This week (month) in osu!

published 02 Apr 2013

Been working so hard on new stuff that I’ve basically forgotten all the things I have done and need to post about. Let’s get started with the big one: the osu! UI and default skin graphics refresh!

Over the course of two long weeks, I spent basically every minute awake in photoshop going through all 421 osu! sprites and doubling the dimensions of each and allowing pixel perfect display at 2048x resolutions. Yep, osu! is now “HD”, if you will! Where I was no longer happy with the old design, or where vector data was not available, they were re-created from scratch. This ended up being over half of the resources.

lots of resources

Let me start by saying that I couldn’t have done this alone. A huge thanks to RBRat3 for helping out with a lot of the icons which did not have vector data, including (but not limited to) the main menu icons, the editor control icons and the mod icons.

I also took this opportunity to not only split the resources into two separate resource collections (UI and gameplay), but also decided to distribute in the compressed PNG format rather than raw bitmaps. This is a trade-off allowing for faster patching and less disk usage while adding a load-time performance overhead. This overhead worked out to around 5% and does not affect runtime performance – plus it is only relevant when using the default skin, so all the people using custom skins won’t even notice a difference – so I figured it was beneficial overall.

I will be distributing the elements of this skin for use as templates and/or modification in the near future. The only reason I haven’t yet is because there are a few parts left which are not finished, including Taiko / CtB / osu!mania modes. Keep a watch on the skinning forum for the template release in the near future.

BUT WAIT, this update didn’t just stop at sprite changes! While changing all these sprites, I found so many other things along the way that I was no longer happy with, and took the liberty of changing them too. Let’s try and make a list!

  • The follow points (those dots which display between hitobjects) are now directional. In the new default skin, they become arrows which – in my testing – really help with map readability.

    direction follow points

  • Hit explosions are visually much smaller, allowing increased readability and reducing the cases they overlap future hitobjects. They also have a really nice glowy effect and a true particle system!

    new hit explosions

    You might also notice that they will briefly appear top-most, but quickly fade to a new position underneath hitobjects, helping with readability on streams.

    new hit explosions #2

  • The ranking popup dialog which used to show your online ranking has been moved so it is no longer a popup. It is now accessible by scrolling downwards, or clicking the handy button at the bottom of the screen.

    online ranking button

  • Special mode selection screen is gone. You can now change modes from song select using the new “Mode” menu! This makes a lot more sense to me these days, where the special modes are basically treated the same as osu! mode.

    mode selection

  • Scrollable views can now be dragged. Also scrolling is a lot smoother, with improved acceleration/inertia handling (please don’t sue me for patent infringement apple <3).

  • The back button has been unified across the game (it used to behave slightly differently in some cases).

  • The background has been removed from osu!direct. It now uses the default menu-background or a user replacement if one exists.

I’ve probably forgotten some other stuff, but I have a few more posts up my sleeve, so will tag it on the end of one of those if I do happen to recall it. I’ve already received quite a lot of feedback on the new design, but feel free to leave anything you have to say in the comments here as well :).


Just As An Interim Update I Have Been Super Busy

published 12 Mar 2013

just as an interim update, i have been super-busy making awsome and decided to continue making awesome rather than post about it. once things are done i will make a couple of posts to make up for it.


This Week in osu!

published 23 Feb 2013

Catching up on bug-fixes, I have finally been able to work on a few new features which are visible to the end user. Let’s get right into it!

  • The user panels display now adjusts to display four columns on all widescreen modes. This solves the long time problem of having a gap to the right on some widescreen aspect ratios.

    widescreen display

    It also allows for over four columns on super-widescreen resolutions, should you be running across two monitors using something like eyefinity.

  • osu!mania now support vertical flip, making gameplay similar to that of DDR/o2jam. This should help people coming to osu! from said game systems adapt quite easily, instead of resorting to flipping their monitors upside-down. I was planning on adding this one, but woc beat me to it ;).


    The skin you see above is available here.

  • Skinning now supports double-resolution sprites, allowing for very high resolution gameplay. osu! now uses these sprites when the window width is greater than 1600 pixels.

    To add support to a skin, add images with double the width/height containing the “@2x” suffix before the file extension.

  • The editor now supports widescreen resolutions more elegantly. The biggest change is allowing selections outside the play-field grid. This works even when the current placement mode is not select, meaning you can start a selection while in circle or slider placement mode as long as you begin the selection outside the grid area.

  • I completely restructure Bancho to allow for usergroup authentication on a per channel basis. In the process, I was able to combine the osu!stream and developer channels into the main bancho server, reducing the overhead to get people into the chat rooms. In the future, this also means we can have chat rooms pop up for teams in the case of tourneys or similar. Much more flexibility :).

Got more awesomeness already in the works. Stay tuned!

p.s. Sorry for the slider issues in the editor. Hopefully all the bug fixes made up for it.


This Week in osu!

published 15 Feb 2013

Yet another busy week (and a bit) still catching up on support queries, combatting increasing amounts of cheating and putting some extra time into osu!stream. Making good forward progress, though!

  • The in-game chat FAQ system has now been moved to the more manageable google docs format. This means that anyone can contribute both FAQ entries and localisations to other languages. Currently you can query specific languages by adding the language code before your !faq command.

    !faq ask will return the first language found (defaulting to english)

    !faq it:ask will return the same faq entry in italian, but fall-back to english if not found.

    You can find more details about contributing and localising in the osu! localisation project thread.

  • BanchoBot now has a profile! Keep a watch as we build this up into something which will hopefully help people harness his power.

I thought I had more to say, but it seems these are the only recent changes that have been made which are of a nature I can make public. I can say that I am now up-to-date to the point I can hopefully clear out the open bug tickets and push some new features I’ve been working on out into the public :). Stay tuned.


This Week in osu!

published 03 Feb 2013

I’ll make no excuses for my lack of updates. Let’s move straight on to what has changed over the last couple of weeks!

  • The osu! website now makes use of SSL for all communications after logging in. This happens on the next login attempt, so if you are using a stored cookie, you may need to re-login once to get switched over.

    I am providing ssl support via a cloudflare issued certificate on a trial basis. My reasoning for doing this is that they (via globalsign) host the fastest SSL resolution available, beating the competition by ~50-80% depending on location, and allowing for almost no overhead in SSL negotiation time.

    As a result, the whole site is also being served via cloudflare’s piping service. Looking at analytics since enabling this, there has been negligible measurable change to performance (client-side load time), so it looks to be a keeper. It also allows me to throw up a custom error page should there be connectivity issues with data-centres or servers, which came in quite handy with recent data-centre troubles.

  • Speaking of data-centre troubles, I am currently monitoring the situation after the downtime experienced over the last month. The issue was quite a serious one, and while I don’t believe Softlayer’s resolution was completely correct, they were trying hard to get things back online.

    The one area I am not happy with is the delay in communication from their end, and the lack of public acknowledgement (all ticket details are available only to clients via private support tickets). I will be considering my options, but likely won’t move from Softlayer this time around. They have a very stable network usually, and this may likely be the first major disaster at their end, so I am willing to give them a second chance.

  • woc2006 has been working hard on a new version of the osu!mania editor (let’s pretend the last one didn’t exist). It has a proper osu!mania layout and controls which allow for both real-time and manual mapping. Currently available on the test build for those who wish to check it out!

    osu!mania editor

  • I pushed fixes to taiko backgrounds, by giving taiko mode a “metadata” bar below the playfield. This displays common information like the song artist/title, and replaces custom-baked backgrounds which were becoming quite prominent in taiko maps.

    taiko metadata bar

    In order to make this work correctly, I shifted all taiko backgrounds based on the standard “taiko map template”, which not only provides a better default alignment, but makes sure the metadata in the background is not visible. The taiko playfield is no longer transparent, so any custom skins should be updated to take this into account and avoid artifacting.

    The font used on the “metadata” bar defaults to a system font, but can be overridden on a per-skin basis by adding a taiko.ttf file to your skin. The taiko skin has been updated to reflect this (and should be automatically downloaded by the updater if you previous grabbed it via this method).

    Oh, and the taiko playfield bar now fades in and out of kiai time :).

  • The osu! wiki has now been integrated with the main site design, and the old FAQ decommissioned as a result. The transition isn’t complete yet, with some styling looking a bit off and some basic javascript not working, but it is much better than what we had before. I hope this will

    osu! wiki integration

Stay with me here. I’m trying my best given circumstances.