The Music of OpenClonk

Posted in Development on January 29th, 2016 by Newton – Be the first to comment

Thanks to David Oerther (ala) and Martin Strohmeier (K-Pone), OpenClonk now has a quite extensive athmospheric soundtrack!

You can listen to it right here on the blog (or use the Popup player)

… or, simply download the game and enjoy it while you play. As previously teasered it is dynamically chosen which song is to be played depending on your situation in the game – the time of day, if you are underground or underwater etc.

OpenClonk 7.0 Spotlight – Controls and UI

Posted in Development on January 21st, 2016 by Newton – 1 Comment

For a long time now, a new control schematic was under development. Countless testing rounds have left us with a dissatisfaction about the two-handed approach (one item on left mouse, one on right mouse). While there were advantages, the disadvantages were more severe: people tended to not use the second item effectively, sometimes even forget about the selection at all. In the heat of a quick melee scenario it was easy to get confused and a better choice was always to hit the number key of a weapon you wanted to use and do so with the left mouse button. It became apparent that we left a major key (right button) to degenerate into a minor feature. That was unacceptable.

Thus, the new control scheme is a more conservative approach. Just one item is selected at a time. For quick item combinations, there is a quick switch to the last selected item on Q. Also, the mouse wheel will now serve to scroll through your inventory. A natural solution when you have played any other game. Zooming is now done by holding Ctrl and using the mouse wheel. Because zooming is less frequently used, this is no harsh impediment.

Just to clear things up, here are some pictures to fully explain the controls in Open Clonk. Included are even controls that were left unchanged, just for the sake of completeness.

Clonk Controls around WASDCC0 from https://pixabay.com/de/tastatur-layout-tasten-computer-156077/CC0 http://www.freestockphotos.biz/stockphoto/15220

You did not check out the new version yet?
Download it here!

OpenClonk 7 released

Posted in Announcements on January 15th, 2016 by Newton – 1 Comment

Another year passed, and here is another release, version 7!

Download here

Though, this year’s version is quite special because it so much larger than the previous updates. The new release is focused on making the game more playable, better looking and giving it an overall nicer athmosphere: New controls, new GUI, more ambience, life, game content and bazillion of bugfixes.

Recent Screenshot from the game

A recent round of Gem Grabbers, showing you the new material textures and the new cotton plant.

Previously I wrote about the Milestone Project and I am safe to say that without the people that organized themself in this project, version 7 wouldn’t be half as extensive or awesome as it has become because not only did they make the game more beautiful and added a good deal of new game content, they also provided everyone else with a huge motivational boost with their organized effort – core developers and occasional contributors alike.

Let me use this oppurtunity to thank all the many people who did their part in the Milestone Project and still are, especially David Oerther (ala), Martin Adam (Win), Armin Schäfer and Florian Graier (Nachtfalter).

Let’s look forward to the next milestones, which are already in planning. Check them out, especially if you are interested to contribute something in the future (German content): Milestone #2Milestone #3.

And now, for the long list of major enhancements done for this version:

New Controls and GUI

  • By initiative from David Dormagen (Zapper), OpenClonk has new controls again. The biggest change is a switch from two usable items (one on each mouse button) to just one while freeing the other mouse button. See above for more details.
  • Again by initiative from David Dormagen, the whole ingame GUI has been remade. Script creation of GUI elements and menus is not only easier but a lot more flexible. Also, these GUI elements run asynchronously among clients, freeing network capacities. For more information, check the documentation. Based on this system, Felix Wagner (Clonkonaut) streamlined the ingame HUD. For a detailed description, have a look at the feedback thread.
  • Fitting to the new control scheme, Maikel created completely new tutorial scenarios. The idea is that the players are slowly led into “normal” missions rather than having just a few “learning rounds” and that’s it. Please mind that not all tutorials are finished yet but the very basic ones are.

More Ambience

  • David Oerther (ala) composed a completely new soundtrack. For licensing reason, it is not included in the default OpenClonk download but the Windows installer will ask you whether it should be automatically downloaded. Others can get it from the download page. Furthermore, songs have been added to the included soundtrack by Martin Strohmeier (K-Pone).
  • To celebrate the new soundtrack, Sven2 implemented an ambient music system which tries to play the fitting music depending on your situation and surroundings in the game. Speaking of sound, Sven2 also extended the sound system to be able to add effects such as reverb, echo or pitch to sound effects. For example, now every sound in a cave has a little echo and underwater, all sounds are damped.
  • Also greatly adding to the ambience in the game are the huge amount of new sound effects that have been added to the game, mainly from David Oerther (ala). After all, the more sound effects there are, the more noise you can make in caves and underwater. A cumulative bonus.
  • Thanks to the initiative from several people from the Milestone project, most notably Matthias Rottländer and Florian Graier (Nachtfalter), almost all material textures were recreated. This has a huge impact on the visuals of the game, giving Open Clonk a whole new and tidy look. All materials got normal maps, which makes the landscape appear quite three-dimensional!
  • The dynamic lighting system that had been introduced in version 6 has been greatly enhanced. Most notably are the addition of colored lights by Mark Haßelbusch, more usage of shaders (glowing lava, shiny gold, …), more usage of ambient light (i.e. for day-night cycle) and making it easier to implement custom shaders. Armin Burgmeier (Clonk-Karl) and Peter Wortmann were the masterminds in this. The Clonk is now also not the only source of light, but we have torches and lanterns now – plus certain objects add colored lights for effects, i.e. the teleglove.

More Life

  • Plant life! There are more trees now than the one coniferous tree we had for a long time, there are flowers, ferns,  mushrooms, seaweed, … . This is a big contrast to the otherwise quite brown world of OpenClonk (what can we do? Earth is brown!) and adds big time to a nicer ambience. There are not only decorative plants but also plants like “cotton” and wheat that can be crafted into useful things! All covered in this blog article about farming.
  • Animal life! It was time to repopulate the world of Clonk with some wildlife, and hell we did a thorough job with that – the Zaps and the Chippies from Clonk Rage made it back into the game. And of course, our dearest furry friend, the Wipf, is back! But there is much more now – bats, moskitos, fireflies, piranhas, squids, other fishes, a “puka” and more. And, there is more in the pipeline! Both the animal and plant life is mainly thanks to the initiative from the people from the Milestone project again, but in the end most of our content developers were involved.

More Stuff

  • There are some noteworthy changes on the workings on the landscape which might be especially interesting for developers: First, Armin Burgmeier (Clonk-Karl) made it freely definable by scenario authors what should be “behind” a material after it has been mined. This opens up some interesting possibilities. Also, Julius Michaelis (JCaesar) added the possibility for platforms – things you can jump through from below but stand on from above. Best example: the airship.
  • A lot of new objects, such as the Wooden Bridge (known to players from Clonk Rage), placeable Rope Bridges (those had been in the game for a long time but were not usable by players)
  • New scenarios, also a lot of the old scenarios came to know some attention. A new scenario folder was created, including two Defense type scenarios where one has to fend off numerous waves of attackers.

Bazillion Bugfixes

  • So many bugfixes and improvements that we honestly lost track. And really everyone was involved. To put this into perspective: For version 7, alone through the bugtracker almost 400 bugs were resolved, that’s more than for version 5 and 6 together!

That’s it.

What’s next?

We will continue work with the organization form of the Milestone Project. There are new creatures waiting to be incorporated into the game, to enliven the scenarios. We want to explore improving deep sea gameplay and the Heavy Resources concept.

7.0 – Release Candidate 3

Posted in Announcements on January 9th, 2016 by Clonkonaut – 1 Comment
Guardians of the Windmills has been one of the first scenarios in Open Clonk. Now it's completely overhauled!

Guardians of the Windmills has been one of the first scenarios in Open Clonk. Now it’s completely overhauled!

A new and hopefully final Release Candidate has been build. If you haven’t noticed the other two RCs, that is totally fine since we kept those hidden in the forums.

Be advised that since 6.1 there have been a lot of changes and there is no compiled changes list yet (however, there will be when the release is out for real). I will just list the major ones right here:

  • Complete overhaul of controls. You cannot select two items anymore to the two mouse buttons. Instead, just one item is selected and activated on left mouse, thrown on right mouse button. You can quick switch back to your last selected item with ‘Q’. You pick up items by using Shift now and can use Shift + Left/Right to skip through all the items lying around or use Shift + Up to pick up as many things as your clonk can carry (Shift + Down will abort picking up). To get the contents of any object / clonk  press ‘E’. Interaction (grabbing, using vehicles, …) is still on Space but works similar to picking up things.
  • Completely new HUD and menus. HUD size is linked to font size.
  • Normalmaps and new textures for the landscape.
  • New music and an optional music pack (because it does not use a Creative Commons License, it is not shipped with OC): The Windows installer will automatically query you to download that music separately, everyone else can get it from the Download page (bottom right). Just replace the Music.ocg in your Open Clonk directory.
  • A lot of other cool new things!

Download

If you have not tested the new controls before, we recommend playing the new tutorials first!

Windows 32bit
Windows 64bit
Linux 32bit
Linux 64bit
OS X 64bit

Linux users who want to build OC themselves can do so by checking out the ‘stable-7.0’ branch of the main repository.

Troubleshooting

  • Open Clonk does not start or crashes immediately
    You might want to try and update your graphics driver. Even if Open Clonk 6.1 runs fine, because in the meantime a lot of work has been put into shader development and right now, Open Clonk needs a recent driver. We recommend using AMD or Nvidia Video cards!
  • I am running Open Clonk on a device with an Intel GMA / HD Graphics chipset and have problems running Open Clonk
    If your machine does have a GMA chip, Open Clonk will probably not run at all and there is low chance OC will support your device again, sorry. More recent HD chips should be able to run OC. Always try and get the most recent graphics driver there is. It is known that OC does not run properly on HD 2000 and HD 3000 (Sandy Bridge processors) and currently no support is planned.
  • My Gamepad does not work properly
    Right now, gamepad support is not finished and will probably not be finished for the release, sorry. We are working on getting gamepads working again though. Currently, your only choice of control input is mouse + keyboard.
  • I have troubles using splitscreen / local coop
    The release will not feature local coop / splitscreen support, sorry. We are working on getting this working again though. Currently, your only choice is online coop.
  • No one is playing online!
    Usually, there are people around sundays at evening (CET). Or sometimes other days but evenings are best to catch other players!
  • I have another problem
    Sorry to hear that! Please post your problem in the bugtracker or the forums.

Witty and nimble if skillfully controlled

Posted in Development on December 27th, 2015 by Maikel – Be the first to comment

As all longtime fans of the Clonk series know, our favorite character the clonk can be witty and nimble, though only if skillfully controlled. With the upcoming release we are aiming to make the clonk even more nimble. Moreover, the player can use various tools to construct different solutions to the same problem.

For example the rope bridge is now an object which can be used by the clonk. Before it was only available for scenario designers as a decorative object. The clonk can place both ends of the bridge at solid ground to form it. Then walk over it for as long as needed and then retract it again at either end of the bridge.

The temporary rope bridge is connected between an airship and solid ground.

The temporary rope bridge is connected between an airship and solid ground.

Also the rope ladder has become more useful as you can now jump off the rope ladder with more strength, like the wall jump with solid materials. Using this the clonk can now jump from rope ladder to rope ladder, making it a fast way to traverse dangerous lakes for example. But also to perform mining activities as shown in the video.

Last but not least in this blog post there is a new feature for the lorry, which can now be tilted up to 55 degrees to dump its contents. While holding the lorry pressing the left mouse key tilts the lorry to the direction of the mouse cursor and if tilted more than 45 degrees its contents will start falling out. This feature can be useful for massive bombardments in combination with the airship. More situations will probably come to mind, for example setting up traps along a large cliff or just dumping the lorry’s contents into a mine.

The contents of the lorry can be dumped by tilting it.

The contents of the lorry can be dumped by tilting it.

Together with all the rope fine-tuning the scripts also have been partially optimized which has lead to a slight reduction of the lag of objects using the rope library. Please report any suggestions, bugs and excessive amounts of lag in the bugtracker while testing these new features using the snapshots.

2015 Christmas Scenarios

Posted in Development on December 23rd, 2015 by Sven2 – Be the first to comment

Are you bored during the holiday season and need some fresh OpenClonk content? Just in time for Christmas, two player-made addon scenarios have been released.

Shîre screenshot

Shîre

Warning: Both scenarios need the current preview version of OpenClonk 7.0, which you can get from the Nightly Build page.

The first scenario is a remake of Shîre, a classic adventure from the times of Clonk 4. Originally developed by Jan Gauczinski, a remake for OC has been built by Marky (Download Scenario + Download Adventure Library). The scenario includes all the dialogues and quests, converted music, individually painted skins for every character.

Save the XMas tree screenshot

Save the XMas tree

The second is a much simpler, short defense scenario called Save the XMas Tree by Sven2. It’s roughly based on Fight for Gidl, but you defend a Christmas tree from several waves of attackers. Download here.

Happy holidays to all OpenClonk players and developers.

 

P.S.: If you’re an ancient Clonk Rage player, you may also want to look at the newly released Codename: Modern Combat R1.8.

OpenClonk 7.0 alpha Gameplay

Posted in Development on December 12th, 2015 by Newton – 2 Comments

Do you want to learn some German? Then, watch and listen to this let’s play video (embedded below) with some OC-developers commenting the alpha version of the upcoming 7.0 release, available as a development snapshot here. Feedback very appreciated!

If you do not understand German, you can instead marvel at the newly added textures and the new cotton plants. :-) Have fun!

Farming

Posted in Development on December 1st, 2015 by Clonkonaut – 2 Comments

Just recently the Open Clonk Milestone Project offered the opportunity to finally finish what has begun years ago.

We filled the gaps and finished the production chains that involve farming, harvesting plants and processing the crop. In this very modest approach we now have two plants that yield basic production materials. Other plants do offer material as well but the difference here is you can also use the seeds to plant new plants and enlarge your field.

Wheat

Wheat has been around for quite some time in the objects pack. Fully grown, it can be harvested using a sickle to get seeds. Those can either be sown or ground into flour in the windmill. The flour is then used to bake bread in the kitchen. Bread is the best option to regain life.

Cotton

We decided to not have ‘cotton’ look like what are you are used to from real life. Instead, we made something that hopefully looks interesting but behaves very different from other plants. The cotton plant will sprout its fruit that look like big balloons. If let undisturbed, the fruit will soon detach and fly off, drifting wherever the wind blows. At some point, the fruit pops open, spilling its contents. If you want to catch the price before that, you better get a sword or a bow and stop the fruit before it takes off. Cotton can also be sown or has to be processed using the loom to get cloth. Many objects formerly unbuildable are now available: the airship, the balloon, the windbag!

You got me excited, where can I see this?

Bugger! Scenario development has not caught up yet. All the objects will be included in the next release (hopefully early January 2016) but no scenarios really feature these. I will be working on this, I promise! But feel free to include these objects into any self-made scenarios. Use it either to aid the gameplay, adding a new variety of things to manage in a successful settlement or create scenario goals around it. Can you feed a starving city with your bread? Or help to bring forward the local cloth manufacturing?

Sound and Music ♩♫♬

Posted in Development on November 15th, 2015 by Sven2 – 2 Comments

Music

The many additions done within the Milestone Project also include an overhaul of the acoustic ambience. The biggest change is probably a new music pack by David Oerther (a.k.a. ‘ala’). The new music pack contains 20 novel, beautifully composed pieces which the composer released to be used for free by all OpenClonk and related projects. The pack will be offered for download by the installer in the next OpenClonk release, but you can already get it from our download page or listen to some of the pieces below:

Night in Krakatoa

The dawning night is accompanied by chary chimes of the Celesta.

The game has been adapted to the new content by providing an ambience controller, which selects music depending on the player’s current situation. This means different music is played depending on whether the player is overground, in a cave, swimming deeply underwater or chilling under the night sky. As you walk through the various places in the world of OpenClonk, fitting music is turned on or off automatically and fades smoothly between tracks if needed. The two pieces by K-Pone, already known in the past release, have been integrated into the controller as well.

Developers will find access to the new fading and playlist options in the developer documentation here.

Sound

Plane divces into volcano

The hum of the rotor echoes from the cave walls as it dives into the volcano.

The improvements in ambience have also been extended to sounds emitted from other objects in the game world. In addition to a generally richer number of different sounds for almost all moving objects, OpenClonk now supports fine-tuning by changing effects such as pitch, reverb or echo for each sound effect individually. For example when the engine of an airplane is started, the sound now begins low-pitched and pitches up as the engine speed increases. When players are in a cave, all surrounding sounds are effected by reverb coming back from surrounding cave walls.

For developers: Check out the documentation of new sound modifiers here.

In sum, the many small improvements help a lot in making the worlds of OpenClonk more vivid and engaging to the player and we’re excited to shows the newly designed acoustics in the upcoming 7.0 release!

Introducing the Milestone Project

Posted in Development on November 4th, 2015 by Newton – 2 Comments

A wind of change has been blowing lately in the Clonk community: A team around ala recently formed the so-called Milestone Project for OpenClonk. About a dozen people regularly participate, some of them are also recruited from the classic Clonk Community. The most important and valuable characteristic of this project is that it is organized. ala gets the developers to stick their heads together and work on a common goal.

The Milestone Project wants to put some pioneer spirit back into the Clonk content development. They prototype and experiment with new ideas, concepts and game elements and their main goal – at least for the first few milestones – is to enrich the game world of OpenClonk so that it looks and plays more like a polished, finished game.

What does that mean exactly? Well, I hope we will cover more frequently and more in detail what interesting stuff they are working on in the future. For now, I will just show you a few pictures:

ZoomedGraniteIn search for a more uniform graphics style, away from the textures taken from photographs towards something painted (with love ;-)), Nachtfalter initated a rework of the material textures. Goal: Make worthless materials (rock, earth, sand, granite,…) stand out less. Generally make materials flatter and less photorealistic to make it easier for plants, items, livings etc. to be prominent on the screen.

granite_NRMAlso, this is the first proper attempt to create nice normal maps that work together well with the new lighting system (since 6.0) for the textures. You see this very nicely with the granite rocks from Matthi there.

granite_shapeAnd here is a feature that Sven2 already implemented years ago but now it finally gets to be used. The shape texture:

If such a shape texture is defined for a material, any material placed during landscape generation will have this shape, i.e. there will only be whole rocks. This one is by Clonkonaut.

dec1 Furthermore, mainly Nachtfalter has been experimenting with other styles for vegetation to put some greenery into the world….

ClonkRain… and Randrian experimented with weather effects like more beautiful rain. But what would the world of Clonk be without…

underwater_sneak_peek…animals! Like Matthi’s sea creatures here and best of all Clonk animals, the Wipf (by pluto).

Wipf2

Some of the work presented here is already included in the upcoming 7.0 release. So, stay tuned :-)