2012/10/02

Equipment Slots

Several cumulative code changes are going to allow us to add new equipment slots to Flare.

The current visible equipment slots:

  • Main hand (swords or staffs)
  • Off hand (shields or bows)
  • Body (full body armor)

The new visible slots will be:

  • Main hand
  • Off hand
  • Feet (boots up to the knee)
  • Legs (waist down to the knee and optionally lower)
  • Hands (gloves up to the elbow)
  • Chest (upper arms, torso, optionally lower)
  • Head (neck up)

Also we can add a few non-visible slots where items can be equipped but they aren’t displayed on the hero sprite. Probably we’ll do:

  • 2 Ring slots
  • Artifact slot

Maybe we’ll do more, but that brings us to an even 10 slots.

2012/10/01

Bugfix release v0.17.1

If you upgraded to v0.17 from v0.16 and had trouble continuing your save games, this minor release should help.

Bug Fixes:
  • Instant-sell items now go to the vendor Buyback tab
  • Disable New/Load buttons if there is no story mod loaded
  • Prevent crash when binding higher number mouse buttons
  • Prevent crash when loading a map with missing layers
  • Add helpful tooltips when play buttons are disabled
  • Removed -flto compiler flag from default build script

If you installed v0.17 completely new, you can probably skip this update.

After you update, you may have to enable the alpha_demo mod. I’ve done this by default in the new Windows build. To do this, go to Configuration, Mods tab, and enable “alpha_demo”.

Notes for Builders

If you’ve been building previous versions of Flare for some platform or operating system:

You can create your entire package from the flare-game github repo. The flare-engine repo is mainly for people who want to fork and build a completely new game.

2012/09/30

v0.17.1 patch coming

We’re working on an update that will fix the issues with using old save games and settings in the new version.

If you want to play now, here are two things to try:

  1. When you run the game, go to Configuration -> Mods and enable the mod named “alpha_demo”
  2. Find your save files and edit them. If you see a line that says “spawn=spawn.txt,0,0” just delete that line and save.

If these steps don’t work for you, there may be something else we need to patch! Please email me your save game and I’ll use it as a test case. clintbellanger at Google’s popular email service.

2012/09/28


Flare v0.17 Released!

Flare is charging through the remaining Alpha engine work, taking us to this latest and greatest v0.17 release.

Release Highlights
  • All menus now easy to mod/reskin!
  • New Powers tree with traditional tabs and spendable points
  • Shared Stash! Collect epics, hoard resist gear, or buff your new characters
  • Warp Zone — fast-travel map to get around the alpha demo campaign
Video

Screenshots






Extended Release Notes
  • Code Features
    • Menu for showing buffs/debuffs (Justin Jacobs)
    • Add Texture Quality option (Justin Jacobs)
    • Add item categories for loot tables (Stefan Beller)
    • Refactor HP, MP, XP into generic stat bar class (Justin Jacobs)
    • Convert remaining arrays to vectors where possible (Stefan Beller)
    • Various refactoring, optimization, cleanup (Stefan Beller)
    • Move menu options and layouts to config file (Justin Jacobs, Igor Paliychuk, Stefan Beller)
    • Move various magic numbers to config file (everyone)
    • Refactor Powers Menu to tab/tree/points style (Igor Paliychuk)
    • “I shouldn’t be coding at 3:30 AM” (Clint Bellanger)
    • Refactor menus to use base class for placement/size/etc (Justin Jacobs)
    • Powers that spawn multiple enemies (Matthew Krohn)
    • Add Shared Stash (Justin Jacobs)
    • Add a Buyback tab to vendors (Justin Jacobs)
    • Allow NPCs to heal the hero during dialog (Igor Paliychuk)
    • Configurable font colors (Justin Jacobs)
    • Allow enemies to wander in an area (Justin Jacobs)
    • Enable scroll wheel in some widgets (Justin Jacobs)
    • Add on_load map event type
    • Don’t load sound/music if the volume is 0 (Stefan Beller)
    • Added pixel-precision to clickable tiles (Justin Jacobs)
    • Made equipment slots configurable (Igor Paliychuk)
    • Made bonuses work on any item type/slot
    • Map Rendering optimizations (Stefan Beller)
    • Animation refactoring (Stefan Beller)
    • Sprite sheet packing and utility (Stefan Beller)
    • Add support for item sets (Igor Paliychuk)
    • Add optional Fringe and Foreground tile layers (Matthew Krohn)
    • Add load screen to map transitions (Justin Jacobs)
    • FPS display option (Igor Paliychuk and Justin Jacobs)
    • Configurable buff/debuff animations (Justin Jacobs)
    • Split flare into two repos: flare-engine for core upstream dev, flare-game for the actual game
    • Support multi-line text in our GetText implementation (Gallaecio)
    • Updates to GetText data extractor (Chris Oelmueller, Justin Jacobs, Igor Paliychuk)
    • Remove corpses after a fixed amount of time, for performance (Justin Jacobs)
    • Optimize text display in several places (Justin Jacobs)
  • Art Features
    • Use full alpha transparency for the hero art
    • Updated Tiled files to use v0.9 features
    • Added spike traps
    • Added double doors, stairs, and bones to the Dungeon tile set
    • Added ambient sound near braziers
    • New 320×240 downscale mod
    • Added a default mod (engine translations and barebones UI)
    • Added Teleporter art and a warp zone map
    • Added a lifesteal melee attack, a manasteal magic attack, and a rapid fire bow attack
    • Updated floors on all the old dungeon maps
    • Updated Liberation Sans font to 2.0
  • Translations
    • Greek – Yannis Anthymidis
    • Italian – Giovanni Dalla Torre
    • Dutch – Bas Doodeman
    • German – Chris Oelmueller
    • Galician – Gallaecio
    • Russian – Sergey Basalaev
    • Finnish – Timo Sievänen
    • French – Morgan Strauss
Download (v0.17.1)
In the News
Thanks

Huge thanks to the core programming crew for v0.17 – Igor Paliychuk, Justin Jacobs, Stefan Beller. These guys are all the momentum behind the project right now.

Thanks to Thane Brimhall and Matt Krohn, who have helped Flare’s engine tremendously with their total-conversion Polymorphable which was made for the Liberated Pixel Cup

Special thanks to all the bugfixers, bugfinders, translators, and players for making this possible.

Like where Flare is going? Help us create Flare or donate to commission more open art!

2012/09/26


Desura

Thanks to some solid help (from feillyne and protektor), Flare is now available through Desura! (Release announcement) If you’re just discovering Flare through Desura, welcome!

Desura Digital Distribution

I started F.L.A.R.E (Free/Libre Action Roleplaying Engine) 3 years ago to create a great Action RPG engine that’s completely open source. I’ve long been a fan of games like Diablo and wondered why there wasn’t a free game like that with a great modding community around it. I’m a software developer by trade and I had just learned enough 3D art to get myself in trouble, so I started on this ridiculous quest to make a completely free action RPG.

Instead of trying to make an engine that does it all, I decided early on to just try making games. If I reused as much code as possible for each game I’d end up with a highly moddable engine that does one thing well: Action RPGs. But I set some limits early on so that I could actually manage to finish anything: no multiplayer, no realtime 3D. So far that decision has paid off — three years in and the engine is very close to feature-complete Beta.

Along the way I had a team of amazing volunteers and freelance artist join the team. It’s no longer a solo effort by far; this crew has helped push Flare well beyond what it would be at this stage. The engine has been translated into over a dozen languages. It’s been ported to many operating systems and even some handheld devices. It’s already got a total-conversion game called Polymorphable.

We’re still in Alpha and it shows. But we have a ton of momentum. Flare v0.17 is scheduled to come out this Friday. The engine will be very close to Beta at the end of 2012. During 2013 we’ll move beyond the current alpha tech demo and create a great classic-style RPG. And we have great plans for the future of Flare.

And you can help. If you like Action RPGs, free/libre software, or Creative Commons art, we’d love to have your support. Use this form to contact me directly.

  • Developers: check out flare-engine on GitHub. Create a fork! Drop me an email if you have feature ideas or a task you’d like to work on.
  • Artists: check out flare-game on GitHub. Just as with the code, we have a high standard of quality for Flare. Send me a link to your portfolio if you’re interested in helping out.
  • Translators: we welcome translations of the engine (top priority) or the game data.
  • Patrons: you can support Flare through donations which we use to commission new art. All of the art for Flare is also released on OpenGameArt under copyleft-friendly licenses (CC-0, CC-BY, or CC-BY-SA) for use in other projects.

Most of all, thanks for playing. It means a lot.

Clint Bellanger
Flare lead developer and technical artist

2012/09/22


Dungeon Doors

Continuing the theme of updating the really old Dungeon Tile Set.

For the longest time I couldn’t figure out a good way (artistically and technically) to mark exits on maps. Since very early version of Flare we’ve been using these boring blue markers. The double doors are much cleaner:

Blue exit markers
Double doors

I designed the doors specifically to work inside maps as well:

Interior doors

There are a lot of technical details behind making these doors play nicely with the tile grid. Here’s a peek under the hood:

Interior doors with grid

The green dots show where the “door tiles” actually exist. Closed doors actually sit on the back edge of the tile — this helps ensure draw order is correct.

For open doors, the doors need to be drawn at the same time as the wall they’re touching for draw order to work. Because we put the doors at the grid corners, we solve this problem by actually making new Wall tiles with open doors attached.

The map event to open double doors will be a bit long (needing to modify 4 tiles and 4 collision markers), but it should look pretty clean to the player. The double doors open both ways, but the doors have to swing open against a wall (avoids collision confusion). Along with the stairs I created recently, the dungeon doors are really rounding out this tile set.

2012/09/19

v0.17 Dates

There will be a String Freeze at the end of the day this Friday, September 21st. This means that no new or changed translated strings will be accepted, so that translators can perform their work.

If you are interested in submitting a new translation or updating an existing translation, the time to start that will be Saturday, September 22nd.

We’ll have 1 week for translations, bug fixes (there are no known bugs that require attention for v0.17), and minor art updates.

Planned release date for v0.17 is Friday, September 28th

2012/09/17

Separate Engine and Game Repos

It’s time to separate Flare into two repos: Engine and Game. But exactly how to do that is unclear.

Apologies ahead of time: I’m going to butcher git terminology here.

We want just the engine in the current main repo. When people want to build a Flare game, they should be able to easily Fork my master repo and add their custom data to the mods folder. Projects like Polymorphable are direct forks of the Flare master — makes it easy to keep their engine up to date. But currently they have to deal with special filters to ignore all of the Flare game-data.

Should this second repo contain game-data only? Or should it be a fork of the Flare master, just like Polymorphable is (containing code and art)? I think there could be benefits to treating the Flare game exactly like any other project using the Flare engine, in that it has its own source and is often merging changes from the upstream engine repo.

Also: should we entirely prune the Flare game data from the current repo? I mean not just remove, but prune the history? If we don’t prune, anyone who clones the engine repo will get all the history of the data, which is a huge amount of data (very large image and music files). If we prune, I’m afraid of what it might do to the tag/branch/commit history of the master repo. Also, if we purged the game-data, how does that affect projects that are already forks/clones?

[–Update–]

Now I’m essentially sold on the idea of creating a flare-game fork.

The remaining question: do we just delete the flare game-data from the engine repo, or do we try to prune it? If we don’t prune, anyone cloning the Flare engine gets all the data history (very large image and music files). If we do prune, I’m not sure how it would affect existing tags/branches/clones.

[–Update 2–]

I’m creating two new repos named flare-engine and flare-game. The new flare-engine looks lean. Tags and branches didn’t make it over. If this purging works, I’m not exactly sure what to do with the old repo “flare”. Maybe update the README to note the permanent move. Maybe even delete the repo at some point in the future.