By popular request, we’ve updated the whole codebase to support the new version 0.5 of the yaml-cpp library. Uhhh… what does this mean you might ask:
For developers: You need to update your dependencies! Yaml-cpp 0.5 API is not backwards-compatible, so the new code will not compile until you update the library to the latest version. Take the time to make sure your distro supports the new version. For Windows developers, pre-built Visual Studio dependencies are available as usual.
For players: All load/saving will probably just be faster and better in general. Savegames are more robust now so they shouldn’t break everytime we update something. Your task now is to throughly test all loading/saving and make sure nothing broke. All savegames/rulesets/options should still work like before, so if they don’t, let us know.
Wow, this completely flew past my radar. I need to upgrade to a Hyperwave Decoder. So the team behind Massive Chalice, an upcoming tactical/RPG/strategy/game/thing, occasionally show off other games that inspired them while talking about their project in live streams. And in one of them they featured OpenXcom! Check it out! And check out their project too, it looks pretty cool.
(starts at 00:09:30)
First off, we have a Google+ now. I didn’t tell anyone about it, yet somehow it already has +36, don’t know how that happened, but… er… good job, fans that… can apparently read my mind. *puts tinfoil hat* Though I probably won’t use it as much since it doesn’t integrate with WordPress well, and I’m not sure where I can link it on the website without ruining the lovely Feng Shui.
Second, I’ve been contacted to help spread the word about this cool little project called Isomer. I know I know, lately all I’m doing is asking for you to support stuff. “Ugh not this again, why is Sup asking for my attention? Why do I have to do stuff? Why should I care about this and that? And more importantly, where is my mod that merges every X-COM game together???”. But you know what, we’re all friends here. Yes, even you. If a fan comes up to me and asks for my help, I’ll gladly invite them inside, offer them a cup of coffee, then we can sit down and have a nice talk about the birds and the bees. It’s all cool.
Anyways, Isomer is a real-time strategy game where you take control of alien forces invading a randomly-generated world and have to mine for resources, build up your base, upgrade your troops and wage war against the inhabits. Or be all best buddies I guess, it’s a sandbox, but that doesn’t sound like much fun. There’s nothing available to download yet, but it looks very much in the style of X-COM’s tile-based destructible Battlescape gameplay, some kind of X-COM meets Minecraft I guess. Keep an eye on it, looks interesting.
Wow, it’s been quite a week hasn’t it? I quickly put out a release and leave the website half-updated, figuring it’d give me a break as I needed to make way for university work, and before I knew it the website was bursting with activity. It’s like I had invited you all to dinner, but you show up early so everything is still dusty, my clothes are all over the floor the roast is on fire. And aliens burst through the bathroom and catch me with my pants down.
Anyways, first things first. Thanks to everyone who’s been spreading the word, especially Alec Meer and Phil Savage who wrote very nice articles about us and really helped boost our views. Usually I manually contact every press site and get nothing, but this time it all just happened organically. It really shows how much I don’t get this fancy Web 2.0 you kids are using. On that note, I should point out all the globe icons on the right that people miss. They take you to our various contacts/social networks! Try them! And if you have better ideas on how we should be using them let us know.
The website has now been fully updated to reflect all the new information and how the project has grown since its early days. Gone are the days when this was a mere one-man project!
Finally for everyone experiencing scrolling bugs and other issues, try the nightly builds and see if they solve your problem. And if you really want to increase the Battlescape viewport you can try increasing the baseXResolution but it’s highly experimental.
That should cover most of your issues, but I figure I should also answer some of the bigger debates here:
A lot of you still seem confused what OpenXcom’s real purpose is. Put simply, it’s a love letter to the hardcore fans of X-COM. The ones that don’t mind dusty graphics and a baffling interface, as long as they still get the gameplay they’ve always loved. It takes away the need for DOSBox, gets rid of all the nasty problems, makes it more accessible to more platforms, and tops it all off with various improvements to make sure you can keep on playing the original as long as you want.
It’s not meant to be the one remake to rule them all or a spiritual successor. I think we got enough of those, thank you very much. If you wanna mod it as such, that’s up to you.
As for why it’s 0.9 as opposed to 1.0, well, that’s just to give us some breathing room. It’s “feature-complete”, yes, but there’s always plenty of bugs that pop up when these things come out. And we’d actually like to take the time to go back and fix and refactor and improve everything, instead of keep on rushing features, before it becomes too messy to handle.
But we already have the original X-COM, there’s even patches like XcomUtil and UFO Extender, what more do you need? Isn’t it just kinda redundant and pointless? Maybe. Maybe.
Let me tell you this. How long have you been an X-COM fan? Been in the community? How many dozens of remakes have you seen flash past before your very eyes? I’ve seen a lot, for years and years. I remember when EDF was still new and fresh, and I was even part of the Xenocide development team at one point. But in the end, what’s the universal constant?
“It’s just not the same as the original”, everyone says. “They changed the gameplay too much, it’s not as challenging, it’s just not the same”, they say. “Why doesn’t just take the original and fix it up, instead of constantly screwing up the formula?”.
Well, that’s what we did. We took all the combined knowledge of the original X-COM community, and made something out of it. A fixed, improved, open-source version, for all to try. And we didn’t make another overambitious unfinished abandoned project in the process, and disappoint the community once for. That’s what OpenXcom is for. Maybe you’re happy enough with UFO Extender and XcomUtil. That’s fine. We’re not really trying to beat them, specially since it’s really hard to reproduce features just from looking at them and hoping we get it right, since everyone who develops these things vanishes into the ether leaving nothing to go on behind.
Maybe that’s not enough for you, you want a brand new HD state-of-the-art spirital successor remake-type thing. That’s fine, too. I like remakes. But I’d rather let someone else do that. I can tell you, from experience, reproducing X-COM from scratch is one hell of a challenge, and I imagine that’s where most fall apart once they realize this. But now they’ve got a stable open-source codebase to start from. They don’t need to worry about reproducing X-COM all over again anymore, they can focus on the important part, making their own unique vision and interpretation of it, making their own remake. So maybe we’ll see a lot more bold successful remakes now. At least I hope so. The series has a lot of potential, and it’d be great to see a lot more choices and variations for people to try, instead of the string of projects left to rot.
Apparently a lot of people are having this reaction when they play OpenXcom. That they wanna go back to the “easier original X-COM”. Let me put this bluntly. What in the actual fuck. I don’t wanna live on this planet anymore.
First, we can’t just port the original AI wholesale, we don’t have the source code. We had to write AI from scratch based as closely as possible to X-COM’s design. You can’t just turn a switch on and off to make it different, it’s a really complex system, and everyone has a different view on what consists “challenging”.
Second, “easier original X-COM”? Really? I never thought I’d be alive to hear such a statement. I don’t know what X-COM you were playing, but I can go back to the original and get half my squad killed on my first crash site on Beginner in a snap. Perfect visibility, ruthless aim, brutal reaction shots, that’s how it’s always been. In all my years as an X-COM fan, the original has been highly lauded for its brutal punishing difficulty, and every other remake has been massacred for “just not being difficult enough”. And now this. Maybe it’s different times, I heard people even had trouble playing the new XCOM on Normal. But for me, once X-COM is “easy”, I will never return.
Yes the AI is better. It no longer decides to just wonder aimlessly or get stuck inside some building somewhere. You can no longer reload the same game ten times until your shot finally hits. That didn’t seem like it was worth reproducing. I dunno, I haven’t seen any veterans have any trouble playing the game, a bunch of them have beaten it already. Maybe you just need to brush up on your tactics. Psi is still totally overpowered though, go nuts.