StendhalDevelopmentBlog

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New Home

We have moved the development blog to the changes.txt file and the Stendhalgame Twitter page.


Year 2009

Database maintenance
We are going to convert all MySQL tables from MyIsam to InnoDB. MyIsam is the default table engine in MySQL but it does not support transactions which sporadically leads to failed account creations. Several database operations are not possible at the moment because MyIsam always locks the complete table for concurrent access which in turn causes huge lag in game. --Hendrik Brummermann 10:30, 17 August 2009 (UTC)


Hudson used for continuous integration
Since this summer we use hudson for regular building of stendhal. You can find it here. A documentation on how to configure hudson is placed here in the wiki.

--Madmetzger 19:44, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

NPC available on the web
Information and pictures of NPCs are now available on the website. It is now possible to include information and pictures of NPC (like Margaret) into the wiki as well. Thanks to Hamtaro, most of the quests on the StendhalQuests page already contain such popup.

--Hendrik Brummermann 10:30, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Year 2008

Hendrik Brummermann, 20 Sep. 2008
The wiki is now hosted on the game server. Apart from it now being much faster and more responsive it allows us to integrate it with the normal game server web site and the game itself. As a first step it is now possible to include data about creatures (like bears), items (like the mighty rod of the gm) and players (like the dutiful postman). Have a look at the test page Sandbox/StendhalDataInclude Test for more details.

Kymara, 20 June 2008
We got the http://stendhal.game-host.org/ working with live game data from the server. Players love looking up the stats of other players! The new Hall of Fame categories have been well received too. Players can login and change their password, before this could only be done through mysql, i.e. it needed a server admin. Oh, and ignore what I thought below about the News and Events - I was confused. We fiddled the permissions and now *game* admins of adminlevel >= 400 can login and edit the News, Events, etc. This is great, it means we can easily announce raids and meetings. We also decided to add the detail of 'Server time' to the website to make it easier to specify what time any event occurs.

We're experimenting with a new planning tool called plone. At the moment we're using it to decide what should be in the next release, 0.69. It's at http://stendhalxplanner.homelinux.net/ though please note only logged in users with sufficient permissions set can really see the plans.

--Kymara, 12 March 2008
We recently appeared on the front page of sf.net!!! Our news article for the release of 0.67 was featured as a project news. If you go to the news headline summary and then click Older headlines you will find us.

Over the last year we've been consistently in the top 20 of Most Active Projects (out of 170,000 projects) per week. Congrats all!

--Kymara, 4 March 2008
The release of 0.67 was a success, with some nice new quests and maps. Players have adjusted well to the removal of underscores in item and creature names. The new introduction quest and tutorials has also been well received, certainly there are less clueless newbies around.

As for future directions, I have been working on getting the stendhal_website which miguel started ready for release. It links to the stendhal game database, meaning that the hall of fame can be sophisticated. The events and news sections would only be editable by server admin rather than project admin/those with access to the sf shell services. I'm not yet sure how much the news sections will therefore be used - perhaps only links to arianne.sf.net when there are updates? Finally there are many content sections which are empty and for now I have linked these to wiki pages. If they ever do get filled we may then have two places to update information and I'm not sure this is ideal, either. kiheru has suggested editing the wiki stylesheets to reproduce the look and feel of the website.

As for the game itself, map making has been slowed down because the server is already at the threshold of what it can handle in the buildPerceptions phase. This means it is preferable not to add new instances of creatures or zones. I have been culling some rats and other weak creatures from areas which are not highly populated by newbies - after all these weak creatures take as much CPU as stronger ones (of the same size.) Still, I feel creativity is being curbed. Contributors tend to want to make new quests and so on for new zones rather than adding NPCs to old ones. mental note: do what you can to encourage development of existing zones.

--Martin Fuchs, 1 January 2008
Work is going on to make conversation with virtual in game characters (NPCs) more flexible. Previously NPCs could only understand a very limited amount of predefined commands like for example "buy banana". They should also be capable to understand sentences, which are worded in a more natural way of language. Currently (in release 0.65) the server code can already parse expressions containing verbal amounts with singular and plural nouns like "buy two bananas". The next stage of conversation parser will also be able to understand sentences like "Can you give me three bananas, please?". To achieve this, it will be based on a list known words with associated word types. If an user speaks to a NPC, the sentences are parsed into grammatical expressions like "SUBJECT VERB OBJECT" and matched with predefined expressions to model the character response.

(see also the related Developer Track entry.)

Year 2007

--Hendrik Brummermann, 28 December 2007
We had bug with the banks which allowed item duplication. Unfortunately this happened during the Christmas holidays so we could not fix it immediately but needed to deactivate the banks as an interim solution. The bugs have been fixed now and we implemented an item log which makes it very easy to detect abusing of bug like this in the future even if the duplicated items are handed to socket puppet accounts.


--Kymara 02:50, 19 December 2007 (PST)
We had a meeting for developers and contributors, see ArianneMeeting200712


--durkham / Hendrik Brummermann, 14 December 2007
We did some automatic code cleanup and improved the package structure. This broke compatibility of server.ini (which you can fix as described in this forum posting.) It was, however, a good time to do it now, because the ini-file needs adjustment anyway. To make use of the zone-storage feature (see last post) we need to provide our own StendhalRPObjectFactory and cannot use the default one from Marauroa anymore.


--Hendrik Brummermann, 13 December 2007
I have started to extend Stendhal to make use of the new persistent zone storage feature of Marauroa 2.0. I am currently trying to understand it and polish some rough edges based on the prototype of ArrestWarrants. So that it will be possible of jail players after they logged out and more important to set them free again even in case the server is restarted. I picked this example because it seems to be the easiest one; not because there is so much social trouble that we need this feature. So stay tuned, once we have a working prototype lots of new things will be possible.


--Hendrik Brummermann, 12 December 2007
Players are now automatically saved every 10 minutes. So in the rare case of a server crash, only little progress will be lost.


--kymara 17:35, 12 October 2007 (PDT)
An immense amount of work has been done making new maps and creatures recently. One of the new maps was a big city with many houses and these are available for players to buy. Having houses meant it was possible to open up the Pets feature to players, since now they have a safe place to leave their pet when they do not want it with them.

The new RP will mean a database reset, and we had thought this would happen when Marauroa 2.0 was ported to the Stendhal codebase, since this would also make big changes to the database. However the port to Marauroa 2.0 happened sooner than expected/it took longer than bargained for. Thus the Stendhal codebase has Marauroa 2.0 but is in no way ready for a database reset. So, there's a choice - a long long gap between releases, or a release of a 0.63 with Marauroa 2.0. We opted for the latter largely because we realised it was feasible to port the database to Marauroa 2.0 (Hendrik Brummermann made this possible).

So now we wait for the last bugs resulting from the port to Marauroa 2.0 to be sorted out, before releasing 0.63. It is likely there will be a 0.64 and possibly even more releases before 0.70 (the new RP) because new maps and quests are being made all the time, while less progress is visible with the RP. Also few new features can be developed while the API is not documented.


--Hendrik Brummermann 01:27, 4 August 2007 (PDT)
Most of the developers have started to backport some new maps and creatures from 0.70 to 0.62 so that we will have a new release soon. It has been delayed because we had a hardware failure which caused the database to get destroyed and we needed some time to restore it.

Currently it is planned to release 0.70 after 0.62. 0.70 will have lots of improvement under the hood (like Marauroa 2.0). Based on this we will be able to implement new kinds of features like the new RP system in subsequent releases.


--MiguelAngelBlanchLardin 07:36, 10 July 2007 (PDT)
I have fixed the memory leak that was caused by a bug on the JVM. At the same time and in the previously days too I have managed to fix several problem existing on server side:

  • Growers items automatically removing
  • Speed up by 4x the creature logic code.

I will fix now the animations thing on client side that was broken on the change to the new tileset format.


--Seather 01:42, 4 July 2007 (PDT)
Miguel recently spent a big chunk of the day modifying the HEAD branch of Stendhal to use the newest version of Marauroa, 2.0. In order to test it you need to drop all the tables in your db and generate a new ini (games.stendhal.server.GenerateINI)
[23:54] <mblanch> Everything is ported to Stendhal HEAD now, it should be working...
[2:15] <mblanch> PLEASE report any bug you may find.


--kymara 16:20, 2 July 2007 (PDT)
Non-experts view on some recent and not so recent new features:

Although 0.60 didn't bring the new RP System or Marauroa 2.0, as some had hoped, the new release was packed with features and quests. One of the features which made the most difference was to introduce a rate for weapons. The rate is a whole number from 1-15+. Low numbers mean fast rate jab jab jab while high numbers (for say a heavy weapon) mean you can hit only very slowly. Miguel came up with the idea and said it was very easy to implement. The quest of Marriage became possible, which I think must be a first for an RPG? When you are married, you and your spouse can be together whenever you like, with the help of a magic teleporting ring. The quest itself involves all the frills - wedding in a church, honeymoon in a hotel... I (kymara) worked on this, following specifications and ideas from lenocas.

Slightly earlier, in 0.59, came fishing and panning for gold. The idea is that a player can stand at a spot (with a required tool) and when they perform the action, they have a chance of success. Mort and dine worked on this, and the associated quests.

Even earlier came weapons and creatures with lifesteal, long in the planning but we wanted the quest to be something different: a challenge for all. The ideas came from Athanas, who did some maps too.


--Seather 15:19, 1 July 2007 (PDT)

  • Code Freeze (bug fixes only) has be in effect for about a week(?).
  • Plan is to fix significant bugs then Miguel will port stendhal to Marauroa 2.0; He has already ported an out of date branch to 2.0.
  • Miguel recently fixed a significant memory leak in the server; For a few weeks(?) the official server got very laggy for 1-3(?) hours each day and had to be restarted.
  • Miguel is working on the database transfer script(for transition to Mar 2.0).
  • Client has recently been suffering from some rendering slow downs(depends on the zone) related to the alpha channel(may have just been X11, work around for X11 somewhere...), this problem made it into the 0.61 release.
  • #arianne-chat continues to be active and has some chat that would be considered on topic in #arianne , #arianne-chat is considered by some/many to have increased privacy in comparison to #arianne which is publicly logged, but i wouldn't count on it.


--Hendrik Brummermann 23:44, 1 May 2007 (PDT)
We put some infrastructure in place to monitor memory usage (which has been the cause of recent lags). Gripnir fixed a bug which prevented the daily mayor quest to accept kills done in deathmatch.


--Hendrik Brummermann 22 April 2007
We had a developer (contributor) meeting. Have a look at ArianneMeeting200704


--Hendrik Brummermann 14 March 2007
Today we are the 3rd activest project (of 140,000) on SourceForge which get us to their front page.


Important Note: This page is not kept up to date, and is missing many months of information, as of 12 April 2007 (Not 2006) this project is very active. Please add your comments to this page.

Year 2006

--MiguelAngelBlanchLardin 00:01, 26 April 2006 (PDT)
Seems that actual way of working with NPC has reach its limit, as server already takes 21 ms of turn time with no players. We need a new way of running NPC or decouple logic so it is not run once per turn.


--MiguelAngelBlanchLardin 00:42, 19 April 2006 (PDT)
Now I will work on fixing bugs, because Sourceforge bug tracker already owns around 130 of them. Most of the features are there, the game needs a serious rebalancing so monsters are not so easy nor so stupid as they are now.


--MiguelAngelBlanchLardin 00:44, 22 March 2006 (PST)
I have added banks and it works! :) Yay!


--MiguelAngelBlanchLardin 04:00, 16 March 2006 (PST)
I have added doors and keys to CVS. Also I have started to work in our next step AI that will help us create different profiles of monsters, so that not all of them behave on the same way. Right now green dragon drops a key on death if the user need it and lich will summon on some occasions zombies to help him fight you.


--MiguelAngelBlanchLardin 14:38, 11 March 2006 (PST)
A new release, this time we fixed several issues and added new zones that I see are making the delight of our players :P.
We need to work a bit more on organizing stuff to ease content additions. It is going to be my priority.


--MiguelAngelBlanchLardin 03:43, 27 February 2006 (PST)
I am balancing right now the monsters that exists and the new ones that I added.
I am really thinking about an automatic tool as it is really time consuming.


--MiguelAngelBlanchLardin 15:06, 22 February 2006 (PST)
I have added several new features, mainly:

  • Events API at client
  • Range combat
  • New monsters
  • Quests

I will try to document mainly the API and the Quest system.


--MiguelAngelBlanchLardin 00:55, 15 February 2006 (PST)
I have added a very experimental support for Python startup script, so Stendhal can be configured fully using Python. If the result is possitive, we should think about porting actual XML system to Python.


--MiguelAngelBlanchLardin 02:41, 6 February 2006 (PST)
Perception system has changed on CVS Marauroa, now we use around 60% less of bandwidth and make slots really private. There is still room for improvements though :)


--MiguelAngelBlanchLardin 23:47, 25 January 2006 (PST)
I have finally fixed the memory leak that was happening because of not closing Statements at JDBCPlayerDatabase class.


--MiguelAngelBlanchLardin 03:00, 23 January 2006 (PST)
I announced the release of 0.43.
From now, we are going to use this blog to post development news to you can have a look to what is going if you don't visit us at IRC

1999 - 2005

see History





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