haloman30

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haloman30 last won the day on June 6 2018

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About haloman30

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    Elaztek Founder, CU Owner
  • Birthday July 30

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    Multi-booted with Windows 8.1, and two installs of Windows 10. Main OS is Windows 7.

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  1. haloman30

    5/23/2020 Update

    + Added emoji: + Added emoji: + Added emoji: - Removed Killerteddy
  2. Hey, everyone! It's been a little bit, and we've got some news to share! Gitlab Migration First off: we've once again migrated the Gitlab, except this time we didn't break LFS data. The new and updated Gitlab can be found at the Gitlab's original URL: https://gitlab.elaztek.com. As a result, if you have any repositories cloned you will need to update the origin push/pull URL's to point to gitlab.elaztek.com instead of newgitlab.elaztek.com. Since all the old data (accounts, repositories, etc.) is still present, no other adjustments should need to be made to those URL's. You may need to log-in again if you use a GUI application for interacting with Git, and if your repositories utilize webhooks those may need to be adjusted as well (though this depends on the hooks themselves typically). The old URL (ironically named https://newgitlab.elaztek.com) has been set to redirect automatically to the new URL. As a sidenote, the Gitlab has not exchanged hands during this migration. Seeing as internally I've mentioned moving things to my own hosting a few times (and I suppose it's possible that such information may have slipped out potentially), I figure its worth mentioning. The main purpose behind this migration is to reduce the sheer number of servers that have been in use by Errite (the studio that hosts Gitlab as well as assists with other server-management-stuffs with Elaztek and CU), as it became more costly than made sense. Blamite Game Engine You didn't think we've been sitting alone doing nothing the past few months, have you? If you did think that - you'd be entirely justified because there's been a lot of that before. But today, we've got some goods to show off. For most of you, it'll be more boring stuff - but while it isn't much on the surface, it's actually a much bigger deal under the hood - and I'll try to make that clear as best as I can. Engine Architecture Changes The game engine has, up until now, been a standalone executable. No libraries or anything crazy like that, just a simple blam.exe and that's it. However, as time went on it became clear that this wasn't gonna work out long-term. The engine's core has to be used outside of just the game - Sapien will need to use it, our UI editing tool that has yet to be named needs to use it, and our planned unified editor for Blamite will of course need to use it as well. So, we had to perform some adjustments to migrate the engine from being a standalone application to a DLL, or Dynamic Link Library. In layman's terms, this means the engine can be utilized by other applications without having to bake the engine's runtime into each and every development tool by hand. We aren't done with that migration, as the migration has revealed a couple real issues - namely that the engine doesn't have a very clean startup and shutdown routine. There's a lot of data that "persists" through restarts erroneously, that was previously given no thought since that data would just be lost on exit. However, this mainly refers to trying to do things like stop/start the engine from those external tools - initial startup works just fine. Documentation Along with this, we've started to build up a documentation website for Blamite. Or, rather, a "Guides" section. We have automated source documentation built via Doxygen, but this is presently kept behind lock and key - as it includes many of the source code files for the engine. What isn't being kept behind lock and key is this new Guides section, which is derived from the Blamite repository's Wiki section. The new documentation is crisp, clean, and much easier to use than Gitlab's built-in Wiki (especially for what we're using it for). Keep in mind - absolutely nothing on these guides should be relied upon for any amount of real guidance at the moment. Since the engine is only in its infancy at the moment, a lot of things are undocumented. What is documented are, in many cases, old feature plans by 16-year-old-me back when I had no real clue how to do anything with a game engine, or even C++ for that matter. You will see a few pages marked with a notice like this: Usually it will contain a message about me harshly criticizing my past self and stating that the page exists for archival purposes only. Most of these pages are kept in the 'Deprecated' category. Other pages are either out of date, incomplete, or in some cases may actually be complete if you're lucky. Don't expect anything too exciting on the guides for a while, though you may periodically get a glimpse under the hood in between announcements. The new guides section can be found at https://hub.elaztek.com/guides/latest. Tags - The backbone of all Blamite content For those of you at all familiar with Halo's game engine, you've surely heard of Tags before. In Bungie's engine, tags are used for the vast majority of all game content. And as of now, Blamite has full support for creating new tags and tag classes. Cache files (.map files) aren't implemented yet, and there are a few other things that need to be accounted for, but the bulk of the engine's tag/tagclass system is functional. Along with that, we've made a couple minor but, in my opinion, very key changes that will prove to be invaluable later on. Each tag file stores the version under which it was created within its file. And while this may not seem like a huge deal, it means that we'll be able to actually know what exact version each tag was built with. This can be used for a number of things, particularly with backwards compatibility. We could either let the engine be aware of all previous tag formats - though this could prove to become very unwieldy, very fast. A more realistic implementation is having Guerilla facilitate tag upgrading. We could even make it so Guerilla can automatically download the appropriate plugin files for that tag and help the user migrate their tags forward. No tag classes have actually been solidified yet. In fact, Guerilla hasn't even been upgraded to be able to handle proper tag files. But it's something that'll be happening sooner rather than later. Screenshots So, I've talked about a number of things in this post - but so far, I've not shown anything in the way of photos. Let's fix that. Below you can find some screenshots of the various engine tools. Each image will have a brief explanation below it. Sapien Guerilla Blamite Engine Unfortunately folks, that's all we've got - for now. Progress is always being made - and while not all of it is worth showing off, be rest assured we're always inching closer to having a fully functional engine on our hands. 3D rendering isn't being worked on yet - but we're very close to being there. Until then, we'll see you all next time.
  3. Hey, everyone! It's been a little bit, and we've got some news to share! Gitlab Migration First off: we've once again migrated the Gitlab, except this time we didn't break LFS data. The new and updated Gitlab can be found at the Gitlab's original URL: https://gitlab.elaztek.com. As a result, if you have any repositories cloned you will need to update the origin push/pull URL's to point to gitlab.elaztek.com instead of newgitlab.elaztek.com. Since all the old data (accounts, repositories, etc.) is still present, no other adjustments should need to be made to those URL's. You may need to log-in again if you use a GUI application for interacting with Git, and if your repositories utilize webhooks those may need to be adjusted as well (though this depends on the hooks themselves typically). The old URL (ironically named https://newgitlab.elaztek.com) has been set to redirect automatically to the new URL. As a sidenote, the Gitlab has not exchanged hands during this migration. Seeing as internally I've mentioned moving things to my own hosting a few times (and I suppose it's possible that such information may have slipped out potentially), I figure its worth mentioning. The main purpose behind this migration is to reduce the sheer number of servers that have been in use by Errite (the studio that hosts Gitlab as well as assists with other server-management-stuffs with Elaztek and CU), as it became more costly than made sense. Blamite Game Engine You didn't think we've been sitting alone doing nothing the past few months, have you? If you did think that - you'd be entirely justified because there's been a lot of that before. But today, we've got some goods to show off. For most of you, it'll be more boring stuff - but while it isn't much on the surface, it's actually a much bigger deal under the hood - and I'll try to make that clear as best as I can. Engine Architecture Changes The game engine has, up until now, been a standalone executable. No libraries or anything crazy like that, just a simple blam.exe and that's it. However, as time went on it became clear that this wasn't gonna work out long-term. The engine's core has to be used outside of just the game - Sapien will need to use it, our UI editing tool that has yet to be named needs to use it, and our planned unified editor for Blamite will of course need to use it as well. So, we had to perform some adjustments to migrate the engine from being a standalone application to a DLL, or Dynamic Link Library. In layman's terms, this means the engine can be utilized by other applications without having to bake the engine's runtime into each and every development tool by hand. We aren't done with that migration, as the migration has revealed a couple real issues - namely that the engine doesn't have a very clean startup and shutdown routine. There's a lot of data that "persists" through restarts erroneously, that was previously given no thought since that data would just be lost on exit. However, this mainly refers to trying to do things like stop/start the engine from those external tools - initial startup works just fine. Documentation Along with this, we've started to build up a documentation website for Blamite. Or, rather, a "Guides" section. We have automated source documentation built via Doxygen, but this is presently kept behind lock and key - as it includes many of the source code files for the engine. What isn't being kept behind lock and key is this new Guides section, which is derived from the Blamite repository's Wiki section. The new documentation is crisp, clean, and much easier to use than Gitlab's built-in Wiki (especially for what we're using it for). Keep in mind - absolutely nothing on these guides should be relied upon for any amount of real guidance at the moment. Since the engine is only in its infancy at the moment, a lot of things are undocumented. What is documented are, in many cases, old feature plans by 16-year-old-me back when I had no real clue how to do anything with a game engine, or even C++ for that matter. You will see a few pages marked with a notice like this: Usually it will contain a message about me harshly criticizing my past self and stating that the page exists for archival purposes only. Most of these pages are kept in the 'Deprecated' category. Other pages are either out of date, incomplete, or in some cases may actually be complete if you're lucky. Don't expect anything too exciting on the guides for a while, though you may periodically get a glimpse under the hood in between announcements. The new guides section can be found at https://hub.elaztek.com/guides/latest. Tags - The backbone of all Blamite content For those of you at all familiar with Halo's game engine, you've surely heard of Tags before. In Bungie's engine, tags are used for the vast majority of all game content. And as of now, Blamite has full support for creating new tags and tag classes. Cache files (.map files) aren't implemented yet, and there are a few other things that need to be accounted for, but the bulk of the engine's tag/tagclass system is functional. Along with that, we've made a couple minor but, in my opinion, very key changes that will prove to be invaluable later on. Each tag file stores the version under which it was created within its file. And while this may not seem like a huge deal, it means that we'll be able to actually know what exact version each tag was built with. This can be used for a number of things, particularly with backwards compatibility. We could either let the engine be aware of all previous tag formats - though this could prove to become very unwieldy, very fast. A more realistic implementation is having Guerilla facilitate tag upgrading. We could even make it so Guerilla can automatically download the appropriate plugin files for that tag and help the user migrate their tags forward. No tag classes have actually been solidified yet. In fact, Guerilla hasn't even been upgraded to be able to handle proper tag files. But it's something that'll be happening sooner rather than later. Screenshots So, I've talked about a number of things in this post - but so far, I've not shown anything in the way of photos. Let's fix that. Below you can find some screenshots of the various engine tools. Each image will have a brief explanation below it. Sapien Guerilla Blamite Engine Unfortunately folks, that's all we've got - for now. Progress is always being made - and while not all of it is worth showing off, be rest assured we're always inching closer to having a fully functional engine on our hands. 3D rendering isn't being worked on yet - but we're very close to being there. Until then, we'll see you all next time.
  4. haloman30

    2/2/2020

    - Disabled pipeline notifications in #gitlab to reduce some of the spam - Removed Killerteddy
  5. So, as many of you know, today marks the official EOL (end-of-life) date for Windows 7. There will be many who would try to tell you that running Windows 7 beyond this point is somehow an incredibly dangerous affair, and by doing so you put your system, personal information, and so on at serious risk. I'll come back to that in a bit - as I do have some things to say in regards to that. Elaztek Software and Windows 7 The #1 thing I want to clear up is this: for the foreseeable future, our games and software will continue to support Windows 7. I can guarantee this for any project that I am the lead on - which, for now, means everything we do will have this functionality. I still run 7 and will continue to use Windows 7 as my main OS, and will continue to develop Blamite, its tools, and everything else on Windows 7. How long that will be doable, I can't say - but I have no plans to switch or upgrade anytime soon. If you don't want to hear my thoughts about the idea that running 7 is a security risk, and the people who spread that idea, you can stop reading now. While some may consider this part to mostly be opinionated, I think it's a lot closer to reality than alternative. The Windows 7 Doomsday-ers A lot of people would try to convince you that you should upgrade to Windows 8 or 10 immediately. I'm sure as time goes on you'll see an increasing amount of people saying things like "Windows 7 is dead", "either upgrade to 10 or take your Windows 7 PC off the internet immediately", and so on. When software reaches end-of-life, it stops receiving updates. Period. No security patches or feature updates. The primary point of concern are security updates. These are what are stopping with the end-of-life. For security-essential systems, this is a big deal. For folks who aren't nearly as tech-savvy, this is still a fairly big deal. For someone who knows how to safely browse the internet and isn't being actively targeted, I'd argue that, for the most part, it's not the end of the world. Viruses do not appear on a system unprompted. They must be introduced to the system through some point of entry. If a system is offline and isn't networked to other devices, that's about as safe as you can get. You can run virtually any OS you want and be fine. The general population would agree with me there. However, what most people would tell you is that having a system networked or connected to the internet at all is a major security risk. I can't help but laugh at this idea. People act as though, starting today, if you hook up a Windows 7 PC to the internet, it'll just magically get infected with WannaCry or some other awful virus. Like it'll just magically break without any human operation. Maybe that's not what people believe, but with the amount of "better unplug that ethernet cable" makes me wonder. If you're a big security guru then I'd love to hear your take on it if you disagree - I admit I am not the most knowledgeable when it comes to security, hence why I'm not the one who handles all that stuff. If you have a variety of systems networked together, sure - maybe you're more vulnerable to a virus that spreads over LAN and infects various machines on it. These viruses do exist, no doubt about it. But the point still stands - they must be introduced somehow. One of those systems must be infected first. YOU have to introduce the virus to one of your computers for this to happen. Antivirus exists. Avast is one I've used for a while, and it still supports all the way down to XP to this very day. Beyond that, if you know what you're doing online and you aren't actively being targeted by someone (which most people usually aren't), then chances are you won't have much issue. If you're seriously concerned, then by all means - upgrade. But please don't spread the argument that running an old OS online is this horribly dangerous idea - because it's not. Why not upgrade? So I suppose the big question is - why not upgrade? After all, Windows 10 is just great, isn't it? Allow me to list off a few of the major issues that I personally have with 10: Lack of control over updates - all updates are forced onto the machine without 3rd party tools or registry/group policy manipulation, which isn't even possible unless you're running Windows 10 Professional or higher Lack of update Quality Control - several awful updates have been shoved out, breaking anything from drivers to software, or worst of all, deleting user's library folders and potentially irrecoverably deleting years of invaluable data Increased System Security - No, I'm not talking about virus protection or things of that nature. Rather, how the OS is becoming increasingly locked-down. Apps from the Microsoft Store will barely grant you read access with a lot of fighting, and now not even Linux is able to drive around the folder security like it was before. The idea of having folders/files on YOUR computer that YOU cannot access just... feels wrong Control Panel vs Settings App - System settings are spread out across two locations for seemingly no real reason. Windows 10 has some nice features, but for me personally they aren't enough to warrant dealing with these hassles and more. I like to use 3rd party themes via stuff like UxStyle, and on 7 it works flawlessly. On 10, it barely works and if you install a theme for an incorrect version of Windows 10 your system will become unusable and require a total reinstallation. If you like the new start menu, or you have games that require DX12, then sure - stick to 10 and enjoy those features. Me? I'll stick to 7 - and in the offchance anyone out there feels the same, fret not - our games will support 7 for as long as we can realistically do so.
  6. So, as many of you know, today marks the official EOL (end-of-life) date for Windows 7. There will be many who would try to tell you that running Windows 7 beyond this point is somehow an incredibly dangerous affair, and by doing so you put your system, personal information, and so on at serious risk. I'll come back to that in a bit - as I do have some things to say in regards to that. Elaztek Software and Windows 7 The #1 thing I want to clear up is this: for the foreseeable future, our games and software will continue to support Windows 7. I can guarantee this for any project that I am the lead on - which, for now, means everything we do will have this functionality. I still run 7 and will continue to use Windows 7 as my main OS, and will continue to develop Blamite, its tools, and everything else on Windows 7. How long that will be doable, I can't say - but I have no plans to switch or upgrade anytime soon. If you don't want to hear my thoughts about the idea that running 7 is a security risk, and the people who spread that idea, you can stop reading now. While some may consider this part to mostly be opinionated, I think it's a lot closer to reality than alternative. The Windows 7 Doomsday-ers A lot of people would try to convince you that you should upgrade to Windows 8 or 10 immediately. I'm sure as time goes on you'll see an increasing amount of people saying things like "Windows 7 is dead", "either upgrade to 10 or take your Windows 7 PC off the internet immediately", and so on. When software reaches end-of-life, it stops receiving updates. Period. No security patches or feature updates. The primary point of concern are security updates. These are what are stopping with the end-of-life. For security-essential systems, this is a big deal. For folks who aren't nearly as tech-savvy, this is still a fairly big deal. For someone who knows how to safely browse the internet and isn't being actively targeted, I'd argue that, for the most part, it's not the end of the world. Viruses do not appear on a system unprompted. They must be introduced to the system through some point of entry. If a system is offline and isn't networked to other devices, that's about as safe as you can get. You can run virtually any OS you want and be fine. The general population would agree with me there. However, what most people would tell you is that having a system networked or connected to the internet at all is a major security risk. I can't help but laugh at this idea. People act as though, starting today, if you hook up a Windows 7 PC to the internet, it'll just magically get infected with WannaCry or some other awful virus. Like it'll just magically break without any human operation. Maybe that's not what people believe, but with the amount of "better unplug that ethernet cable" makes me wonder. If you're a big security guru then I'd love to hear your take on it if you disagree - I admit I am not the most knowledgeable when it comes to security, hence why I'm not the one who handles all that stuff. If you have a variety of systems networked together, sure - maybe you're more vulnerable to a virus that spreads over LAN and infects various machines on it. These viruses do exist, no doubt about it. But the point still stands - they must be introduced somehow. One of those systems must be infected first. YOU have to introduce the virus to one of your computers for this to happen. Antivirus exists. Avast is one I've used for a while, and it still supports all the way down to XP to this very day. Beyond that, if you know what you're doing online and you aren't actively being targeted by someone (which most people usually aren't), then chances are you won't have much issue. If you're seriously concerned, then by all means - upgrade. But please don't spread the argument that running an old OS online is this horribly dangerous idea - because it's not. Why not upgrade? So I suppose the big question is - why not upgrade? After all, Windows 10 is just great, isn't it? Allow me to list off a few of the major issues that I personally have with 10: Lack of control over updates - all updates are forced onto the machine without 3rd party tools or registry/group policy manipulation, which isn't even possible unless you're running Windows 10 Professional or higher Lack of update Quality Control - several awful updates have been shoved out, breaking anything from drivers to software, or worst of all, deleting user's library folders and potentially irrecoverably deleting years of invaluable data Increased System Security - No, I'm not talking about virus protection or things of that nature. Rather, how the OS is becoming increasingly locked-down. Apps from the Microsoft Store will barely grant you read access with a lot of fighting, and now not even Linux is able to drive around the folder security like it was before. The idea of having folders/files on YOUR computer that YOU cannot access just... feels wrong Control Panel vs Settings App - System settings are spread out across two locations for seemingly no real reason. Windows 10 has some nice features, but for me personally they aren't enough to warrant dealing with these hassles and more. I like to use 3rd party themes via stuff like UxStyle, and on 7 it works flawlessly. On 10, it barely works and if you install a theme for an incorrect version of Windows 10 your system will become unusable and require a total reinstallation. If you like the new start menu, or you have games that require DX12, then sure - stick to 10 and enjoy those features. Me? I'll stick to 7 - and in the offchance anyone out there feels the same, fret not - our games will support 7 for as long as we can realistically do so.
  7. haloman30

    12/30/2019 Update

    * Updated to IP.Board 4.4.9.1 - Removed Killerteddy
  8. + Added Discord role: Halo Fan Project Team + Added Discord channel: #fan-projects (exclusive to Fan Game Bros) * Renamed 'Halo Fan Project Team' to 'Halo Fame Game Bros' to avoid confusion with any Elaztek team roles - Removed Killerteddy
  9. haloman30

    12/8/2019 Update

    + Added emote: + Added emote: * Updated to IP.Board 4.4.9 * Fix emoji displaying too large on Midnight 7.1 and Daylight 7.1 - Removed Killerteddy
  10. haloman30

    12/4/2019 Update

    * Disabled "Post before Registering" setting - Removed Killerteddy
  11. + Added plugin: Enhanced Status Updates + Added theme: Daylight 7.1 (based on Midnight 7.1, includes all of the below fixes for Midnight 7.1) * Fixed calendar header when scrolled down the page not having enough padding * Fixed dialog z-index as a result because some genius decided that the sticky header should display in FRONT of a modal dialog * Made spoilers use the new bright blue color instead of old darker blue seen in the earlier Midnight/Elaztek themes * Improved spacing for awards tab * Added background blur effect for some elements (uses CSS property "backdrop-filter", does not work on all browsers) * Fixed theme menu styling * Fixed mood profile display * Fixed overlap issues with various header button placements * Fixed split button drop shadow radius not being correct * Ivory Tower/Audio Organizer styling is now more dependent on the theme rather than being built into the page itself - Removed Killerteddy
  12. to get rid of the bigass copy paste i did like 2 years ago

  13. i am going to post 2 status updates

  14. Hey, everyone! We've been doing some updates, upgrades, and general improvements to the Elaztek website! We've introduced new features as well as enhanced and improved old ones. Overall, the general theme is bringing more parity with CU's forums - with the eventual end goal being that the two forums move in lockstep when it comes to general community features. Moods These have been on Chaotic United's forums for quite some time, but we figured it was high time that they made their way over here. All the moods that are available on CU are available here. Along with that, we've fixed a few minor display issues with several moods (on both Elaztek and CU forums). Nothing too spectacular or out of the ordinary. Hit the smiley face in the top-left of the navbar to set your mood! Awards We've actually had a handful of awards set up for a while. Many of them were unused (and still are), and virtually none of the awards from CU's forums made their way over. Well, since part of CU's relaunch was its new awards setup, we've brought many of those awards over to Elaztek - excluding ones that don't really fit Elaztek. However, we've also disabled many of the (small selection of) old awards - primarily, the category named "Blamite Expertise" and the Contest award "Project: Infinity Mapmaking Contest". These were both disabled because, well, it's gonna be a long time before those awards are going to even be relevant. Blamite is years from being of quality (and likely still at least a couple away from actual, proper gameplay), and Project: Infinity is also quite a ways out as a result. They'll be refined and reimplemented when Project: Infinity and Blamite are complete. Several awards, new and old, are currently pending some new icons. Keep an eye out for those. We won't make an announcement, but you'll see it in a changelog at some point in our Update Notes blog. Profile Changes These are the most minor of the changes (besides the minor fixes and edits in the changelog), but still worth mentioning. The old 'PC Specs' field has been disabled and, in its place, a full category called 'System Information' for you to put all your different PC information. CPU, GPU, Operating System, RAM, and so on - each one has its own respective field. And if we've missed one, we've added another field for other system info. If your PC has some special quirks about it, you can share those details in the 'Other PC Info' field. We've also added a new Profile Step for you to quickly and easily put it all in. Additionally, we've added a few other minor fields for Interests, Discord username, Skype username, and Location. We've also made it where several major fields (Steam, Discord, etc.) show up alongside your forum posts - much like how they do on CU. Wrapping Up We've made a few other smaller changes here and there, but they don't really warrant much mention here. If you want to know all the details, check out the full changelog in the latest Update Notes blog entry linked below. Lastly, if you (or anyone you know) is interested in game design, development, or engine programming, send them our way! We're always looking for new people to introduce to the team - Blamite isn't gonna build itself, y'know. If you wish to join our team, slam the "Join the Team" button below. Alternatively, if you want to learn more about Blamite, click the 'Blamite' link in the navigation bar. We'll bid you farewell for now with a few screenshots from me working on text rendering: Our font system effectively draws text as a series of bitmaps strung together. (we needed a way to draw text independently of dear imgui) After creating a tool called FontExtractor to export our favorite Fixedsys font into these glyph images, it started to come together. The spacing was due to how FontExtractor exported images, leaving lots of blank space in the resulting image files. And then this happened. Uncompressed fonts utilize a fontinfo.xml file to determine how glyph images are drawn (including sizes and such) - here, the glyphs were cropped by FontExtractor but the actual size in the XML file wasn't yet updated to reflect that change. After that was sorted out, we added a WIP font editor dialog to play around with the font properties to get optimal displays. In the future we'd ideally have FontExtractor handle this automatically, but hey - this works for now. The charspacing property determines how much space is left between characters when drawing. Setting it to negative can be used to draw text backwards. Good to know. You can alternatively just make it really high and have some w i d e l y s p a c e d t e x t . But, setting everything properly, the end result is nearly identical to the standard text (as seen in the windows in the screenshots). The text in those windows is handled through an entirely different system, and it cannot be (elegantly) used to just draw text at a point on the screen. The font display with our custom setup isn't perfect, but it's very, very close. Upcoming work includes implementing a proper game tick, doing some reorganizing of the codebase, and then adding the ability to tint/color our text. Following that, we'll start on properly implementing the console. And after that? Who knows? Stay tuned to find out! Also, if you want more stuff like this, let us know - we'd be happy to do development updates (when there's meaningful progress to share). Join the Team Learn about Blamite
  15. Hey, everyone! We've been doing some updates, upgrades, and general improvements to the Elaztek website! We've introduced new features as well as enhanced and improved old ones. Overall, the general theme is bringing more parity with CU's forums - with the eventual end goal being that the two forums move in lockstep when it comes to general community features. Moods These have been on Chaotic United's forums for quite some time, but we figured it was high time that they made their way over here. All the moods that are available on CU are available here. Along with that, we've fixed a few minor display issues with several moods (on both Elaztek and CU forums). Nothing too spectacular or out of the ordinary. Hit the smiley face in the top-left of the navbar to set your mood! Awards We've actually had a handful of awards set up for a while. Many of them were unused (and still are), and virtually none of the awards from CU's forums made their way over. Well, since part of CU's relaunch was its new awards setup, we've brought many of those awards over to Elaztek - excluding ones that don't really fit Elaztek. However, we've also disabled many of the (small selection of) old awards - primarily, the category named "Blamite Expertise" and the Contest award "Project: Infinity Mapmaking Contest". These were both disabled because, well, it's gonna be a long time before those awards are going to even be relevant. Blamite is years from being of quality (and likely still at least a couple away from actual, proper gameplay), and Project: Infinity is also quite a ways out as a result. They'll be refined and reimplemented when Project: Infinity and Blamite are complete. Several awards, new and old, are currently pending some new icons. Keep an eye out for those. We won't make an announcement, but you'll see it in a changelog at some point in our Update Notes blog. Profile Changes These are the most minor of the changes (besides the minor fixes and edits in the changelog), but still worth mentioning. The old 'PC Specs' field has been disabled and, in its place, a full category called 'System Information' for you to put all your different PC information. CPU, GPU, Operating System, RAM, and so on - each one has its own respective field. And if we've missed one, we've added another field for other system info. If your PC has some special quirks about it, you can share those details in the 'Other PC Info' field. We've also added a new Profile Step for you to quickly and easily put it all in. Additionally, we've added a few other minor fields for Interests, Discord username, Skype username, and Location. We've also made it where several major fields (Steam, Discord, etc.) show up alongside your forum posts - much like how they do on CU. Wrapping Up We've made a few other smaller changes here and there, but they don't really warrant much mention here. If you want to know all the details, check out the full changelog in the latest Update Notes blog entry linked below. Lastly, if you (or anyone you know) is interested in game design, development, or engine programming, send them our way! We're always looking for new people to introduce to the team - Blamite isn't gonna build itself, y'know. If you wish to join our team, slam the "Join the Team" button below. Alternatively, if you want to learn more about Blamite, click the 'Blamite' link in the navigation bar. We'll bid you farewell for now with a few screenshots from me working on text rendering: Our font system effectively draws text as a series of bitmaps strung together. (we needed a way to draw text independently of dear imgui) After creating a tool called FontExtractor to export our favorite Fixedsys font into these glyph images, it started to come together. The spacing was due to how FontExtractor exported images, leaving lots of blank space in the resulting image files. And then this happened. Uncompressed fonts utilize a fontinfo.xml file to determine how glyph images are drawn (including sizes and such) - here, the glyphs were cropped by FontExtractor but the actual size in the XML file wasn't yet updated to reflect that change. After that was sorted out, we added a WIP font editor dialog to play around with the font properties to get optimal displays. In the future we'd ideally have FontExtractor handle this automatically, but hey - this works for now. The charspacing property determines how much space is left between characters when drawing. Setting it to negative can be used to draw text backwards. Good to know. You can alternatively just make it really high and have some w i d e l y s p a c e d t e x t . But, setting everything properly, the end result is nearly identical to the standard text (as seen in the windows in the screenshots). The text in those windows is handled through an entirely different system, and it cannot be (elegantly) used to just draw text at a point on the screen. The font display with our custom setup isn't perfect, but it's very, very close. Upcoming work includes implementing a proper game tick, doing some reorganizing of the codebase, and then adding the ability to tint/color our text. Following that, we'll start on properly implementing the console. And after that? Who knows? Stay tuned to find out! Also, if you want more stuff like this, let us know - we'd be happy to do development updates (when there's meaningful progress to share). Join the Team Learn about Blamite