Zico's development blog
#1
Status of DXX

Yeah currently it is very quiet around DXX. But "behind the scenes" we lay our hands on the last changes for the upcoming version.
KayroMaster is still fighting with his new build system.
I took some time to change some very small things like improving the demo playback, creating better functions for the briefings in D1X and final improvements on the new cockpits.
If Kyro is ready with his new build system for D1X I will be finally able to implement some code so the linux version will store the config files in the home directory of the user like Brebs mentioned.
This patch and the movie patch of D2X I did for whitetiger (if he tells me that this patch works for him) will be the last two things standing between me and the release.

Stay tuned
zico
The greatest pleasure in life is to do what people say you cannot do.
Uhm... Honey, there's a head in the toilet!
#2
Problems and progress

Working with this code can be frustrating from time to time.
Somehow the new "Credits-code" does refuse to work with windows and some other small stuff still makes some problems, too.

But some other things work great.
Sniper mentioned in the past it would be great to have some kind of widescreen for his notebook. After a small look in the code I found something handy and implemented a new switch called -16to9:

before
[Image: 16to9_1.png]
after
[Image: 16to9_0.png]


If it just would be always that easy.

Stay tuned
zico

P.S. Don't be afraid because of the very small fonts. I just removed the big ones for some tests.
P.P.S. As you can see, the energy bars don't work correctly in every resolution. Works good with 4/3 but other aspects may produce such results.
The greatest pleasure in life is to do what people say you cannot do.
Uhm... Honey, there's a head in the toilet!
#3
Credits ... finally!

I've never seen such a disgusting code like that is used in the credits routines.
There are already reported that graphical glitches and they kept me insane for the last weeks. One reason for that is because you can only see them in the d1x windows build. Till this day I haven't found the reason for this and never expected this effect in another part of the game.
So I decided to rewrite the code from scratch and preventing the lines from going outside the screen borders (easy spoken).
The result is now that the credits fade in (yeah they fade in again and do not pop up at the bottom of the screen) and fade out in some kind of a 16/9 aspect. Looks cooler than before and finally works on every system and with only 3/4 of the amount of code that has been used before.

Now it's finally time to go to the last cosmetic changes. This is usually the last step I do before releasing a version.
These changes basically contain small testings of my new stuff and verify that everything is working correctly (together). I already saw some small things that I need to take care of but I think that will go well.

Stay tuned
zico
The greatest pleasure in life is to do what people say you cannot do.
Uhm... Honey, there's a head in the toilet!
#4
Bugfixes

The next version of DXX is probably nearer than expected.
There have been small bugs reported, that were caused by some new features.
There is the "white flickering" bug in the briefings and some smaller stuff like the need of the original reticles and some other smaller stuff.
Fernii also helped to solve an annoying bug in D2X joystick interface and I think this is almost worth a new release.

Additionally the new build system of D1X causes bugs if you want to build an SDL-only version. This is also the reason why I haven't uploaded it yet.

That new build system is just one of the bigger changes that may cause new bugs in the games but I want to create a better fundament to make D1X and D2X ready for the future.

If I have enough feedback about new stuff and enough time to solve this right I will build an v0.43 or if I can do much more stuff probably v0.45 or even 0.5.

A v0.5 will depends on how fast I will be able to implement the use of PhysFS to D1X. Many have asked why PhysFS is needed because you as player don't see a difference. But PhysFS is great to get around with the code. It really helps handling with the data files and so the additional hires files of D1X. This way I will have the chance to create HOG files for the hires data that will make your D1X directory look much cleaner.
Additionally the way to let D1X handle a user directory in linux will be WAY easier.

So this is the main target I want to reach for v0.5. After this v0.5 I hope we can get the new build system D1X uses to D2X. This build system makes compiling of D2X easier - it already saves time to compile D1X - and I will easy be able to implement new code files for the internet code I have planned for D2X.

Stay tuned
zico
The greatest pleasure in life is to do what people say you cannot do.
Uhm... Honey, there's a head in the toilet!
#5
OpenGL

Basically OpenGL is a great invention. On the other side it is still one of the biggest "bug-bases" of DXX. You can do so much things with OpenGL, but some functions make Descent look bad.

Now I'm very proud to tell you that this bug "seems" to be fixed. At least I haven't seen this bug anymore in my test-levels. It was a bug I fought with for about 3 months and many thanks go to <!-- w www.gamedev.net<!-- w for their help with some GL-calls that finally helped to eliminate this bug.
That means in D1X you don't see the exit tunnel anymore if the mine is already exploded, too.
Unfortunately that robot-briefing bug is still there. Currently I only have the chance to let the robots flicker or making the whole game totally slow. But I'm sure I will find a solution for this, too.

I guess the non-OpenGL related things for the next release will be done very fast but I am still an OpenGL-noob and so some things take a bit time.

Stay tuned
zico
The greatest pleasure in life is to do what people say you cannot do.
Uhm... Honey, there's a head in the toilet!
#6
Still I'm very busy but I've managed to clean my workspace, mailbox and my head as well.

The work will start again very soon, but please do not expect a release a few days after the "new start".
I have many targets for the next release and I promise it will be a stunning piece of a game. Not that many new features but TONS of fixed bugs, improvements, cleaner parts and new code to bring new stuff on.
The portal bug and the new joystick code are the two most different parts in this, but I hope it will go very well.
Joystick may be one of the most difficult because I don't know that part of the code and it may progress very slow. D2X-R runs now very well with joysticks (in the development code) but the implementation to D1X-R may be tricky because of the heavy differences in the codes on that side.
Multiplayer will need to wait again because I just can't do it at the moment. IPX bugs will be ripped off but probably NO online feature for D2X-Rebirth, yet. I wish there could be a bit help from other side but without this it must have a lower priority.
As always the biggest mark goes to D1X-R. As promised I plan to implement a lot of D2X-code to it to get a much better platform to work on (similar code).
In few words: the upcoming versions of D1X-R will have a more D2X-like "look and feel" (just "program specific", NOT gameplay, it will stay as D1 is meant to be).
In short: There will be MANY improvements code based even if there is probably not much to be seen. Prepare(d) for the future Wink

Stay tuned
zico
The greatest pleasure in life is to do what people say you cannot do.
Uhm... Honey, there's a head in the toilet!
#7
Now the exam stuff is over and slowly I start with DXX-Rebirth again.
It's still hard because I'm still a bit stressed (so don't expect results too soon.

Currently I try to fix the broken SDL build on D1X. This - once again - leads to a complete new build system with SCons (http://www.scons.org). It's a wonderful build system which allows to control the building files much better. I will implement it in D2X as well. Unfortunately it's hard to apply all the changes to the makefile system so it will become more deprecated version by version. But it will stay until I've managed to implement D2X MAC build and the two editor programs.

Ok, what profit will the user have with SCons? First of all it's easier to build if you compile on your own on.
But the most significant pro is the simple usage allowing me the implement new code much easier.

This way I already managed to remove a lot of DirectX related code for the windows build and replaced it with SDL.

This again leads to a better joystick management in D1X, a better sound system and a much more stable base because D1X now uses much more platform independent code which also means less work for me in the future.
But this work is not finished, yet. It's still in progress and needs a lot of work until it may merged with the current code. But ... as always ...

stay tuned
zico
The greatest pleasure in life is to do what people say you cannot do.
Uhm... Honey, there's a head in the toilet!
#8
Still on work.

Still much to do. But please be patient, this time I want to release something real useful Wink
The greatest pleasure in life is to do what people say you cannot do.
Uhm... Honey, there's a head in the toilet!
#9
With the help of Vertigo-1/MD-2389 (THANK YOU)
I was finally able to improve D1X' SDL code for windows.
Joysticks now seem to run very fine with it and I was able to play it on Dual mode with different combinations of three joysticks (Saitek ST30, Saitek Evo, Logitech Wingman Extreme Digital).
Additionally D1X will print out a lot of joystick information to stdout.txt so I will be able to track down potential recognition problems in the future. But the regognition function which is completly controlled by SDL itself should do it's job very good.
But once again it's still much to do.

Many thanks also go to Kreator for helping me out with the understanding of the automap code. Improving this will be my next thing on schedule (surprise awaits you there Wink ).

I could already release what I've done but I want to finish what I want to do now. So please don't think this project is dead.
I now take my time instead of releasing many new versions in a very short time that probably do not run after all...
But be sure it'll be worth waiting Smile

stay tuned
zico
The greatest pleasure in life is to do what people say you cannot do.
Uhm... Honey, there's a head in the toilet!
#10
To let you see this project is not dead, I'm writing this small status report once again.

The TOTO list for this release is the longest I ever had and I have the feeling it isn't getting shorter...

And I do not have bugs on it all alone - on the contrary. Most bugs are already fixed. There are still some sound issues with some soundcards and 22K sounds on D2X and some resolution issues which are related to the scalable layout in both games. But these two things are the most annoying bugs left...

Ok there are several features to implement like the Editor, MP3/OGG support, online play for D2X, but these will come in later version.

So what takes me so long?

First point is: If I do something I take my time, do it right and verify it really works in the optimal way. Second is the finetuning. I'm still working on many small things that rquire a lot of code changes. I would love to post so many screenshots but I also want a surprise for the small community out there. Smile
The last big point in this release is the view to the future. DXX should also be playable in some years, so there is much stuff to do to prepare it fo this time. Sure I can't prepare it for everything but I can try and make the code much more scalable. It won't be perfect but I hope to make a big step.

Probably the new release may introduce some new bugs because much new code is used, but to prevent this as good as possible I take some more time as well.

But to let you know a small part of my work: I'm working on some "resolution-related parts" just right now. Basically I just begun this work and it will probably take the most time of what's left on the TODO so

stay tuned
zico
The greatest pleasure in life is to do what people say you cannot do.
Uhm... Honey, there's a head in the toilet!


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