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Quicky Onyx Development Update
Posted 2005.04.08 07:10pm by Aaron
This news item is 5128 days old.

Just a quick update on how things are proceeding given the new master plan.

In the Onyx bug tracker I've added two new release targets, v0.25-limited-techdemo "Drunken Desperado" and v0.5-techdemo "Do or Die" and am in the process of sorting bugs from the first chapter release to these targets. For those curious the bug list shows everything with the current target assignment. The easiest way to see the release requirements is to change the 'Release' filter at the bottom of the page.

Basically whats going to happen is most the bugs that I previously outlined plus a bunch of carry-overs that were originally placed in the v0.5 release are moving to v0.25 for a very limited release to a beta group, and then v0.5 to come out shortly after will be released to the public barring any reformatted hard drives courtesy of v0.25. The two releases will be almost identical except that (for lack of a nicer way to say it) v0.25 will be illegal. It will contain placeholder sound effects stolen from other games, possibly license incompatible fonts and the build might not comply with the GPL since the legality of the current cross-build system is a bit (a lot) unknown. Basically I need to sort out what the cross-build requirements are and figure out if I need to do final releases with a Visual Studio build.

The v0.5 and v0.25 releases will be simultaneous for Linux and Win32, but unfortunately there's no sign of the OSX port on the horizon. I simply don't have ready access to a system to build and test on anymore. The Win32 build should work pretty much out of the box but the Linux version will require installing 3rd party packages (for at least v0.25). I'll look into distribution and linking issues briefly for v0.5, but if it becomes too time intensive it won't be happy pappy for that release either.

As for actual progress, there has been quite a bit. I've reworked several of the models required for v0.25 and v0.5 and they're looking good. The code has come a LONG way, even though the actual list of fixed bugs is pretty short. Some of them like 394 and 445 required a gallon of work, and so they represent really big steps forward.

The models have also required a huge amount of prodding to get them into a good state. A couple of the rougher ones have taken a whole night to reduce, clean up and generate hulls for. I don't want to sound picky since all this stuff is free to me but quite a few of the publicly available models are nice to look at, but geometrically speaking are absolute garbage. You know its scary when a model looks IDENTICAL after 40-50% of its faces have been optimized out. I'm still very grateful that they're out there to be used, but good gawd. Sometimes I just want to tear my hair out.

On a really outside topic there are quite a few things left to fix in JWV6 and I most of the time just can't bring myself to work on it. Really, it, jwgames.org, and onyx.jwgames.org NEED to be up and running before I can release even to beta. If they aren't then I'm going to have a nightmare of bug handling on my hands since notifications don't work in JWV5. It's just a huge mountain to climb for something that feels very trivial. I may even skip it for v0.25, but definitely before v0.5 touches the public everything needs to be running and well tested.

On that note I'm going to have to seriously start looking into 3rd party sites to mirror any release. Onyx is getting big enough that even with extended quotas and a VERY poor response to the release I'm going to have serious problems providing the bandwidth required. I'm sure there are a million and one options out there, I just hate to waste time investigating them.

Anyway, this 'quicky' update has turned into a massive complaint-fest so I think I'll wrap it up and say that things are moving ahead nicely again.

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