Alpha 8 is our biggest release ever! Right as GSOC ends

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Cervator, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. Cervator

    Cervator Project Lead and Community Wizard Staff Member

    I won't be able to do the release justice with a single post, and nobody would read it anyway due to the length :)

    Here I am simply going to highlight a few very visible changes and do an overview of new modules. The engine changes are massive but may not impact content as much as module changes do.

    See the release page on GitHub for a game zip to download or use our trusty game launcher. One of the GSOC projects also resulted in a saved world to bundle with the game you can load into for a special adventure.

    See this thread for a general (and brief) overview of the GSOC projects themselves

    On the horizon in the future: the engine has a v2 coming along with some major changes, which will break some modules - we'll try to fix as many of them as possible though. There are some signs of multi-world support floating around in there, and very cool new AI tricks :)

    Notable changes in general
    • Your inventory will now usually persist through death. This is a side-effect of work dealing with player life and death, giving us additional options like eventually resurrecting a player rather than always respawning back where you began. Different types of gameplay will provide different experiences / harshness of effects on death
    • There is now just a single "give" console command, rather than the old "giveItem" and "giveBlock" (or was that done right before releasing Alpha 7?)
    • Terasology now supports a centralized identity server, in case you want to be able to log into the same game server from different client machines. This is entirely optional (you can still copy your identity certificate manually), you can run your own, and while we're hosting an official identity server at it may reset or not always be available. Alpha and all that. See @gianluca_n's GSOC blog to learn more. Mostly you'll notice the identity prompts around the game's menus - more subtle is the reality that behind the scenes the game server can now also be controlled remotely in some ways :)
    • Another new piece that shows prominently on the game's menu is the new telemetry system from @GabrielXia's GSOC project. This is also entirely optional and you won't even be prompted to opt-in for it yet - we're still working on it and making it more useful. If you do go in under the new metrics menu you'll be able to enable the system and see what kinds of information it wants to transmit to the central telemetry server. There are two major types of stuff: game events (errors and such) and achievement-like stuff (number of blocks broken etc). Ultimately some stuff will help us troubleshoot game issues better ("does issue X only happen for users with video card Y?") and other stuff will help us understand players better ("why is everybody being killed by creature z?")

    Notable new and changed modules

    • Lost, AdvancedBehaviors and AdventureAssets - part of @Nihal Singh's GSOC project for an "exploration world" where the player is placed in a world they need to explore to solve a mystery ... see Nihal's blog for instructions
    • Scenario - part of @Cata's GSOC project and used by Lost. Provides a super useful in-game tool that lets you configure various actions and reactions to trigger at appropriate times.
    • Anatomy & WildAnimalsGenome - @arpan98's GSOC project: provides support for anatomical definitions for creatures, including taking damage to specific body parts and suffering consequences like slower movement due to a broken leg. Also lets deer mate to create baby deer that grow up!
    • CombatSystem, Projectile, Sensors - another GSOC project, this time by @Shine aided some by @niksoc who had applied for the same item but ended up becoming a mentor instead. Neat :D Try out the new combat gameplay template to see what can be done with the new bow + various arrows, the fireball blasting wand, or sneaky traps!
    • SegmentedPaths was added to be used by the existing Rails module by @Michael, which has been vastly improved in usage and stability. We had a really fun testing session sending carts flying all over the place. You can use ramps and have carts land on other stretches of rails and everything :D
    • WoodAndStoneCraftingJournal, InGameHelpAPI, WorldlyTooltipAPI - continued improvements and additions by @xtariq and others to existing modules like the NeoTTA series. It is becoming more solid but is still experimental!
    • Inferno was added to the lineup, although it was actually made all the way back during Google Code-In around the turn of the year. A variant of it works with the new "World Sector / Zone" system in the v2 engine so any world can have an Inferno layer added at some depth.
    There is sooooo much more to talk about, but it is hard to convey just how much got done over the summer. It has been an amazing time and the future is bright! I especially want to thank our many GSOC students and mentors for all the effort. It is an honor working with you all :)
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