November 20, 2017

SuperTuxKart 0.9.3 released

After months of work, we are proud to announce the final release for SuperTuxKart 0.9.3, the latest version of the kart racing game!

Official poster child Tux in his grown-up form

Official trailer video


This new version brings in several new tracks, karts and features. Some of the highlights include new tracks "Cornfield Crossing" a track set in a farm; "Candela City", a nighttime track in an European city; and "Las dunas stadium", a new arena for battle mode. Most of those tracks have been part of previous gift packages, and as promised we are now making them available for everyone.

Cornfield Crossing


Another major news is that for the first time, SuperTuxKart is available on Android! You can find it in the Google app store.
Or you can download it from SourceForge.

Our karts have also been updated, including new graphical effects such as headlights and exhaust smoke. Several karts have also been updated: Wilber, Hexley and Konqi have been updated, and a new kart was added: Kiki, the mascot for Krita.

Konqi and Kiki

You can also support us and get 3 upcoming maps by donating to the project. Our lead artist Samuncle handcrafted one track and two arenas especially for Halloween.

On top of that, the game has received countless bugfixes and improvements, including physics improvements and graphical optimisations that should help performance and load times. 

Many of you will undoubtedly be curious to hear about networked multiplayer. This feature has been in development for quite some time and a lot of progress has been made. We even had a LAN-only version in a playable state, but when testing it on various hardware platforms and environments, too many people reported unacceptable stuttering, so we have decided not to pursue this any further and wait for the WAN version (which will of course also work in a LAN). But stay tuned for more information on networked games in a future release!


And from the feedback we heard we also know that many people are waiting for the Steam release of SuperTuxKart. We can also give some updates about this: we have done some initial work to get SuperTuxKart working in a Steam environment, so it can pick up your username, and even your avatar. But the main issue we have is actually a legal one: in order to publish a game on Steam we need to have a company. And while it is reasonable easy to create a small company in Australia, the main problem is the liability: what if SuperTuxKart should have a bug, wiping out a user's data, and we then get sued? Obviously no one of us wants to risk their private assets because of that (admittedly an unlikely and extreme case). So we need proper legal advice (with all its assorted costs) before we can proceed with the Steam release 😭

Candela city


You can find the downloads for your favorite platform on our website at https://supertuxkart.net/Download. As always, if you wish to contribute, you can check our Get Involved portal to contribute art, code or translations, or donate and receive a gift package as our thanks for your contribution.

The full changelog for this version can be found below:

  • Reduced RAM and VRAM usage, reducing load times by Auria and Benau
  • New mesh format optimized for space and hardware skinning
  • Code refactoring of both render pipelines by Benau and Elderme
  • New karts Wilber and Hexley by Jymis
  • New karts Kiki and updated Konqi by Benau
  • New tracks Cornfield Crossing and Candela City by samuncle
  • Physics improvements and various physics bugfixes by hiker
  • Kart GFX improvements (exhaust and headlight)
  • In-game screen recording powered by libopenglrecorder, created by Benau
  • High quality mipmap generation by Stragus
  • New smoother camera by Auria
  • New Grand Prix win scene
  • Gamepad configuration bugfixes
  • 3 Strikes Battle: added spare tire karts
  • Various improvements (wall driving fixes, parachutes, GP points, cannon fixes, colorization shader)


The SuperTuxKart team

October 28, 2017

SuperTuxKart Halloween Update [Release Candidate]

Today, after more than one year of continuous hard work, we are ready to share with you the last big update before going on Steam, SuperTuxKart 0.9.3-rc1 dubbed the "Halloween Update".

Let's start with the most exciting news: We are finally on Android and you can get the game on Play Store or by downloading the apk from our website if you prefer.

Before reviewing the features in this release, a quick look to the future: Network support is well underway and many of the problems with stuttering that we experienced have been solved by hiker, who is working on polishing this code for integration into our main source tree (currently it's sitting in a separate branch). There's a lot of work still to do, but when network play will be fully-featured, we'll be ready to release it publicly. Our resources are being stretched rather thinly, so all help, programming and artistic, is very much appreciated. Check out the Get Involved page on our wiki for information if you are interested in joining the team. (The artists' documentation has also been updated since our last release to help you create your own tracks.) We appreciate your patience.

A lot of changes were made in one year. We have new tracks, new arenas, new effects and a lot of improvements behind the scenes.

New gift package specially for Halloween

What would be Halloween without pumpkins and a spooky mansion? We completely redesigned the old Mansion and made two brand new arenas specially for this update.

 
Ravenbridge Mansion
Beastie, the BSD mascot, and Gavroche, mascot of MediaGoblin, welcome you to their haunted house.... kind-of. They're actually the only ones doing the haunting in this former witch's house-built-on-a-graveyard-turned-into-a-sanatorium-turned-into-an-asylum-made-into-a-racetrack (whew!).

But what's the fun of staying inside at night? Explore the winding trail through the swamps, illuminated by the will-o'-the-wisps' eerie, flickering light. But stay on the trail, or you'll soon get stuck in the miry mud.

 Interesting factoid: Will-o'-the-wisp in German is "Irrlicht" (the namesake of the 3D engine our Antarctica Engine is based on).

Pumpkin's park
The spooky site of a derelict amusement park, this arena would surely be frightening enough on its own. But for the real thrill, play a few rounds of battle mode here and experience a whole new definition of exciting as your friends (or AI karts) pop out from around the corners.



 
Alien Signal


A sinkhole makes the perfect spot for this gigantic radio dish. Whether the alien signals you hear are friendly or hostile… well, perhaps you should be more concerned about the hostility of those you're battling against in this arena. There isn't a lot of space to hide in a big radio dish, but if you prefer the ambush tactic, the datacenter underneath might be what you're looking for.

As always, our gift package is available under the terms of the CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 license to our sponsors who donate more than USD $3.99. In a future release, these tracks will be available in the core game as CC-BY-SA 4.0.

New tracks and karts in the core game

Speaking of the core game, when we started the gift package program one of the most important pledges we made was to use it to improve the core game and make sure it will benefit the community as a whole.

Candela City

Candela City is STK's Paris, filled with lights and sounds to explore, and a spectacular firework display over an equally spectacular tower.


Candela was formerly part of the gift package we provided to donators beginning with version 0.9.1, and is now, as promised, part of the full game. This track replaces Shiny Suburbs, which is now available as a downloadable add-on.

Las Dunas Stadium
Since it's difficult to hand out candy over the internet, we decided to give you the next best thing, Las Dunas Arena for Battle Mode, inspired by real-world Las Angeles and Las Vegas and only a short distance from "Ploppywood" a major movie studio.

Las Dunas Arena and the Las Dunas Soccer Field were part of the gift package for 0.9.2. The soccer field remains part of the gift package for this version.

Cornfield Crossing
With Cornfield Crossing, you're treated to a tour of a farm in the heartland of the "United Countries of Amerigo" at harvest-time. Feel free to relax and enjoy the autumn sun or watch the harvesting equipment in a place where tradition meets innovation—but don't let your guard down or you might be taken by surprise on your way to the barn! This track replaces Bovine Barnyard, which is now also moved to Add-Ons.



We have two karts (Wilber and Hexley) that have been updated thanks to jymis.
Benau, one of our programmers created his first two karts included in the main game. Kiki, the mascot from the Krita project is now part of our playable characters, and he also created an updated Konqi.

New Features and bug fixes

We've also been busy adding numerous smaller features on the programming side of things
  • To help you navigate in the dark, karts now have headlights that are automatically turned on during night time.
  • A lot of the annoying physics bugs were corrected by hiker. Karts should no longer bump randomly against walls.
  • Karts have also exhaust smoke coming out of their pipes.
  • Benau also implemented HSV colorization to add some variety to our scenery. Our vegetation is now more varied since it can have random greenish hues!
  • For the YouTubers among us, we now have a built-in screen recorder that can record smooth video without the problems of an external program. More instructions are available on our wiki. The recorder works on both Windows and Linux, but we cannot support this feature on macOS at this time.
  • As well as adding the recorder, Benau also worked on various graphical engine improvements. After some fixes, we now have hardware skinning when supported by the underlying hardware stack. As a side-effect of hardware skinning, instanced objects can now have a set of multiple animations, and one animation will play for each instance. As an example of this new feature, the monkeys of Cocoa Temple were taught how to clap, do frontflips, and throw bananas.
  • Auria and Benau improved loading times, RAM, and VRAM usage by implementing a lazy-loading system for textures. Now, textures are loaded as needed by tracks or the GUI, rather than loading everything regardless of necessity. 
  • Benau created a custom 3D mesh format to replace our use of BlitzBasic B3D files. This means drastically reduced file sizes and no more skeletal animation bugs for karts like Adiumy. Add-ons using B3D will still work, but new addons won't work with STK 0.9.2 or earlier.
  •  QwertyChouskie modified Cocoa Temple to make it suitable for the Grand Prix winning cutscene, Alayan designed and implemented a new system for counting points in Grands Prix.
  • EldermĂ© refactored our rendering engine to improve code quality. Stragus from the #opengl channel on Freenode, in addition to serving as our OpenGL advisor, contributed a high-quality mipmap generator.
  • AI karts can now drive on walls, thanks to Benau, and non-vital track details can be disabled (Geometry detail level in settings).
  • Many fixes to the legacy (OpenGL 2.x) rendering pipeline by deveee and Benau. Now our players with older hardware can enjoy the game a bit more easily.
  • Auria fixed camera jittering caused by code that constantly tried to correct camera movement to match kart speed.
  • Auria and hiker fixed problems configuring gamepad buttons on Linux.
  • Some shaders are compiled at the main menu to reduce lag when opening kart selection screen.
  • Three Strikes Battle now has additional lives appearing that you can pick up if you have fewer than three lives.

Now, it wouldn't be Halloween without real fears! For us, the scariest part is that we're making the release candidate version our major release, so it's extra important to tell us about any issues you encounter on the forum so they can be fixed before the true, final release. Thanks! :)


Download links


You can download the 0.9.3-RC1 binaries on sourceforge at : https://sourceforge.net/projects/supertuxkart/files/SuperTuxKart/0.9.3-rc1/


If you run into problems, please post on the forum, drop by on IRC, or file a bug report on GitHub. Instructions on how to provide a useful bug report can be found on the wiki.

We hope you will have a lot of fun while playing SuperTuxKart!

The SuperTuxKart Team

April 1, 2017

[April's fool] SuperTuxKart 3000 announced!

Hello everyone!

We are happy to announce the upcoming version of SuperTuxKart.  As you will see, we took some game changing decisions regarding the future of the game.

As always, since we believe a picture is worth a thousand words and a teaser is worth a thousand pictures, we made one to present the new game.


It was important to celebrate the epic (sic) change with something big. Thus the upcoming version of SuperTuxKart will be called SuperTuxKart 3000.

On the programming side of things, we implemented a notion of day/night to toggle the kart headlight. In the future, with scripting, we hope to have a way to turn on and off objects depending on the time of day of each track.


If you have any questions or comments, feel free to ask!

March 1, 2017

WE ARE GREENLIT!!!

We are happy to announce that we got greenlit, which means that SuperTuxKart can soon be distributed on Steam!



Five days earlier, we launched our Greenlight campaign to gather votes and try to get SuperTuxKart on Steam. As soon as the announcement was made public we were overwhelmed by the results and after only 24 hours we were already in the top 100.

The situation after the first 24 hours
We would like to thank everyone who helped us make this possible by voting for us, and we are thrilled (and somewhat caught by surprise!) at how quickly we got enough attention to receive the greenlight.

What's next?

There's still some work to be done before SuperTuxKart appears on Steam, including paperwork but also evaluating options for integration with the Steamworks API and how that can be combined with our GPL license. Furthermore, it has not yet been decided how we might approach paid content on Steam, however stay assured that whatever option we settle on will remain in the same spirit as the current donations system and in a way that remains respectful of our fans.

How and when the first Steam release occurs is not set in stone for the previously mentioned reasons, and we will keep you updated as we have more information. The most likely scenario is that SuperTuxKart would initially be released in early access until version 1.0 is reached.

As always, SuperTuxKart will remain open-source and the core game will always be downloadable from our website or from your favorite Linux distribution.

The SuperTuxKart Team

February 23, 2017

SuperTuxKart is on Steam Greenlight: Support us!

Dear fans,

In the last blog post we promised to have two big surprises this year and today we are ready to show you the first one.

Finally after a lot of requests and months of hard work we are launching SuperTuxKart on Steam Greenlight. We made a trailer showcasing the gameplay of the game featuring two new tracks, Cornfield Crossing and Ravenbridge Mansion.




http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=850895445

Don't hesitate to vote for us and share it with your friends

Steam Greenlight is a service allowing creators to submit their game for inclusion into Steam, a digital game distribution platform. Gamers can vote and mark those they want included in Steam.

Therfore we think it's important for the future of SuperTuxKart and Open Source games in general to be able to reach new players. It will increase SuperTuxKart's visibility, bringing new players and potentially new contributors.

Linux gaming scene and SuperTuxKart have changed a lot since our humble beginning in 2006. At the time there weren't a lot of native Linux games and GPU drivers were often unstable and unable to use advanced functions essential to make a modern 3D game. The release of Steam for Linux in February 2013 changed the situation. A lot of AAA games started to be compatible with Linux, pushing the quality of hardware support and debug tools.  SuperTuxKart was able to benefit in an indirect manner via better GPU drivers for Linux.

No matter what happen in the next few months, SuperTuxKart will remain open source and we will always continue to distribute the main game via our website.

February 20, 2017

Game of the year awards 2016

We're back with the news that two prolific Linux websites nominated SuperTuxKart for their Game of the Year awards of 2016. While we did not win in any category at GamingOnLinux.com, we got some pretty positive ratings. In the category Favourite open source game we got 3rd place with just under 50 votes cast for STK. In the category Best update released in 2016 we got 2nd place with over 30 votes, and we are very happy with this ranking considering both free software and commercial titles were mixed together.

Long-running forum LinuxQuestions.org had their annual user polls for various categories, and we were lucky to win the category Open Source Game of the Year for 2016 with 19 votes. While it's quite a low number of votes there were 38 games to choose from, so naturally the overall number of votes got very spread out.

OmgUbuntu.co.uk had their list of best Linux games in 2016 at the end of last year, which we sadly forgot to include in the previous blog post, but better late than never. Their list is based on, and I quote:
Naturally, the list that follows is absolutely subjective. It’s based not on sales, or critical ranking, but on the titles we’ve played, seen you enthuse about playing, or have racked up some serious cool points for the Linux Gaming Platform™ as a whole (i.e. the obvious hits that one has to have in a list like this, at this time of the year, or be mocked on social media for).
So even though they did not have any reader poll like the other website, their list contains only 7 games including commercial ones. We feel honored to have both GOL readers, the LinuxQuestions community and OMG!Ubuntu! editors consider SuperTuxKart among one of the best games of the previous year. And we are confident the upcoming release will continue in the same vein, or track as it may be.

January 14, 2017

Happy new year and some news

Hi everyone!

A few months ago we released the lastest version of SuperTuxKart and while we haven't been active on the blog, we are working hard behind the scenes.

Networked multiplayer is our top priority and we split the team into two groups. Joerg Henrichs is currently working on the networking code while Marianne Gagnon, Jean-Manuel ClĂ©mençon and Benau are in charge of the other tasks related to the upcoming release.

Better performance

We have significantly improved the VRAM and RAM usage of the game engine. Previously, the game loaded all shared textures in the VRAM, even if they weren't displayed. Back in the day, when only a few tracks used shared textures, this wasn't really an issue, but now almost all tracks use them so a more clever system had to be designed. Now, the engine will load them only when needed, which reduces wasted VRAM. This means the game should be able to run more easily on low-end hardware.

There is also a new option that allows you to aggressively cut down non-essential high-poly details, like grass, which reduces both the VRAM usage and the general polycount.

Benau created a system to randomize colors for similar objects to create more interesting tracks with color variations. Previously, artists had to create different versions for each object which was not only time consuming but also bad for performance.

Only one texture and one model of car was used
Animations now use hardware skinning, which allows the same object to have different animations. This also means they will be computed by the GPU instead of the CPU, which should be faster.

Elderme, a new developer who joined the team last year, started to refactor the engine, which should make things easier for newcomers to understand the inner working of the game.

If you have experience in OpenGL/Vulkan and PBR (Physically Based Rendering) and want to be part of SuperTuxKart Team, please contact us.

Two new maps for SuperTuxKart

Those two tracks were, for a few years, in development hell, but finally we are ready to show you some screenshots.

Cornfield Crossing

First, Cornfield Crossing (codenamed Harvest during the development). The main inspiration behind the track was this amazing concept art done by Ozone.



The map is set in the fictional country of United Counties of Amerigo, during harvest season. Like all new tracks made since Cocoa Temple, the track is dedicated to one of our beloved characters:
Xue, The harvest mouse will be driving a giant combine, and her friends will be around the map encouraging the player.


You will be able to explore a region inspired by the great plains of the United States and Canada, with grain elevators, ranches, barns and much more.


Ravenbridge Mansion

The other track is called Ravenbridge Mansion. This Halloween-themed map will replace the old Blackhill Mansion.


The map is set in a spooky and dark swamp, home to the BSD beastie deamon, with his friend Gaveoche.


The future of SuperTuxKart


The upcoming release will feature two new new tracks "Ravenbridge Mansion" and "Cornfield Crossing". These new tracks are the latest two tracks of the current generation, a generation started two years ago with the release of Cocoa Temple, the first map that took advantage of Antarctica, our rendering engine.

The next generation will bring exciting things like Network Multiplayer, improved tracks and all cut scenes will be redone. Here is a sneak peak into the future

  • New modelling techniques will be introduced into the track modelling process : they now will be done by sculpting them. It allows artists a more creative and organic process.
  • The fabulous world of SuperTuxKart will be more detailed, but no worries for older platforms, since it's now possible to disable details.
  • Depending of changes in the engine, we might merge PBR rendering.
  • Smoother transition between textures and improved materials.

One of the next gen arena made with sculpting


We are also preparing two surprises with epic proportions. We will be revealing more information in the upcoming months ;).

The SuperTuxKart Team