October 17, 2015

SuperTuxKart 0.9.1 is released !

French translation available here

After countless hours of bug fixing, tweaking and improvements we are proud to announce the release of SuperTuxKart 0.9.1.

The gift package for donators has also been updated: it contains the new Candela City track, which is heavily featured in our new trailer. It's the first next generation track in a city inspired by various real places.

Candela City during the world fair

But the gift package contains more: Samuncle has updated Antediluvian Abyss, which was included as a sneak peak in the previous gift package. The underwater landscape has been improved and you can spot fishes swimming and underwater ruins.

While these tracks will most likely receive some more tweaks and minor improvements, they are otherwise finished. Both tracks from the gift package will of course be released as part of the core game in a future version of SuperTuxKart.

An ancient city at the bottom of the sea

If you want to support SuperTuxKart, we encourage you to go to our donation page, where you will be able to donate some money to this project, after which you will get the URL for the gift package. If you have donated US$5 or more in the past, please contact us, and you will get this new package without a new donation.

The track 'Carnaval del cacao' that was included in our previous gift package is now available for everyone as promised released under CC-BY 3.0 on our addons webpage.

Carnaval del cocoa The famous Val Verdian carnival

The core game wasn't forgotten either, and we are happy to show that the oldest track in SuperTuxKart - Oliver's Math Class - has finally received some love and attention:

Now we know the classroom number !

Other tracks were also updated to take advantage of the newer engine. Here some more screenshots:

Enjoying the Sun at Gran Paradiso
Extraterrestrial racing on a strange red planet
The spaceship just got a new data center

But we also did work on the core game and fixed and improved several bugs and issues. We have now the ability to change the direction of arrows (indicating in which direction to drive) when a track is driven in reverse, and we already utilize this in STK Enterprise. Some tweaking of the physics has taken place, hopefully resulting in more stable beahviour of karts, and we significantly improved audio handling. A very important and time consuming change was the introduction of scripting: this will allow track designers to include little scripts which are executed by STK to make tracks more dynamic. This allowed us to remove the tutorial implementation in C++, which is now done in AngelScript instead, and as a first example Cocoa Temple now includes barrels that can be destroyed. Hopefully this will result in more interesting and dynamic tracks in the future: you want monkeys to throw coconuts when the karts are coming closer, now you can do this. Finally, many challenges were tweaked to be more balanced.

As a quick look into the future: we are expecting to further improve the look of STK by replacing the current bitmap-based font system with a TTF renderer, which will hopefully make STK look better in various languages. More work on scripting is also planned, so if you are a 3d modeller and want to implement certain features in your track, let us know what functionality you need. And we have already started on the network implementation. And while this is nothing that will be finished in a month or two, we are working towards a release first with LAN-only support, followed by WAN support later.

As always the new version can be downloaded from http://supertuxkart.sourceforge.net/Downloads. We look forward to your feedback and comments (and contributions?). Also please be aware that this blog is not the right forum for support requests and bug reports - please use either our forum, or our bug tracker.

We hope you enjoy the 0.9.1 release!

September 30, 2015

SuperTuxKart 0.9.1 Release Candidate

French version available here

It's been a few months since the release of version 0.9, and we have since been busy fixing bugs, improving performance and doing other minor tweaks here and there. It's taken longer than we would have liked, but better late than never, the release candidate version 0.9.1 is now available!

We have improved the audio handling significantly and for the first time are using scripting in our overworld and tutorial, which removes a lot of hard-coded C++ code. Scripting is based on AngelScript and was the result of last year's Google Summer of Code work. We expect to use and enhance scripting steadily to make our tracks more dynamic.
Samuncle was also busy improving out tracks. Our oldest and most classical track "Oliver's Math Class" got a great makeover:

Subsea and Fort Magma have also been improved. Subsea actually includes part of a track which was included in our first donation package - we are well on the way to completely replace Subsea in the near future.

We are also working on brand new high quality tracks. They aren't fully ready, but we can show you these screenshots.  More information about them will be given in the coming days.

If you find any bug or have questions, please post on the forum ( http://supertuxkart.sourceforge.net/Community ). Please note that blog comments are not a recommended way to report bugs or ask for support.

Downloads https://sourceforge.net/projects/supertuxkart/files/SuperTuxKart/0.9.1-rc1/

April 21, 2015

SuperTuxKart 0.9 released

It has been a rather long time since our last official release - nearly one and a half year. But we have not been idle during this, actually more the opposite. The 0.9 release contains some significant changes - especially (though not only) visual changes:
High res version of the poster available here.
French translation of this article available here

Celebrating the new rendering engine

Pictures weren't enough to show the progress done. So our lead artist Samuncle did a trailer to present the new version

Vlj significantly updated our rendering engine. While it is still based on irrlicht, it now uses a modern OpenGL shader based backend. But to avoid confusion with vanilla irrlicht we decided to give it its own name: Antarctica. A brief overview of the graphical features implemented are on the Antarctica pages. The usage of an improved rendering gave our artists significant opportunities to improve the looks of SuperTuxKart:

This release contains two completely new designed high-quality tracks

Grand Paradiso Island, a beautiful tropical island famous for it's sandy beaches and the Princess Sara TransContinental Airport with spectacular landings: 
Royal Cupcake jetliner landing

Cocoa temple, a track in Val Verde, a south American country with ancient pyramids and massive jungles.
Mirarosas water lock
Many other tracks have been improved as well to make use of the new features, for example Northern Resort:
Sara racing with her snowmobile in the alpine village

Google Summer of Code

While Vlj has done significant work on the rendering backend, the original work on improving the looks was actually started by Cand during the 2013 Google Summer of Code (GSoC). We have participated twice in GSoC - in 2013 and 2014. If you don't know what GSoC is: it is an initiative by Google to support and extend Open Source development. Mentoring organisation, such as SuperTuxKart, mentor students for over two months full time, and google pays the students during this time. This is the first SuperTuxKart release to include the work done by students over the last two years. Besides Cand starting with a shader based rendering engine, this release also includes the work of Unitraxx (online features and voting for addons), Leyyin (improved admin interface and bug tracker for our addons web page), and Solistice (different kart physics). We also had Mcsab working on a stand alone track editor, which is included in the windows and linux binary package. Even though we decided not to participate in GSoC 2015, we have more exciting work from students in the pipeline for the next releases.
While this is all very good news, the one thing we have not progressed enough with for a release is online racing. This release does include important base features necessary for online racing (like online account creation, friends, ...), but support for online racing will be added over the next release in the 0.9 series.

Gnu in the airport terminal of Gran Paradiso Island

Highlights of the 0.9 release:

  • Fully shader-based rendering engine 
    •  New tracks Cocoa Temple and Gran Paradiso 
    • Graphical improvements to many other tracks
    • New karts Amanda, Gavroche, Sara (as wizard and racer)
    • Improved tux, adiumy, Suzanne and Xue.
  • Online login which allows to: 
    • connect with friends and see when they are playing 
    • vote for addons 
    • collect online achievements
  • Different kart physics
  • In-game Grand Prix editor
  • Random Grand Prix generation
  • Achievement system

But as can be expected, the improved features will increase the minimum hardware specs necessary to run SuperTuxKart. We have spent a lot of time trying to iron out bugs (not only our own, but especially bugs in various OpenGL drivers), and to support lower end hardware. The graphics hardware must at least support OpenGL 3.1 (which is 6 years old). Based on our somewhat limited testing the following graphics adapters should be fast enough at low graphics settings (go into settings, video to increase or decrease the graphical details):
  • ATI/AMD Radeon HD 3650 
  • Intel HD 3000
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8600
We also recommend your graphics adapter to have at least 1 GB VRAM available when playing. Note that these are estimates and weaker hardware may be able to run the game, but perhaps not at playable framerates. You should also have at least 600MB free hard drive space, 1GB free memory, and a 1.2 GHz processor.

Gift package for donations

We have one additional news items. Since we now support free online accounts for all players and we utilise our own servers, we do need donations to pay for the ongoing running and development costs (e.g. hardware). Many people have already donated in the past. We have decided to offer a thank-you package for all donators (new and in the past). Samuncle has worked on a new track, and the package will include a sneak peek of this track. It is fully playable, you can use it already in the Grand Prix editor, and play any race mode on it - welcome to Antediluvian Abyss:

This track will be included in the 0.9.1 release of SuperTuxKart, though additional work will be done. The package will also include some concepts art, and a special version of Cocoa Temple: "Carnival del Cocoa", the version used in our trailer. All work in the gift package is released under CC-BY-SA-NC 4.0. Any donation from our donation page of $1.00 or more (sorry, otherwise paypal's fees are too high, and we actually get nothing) will get a link to the download page for this package. For all previous donators: please send an email to supertuxkart.official at gmail dot com with the email address you used in your donation, and we will send you the link.

Finally, please note that the addons website has now moved to addons.supertuxkart.net. The previous website (stkaddons.net) is now read-only. SuperTuxKart 0.9 will only support addons from the new website, so all help is welcome to port addons to the new engine and submit them to the new addons repository!

Oh, before we forget - the most important point: you can download binaries for Linux, Windows (Windows Vista and newer, though we provide an unsupported XP binary as well), OSX (10.9 or newer) on our download page.

We hope you enjoy this release of SuperTuxKart. As always, we welcome feedback (but please be aware that neither a blog nor twitter is the right place for bug reports or support requests, use either our forum or bug tracker for that).

Your SuperTuxKart Team

March 31, 2015

SuperTuxKart 0.8.2 aka 0.9rc released

Hello everyone !

It has been a long time since the last blog post and after weeks of hard work, we are happy to announce the first release candidate for version 0.9. Yes, you read this correctly, it is 0.9, not as we initially said 0.8.2. The main reason for this larger jump in version numbers is that besides of significant better look compared with the previous release, e.g.:

we also decided to break backward compatibility with older addons - they need to be updated and re-exported to work with the improved lighting our new engine offers.

The main new features since version 0.8.1 is the switch from Irrlicht to Antarctica a new graphical engine. OpenGL 3 is now required, and the minimum supported requirements include an intel HD 3000 integrated GPU. Quite a bit of work has also been done to take us closer to online multiplayer (networking), including features like logging in and managing an online account, and online achievements. However, don't get too excited just now because the actual networked multiplayer gameplay is not yet ready to use (this will come in a future version).

Also note that the old addons website (http://stkaddons.net) will be switched to read only and be replaced by a new upgraded website (http://addons.supertuxkart.net/) ready for the new version. All help is welcome to port and/or create addons for the new version of the game! You can read the official documentation here.

You might also be wondering about the delay with the release candidate. After all, beta2 was released over two months ago. Besides fixing bugs (we have fixed over 330 bugs), we also found some issues with supporting older hardware (e.g. automatic resizing of large textures did not work as expected), and we wanted to try our best to make SuperTuxKart run on older hardware. But as mentioned above, you do need a more recent graphics card and driver. Especially if you have a more powerful graphics card, adjust the video settings till you find one that offers the best combination of looks and frame rate.

As usual, please note that blog comments are not approriate to get support, and that the forum is preferred for discussions and feedback (e.g. what graphical settings worked best with what card/driver/os combination).

You may find downloads for all major platforms here : https://sourceforge.net/projects/supertuxkart/files/SuperTuxKart/0.9-rc1/

Please enjoy! Report any bug you may find on the forum or on github, and remember that you can always help us with translating SuperTuxKart into your language!

Version fran├žaise ici

January 30, 2015

SuperTuxKart 0.8.2 Beta 2 and project let's make a track together :)

Hello everyone !

It has been roughly one month since we released the beta.
 We hope to have vastly improved the handling of different graphics cards, hopefully we detect better now if a driver needs updating, and which options to disable for certain cards and driver combinations. So a big thanks to all people who tested our first beta. Hopefully, our second beta will run much smoother on most platforms.

We also implemented a new register screen, which should make it easier to see if you are creating a new online account, use an existing account or want to play offline. And samuncle did more work on the "Gran Paradiso Island" track.

Project "Let's make a track together \o/"

Having a new engine requires some compromises. Sadly old addons won't be compatible with the the new SuperTuxKart. To help you make great tracks and karts we have started to make a series of tutorials. The track will be made as a community project. It will replace the old Shiny Suburbs with an Asian high tech metropol.

The video presenting the project
If you want more information about the project, go to our wiki.

We are waiting to see your beautiful concepts. Don't just follow blindly this tutorial. Make your own concepts, use your own ideas.

If you want to submit art, please use our forum http://goo.gl/1x2rPe

If you want to test STK 0.8.2 beta 2

Binaries for Windows, Linux and OSX are on our download page:

Just remember it is still a beta, so there are still some known bugs - one of which is that it crashes on OSX when you have more than one kart when you exit a race, which we only discovered yesterday (but apparently our first beta already had that problem). As always, please report bugs here, or even better on our bug tracker at: https://github.com/supertuxkart/stk-code/issues.