Alien Arena

Alien Arena

Postby Irritant » 07 May 2010, 18:53

Alien Arena 2010 has been released today!

The latest edition of this open sourced, freeware FPS has been updated with new levels, several new weapon models, and a host of bugfixes, gameplay tweaks, and client improvements.

Some of the new features include:

  • Five new levels
  • Improvements to shadow rendering
  • New disruptor and beamgun models
  • Security and memory leak fixes
  • Improved weapon balance and other gameplay tweaks
  • Kickban added to callvote
  • Lightgrouping for faster real time processing
  • Revamped menu font system
Alien Arena 2010(v7.40)

Image Image Image Image

Video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9tOgAewqmk

For a complete changelog - http://icculus.org/alienarena/changelogs/7.40.txt

For more information, new media, and to download the game visit http://red.planetarena.org
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Re: Alien Arena 2010 released.

Postby Julius » 09 May 2010, 10:07

As always really nice update...

You should think about your PR policy though.
It's nice that you have a "release often" policy, and I am definitely not advising you to change that, but "spamming" every gaming news site with an big announcement of a new version (often giving it big release numbers, 2009, 2010 etc implying that a huge improvement has taken place, which is only partially true) is starting to annoy me (and I guess others) a bit. That and cutting and pasting the news everywhere doesn't help so much either.

I understand that you want to promote your nice game, and that writing sensible, individual messages for 100reds of websites is not really feasible, but it would be very nice if you could tone down your PR for minor releases a bit (for example only posting in the same thread, not starting a new one).
Big releases will get individual news coverage anyway (which is more inviting to new users also), and minor releases will not really attract new users, since by now just about everyone interested in such a game should know about it.

So if you want to make sure your existing playerbase updates the game, why not think about integrating an auto-update function? This wouls make updating also much more convenient, as right now every time I see you releasing a new version I think: "ahh not again the hassle of a manual update, for so little changes".

But keep up the great work on the game (and maybe rethink your media license :p ).
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Re: Alien Arena 2010 released.

Postby charlie » 10 May 2010, 10:49

Don't understand that complaint Julius.

Are you bothered about regular updates to the game? Or bothered about having to update the game manually?

I think the release policy for AA is pretty decent, and updating all these websites is necessary. It shows the game is actively improved, and compels people to play it. I really do not think your criticism is constructive or, frankly, intelligent.
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Re: Alien Arena 2010 released.

Postby Julius » 10 May 2010, 14:03

Hmm maybe it's just me, or I didn't make myself so clear.

I just don't think cut&paste news "spamming" of many websites and forums every time there is a minor update released, is a very good PR policy.

The auto-update remark was unrelated to that, but I think a "release often" policy only really works when there is a auto update function (at least for minor releases). In fact I bet there are quite a few users who downloaded AA once, and then played it now and then, but when they had to manually update the game for the 10th time or so (since otherwise they are not able to play on the net), they might have stopped bothering and played something else.
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Re: Alien Arena 2010 released.

Postby Irritant » 16 May 2010, 03:18

Minor update? I think the changelog speaks for itself, TBH. As for our frequency of releases, we released no more often than Nexuiz, or Warsow while those games had actual consistent development going on. We generally release maybe 3 times a year on average. I seem to recall Nexuiz and Warsow often releasing that many times in the span of a month or two(i.e, 2.40, 2.41, 2.42 of Nexuiz, and .50, .51, .52 of Warsow, etc). In fact, it is very rare for us to have what would be considered a minor update. Nearly every release has not only included a number of coding updates, but a good deal of new content as well. Not to toot our own horn *too* much, but the amount of things we do in 3 months is often more than some of those other games did in the span of a year or more. We have a very productive team that has remained stable and consistent, and extremely driven.

At one time we did have an auto updater, but found it to be a probematic and gave up on it for the time being. It will definitely be something we revisit once we have more time to devote to it.
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Re: Alien Arena 2010 released.

Postby charlie » 16 May 2010, 10:24

No Julius, you were pretty clear, and your position is as bizarre to me still as it was the first time I read it.

They make yearly releases and you are upset that they update games-related forums/sites with a pre-prepared changelog... a totally illogical stance to take. The only thing you say that makes an iota of sense is that you'd like an auto-update function but these can be as problematic as they are useful and are really hard to get right.
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Re: Alien Arena 2010 released.

Postby ServalKatze » 16 May 2010, 10:55

I'd say if you hang around on many game-related forums/sites and see the very same announcement everywhere it may be a little irritating. However, many people only visit a few gaming sites once in a while - so if you (as the game's creator) want to let everyone hear about your shiny new version, you need to post everywhere.

On topic:
Looks nice. Still downloading the latest release, but looking foward to it. Although I wish there was an auto-updater. :P
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Version 7.45 is now out

Postby Irritant » 29 Jul 2010, 06:45

No need for a new thread, so here we go...

Alien Arena 2010 version 7.45 has been released today!

The latest edition of this open sourced, freeware FPS has been updated with a number of important improvements and bugfixes that not only enhance the visual appearance, but greatly improve the performance of the game.

Some of the new features include:

  • New Skeletal model format
  • Soft shadows
  • Faster, more accurate lighting
  • Major optimizations for faster rendering
  • Fixes for older vertex animated models
  • All player models re-animated with new model format
  • A number of IRC client fixes
  • Many model skins updated
Alien Arena 2010(v7.45)

Image Image
Image Image

video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgXCBpJT6H0

For a complete changelog - http://icculus.org/alienarena/changelogs/7.45.txt

For more information, new media, and to download the game visit http://red.planetarena.org
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Re: Alien Arena 2010 released.

Postby Julius » 29 Jul 2010, 19:46

Very solid release, thanks!

Two things though: Could you include a start script in the Linux version instead of just the binaries (like Sauerbraten does it for example), since otherwise you can not start it from the gnome menu (since it needs a working directory set or something, not 100% sure about the technical details).

Also have you had a look at http://www.ya3dag.de and their Bullet physics integration into the Quake2 engine? Might be easily transferable to AA and then you could have cool wheeled vehicles and proper ragdolls for death animations ;)

P.S.: I think the main thing holding this game back graphically it the lack of really high quality player models... the current ones are ok'ish, but not much more. But with the new IQM format creating cool player models is for sure more easy to do (if your data wasn't unfree I would be actually tempted to make some, but like this... impossible :p ).
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Re: Alien Arena 2010 released.

Postby Irritant » 29 Jul 2010, 20:03

Sure, I can include the script next time around. I think it even had one once before actually, might have gotten lost in the shuffle.

Oh, that's interesting about the physics engine, I'll look more into that. I'm actually working on using the ODE engine, and have made some progress, but the Bullet engine might be another option if I get stuck.

See, about the player models, I really like them as they are :) If there was something I'd think of to improve them, I'd just do it, but I'm personally very happy with how they look and animate now. These little creations are my creative outlet, and even if somebody gave me something amazing, I wouldn't use it, because it wouldn't be of my creation, if that makes sense?
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Re: Alien Arena 2010 released.

Postby Julius » 29 Jul 2010, 21:42

I am not an expert on the topic, but I was told the bullet engine is actually faster and better suited (since specifically written) for game engines than ODE, which started out more as a simulation library.

Concerning the player models, I think I get what you mean; they are pretty unique! But if someone remade them from scratch which small design alterations, they would probably look MUCH better ;)
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Re: Alien Arena 2010 released.

Postby Irritant » 29 Jul 2010, 23:39

Julius {l Wrote}:I am not an expert on the topic, but I was told the bullet engine is actually faster and better suited (since specifically written) for game engines than ODE, which started out more as a simulation library.


I had a look today at the Bullet engine, it looks like it's C++ only, which is kind of a turn off for me. Looks like it's built off of the ODE engine, but C++ only? It does have a number of ragdoll examples though, and I actually saw some things in there that were some vital information that wasn't really emphasized in the ODE tutorials for ragdolls(which are few and far between, btw). I'll really have to ponder this. Bascially with ODE, I'm at the state where I've built my world, and am adding the bsp portions to the physics world via trimesh objects, which to say the least is just slightly confusing and tricky, and again, the examples all SUCK, in that they are just usually showing a flat single plane, whereas I am building a much more complex geometry.

My plan with ODE is this - I'm going to get it to the point of doing a simple physics demonstration without doing the full ragdoll, and if I can get it that far, then I'll continue on. If not, I think the Bullet Engine is the way to go, though I also am considering Sauerbraten's ragdoll methods, and the programmer who designed that is willing to assist(he also is the creater of the IQM format, and provided alot of assistance for us with that).
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Alien Arena 2011 trailer

Postby Irritant » 12 Nov 2010, 20:34

We remixed our trailer to reflect the current state of the game...soon to be released!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNvep_oWFbs
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Re: Alien Arena 2010 released.

Postby Julius » 13 Nov 2010, 06:04

Pretty nice.

A few suggestions though:

The music is a it too noisy in the beginning (no real melody) and towards the end it is way to repetitive. Also I think the trailer could be easily 20-30 seconds shorter... the end really doesn't add much, and it feels like it is dragging a bit (might be due to the repetitive music).

Oh and any plans to include cool physics driven wheeled vehicles, now that you got ODE integrated?
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Re: Alien Arena 2010 released.

Postby Irritant » 13 Nov 2010, 06:37

Music is always so subjective. (note, I didn't compose the music). I've been using that song in our trailer for two years now, and have had absolutely overwhelmingly positive feedback on it, so I've stuck with it. I was tempted to switch to some new stuff that a new dev member has been writing, but just couldn't bring myself to do it :P (second note, his tracks are featured in the new release).

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with vehicles and ODE just yet. There's certainly the potential for it, and I am also interested in doing it, so who knows :)
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Alien Arena 7.52 coming soon...

Postby Irritant » 18 Sep 2011, 16:10

Alien Arena version 7.52 is only a week away from release!

Some of the new general features for this release include:

  • Many new models and textures
  • Four exciting new levels
  • Vegetation shadowmapping
  • Account system for stats
  • Improved stats algorithms
  • Various improved effects
  • Decoupled renderer from client frame code
  • Variety of bug fixes and code cleansing
  • Changes to the bot code and anti-camp

Alien Arena is a free deathmatch game that has been around for some time, and steadily evolved into what we feel is a leader among a crowded fps field. With it's smooth gameplay, balanced weapons, and rich, immersive arenas, Alien Arena is an artisticly cohesive tour de force in the genre. Outlandish claims you say? The visual proof, well that's in the screenshots...the rest...well, you'll just have to download version 7.52 when it comes out and find out for yourself!

Alien Arena 7.52 screenshots:

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Alien Arena is also finding it's way into horror...yup, the game is featured in a soon to be released horror movie called "The Association" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1842494/ and is planned to be featured in another upcoming horror flick called "Zombex" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1916763/ , starring Malcom McDowell and Corey Feldman!

For more information about Alien Arena visit http://red.planetarena.org
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Re: Alien Arena 7.52 coming soon...

Postby Julius » 18 Sep 2011, 16:24

Thanks for the heads up... looks like a nice release again.

About that movie stuff? What does it mean "featured" is it a short sequence in the movies, or does it actually play some actual role in the films?
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Re: Alien Arena 7.52 coming soon...

Postby Irritant » 18 Sep 2011, 16:36

I don't there is much of a role, but there are some scenes where the kids are playing the game on their console gaming system. Not sure about Zombex, as to how it fits in there, that project is a bit further away. I think the Association is to be released very soon, got an email last week from them about it.
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