Saturday, 15 September 2012

Happy birthday FreeRCT

Today, FreeRCT exists for one year, always a happy moment in the life of a project.
Time to look back and reflect a bit on what happened.

The start was pretty quick. After about a month of talking how, what, and when we decided to just go ahead and do it, and created the FreeRCT project.
It has been an interesting ride so far.

I started with some world-display code into the project, while Richard provided some first sprites. (Probably everybody starts with a display of the 2D world in a game like this, I think :) )

Then the real work started. Since the project literally started from nothing, lots of infra-structure got created in the past year:
- A 3D voxel world holding ground and paths (and tomorrow shops and rides).
- Display of the world to the screen.
- A GUI system for creating and managing the windows.
- A string system.
- Mouse, keyboard, and screen handling.
- Time and clock ticks.
- Random numbers.
- Colour/brightness parametrization.

The infra-structure is still not complete (no rides yet), so in the coming year it will be expanded further. Also, existing parts get replaced or expanded when the need arises (like the replacement of the Python code that generates the RCD files, and the string system that got unified with added translations).

The highlight of the past year was of course the moving people video. Your response was heart-warming. A clear sign that many people still like these games. Many thanks for your support, let's hope we get another highlight like that this year.

Last but not least, a sneak preview of what I am working on (very green currently).

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Strings and translations

Translated texts
It has been a while, but another small step is made. In this case it's strings.

Remember that one of the aims was that different people could make parts of the game? A consequence of that decision is that every part must have its own strings.

The hard part was to find a way to have all these strings live together, such that you can combine strings from different parts without worries. A second puzzle was what to do with strings in the game windows. Eventually, this proved to be quite simple, see it as yet another part!!

While below the surface and in the build system, a lot has changed around strings (I completely removed the old gui string system), at the surface you don't see it. The windows are the same (including the missing closebox, I really should fix that one day). The layout is also the same as before. The only thing that's different is that you can now switch language (by changing a variable and recompiling the source code due to lack of a window for it). The screen shot proves it. Most strings are Dutch (spontaneously provided by Kenny), while some other strings are still English due to not having a Dutch translation.
(Please don't start sending in translations in your favourite language now, I appreciate the thought, but it will be a long time before they become useful, and quite likely strings I have now are obsolete by then. Better wait until the game is somewhat playable.)