Starshatter: The Open Source Project
Dev Update - September 2022

Published on 2022-09-24 16:40:00+02:00

The time has come to write a dev update of the Starshatter project. It's been some time and there are some news and some ideas that need a little more time to hatch but are good enough to share with you all to potentially get some feedback. Let's start.

Release 5.1.87-350-g0fc03ad

This is a regular development release with mostly internal changes. The major change directly aimed at players is that vox and music data is now included in the project distribution. Of course, this means these resources have been integrated into the building and packaging process.

Download it from landing page or web FTP index.

Majority of development work was done around the archives and dat files. The module responsible for reading and writing them has been rewritten pretty much from scratch while preserving backwards-compatibility. The Datafile utility has been replaced by new dat utility which has somewhat different CLI. New implementation is cross platform (to an extent; endianness) and compiles on Linux making it now possible to package game without Wine (although it's not yet implemented this way).

There were also some minor fixes done here and there, check out git repository for detailed information.

dat utility

Discord Server

In an effort to get community together and overall respond to people quicker than through my sporadic visits to HLP or SSC, I created a Discord server for the project: Starshatter: The Open Source Project.

Make sure to say hi! Any bug reports, questions, feature requests are welcome.

Future Development Directions

I'm continuing to aim towards the same goal as before: get Starshatter working natively with OpenGL and on Linux. The major milestone is getting dedicated server to work on Linux and completely without linking to any external graphics library. However, as I go and touch various parts of code, I obviously see more and more spots which I want to change. Here are some project suggestions for those who are interested in contributing:

Regarding issue tracking - I don't feel a need for it just yet. I prefer direct communication and resolving problems right away. If there will be requests to get it done and they will seem reasonable at that time, we'll figure out something together.

Ideas Needing Feedback

There are two ideas that are patiently waiting for their turn: Starshatter hackathon and multiplayer war games. Since, they are quite similar I usually describe them as: scheduled periodical online meetings focused on Starshatter project. First one is obviously to have development activity spikes and have some fun time together. The other one is just for fun. After all, this is about a game. Now, I'm not doing anything about these just yet. If you find them interesting or want to contribute to them, please let me know.