< RANT >Happy Canada Day !< / RANT>

Happy Canada Day, and long weekend, to all my fellow Canadians :)

I'll take this day off (Monday) to push the dev of FARC, my way of celebrate the day of my country of adoption.

Cheers !

Alpha 3 Dev Status: Infrastructures/Products Adjustments and Additions

I nearly finished adjusting all the infrastructures and products, according to my new design rules and processes, I also added 2 infrastructure kits: Humidity Trap and Inflatable Habitat, and the corresponding infrastructure Humidity Trap is added too (Inflatable Habitat was already added).

The Humidity Trap is a production infrastructure that gathers water by two means in same time, which are regrouped into a single production mode named Water Recovery: by recover the rainfall and also according to the humidity of the atmosphere where a Humidity Trap is assembled.
It's another example of how are used the planets/asteroids' data. Nothing is useless or displayed without goal in FARC.
It will be used on a player side in the Alpha 3, and required since the player's colony will have no more enough water reserves for all the duration of the colonization phase, and his/her population will can eventually die.

Tomorrow the adjustments will be done and I'll start again the code audits that have been postponed since June 7.

That's all for now, stay tuned.

Alpha 3 Dev Status

I'm near to finishing the full (cleaned up) design process of the infrastructures, what that mean?

1/ that the infrastructures' data are all based on the same process and automated calculations.

2/ that all the data of the infrastructures currently implemented were been adjusted

3/ that the design of additional infrastructures will be speed up

That's a necessary thing to do since the alpha 3/4 will have a certain number of new infrastructures added.

On the dev side I continue the code audit, for now it concern all the data structures of the game, the following step will concern the unit that contain the code for the XML database loading, which will be fully fixed for the regional decimal bug and also the game saving routines, that will receive also the fix.

This bug was in fact that if your decimal format was, instead of. , FARC didn't recognize the decimal separator and simply ignored it like: gravity="3.69" is read 369. This bug occurring a big calculation mess and range checks errors.

Someone on IndieDB reported me 2 1 problems:
1/ with the installer, his antivirus detected it as a Trojan... of course all is clean the installer is compiled with NSIS and there's no trojan or whatsoever. But for the next release, I’ll post on IndieDB also the 7zip archive, in case of someone doesn't want to use it. I don't know why I forgot to post it for the alpha 2.

2/ the second problem is more problematic since FARC, sometimes, doesn't launch or it launches but the window doesn't appear, and the exe is in the task manager. Without further information I cannot do much. I think that Stalker Stalker on this blog had the same problem and it worked after a reinstall of windows... It's not a pretty solution, but for now I don't know what I can do more. FARC on the virtual machines doesn't reproduce this behavior.

edit: forget the point #2, it's "just" a lag at launch, I'll try to optimize that.

edit: forget the point #1 too, it's just a false positive

As stipulated on the June 7th post, the 2 other bugs (freeze at March 1 and bad CPS display during a window resize/move) will be fixed too, the reason are completely my fault.

That's all for now, there will be no release before August, I'll just share a fixed patch to test the decimal format fix with non-us/can users.

Stay tuned, and sorry again for all these bugs.

June, Monthly Dev Statistics

Each month I'll provide some stats about the project with of course differences month after month.

Project duration since the starting date (August 16 2009): 2 years and 10 months

Game Design Documents (Since May 9th):
  • 11 documents with a size of 647Kb in total. (+59Kb)
  • Main document: 169 pages. (+10)
Code (Since May 9th):
  • Units: 73 (+5)
  • Size (w/o XML files): 51,605 lines (+3,434 lines)
That's all for the rant, back to work :)

FARC Alpha 3 [0.5.2] - Dev Status

The full code audit began some days ago, and a unit is already fully audited.
This audit applies on the code format and typos + refactoring, but also have for goal to clarify the process, reduce useless repetition and also suppress the possible logical / calculation errors.

Also the description texts for the 42 memes and policies are now fully completed and implemented. Nenexulo22 will translate them in Spanish. He also translated completely the ui.xml.

Considering the decimal separator bug, I have a solution but it needs to modify most of the 2,395 lines of the unit... This bug only affects the interaction with string, and especially the XML data loading. I don't think that's affect the calculations. So I'll apply the fix, but don't expect any release before some months.

There will be many modifications on the player side when I'll begin to audit units that concern the user's interface.

That’s all, stays tuned and thanks for all the bugs report of the Alpha 1 and 2.

FARC Alpha 2 [0.5.2] is Released

Forget the alpha 1, here's the alpha 2 that fix most of the critical bugs and misses of the 1.

You can download the full installer here

 You can download a 7zip archive of the full installation here

 Or, if you have already the alpha 1, you can dowload the update (7zipped) here
 You have just to decompress it in your installation directory and overwrite all the files

 The alpha 3 will begin tonight with the full code audit, as planned.

Here's the changes in this alpha 2:

  • 3D:
    •  the OpenGL framework is reverted to the original 2009 package, it prevent a lack of texture for some planets and display again the atmospheres.
  • Colony Panel:
    • the panel is correctly updated when a colonization mission is completed, and the surface panel is displayed.
  • Help Panel / Ecyclopaedia:
    • Spanish hintlist is re-added to prevent a user's interface crash when the Spanish language is selected.
  • Installation:
    • the fonts directory was missing from the alpha 1.
  • Missions:
    • when the interface of the mission settings is opened, the colony panel is correctly closed if it's displayed.
  • Production System:
    • new production mode added: Water Recovery.
  • User's Interface - General:
    • the decimal separator is forced to prevent loading errors in the XML files for float data, and also fix calculations problems.
    • the calls to the debug windows, when FARC isn't in debug mode, weren't prevented and generated exceptions.
    • the fonts didn't adjust themselves, depending of the loacl windows settings, now the displays are all correct.
Thanks to those of you who reported me most of these errors :)

Stay tuned.

Alpha 1 Problems and Alpha 2 Dev Update

New release, new problems.
Among the messages on this blog, and  those on spacesimcentral and spacesector forums there's 3 problems:

- problem with the 3d (out of the wobble because for now I can't do anything and I don't consider that an annoying thing) considering the atmospheres and space units display, with certain of you. The current Alpha 2 has now the previous 3d framework and the atmospheres are back. For the space units 3d bug I don't know, I just hope that this other framework version will fix that.

- problem with the welcome message display, only one of you reported that bug. I'll check it, but since I don't have any problems too it will difficult to overcome.

- the last but not least and more problematic one: a range check error after a colonization mission.. For this one I don't know since it's OK on my computer and in a Win7/64 + a XP32 virtual machines...
Maybe it's one thing with the interface that I didn't prevented, I already noted a bug with the colony panel when a colonization mission is finished and on a particular situation I haven't tested before.
I actually overcoming this problem.
A range check error isn't a particular difficult bug to kill but if I cannot reproduce it myself it will be an another difficulty.

Anyway here's the super news... it's useless to say that I'm disapointed by my work and it will certainly, not cancel this project, but will delay it a bit more until further development, if there's any.

Regarding these problems, I'll release the Alpha 2, which will include many changes and fixes, earlier than planned, so in some weeks at max.

I hope that the full code audit I'll apply in the next weeks will kill some others too.

Sorry for this crappy release, it's a difficult birth.