Good afternoon space adventurers, I hope you are well during this time of corona virus. Well then, shall we begin?
Current restore progress: 015.0%
The game restoration is going faster than I though as Panda3d already provides functions I had to code by myself in the past; and since that old code is no longer needed, I removed it without restoring. I deeply regret when I noticed two things about panda3d: Their community is small but useful, and their code is just a little more difficult than the code BGE used and more complete. If I had pushed just a bit more my test with them long ago, I would had not used the now defunct BGE and would not lose valuable time grieving and adapting the code to panda3d now.
The past cannot be changed, so it is easier to deal with that past bad decision.
The time I gave a signal the project would be reborn was in 2020/10/03, then I came up with a few things in 2021/01/09; but I can tell you now this: This was the month the game development truly resumed. I am still getting returning to my old production speed; but soon I shall develop almost at the speed I did before, which was enough for a news article about the game every month.
Starchild BGE (2016)
Until restored, I shall put this video at every news article from now on so people know how the game truly looked like.
Starchild Panda3d (Restore 015.0 Linux 64-bit)
During the restoration of all the game videos I actually am updating them to use 30 fps instead of the old 24 fps on top of further improvements in art and/or other aspects. At the logo video I added a sound effect I made myself in preparation of working at the game sounds and music all by myself once more, and too increased the video resolution in order to show properly at bigger screens. I shall increase even more the resolution of the videos when I decide they are finished, I use smaller resolutions only so I can render them at a higher speed for testing. Audio content from other people will be exceptions and no longer the rule.
I changed the title to reflect better the game "musical" feature, and fixed that artifacts which were visible when the T and D letters were being written. I am using the software Lightworks to edit my game video files, there are things which are better done there than at blender.
At the video I showed a little of the code, so you can remember which most of my work is invisible to you which see only the graphical and sound aspect of it.
Also, let us not forget which you can already listen to the game music. Here is one example:
I updated the game cover and icon too. I think there are still space for improvement though. I can do higher quality art, but as I have to share my limited time between art development and code development I can still not give the attention my arts deserve.
With the music issue subject solved and buried, today I shall tell other story from the game past: My original goal years ago was distributing the game with all the art and code files open for others to study and modify as long as they gave me credits. I thought it was fair, as the os I use (linux) and other software like blender and gimp were provided to me for free; also, after I die if the game assets were closed it would soon be forgotten as people would not be able to make further use of it beyond playing.
Then it came to my knowledge which someone promoted my game in a not so popular forum about open and free games, and its admin and moderator whose usernames were respectively "charlie" and "julius" were very rude about it. One said it had nothing interesting and the other which it was just a "hobbyist" project. They praised other game which soon failed miserably; and while one of them never made a game, the other made a very mediocre one. I politely asked for further information about what they did not liked but they just ignored me, I then realized they just wanted to complain about something and not to give constructive criticism. The avatar of one of them was a sad looking cartoon stone with a face, and that said a lot: One gives what they heart is full, and at their case it was negative emotions.
Nowadays I laugh about such situations and just ignore them; but back then my project was still starting and I was not so confident, so that sad event although happening at a small forum had an impact on me. I decided to no longer open my game assets due to the ingratitude of a few; and that happens sometimes from the free and open source community to other developers.
Now I too will bury this subject, it will remain only at this news articles as reference if someone wants to learn more about the game story in the future. Not only the game grew in popularity and quality over time, but as I said before: Now I develop my project with love in my heart by it and its faithful followers. Thus I decided to once more open my game assets to the community as I cannot judge the whole community due to a few rotten apples, with time I realized there are many nice people there too.
The GNU GPL 3 allows you to study the code and create modifications as long as you give them back to the community (myself included), you can even profit from it. The Creative Commons non commercial Share alike license (CC NC SA) allows you to do the same for the game art assets, under almost the same conditions; the difference is you cannot profit from them as I give greater importance to my art assets. Everyone wins.
My panda3d setuptools script actually removes a lot of files from my development folder before producing the end-user package; so, for now, I am being very careful about what I am giving to people under these two licenses. Allowing others to build the game themselves is not something I am currently supporting.
I said panda3d allowed me to and which I would do it, and I always fulfill my promises. I only do not do it if such a promise to myself or other people becomes unreasonable to do, in the case of people usually when they break my trust.
I ran a test which consisted of playing one of the game videos using panda3d code; and although I quickly managed to do so, I received as a "welcome" gift from panda3d a bug at its executable builder feature: I could not share the executable with you. I reported it to the panda3d community, and to my surprise it was quickly fixed and they even gave me workarounds before that. I then produced a game test package called "starchild_000.0-res_linux_x86_64" and allowed you to download it.
Although the first demo in 5 years, as a test it only contained a few code, video and art files. Around 3 days later I released a new package called "starchild_005.0-res_linux_x86_64" containing a little more, including true game code restoration and no longer a test. There was a 0.015 version later but it was developer exclusive.
As far as I could test, to test it you only need linux 64-bit and 7zip to unpack it and to click at the “Starchild” binary. To exit the game at any time, just press esc. If it did not ran or behave weirdly, at user/logs/game.log there should be details about why.
Linux 64-bit: Starchild Restore 005.0 Linux 64-bit
Windows 64-bit: Still unavailable
Mac 64-bit: Still unavailable
Although it seems I can produce in linux executable files for windows and mac using the panda3d version of setuptools; it is harder for me to test the windows version (other laptop) and impossible to test the mac version (no hardware).
Since I am currently using linux 64-bit, I will release windows and linux 32-bit versions with less frequency. Windows users will get the versions with bigger changes, but on the other hand will not get the versions containing smaller changes. Only if you are a hardcore fan will you find interesting the smaller updates versions
Even if it happens of me no longer posting at indiedb in the future, my site will always be online and you can see its Starchild page here.
Also, I have been improving my site lately although at a slower pace. In April I will dedicate a little more time to it and I am confident I will fix the issue relating to my site not displaying well in desktops, just smartphones. I shall improve the game and stickers page as well and fix other issues such as broken links to files, images and such.
In the next days I shall allow visitors to my site to download not the original files (of course), but still high quality compressed pngs of each sticker under a .zip file. You can use them to create packs for your favorite chat app by yourself if it supports that.
Well, I finished editing that thousands of personal photos and videos and started processing at a slower pace the varied files which remained. Usually they are e-books I saved and need to read regarding business (useful to the project), japanese language and others. I defined to myself which I will work mainly at my game project and site until 2021 august to compensate for the time I spent processing those kind of files.
Now, from 550gb, everything I have almost fit in a 64gb sd card. It is quick to backup or restore my data and it became easy to find a file I am searching after all the organization I did (increased productivity). Many of the photos and videos can give inspiration to my project, and some have useful audio samples I could extract; not to mention other kind of files useful to the project I found.
It is finished and I will never have to do so again, as I now know what kind of things are worthy of becoming a photo or video and which of those I already have in my HD. With that extra time, that is why the game restoration speed is increasing.
I hope the project friends shape this project with me and make part of my personal life too, just do not be rude as I do not tolerate that.
If you liked this project you can help make it happen by sharing its indiedb, panda3d or my site game page at your social networks or mouth to mouth promotion (pick your favourite). Also, constructive criticism is welcome as always
That is it space adventurers, until the next news article!
© Yuko Arts, 2021