After five years months of hard work and million sleepless nights…

Five months and 1679 commits passed since build 0.7.5800 has been published. Finally we decided that we should no longer wait for release, and we must publish it ASAP. But the code is not yet free of bugs, and we present an intermediate build 0.8-RC1. It has so many new features that our small team needs your help in testing it.

Here is a brief list of innovations:

Muliplayer

  • Ability to play in teams. Two new modes: Team DeathMatch and Capture the Flag.
  • World-wide-internet-network game. We have established three servers that are available across the planet; each one serves one type of network game (CTF, TDM and good old Cooperative). Currently, the servers are in test mode, but everybody may connect: just click Scan button in Join the Game menu and find btanks.media.netive.ru in a list.
  • Enthusiasts may set up their own standalone servers.

Video and Audio

  • Thanks to our D3dSDL library, BTanks for Microsoft® Windows™ now use DirectX™® and not OpenGL™. This has really increased the overall performance.
  • Screen resolutions are now taken from SDL.
  • We no longer support OpenAL because we have our own Clunk library now.
  • Some new sounds are added.

Controls and Gameplay

  • The effect of slowing/speeding-up is eliminated.
  • Diagonal shooting is improved (yeah we did that!).
  • Shilka looked a bit boring, so we have improved its turret: now it rotates and self-aims.
  • Grenades and mortair missiles now fly over obstacles.
  • Frags are counted better; a telefrag trick is added (if two people enter the same teleport, only the last one survives).
  • Join/leave/death messages are sent to chat automatically. Messages from players are coloured according to colors of teams.

Maps

  • A new ‘Four Rooms’ map is added for CTF anf TDM.
  • The map editor is now shipped with the game. It is still user-unfriendly. We are not sorry.
  • Timers and OBEY effect are added to scripts to help controlling objects with LUA. Now scripting is much more powerful!

Code
An incremental network protocol, a new serialization model, compression with dictionary made it possible to decrease network traffic in times! All code is ported to g++ 4.3. All game resources are packed into a single resources.dat file (DEB, RPM and other ebuilds builders must be happy). sigc++ is no longer used because we now have our own library. Random number generator is improved.

Phew… These are only the most important things, so if you want to find out more–see the changelog. And we look forward to your bugreports!

P.S. Oh, dear Mac users, you will unfortunately have to wait for the new build. But we do remember you!