2016-11 dev meeting

published 01 Dec 2016

Ephemeral here again (where’s that peppy guy anyway.. this is his blog!). November comes to an end. An unusually productive month for us this time around as the pace picks up like crazy - hopefully a sign of times to come!

Lots to talk about this month, from osu!lazer previews abound as the new client development really starts to hit full swing, to improvements to the new website and much, much more. This month’s meeting was a public one, so there is a handy video log of everything that went down in real time. Follow along if you like - or not, the video is an hour and a half long, after all.

Here’s a summary of what we spoke about:

  • Development on the new game client (osu!lazer) is progressing very, VERY quickly, with a semi-playable release of the game available for fiddling with (see a video preview of how things are looking). The core developers have been hard at work over the past month, and between the three of them (and the assistance of many community developers), they’ve managed to knock out the very basic foundations of osu! in the new framework we spoke about over the past few months. While it isn’t exactly competitively playable at the moment, it is a very strong and very visible sign that progress is really beginning to kick into gear as things start to heat up. The new face of osu! may come sooner than you think!
  • Significant improvements to the new Contest system have made it significantly easier to host events going forward. nekodex has been hard at work beefing up the system in the wake of the CMC (community mapping contest), soon to be released. Beatmapping contests were previously held on an incredibly dated system that sort of just barely worked. There’s also a nifty contest overview for people to browse if they’re looking for a contest to get stuck into. No more trawling through old tumblr/news posts to get involved!
  • moddingv2 (or Beatmap Discussions) has entered small-scale public testing, and has already improved DRAMATICALLY over its last iteration. See it for yourself here. nanaya’s been busting his nuts over the past month to get things done, and the system is lacking only a few cursory additions before it is ready for full-scale deployment. This is really big news, and will permanently alter the face of modding (and therein, mapping) for the future.
  • Following on from improvements to big-name systems, work continues in earnest towards eventually phasing out the old website completely. Many systems are basically done or in a usable state on the new website, and it shouldn’t be terribly long before the stragglers are caught up enough to say goodbye to the old site and hello to the new.
  • The Featured Artist roster is going to fill out very quickly in the coming months as many new artists are signed on. The roster has sort of been stagnant for the past few months, but will be revitalized and prioritized going forward to hopefully provide the osu! community with a solid source of music from wickedly talented artists to make maps with.
  • Loved maps will be accelerated in their addition over the coming months, slowly tapering out as the pool of eligible maps runs out. When this happens, an alternative method of addition will be unveiled, hinted to basically be a flat kudosu-to-star-priority exchange. This will give tremendous weight within the system to prolific modders who have accrued hundreds or thousands of kudosu over the years.
  • A new schedule for upcoming events in 2017 will be made available early in the year as we move towards a more structured model for hosting community events. Not much more to say about this other than that the MBC’s (monthly beatmapping contests) will be making a return in January, and there will be consistently more non-gameplay related events to go around as well, such as fanart contests, remix contests, and much, much more.

All in all, 2017’s shaping up to look like a really good year for osu!, and it hasn’t even started yet!

See you next time!

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2016-10 dev meeting

published 07 Nov 2016

Ephemeral here with the latest progress from our meetings. Last month was a big one, whew. A reasonable bit to go over this time.

We had a pretty eventful end of the month for October, with the Halloween Update being pushed out so quickly. It was originally slated to just be a simple main-menu fanart contest a la Christmas 2015, but rapidly became something so much more as we all started adding ideas on to it. Eventually, we ended up with a full client mod with custom sounds, a brand new circles! remix, a new set of Hush-Hush achievements, a themed Spotlight release and a big release of Loved maps at the same time. Yowza.

Anyway, time to get into the grit of the meeting:

  • Moddingv2 live trials have started happening in earnest. We’re really eager to get this new system pushed out and fully operational since it just completely revamps the modding experience to be much better for everyone involved. You can see the running tally of issues over at the osu-web github, and check out the first map we’re trialing over at the new moddingv2 page.
  • Optimisation and general development on the osu!lazer client has advanced in leaps and bounds. Tom’s been doing some crazy stuff on the weekends as far as shader wizardry goes. The project is hitting performance targets of 10kfps without lifting a finger. Gameplay is in to some extent (although limited to hitcircles only) ans song select is looking quite sexy!

  • Loved maps became a thing, to universal approval. This was a big step for us. There’s a lot more forthcoming, including a potential system that translate SP obtained via kudosu from other players into direct progress towards attaining Loved status. This would introduce a palpable economy for kudosu, which is something that will in turn, massively revitalize the modding community. We’ve got a lot of ideas for this system going forward, but in the meanwhile, we’ll be sticking with keeping map additions to a community vote until all the backlog of good abandoned/unrankable maps are cleared out.
  • More featured artists will start appearing soon now that the feature is live on stable. For those unaware, there’s a button at the edit screen which takes you to the featured artist portal, providing pre-timed oszs from a variety of musicians who’ve all licensed their work to be free to use for mapping.

Next month will probably be a public meeting, though several hours earlier from our usual time of 16:00UTC. DST has kind of screwed with our schedule fairly significantly. More details will be announced as the meeting date gets closer.

See you next month!

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2016-09 dev meeting

published 03 Oct 2016

Our second public meeting was a pretty resounding success. Read on to find out what we spoke about!

http://www.google.com

Despite the majority of the core developers being absent for this meeting, we still got a lot done. The core team spent a lot of time together in closed-group coding sessions during the last month, meaning some pretty huge progress was made overall.

  • Work on the osu!framework (and LAZER implementation) is nearing its end stages. A lot of the ground-level stuff required to build the game within the new framework is now done, with peppy showcasing a number of the core features of the new engine during the dev stream. We’re really getting close to the culmination of all the work that has gone into the LAZER refactor over the past few months, and while the end is still a few months away, it isn’t anywhere near as distant as it once was.

    On the topic of the osu!framework, peppy is proud to report that the rework will also boast significantly improved performance compared to the old engine due to a complete overhaul on how input handling and drawing are processed at the game level. The particulars of this were featured briefly on his stream of the meeting.

  • smoogipooo has been hard at work on the titular scorev2 reworks for osu!mania, osu!catch and osu!standard. Community feedback on the proposed score changes is vital to this process, so head on over to those threads and give your input on the slated changes.
  • A full rework of the community wiki is underway, porting existing articles from the dilapidated MediaWiki format into Markdown on Github. The wiki has been closed to contributions for a while, but was fairly complete in its content before that point. Intrepid contributors can head over to the repo, fork it, and port any missing articles across into Markdown, then submit a pull request to have their work added to the wiki. The new wiki design will be congruent with the osu!next site design, and an entirely new system in its own right.
  • A big push to move the forums over to the new version is being made, and expected to be completed soon. The chief web developer for the new site was on a break during the past month or so, but is expected to return shortly. LiquidPL has been hard at work on various redesigns as well. Say your farewells to the old software, because it won’t be around for much longer.
  • The osu!tournament backend that supports community tournaments continues to improve. We still plan to allow full access to the osu!tournament client (but not the !mp player command suite) for all supporters in the near future, pending some internal changes to allow that to happen.
  • We’re trialing a fairly complicated form of community collaborative beatmapping using the new submission system. Head on over to the news post for more details. This new format of all-mode, all-difficulty contests judged by popular vote is expected to be a replacement for the select-judged beatmapping contest, though the old format will not disappear completely.
  • More details about the upcoming Spotlight system were revealed. Spotlights will replace the old “map pack” model that was famous in the earlier days of osu!, and will reward individual medals for completing a pack fully.
  • More Hush-Hush medals incoming. They’re harder than the last set, too. Not necessarily in actual game-skill difficulty, but some of them are very heavily riddle oriented.
  • We plan to hold more media-related contests (fanart, videos, storyboards, etc) in the near future. The overwhelming engagement by the community for the Taiko mascot contest was a pretty strong indicator that people definitely enjoy these sorts of contests, and that we have some amazingly talented individuals in the community who will compete in them. We’ll be bringing back the main-menu background rotation contests that were popular a few years ago.

    Oh, and fear not - the Taikonator will be making an appearance somewhere.

  • We’ll be looking at the other non-standard gamemode mascots for potential redesigns in the coming months. flyte has a very specific vision for the standard to which our mascots will be held, and some of them do not really fit that vision as they are now. Keep your eyes peeled!

That’s about all for now, but if you’d like to hear the dev meeting in its entirety, peppy recorded the whole stream over on his youtube channel. Hearing flyte discuss mascots by how they appear naked is probably the highlight of the stream, so make sure to give it a listen if you’re interested.

See you next time!

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2016-08 dev meeting

published 28 Aug 2016

Hi, Ephemeral reporting in with updates from the latest meeting. This time around it may have been closed to the public, but that doesn’t mean that things didn’t happen!

Before we get stuck into stuff, we’ve decided to hold every second dev meeting in the public format we trialed last month. Hosting public meetings means we don’t always get to discuss everything that we need to, so we’re cutting back on them for the meanwhile as a bunch of projects start to reach their final stages all at once. Never fear though - we’ll be back with one next month!

We’ll also be taking a few vetted questions at the end of the next public meeting, so if you’ve got something you want to ask, you might want to consider fleshing it out before then!

Now, onto the things:

  • The backend behind the medal system received a significant overhaul. We ran into some issues with implementing the recent batch of Hush-Hush medals stemming from a bunch of organizational and production shortfalls. MillhioreF spent a bunch of time rewriting the existing system to fix a lot of long-standing issues with achievement detection, and also made it significantly easier for us to draft new medals in the future. Which we will be doing a lot of, by the by.
  • Changes are coming to the ranking system which will see a greater variety of maps equipped with scoreboards. Vague, but exciting. There’s not a lot more that we can say about this right now, but we’ve got something fairly big planned, and we think it will fix a lot of long-standing issues with and complaints about the ranking system as it currently stands.
  • The titular open-source osu! project has been released to the public. This is important as it is the first truly visible fruit from the long labours surrounding the LAZER project. peppy showcased a quick game(mode?) recently using the framework, and thanks to the hard work of several key contributors from the osu!dev community, the framework also builds cleanly under Linux and OS X as well. This is a pretty big deal, so expect to see a full-length peppypost on this blog about it sometime soon.
  • The Ranking Charts will be significantly overhauled in the near future. The Charts system has sort of been a red-headed stepchild since its inception - never really receiving the love nor the attention that it desperately deserved. Going forward, we’re looking to merge the old “map pack” bundles into “Spotlights” which will then form the bulk of what currently represents the monthly Ranking Charts. New Spotlights will be released on a monthly basis by much the same people that currently do the Ranking Charts, and we’re also looking into a new format of prizes for people who compete in them.
  • The new osu!tablet model has arrived and is available for purchase in the store. Check it out for yourself!. Boasting a stronger, rechargeable pen and some firmware differences from the base HUION model that improves the usability for “hover” style players, the 2016 osu!tablet is as mean as it is sleek.
  • The osu!tournament client will soon be available to everyone, all the time. This is coupled with a number of changes to our tournament support back-end which will make it significantly easier for us to manage player-run tournaments going forward. The wiki has the details on how to enable the tournament mode if you’re curious.

It was a very productive meeting this month. Things are starting to pick up a little bit overall, even if we have had a few slow months so far.

See you next month!

(or maybe sooner?)

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a little framework test

published 12 Aug 2016

We’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes on the framework osu! runs on (the lazer project). Today I took a step back to test a week of intense coding changes with smoogipooo to see how things feel and work.

I made a little game which took 5 hours and 375 lines of code to write. Would have been 2 or 3 hours if I didn’t find some bugs along the way with the framework (this was my intention, so I am very happy).

Download here (30mb because it contains osu! resources, sorry)

Controls:

  • W to move up
  • S to move down
  • D to boost
  • tab to autoplay

I’ll release the full source for this in the near future. And yes, this will likely appear as a game mode for osu! in the future (maybe a just-for-fun one like target practice :).

We are making great progress here. Big cogs are turning!

Enjoy your weekend!

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