Wednesday, December 21, 2011

[log] SoundRTS 1.1 alpha 8 released

Available at:

The main changes since 1.1 alpha 7 are:

  • bug fixed: now the mages tower can research meteors
  • bug fixed: the teleportation limit of 10 units could cause the first 10 mages to be teleported, leaving the other units unteleported, so I have completely removed this limit; I have kept the following limitation introduced in 1.1 alpha 7 though: if there is no space left at the destination then no more units are teleported there (it might prevent the game from slowing too much when too many units are teleported)

Map making:
  • map making manual: updated the part about the starting resources of each player

Game modding:
  • bug fixed: training, building or researching/upgrading something requiring 0 second (time cost of 0) won't cause an error anymore

  • manual: added a note about activating TTS with Linux (speech dispatcher)

SoundRTS 1.1 and SoundRTS 1.0 should coexist in the same machine without any problem. The settings are also stored in different folders (respectively "SoundRTS unstable" and "SoundRTS 1.0").

About multiplayer games, this version is only compatible with itself. If you modify the rules.txt file or the ai.txt file, you need to send it to your friends if you want to play with them, or they won't find your server.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

[log] SoundRTS 1.1 alpha 7 released

Available at:

The main changes since 1.1 alpha 6 are:

  • the manual has been entirely updated
  • some parts have been automatically generated from rules.txt

  • added screen reader support for Windows (using ScreenReaderAPI)
  • added TTS support for Linux (uses Speech Dispatcher)

  • removed or simplified hard maps
  • added very small maps demonstrating some units

  • the passive AI is more peaceful (similar to SoundRTS 1.0): it won't retaliate if one of its explorers is attacked

  • added necromancer, necropolis, deadly fog, raise dead, zombie, skeleton
  • added priest, temple, resurrection, exorcism, holy vision
  • now only the priest can heal (removed from mage and townhall)
  • teleportation stops if no space is left
  • teleportation has been limited to 10 units
  • moved conversion to the priest
  • added summon dragons and meteors to the mage
  • healing: the gain of hit points is now continuous instead of increasing by steps of 1 hit point every 7.5 seconds; it should work globally the same except for the first hit point which was gained instantly on the first healing of a unit
  • restored archer upgrade values to SoundRTS 1.0 values: weapon damage + 1.5 (instead of 15), armor + .5 (instead of 2)
  • when creating a building, now the construction site is set up as soon as the peasant enters the square (and not when the peasant reaches the meadow); this should avoid some cases where the peasant cannot reach the meadow

  • the peasants AI might be less slow in large maps when gathering resources (faster shortest path implementation)

  • now a game on a public server will require at least two human players
  • added a cleanup routine to the server (remove clients without socket and remove all games when no client)
  • in whatismyip.txt, replaced (often down) with an automation-friendly URL provided by

bugs fixed:
  • the completion of a repair is not notified anymore
  • when an order is given to a group and at least one unit knows what to do, there won't be any "order impossible" alert
  • when at least one unit has enough mana, no "not enough mana" alert will be emitted
  • after some time, the public server would allow less and less simultaneous games
  • minor fixes in maps JS11 and JS13 (Jason Symes)

keyboard bindings:
  • now SHIFT ALT A and SHIFT ALT G queue the previous order (while ALT A and ALT G just repeated it at once)
  • the keyboard bindings are defined in a hopefully more efficient way which will facilitate the creation of new units and races: the unit types mentioned in bindings.txt are generic: worker, building, soldier1, soldier2, ..., soldier7; these names are mentioned in style.txt for the units as a parameter called "keyboard"; this parameter can be inherited, so for example there is no need to define it for darkarcher since archer already mentions: "keyboard soldier2"
  • the modifiers SHIFT (queue_order) and CONTROL (imperative_order) work for the mouse left click too (when confirming a target)

game modding:
  • cleaned up rules.txt: removed unused parameters about multilevel tech upgrades ("levels", "cost_increment", "time_cost_increment", "requirements1", "requirements2")
  • added "food_cost 1" in rules.txt for some units
  • added effects: "summon_nearby" and "summon_anywhere"
  • added unit property: "decay"
  • about abilities (teleportation, conversion, ...), rules.txt mentions if the enemy have an alert too (like in teleportation) with the variable universal_notification set to 1 (default value is 0), in style.txt the alert sound is specified in the ability instead of in the unit

SoundRTS 1.1 and SoundRTS 1.0 should coexist in the same machine without any problem. The settings are also stored in different folders (respectively "SoundRTS unstable" and "SoundRTS 1.0").

About multiplayer games, this version is only compatible with itself. If you modify the rules.txt file or the ai.txt file, you need to send it to your friends if you want to play with them, or they won't find your server.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

More thoughts about the project

After reading your comments and working on SoundRTS today, here are some more thoughts (sometimes contradicting with the previous ones):
  1. During the next two days, maybe one, I might be able to get some work done.
  2. Releasing a new 1.1 alpha 7 would be quicker than creating a new stable version.
  3. Even if the 1.1 alpha 7 is very wrong, there is always the possibility for the player to go back to 1.1 alpha 6 and ignore the "please update" message. The older versions are still there for download even if their links have disappeared.
  4. There is no need to remove the recorded voices in 1.1 alpha 7.
  5. Using SAPI by default (without having to press control + alt + F12 during a game) might be nice.
  6. Using the screen reader might be even nicer. Unfortunately, using something else than SAPI or recorded text might require a change in the way messages are processed in SoundRTS because the screen readers don't tell if they are speaking or not. This causes problems to the current "message manager" of SoundRTS who is trying to make sure that every information is told sooner or later. Maybe this control is not really needed. I don't know.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

[SoundRTS] project status

Here is a summary of the current plans for SoundRTS. Feel free to comment, especially about the viability of 1.1 alpha 6 as a stable version.
  1. The next evolutions might be more chaotic, so I will probably rename the current latest 1.1 alpha 6 to stable 1.1.0, since it's probably being used as a stable version by many players anyway. The next alpha would be 1.2 alpha 0. This way you would have something to try soon without losing the not so bad current version, and new players wouldn't be misguided to download 1.0.1 anymore.
  2. I might also add an archive folder to the website so the current stable 1.0.1 would still be easily available, even if not recommended anymore.
  3. In 1.2 alpha, I will try to solve a fundamental problem of SoundRTS: the world map lacks continuity: squares and paths to connect them. If I am successful, there would be only one space, even if I will try to keep the ease of play that squares provide. It would be possible to block a bottleneck by placing footmen accurately, and placing archers behind them. Building walls would make sense. The simulation would be probably simplified. The problem is to adapt the AI and make sure that the game interface is not too complex.
  4. In 1.2 alpha, I might completely remove recorded text and use SAPI to allow more efficient and flexible messages, but it might cause (at least temporarily) the loss of some platforms (Linux, Mac) and of the languages for which I don't have the text. I apologize in advance for the inconveniences but it is the price to pay in order to limit the ever growing complexity of the SoundRTS beast. The positional text will be lost in the process too (at least temporarily).
  5. Allowing several races is a priority, because sooner or later they will have to be implemented, and before that happens, balancing the new units in one race would be a lost effort.
  6. There might be confusion when two competing players control the same race, but even in this case it might be possible to make the units sound different depending on their "ally" status (using the "if_me" keyword in style.txt). But it might not be necessary.
  7. At the moment, I have added 2 units: the priest and the necromancer, and I have planned to move some of the abilities of the mage to the priest, and I have made more changes in the existing units. This won't be good, but with 1.1 alpha 6 still available, it might be OK to play with the stats again.
  8. I have updated the manual and added automatic generation of the description of the units, buildings and abilities from the rules.txt file. I will try to keep the manual updated.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

[SoundMUD] SoundMUD development log

I used to post news about SoundMUD in SoundRTS development log, but from now on, I will post news about SoundMUD in a new blog: SoundMUD development log.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Another pygame example for audiogame programming

[Edit: if the sounds are not played at the expected moment (pygame > 1.7.1), this might be caused by a large default buffer length; in that case add pygame.mixer.pre_init(22050, -16, 2, 1024) before pygame.init(); more details there]

Example 3: move an object to the left or to the right with the arrow keys

This is a basic game loop, at last. I might try to simplify it further.

You can download all the examples (with the sounds) here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

[SoundMUD] SoundMUD 0.13 released

(July 19: warning: this is not the "very different" 0.13 version previously mentioned in the website. The "very different" 0.13 version, a CircleMud / SoundMud combination, was just an unreleased experiment and isn't planned any more. So this 0.13 version is the trunk that will continue to evolve, I hope.)

(June 25: updated this post with a list of changes from 0.12)

SoundMUD 0.13 is available at:

Download link:

A manual is available at:

List of changes from 0.12:
- the "client_data" folder has been renamed to "data"
- the "sounds" folder has been moved into the "data" folder
- fixed the hostile sound signal
- fixed the sound emitted when the creature is hit by a weapon
- now the creature's description mentions the equipped weapon
- now the weapons break after some use
- restored the player's id in the character's description
- now any creature emits an "attack" sound when attacking
- added a manual
- fixed the "e" key (to select equipment)
- added "unequip" action
- now the monsters take any object on the ground (can be noticed after the player character's death)
- the player character drops the equipped weapon on dying
- the "water drops" sounds in the corridors have been restored
- if an already connected user tries to connect again, the server will close the other connection and accept the new user connection (instead of rejecting the new connection)
- slightly edited some underground rooms so they are more connected (with cycles, not like tree branches)
- added a bigger underground crypt with monsters and a boss (probably too many monsters)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

[SoundMUD] bug fixed in SoundMUD 0.12

At last, the bug which has been preventing the server of SoundMUD 0.12 from working has been removed.

SoundMUD 0.12 is a minor and buggy evolution of 0.11, provided for comparison with 0.11 (both servers are running). It might be a dead-end, I don't know yet. the main changes are:

* a MMORPG-like gameplay: no need to hold Enter to move or attack any more, just press backspace once; special attacks or spells or actions are missing though, so the result might be unconvincing yet;
* after death, you can rest and observe the room until you press R to rez
* no more compass indications when the character rotates
* the monsters' AI is different: they go back home after a fight
* press I to select the next object in the inventory
* press Backspace to equip a weapon (selected it in the inventory)
* press E to select the next object in the equipment slots (only a held weapon slot at the moment)
* press D to drop the selected object
* change: press Insert (instead of backspace) to switch weapons

Saturday, January 29, 2011

[log] SoundRTS 1.1 alpha 6 released

Available at:

The main changes since 1.1 alpha 5 are:

- added Brazilian Portuguese translation from Bgb Blind Games Brazil

Team play:
- the peasant can store gold or wood in a warehouse of an ally (the stored resource belongs to the gatherer, not to the owner of the warehouse)

- when saying the name of the current square, a summary of the content is included
- added "invisible", "detector" and "cloaker" to the description of a unit (available with V status or Tab description and Control to repeat)
- the player won't have an alert for the following events concerning an enemy or an ally: "work complete", "OK order", "impossible order"
- the alert system is changing: the remaining units are mentioned for every conflict square
- the newly discovered resources are mentioned differently

Bugs fixed:
- bug fixed: too many meadows were created (2 * nb_meadows_by_square)
- bug fixed: when attacking a friendly unit, the attacker would try to go very near the attacked unit, instead of having the "attack range" distance
- bug fixed: units with splash damage (dragons for example) couldn't be forced to attack their own units
- bug fixed: sawmills and blacksmiths were included in the W menu even after all the upgrades and research have been done

- 3 new TTS sounds: 4289 invisible, 4290 detector, 4291 cloaker
- sounds: removed the indefinite article "a" from 80.ogg and 81.ogg ("wood" instead of "a wood", "goldmine" instead of "a goldmine")

Solo campaign:
- in the chapter 4, after 3 minutes, the mage in b3 teleports to a1

SoundRTS 1.1 and SoundRTS 1.0 should coexist in the same machine without any problem. The settings are also stored in different folders (respectively "SoundRTS unstable" and "SoundRTS 1.0").

About multiplayer games, this version is only compatible with itself. If you modify the rules.txt file or the ai.txt file, you need to send it to your friends if you want to play with them, or they won't find your server.