- Written by kharnov
Download it! Read on for what's new.
Hello everyone! Welcome to the 16th monthly alpha release of Unvanquished. Now that my finals are over and I've graduated college with a bachelor's degree in biology, I'll be able to get back to my weekly updates instead of the monthly variety. Of course, there will be plenty for me to talk about in successive posts over the coming weeks, since the rest of the team has been quite active even while I haven't been making updates due to an immense amount of schoolwork. At the moment, I'm eager to get back to updating all of you on our project and its progress, so that's what the remainder of this post will be about. I hope you're all enjoying the start of the summer, too!
Now, before I begin with what's new in this release, I'd like to mention something that I'm sure all of you have been waiting for, and that's the announcement that we will be having an Unvanquished summer tournament. We will be spending this June preparing it, and registration will begin right with our July release. The tournament itself will begin in mid-to-late July, and will carry over until the end of August. Every clan from Tremulous and Unvanquished is invited, and you are also welcome to form your own unaffiliated groups with other players. For the July release, we will also be merging all of our data files together, so that you won't be downloading more than a dozen packages. In addition, we hope to have our new UI ready, using libRocket.
This has been a long-requested feature, and we've at last added it this month. A minimap will display for all of our new maps, as well as for the majority of commonly played Tremulous maps. As one might expect, the minimap will display your current location, and will rotate along with your view. Teammates are displayed on the minimap, and the maps are appropiately colored as well. Make sure to give us plenty of feedback on it! In the future, we will consider adding a 3D minimap as well.
Color grading can now work on a regional basis, and multiple color grading effects can work in a single location, based on their respective weights. As a result, mappers can now have multiple regions utilizing separate color grades, and blend them where appropriate. In addition, the heat haze effect added last month should be much more easily noticed, so take a look at it when you use the flamethrower, lucifer cannon, or grenade.
Color grading effects!
Of course, color grading is not just for maps! Now that we have support for regional color grading, we've added some very nice effects that use it. For instance, if you take damage on either team, your view will fade into red (for humans) or grayscale (for aliens). When you die, the screen will be desaturated, and this will be retained during the spawn queue until you spawn, with colors fading back in. As a tyrant, charging up your trample will make the view go red. Finally, the mass driver scope will color your view teal, but that's not all! There's also a nice scope effect, which is animated and is displayed on both renderers. Happy hunting!
Plenty of upgrades to our bot code have gone in this month, from bug fixes to new actions for our behavior tree system. For instance, bots can now be made to say things both globally and to the team. Also, bots will no longer end up standing still for no reason, and the detection of the flamethrower range has been improved, so they won't waste their ammunition flaming from a distance. More specific information about the changes can be found on our bots branch, for those who are interested.
We've had some great development games on the development server over the last month, and as a result, we've used feedback from those games to do some more work on our in-progress gameplay. As you may or may not be aware of, we're shifting from the old Tremulous system to a new one in which build points are generated via resources, via resource extraction structures that must be built at distances from each other. There is also a confidence system that replaces the old stage up/down system, as has been explained in a blog post earlier last month. We're now testing out a new human building system based off power, which allows humans to build anywhere without a repeater, but requires them to build additional repeaters when the base grows and draws more power.
Sadly, this issue is not really fixed. I did some games today to test them (I was really eager to see bots enhancements) and have seen them running against turrets or walls indefinitely (but sometimes, pushing them manually or removing the building allowed them to continue their road. Not always...), changing their weapon in an infinite loop (and even removing the armory did not allowed them to leave the infinite loop) or missing end of floor of a footbridge and so falling back of the floor under it, and doing the same again and again...
But everything is not bad, about them, I have also noticed that they seems to jump more (for alien's ones) and so are stronger.
Anyway, I particularly liked the minimap, it helps a lot! It could be enhanced by a compass (as I said on IRC but it will be easier to remember here) to ease beginner where was the base, since when you do not know the map, you can quickly loose your direction by turning around here and there.
So, keep on the good work, guys!
*map zooms to the whole screen until button is un-pressed*