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Announcements => Development News => Topic started by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm

Title: INFO: XR 1.0 Beta - Feature List & Change Log
Post by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm
Below is a list of all major features implemented in XR 1.0:

  • Auto-Updater (,6322.msg94888.html#msg94905)
  • Shader System utilising Normal Mapping (,6322.msg94889.html#msg94889)
  • Squad Management System & Panels (,6322.msg94890.html#msg94890)
  • Updated Map Editor Interface (,6322.msg94892.html#msg94892)
  • Reworked Game Interface (,6322.msg94894.html#msg94894)
  • New Build/Mine Animations (,6322.msg94895.html#msg94895)
  • Complete In-Game Stats Overhaul (,6322.msg94896.html#msg94896)
  • Improved Foliage System (,6322.msg97874.html#msg97874)
  • Animated Tree Leaves & Branches (,6322.msg94898.html#msg94898)
  • In-Game Demo Converter (,6322.msg94899.html#msg94899)
  • Lobby IRC Chat & In-Game Panel (,6322.msg94900.html#msg94900)
  • In-Game Tips System (,6322.msg94901.html#msg94901)
  • Brand New Music (,6322.msg94902.html#msg94902)
  • Improved 3DSMax Plugin with Animation Import (,6322.msg94903.html#msg94903)

Compilation of minor changes and fixes: Here (,6322.msg94905.html#msg94888)

Content additions:
  • Samurai Wars Mod completely integrated into XR (,6322.msg94906.html#msg94906)

Title: List of Minor Changes & Bug Fixes
Post by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm
Below is a list of all the know minor changes made to XR:

  • Props:
    • Added Aztec theme models
    • Added Arabic theme models
    • Added Samurai theme models
    • New pine and redwood tree models
    • New redstone and gold mine models
    • Frontgate and bunker props got updated
    • Some surf (collision box) fixes, more to come
  • Textures:
    • New human and beast textures, with normal- and glossmaps
    • Added three new snow textures and stylized textures
    • Added a new terrain texture named mossgrass
    • Updated all rock and bush textures
    • New fulltree and mosstree textures
  • Visuals:
    • Fixed animations, they are smooth again!
    • Fixed disruptor scale issue
    • Added human officer helmet; it appears when you receive your first armor and if you are an officer.
    • Reintroduction of the beast helmet
    • Added missing animations to Kongors, Zizards and Gerkats
    • Added impact decals, e.g. for lightning and demolition charge
    • Added blood decals when someone dies
    • New impact effects for Repeater and Coil Rifle
    • Reverted SFE* weapon effects
    • LODs for all beast units
  • Interface:
    • Added a ref panel
    • Added a vote panel
    • Added smileys
    • Reverted the commander GUI to 2.0e
    • Added a "Panic Button" to the commander's view, which shows the "Panic Panel"
    • Commander votes now show the electee's stats.
    • Every panel now has a title bar.
    • During building placement the preview will now show you which direction the building will be facing.
    • Console size can now be altered with Ctrl+PgUp and Ctrl+PgDn.
    • Chat box is now featuring Pos1 and End keys, as well as Ctrl+Left/+Right/+Delete/+Backspace for word-wise operations and Tab for name auto-completion!
    • You may now use /r to respond to personal messages, which will automatically expand to /w targetperson! (no more misrouted /re's!)
    • Bug causing music volume control not to work is fixed.
    • Added character brightness and the "realbright" setting to graphic options
  • Editor:
    • Made the object menu in the editor much easier to use
    • Object snapping
    • You can now place an object anywhere in the editor. This removes issues with large objects.
    • Added Zizard to the editor
  • Gameplay:
    • Relocator exploit was fixed.
    • NPCs can no longer see players through walls.
    • Removed exploits with spawning
    • Added "type kill" code -- you can now see when someone is typing and the server will add a red "TYPE KILL" message if someone flagged as typing is killed (only works on XR servers) .
    • Cvar allowing to cap the xp/min a player can earn to create "newb servers".
    • When entering loadout screen one now automatically gives all resources one carries to the team.
    • Frenzy mode now supports an arbitrary number of milestones and technology bonuses per milestone
    • When dying in frenzy mode one loses all the resources one carries.
  • Script:
    • Added cl_duel_enemy, a client-side variable which stores the client ID of the player's opponent on XR duel servers.
    • Client IDs can now be used interchangeably with names everywhere by adding a # in front; e.g. /ref chiprel #42 (only works on XR servers)
    • The function which checks if an IP is banned now returns the remaining time, in ms, instead of the absolute time when the ban expires.
    • Various GUI updates and behaviour fixes to allow fading, drag&move of panels, etc.
    • Referee commands re-worked and fixed, added cvars allowing to accurately specify what commands a "normal" ref may use.
    • Added /ref destroy, instantly destroying the building or player the ref aims at
    • The commands "normalref", "godref" and "guestref" set referee status by UID and can be placed in XR_refs.cfg to give someone permanent ref status. This also makes referee passwords obsolete, they still can be used alongside though.
    • Voting system re-worked and fixed a bit
    • Added /ask name <clientid>
  • Miscellaneous changes:
    • 3 and 4 team lobby background bug fixed.
    • Fixed a bug where a dueller could accept a challenge from a player in spec
    • Fixed spelling in numerous server related messages ...
    • Fixed problem with land mines and fire wards being grayed out on loadout screen when they actually are available
    • Multiple bugs concerning music playback fixed
    • Crash dialog updated, now asking to save the crash report instead of sending an email.
    • Removed the dedicated console window from the win32 client
    • Fixed gfx_nicerfog
    • Mere reconnecting now doesn't lift mutes, team switching and commanding restrictions.
    • And many more minor bug fixes!

Title: Shader System utilising Normal Mapping
Post by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm
Some screenshots until XR will be released.  :mrgreen:

click on the images for full size
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Title: Squad Management System & Panels
Post by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm
With XR so close to release, I can give you a sneak overview of a powerful new feature: the Squad System.
(you can click on the images for a larger view)

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Players can click on the Color Buttons to join one of 6 Squads.
The Team Names are now listed in the following order: (1) Commander   (2) Squads in order  (3) Other Players.
Within each squad the names are listed by XP (as before).
  - Referees can change the squad status of any player.
  - Commander and Officer the status of any player in their OWN team.
  - Other players can only change their own squad status.
--> I have replaced the officer icon with a Helmet; you will understand why this is useful when you see the Mini Maps  :-).

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There are 2 new Key Bindings:
  - Toggle Squad Panel (default Caps_Lock).
  - Resize Mini-Map (default N).
There is also a new game option called 'Identify Squad Mates'.

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Each unit is shown in its individual squad color, with special icons for officers (helmet), healers (cross), and seige (catapult).
Other units are shown as large bubbles if they belong to the same squad as you (above in orange), and small squares otherwise (above in blue).
Units that don't belong to a squad are drawn in Grey.
-->You can immediately see how this makes it possible for the commander to issue orders on the mini-map that are specific to each squad (awesome no?  :-P)

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The Bubble you see above the Chaplain corresponds to the 'Identify Squad Mates' option (Should be useful!).
The "Toggle Squad Panel" Key (Caps Lock) brings up below the Mini-Map a List of the Players in our Squad. This List shows:
  - The player's name and unit type.
  - His ranged weapon and items.
  - His Heath and Officer Status.
--> You can immediately understand that this information is useful to Officers when they plan "Coordinated Strikes".

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Pressing the "Resize Mini-Map" key (N) toggles it between large and small.
This should be useful on servers with loads of players.

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A screenshot of the commander's mini-map.
Notice the squad buttons underneath the mini-map: Clicking on them automatically changes the drawing color to that of the squad.

I have now implemented the "Commander Side" of the squad system!


The panel is located below the requests, and shows the line-up of each squad. The "squadless" players are showed at the bottom.

The panel also works as a "Drag n Drop" system:
You can click on any player to select him. If you then click on an empty slot, the player will be automatically transferred to that squad.

Finally if you click on the coloured dot on the left hand side, all the players in that squad will be selected for you.

I dearly hope this system will make your savage experience all the more fun!
Cheers, Moh!   :mrgreen:

Title: Updated Map Editor Interface
Post by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm
After starting to make a map I realized how bad the editor was once again. But this time instead of just going ahead and making the map I decided I would fix the editor up a bit and make it easier to use for every one. The longer I spent trying to fix it the more I realized why it was so buggy. The scripts that control the GUI were an absolute mess, looked like they had been created as quickly as possible by S2Games and then hacked throughout SEP/SFE releases with no thought on making the map easy to use let alone bug free.

After spending hours on this I had decided I wasn't going to do a half assed job and decided to get rid of the current editor scripts and completely re-write the GUI. After many hours of boring work and working with SKOPE to come up with a new look here is a sneak peak into what the editor will be like in XR.

New compact easy to use main menu:

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No need to use the console anymore with features like this:

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Easier to use interface:

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The ability to properly use the Time Of Day (TOD) settings with similar layout to 3ds max (This part is a work in progress) :

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Please fee free to post any suggestions and constructive criticism you may have ;)

Title: Reworked Game Interface
Post by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm
Additional detail has been added to every menu in XR, by our resident 2D artist K'jell, to create a refreshing new look and now when your Savage client starts up the game selects and presents one of two main menu background images, one for each race, as depicted below:


Other news related to the graphics front: K'Jell has nearly completed a complete texturing rework of whole savage world, AKA Newerth, which include the use of shaders that add extra detail, metal and gloss effects to the game. New objects are now available to map makers including ice, Aztec & Arabic buildings and eye catching ground textures that should emurse you further into the world Newerth. Powerful new options have also been implemented to give you complete control to tweak the new graphics settings to the power of your computer.

Title: New Build/Mine Animations
Post by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm
Mefix and I have teamed up to bring you some new Animations & Tool Models for Players Mining & Building.
You can see a Video Sample, with a couple of remaining glitches, here (

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Title: Complete In-Game Stats Overhaul
Post by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm
Hi Guys! Here are a couple of simple but very useful improvements I've been working on:

Improved In-Game Stats.


The info button now brings up all the Stats available on the Newerth site, together with the Awards. Stats are contained within a scrollbuffer.

Improved Commander Elect & Impeach Vote Panel


Now showing the Player's commmanding Stats. This should help you make the choice of voting Yes or... No!

These mods will be available in XR. More soon  :mrgreen:

Title: Animated Tree Leaves & Branches
Post by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm
Hi Guys!
I have implemented the animated tree idea in Savage (turns out most of the necessary code was already there, used for stuff like the waterfalls! All I had to do was add some extra functionality)

Here is a quick video demonstrating animated pine trees (please note, actual thing looks way better than it does on this vid, real frame rate got screwed up):


Title: In-Game Demo Converter
Post by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm
Well, I added this a 'long' time ago to XR, but I thought I should tell you.


Savage XR includes a Demo Converter, which lets you convert your demos into a RAW movie without any FPS loss.
You can adjust the Width and Height (there are already presets) and change the amount of FPS.
It sounds easy, and it is, but you should read the manual when you use it for the first time.


Title: Lobby IRC Chat & In-Game Panel
Post by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm
.. Information to come...

Title: In-Game Tip System
Post by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm
.. Information to come...

Title: Brand New Music
Post by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm
I've been working a few new songs, and some ideas for XR.
I think overall this should round out the XR music list nicely.

Our Menu Music:

The complete song list is :

The Ambient Songs:

Songs to consider: (doesnt fit savage imo) (needs clean up) (doesnt fit imo)

Things left to do:

I'd like to do a few more upbeat/battle/action songs 2-3
a "defeat" theme to go with the victory one

Weather SFX I want to add:

Strong Rains

I'd be interested in hearing any sfx requests from you?

Title: Improved 3DSMax Plugin with Animation Import
Post by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm
It has finally happened: A Modeller's dream come true!   :lol:
This is Release 0.8 of the 3DS Max 9 Import/Export Plugins, featuring the "Import Animation" function for Savage Models.

There is an video of what it looks like here (


I have tested the Anim Import on several Units, including Ballista & Catapult, and several Buildings.
So what are you waiting for? May all Modellers quickly grab this latest version and make us some improved animations!!!

Title: The Autoupdater, Developement Now & In The Future.
Post by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm
Right then, thought it was about time that I made my first blog post. I've been very busy lately, like always, for those of you that know me personally. Here's a little info on myself, I'm finishing my final year university course to get a shiny 1st class degree in Computing and I'm finding it hard to make time for that, Savage, and a social life; but I'm managing.

In this first blog post I'm going to try and explain my role in planning the development of XR and, where the team are today, and where we hope to be in the future. Reading this blog should help you understand what's involved in the XR development process and the work load associated with implementing new features and planning. I hope it will inspire people to help out and if you have the spare time and the skills we require (check the Vacancies section ( of this website out) please do!

Where to start? Maybe it would be a good idea to start from the beginning when I managed to get access to the code base of SFE (, and the obstacles I've had to overcome for the team to even start thinking about adding new features collaboratively to Savage.

Let's start with the mess that is the Savage code base. When I got access to the SFE code, it was unfortunate to find out that it was totally undocumented, apart from the odd comment within, and that it was not written in an object orientated fashion (for those of you who don't know, Object Orientated Programming techniques make extending an application less complex, that's the simplest explanation I can come up with anyway). To add to this the majority of changes implemented by people, which had contributed to the changes in Savage, (not just Uttar) had been hacked in, without any consideration for or foresight into maintaining or adding new features to the game. This all contributes to one large pain in the ass and maybe one of the reasons previous developers who worked on improving savage had such a hard time fighting against bugs in the versions they released. So with this in mind, I decided that the only real way to tackle these issues would be to have very stringent and methodical alpha and beta testing of any release the team would make of XR. This lead me to think about how best to support such testing in the development process.

To be able to test XR successfully the team would need a foundation or framework for working together collaboratively. Adding to this problem were the issues of developing savage across multiple operating systems. I think its also worth mentioning the nightmare I had trying to get the Linux version to build, but that is Linux for you, always user-friendly. Anyway, since the previous Auto-updater (or AU, as the development team knew it) was none-functional, and very difficult to extend, I decided to start there.

I completely rewrote a new Auto-updater as a separate application from savage so that any bugs might introduce, in savage, would not interfere or prevent updates to the game. If you are in the Savage 2 beta you will know what a pain this can be and bandwidth wise, with its limited resources, can ill afford this to happen. Anyway for the new Auto-updater I decided it would be a good idea to combine it with SVN (, a piece of software that versions changes made to files, and allows the team to contribute changes to the same files concurrently. This elevates the problems that occur when someone makes a change that affects your code, causing your code to break and is essential when more than one person is working on the same piece of software and at the same time.

Using SVN to manage new versions of code, from a central location, lead me to create a system that allows a developer in two operations (2 mouse clicks), to build Savage remotely without the need to upload any files from a developers local machine (but if they wish the system also allows the game to be built and uploaded on a local developers PC) and make the new version of game live for testing on all XR clients for both the windows and Linux versions of the game. The Auto-updater, on your PC, then works by copying changes on SVN, made to the game by a developer, into its web root for downloading by the local Auto-updater software that is run before Savage starts. For the more technically minded or for people that are interested, below is a simplified UML implementation ( diagram of the system:

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Click image to enlarge

This system allows for instant feedback, from testers, on whether new features break on Linux when a developer is coding on windows or visa-versa, as well as allowing changes to be reverted instantly. It speeds up the development process and reduces the time wasted building, uploading and distributing the game (again if your in the Savage 2 beta you will know how long it takes for new versions to go live). The most innovative feature of this system is that it also accommodates changes to flat files, (configuration files, textures, music, 3D models etc.) not just the game code, something which versioning systems have not been normally used for, in the past, within software engineering projects such as Savage: XR. Another feature of the system is that it caters for two versions of the game, a 'Production' version released to the public and a 'Testing' version for developers and testers. The Autoupdater is also multi-threaded ( and should mean that updates are downloaded at full speed! Below you can see a screen shot of the AU in action, something you will become vary familiar with when XR is released:

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Click image to enlarge

What does the Auto-updater mean for all you people playing savage? Swift resolution to bugs, found by Savage: XR users, that could make the game unplayable; and rigorous testing to prevent bugs, in Savage: XR, from being released to the public in the first place.

So to conclude my long ramble, I hope you can see the massive amount of time spent (maybe a few thousand hours of work) so far on setting up the development framework, how little time I've spent personally adding anything feature wise to the game and that my main role at is concentrating on project management so things don't end up in a mess.

What's next for me? I'll be concentrating on fixing the unresolved sound issues ( which occurs when playing savage on the latest versions of Linux and I'll be concentrating on planning and implementing a bug tracking and feature request system on the website, for concurrent launch with XR. I also hope in the near future to be able to integrate with so people can easily share their videos of Savage 1 and Savage 2 in HD quality and create a user gallery where people can upload images related to the games, but I doubt I'll find time for these ideas and hope another staff member will find the time implement them. Expect new blog entries when I make progress on the above.

Title: Samurai Wars Mod completely integrated into XR
Post by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm
In 2004 an official full conversion mod was created for Savage 1 named Samurai Wars using the Silverback engine and the RTSS (Real Time Strategy Shooter) genre created by S2Games.

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Samurai Wars is set in feudal Japan in the 16th Century,  is very authentic and plays very similar to Savage Human vs Human mode. Unlike Savage, Samurai Wars also allows you to ride horses and upgrade your melee weapons.

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The mod contained many bugs and due to its late release was not well adopted by the community. The XR Dev Team are pleased to announce that the Samurai Wars Mod is now fully integrated into XR and literally dozens of bugs that dogged the original version have been fixed.

Click here to see the entire gallery of Samurai Wars screenshots. (

To play Samurai Wars all you will have to do is connect to an XR server with the optional samurai maps installed, vote a map starting with the name "samurai_" and the game will switch to Samurai Wars mode automatically. Once the map has been played, the game will return to normal if a map like eden2 is called up.

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The first Samurai Wars testing sessions were a bit disspointing for a couple of reasons:
- The melee action was a bit hay-wire.
- The tech tree was small and purely linear.
In other words, the game was not very challenging from the comm's point of view, and not much fun from the players point of view.

So there is good news! Over the past 2 weeks a small team involving Milka, metjm, Mchief, Legmog, Skope & myself have been working hard to:
- fix the melee action.
- expand the tech tree (and add buffs!).
- add a load of cool scenery props.
So be ready for Samurai Wars Mark II!
Cheers, Mohican    :mrgreen:

The new tech tree (click for larger image)
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The new Battering Ram Siege Unit:

New Sakuna-biko Shrine (heal), new design, the hearts inside and healing magic will flow out the "doorwars".
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Scenery village destroyed by a band of ronin (npcs).

Japanese Macaques (npcs).


I thought I'd let you know what has been happening with Samurai Wars XR over the last few weeks:

(1) I added 1st person view support for all ranged weapons and items.


(2) Lorenor and Attila made 3 new maps: samurai_eden, samurai_ichi & samurai_tovalley

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(3) Important Debugging:
   - Knock back effect on the battering ram (causing self damage) is fixed + added a cool effect when u hit something.
   - Hit Box problems with Town Centre have been fixed.
   - Textures of several Buildings and Props have been fixed.

(4) New Building: The Barricade (small wall).

(5) Balance Adjustments:
   - Grenade damage lower from 350 to 250.
   - Cannon HP up from 1500 to 1750.
   - Cannon can now be ejected from.

Title: Improved Terrain Foliage System
Post by: Mohican on February 13, 2009, 11:31:30 pm
This was an improvements that some of you (especially Tirza   :wink:) asked me for over and over again!
So I did it, and implemented an advanced foliage system that adds flowers, weeds, and aquatic plants near water.
I hope you guys like it!   :-P

Comparison between SFE and the new XR system
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More screenshots
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