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Topics - whitelynx

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Developers Journal / Catching Up
« on: November 10, 2009, 03:12:11 pm »
The developers have been scarce around here lately. Honestly, there's been way too much Real LifeTM happening for most of us, and the forums just haven't been high enough on our priority list to make the cut; I'm hoping that will change in the coming months.

There have been a lot of developments in the GNE universe since the last time I gave any sort of update here.


First, we moved all of our development pages from Trac to Redmine, a similar project management system. It was an improvement, but we still weren't quite happy with it, so we wrote our own, called EPIC. We haven't fully switched over to using EPIC in place of Redmine yet, but that should be coming in the next month or two.

Second, there have of course been huge developments in Precursors. Around the beginning of 2009, we switched engines from Crystal Space to Panda3D, mostly because of its superior Python support, and the fact that we got back to the furthest point we had been at under CS within about 2 months with Panda, coding everything from scratch. (compare to the years it took us to get to where we had been when we were actually making "releases" with CS-based code) We've continued hacking at Precursors, and right now we have full physics-based movement, shiny graphics, a fully themeable HUD system, a rather epic input system with support for multiple game controllers, and full network support, among other things. Our approach to coding the game has also changed; now we're using more rapid prototyping techniques, and since all of our code is now in Python, it's infinitely simpler to maintain and incrementally develop with.

On the side, we've also started a couple other projects: EPIC, mentioned above; Coconut, our own WebKit-based browser; and Q'niform, a PyQt-based writing tool aimed at novel writers and anyone else who wants a more organized way to write than the standard word processor.


Aside from the strictly GNE-related things, there have been a lot of changes in the developers' personal lives. I recently moved to Lubbock, TX, where Morgul, Caenus, and Burstaholic (as well as several other forum members) are from, and got my first actual programming job. (it's fun to get paid to do stuff you love!) Chris (Morgul) has also since gotten a job at the same place I work.


I'd also like to encourage all the forum members to start throwing their game ideas at us again; I miss the days where we'd have in-depth discussions about game mechanics, ideas for ships, and questions about the universe Chris has created. Let's see some more talk about the games!

Insert Catchy Closing Title Here

There's currently much more in the works for GNE, so keep your eyes peeled! We'll be announcing some big changes pretty soon that have us really psyched for the months ahead.

Developers Journal / News late in breaking!
« on: April 24, 2008, 02:41:08 pm »
This is old news to some, but I figured I'd say it again:

Precursors is back!

We've decided to switch development focus back to Precursors, starting off with a full rewrite. The only piece of code that has been kept so far is the GUI, because that was one of the last pieces to be implemented, and one of the best designs out of our old code. Other than that, we're starting from scratch.

Some of you may be asking, "why?" We have been working on Precursors for 4 years now (wow!) and over that time, we've grown exponentially as developers. We've learned a lot of lessons from our work on Precursors thus far, and it has helped us realize the shortcomings in the initial design.

Also, all of the libraries we based the game on have undergone significant changes since we last worked on Precursors, forcing us to make a decision: either struggle trying to update our code for the latest version, or rewrite from scratch. Since we decided some time ago that our underlying designs were in dire need of rethinking, we chose the latter option.

Since we decided to start over from scratch, we've taken the opportunity to make some other administrative changes to the project. First off, we renamed Precursors. It is no longer The Seventh Game: Precursors, it is now Requiem for Innocence: Precursors. (Nee!) (Shh!) Second, we moved Trac over to our main web server, upgraded it to the latest version, and made a completely new Trac project for the game, clearing out a bunch of old, outdated information. Third, we switched our source control from Subversion to Bazaar, a decentralized revision control system, allowing us much more flexibility in our development model.

As of right now, we have code in the repository which shows a nicely reskinned GUI. It's far from fully functional (we'd need the rest of the game implemented to be able to do that) but it's a great start, and allows us to get development started on a number of different platforms. We're also in the midst of designing a new networking plugin for Crystal space and CEL, geared toward MMO gameplay and integration into the CS framework.

Things are currently a bit slow-going, as most of us have plenty of other 'real-life' issues on our plates at the moment, but stick with us... we'll be back to give you that kickass game we've been promising.

General Discussion / Very Late Engagement Announcement
« on: March 09, 2008, 11:56:56 pm »
Since I haven't been on here in ages, I figured I'd let all the forumites know...

I'm engaged! (as of October)

My fiancee is on here too... her name is MissTake1024. She's talented, and pretty, and intelligent, and I love her! ;D

So anyway... sorry for the incredibly late announcement.

Developers Journal / Some thoughts, or at least words...
« on: June 11, 2007, 10:53:34 am »
Well, I figure this board hasn't gotten much love in the past year. We've all been busy as hell with school, jobs, women, existential crises, and the like.

Now that we've finally decided what we'll be doing from here on out, I'm sure some of you (ok, probably a LOT of you) are disappointed that we've decided to put Precursors on hold. I know I'm somewhat disappointed myself, but at this point it really is the best thing we could do for the project. We've been working on Precursors on and off for almost 3 years now, and we've gone through so many design changes, different versions of CS, and cycles of forgetting and then re-learning everything we knew about game design that it really is time to take an official break from it.

I do hope, however, that you all realize that this project is FAR from over. We have plans to work on Alluvion Storm for the next 2 years and get it to a publisher by then, which seems to be a much more realistic goal than any goal we've set for Precursors. Once we've gotten Alluvion to a beta-testing stage, (which should be well before a publisher gets their grubby hands on anything) there won't be much more work for the Dev team to do on Alluvion, because all that will be left is content and art. When we get to that point, we plan on throwing all our development resources at Precursors, starting the codebase over (mostly) from scratch, and coding up a good, solid foundation for a game.

The time spent on Precursors so far has been an amazing learning experience for us, and we have come a long way since banging out the first few lines of code in Chris's dorm room my freshman year. I'm very grateful for all of you who have noticed our project and gotten involved, by making models, volunteering code, or even just joining our forums and chatting; it's been a rewarding experience working on a project that captured your imaginations like it did ours!

I hope at least some of you are able to see the same kind of potential in Alluvion Storm; we definitely do. Even if you don't like Alluvion at all, check back in a year or two, and things should be starting back up for Precursors. It's been a great ride so far; here's hoping it gets even better!

RaptorNL / [OT] Interesting programming articles
« on: October 21, 2006, 12:50:32 pm »
A very interesting thing I just came across is something called "the Named Parameter Idiom". Basically, it allows C++ to have something similar to Python's keyword arguments. (things like func(foo="boo!", bar=3) in Python) The article can be found at

RaptorNL / Developers' Journal
« on: October 21, 2006, 12:26:55 pm »
I'm starting this thread as a collection of random thoughts and questions I come up with as I go through the process of converting the old HawkNL code into RaptorNL's new structure. Anyone should feel free to reply if they have any thoughts on what I say here. (also, contingencplan, feel free to post your own thoughts and questions here as well) I'd like to turn this into a running discussion of the structure of RaptorNL. If any one question in this thread grows beyond a couple of posts, it will get moved to its own thread.

RaptorNL / Idea: Socket class
« on: October 05, 2006, 06:18:34 pm »
Right now we're making a thin class to wrap socket functionality, called Socket. I have some ideas for making it a bit more than a strict thin wrapper that I think might make it easier to use.

  • Socket subclasses - create two smaller subclasses of Socket, ListenSocket and ConnectSocket, to handle the functionality for incoming and outgoing sockets, respectively. (if you're wondering about the names, take a look at any classic BSD sockets implementation) This makes all of the individual Socket files a bit easier to read through, as the read/write functionality is common to all sockets, but a listening socket can't connect, and a connecting socket can't listen.
  • Move some functionality to the constructor - open() should only need to be called once during the lifetime of a socket, and it must be called before anything else can be done, so I think it makes sense to put that into the constructor. Similarly, either listen() or connect() must be called on a socket before anything except open(), so it would make sense to put those in the constructors of their respective socket types. (or, if we don't split Socket into subclasses, simply have convenience constructors that take care of the listen/connect functionality.)
  • Move statistics functionality out of Socket - Statistics are nice, but I don't think their functionality logically belongs inside Socket... it may make more sense to move it to its own Statistics class that all Sockets register with, and they don't record statistics unless there is an attached Statistics object. (see my comments on the wiki for more thoughts)

Precursors / New Screenshots
« on: August 05, 2006, 01:38:52 pm »
Just some screenshots to whet your appetites for what's coming up in the next release. So far, we have targeting, and a completely redone main menu.


(sorry for the huge targeting screenshot... I'll try getting a smaller one up soon.)

Precursors / MOVED: Compile Problem
« on: August 05, 2006, 01:32:22 pm »

Precursors Artwork / Art Request: logo work
« on: July 11, 2006, 09:34:31 am »
I'm doing some work on our Trac page, since it's going to replace the old website as soon as possible. (the old site is outdated and of rather bland design, as well as being hard to update.)

I figured I'd get some help from the artists, since we're going to need a logo for that page. Right now it's just the GNE logo, which is great, but I kinda think the Precursors page should display the Precursors logo somewhere. :P

Basically, I need a Precursors logo image that will fit on that page. I'd say make it at most 512px wide, and possibly up to 512px tall. It's possible to have part of the logo extend down below the navbar onto the page itself, so long as the background is dark enough that the text can still be read clearly. Try to keep any text and most of the detail in the top 100px or so of the image, so that it doesn't make the page too tall. Please submit images as .png files.



General Announcements / New Release Roadmap
« on: May 10, 2006, 12:32:56 pm »
I've just spent some time getting our Trac roadmap page filled out so it can be useful, so now instead of posting roadmaps here, we'll be updating that page. You can find the new Roadmap page at


General Announcements / Adidas upgrade
« on: May 02, 2006, 11:04:30 pm »
Our server, adidas, was upgraded tonight. Basically, we looked around the apartment for the best parts we could find and tossed them all in a new case, and transplanted the hard drives from the old adidas. Coincidentally, adidas is back in the same case it was in 6 months ago.

Now for the juicy part: Our old subversion repository is no more. Now, before you get upset, let me tell you what we've done. We've split it into separate repositories for the game, documentation, and the website. Now, to get a copy of the game, you'll type:

Code: [Select]
svn co svn:// precursors
and to get the gamedata:

Code: [Select]
svn co svn:// precursors/gamedata

If you have an existing checkout, you can switch to the new directories with the following commands:

Run from within the precursors directory:
Code: [Select]
svn sw --relocate svn:// svn://
svn sw svn://

Run from within the precursors/gamedata directory:
Code: [Select]
svn sw --relocate svn:// svn://
svn sw svn://

The instructions on building the game (found at have been updated accordingly.

That should be it for this update, folks!


General Announcements / Development Release 0.3.3 (.696)
« on: March 06, 2006, 01:41:34 am »
The latest release of The Seventh Game: Precursors is now on our wiki:

Please check the known bugs list on that page before posting a new bug.

Now go forth and run into some asteroids!

Precursors Artwork / The AR1 Archigos Class Advanced Frigate
« on: February 28, 2006, 01:23:02 am »
Something Morgul and I wasted a few hours on today... hope it doesn't kick your ass too much.



General Announcements / Split precursors project in SVN
« on: December 08, 2005, 05:54:43 pm »
I removed the gamedata and gamedata_source directories from the precursors project in our subversion repository. They now each have their own project. Note that the gamedata is still required to run the game. The reason for the split is simply to make it easier for someone to work on one part or the other without having to worry about downloading massive amounts of information.

To check out the game:
Code: [Select]
svn co precursors

To check out the gamedata directory:
Code: [Select]
svn co precursors/gamedata

To check out the content source directory: (previously gamedata_source)
Code: [Select]
svn co precursors/gamedata_source
Please make sure to check out the gamedata directory inside your precursors checkout (specifically 'precursors/gamedata'), otherwise the game will not run. The source directory is not needed, and does not need to be in the precursors directory.


General Announcements / First alpha test release
« on: April 26, 2005, 02:18:05 pm »
We have released the first alpha test version of The Seventh Game: Precursors. It is available on the Precursors site, under "downloads". Please feel free to download it and report any new bugs to us, either through email or through these forums.

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