated and not that rewarding as the majority of contributors have E-mail.

      If only you could send it via Snail Mail.

      Delete
  8. I have a suggestion: After a race, can the high scores be displayed on the right of the screen? Currently it's tedious - you have to go back out and set up a new race just to see high scores. After a race, times are listed on the left. There is plenty of room to list high scores on the right (and highlight new high score if achieved).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good idea; we'll just have to watch out for overlaps because the new high score text may be longer in some languages and screen estate may not be too wide on smaller resolutions.

      Can't promise when this will be implemented, but I'll post it on our bug and task tracker tomorrow and then it'll be done sooner or later. Hopefully the former. :)

      Delete
    2. Great idea...

      About overlaps and track scores... the grand prix images that are displayed after you finish a track go down and out of view on long grand prixs (like All Tracks and any I make). It would be nice (1) if they stayed in the back panel and (2) scrolled through as you mad your way through the prix. I don't have the code but Presto Adagio. And this one really wrecks the game.

      Delete
  9. Could you add bouncing balls onto the Mini Map and place column? I'm always wondering if the ball's still there and how long it will take to get to the leader.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hero, this might make sense, though I can't promise anything since we're all quite busy

    ReplyDelete
  11. What compiler would you recommend to compile STK on Ubuntu.

    Software Center comes out with about 123 items.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's all on the wiki: http://supertuxkart.sourceforge.net/Build_STK_on_Linux#CMake

      Delete
    2. Thanks.

      Looks like my name has been censored.

      Delete
  12. You wouldn't by any chance be able to add an Overworld end to the Gran Prixs? I mean you would be teleported to the over world (with out the challenge orbs) and be able to drive around for 30 seconds at which point you'll become an AI and drive to the podium area.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello.
    I have a question:
    Will there be more Grand Prix races someday or will there be a possibility to select various tracks for some own Grand Prix races?
    I'd really be glad if that was possible.
    Thanks & bye.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would like to capitalize on Anonymous' request.

      Grand Prixs are stored as text files. On Linux these are stored in /home/[your-user-name]/supertuxkart-0.7.3-linux-glibc2.7-i386/data/grandprix. These say the name of the Grand Prix and the tracks (and laps) in that Grand Prix. These have to be edited in a text editor (gedit on Linux/notepad on Windows). If you could have not a track editor but a Graphical Track Use Editor where you could make Grand Prixs and Challenges.

      Another thing you could download from TuxFamily would be Track Settings. You could download a Challenge or Grand Prix and if it refered to a track or arena you don't have it would download that track or ask you to download it.

      Right now I can make Grand Prixs in gedit but some people may not want to get their hands messy.

      Delete
    2. I will capitalize on my last post too.

      It would be nice if skins could be down-loadable. It would also be nice if icons could be included in skins.

      Delete
  14. Would it be possible when you are selecting karts in multiplayer mode that once all were selected and you continued it would rearrange the karts on the kart select screen to where they would be in splitscreen.

    Here are some images. If they don't appear, tell me and I'll try to find another way to prove my point. They are .png file format and therefore may not display on some browsers.

    Click my name at the top of this comment.

    The file will be removed from my website on the 30th of August. Sorry if this is a problem.

    ReplyDelete
  15. GimpWhimp, I do not see the images. I think I see what you mean, however that would be quite low-priority because it's only sugar,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Click my name. It's an URL.

      If you still don't see the image I would suggest you switch to a better browser. Chrome and Firefox are the best with images. I would suggest Firefox as Chrome is practically a virus downloader.

      I've decided to remove the image on the 21st.

      Delete
    2. I like the "sugar" point.

      The reason would be:

      The first time I ever got friends together to play STK we decided on Skyline. My friend thought he was me even though he had different controls. He was delighted he had won. It was only later that we realized that I had won.

      Delete
  16. Is there any way I can contribute to STK that doesn't involve me needing an Email address?

    I will note that with this comments system I am Emailing my comment. However I don't need an address.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question. Well, you are doing it already, with suggestions here and possibly you can also use IRC (though as I understood it you should perhaps ask your parents for permission, if you're only 11-12 years old. That being said, the channel we're using is publicly logged, so if anything bad should happen there it should be easy to take necessary action).

      Otherwise, if you have an interest in music, 3D modelling or other art forms you could try learning one of those, even just for fun as we have certain standards that the game's artwork need to adhere to. And later, when you get an email address it will be easy for you to share your work with others.

      Delete
    2. 3D modeling is easy. I already make games in Blender.

      At some times I may post STK stuff on our website. Anyone could take it and put it up on stkaddons.net (and take all the credit if they want). But not right now.

      Delete
  17. Is the Halloween edition still down-loadable? And if so, where?

    I was wondering... can anyone take STK, replace all the images, tracks, etc., but on do anything with the code, and then release this version under a different name (say Super Linux Kart)? I mean use none of the graphical art from STK but all the code from STK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. About the Halloween edition, I have no idea.

      For your second question, indeed you can, and even use the same art as long as all copyright notices and license obligations are kept.

      Delete
    2. What's the licensing on the code?

      Delete
    3. Check the COPYING file included with your install of SuperTuxKart.

      Delete
  18. YourModerator (external)August 22, 2012 at 2:08 AM

    The header on supertuxkart.blogspot.ca does not link to the home page even though it hovers "To the front page".

    You seem to have 46 comments. Congrats.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does, unless you're on the front page already.

      Delete
    2. The words "DEVELOPMENT BLOG" do but the logo doesn't even though it hovers the same text.

      It would be nice if the Super Tux Kart logo linked to http://supertuxkart.sourceforge.net/

      49 comments. This is your highest so far.

      Delete
  19. When do you think the next blog post will be?

    If it is monthly (and it appears to be so) it's high time for another one.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have started editing the website. It requires no E-Mail address and is completely free. Thank you STK!

    http://supertuxkart.sourceforge.net/User:Hero

    ReplyDelete
  21. How do I get permission to edit pages on the main site?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hero, just tell us which pages you want to edit and why, and we will consider giving you access

    ReplyDelete
  23. The pages... all of them excluding download pages would be good...

    Why? I want to correct grammar and spelling on the site for an overall more enjoyable experience. I would also like to describe a term for people not to familiar with STK or Blender.

    Note: I would also create pages that there are links to but no content. I believe I've already done this: http://supertuxkart.sourceforge.net/Supertuxkart:Users

    ReplyDelete
  24. Replies
    1. Thank you.

      I'll edit once I get the time.

      Hero.

      Delete
  25. I added a page where people who want to discuss the elements of STK (but mainly the overall website) can do so. If you don't want me to do this, tell me and I shall delete it.

    Here is a link to the page: http://supertuxkart.sourceforge.net/Website_Discussion

    ReplyDelete
  26. Your_Avid_Fan_(Awaiting_Your_Post)August 28, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    When do you think you will be able to make another Blog post?

    If not in this week (2x-3x Aug) maybe you could write a post covering when features were added (starting a Tux Kart)?

    Cheers,

    Your Avid Fan (Awaiting Your Post)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully within the week, but I can't give any guarantees. I'm still recovering from my surgery three days ago so while I could make a post immediately I am not too keen on it yet (feeling a bit dizzy). Hope you understand. :)

      Not sure what you meant with a post covering when features were added; do you mean like a history overview of some sort? I may do that sometime but not sure when.

      Delete
    2. Your_Avid_Fan_(Awaiting_Your_Post)August 28, 2012 at 5:34 PM

      Kind of like this (I took random features and threw them in at random times, but you get the idea):

      Tuxkart:
      5 karts.
      5 tracks.
      Allowing 6 laps.
      Normal race mode.

      STK 0.1:
      6 karts.
      5 tracks.
      Allowing 10 laps.
      Normal race mode.

      STK 0.2
      10 karts.
      11 Tracks.
      Allowing 15 laps.
      Normal race mode.
      Follow the leader mode.

      STK 0.3
      ...



      You get the idea.

      Thank you for the fast response.

      Delete
  27. Can anyone make an STK Halloween edition (0.7.3), give it to STK (you) and have it published (along with the other editions)?

    PS. If I tried this, I don't have E-mail so that may hinder it a bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, anybody are free to try anything, basically. But we can't promise publication; it will depend on what licenses the work is under and also to some degree on the quality.

      Can't hurt to try, though. :)

      Delete
    2. Hero, The Twins, stkradicalAugust 29, 2012 at 12:33 AM

      Licensing... everything we make will be yours to license. Credit would go to Hero, The Twins and BH.

      Quality... Icons look a bit scrappy but I'm satisfied with our progress with the models.

      Publishing... how can we get it to you? None of us have E-mail addresses but all of us can send it via none E-mail address dependent ways. Your forum won't work though.

      Thanks for the fast reply.

      Delete
    3. Hero, The Twins, stkradicalAugust 29, 2012 at 12:38 AM

      ...All we'll have to give you will be .B3Ds and .PNGs.

      Delete
    4. Hero, The Twins, stkradicalAugust 29, 2012 at 12:44 AM

      ...and standard text files (for example stkgui).

      Delete
    5. It is also a matter of any outside sources, e.g. if you use an image from the Internet as source for a texture it needs to be freely licensed. With that I don't mean just free to download, but free of distribution restrictions etc.

      I am not sure what the best way would be to get it to us, but it would need to be uploaded somewhere. There are free file sharing sites but most require registration with e-mail address.

      Delete
    6. Hero, The Twins, stkradicalAugust 29, 2012 at 12:57 AM

      We're making it all ourselves.

      Solution. One of us lately acquired the rights to edit the website. Maybe we could upload the png files on there and provide the other stuff through a website we have. Either that or we could provide it through our website day by day.

      Choose quickly. We don't have that long until Halloween!

      (Or more simply you could decide not to do it. But that would let us down.)

      We will send shots via our site in a few days time. You can decide whether or not to undertake this from those shots.

      Delete
  28. Is there a B3D to .blend exporter? Or is there an B3D IMPORT plug-in for Blender?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Don't edit the B3D files, but use the .blend files we store in our media repository. More info: http://supertuxkart.sourceforge.net/Media_Repo

    If you want to get all files from the media repo on Windows, there's a program called TortoiseSVN which can do that for you. Otherwise, if you just want one or two files it may be easier to just click on the bottom link of the wiki page about the repo which will take you to a folder view of the repo. From there, you can download individual files or individual folders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hero, The Twins, stkradical (we found out who we were)August 28, 2012 at 11:56 PM

      Never mind, I came up with a different strategy.

      Note: we are going ahead with a Halloween edition BUT we won't release it unless we get a positive answer to comment 61. We only will edit graphical art since we're not coders outside of BGE.

      Just a taste of the plan:

      Presents = Pumpkins

      Nitro (small) = Bones

      Nitro (large) = Candy

      Bananas = Skulls

      And all the spookiest add-ons we can get our little hands on.

      Delete
  30. Hero, it's not a very good idea to upload this stuff to the website. The forum would be better really. And if you need an email address then you can easily get a free one from gmail or hotmail in a couple minutes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hero, The Twins, stkradicalAugust 29, 2012 at 1:12 AM

      Checked off.

      Will try our website.

      Will publicize date and link soon.

      Delete
  31. I have shots of STK Halloween 0.7.3.

    Please review these shots as soon as possible. To view them click the link on the top of this comment.

    If asked we are ready to start uploading.

    Please decide quickly. The danger of Halloween is close!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hero, The Twins, stkradicalAugust 29, 2012 at 3:38 PM

      Please, no one else look at them.

      Delete
    2. The images you link to on that page is not viewable outside your computer. In other words, you linked to the local copies of the images, which indeed will show up on your end. But naturally nobody else have the files on their computers, so you need to upload the images (if you haven't done so already) and adjust the img tags to point at the images on the server.

      Delete
    3. Hero, The Twins, stkradicalAugust 29, 2012 at 6:17 PM

      Sorry. Had the arrogance to not check with the web browser.

      Never had this problem before. Fixing.

      I can guess the problem. I inserted images before saving so "All Paths Relative" didn't work.

      Good job seeing past my alternate text.

      Note: Progress report. All icons fixed. Finishing skins. All models fixed. Completing licensing. Completing track modification.

      Delete
    4. Problem fixed. Awaiting your answer.

      Please decide quickly. The danger of Halloween is close at hand!

      Delete
  32. se que aquii no se reportan errores perro bueno( cuando usas nitro y intentas cruzar a la izquierda no puede pero el nitro y ala derecha si se puede )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rough translation of COMPUs from Spanish. Some difficulties occurred so this may not be correct:

      Errors are not reported on/with aquii good dog (when using nitro and trying to turn left I can not but the nitro and right turn).

      Delete
    2. Esto es porque el teclado no puede manejar múltiples pulsaciones de teclas. En otras palabras, no envía todas las pulsaciones de teclas en el ordenador y en última instancia a STK. Dado que el equipo piensa que está recibiendo el mensaje completo no se imprimirá un mensaje de error. Para solucionar este problema o bien encontrar algunos comandos de teclado que funcionan o conseguir un teclado gamer.

      This is because your keyboard cannot handle multiple key presses. In other words it doesn't send all the key presses to the computer and ultimately to STK. Since the computer thinks it is receiving the full message it will not print an error message. To fix this either find some key commands that work or get a gamer keyboard.

      Delete
  33. Hero, I'm sorry but I'm not sure the quality of the graphics you made for the halloween pack are up to the standards we usually require for STK. You're welcome to make unofficial packs, but something official should look a bit more professional

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hero, The Twins, stkradicalAugust 31, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      Thanks for the fast reply. Sorry I couldn't do the same (I usually try to reply within 30 mins.) but with all the school work I don't have much time. So sue me. Not wait, you can't, I don't have E-mail.

      We respect your decision. It will help us if you could tell us what part (modeling, texturing, icons or everything) so that we can improve are skills in that field. We will probably try making a 0.8 package next year (or what the latest edition is then).

      If there is any way we can contribute (without e-mail, possibly through the site) please let us know.

      About an unofficial pack... can't be done. The site only allows a certain amount of space and the entire STK package would be to much. We would of been able to give you the altered stuff easily however because it was of a smaller file size.

      If any one else wants to release an unofficial package just contact me (through this blog kinda turned into a forum). But remember, you'll have to put the packs together.

      I will of course continue on grammar checking the site (yours I mean).

      And please let our failure not make other people decide not to try. You may have the skill when we did not. Good luck.

      Delete
    2. Glad you took it so well, so to speak. I know it can be disheartening when you feel you've done your best but you're still turned down. Good thing is, with practice you get more skilled, and with better skills you are more likely to get something included as an official part of the game. So keep on practising! :)

      I think one of the main reasons it was turned down was because the icons look a bit too much hand-painted with a large brush. We'd probably need something a bit more "stylized".

      Delete
    3. Icons! Bingo!

      I was thinking of redoing it if it was just models. Icons will be difficult.

      Would you like our team to try it again or give it up until 0.8? Two of our members will not be able to continue but I may try it again (if you wish).

      Thanks Arthur for the fast response.

      If you have any ideas for a different type of icon (skulls vs. pumpkins) just give the word.

      We're at your command.

      Delete
    4. Sorry, I'll point out that I did the bad icons. - Hero

      Note: One of the skins is in the same style. Scrap as we call it. We also made a clearlooks, edited glass and spooky skins.

      Delete
    5. I've made a new icon style. Please look at it and tell me what you think. Use my name. /\

      If this changes anything and gives us the opportunity to give you our Halloween edition please let us know. Maybe even this crappy edition can come back from the dead.

      Long live STK.

      Delete
    6. Icon editing complete. To see the new style please click our name.

      If you could reconsider the Halloween edition from these new icons it would be greatly appreciated.

      -Hero and BH

      Delete
  34. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete