Infinite Blank 0.2.9 (buggy prerelease)

The Blank is back.  Let the bug hunting begin!

Infinite Blank’s prerelease, named 0.2.9 for organizational purposes, is out!  The world it uses, named “prerelease”, will serve as a temporary main world from now until proper relaunch of 0.3.0, at which point it will be archived.  The music is from a new contributor, Zoë Blade.

Now, this is an unfinished 0.3.0, so there are a lot of problems.  Favorite points don’t work, nor do custom avatars or the mechanism that remembers what areas you’ve explored.  It also does not support OS X 10.5 and below or Linux 32-bit — sorry to those who won’t be able to play.  I have, since yesterday, made other players visible, fixed chat, and made a few other changes like a new wall-display mode and a help button in the painter that explains a few special features.  There’s a lot more to be done, as I’m increasingly realizing, and hopefully I can get a proper version out soon.

Anyway, let’s get this show on the road!  (Let’s hope the server holds up)

Downloads:

Windows

OS X 10.6+

Linux 64-bit

Please report any bugs you find either in the forums or in the comments thread of this post.

Happy drawing–
–Cellulose

Prerelease … tomorrow

Hey guys.

The prerelease version is functional now, but it is really REALLY buggy.  It’s also really late, I’m having trouble focusing, and I don’t entirely trust my judgment on whether to put it up now.  (True fact:  I boiled a kiwi to the point of liquefaction thinking it would be good in tea.  It was terrible.)  So I’m going to hold off and do it in the hours after I wake up tomorrow.  It’ll still be very buggy, but I might at least be able to fix some of the worse issues–particularly those that make drawing problematic.

The prerelease version will work more or less like previous versions other than a few things:

- Music!  Three songs selected for maximum doodle-jamming potential.
- Avatar editing is disabled; you will play as the black-and-white character pictured below.
- Other players aren’t visible, and draw-chat doesn’t work.  I might fix this quickly tomorrow morning.
- Explored area is not remembered, so the highlighting on the map will be reset each time you play.
- Favorite points are broken and creating them will make the game crash.  (Also might fix tomorrow)

There are a few random crash bugs, and some problems in the painter.  So again, it won’t be pretty, but it will work.  At some point after the prerelease and before the proper relaunch, I will probably make all the old worlds available for exploration.

An image showing the temporary world's center; a floating island with a giant pencil acting as a bridge to the west, and a pipe puffing smoke into the sky.

One big bit of good coming from this is I’m being reminded of a huge number of usability issues with the drawing tool and the game as a whole; hopefully I’ll be able to fix many of these by relaunch-time.  Additionally, I’m feeling suddenly and dramatically motivated to work on all the frontend code I’ve been procrastinating, now that everyone’s *using* this software.  Yikes!

Know that I am sorry to make you guys wait the extra day.  :\

Going to crash now–
–Cellulose

Prerelease impending. Also, cell naming.

Hey, all.

This week has gotten a little unproductive, so I’m issuing myself another goal.  Remember how I mentioned last post that I was thinking about a pre-release with a temporary world?  I’m going to try and make that happen by tomorrow night. It will be buggy, it will be incomplete, but it will be playable.  (And it will give me something to feel excited about while I finish up!)

There’s not much else to say, so I’ll rant a little about what I’m working on.

Right now I’m fooling with a compact scheme for naming cells in the world, which produces codes like 0X0CH or 8B1NK.  It divides the world into 25×25 “sectors”, which are designated by a pair of numbers and a letter indicating the quadrant, and within them indexes the cells from A to Y on two axes.  In an effort to make an explanation that isn’t boring, I’ve created this handy MSPaint diagram:

A diagram showing how cells are named in Infinite Blank.

It continues to work for cells more than 238 from the center, turning into names like 10A1YM.  The basic idea was to provide a simple way for players to tell one another about locations in the world, and raw coordinates (which would look like “-203+117″) aren’t nearly as easy to write or remember.  These will also come into play when I add another feature: teleport codes.  In case I haven’t mentioned that one yet, it will allow players to share favorite points, for collaborative projects and explorations of the world.  The cell code will be part of a teleport code, helping to make it readable.

Anyway.  If all goes well, you’ll be able to see this little system in action 24 hours from now.

Later–
–Cellulose

A lonely server

Hello, all.

I’ve gotten the code base compiling on Linux, and the Infinite Blank server is now running for testing purposes.

Console printouts depicting the Infinite Blank server: they list statistics and say 'ALL IS WELL IN THE BLANK'.

Of course, no one’s playing, as the game is still a little broken and needs a few more things before release.  (Hilariously, trying to edit a cell crashes both the game and the server.)  I’m working on that.  To get it out sooner, I’m going to forgo account support in 0.3.0, instead including it in an optional update soon afterward.  This just leaves some more debugging, the changes to the painter, some shiny buttons ingame, and the grappling hook, and we’ll relaunch.

In the spirit of good fun, I’m also contemplating an off-the-record early release with a temporary world, just in case those last few things end up dragging on longer than expected.  I’m still undecided about it — if I did make such a release, it wouldn’t probably support Linux 32-bit or OS X versions prior to 10.6.  It might be helpful for catching bugs before relaunch proper, though, and it’ll be a good way to graduate slowly towards running things at full steam.

I’ll evaluate the practical implications of this idea tomorrow.

That’s my two cents–
–Cellulose

6 AM

Urgh.

Getting the server rebuilt.  I’ve been a little unstructured with my time these last two days.  Also fixing bugs in the client.

Things are moving along, though I haven’t completed that next goal set yet.  The cache works, and I’ve almost got the Linux version compiling again for the server.  Need to get some sleep.

Grumble grumble murmur–
–Evan

  • (Server's down)
  • Infinite Blank explained