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BitOwl Application Suit 2 2009-10-01 22:59:27

BitOwl Application Suit is now back into active development. This is made possible by the fact that my school wanted me to produce a website for their school newspaper. So I now have 50+ minutes per day where I'm forced to work on my software. What fun.

The news publishing aspect of it of course is the main focus as it was back in the BitOwl News days. Of course BitOwl Application Suit 2 will be much more suited towards larger news site with MySQL support instead of forcing the highly memory intensive flat file database.

I also finally got a public subversion software for my projects. I would like to thank MiX-MaN of for giving me the opportunity to help with his server in exchange for the subversion repositories. This not only makes my life easier, but means I'll be shutting down my computer (saving money) and it successfully ties Skulltag together with school.

I suspect I'll have something else to announce in late October with Skulltag getting ready for the release of 98a. I'm personally excited for this release since I'll be able to more or less dump 32-bit software entirely.

Lets Play HacX 2009-08-06 23:49:04

I've finished uploading all of the videos for my recent game of HacX Co-op with Nostromo, Xaser, my brother and I.

The videos have been uploaded to a youtube play list.

Formal Annoucement of ECWolf 2009-08-04 05:05:23

With a mod already in the works using an early code base I think it's about time I formally announce this project. The project is called ECWolf ("Escape from Castle Wolfenstein" if you need a reason).

Why are you doing it?

I'm doing this mostly because no other Wolfenstein 3D port out there satisfies all of my wants. First off Wolfenstein must look like Wolfenstein and Wolf4SDL does a good job at this. Secondly it must allow for modern control schemes. Third it must be cross platform. Forth I want a port that can be easily extended, a mod maker should not need to worry about the source code.

Over the years there have been ports that satisfy most of these, but certainly not all. So I've decided to solve this myself... If I can find the time.

So what can we expect?

I've started porting some code from ZDoom into Wolfenstein. Namely I can load WADs, PK3, 7z, PAK, GRP, etc and I've already started using the resource manager with ecwolf.pk3.

Before anyone tells me, "but the wl6 files do not have named chunks." Believe me I already have a solution to this issue. I'm going to give them all names at start up based on a chunk to name map.

In addition I've rewritten the menu code into a nice object oriented approach. As a result I've added support for 1000 save slots along with an extended controls menu. (Now you can enjoy WASD or your favorite variant thereof.)

I also plan to have ECWolf detect your game data at run time instead of compile time so one exe will fit all. Perhaps I can reverse engineer support for other Wolf games? Also, I'm considering making a patch program to simplify this task (bring everyone to a single Wolf3D 1.4), but I may need to see about contacting id for permission on that.

What about your other projects?

None of my other projects are currently going to be affected by this one (in fact they may be helped since I'm reusing some of my code from other projects). ECWolf is currently a... Well lets just call it a side-side project, which means my Doom projects are going to take priority. Obviously if the interest is great enough this may change but that is the way things are headed.

I've uploaded some screen shots of the improvements.

Collection of Updates 2009-07-03 21:42:10

Recently some progress has been made to Simple Doom Editor. GhostlyDeath has decided to rejoin the team so hopefully things will go at a moderately slow pace instead of... moderately slow. At any rate we have discussed various ways in which plugins can be made and I think if someone wants to develop a plugin in C++ things will be more or less automatic.

I've also done a little bit of work for Skulltag itself. Having recently been annoyed by pistol skirmishes in the team selection rooms in Skulltag, I've decided to put an end to them. Until the player is assigned a team, they will have absolutely no weapons. This will require some modification of the levels themselves in order to work properly, but I think the end result will be worth it.

Speaking of Skulltag, Doomseeker is due for a new release soon. We're currently working on some protocol details before and the release will be synchronized with the testing version of Skulltag which implements said protocol. Hopefully the changes will allow easier testing of Skulltag on platforms other than Windows.

For anyone following the development of my little known Wolfenstein 3D port, I still haven't really touched it since vacation. The project is not a high priority and mostly is there to give me something to code while I'm using my laptop. The menu code rewrite is almost completely done and I already have improved some things. Namely save slots will be added when needed like ZDoom.

Now for the part unrelated to development! Recently there has been a lot of debate on the OpenGL and Software renderer in Skulltag. Namely that one has a greater freelook range. I've really always though the OpenGL renderer was a mistake. Before it was introduced Skulltag had a small but wonderful community. Maybe I like small circles of people, but I don't think anyone would deny that the community was better then. Although 96b was a fairly buggy release, it does not compare at all to the release of 97b which had the OpenGL renderer. In fact 97b was so bad that it seems Carnevil fled from the project. If I recall correctly a large number of the bugs had to due with the renderer differences.

Although it was not intended to split the community, there is no denying that the two renderer had a different set of features. In fact at this point they have a different set of mapping features! This means that the community did split already releasing a slew of mods only compatible with one renderer. Sure you can argue that the OpenGL renderer brought Torr on board, but once you have a cut like this the scar will forever remain. This is why I consider the OpenGL renderer the biggest mistake in Skulltag. Skulltag is loaded with a large amount of mistakes, but most of them had little to no permanent impact. There is no solution to this problem now, fixing it means losing a valuable member of the team and half the community which is equally, if not more, unacceptable.

That's all I have for now, hopefully the next update will be later this month (history says it will be somewhere between the 20th and the 29th).

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