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Archive for September, 2007

I smell a beta approaching (for all os’s)

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

I’ve tracked the rather annoying white planet/texture dds issue down to a config variable.  Now it’s just a matter of figuring out if the config var is valid anymore or if the code needs to be fixed to work with it.   Aside from that, a lot of work has been done to clean up the artwork and get everything that should be compressed, compressed.  But I think the extra few weeks of development has finally started to come to fruition.  

 There are a couple things being discussed on the forums that should be brought up though.  None of these are written in stone yet.

1.  The data directory will soon undergo a name change to data5.x to mark the new version. 

2.  Since the majority of textures will be in a lossy DXT format in that directory, we need a master repository for the lossless(hopefully) original images. 

3. Development of data5.x is likely going to occur in data5.x-test, so that at any given time, we may package data5.x and make a release, knowing that the code in it and images are stable and functioning… since all testing of new modifications have to first pass through data5.x-test.

 4.  Image types for the in-game art masters are going to be standardized, so we dont have a hodgepodge of formats being used. 

I think these are going to be very important given the extensive use of dds files for in-game textures and ramped up development pace. 

But, with the white texture issue nearly resolved (i have a fix just not sure yet if it’s correct) a beta release is definitely not far off.

Apple Beta Ready

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

I hate Steve Jobs.

Actually I don’t hate Steve himself… I just hate his crowning achievement: the Apple Macintosh Computer. Making every single Vega Strike release available on this piece of s^Hhardware is like taking a fully loaded .44 aiming at your feet, and pulling the trigger repeatedly. The plus side for you Apple fans is that I need you folks to test my hard work–and see if the version works on your system. So we have a prerelease intel-only (the PPC one has no known issues right now) Macintosh beta at http://vegastrike.stanford.edu/VegaStrike0.5.0beta0.dmg

This time the 14 hour problem wasn’t linking, or porting to intel mac, or working around the really broken version of GLSL that does not allow one to mix fixed functionality with shaders without getting missing polys or abysmal perforamance, or the disasters of keeping backwards compatability to OS X 10.1 —this time the problem was a sneaky race condition in Apple’s own implementation of OpenAL. In fact they covered it up with all sorts of red tape and “optimizations” so that it wouldn’t show up on simple tests…but without the useless (as far as correctness goes) “WARM BUFFERS” loop in oalSource.cpp , the Apple OpenAL library crashes even on the simplest of tests, rather than 45 minutes into gameplay as we were seeing before.

Given the shoddy implementation of Apple’s OpenAL that would suffer from such a juvenile race condition, I decided to switch to the Open Source crossplatform version of OpenAL that has languished since Apple worked on their own version and hence only worked on the PPC mac. I ported it (using the SDL backend) to Intel Mac…and that’s what I’m asking you folks to test for me today.

Apologies for the large size. I’ve included the .svn files (which are more than half the space) so that users can keep up to date if they install a macintosh svn client and show package contents and go to resources.

So…test the audio–test the shaders (right now only your very own llama has the juicy goodness of shaderific bump mapping…but Phlogios is apt to fix that now that he can see the fruits of his labor on his very own macintosh)

Bump Maps in action

As for the rest of you: linux users and windows users—well I’ll have to ask you to be patient and keep checking out subversion—right now Apple gets a bit of a head start due to their bad behavior!