Release 0.2.0 Beta

I just released version 0.2.0 Beta of The Gamebook Engine. The most significant improvement in this version is the addition of sound. The Gamebook Engine can read your book to you, as long as audio files are provided with the book. Flight From the Dark includes audio files which were recorded by Jens using Neospeech for his Hyena Gamebook Reader. I wanted to include automated voice synthesis, so that TGE could create audio on the fly, but I could not find any open source text-to-speech software that was of satisfactory quality.

I am only including a source release for this Beta version. I have a Windows installer prepared, but my space on the Project Aon servers is limited, and I can't fit it onto the server. Previous releases were 1-6 MBs, but because this one includes over one thousand audio files, it is over 40 MB per archive. I will be considering various solutions to this.

The download page also includes the latest Windows build dependencies, version 0.2.0. This version of the build dependencies will work with all current and previous versions of TGE.

This release uses ffmpeg, openal, and alut to play the audio. Read the README for compiling instructions. Compiling might be a challenge, but if you are using Debian Lenny/Sid or Ubuntu Intrepid, you can compile with just a few commands which are provided for you in the README. Specifically, ffmpeg does not provide downloadable binaries, and the latest svn seems to be broken, or at least it does not work with TGE.

I released version 0.1.4 on Aug 21, but did not announce it. It provides minor improvements over 0.1.3. If you would like a version with a small download, easy compiling, and provided binaries for Windows and Linux, 0.1.4 is still available.

Good News Everyone! Release 0.1.3!

I just released version 0.1.3 of The Gamebook Engine. This release includes enabling the player to save and load games if it is supported in the gamebook. I moved the tarballs to Project Aon. Hosting on Project Aon means that I can include Flight From The Dark, or any other book from the Lone Wolf series, with The Gamebook Engine. The current release of The Gamebook Engine includes Flight From The Dark and Ring of Thieves. Ring of Thieves is a gamebook written by S John Ross, and follows the rules of Risus, his "Anything RPG". This release includes installers for Windows and Linux, an icon for Windows, and shortcuts that automatically start Flight From The Dark or Ring of Thieves.

I moved the svn to cvsdude. I feel much more comfortable hosting the svn on cvsdude, as cvsdude's policy specifically respects my copyrights to The Gamebook Engine. Unlike Sourceforge, they do not require any special licenses to it.

New Hosting Solution. Next release delayed.

I haven't released in a few weeks, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working on The Gamebook Engine. I have added support for saving and loading games, and I have adapted another gamebook (Ring of Thieves) into the Hyena Gamebook format. Ring of Thieves is not free, but I have gotten permission from the author to adapt it into the Hyena Gamebook format, and it is redistributable with some obligations, so, unlike Flight From the Dark, I can include Ring of Thieves with The Gamebook Engine. Before the next release, I intend to create installers for Windows and Linux binaries.

I am in the process of moving away from Sourceforge. I discovered this clause from the Terms of Service: "By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through, you grant COMPANY a worldwide, non-exclusive, irrevocable, perpetual, fully sublicensable, royalty-free license to use, reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, create derivative works from, publish, perform, display, rent, resell and distribute such Content (in whole or part) on and incorporate Content in other works, in any form, media, or technology developed by COMPANY". This means that I can not put the Ring of Thieves gamebook on Sourceforge, because I do not own it, and can not grant Sourceforge the right to do whatever they want with it. It also means that I can not upload any GPL or MIT code that I do not own. I've been mistakenly breaking this rule every release. The Windows binaries include code from Qt and Lua, and I do not have the authority to give such a license to Sourceforge for these files. I also feel unfomfortable putting any of my own code on the Sourceforge servers. I am happy to release code under the GPL, but I do not want to give Sourceforge any special permission above anybody else. I don't intend to release any further code onto Sourceforge, in either svn or file releases.

I have been investigating various solutions. It looks like I will be using this server for the website. I have written to Savannah and Launchpad for some policy clarifications, and I've asked the developers at Project Aon if I can host tarballs there. If I can host on Project Aon, then I can distribute Flight From the Dark with The Gamebook Engine, assuming that I also get permission from Jens Andersen to distribute his coding contribution.

The next release is almost ready (code-wise) but it may be some time before 0.1.3.

0.1.2 Released

This release was mostly focused on making TGE easier to use for first time users. List of user visible changes:

  • Instead of "If you want to go to X, click #sectXXX", it now says "If you want to go to X, click x", where x is the number key that should be pressed. And x is printed in the color red. This is much easier to read and understand.
  • Open Dialog now filters file list for .gamebook files
  • Fixed bug that caused TGE to crash when the user presses Reset while the lua code is executing hyWaitForClicks()
  • Image loading now works properly in both Linux and Windows.

List of internal changes:

  • Makefiles use obj and obj/win for object files.
  • Changed most QString's to std::string. This will help to make TGE more portable to other GUI libraries.

0.1.1 Just Released

List of changes:

  • Much prettier. Newlines make sense. Every page begins with a new line and --------, and the view area automatically puts the beginning of a new page at the top of the view. This should make reading much easier.
  • Fixed the can not escape combat after death bug.
  • Enabled the "openGameMenu()" callback
  • Added support for images, but only for Linux. There is a bug somewhere preventing images from being displayed in Windows. Fixing this is a priority for the next release.
  • The code now has a simpler, more consistent flow of execution.

New Features planned

Here is a list of features I intend to implement for the next release:

  • Make it prettier. The newlines should make more sense. Perhaps I can add colors and bold for titles and such.
  • I found a bug when I was testing the Windows release. If in FFTD, you die in combat, and restart, you end up immediatly fighting the same fight as soon as you reach section 1. I'm not sure if this is only for the Windows version, or if it affects Linux too.
  • Enable the "openGameMenu()" callback
  • Support for pictures

These are features that might not make it to the next release:

  • Save and Load games
  • Read text to the player
  • Easy compilation without Qt (such as to build an executable with audio only, no windows)

First Release!

The Gamebook Engine's first release (0.1) was yesterday. It's not too pretty, and lacks plenty of features, but it is fully capable of playing through Lone Wolf: Flight From the Dark. I'll be making a list of issues to iron out for the next release.