September 2, 2012

Nightlies, Videos, Robots oh my!

Well here we are again, marvelling at the newest in SuperTuxKart development. And do we have anything exciting to show you? Oh yes!

Consider for a moment if you could download the newest version of SuperTuxKart, practically every day. Wouldn't that be cool? Well, sometimes life imitates art, or in this case the imagination. That's right, 3D artist extraordinaire samuncle has shown he has a technical side as well by creating an automatic build service which currently provides nightly builds of the development version for 32 and 64-bit Linux systems. Other operating systems are not available yet, but later the service may be expanded with some manually created builds for Windows.

Some caveats do apply to the nightly builds. They are in-development versions, and thus may have many unfinished features, bugs and other quirks. We do not provide support for the builds, but if you are reasonably sure you've found an unreported bug which is not related to your special mix of hardware and software (excepting STK of course), feel free to report it on our bug tracker. And, if you want to wait and not spoil any surprises it's probably best to leave it alone. But then what are you doing here? Shoo! Be gone!
Only (s)kidding. ;)

One useful feature that Auria created last time to help me with my blogging is the ability to take screen captures from within STK. Right Alt + Prt Screen will now save a screenshot in your system's temp folder, and from my experience it gives much less artifacts than using a general screenshot application. But now, we have just moved into the 2000's by embracing a new, exciting form of media: videos! (Worth to note is that this is not an option within the game; I am using external software to do this.) And to start off I'd like to show you a lap and a half of the new skidding AI driving on the Hacienda track.

Skidding AI in Hacienda
Remember, this is not me driving, but an AI, or robot, if you will. It may not look entirely human, but it's faster than we've ever seen the AI before and it's already quite hard to beat on some tracks. Next up is to get the AI to aim at items and nitro bottles, and avoid bananas. Some work has already started on this but it is not quite ready yet for showcasing.

Gnu in Nolok's dungeon
Gnu is sitting there all miserable and forever alone, when suddenly, he hears a sound! What may happen next? That's currently a secret, but maybe with some pressure from our readers I will get permission to release full videos of the various cutscenes in a later blog post. ;)

Well I think that about wraps it up for this time. Stay patient; we are probably still a couple months away from release, but hopefully this will ease the wait. :)

44 comments:

  1. More goodies, more odd thins, more high speed driving fun!

    And the cutscene? Some people unfortunately don't have flash or something of the sort. If you could tell us the story of the cut-scenes (if not on your lap than on this blog) it would be greatly appreciated.

    Please note: when you rejected our first Halloween edition we made another one. If you could please look at the new icon style and then tell us if you will take our Halloween edition or not it would be great. Halloween STK is ready for release if you great developers (and you worthy reporter) think you want it. Click my name.

    Great progress in STK == Print: "More demand to contribute!"

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  2. The cutscene is just an image. If you don't see any video for the skidding AI, try the direct link I just added. At least if you have a YouTube account, you can opt in to use the HTML5 Beta of their player by going to https://www.youtube.com/html5

    I'm sorry, but we will have to turn down your Halloween edition. As the project has grown, so has our demands for quality, and frankly your work does not quite live up to them. Hopefully you won't feel bad about it; it's nothing personal and it's nice to see people doing things with STK. So as said, keep honing your skills and some day we may accept your art contributions.

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    1. Hero, The Twins, stkradicalSeptember 2, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      "...life would be a dream..."

      Though deeply saddened we won't pursue a 0.7.3 version. Anyone else can and I encourage them to do so. STK is a great game. It would be nice if anyone who could would.

      We will try again on STK 0.8.x and see what you think then.

      The Twins have asked me to ask you these two questions: On a scale of one to ten where would you grade STK's models and icons. And on the same scale where would you put our junk. If I may grade it ourself I would say:

      STK models: 7
      Periodic models: 6
      STK icons: 7
      Periodic models: 5
      STK textures: 8
      Periodic textures: 6

      Our team will continue to work on STK with minor stuff. At some point we may be able to give you some stuff through the site.

      Good luck with STK. And good luck with anyone trying to make another STK 0.7.3 Halloween edition.

      Delete
    2. I know that the cutscene there is just a single image. I was talking about if you ever showed a video.

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    3. Why would it be anything personal?

      Unless... I wonder...

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    4. Just Skidding.

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    5. Look, the YouTube player should work with or without Flash, and if it doesn't work at all for you there's nothing I can do about it short of spending more time finding solutions, which I won't do. There's only so much patience I have with video issues, considering it's taken me so long to get adequate results even recording the thing, let alone editing it without having the software crash every five minutes.

      Delete
  3. I have made a french translation for my blog.
    http://samuncle.net/?p=136

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    Replies
    1. Nice job samuncle. However maybe you should correct these grammar mistakes. It will make it easier for someone to use it. You can just paste the following text.


      Supertuxkart nightly build:

      Here, you can find nightly builds that are compiled everynight at ~1:00 am UTC+02 (the time depends on the load of the server).

      So you can try Supertuxkart without building yourself!
      Please read carefuly before downloading this build...

      WARNING: The STK team DOESN'T support nightlybuild. It's only for testing. It may have bugs. If you are looking for the last stable version please go to supertuxkart.net/Downloads.

      This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS OR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
      How to use nightlies:

      The nightly is divided in two parts. You have stkbin_xxx.zip it's the binary and stkdata_xxx.zip it's the game data.

      stk = SuperTuxKart
      bin = binary
      dat = data
      lin = linux (maybe in the future we will provide also make a windows version)
      32 = 32 bits or 64 bits
      xxx = svn revsion

      You need to download the two parts, put them in the same directory, extract them and launch Supertuxkart.

      Delete
  4. Good job. I am still waiting for the network multiplayer :P

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  5. After getting the latest build...

    The skidding thing is very difficult to use. Why?
    1. It doesn't always work.
    2. Some times you hardly turn at all.
    3. There is a small jump before the turn.
    4. The speed bonus comes in to soon.

    I have a suggestion. Well more like a demand. Could you bring back Sharp Turn and Keep skidding? They would use the same key but you would use another key to toggle between them.

    I'm sure many people like Skidding and many others like Sharp Turn. Can't we have both?

    This skidding key makes some tracks (such as "Black Hill Mansion") unplayable to the standard player.

    I shall give you a bug report (on this blog) in a few minutes.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. 1. Probably a case of Keybaords Are Evil (http://www.sjbaker.org/wiki/index.php?title=Keyboards_Are_Evil). I experience such a problem with using up, left and space key at the same time (the up, or accelerate key falls out). You may have to use different key combinations.

      2. You can actually vary the steering angle quite a lot yourself while skidding with using the left and right keys while holding a skid. You will still turn less than what you can do without skidding, but sharp turn and skidding are different things.

      3. The jump has been debated a bit whether we should keep it or not. I think it would be fine if it was reduced, say half the height (and then the time spent in-air should be less as well). We'll see what more user testing and feedback tells us.

      4. The speed bonus kicks in as soon as you stop skidding. It needs to come fairly quickly or you would actually lose out to people who doesn't skid, and then what would the point be.

      We will as far as I know not keep the old sharp turn key behaviour since that would create additional problems with network synchronization in 0.9. Everybody will need to use the same physics in order for the game to interpolate between each update received from the other people playing the game. Additionally it would possibly create more maintenance work and bugs, so keeping everything configurable is not really an option for such a small team of programmers working on the game.

      Turning sharply is actually not a problem if you use the brakes in sharp corners. I can drive e.g. the curves in Minigolf Mischief by braking and starting to turn at the right moments.

      Delete
    2. The speed bonus seems to start WHILE I am skidding and about one second after I start.

      If you could make the skid turn a bit more sharply I wouldn't need sharp turn. Either that or you could edit Black Hill Mansion so that you don't need SHARP TURN to neglect a crash.

      Faithfully yours (and STK's),
      The Twins.

      Delete
    3. Doesn't start while I'm skidding at least, and the bonus for starting quickly has been there for a lot longer than the new skidding.

      Just slow down. I can drive Mansion without getting off-track this way. Granted, the track is not optimally designed, especially the uphill part before the house. But that is up to the track designer to eventually fix.

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    4. I know about the start bonus. I mean about one second after I start skidding.

      I am trying my hand at modifying Black Hill Mansion. All it needs is something to tell you to turn left then right instead of just right. Pile of dirt is my idea.

      How can I get it to you?

      Delete
    5. Huh, well, does it synchronize with the particles? If so you must've let go of the key one split second or something is wrong. You shouldn't get any bonus before you release the skid button.

      Sorry, but I don't have any suggestions for how to get it to us - the 'net is pretty much built around email addresses.

      Delete
    6. I see particles starting 1 second after I start skidding. I also recognize a speed boost as the curve I am traveling on lessens. You might be right about the button. I'll test.

      We could use the oh-so-famous website (ours). But I was just wondering if there is a better way.

      Also we can use E-mail. Just we don't have an E-mail address. If our computer couldn't E-mail you wouldn't see this comment.

      Delete
  6. Bugs and problems:

    1. When clicking on a location on the minimap the kart will simply jump into the air and land in the same location except that that kart is now pointing towards the challange.

    2. Skidding is extremely difficult to control, start, stop and use the speed boost (see my previous comment).

    3. GNU kart will appear as an AI when playing (I haven't unlocked him yet).

    4. Num Pad doesn't work as a control. For example instead of taking Num 4 as Nitro it turns me to the Left. 0.7.3 would have this problem when Num Lock was on. However 0.8 (unstable) has the problem, Num Pad or not.

    Other than that this version is great. I would like to see Sharp Turn back but that can wait. Just please do it ASAP.

    I hope to make a Halloween Edition of this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. Known bug: http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/supertuxkart/ticket/690

      2. With practice, it isn't that difficult but it's still not too easy. But that's kind of the point: the sharp turning is redundant when you can slow down for the extreme corners, and the new skidding is meant as a bonus, not to be used in every curve (though the AI is using it very aggressively, but on Expert that is fine). See previous answer to previous comment.

      3. Now that sounds like a bug which needs fixing, at least before the final release.

      4. That's a bit strange. I am not sure what may have caused this, but I'll enquire Auria about it.

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    2. Re 4: Auria doesn't know either, so this may be a change in Irrlicht which is out of our control.

      Delete
    3. Re: 4: http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/supertuxkart/ticket/613

      I used numpad keys in previous versions too :(

      People from irrlicht says, that keys with or without capslock are the same. And the same is with and without numlock enabled. Kind of simplification.

      Delete
  7. The current SVN build of STK is great! Only problem is the skidding. I like to play around it but I've had to disable it (by setting a different control for it) because I'm so used to pressing down my middle finger when ever I need to turn sharp.

    The skidding is fun but it takes a lot of the fun OUT of the game. I used to like swerving to collect presents but now thats almost impossible. I don't care about winning. I care about having fun.

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  8. Howdy! For a while I've thought about the Overworld. I realized that with this new challenge system you can't really take more challenges (in other words I can't create a challenge). Also there are probably some people who prefer the old system. Well here's a sollution!

    In the overworld there should be something that you run into. This will bring up the old challenge select menu. Though I can't code this I have a model and texture here which is yours to license (take credit for it if you wish). Just click on my name and the the file will download. Please not the model belongs in the "Models" directory along with it's texture.

    And don't take our team's failure with STK Halloween as an example for my models. Just take a look at it.

    If you download it please tell me so I may delete it from the site. Thanks.

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    1. Additional challenges will probably not be supported for 0.8, but perhaps it will be brought back for 0.8.1. This is mainly a time cost versus value thing; if someone made a patch for this we'd most likely include it.

      I've downloaded the file but as said this is not a priority for 0.8 as there were very few creating additional challenges in the first place.

      Delete
    2. Please keep it around if you think it is of quality. You could use it later.

      Delete
  9. Dear Arthur,

    In a previous post you noted that a hardware problem on your computer created a black box behind the spinning kart in the Kart Select menu. This box appears behind the mini-map and mini-map icons as well. Do you know what the problem is? Do you know how to fix it?

    NoBrain

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    1. Hm, I don't think it was on my computer. In any case such problems are nearly always caused by the video driver. You could try to go to "Options" in STK and turn off "Use FBO". Otherwise, try updating your video driver, or if you use ATI/AMD on Linux another driver altogether.

      Delete
  10. I was thinking STK might need a bit of a different name to fit the way it's going... say STK Motorsport.

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  11. Any nightlies for OS X?

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  12. Here is Black Hill Mansion in it's edited form. It is not the ideal version and I may polish it up a bit (and I'm sure others will) but it has the principal.

    The .zip contains:

    mansion.blend
    The Blender file.

    mansion_track.b3d
    The track exported.

    Bloody_Arrow.png
    One image that was added.


    The files should be placed in /data/tracks/mansion.

    Just click my name (I could trade mark that slogan)...

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  13. I have very mixed feelings about skidding. Sharp Turn fulfill its role very good.

    New solution isn't perfect because:
    1. Skidding is hard to control.

    2. If you don't use it, you will be worse than computer.

    3. I must release the key, when I want turn the other side.
    It's problem, when I want quickly get around i.e. a banana and I want quickly turn left and right.

    4. Rational explanation.
    I drive a car and I do something like Sharp Turn. Then, when I release the key, I get additional speed. Why? It's logic when other car drives in a front of me - low air resistance, and then we get turbo. But why on turning? I have special turbo in my car and I can enable it only in that moment? Why not in other?

    Sharp Turn was very good, and I wouldn't replace it by anything.

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    1. I agree with you Deve. I used to really like swerving to collect pickups. Now that's impossible.

      Again here is Black Hill Mansion. Please look at my last comment for more info.

      Delete
    2. The Black Hill Mansion .zip has been removed.

      If you wish to get tell me. I shall put back on the site.

      Delete
    3. Howdy The Twins. Just to correct grammar and make this understandable...

      "The Black Hill Mansion .zip has been removed.

      If you wish to get it, please tell me. I shall put back on the site."

      I've put it back on the site The Twins. Good luck STK (destroy the files for me will ya'?). Click the link up there.

      Delete
  14. Dear Developers (Or To Whom It May Be Concerned),

    What if you could click the STK Logo on the main menu? It would bring up a menu describing STK (as described on the Main Site). Kind of like a Website,

    Your's,
    NoBrain.

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  15. NoBrain: hmm this is not a bad idea but I'm not so sure what we could say, instead of describing in words what STK is, I think it's better to let people try it for themselves, don't you think? :)

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    1. I've played around with NoBrain's idea a bit and I've come up with this (click my name). It contains an edited version of the Main Menu and and the new "STK" menu. The one thing that you (that would be the person who downloads and applies it to the game) would have to do is add to code that the button ID "STK" goes to "STK.stkgui".

      Just so you know: The Twins' edited version of the Mansion track is available. Just click Hero's last Name.

      Delete
    2. Dear Auria,

      I was thinking something like this: "SuperTuxKart is a Free 3D kart racing game, with many tracks, characters and items for you to try. Have fun!". Than something about where to find the STK website. You do have it in the "Credits" AKA "About" but hardly anyone I know actually watches the credits. I do, of course, but I admit they're kinda boring. Keep the "Credits" (maybe the button should say Credits instead of about) but if you added in this menu it would be easier to read in a quick fashion.

      P.S.: stkradical; You've got my idea. Pretty cool job too. How do you edit menus?

      Your's,
      NoBrain.

      Delete
  16. Hello.

    The Mansion track zip is still up for you to download. Please do it soon or reject me because if this goes on to long I will cause unnecessary problems for track makers.

    Just click my name.

    ReplyDelete
  17. You keep talking about a 'skidding key', what are you talking about? All I see is the old 'sharp-turn' key, what's different?

    I like the new X1R6 track, but lap counting seems to be brocken

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    1. Nightly build is only the current condition of STK. No polishing. The STK team has a lot to do and therefore haven't gotten around to changing all the visual elements of the GUI. You can fix this if you wish.

      I believe this is because XR691 is missing proper check-lines (again you can fix this). These will probably be fixed before release.

      Sorry if I jumped on this question a bit and not wait for the STK team to respond but I'm pretty sure I know what I'm talking about.

      Delete
  18. Does the theme has to do with your occupation or perhaps is it mostly about your leisure and ways to spend your spare time?

    ReplyDelete