March 23, 2011

Graphical goodness

Time for another update, and since I didn't mention all the details last time, I can tout a few of them as new this time. Clever, don't you think? ;)

Track updates

There's a new water splash effect, so instead of bouncing on water you sink a bit through, see a nice particle effect and hear a splash sound. In XR591, there's a special acid splash instead. :)
Thunder and lightning has been added to 'Around the Lighthouse', and Fort Magma has new music made by Kalsan. Thanks!

A bunch of the tracks have gotten new names. 'Farm' is now called 'Bovine Barnyard', 'City' was renamed to 'Shiny Suburbs', 'Canyon' = 'Coyote Canyon', and 'Snow Mountain' is now 'Northern Resort' - easier to differentiate from 'Snow Peak'. Love them, loathe them, or do you have other suggestions? You're welcome to share your thoughts.
Also, the screenshots for the tracks have been updated, with a more over-view style instead of racing perspective.

Graphics changes

The tabs in 'Options' screen have been changed to an "accordion" layout, making space for the new UI tab where you can change theme and toggle "Show FPS" on or off.
And the graphics option have a nice tooltip showing what you do when changing the level in the effect slider. New stuff also include anti-aliasing and vsync (vertical sync) support.

Blender 2.5 is said to come out soon, so work has started on making the export scripts for STK work in 2.5. This is not a trivial move, and it might take some time, but it's being worked on now, which is good. LOD support has been added to SuperTuxKart, so track makers should take that into consideration since it will allow the game to run better on lower-end hardware, e.g. netbooks. LOD (level of detail) is already in use for karts, so only karts being close to you is animated, which should save some graphics power.
Furthermore, debug features for artists will also be featured in release builds from now on, so you won't have to get the latest SVN version in order to debug your track. However, it's not enabled by default, so you'll have to edit your STK config file in order to use the features.

Gameplay changes
If you've ever been hit three, four or even five times in a row, you might be glad to hear that after a hit, while the stars are swirling around your head cakes won't aim at you, nor will bowling balls explode on you anymore. You're still not invincible from area effect, so if you are close to another kart you might be affected by it being shot.

The minimal race GUI, which I touted last blog post, seems to be more likely not to become the default, at least not for 0.7.1. Which is a shame in my opinion, since the current GUI is way crowded, and minimal race GUI contains just the info you need. People reacted quite strongly against it, which was a bit surprising considering they hadn't even tried it yet. It has received larger map icons and player highlighting, which makes the map easier to use:
Disclaimer: this view is solely my own and does not represent the STK team in any way.
But for now, your beloved bloat is safe. ;)

Some inspiration from this was taken for multiplayer view, so there are no action messages in multiplayer anymore. They simply take up too much space and distracts the view. Imagine playing 3- or 4-player split-screen with all those messages coming in all the time.

Engine sounds and a few other sounds now takes kart amount into play, which makes multiplayer more enjoyable since the engine noise isn't doubled as before. The engine sounds themselves have also been replaced with better licensed ones, and this applies to a few other sounds as well. We're still hunting for a bowling roll and bowling hit sound with better licensing, so we some day can become fully DFSG-compliant.

Other misc changes lately include the move to Trac for bug reports, conversion of a bunch of textures to jpeg to save space, and the move from gettext to tinygettext.

And that's that. If I have forgotten anything noteworthy, well, drop me a note. ;)


  1. Can't wait for the new version!

  2. Could you compile this version for mac osx or give us a guess on when 0.7.1 will be released.

  3. We don't provide daily builds, but expect a beta release (or perhaps even a rc1) in (say) two weeks - if everything goes as planned.

  4. Good Job, I'm waiting for the new version.

  5. It looks awesome! Minimal race GUI sucks :)

  6. The version is another nice step into the right direction. Especially the new versions of the tracks are really awesome!!!

    About the minimal race GUI:
    I am not really convinced about it. You lose information like the "who is on which position" or your exact speed.

  7. Wow! Nice improvements! I can't wait for the final version to come out! I'm so glad minimal race GUI has not became default, in my opinion the actual GUI is perfect. Anyway, I think the best you can do is to make the race GUI customizable, I know is not as easy as saying it but then everyone will be happy and the game would win a great option.

  8. Well, I hope my trolling was so obvious nobody got offended by it. ;)

    IMO, the current GUI is distracting. Constant funny messages that you probably won't have time to read, "woobly" rank display on the left (which really doesn't work too well - it doesn't focus on you, and if you fall below say 8th or 9th place you won't even see yourself there - especially bad in multiplayer), and a speedometer that's of no real use are for me the definition of bloat. Top that with a map that's too small to be of any good use, and you get the current race GUI.

    The rank display is substituted for a much more usable map in minimal race GUI, where icons are large enough to show where other players are, and not just which position they are on. And you have your own rank as text anyway. Really, it's so much better as there's not as much duplication of info, and the map is actually useful now.

    Speedometer is of no real use, I said. A bold statement. I also thought no speedometer would be a hindrance. But really, if you are at normal top speed, and want to use nitro effectively, you just use it in small bursts as before. No use for the visual confirmation that your speed is increasing. And if you are under normal top speed, you should notice anyway and use some nitro to obtain higher speed. STK is not a rally game where you must measure the speed and lower the speed for a sharp corner. With the current physics, you aim to get highest speed possible all the time, so you don't need to know how many tux feet per second you are making.

    There's a chance minimal race GUI will be optional in 0.7.1, so hopefully more people will "see the light" after trying it (for more than half a track; it takes some time getting used to but afterwards you'll never look back). ;)

  9. Now after hearing that it sounds not to bad. ;) I am very curious and looking forward to the next release.

  10. Dear friends,

    I don't know whether this has been discussed before, but it seems to me that some of the available tracks are missing on its Windows 7 version.

    After installing the game, I've seen some directories under data/tracks directory, such as "Stadium", which I was used to play on its 0.6 version but simply doesn't appear on its 0.7 version.

    New tracks I downloaded from your website didn't work as well, except for "The Cube".

    I am using portuguese language version because I live in Brazil, but I've seen it's written in Portugal portuguese language. I wish we could change languages as well. Could these bugs be a language issue?

    I'm really enjoying this game, I'm ready to download new future versions, but I think I need to ask you this.

    Best regards,


  11. I forgot to tell you: game oftenly stops working under Windows 7 and this forces me to restart the game. This annoys me but I keep playing anyway.

  12. Hi Franklin,

    Stadium is an arena for battle mode, so in order to access it you will need to start a multiplayer game and select battle mode. The stadium track for STK 0.6 is indeed no more available in STK 0.7.

    Regarding the add-on website, indeed it's very much work-in-progress and the current contents are mostly outdated. This should be fixed eventually.

    Regarding the crashes, STK 0.7.1 should come soon and fix several crashes, hopefully that will fix your problems

  13. Oh, and I forgot a point. STK 0.7.1 will allow you to change the language as you wish, so Brazilian portuguese VS portuguse will no more be an issue.

  14. Dear Auria,

    thanks for your answers. I can't find "battle mode" in STK, where can I find it, or when is it activated? I can't find its multiplayer game.

    A little suggestion: would it be complicated for the development team to include a "replay" which displays last racing seconds? Some situations are quite funny and I wish I could watch them again, view from other angles or cameras, or even save them to watch it later.

    Sorry if my english is not that fluent, I haven't been practicing it lately.

    Best regards,


  15. Hi Franklin,

    you might consider posting in our forum, since this is the more 'appropriate' forum for questions.

    To use battle mode you have to play split screen multiplayer, there is atm no support for the computer to play battle mode. Then you can select battle mode (where in single player mode you select race, time trial, follow-the-leader), and will get the battle tracks.

    Re replay: That's scheduled to be implemented at 0.8.1.