Thursday, December 23, 2010


Hey everybody,
First of all, happy holidays to all!  And thanks very much to those special few who donated recently.  As some of you know, I'm back early from my overseas trip, due to some medical issues.  In the interest of staying sane, I've been looking at D2TGP and the new project I've been working on, and decided to make some decisions (that I will actually stick to this time).  They are as follows:

  • My next project (see previous blog post regarding that) will now get almost all of my free time by priority.  D2TGP is full of so much legacy code, I don't even want to look at it any more. :)  This is the main reason so many bugs keep popping up as I add new features (or even fix other bugs).  It's time to start over completely instead of plastering half the body.
  • There will be only one more major update possible for D2TGP.  That will be upgrading to a new network library as previously mentioned, and possibly one final change with the Fremen.  No other new features will be added now that waypoints and the new zoom effect are in place.
  • New versions will be less frequent, and as stated, will involve a beta test period available only to donators.  They will be focused on fixing bugs and occasional optimization.
  • The source code may someday be available, but hasn't been up to now for the following reasons:
    • I don't know how to manage an open source code project while protecting against version splintering
    • I code in Blitz, which not many others know, and I have almost no knowledge of C, so working with others collaboratively is difficult
    • It has always been possible that some of what I created for this project will be used in a future commercial effort (i.e. the next project)
  • In short, I have not decided to release the source, but I have decided to make a decision on it some day. :)
So effectively, I am declaring D2TGP as being out of the design stages.  If you wanted, you could say it is out of alpha, and halfway through beta.  Any changes to design at the moment would be minor and will run through the beta process.

So please, continue to report bugs and help the project along.  Good things will come in the future, both for stabilizing this project and for an entirely better system in development.


Thursday, December 09, 2010

1.1.14b Release (Win)

Last release of the year.  Just a small one to fix some bugs.  Please see the previous two posts.  I'm off overseas tomorrow and won't be updating anything until January at least.  I've tested this release as much as I can, locally and networked, and remember that you can find links to older versions in the forums (in case there's some huge bug here I missed)!

And just FYI, the reason so many odd bugs popped up is because I needed to rewrite a substantial amount of code to work with the new zoom system, both to allow the same normal functions at any zoom level, and also to draw so many elements without taxing the average computer system.

One big caution about this update:  random maps now take a lot longer to generate!  I will try to optimize this later, but the upside is that drawing the map itself is faster.  So please, have a bit of patience when starting a game.  It may seem frozen a few seconds but it should complete.

Changelog since 1.1.14a:
  • Fixed bugs with concrete slab behavior
  • Fixed bugs with spice behavior
  • Fixed drawing positions of Starport queues
Other known bugs will have to wait for later.  And remember that Donators will have access to the beta program starting next year, which may also include other projects in the future.

Happy Holidays everyone and see you next year!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Holidays and beta program

Hi all,
I hope you're enjoying the new zoom effect, even though it created some new small bugs.  It took a lot of work to figure out and implement, since it is actually in 2d.  I'll try to get another bugfix version out this week but I'm not sure I'll have time.  The crashing appears to have been fixed though, so I won't feel too bad about the state of D2TGP if it has to stay this way a month.

Now that we have over 100 forum users, when I come back I will be starting an official beta program.  Donators will automatically have access to it.  I will be making early versions available for testing to that select few, and stable versions will start to be released much more slowly to make sure they have as few bugs as possible.

On a related note, I could still really use any donations anyone might be considering.  I leave this Friday and I've only had one donation so far, from someone who already donated before!  Even if it's only $1, that's enough to get you in as a Donator at the forums and to have my thanks.  Obviously you don't have to, and you shouldn't feel bad if you are unable (we're all poor right now).  But it's all appreciated very much.

Thanks everyone

Monday, December 06, 2010

1.1.14a (Win) Bugfix Release

1.1.14a is now available for download.

  • Windows graphics drivers now set to DirectX 9 in an effort to resolve many visual bug issues for certain users (was OpenGL).  It's been used in older versions so there should be no new issues because of it
  • Fixed bad limits for scrolling using keyboard direction keys
  • Fixed Frigate scaling
  • Fixed several issues with graphics being drawn in unexplored areas
Please see the previous post for full changes in 1.1.14.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

1.1.14 Release (Win)

Ok guys, if anyone is feeling the holiday spirit, now's the time to help.  I am leaving in 5 days for my vacation to Europe and I'm very short on funds (i.e., I will be eating berries from bushes unless I get some help).  Thanks a lot for all your support, and I will be very thankful for anything you can spare.
Since I'll be leaving soon, this is the last update for probably at least a month.  I don't plan on doing any development while I am gone.  When I come back I'll see also about a Linux release, but I don't have time now unfortunately.  However, this update should make all you Windows users (which is just about everybody) happy.  It adds a big new feature and should resolve the crashing issues people have had lately.  I'm very proud of this release and I hope you agree it's a great one.

Changelog since 1.1.10:
  • "2.5"-d zoom is now available.  This is basically the same as what was previewed in the YouTube video on D2TGP 2.0 (but we're not quite there yet).  Keep in mind it is a computational zoom effect in 2d, not full 3d in any sense.  It will require some smoothing out and tweaking later I'm sure
  • Infantry cannot be seen on the main map unless the Zoom level is at normal (you will see the Observer graphic on your GUI), or the Improved Radar upgrade is active.  They are still always invisible on the minimap.
  • Clicking the mousewheel button now always scrolls the map.  Rolling the mousewheel now zooms in and out when the player has an Outpost
  • Multi-threading core has now been completely disabled (suspect it was making problems for older computers even while disabled, and too many players were using it accidentally or on purpose and then complaining about stability)
  • Random Infantry no longer eject from destroyed buildings (I know, it's cool for tradition, but I don't feel the random nature of it fits the rest of the game)
  • Added sound effect for players joining
  • Changed sound playback to stop "Base Under Attack" message repeating too often
  • Fixed bug with scattering routines potentially causing crash
  • Fixed bug with IX menus potentially causing crash
  • Added a Donate button on Configurator screen