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 v1.10.4 patch - posted by Andrew @ 13 October 2008
The latest patch for the game engine is now available. This is mainly for level designers but also contains a few bug fixes that end users may have come across. The main feature is the addition of walking animations to most of the md2 models which has been done by Stephen France, many thanks to him for all his hard work! If you want to take a look at these use the model editor or load the first level of Sinister which has been updated to include a walking enemy. Also I've added the ability to specify marker action data which gives more options for certain actions such as explosions and the ability to disable detail level for effects in cases where a designer wants them to always look the same.

 v1.10.3 patch - posted by Andrew @ 18 September 2008
A new patch is now available. The main thing it adds is support for walking animations for patrolling entities. Of course this requires your md2 models to have walking animations when normally they don't. I hopefully will be able to able to release some updated models soon that have had walking animations added by Steve. Also the patch contains an important bug fix for the new weapon fire effects.

 v1.10.2 patch - posted by Andrew @ 8 September 2008
The new patch has now been released This features the improvements listed previously such as weapon fire effects and weapon inaccuracies. Also included are the next 2 levels of Dead Man Walking.

 v1.10.2 patch coming soon - posted by Andrew @ 4 September 2008
A new patch is almost ready and I'm really excited about it I've implemented a lot of weapon improvements that were well overdue. First, weapon inaccuracies are now fully implemented including variations with skill level. Second, I've fixed a little undesirable feature that allowed laser fire models to sometimes be rendered over the player's hand. Finally, I've implemented support for muzzle fire effects. These look so good! They are particle effects so use no 'cheat' textures and all the weapons I've applied it to look so much better!

 v1.10.1 patch - posted by Andrew @ 29 August 2008
Hot on the heels of the new release comes a patch that improves the Configure & Launch utility. It now doesn't count single levels with episode files as games so they can launch immediately rather than going to the menu screen. It also categorises levels on the Launch Level dialog, making them easier to find.

 v1.10 release - posted by Andrew @ 25 August 2008
I've now released v1.10 of the engine. To summarise for those new to the project, this release makes big improvements to the jumping physics, replaces Direct Sound with OpenAL (because Microsoft don't support Direct Sound for future development), reduces loading times and includes various other bug fixes and improvements. It also includes a new game called 'Dead Man Walking' designed by my 11 year old son, so if he can do it surely you guys can

Something else to note. I've noticed in some forums people saying how rubbish the demo levels are, they obviously missed the point because those are to help level designers rather than show 'eye candy'!

 v1.10 release getting closer - posted by Andrew @ 13 August 2008
In preparing the 1.10 release I hit another stumbling block. As part of the update to the source code we put in support for all versions of Visual Studio .Net but then I was reminded why I never moved the project to .Net because the level and model editors wouldn't run in the debugger. I've now traced this to a strange restriction in the way DoDataExchange objects can be accessed. I won't bore you with the details but it meant that code that runs fine in debug mode with VC 6 causes ASSERT failures when running in debug mode from VC7 onward. To add to the confusion, the generated release code runs fine for all compiler versions?? Anyway, it basically means I'm having to change every line of code in the editors that accesses a DDX object in the 'wrong' way which is a long and tedious process

 Project update - posted by Andrew @ 29 July 2008
I did the tweak for jumping and prepared to release a patch, but then I realised that with all the changes we made for Linux support the code has changed too much to make it worth doing a patch. So I need to do a new release to get the source downloads up to date with the new project structure. This should have coincided with the release of Linux support but it looks like that is not to be because Tim has disappeared. I think I upset him by objecting to something he wanted to do so it's my fault I'm sure. Anyway, I'll get the release done at some point although to be honest this latest twist knocked all the enthusiasm for the project out of me. I've also got some new levels done by my son that I may include in the new release. As it stands I plan to get out the new release and go back to level design/bug fix support unless another coding guru comes along to help.

 Project update - posted by Andrew @ 03 July 2008
Did you notice how this project tends to go up and down like a yoyo? It's been a while since the last update and not much has happened to be honest. I went on holiday and when I came back there's been a few snags. Tim seems to have disappeared, hope its not permanent, so Linux support is stalled. My old crappy computer finally gave out so I had to save up for a new one. Then when I got it I found Vista doesn't support the versions of Visual Studio I have Anyway, I've got Visual C 6 installed and working at last and so can get some things done. First thing will be to sort out some necessary tweaks to jumping and then release a patch to solve the level editor/level incompatibilities some people spotted with the last patch.

 Linux Support and other news - posted by Andrew @ 02 May 2008
It's a couple of weeks since the last news item, usually that means nothing much has happened but the opposite is true at the moment As some of you may have already heard, we have a new developer on the project Tim is a very experienced programmer and brings a number of key skills to the project. Since he joined we have already done a large amount of work, hence the lack of time to report it

Tim is keen to make the engine available on platforms other than Windows and it has been something I wanted to happen for many years. We've implemented OpenAL support and been through the engine code making sure that all the bits that will only work on Windows are replaced with cross-platform friendly versions. Tim has already had the title sequence of the engine running on Linux with sound and hopefully we will have a working Linux alpha done in the next few weeks He has also been converting the configuration utility to run cross-platform using wxWidgets. The plan is to make only the engine available on Linux initially, with a move to convert the tools if we see enough support/interest from the Linux community. Converting the tools will be a huge task and there are plenty of other things that we would like to get on with

The other pressing task will be to give a facelift to the graphics capabilities of the engine. The background capabilities of the engine and tools have increased enormously over the years but this has been at the expense of keeping the graphics capabilities up to date. Hopefully we can start to change that now

 V1.09.1 - posted by Andrew @ 20 Apr 2008
In response to the recent constructive criticism in a video review of the game engine, I decided to release a patch to answer some of the most obvious flaws that were highlighted. The most significant change is a re-write of the jumping and falling routines to use Newtonian physics, which even I can see has made a big improvement I've also fixed another bug that has allowed me to increase the maximum frame rate and so hopefully reduce the lag in user input. Finally I tweaked my Slime Pits level to make it a bit easier and fixed some glitches in the level design of The Sewer that the new physics highlighted. You can download the 1.09.1 patch from sourceforge as usual, I've created a new package on there for patches.

 V1.09 - posted by Andrew @ 4 Apr 2008
Version 1.09 is now released All of you who have been following the news recently will know what features to expect in the release, others can read the news archives or consult the version history files in the game package.

I was reminded of some problems during testing of the game package and so decided to delay the release by a couple of days to allow these to be fixed. Now all entities can move up the same steep slopes as the player which obviously improves the gameplay and also fixes a bug that caused entities to sometimes seem to fly to one side when hitting a terrain slope. I also had to adjust some levels because my new armour models needed to be rotated to face the player in several cases (with the old model it didn't matter which way it faced). Finally I tweaked a parameter to stop taller enemies aiming at the top of (or above) the player's head. All these little fixes were well worth the effort!

 New release getting warmer - posted by Andrew @ 30 Mar 2008
I just finished building the 1.09 release packages This week I read through all the project documentation and made sure it was up to date. Then, when I added pictures of the newer ammo models to the manual, I decided that the existing armour models looked very poor and so I created some news ones which by my standards are the best I've ever done Now I just need to test the game package and then I'll be able to upload the release to sourceforge, within the next few days hopefully

 New release getting closer - posted by Andrew @ 23 Mar 2008
I've now tested the automatic area list generation code for accuracy and I'm happy with the results As well as being essential for newbies, it is also useful for experienced level designers too and the full editing capabilities for area lists that I completed last year allow all the calculations to be tweaked. Of course it isn't perfect, but the graphical glitches are few/none depending on the level design

Other little jobs I've done are: added sounds and weapons to the loading bar (reduces the apparent big pause before some levels start), changed it so the player can pick up ammo for a weapon he doesn't hold yet, added help dialogs to the model editor and fixed a couple of bugs.

So now I think that all the code for the 1.09 release is done and I've just added/updated 43 files in CVS which shows how much work I've managed to put in over the last couple of months Now I just want to update some of the documentation and then the release will follow sometime in the next few weeks. After that there are two things I want to concentrate on: multiplayer and Corridors of Doom. I miss doing level design and want to at least finish the first level of CoD

 You can use! - posted by Andrew @ 11 Mar 2008
I've done quite a bit of work on the automatic area list generation code and it's certainly been worth the effort, although I'm sick of the sight of it now The processing time for indoor levels has been speeded up by nearly 100 times and outdoor levels 300 times On the fastest PC I have access to (a 2.6GHz Pentium 4) level 2 of Corridors of Power takes about 3 minutes and level 7 (the most complicated level with terrain) takes 40 minutes. I reckon this is pretty good! I just need to check the accuracy of the calculations now and maybe add some tweaks and then it's done.

The other major news is that the engine now supports a 'use key' function This is a very requested feature that I've finally found time to do and I'm really pleased with it. I've produced a demo level that shows how it works, basically you can mark a trigger as useable which means you have to press the use key to activate it. The bounding box of the trigger then defines the box you must be looking at and also the location/size of the HUD graphic that is displayed. This is one of those little but significant developments that I feel add a lot to the engine

 Progress at last - posted by Andrew @ 19 Feb 2008
At last I've managed to do some work on the project, answered forum posts and some coding. I've fixed a couple of bugs that were reported (see bug tracker) and worked on the problems that were holding up multiplayer development. A crash that was happening in the multiplayer code is now fixed (it took some finding!) and the problems with lag are all solved thanks to a new client-server algorithm Also I've done some more testing on the automatic area list generator for the level editor and it is working well but is too slow. I've an idea that should speed it up a lot and I'll be trying that soon, then I might be able to think about doing a new release. Oh yes and I upgraded the icons for the programs in the project, I hated that old icon but only just figured out how to do better ones

On a side note, if anyone has bugs to report or wants to request (simple!) new features, please use the trackers rather than the forums. The forum posts get 'lost in the noise' and that's what the trackers are there for

 Bloody Wikipedia - posted by Andrew @ 14 Aug 2007
If anyone is thinking of ever writing an article on Wikipedia then don't bother! I saw that Retribution Engine had been a stub on the site for ages so I thought I would write an article. So I spent hours and hours of time I could have spent doing something useful on the project and completed what I thought was a good article. Then the wikipedia 'thought police' swooped and started to quote this wiki style guide and that wiki style guide . The final insult was that I was told that wiki articles should be written based on third party sources such as magazines! So an article written by the author of the engine was no good!!

 Project CVS Now Available - posted by Andrew @ 20 Jul 2007
As of yesterday, project CVS support is now available I'm hoping that this will encourage other developers to come on board and help out on the project. As I've said before I've very little time to move the project forward. I can do little improvements to editing, frame rates and bug fixes but don't have time for anything else. So I'm crossing my fingers

 Retribution Engine 1.08 Released - posted by Andrew @ 10 Jul 2007
The new release is out This fixes several annoying bugs in the code and in a number of levels. It also now uses libjpeg which will make porting the engine to other OS's more easy.

 New release coming - posted by Andrew @ 6 Jul 2007
My son was designing a level last weekend and found a bug in the level editor and it made me think that there are some annoying bugs in the engine that really need fixing. So I've been working on the main ones this week and I've fixed them all Also the forum post about Linux support got me thinking about how easy it would be to port the engine. I realised a big problem was the use of the Intel JPEG library because it is tied to Windows. So I decided I would look at using another library and selected libjpeg. IJL is now gone and I just need to test all the levels to make sure my new code works ok for all the textures. Then I'll be able to do a new release with all these bug fixes and the improved code base This will happen next week sometime.

 Glimmer of Life - posted by Andrew @ 23 Jun 2007
Thanks to sourceforge the project has a chance to live again, but it's up to all you developers out there By ending the project I had to waste all the effort that had been put into it, by making it open source at least that effort might not be a complete waste. So lets see what others can do with the engine If anyone wants to take on the task then let me know via the forums. I don't have the time to work on engine coding any more although I may have time to run things in a project admin role.

 RIP - posted by Andrew @ 21 Dec 2006
With great regret I have had to end the project What went wrong? There were many reasons for the project ending. I just felt in the end the project wasn't going anywhere. I'm sure I made many mistakes and I know I can be negative about new ideas. I also found I was doing a much more demanding job that left me little free time. I just never got enough of a community going to support the project and build the momentum it needed. Why this didn't happen I just don't know. I really did think we made something amazing here and people for whatever reason just ignored it.

It took me a long time to decide to halt the project. I felt I was letting down all the friends I made. But I devoted 8 years of my life to the project and couldn't continue to devote all my free time and a lot of my own money to something that was going nowhere.

The project started as Corridors of Power. I was playing with 3D game programming and produced a very rubbish 2 level demo just to show off what I had learned. I knew I needed help with level design, textures, etc if I was to have anything that looked good so I released it onto the internet. Some people suggested that if I turn the project into a game engine I might be able to attract more help. So I did but it was still no good because I had no tool support. So in stepped Paul and produced the tool set but still no one but us had designed a level. I continued work on Corridors of Power, refining the original levels and adding new ones, testing the toolset as I worked. People started to show an interest and work on levels but they had a series of disasters where levels were lost due to hard drive failures, etc. It was so frustrating.

Eventually I reached a stage where I had finished Corridors of Power and thinking that it would be a good point to end the project. We had some levels by that stage but were still struggling to get any interest from a wider audience. So we decided to move away from Corridors of Power and change the enthasis and concentrate on the game engine. I renamed the project Retribution Engine and Jon created a great new website. We tried innovative new game formats such as challenge levels where people could post their high score on the site but in the main only Wolfie, Jon and I took part. Then Jon and Wolfie found they were too busy to work as much on the project and things died down again. All the time people were coming along to the forums and making suggestions and many of these were implemented and many weren't because I didn't have the time. The engine was becoming quite powerful but still hardly anyone was using it.

Then MitaMAN came along and I was filled with new enthusiasm. He had produced some of the best levels for the Cube engine and I was sure he could show off the true capabilities of my engine. In the end The Depot was released and I thought at last I had a chance to really show what the engine could do and get some interest going. I publicised the release and had loads of new visitors to the forums. I got the usual spread of comments between complimentary and critical. In particular I was told the lack of multiplayer support was crucial and my jumping routines simply weren't good enough. I knew about the multiplayer, Jon had been trying to persuade me for years to do it but I knew it would spread me too thin. I was surprised why people were so bothered about jumping but I tried to improve it because I could see what they meant but still it was criticised. I became despondent because it seemed I could never win and the publicity had cost a lot of money in bandwidth costs so I knew I couldn't afford for the site to become popular anyway.

So then I started to develop multiplayer. I introduced the survival level format which allowed many features required for multiplayer to be added to the engine. I was very pleased with the result and continued to make good progress but then hit a tricky technical problem that needed too much work to solve and so I shelved it for a while. I also tried advertising to see if I could cover some of the running costs of the site. After a month I found that the adverstising was paying maybe 10% of my running costs because people just weren't bothering to click on the ads. I was in a situation where visitor numbers to the site were dropping steadily but bandwidth costs were going up due to search engine spiders and 'free game' (i.e. freeloader) sites. Enough was enough.

For me the experience of running a website was a bad one. The website was hacked at least twice, my email address was taken out by the amount of spam I got, obscene messages and advertisements were left in the forum, I was personally abused on many occasions and I was paying far too much in bandwidth costs. I came across many people who were very supportive and that made the world of difference and in the end made the project achieve all it did. But unfortunately I also came across too many people who were the opposite. I mean, if you are putting a big chunk of your life into a project to give fun to others and paying for the website that provides access to the project the last thing you expect is abuse. It hurts. In the end I couldn't be bothered any more. All I can say is if you like a free site or a project support it or you will lose it! Pay compliments, donate a few pounds to site costs, click on those banner ads!

 New survival level! - posted by Andrew @ 05 Sep 2006
SV-Farm is now released This very sweet looking multiplayer level by Jon has been adapted by yours truly to a survival level and the result is very impressive You can download it now from the Survival Levels section (requires the new patch also released today).

Patch and other news - posted by Andrew @ 28 Aug 2006
A patch has been released at last This includes the finished version of the driller weapon (i.e. railgun) which I'm very pleased with Many thanks to DCP for providing it! Also included are some minor tweaks to weapon settings, a list of all the weapons and their features in the manuals and much better fault reporting in the engine log files. The advanced controls for panel editing that some users missed are also reinstated.

As well as getting this patch out I've also been doing some work on the new survival map based on Jon's Farm level. I've added shadows for all the trees, telegraph poles and cliffs and it looks more realistic now. Next I'll start to tweak the layout to suit the enemy AI and then think about weapon placement and spawn points

Update: the tutorial section now contains a demo level for the standard weapons that allows you to try out the new driller weapon.

 New Patch - posted by Andrew @ 04 Mar 2006
Today sees the release of a minor update that will hopefully have a big impact It upgrades the lightmapping system to provide a much wider range of brightness and contrast, including the ability to have truly dark shadows which has been a major criticism of the engine for a long time No major change to the exisiting levels other than an improved weapons hit effect, but hopefully it will make a major change to lighting of levels in the future

 Slime Pits Released Plus New Patch - posted by Andrew @ 25 Feb 2006
Today sees a big release First of all is all there is a new level called Slime Pits. This shows a lot of the new features that the engine is capable of It's the first installment of Corridors of Doom, the sequel to popular Corridors of Power game

Second, there is a new patch which fixes a couple of bugs in the game engine. More importantly it sees a major update to the level editor with features designed to make it easier to produce levels. The side bars have been worked on to remove clutter and use more meaningful names. Add item 'wizards' have been added for panels and lights to enable more options and make specifying lights much easier. New features have been added such as multi-vertex editing and simple but powerful texture mapping controls. The level editor documentation has also been updated to describe all the latest features

 Retribution Engine 1.05! - posted by Andrew @ 13 Jan 2006
The new version of the Retribution Engine has now been released Actually it was released yesterday as one or two people noticed, but I only just finished uploading all the other files tonight

The features in the release compared with version 1.04 are too many to list here, the reader is referred to the version history files for details. To summarise, version 1.05 pulls together all the new developments over quite a long period of time and adds all the excellent new content introduced by MitaMAN’s map, The Depot Players should notice improvements across all levels such as smoother player movement, improved sound effects, new weapons, new ammo models and improved HUD icons.

The size of the package is a bit larger than before but you can be sure it is as compact as I could make it All this extra space is filled to the brim by new textures, models, sounds, enemies, weapons and music that add to existing levels and can be used to create great new levels in the future! Any mapper thinking of designing for the engine should take a look at MitaMAN’s fantastic level to see just what can be achieved with this engine and it’s new content

 New Patch - posted by Andrew @ 20 Dec 2005
Today sees the release of a new patch, the last patch before the next major release of the engine.

This patch fixes the broken player acceleration/deceleration code & tweaks jumping to make the falling part less severe. On the design side it adds the capability to specify weapon inaccuracies, adds accelerator keys for switching edit modes in the editors and adds editing support for multiplayer maps to the level editor.

The next major release will see the cream move to the top. It will feature mitaMAN’s new level and make available all his new content for use in other maps. It will also remove some of the poorer rated maps/games including Corridors of Power.

Currently I'm working on completing Slime Pits and this will be the last level I will produce. In the future I will concentrate on engine development.

The best map yet - posted by Andrew @ 09 Dec 2005
Today sees the release of MitaMANs new single player map - The DEPOT It can be better described as a total conversion with new enemies, weapons, sounds, textures and models Enormous fun to play and a superb advert for the latest capabilities of the engine! You can download it now in the Single Player Levels section

Survival Maps! - posted by Andrew @ 27 Oct 2005
Today sees the release of a major patch that introduces a new type of game to the engine - survival levels This is a fun new addition to the gameplay we can offer, blending multiplayer style action into singleplayer levels One mode is currently supported, to survive until 25 enemies are killed, with more modes planned for the future once the menu system has been upgraded Please, download the patch and then the first survival level and give it a try

The map is accompanied by some fantastic new music by fanatic who is a very talented musician and level designer If you like the music please head to and download some of his free albums, they are brilliant I’ve been listening to them non-stop while I work on the game

As well as the new game mode, the patch also introduces several other new features. These include high score recording and feedback for challenge games as well as survival games, support for skill levels in these modes, support for stereo music files and a superb replacement model for the assault rifle by Jon

On the editing front, support is added for survival map editing. Collision box based shadows have been added to allow more realistic lightmap shadows to be cast from objects. Also, full control has been added to panel collision settings to allow designers to fine tune collision test performance. Finally, support for selection in the 3D view is improved and there are various bug fixes.

Patch 1.04.3 - posted by Andrew @ 02 Oct 2005
A new patch has been released. From version 1.04.1 this fixes some long-standing object collision problems, improves the efficiency of entity collision detection and adds a stopwatch to the HUD for challenge maps On the editing side the major new feature is selection in the 3D view for all item types, something that has been much requested Also there are bug fixes for the model editor and basic editing support for survival maps

Work on support for survival maps is ongoing. The first map is almost complete (just needs weapon and item placement). Once this is completed, engine support will be added. Initially survival maps will work on the basis of surviving until a fixed number of enemies are killed, eventually other modes are planned such as surviving waves of increasingly tough enemies to try to beat the best time

 Patch 1.04.1 - posted by Andrew @ 18 Sep 2005
A new patch is available in the download section This makes entities in big groups have a wider spacing so that their models don't 'mesh' as much, fixes a bug that stopped splash damage from working for explosive weapons, introduces mouse wheel suppot for weapon changes and removes all cheating options from challenge maps On the editing front it adds more storing of last used directories, fixes a couple of bugs and makes it possible to specify the gameplay type in the level details (paving the way for survival maps)

Version 1.04 release! - posted by Andrew @ 07 Sep 2005
This release makes many improvements over version 1.03 including new weapons, improved lighting capabilities, improved entity AI, increased customisation options for games and numerous minor improvements and bug fixes. The tools feature improvements in directory path selection, support new engine features and have various bug fixes. See the version history files for full details of all the improvements

This release also marks a change in the download packages for the engine. In the past, engine components and games/levels were available in separate downloads which minimised download size but were inconvenient for many users and didn't allow game sites/magazines to feature a single download for the engine. Now a complete package download is available that combines all the engine components, documentation, games and popular levels into a single file Corridors of Power has had another significant makeover and several other levels have tweaks to remove design bugs

 New patch - posted by Andrew @ 14 Aug 2005
Things are moving nicely again now I've recovered from my illness I'm making really good progress on my level and although I'm not so talented on the 'art' side, I think it will be a good demonstration of all the features the engine has to offer I'm really excited about what I've done so far and I have some good plans for new engine features to improve it further

The new patch improves the performance of the engine by a few percent, giving a small but noticeable improvement in level 7 of CoP for instance. It also improves the look when transparent shaders cross each other. On the editing side it increases the limit on markers to allow more scripting, stores the last used directory for textures, adds group editing for panels, cyclic selection code for objects and transition lights that allow a smoother transition between areas with different lighting

 Voting is back - posted by Andrew @ 02 Aug 2005
After a long break, voting is back for extra levels I made it so people have to log in now to make votes so hopefully we will get more accurate voting than we used to

In other news I've been looking at further optimisations to the panel drawing routines but only managed to gain a few percent. Also work is continuing on my new map and I've also been working on creating some new prefabs for crates and shelves that will be used in my map and will of course be available to other mappers in due course

 Progress on The Slime Pits - posted by Andrew @ 24 Jul 2005
I've made some progress on my new level, The Slime Pits and released a new screen shot (see the Work in Progress section) I've also been looking at implementing terrain vegetation but haven't started to code it yet, it's hard to work out the best way to do it

New patch - posted by Andrew @ 28 Jun 2005
A new patch has been released today although this is only a very minor release It fixes a lightmap bug when people install a new version of a level over an older version. It also adds a different skin for the new driller weapon to make it look different to the megaplasma

I must apologise for the lack of news or progress over the last few weeks. It is the case that real life is taking too much of all our time I'll try to get on with my level now but I think everyone else is too busy to do anything at the moment...

For those that missed it, a new version of Corridors of Power was released last month

Update: New patch 1.03.2b released that includes driller in default weapon list file so it can be easily used in new levels.

 New release - posted by Andrew @ 08 May 2005
Today sees the release of a new version of the game engine The new version rolls up all the previous patches plus adds faster loading times, ability to disable music, minimised texture memory requirement for lightmaps, improved hesitant AI, friendly forces, improved breaking glass and various bug fixes.

A new version of Sinister has been released that features higher quality light maps, improved car models, and various level design fixes.

 Site Improvements & Other News - posted by Andrew @ 26 Mar 2005
I've just improved the download pages to aid navigation and provide screenshots of all the games and extra levels to help people choose what they would like to download

I've also added some more screenshots to the sinister game section and improved the quality of some of the existing shots

Work is starting up again on the project now. I started to look at adding beam weapon support although I really require a new weapon model before I can implement it fully. If someone can provide a model for a laser rifle or rail gun it would be much appreciated!!

I also did a bit more work on my new level by implementing turrets that drop from the ceiling when triggered

Update: A Work in Progress section has been added to the site to provide screen shots of levels under construction and a help section has been added for challenges.

Major new release - posted by Andrew @ 27 Jan 2005
Today sees two major releases for the project A significant new patch for the engine and the Apartment level

The Apartment is a demonstration level that is designed to show the texture and light map detail that is possible with the engine It is also a good demonstration of the scalability of the engine because the raw textures require 240Mb of texture memory but by selecting a lower detail mode the level should run great on older graphics cards You can find it in the Demo Levels section.

The engine patch introduces major improvements to lightmapping and texture management. Lightmap characteristics are now configurable by the level designer who can choose a small maximum panel size with highly detailed light maps or choose a huge maximum panels size with low resolution lightmaps or select any compromise in between The lightmap filtering algorithm has also been significantly improved and the engine now supports compressed lightmap textures to minimise disk space requirement. A texture manager has now been added to the engine to ensure that duplicate textures are only loaded once and allow control of the maximum texture size based on hardware limitations and detail level settings. The level editor has also had a level statistics dialog added to allow the current state of various parameters such as item counts, engine limits and texture memory usage to be quantified. Finally, the engine and level editor have been upgraded to allow scripted control of animated md2 object models.

 Dev shots of mech model - posted by Jon Eriksson @ 12 Jan 2005
We've done alot of progress latley, and hope to release some of it soon! The Apartment level is basicly done, it only needs an engine update which Andrew is working on. Andrew have posted some more information about it in this forum post.

There's also screenshots of a Mech model in the forum. It's still in development, but the animations are being tested for some movments, and it's just amazing watching this guy move! More to come on this one!

 Holidays - posted by Jon Eriksson @ 22 Dec 2004
With the christmas tree installed. Chimney shaft enlarged, and christmas socks large enough fitting a new car. We're read to welcome 2004 years Christmas . Between the eagerly check for pressents undernieth the christmas tree, Andrew posted some intresting facts about the next engine update in our forum!

What's left to be said is simply, from all of us here at Retrib:
Merry Christmas!

Also sending a thought in these times of guzzle to the homeless, poor and needy.

 Progress report - posted by Jon Eriksson @ 14 Dec 2004
We've had ALOT of progress during the past few weeks. Andrew have added some intresting stuff for the engine, including improved lightmaps (look at the screenshot below) and statistics on how much memory a level is using. The next big step is to improve the models handling, adding propper collisions and better lightning for it. As for the mapping, I've done some progress my own. Here's two screenshots, note how nice the new lightning looks!

Give our forum a visit for comments and latest information.

 Progress!! - posted by Jon Eriksson @ 24 Nov 2004
We've actualy been doing some progress latley, but first about the downtime we've suffered the past few days. Andrew started a forum post about why the site has been down. Go read it.

Here's the progress we've done latley. It's a new level showing off some of the capabilities of this engine, still alot to go.. But Hey! we're still alive

Read this forum thread for even more screenshots of the Apartment level

Retribution 1.02.3 - posted by Andrew @ 06 Oct 2004
A new patch has been released with another major improvement to the capabilities of the engine The lightmapping routines have had an overhaul with the result that specular light maps are now supported. Also new lighting modes have been added to light sources to allow more control over the attenuation with angle. These changes allow a much wider range of lighting effects to be generated

Note: Specular lighting needs to be enabled if you want to use it your levels. New levels have it enabled by default but if you want to use it in old levels check the appropriate tick box in the 'Level Details' dialog.

Also included in the patch are some new models for keycards and card readers (see the 'models\switch' directory).

Update A modified patch (1.02.3c) has been released to fix a bug in specular map calculations & cure rendering problems on some Voodoo cards. Only download 1.02.3c if you are using the level editor or have a Voodoo card.

 Retribution Engine 1.02.2 - posted by Andrew @ 25 Sep 2004
I've released a new patch today which finally enables the scripting system to support cutscenes and other complex scripted sequences This is a major step forward for the engine and brings it onto a par with games such as Half-Life in this area

I've also released a demo level for cutscenes which can be found in the tutorials section of this site This demonstrates the new features such as cameras and scripted movement. It uses text messages for the dialog between the characters to save time and keep the file size small, but there is nothing to stop actual levels having real dialog provided by voice actors using Ambient Sound markers that are played once

 Challange pack 1 is now released! - posted by The Wolf @ 19 Sep 2004
I am pleased to be able to tell you all that my Challange map pack has now been released! You can all download it from the Levels & files page!
As I've said before it contains 3 levels, CH-Balance, CH-Chess and CH-CrazyMaze. The first two have remained unchanged from descriptions before, but the last one now has enemies to fight with. Make sure you don't get shot to much or you are in for a nasty surprise.
I hope you all enjoy them and take part in the challanges!

 New Patch Already! - posted by Andrew @ 14 Sep 2004
I'm making some good progress recently This patch fixes a problem in desktop gamma restore for new ATI drivers, makes it so level completion stats are only overwritten by faster times, adds support for triggers that can be activated by all entities, and fixes another item deletion bug in the level editor

Engine version 1.02 released - posted by Andrew @ 11 Sep 2004
I've now released version 1.02 of the engine There is not a big change to the features if you have been keeping up with the patches. The changes are to allow the intro sequence to be skipped by pressing ESC, changing enemy AI to stop them running on moving platforms (fixes bug in Ancient complex) and a fix for a serious bug in the panel deletion code in the level editor.

The big change in this release is that the sinister content (textures, models and sounds) has now been incoporated into the main engine download. The advantage of this is twofold: level designers now have a much richer set of content available to use in their levels and the size of level downloads is significantly reduced. The disadvantage is that the engine download is now much bigger than before. I realise that this causes problems for modem users, I was one until last week However, times move on, even my mum has a broadband connection now! If the engine is to keep pace with modern developments then the quality of the content needs to improve and this has to result in bigger downloads I would point out that since I implemented hidden version numbering for level data, the frequency of main engine updates has dropped significantly. So it is a big download but you will only need to do it once every 6 months or so, because patches will still be much smaller

You may notice that the sinister download and all the challenge map downloads have changed. This was mainly to make them compatible with the new directory structure in version 1.02. The only actual changes have been to fix noise problems in the music file in ch-ambush and fix a bug in ch-turrets that could make you go through a wall near the start.

Finally, I've updated the documentation to include all the tutorials that are available online but weren't in the download

 New Patch - posted by Andrew @ 04 Sep 2004
The new patch is released today This increases the frame rate limit and improves mouse code to allow for smoother gameplay It also fixes a bug in the new loading bar code and introduces an entity damage action which can be used to set up hazardous areas in your levels I've also updated the documentation to match recent level editor improvements.

Much progress! - posted by Jon Eriksson @ 19 Aug 2004
If you've followed the forum the last couple of days, you've seen that we're working really hard!

Andrew done some really great stuff to the engine, including better AI with other changes! Read more about it at this forum thread.

We're also very close to finish a Player / Human enemy model. There's a new thread showing the full upperbody of the model, and the legs/boots are allready done, even though not visible in the screenshot.
More information can be found at this forum thread

** Added by Andrew ** NEW PATCH!

A new patch has been released. This fixes a bug that caused scripted sound effects to play repeatedly when restored from a save game, makes it so entities will fire through breakable glass, fixes a bug that caused entity melee attacks to hit even if player stepped away, introduces entity moods (allowing entity AI to be altered at run time), adds AI for hesitant enemies, allows view zoom factor to be specified for each weapon and improves the level loading bar. It also fixes a problem with scroll range in the level editor and adds a control to allow views to be reset if the viewer becomes 'lost'.

 Player model part screenshots - posted by Jon Eriksson @ 17 Aug 2004
I've started up a forum thread showing off the parts done for the playermodel. You can read more about it at this forum thread.

We are also intrested in having more action in the Challenges, so please go check them out, and participate. We currently have multiple challenges running, so I bet some of them would suite you .. Battle away!

New Challenge Map - posted by Andrew @ 10 Aug 2004
I finished my first challenge map Head to the challenges section for CH-Ambush. This is a bit longer than the previous challenges but I expect time of less than a minute for sure It is also the first level to feature music which should please one person I know

Note: We seem to have a slight problem with the time upload code for the new challenge so please bear with us and we'll get that sorted out soon as we can

*Added by Jon* The Challenge time update is now fixed, and it should all be working just fine now. If you experiance any problems, drop us a line in the forum.

 Challanges for all - posted by The Wolf @ 22 Jul 2004
Well, as you may have seen, the websites changed a little again! This time you may notice an entirely new feature has been added. This is the much talked about Challange menu. On this you can add or enter challanges. All you need is the stat file that is automatically saved in your /stat folder, after you've completed the level. Well, I say it is automatically saved, but that is only true if you have the latest patch, so GET THAT NOW!
There are currently two challange specific maps out there, go to the challange and you can download them with the link inside the challenges.
One final note about that, you must be logged in to use the challange feature, so sign up now if you aren't already!

Also, Jon would like me to post a link to his Retrib Browser, so here it is:
Check it out, it's pretty cool!

 New Patch - posted by Andrew @ 17 Jul 2004
At last we have a new patch It doesn't do so much but it is a sign that work is beginning again This patch adds Czech language support (thanks again to Triple T) and adds extra level completion statistics support. There is now a new subdirectory called 'stats' in the game directory and for every level you complete, the stats will be stored in this file. Once Jon completes the website support, you will be able to upload these files to the webpage to see if you get onto the 'league tables' Another plus is that now all levels, including levels in episodes create completion stat files.

PS The files are encrypted so don't even try to edit them

 We're still here! - posted by The Wolf @ 03 Jul 2004
This is just a short little post so everyone know we are still alive! Hopefully, soon we should all be back and working on it. I can't speak for the other two, but I hope to soon be working again on my latest map and to get a couple more rooms up and working.
So, watch this space and the forums. When I have any new work to show, I'll post in there!

 Sinister updated! - posted by Andrew @ 07 Jun 2004
I have great pleasure to announce that a new level, the sewer, has been added to the Sinster demo You can find the updated version of the game on the download page and I'm sure you will agree that Jon has done a fine job with this level

 Assault Rifle to Sniper rifle - posted by Jon Eriksson @ 27 May 2004
While we are waiting for Andrew and Wolfie to evaluate the final Sewer level beta, I made up my mind and now releases a small Patch for retributionengine. This patch will simply replace the current Assault Rifle, with a sniper rifle. Here's a picture of what I'm talking about:

Head over to the Levels & Files section, to make your download and votes.

User login required - posted by Jon Eriksson @ 13 May 2004
Allright, this page is under a huge update! It's not very obvious for you, but under the shell, behind the graphics, and layout, the page has been given a huge facelift. First of all, the page is now incredibly secure.

What you will notice though, is that you will from now on need to login to be able to post replys, and new threads in the forum. This major step was made because a few people started f**king off in the forum.

Added by Andrew: The change was required to protect people who were having posts made in their name and also as a mechanism to allow us to ban people who consistently don't follow forum etiquette. We welcome all our readers and encourage people to register and use the forums and continue to enjoy being part of our community. We just wanted to get rid of a lunatic fringe that were causing trouble and upsetting people

Also I've released a new patch. The main feature of this to to add completion statistics for stand-alone maps which will allow speed competitions Also in the patch are several bug fixes.

New Level! - posted by Andrew @ 11 May 2004
I am pleased to announce that a new level has been released. It is called The Attack and is by our old friend Gunrock I think it is an excellent map and shows off some of the more recent features that have been added to the engine Well worth a download! You can find it in the extra levels section.

Also I have noticed that ATI have reverted back to the good old days when every time there was a driver release, they broke something in my engine. This time it is hardware gamma control and stencil shadows. I have managed to fix the hardware gamma problem for fullscreen operation but have no solution yet for the stencil shadow problem It is a distraction that I could do without

 New version of CoP - posted by Andrew @ 08 May 2004
A new version of CoP has been released The only changes are to level 7, which features a wider variety and increased number of enemies due to the introduction of armour.

Also today I have added support for shotgun weapons to the engine. There is no actual shotgun available yet though because this will need a model. If anyone is able and willing to produce a shotgun model this would be much appreciated

 Coding, mapping, statistics, you name it - posted by Jon @ 06 May 2004
*Tap*, *Tap*, this thing still on?
It's been a while! At least for me writing news. For you who have followed the forum latley have noticed quite a big difference in activity. The latest news code wise is that Andrew have implemented map complete statistics: map complete time and killed enemies. Read the forum post , and check out the attached screenshot. This feature will be used to pull Online Challenges, where people can compete in "Complete-levels-fast" competitions. A PHP script for this feature is under progress as we speak.

Other news is that both Wolfie, and myself have started mapping. We also need to welcome back Gunrock who have started doing some mapping again . Read all about Wolfies progress and check his screenshots, or my own progress at the forum.

Other happy news is that Retribution hits 4500 Downloads, and the Sinister demo over 800 Downloads!

 Armour - posted by Andrew @ 01 May 2004
Despite being ill this week I've managed to finish implementing support for armour. I have also added support for super health and super armour objects This is not so big a change to the engine but I'm sure will make big changes to the gameplay that is possible

The manuals have been updated to reflect the above.

Now I will take a look at adding armour support to the last level of CoP. This should allow a wider variety of enemies in the battles at the end

 Armour - posted by Andrew @ 21 Apr 2004
I have been working on adding support for armour to the engine recently I have made an armour model and new HUD graphics. I just need to change the routines that determine the effect of weapon damage and this feature will be finished I might also change the end of CoP because I wanted to have a bigger battle but I couldn't because the player's health went too quick

 New patch - posted by Andrew @ 04 Apr 2004
The latest patch has now been released. This includes the breaking glass effect and the ability to specify start weapon for levels/episodes. It also fixes some bugs in earlier patches.

I have also released a demo level for the breaking glass effect in the tutorials section and an updated manual set.

 Some news at last - posted by Andrew @ 25 Mar 2004
It has been a long time since I had any news to report. Work has to take top priority and I've been very busy recently. I will try my best to keep things ticking over on the engine development side but I really would like to see some people make some levels *hint* *hint*

Anyway, the reason I am posting this is that I have done my first work on the engine for over a month I have now completed the breaking glass effect and it will be available in the next release. That should be within a week or two (work permitting). I just need to add the ability to specify the starting weapon for a game, as requested on the forums

 New Patch - posted by Andrew @ 14 Feb 2004
Another new patch is available today. This adds the dynamic speckle reduction code and makes a dramatic difference to the quality of levels with sky boxes such as the recently released sinister demo It also adds the animated apgsoftware logo designed by Paul. Plus a change to make stencil shadows slightly visible even when there is no lighting.

I've also released new versions of sinister and gloom base which have minor fixes.

The next thing to do now is complete the breaking glass support. It is added to the engine and a demo level has been produced. But there is still some more work to do to give better physics for explosion impacts and handle breaking the glass panel from both sides. It is a very cool effect but it one of those additions that causes a ripple effect through several areas of the engine code.

 New Releases - posted by Andrew @ 07 Feb 2004
Today is a big day for new releases

First there is a new patch for the engine. This adds hardware gamma control, improved terrain editing control and auto-floor alignment when editing objects/entities (ctrl+H).

Second there is the first demo for Sinister This incorporates the first level - Insanity Chamber. The demo comes with an episode data file so you can run it from the 'Game' list in the launcher. You will need the above patch in order to play the level.

Hope you like them

 Sinister demo coming soon - posted by Andrew @ 02 Feb 2004
At last things are starting to move on the project again

Paul has been helping out and has produced a nice 'breaking glass' effect that is now in the engine. I am just in the process of adding the editing and scripting support for it now

Also we plan to release the first level of Sinister sometime this week. We originally planned to do a 3 level demo but things have been a little slow on the project since Christmas. So we've decided to release what we have so far

 Progress - posted by Andrew @ 28 Jan 2004
At last, I've managed to find time to get some work done again. Through my work on the Quake/Quake2 source I've come across how to do hardware gamma control (something I've wanted to do for ages!) I've implemented it in Quake2Plus and will drop it into the Retribution engine very soon. Also Paul has been working on the 'breaking glass' particle effect and we have now started to add it to the engine.

As we haven't had a new level release for ages I will try to dig around to see if anyone has one to release. If I can't find anything I think I might do a new level. I'm really keen to have a level that shows off all the scripting facilities I added last year

 Happy New Year and all that - posted by Andrew @ 12 Jan 2004
Sorry for the lack of news in recent times. I was hoping that we might get back on our 'proper' server and so I didn't want to post too much on a 'temporary' site. Oh well, our host has still not surfaced and the main server is still not working so I'm having to make the move to here semi-permanent. But it can't stay like this forever because the bandwidth charges aint cheap

Anyway, I uploaded the missing sections of the site so it is now 'fully functional'

So what has been happening? Well not a lot I'm afraid. Everyone has gone very quiet and I've been very busy with my new job. Hopefully we should start to see some signs of life soon

Merry Christmas - posted by Andrew @ 24 Dec 2003
First of all, Merry Christmas to you all! :) I just want to say thanks to you all for your support for this project, particularly those of you who write in to give comments and suggestions and those who contribute their time to help produce content for the site :)

I've been off work for the start of this week but I didn't feel like doing any work on the Retribution Engine. It takes up so much of my time that I felt like I needed a break from it in order to charge up my enthusiasm levels :) So instead I've been working on a new project which I'm calling QuakePlus. It is a source code modification for GLQuake and I just finished the first alpha of it. I tried to play GLQuake on my PC recently after a long break from it and it wouldn't work. When I realised I had to pass in the command line parameters for screen size it ran but was too dark to play. I tried to find a mod for Quake on the net but could only find one that is unreleased yet. So I decided to make QuakePlus. It is intended to make Quake easier to play and remove some of the bugs rather than add lots of new rendering technologies. So I've fixed the screen sizing bugs and turned mouse look always on and written a launcher that allows screen size, brightness, etc to be adjusted ;) It is all open source and I will release it after xmas sometime. Don't worry, it won't take over from the Retribution Engine work, it is just a background task to give me a break ;)

 Site downtime - posted by Andrew @ 21 Dec 2003
Many apologies to all those of you that have been trying to access the site since Thursday. I have had to redirect the site to this location as a temporary measure until we can get the problem sorted out. We are not sure what the problem with the usual host is at the moment but we will try to sort it out as soon as we can. There may be a limited service for a few more days until we can find out what is happening.

 More online tutorials - posted by Andrew @ 08 Dec 2003
I've added the tutorials for basic operation of the level and model editors to the tutorial section. These are already included in the documentation download but it just makes it neater to have all the tutorials online

 New Patch - posted by Andrew @ 06 Dec 2003
A new patch has been released for level designers. This improves the prefab format to include all the latest panel data and fixes a couple of minor bugs. It also allows more control over terrain parameters after the terrain has been added

Now that this patch has been done, the next planned task is to add terrain vegetation support.

 File format changes - posted by Andrew @ 01 Dec 2003
Sorry for the lack of news recently. I've been doing courses at work and moving house so it's been a little busy. Hopefully from this week I'll be able to get back to making some progress again

I've been getting a few queries from people who are having trouble running extra levels. In all the cases I know about, this is due to running an old version of the engine with the latest extra level downloads. Please make sure that you have the current version of the engine (1.01) if you want to play the extra levels

The standalone version of Corridors of Power that has been downloaded by many following its publicised release suffers from this problem. This wasn't designed to be used to play extra levels (as stated on the Corridors of Power home page) so I thought it better that it use a stable version of the engine rather than the very latest one. I'm sorry if it's caused confusion for people.

As this is a problem that we seem to keep having, I've decided to make data format changes transparent to the end user in future. This will make it harder to program for me, but should end all the problems with out of date downloads (and occasional map conversion problems for designers). So I've made the loading code for the level data, weapon, model and prefab file formats all conform to this new system. The prefab format was out of date anyway, so I've already updated it (using the new system) and the level editor can happily handle prefab file in the old and new formats

 New Release - posted by Andrew @ 13 Nov 2003
I've uploaded version 1.01 of the engine tonight and updated all the games, levels and documentation

The new release is mainly for the benefit of designers and adds powerful new scripting features to the engine. It is now possible to have scripted fades in and out to add a cinematic feel to level transitions. It is also possible to control the visibility of panels, objects and effects so allowing scripted explosion sequences to be produced. There are also a number of other minor improvements such as increased weapon list size, support for snow environment sounds and various bug fixes. Demo levels for the new scripting features can be found in the tutorials section of the site.

From the game player's perspective the new version adds decal support to the terrain, improved water surface rendering and an imporved console look. Obviously, as the level designers come to grips with the new features, game players will begin to notice the more powerful scripting features in new levels

Oh yes, if you haven't got Call of Duty yet you are missing one of the best games I've played this year!

 Near to a new release :) - posted by Andrew @ 05 Nov 2003
Things are going well (as you will be aware from recent posts on the forum) and I am getting near to releasing a new version of the Retribution Engine. This will contain all the new scripting features and will hopefully lead to some very cool new levels being created

I'm not quite sure when it will be released yet. I was hoping for this weekend but it might be as late as the next weekend now, we shall have to see I have a few more features to add such as support for scripted fades of the game view (to aid story telling), support for specifying footstep sounds on terrain (as per panels) and hopefully adding weapons damage decal support to the terrain.

I have also created a demo level for the new scripting features. This will form a new method of providing tutorial support for designers. When I add a significant new feature to the engine, I plan to create a small demo level that will be downloadable from the Tutorials section of the site.

In my spare time I've been playing Max Payne 2. I loved the first game and this is even better! I think the physics engine is amazing I also love the player shadows which are very nicely done But the best thing of all is the game itself, it is brilliant!

 Progress Report - posted by Andrew @ 21 Oct 2003
I'm making good progress with the scripting support improvements. Most of it is coded up now, just got the damage system for objects and panels to add and a few extra controls to add to the level editor. Then I will need to do quite a bit of testing to make sure everything works ok

So what will this add to the game engine? Well now panels, objects and effects can be activated and deactivated by triggers which allows much more complex scripted sequences to be constructed. Added to this the ability to trigger explosion effects and the new damage system for objects and panels allows some really cool scenes to be created. Things like an explosion being triggered that destroys objects, leaves marks on the ground, leaves wreckage with flames and smoke and maybe even blows a hole in a wall

This has meant some changes to the level data format and so a new version of the engine will need to be released when this work is complete.

In other news I've been playing a few games recently: Jedi Academy, MOHAA Breakthrough and Halo. Jedi Academy was just superb, I couldn't put it down! I liked it so much I played it a second time on the dark side to see how differently it would end Breakthrough was also superb. While I don't like the vehicle driving parts of that game so much the rest of it more than makes up for it. The house to house fighting is the best part of the game I think, especially if you manage to do it right The worst part is definitely having to use a couple of mortars to destroy a squad of tanks, very annoying. I would have liked to have raved about Halo too but unfortunately it was so bug ridden that I ended up uninstalling it in disgust Also, due to the long delay since the console version was released, the graphics didn't seem anything special and the gameplay was very repetitive.

 2000 photorealistic textures - posted by Jon @ 14 Oct 2003
Not really a Retribution engine news, but this was too damn good to let it pass. Was idling the net, and fell over BerneyBoys page at planetquake. He have quite recently released a texture pack with 2000 photorealistic JPG textures, free for everyone. You can either hit his webpage, or just simple jump over to fileplanet and download his texturepack ('cause you ARE going to download it).

 Version 1.00.5 release - posted by Andrew @ 08 Oct 2003
Just a quick note to let you know that the latest patch has been released. This includes the animated weapons support

 Some things I forgot - posted by Andrew @ 01 Oct 2003
Forgot to mention that Paul has now finished the update to the model editor that allows weapons animations to be edited fully Also, Paul is in the process of looking at doing an animated logo for the start of the game and also researching breaking glass effects for the engine

I guess the other news worth mentioning is that the public release of Corridors of Power should happen in the next couple of weeks so hopefully it will create some more interest in this project

 Terrain vegetation - posted by Andrew @ 30 Sep 2003
Now that I have finished the weapons animations I have moved on to look at terrain vegetation. I had to think quite a lot about what was the best way for designers to specify the vegetation and after consulting Jon we came up with the idea of using another texture. This texture won't actually be drawn but will provide a 2D lookup table for the vegetation in each heightmap square on the terrain. The plan is to allow up to 3 types of 'plant', each of which is assigned to a primary colour channel: red, green or blue. The intensity of a colour at a given grid co-ordinate will give the density of plants that is required. E.g. a grid square will dim red will just have a few plants of type 'A' whilst a grid square with bright cyan (i.e. bright blue mixed with bright green) will have many plants of type 'B' and 'C'. The models to be used for the plant types will be specified in the level design. Does this sounds ok?

You may ask why the weapon animation stuff hasn't been released yet. The answer is that one of the weapon models needs updating and as soon as that is done I will release the patch

 Animated Weapons - posted by Andrew @ 19 Sep 2003
Over the last week, Jon and I have been implementing animated weapons support for the game engine I have now completed the code changes and we just have to fix a small bug in the sub-machinegun model before I release a patch. I am very pleased with the result, it adds a lot to the game

I have also managed to implement it without any changes to the file formats and so I still support the old style fixed weapon models. So anyone who has developed their own weapons need not panic lol. The support has been provided by adding a new 'weapon' animation type to md2 parts in the model format. This behaves in a similar way to that for enemies but instead of standing, aiming, etc poses there are idle, firing and reloading poses. The model editor will allow animated weapon models to be created but currently all the pose names are the same as for the entity poses. This will hopefully be sorted out over the next few weeks

 Tutorial section updated - posted by Jon @ 17 Sep 2003
The Tutorials section has been update with two new tutorials, one covering how to create a Terrain, and the second one covering how to export a model animation using .QC file (needed for Milkshape Md2 export function). Head over to the Tutorials page right away and check 'em out.

 New Casus Screenshots - posted by Jon @ 16 Sep 2003
The team at Casus, a mod for Retributionengine, have been buissy doing work and have now made an update of their homepage with a couple of new screenshots! You can find the ingame shots right here and theres a new gun here.

 New tutorials! - posted by The Wolf @ 09 Sep 2003
Well, Jon has just got around to posting my two new tutorials up in the section on the bottom left! Go take a look if you plan to make a level. One is on rotating doors and the other is on created a locked door that needs a trigger to allow the player to go through... be it a key or an event. I hope these are of help to you all!

 New patch again - posted by Andrew @ 09 Sep 2003
I have released a new patch that hopefully will fix the severe issues people experienced with the last patch Sorry about that Please let me know if there are still any problems.

Just to explain what happened. I stupidly expected that if I were to compile the code with a new version of Visual C, and got no compile errors, that the resulting code would work ok I also stupidly fixed a bug and didn't notice two identical bugs in the same section of code. I'm having a bad week, ok

 New patch and version of CoP - posted by Andrew @ 07 Sep 2003
A new patch has been released today. This includes changes to make the game engine run faster and also some bug fixes. Also enemies stop running on the spot if you die and the weapons switch logic has been changed to ignore the grenade launcher unless it is the only option

A new version of CoP has also been released with significant changes to level 7 that should make it run several times quicker on slower machines

The documentation download has also been edited slightly but don't bother to download it if you have the old version

 Sniper mania - posted by Jon @ 04 Sep 2003
I think it's time to add a news about this topic. In the forum, there's a thread showing off some two new gun models, and two new enemies for Sinister. Go give them a look in this forum thread

 Tutorials - posted by The Wolf @ 31 Aug 2003
Now we are on a new server, we can afford to have the engine tutorials up to view on site so you don't need to download them! One is already up for any budding map artists out there, all about Q2 skymaps... Go take a look. I'm also currently working on a trigger tutorial on request, this seems to be a harder area and there might be a few released on this side of map making...

 Progress report on Sinister - posted by Jon @ 27 Aug 2003
The Insanity Chamber for our Sinister Project has been completed, or at least as completed as it can get without being completely-completed . Just some small minor changes before the release needs to be done.

Wait, don't cheer yet . It's not going to be released as a singel level. I'm allready working on the next level, and the goal is to release a small map package featuring 2-5 levels. I'll try to speed up my level making, even though i have some model-work to do as well, but i'll do my best.

Some teasing though, the next level i'm working on now will feature a large outdoor area with quite alot of trees, stones, and bushes.. Let's just hope the engine coops . Anyway, a screenshot will be pressented within a few days (hopefully hours actualy, as soon as i get this FTP working )

[Edit by Jon] First screenshot of the Camp level is now available in the Sinister Screenshots page [/Edit]

 File download - posted by Andrew @ 26 Aug 2003
It seems that the engine download musn't be corrupted because other people have downloaded it ok without problems. So ignore my earlier post. If anyone does experience a problem please let us know. I will go away to sulk about my crap internet connection/phone provider now

 New patch - posted by Andrew @ 24 Aug 2003
Just a quick note to let you know that a new patch has been released This fixes a bug in the lighting that showed up in the big battle in level 7 of CoP.

Also, I noticed that in the transfer to the new site the Retribution Engine download seems to have been corrupted So please don't download it from here until we can get a correct one on the site. An intact version of the file is of course still available on the CoP section of apgsoftware

 Hi you all! - posted by The Wolf @ 20 Aug 2003
Just to say I'm back in communication range again! After 4 days in the wilderness I'm just happy to get back to electricity to be honest! I think I'm a techno-baby... Too far from a computer and I get withdrawal...

 New host and new url! - posted by Jon @ 17 Aug 2003
We've just changed Host, to a friend of mine, who is so kind, he's letting us use his T1 line, Thanx Markel! We also got a new Url for this site:!

 I'm off soon! - posted by The Wolf @ 14 Aug 2003
Well, for good or for bad I won't be around for a little bit. From sunday I'll be camping in Dorset until wednesday... Don't ask, I'm still working out why as well! This means I'll be out of contact and no more mapping for me :(
Then when I get back I'm off up to Edinburgh for just over a week to see my sisters new baby! Although I'll be in contact then, I still won't be able to do any map work. Sorry, the map will have to wait for a little bit... ;) This also means I won't be able to play with the new toys, Andrew, will hopefully be releasing soon.
Anyway, I'll see you all when I get back! Keep up the good work, all!

 CoP Progress - posted by Andrew @ 12 Aug 2003
Corridors of Power is now well on the way to being completed :) I am now in the process of making final adjustments to the levels and then it is just a case of doing some more testing and creating the download packages :D

Status is that levels 1, 2 and 3 are fully updated. Level 4 is almost done, just need to move a waypoint and maybe add some more enemies. Levels 5, 6 need text messages adding and more waypoints. Level 7 needs some scripting changes, more waypoints and more play testing for weapon/ammo/health balance.

All known outstanding bugs have been fixed, including the stripe on the sun for Radeon cards, a collision detection bug for slopes and a bug in selection box logic for the latest weapon models.

I have the rest of the week off after today so hopefully (fingers crossed) it will be done by the weekend. No promises though! lol

 Insane screenshots of Insanity Chamber - posted by Jon @ 04 Aug 2003
I've just posted three new screenshots of the upcoming Insanity Chamber level. The level is coming along real nice, and it will hopefully be done in a couple of weeks. Specialy now when we're back from holidays, and into normal routines. Anyway, here's one of the three new shots:

 Scripting Improvments - posted by Andrew @ 04 Aug 2003
I've been working very hard recently trying to get Corridors of Power finished so that we can really start this project moving forward ;) The good news is that I've managed to get a huge amount of work done and I would guess I am about two weeks away from being able to do a new release :)

As far as CoP goes, the game is basically done. I just need to do some minor tweaks to level 7 and then I want to go through and make a few minor improvements to the other levels such as adding some text messages and extra waypoints where the AI seems dodgy.

I found when I finished level 7 that it wasn't working as I hoped and decided it was because the scripting system for the engine was not adequate. So now I've added a new type of marker called a 'wait list' and this has made a huge improvement and opens up all sorts of possibilities for future levels :) The wait list allows the designer to perform an action when a list of events have occurred. At the moment the only event is 'entity dead' but others can be added when required. So now it is possible to have enemies attack in waves or have doors open only when a boss has been killed, etc When you play level 7 I'm sure you'll be able to see how much improved the scripting is :) The bad news is that because level 7 is so much more complex than previous levels, the minimum spec for CoP has gone up quite a lot :/

As far as changes to the project are going, these are almost done as well. I've changed the directory structure, names of files, etc so that CoP can be downloaded as a mod rather than with the engine. I've also been through all the documentation and updated/restructured it where required. I just need to add the description for the wait list markers.

The other thing that needs to be done before I can do a release is to finish off the episode editor. The editor itself is almost done, the main thing that is missing is to add the support for extra texture sounds to the game engine. This should be done this week sometime.

 Issues with Radeon card - posted by Andrew @ 25 Jul 2003
As it has been a few weeks that I've had my Radeon card now I thought I would make some comments on how well it works with the engine. For several years now I've had an nVidia card (first a TNT2 and now a GeForce3) and they have been great cards. Never had any real graphical issues and the drivers have always been rock solid for me.

In general I am very pleased with the Radeon, it works fine with the games I've tried and is very fast and capable. As I would have expected though, it is let down by driver issues :( I know they quality of the drivers is much better than I used to have on my old Rage Pro but they are not the standard I have got used to from nVidia. The following describes the issues I have found:

The first problem I found was that bilinear filtering doesn't cope with the edges of clamped textures. This creates annoying dark lines where I used this such as on the sky box and sky object. I have had to fiddle the texture co-ordinates to get around this problem, but at least it was fixable :)

The second problem is the default texture quality that is set on ATI cards. ONLY on the highest quality will the driver allow textures to be stored at 32bit colour depth. This is really annoying because with the default settings you run the game at 32bit resolution and yet you end up with 16bit textures which, quite frankly, look complete crap. My game has been designed to look good in 32bit, it looks shit in 16bit and I wonder how many people have played it with these default settings and then thought it was rubbish? :( Always set texture quality to highest on your Radeon! On a side issue connected to this, I tried updating my drivers to the latest ones from the ATI site. I installed them following all the instructions but whatever I set for the texture quality it was ALWAYS 16bit! This was really annoying and I had to go back to the drivers I got with the card :(

The final and biggest problem is with antialiasing. The way ATI seem to have implemented this is crap. I have seen all sorts of problems with it and yet on my GeForce it just works no problem. There seem to be two broad effects if you run the game or tools with antialiasing enabled. Either they crash with a error in the driver, or they suffer from severe visual artifacts. In the latter case the problem is that with antialiasing enabled, the driver seems to force a clear whenever you swap the display buffers. It is a perfectly valid technique to not want to redraw all the screen, but rather just to update bits of it. However, this does not seem to be supported by ATI's implementation. So in the game, the display between levels is almost totally blanked out and in the level editor, the wireframe views often disappear. I could get around this by redrawing everything all the time but the level editor will be noticeably slower and I would need to write screen shot save/load routines to have seamless level transitions any more. So I don't know what to do about it :S I could solve these issues and still find the driver crashes in some cases...

 To warn you all... - posted by The Wolf @ 21 Jul 2003
For some reason these other two seem to of given me some power to post on this site! I thought it only fair to give you all fair warning that I will be posting news occasionally! ;)

 New machine and other stories - posted by Andrew @ 21 Jul 2003
As far as the completion of CoP is concerned, I've made some good progress on level 7 now. The first building is complete and I just need to add the castle area, plus do all the lighting and enemy placement. Hopefully it will be done in a few weeks.

Wolfie and Jon are continuing to work on the Sinister project. The sewer level is still being worked on plus Jon has started a new level. Gunrock has also started a new level :)

Finally, Paul has completed the episode file editor :) I just need to add the code to handle the extra texture sounds that can be specified and then it will be ready for release in the next major version :)

I got a new PC at long last. It is an AthlonXP 2500 with 1Gig memory and an ATI Radeon 9600 Pro. It is so much faster than the old machine that I can hardly believe it lol. Lightmap calculations in 5 minutes rather than 35 for some levels!! The thing I will mention though is that I have spotted quite a few issues with the project on the ATI card but I need to get the latest driver before I can tell what needs to be fixed. One problem that does seem to be 'real' is with anti-aliasing. With my driver the anti-aliasing seems to force screen clears which ruins the level transitions and screws up the wireframe views in the editors (crap to say the least, Half-Life doesn't work in properly in OpenGL mode either). On Paul's Radeon 9500 Pro with latest driver, there is a GPF in the driver if he runs the game in 16bit mode with antialiasing (or was that 32bit, can't remember exactly lol).

Why did I pick a Radeon over a GeForce. Well the 5600 was a bit more expensive than the Radeon (better card though) and it was out of stock for a while and I couldn't wait any longer lol. Besides now I have more testing options, I still have the GF3 in the old machine ;)

Recently I've been playing Elite Force 2 and Unreal 2. I liked Elite Force 2 until I got to the 'Incoming' bit and then I got very bored :S I played Unreal 2 all the way through and was very impressed. Just the sort of game I like, linear and lots of things to shoot at :) Plus the wepons were SO much better than the original IMHO.

 New map showdown - posted by Jon @ 10 Jul 2003
I've just uploaded two screenshots of a new map: Insanity Chamber, at the Sinister Screenshots page. Please pay extra attention to the room walls and ceiling, they are not just flat walls, Only that room makes it up to almost 700 panels (Chairs and table excluded!).

  The merge is done - posted by Jon @ 5 July, 2003
After a short intense chat with Andrew and Wolfie, we set the conditions for a merge, and the merge itself was a fact. Now, why did we merge? Well, basicly because...
  • We where working on each others projects
  • Andrew have finished the CoP project soon
  • Together Andrew can focus on coding, and Wolfie and I can do the content

    I want to point out that you will not loose any content at all. The CoP maps will still be available for download, support is still given in our forum. What will realy change is that we will hopefully be able to deliver even better maps, textures and models. Our current focus is to complete the Sinister game.

  • CoP Patch released - posted by Andrew @ 5 July, 2003
    We are busy at the moment. Jon has been doing animated versions of all the weapons and has also replaced the machine gun model and re-skinned another. We are nowhere near finishing this work yet but I was so pleased with the new gun that I've released a new patch today that includes it :) A shot of the new gun is shown below:

    I was also asked on the forums for a spec for the level data files to allow conversion routines to be made. I've been asked for this before and so I found the time to produce a partial spec here. This will be released in the next tool set patch. This is not a full spec for the level data files. (This would have taken too long and been too much work to maintain.)

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