Is there anything I can help with in VCMI while waiting for the next version? I’ve played at least 3 or 4 games without special saving and there are still some issues that prevent continuing a game from save (mainly all Creature Banks being visited after loading any save). I’d love to do more bug reports, but I think most of the significant bugs have already been reported.
Long live VCMI! I look forward to the next version, even if only a few improvements have been checked in.
If you can operate even simplest graphics, I would think about interface design for new functionalities and higher resolutions. Main manu screen, menu with new settings possible for example. 480 x 800 functionality, support for more than 8 players. Addionional info display in high res. Some better solutions for WoG interface in the future as well as mod browser. It all will be necessary sooner or later and we hardly have any graphican to do that.
While working on Seer Hut, I was thinking about reworked quest log with better display and minimap.
I was wondering if I shouldn’t make as my hobby this year learning something practical, that could also help the project on the long run. Initially I thought of digging out from my basement the (basic) courses of programming I followed in high-school (I was pretty good back then). Though I’m not sure if even 1 year would be enough to learn what it takes to be able to help you guys with the coding. It’s too foggy from where I’m standing, to estimate the size of the mountain (of effort) that awaits me if I take this path.
I’m not very good with graphics either, particularly on the ‘creative’ side. All that I did for higher resolutions was just reusing already made graphics. But maybe this path would be a more achievable purpose. And if you say the team is mainly missing a graphician, it wouldn’t hurt to at least give it a try.
@Steven: now, if your coding knowledge is not much better than mine, and your inquiry was more from a tester’s perspective, there aren’t many things that we can do I guess. I suppose more testing (another alignment, another artifact, functionality etc) can never hurt. Something else I wanted to do - but don’t find the time - I to scan the 0.72x & 0.73x bug threads, in search for reported bugs which are neither fixed, nor reported in Mantis (I found such an example a couple of weeks ago… and maybe some others may have gotten lost). If you feel like doing that, you can choose to either pick one of the 0.72x topics and thoroughly check it, or else go through all 0.72x/0.73x threads, and check at least all your reports to see if they are fixed or on Mantis. And last thing a tester can still do that may help, is to go through the Mantis reports marked as “Not reproducible”, or “Random”, and try to reproduce, perhaps even identify the cause, the actions to be done to reproduce that.
@Warmonger: I also had a suggestion from somebody for an enhanced Quest Log - click on quest to take us to location of the hut - but I’ll post that in the ‘Missing features…’ thread.
I joined project after two semesters of C/C++ courses from the beginning, but actually learned most just analyzing ready and functional code of VCMI. I had some former experience with Lua scripting and random school programming before though, but I guess it’s similiar for you. It only depends on you how fast and effectively can you learn on your own.
You’re giving me hope there. Perhaps the mountain is not as big as I thought.
I kinda knew that if I put my mind to it, I could learn some decent C/C++ in one year. But I didn’t know what else, aside from that, would be necessary as well (like you mention Lua), and how long would that take as well to learn, before I would actually be able to commit real changes to the game code…
Zamolxis, thanks for being interested in helping us in a new way. You do very much for our project anyway. Basic C++ programming is not very hard to learn, the problem is writing sufficiently good code. Before I and Tow have started writing VCMI, we had written another quite big project (AI for an open-source RTS game named Spring). It gave us a lot of experience. Without it, VCMI would have much worse codebase. What one should master is the ability to balance the time you need to write the code and time you need to maintain it - I think it’s the hardest thing in programming (but very important).
Actually there are only 2 popular compilers for Windows - GCC and Visual C++'s compiler. For experiments with manual compiling I suggest MinGW (GCC for Windows). You can also use an IDE if you are not interested in the process of compilation and linking - ie. MS visual C++ which is one of the best IDEs for Windows (it works with Microsoft’s compiler).
There is a difference between Integrated Development Environment (MS Visual C++, DevC++, Eclipse, Netbeans, Code::Blocks, …) and compiler (gcc, MS C++ compiler, Intel C++ compiler, …). Steven asked for compilers while you write about IDEs.
Wow. Hungry testers are so bored without new releases that decided to learn c++
Even with basic knowledge of C++ you’ll be able to analyze VCMI code, write some small utilities to simplify some tasks (for example - all that puzzles\walls positioning was done in small program written in a half of hour, similar tool was made for decrypting .fnt )
Since main menu images in H3 are stored with part of background instead of normal transparency they can not be used “as it” for hi-res menu. Probably the best way to made it is to ask authors of mods with new main menu (WoG, maybe HotA as well) for semi-transparent images of menu items. After this you only need to find\make a nice background picture
Creating new players can be a more problematic - if I am correct, .def-s have one global palette for all images in it. Number of colors in this palette limited to 256 -> you have less then 30 colors for half of player images. If there is way to solve this issue (using .png or even .gif) you need only to find a nice colors and recolor all player-colored images.
I’m currently working on Seer Hut / Quest Guard objects, but recently realized that my map editor is corrupted and most likely will need to reinstall it (or entire system anyway).
Could you please make a test map with these objects covering all types of quests? I would be very thankful.
Keep in mind that win\loose conditions are implemented, so it may be necessary to put some enemies on the map to keep game going.