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2.2 Slope Hype

Mystic - November 4, 2016

It’s been a while since we last posted about 2.2’s progress, but it’s time to finally talk about the major changes we’ve been making. Some of you may remember from previous development discussions that slopes, while cool, would require us to pretty much rethink the entire campaign. This was even put forth as a reason not to implement slopes because of the amount of work it would take to do such a retrofit. Of course, now we do have slopes, so much of our development time recently has been involved in retrofitting our previous stages and figuring out what needs to be done to update them with slopes in mind. At the same time, some of our stages are rather ancient, and have needed a visual update for some time.

I’m happy to say that both of these things are actually very far along, and it’s time to show off what we’ve been doing to you all. As with all previous preview posts, everything you see here is subject to change, and if you look closely at the high resolution version you might even notice a few amusing bugs from the test files these screenshots were taken with.

Greenflower Zone Act 1 To start off, Greenflower Zone’s visuals have long been maligned by a large section of our fans. Here’s the new look, straight from the start of the game. You’ll notice that the textures have finally been changed, the flower sprites are also updated, and there’s now a skybox instead of the ancient sprite edit sky from almost twenty years ago.
Greenflower Zone Act 2 The visual updates include more than just the textures and sprites, too. Here’s the opening valley of GFZ2, with some extra detail added along with the slopes to make the stage look less monotonous. Some of those alcoves provide helpful items to boot.
Greenflower Zone Act 2 GFZ’s gameplay is also being heavily revamped, with significant usage of slopes, both as a teaching tool and just because they’re fun. There’s no way to show this entire concept in a single screenshot, but rolling into the horizontal spring here will send you quickly rolling down the hill and flying off a ramp at the bottom.
Techno Hill Zone Act 1 Techno Hill Zone has also been given a pass of fresh visual and gameplay paint, as this shot of the Knuckles route shows. Note that slopes can be used for visual effect just as much as they can be used for gameplay, making this room look way better than the 2.1 version.
Techno Hill Zone Act 1 Here’s an even more dramatic example of using slopes for scenic purposes in the underground alternate route of THZ1. While the gameplay here is still mostly the same, the visual update makes the area feel way more dramatic, especially when going for that emerald token.
Techno Hill Zone Act 2 Despite its recent age, THZ2 is not being neglected, as shown here with an early version of an entirely new route. Obviously, THZ2 needs way less work to bring it up to date than the previous stages, but it could still use a little additional polish.
Deep Sea Zone Act 1 Deep Sea Zone is in the process of a complete remake, and slopes have been heavily integrated into it, as seen in this room that would have been unthinkable in SRB2 five years ago. One act of the remake is already completable, and even those of you who hate water stages will likely find something to like in it.
Deep Sea Zone Act 1 Here’s another example of the gameplay value of slopes. To reach the platform with the emerald token at the top of the hill, you’ll have to spindash up the slope. This screenshot also shows the “outdoor” DSZ areas, with an open skybox of the sea around you.
Castle Eggman Zone Act 1 Act 1 of Castle Eggman Zone is notoriously the worst stage in 2.1, and we’ve previously talked about how we’re completely redoing it. Here’s a neat example room from that remake, which takes slopes and combines them with a zone gimmick.
Castle Eggman Zone Act 1 There have also been a lot of quality of life changes to many of the zones, such as this shot of how the arrows the robo hood fire now have little trails to make them way more obvious. They also make sounds before firing, which should prevent a lot of the cheap shots that they’ve been known for. As a note, this shot is so bright because lightning happened to strike right as I took it.
Special Stage 3 The special stages are also receiving updates to fix some of the problems that made it into release and make some of them more interesting. Here’s a shot of the current beta of special stage 3, showing the new layout to a room that was previously pretty boring.

While 2.2 is indeed going to take a while longer, I hope this at least shows we’re not just sitting here doing nothing. Slopes are a huge game-changer for SRB2. While it’s going to take us a while to fully realize their potential, I’m happy to say that initial results are quite promising.

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2.1.16 release, 2.2 information, and community news update.

Rob Tisdell - September 5, 2016

2.1.16 is here! There is one very important thing we need to state up front – in order to make the online SRB2 experience more stable and reduce the number of desynchronisations that may occur, we have decided to make the difficult decision of disabling netgame capabilities in Direct Draw (srb2dd.exe) builds. It will be a long road, but this first consolidating step will help us understand and potentially solve the problems with the netcode.  We’ll give you the patch notes at the end of the post, don’t you worry.

In case you haven’t been paying attention to the forums, there’s been an interesting group project that’s been going on – and it’s out now! It’s called Shut Up and Get On It, or SUGOI, and with 29 unique levels it’s one of the biggest map packs in the history of SRB2. Pretty much the whole community has come together to work on this thing and, thanks to the magic of slopes, it’s really amazing.  We encourage you to go play that map pack after downloading the 2.1.16 update.

Also in exciting news, we don’t usually get attention from the wider world… but a couple months ago we got three separate sites reporting on us at once!

1) – Dorkly mentioned us in their list of cool pop culture DooM mods. We’re mentioned alongside ancient greats like Ghostbusters DooM as well as the relatively modern Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch.

2) – IGN went into our game wanting to hate it, but realised they couldn’t!  Someone should tell them we have mediocre support for controllers.

3) – Last but not least, Gizmodo interviewed us devs about the history of the game! We gave ’em a few 2.2 screenshots to pick from for their header image as gratitude for their thoughtfulness.

We did give them a few more images than they had space for, so here’s the other two – featuring the new versions of Tails, GFZ1 and CEZ1! It also features our new Sonic, although he’s now available on the message board with some custom abilities for fun here.

GFZ1

CEZ1

It’s a shame 2.2 isn’t ready yet… but that doesn’t mean 2.1.16 isn’t pretty great in and of itself!

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Version 2.1.15 Release

Inuyasha - May 19, 2016

Hey guys! We’ve been thinking about how wonderful boys and girls you all are, so we’re deciding to give you a wonderful present well earlier than we originally intended! I hope you all enjoy playing with slopes as much as we do jumping off them and flying into space.

… I apologize for the sickening saccharine tint to that last paragraph, but hey, I want to have a little fun. It’s my birthday, so cut me some slack.

This release is being provided both in the form of an installer for those new to the game, and a patch for those who have already installed the game. The patch works only with version 2.1.14. That shouldn’t be a problem for anyone at this point, considering how long version 2.1.14 has been out now. New features and fixes are as follows:

  • Slopes! Forever is a long time coming. Note that none of the existing levels are modified; you’ll have to wait until 2.2 for that. The primary reason for this release is so that modders can finally use slopes without having to resort to alternate EXEs, as they’ve been doing for months now. Just be warned that while OpenGL has support for slopes, it is only partially complete in that renderer and not fully tested.
  • To go along with slopes, physics have been slightly changed for moving platforms and polyobjects. Jumping off of a platform moving upwards now gives your jump a height boost, for instance.
  • Added FF_ANIMATE, a flag for creating simple, single state animations. Instead of creating 30 states for your 30 frame ring animation, you can now just create one to achieve the same effect.
  • Music slots are removed. No longer do you have to call your music lumps O_MAP##M; you can now call them anything you want. Anything. As long as it’s six or less characters, I guess.
  • Lots of changes and fixes to Lua and SOC. We’ll go over some of the important ones briefly:
    • A PlayerSpawn hook was added to Lua, allowing a lot easier and better control over what happens when players spawn or join the game.
    • The lines comprising a sector may now be gotten in Lua with (sector).lines.
    • HUD scripts in Lua can now access the game’s current resolution (width and height), along with dupx and dupy (the sizes for automatic patch scaling).
    • “Lua.” custom level header options in SOC won’t eat parts of future level header definitions by mistake. We made sure to feed the parsers properly this time, with high quality kibbles and bits.
    • “MUSIC = (name)” was added to level headers and cutscenes in SOC to accommodate the above removal of music slots.
    • A lot of error messages were changed to make what’s going wrong easier to understand, especially variable out of range errors.
    • SOC scripts can now be named SOC_****, to go along with Lua scripts being named LUA_****. This means you can actually organize multiple SOC scripts into WAD files, instead of having to stick everything in MAINCFG.
  • Fixed issues with polyobject spawning and other assorted weird things they would do.
  • Fixed pro-strat launching-yourself-off-CEZ-chains-within-1-tic abuse. Sorry, speedrunners.
  • Fixed a lot of bugs in the menu relating to pressing combinations of enter and escape rapidly. Sorry, keyboard mashers.
  • Fixed a very, very long-standing bug where garbage would be drawn to screen in certain situations if you ran under or flew over an FOF.
  • Minor map adjustments and fixes, scattered throughout the single player maps and multiplayer maps.
  • Lastly, in this little space at the end of the ‘important’ patch notes, I would like to give a sad goodbye to our old friend, That One Snailer. You all know him very well, but now he is no longer with us. He will be missed. (not)

That’s all of the important stuff out of the way, but there’s lots more technical changes we haven’t mentioned so far. You can find that information after the break.

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2.2 Preview – With Slopes!

Mystic - February 12, 2016

Development on new content is still quite slow, but this time there’s actually a good reason that isn’t just us playing too many other games. While these screenshots don’t show it, there are also a dramatic amount of minor (and some major) changes under the hood that improve a lot of the engine.

Greenflower Zone Act 2 By far the most dramatic improvement since the last post is slopes. Yes, really! They even feature proper physics! This feature is pretty game-changing, and will take a while to implement in all of the stages that need it, so stages are given priority for retrofitting, with Greenflower and Arid Canyon currently the highest priority.
Greenflower Zone Act 1 What may be even more exciting to some of our long-time players is that because of slopes, Greenflower 1 is finally getting a proper update. This update is pretty similar in method as the updates to Techno Hill 1 for 2.1. Priorities for the revamp include better teaching our game’s mechanics to newbies while also providing rewards for skilled play. Time attack in particular is a lot more complicated, with actual timing and skill being required instead of just thokking down an optimal route.
Castle Eggman Zone Act 1 While Greenflower is getting a retrofit, Castle Eggman 1 is way too bad for any sort of retrofit to fix the problems it has. Thus, it’s getting completely remade, as shown in this old work in progress shot. We don’t want to provide too many specifics to preserve the surprise when it is finally ready to go, but expect something actually fun. Hopefully the third time will be the charm on this one.
Arid Canyon Zone Act 2 Finally, here’s a shot of Arid Canyon 2, complete with some slopes in action in a new stage. While there are still too many visual quirks for us to show you the mine carts in action, the stage overall is coming together quite nicely. Expect expansion on the ideas and gimmicks in act 1, but with a bit more challenge this time.

Like every preview we post, things shown off here are subject to change before release. Hopefully we can get you another update in less than a year this time.

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Public source code migration

Rob Tisdell - February 25, 2015
The codebase has been moved to a new location and now is managed through git. git is a distributed source versioning system that is very flexible and allows everyone to reap the benefits of version control without having direct access to the “upstream” repository. The code is hosted at http://git.magicalgirl.moe/ — you may create an account and fork the [STJr/SRB2]  repo to help out with development or host your mod!
The move to git and GitLab has some nice implications for you:
  •  You can host your source mods and contributions alongside the same location as the SRB2 codebase.
  • We are opening up development a bit, so that you will have access to in-development code past the last release. Obviously, we are keeping anything that involves spoilers internal, but we are going to try to make as much of our code public as we can.
  • Due to the above, it is easier to keep your source mod up to date with the official codebase now.
  • You can also submit issues directly to the public repo to help us keep track of bugs!
And for us, there are many benefits too. The least of which is that we have a better way to review code before it gets delivered to you guys. Yay for less bugs!
In addition to GitLab, the existing public GitHub repo will be kept up-to-date. If you prefer contributing through GitHub, you may continue doing that, but we will be hosting the issues repo from GitLab instead of GitHub.
The guide on the wiki will be updated to have more relevant information. For now, give the site a perusal and let us know what you think!

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask furyhunter (on IRC EsperNet #srb2fun or send a PM via the forums).

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A Trio of 2.2 Tidbits

Mystic - February 14, 2015

While development on new content has been slow due to all of the patches to 2.1 last year, we’ve finally progressed to the point where we can show off at least a few tidbits of what’s upcoming for version 2.2! Like every preview we post, things shown off here are subject to change before release.

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Hotfix for F12 not working

Inuyasha - January 1, 2015

If F12 is not working in SRB2, download this zip and extract it into your SRB2 directory to fix the problem.

If it is working, good for you! This hotfix patch is completely optional and is netgame compatible with the original release of 2.1.14.

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Version 2.1.14 Release

Inuyasha - December 31, 2014

Oh, you were expecting version 2.1.13? Sorry, we decided to skip that number because of how unlucky it is. Totally. Trust us.

Anyway, folks… it’s been a wild ride, but we’ve finally reached the end of “The Year of 2.1”. We hope all of the included modding features that have been introduced with 2.1 and all of its patches will help tide you over until our next major release comes out to give you new content to play with.

This is the last planned 2.1 release. Unless a major bug is found that requires an immediate patch, the next release of the game will be version 2.2.0. Due to the number of changed files in this release, there is no patch download; the only download available is the full installer. To upgrade from a previous version, just install the new version into the same directory; your game data, save files, and the like should all remain intact.

Note: We are aware of an issue with OpenGL exhibiting odd effects in some resolutions, such as overlaying the screen on top of itself, or “ghosting”-like effects. If you encounter these issues, use the DirectDraw executable (srb2dd.exe) for playing in OpenGL mode.

  • Vertical and horizontal mouse sensitivity can now be changed separately.
  • Walls and sprites should now stay the same brightness in Software mode regardless of resolution.
  • Fixed major rendering issues in Aerial Garden Zone and possibly other excessively large maps.
  • Fixed some issues where the player could become partially embedded in walls and/or continue running against the wall as if it didn’t exist.
  • Fixed crashes related to polyobject floors.
  • Fixed crashes related to joining a netgame in maps containing a laser. (e.g.: Noxious Factory Zone)
  • Fixed CTF flags doing stupid things for what is hopefully the last time.
  • Various minor level design fixes.
  • Many fixes and improvements were made to the SDL2 version of the game, as reported on the forums.

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Version 2.1.12 Patch

Mystic - November 11, 2014

Note: If you downloaded the patch within the first few hours or so and are having problems playing online or with music not working, redownload the patch.

It’s been a while since our last patch, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy. The primary change in this patch is that the game is now running under the SDL2 audio and video libraries. This means that people on modern operating systems, especially Windows 8 and 8.1, should get far better framerate.

The changes in the patch are as follows:

  • srb2win.exe is now running under SDL2. Should you have problems with the new version, srb2dd.exe uses the old behavior, but please report any issues you may have so we can fix them for later versions.
  • Improved polyobject rendering and physics. Polyobjects can now render flats, and players will experience proper preservation of momentum when jumping onto or off of one.
  • Because of the above fix, conveyor belts no longer make players rocket forward when spinning. RIP best bug ever. You will be missed. ;_;
  • NiGHTS Attack now has support for replays and ghosts like Record Attack.
  • Several rings embedded in the ceiling have been fixed.
  • FOFs, polyobjects and the replay in ERZ3 properly synchronize in netgames.
  • Analog mode works in netgames.
  • Sky walls no longer draw objects located behind them in OpenGL mode.
  • Portals are now properly functional, but only in software mode.
  • Added a couple new linedef types.
  • Fixed crash involving Lua scripts performing modulo by 0.
  • FOF side textures with holes no longer bug out in the software renderer.
  • Lua’s HUD library supports patch colormapping.
  • Tons of little bugfixes we’ve since forgotten.

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Version 2.1.11 Release

Inuyasha - August 26, 2014

I ran out of witty things to say. Sorry. Just have an update that is — hopefully — stable for the foreseeable future.

This release is being provided both in the form of an installer for those new to the game, and a patch for those who have already installed the game. The patch works with any previous version of 2.1.

This release fixes the following issues:

  • Fixed game state becoming indeterminate if a player leaves while resynching, often causing crashes or game freezes.
  • Monitors on moving/bouncing platforms are no longer deadly to touch.
  • Fixed an exploit where characters could be changed while continuing in Single Player.
  • Fixed game freeze on Egg Satellite Zone in OpenGL.
  • Fixed missing emblem on Flooded Cove Zone.
  • Minor optimization/speed related improvements.
  • Minor level design fixes.
  • Fixed patches wrapping from the right side to the left side even when they weren’t supposed to.
  • Detons no longer murder their resident animals if they strike a wall or object.

On a side note, the Soundtrack was also updated as well; a few missing tracks were added and the tracks were re-tagged and organized into two “CDs” of tracks. If you have the time, you should go check it out.

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