Articles

  • We have released our next alpha build of Project OutFox, version 0.4.15! This build has a variety of fixes across the engine and many of our game types, with one mode in particular -- pump -- having a lion's share of fixes and improvements, and one game type featuring a brand new style.

    This build was first released earlier this week as 0.4.15.0; on 19 June 2022 a hotfix release known as 0.4.15.1 was released to fix a few additional bugs.

    Highlights

    modes-4.15.png

    pump

    The pump mode has a plethora of updates and fixes in this build; we have been working a lot in the background for this mode, but it required a lot of other things to be implemented beforehand, so it has taken a bit longer than planned to get this stuff off the ground.

    • This release has fixed a lot of the music length issues, including charts ending early, charts not ending at all, charts having missing notes due to the song finishing at the incorrect time, and charts ending after 2 seconds (single) / 7 seconds (double). The reason for a lot of all these quirks was due to the charting methods used in StepF2 and StepP1 being based off an older version of StepMania, which then had some custom code added by xMAx for those versions targeting pump only.
      • We would like to thank xMAx for their insight and assistance with implementing some of those features into Project OutFox, but due to the fact we are a multi-modal simulator we had to heavily rewrite and redesign a lot of the functions and systems behind the original ideas they had.
    • We have written a custom parser for the stepf2 charts which internally is called NotesLoaderPIU. This focuses on only parsing charts using the old editor and targets pump mode, including the custom note types, and the effects and systems the mode needs. The parser uses the SSC header #VERSION: 0.81 to initialise this pathway for those charts.
      • This can lead to a few issues if you have any dance charts using version 0.81; if you get any quirks, you can just change this version number to 0.83 and it will use the normal SSC parser. You can also create a blank file with the title ForcePIU in the song group folder, which will make the engine use the PIU loader automatically. This is case sensitive, so use it as written here for it to work.
    • This alpha also begins to add support for notes within braces { 0 | h | 1 | v }. At the moment only h notes are implemented, with s and v planned for the next main alpha.
    • pumpholds have also had a major rewrite this release as well, with the stepping and judgement logic being more appropriate to the game system, with ticks and head logic being fixed as well. There are still likely to be a few quirks with it, as it is new code, and do let us know if there are things you notice that are incorrect.
    • Warps and how they are hit were also reworked, along with some notes and rows overflowing which caused a lot of the issues on how the game calculated some of the file/song lengths in the music wheel and evaluation screens. The values sometimes recorded in the #LASTSECONDHINT and #MUSICLENGTH in the cache file may not actually marry up. The game has several options internally for ensuring that songs do not go crazy on time. Again, this logic is new, so there may be edge cases that need to be ironed out. If you find a chart that is not behaving, let the team know so we can see what is happening.
    • There was also a lot of older code removed from the ScreenGameplay branches of code that we inherited from older builds (3.x era) that we have removed as it was not really doing anything, and in some cases actually caused the new pump code to not function correctly. A few tweaks were also done for older .sm and .ksf charts and we fixed a lot of the math overflows due to the way the charts were implemented into the older SM build.

    For a better gameplay experience, we also recommend downloading the Infinitesimal theme, which provides a user experience faithful to the arcade games using original assets. Infinitesimal will also be the pump theme for Alpha V.

    be-mu and po-mu

    We had reports of the game being very unhappy with a lot of the earlier community charts from the BMS of Fighters series, and charts mainly created before 2009, so we have fixed a few of these not being parsed correctly.

    We also have restored the 4K “DDR in BMS" chart support that Squirrel accidentally broke when adjusting the channel support. This has now been fixed and those simfile are recognised as dance charts once again.

    There were also several crashes with the versus modes of po-mu and be-mu as well and these have been fixed as well, so 2 player works as intended.

    ds3ddx

    The ds3ddx mode now features styles with five foot panels.

    The upstream ds3ddx code from StepMania simulates the earlier iterations of 3DDX arcade games, which had four diagonal foot panels and four hand sensors in the cardinal directions. However, a newer Chinese dance game based on its gameplay, Dance Master Super Station (also known as E5 Online) added a fifth, center foot panel, making its gameplay closer-resemble Pump it Up. With this addition, we now simulate both generations of this "franchise".

    Similarly to kbx mode, the smart autogen system can import pump charts for play in this style, populating the foot panel columns.

    rtMIDI and portMIDI driver updates

    We have had a few requests to reimagine the MIDI drivers for those with DJ controllers or systems which use channels but send the same notes. The MIDI standard states a controller should be able to do this with the client application supporting the note/channel sent data, so we have changed the way this is done to ensure we are compliant. Crossfaders and rotary controls, as well as some pitch bend triggers do have some weird quirks at the moment, but as we don’t have any modes that support these at the moment do not try to map them as a control.

    We added up/down jog wheel support for those who play be-mu on MIDI, so this works as designed now for everyone using midi for their jogs.

    Downloads

    This is just a recap of the major, user-facing features and technical changes. You can read the full changelog on the Alpha 4.15.1 page on outfox.wiki.

    As always, be sure to report any bugs you encounter on either our issue tracker or Discord. Be sure to provide us with as much information as you can whenever you report an issue. We won't be able to fix bugs that aren't reported to us.

    Download 0.4.15.1

  • If you stopped by the Intel Gaming booth at PAX East in Boston last weekend, you might have noticed a dance game setup running Project OutFox! The setup featured the Step ManiaX pads, and a customized version of Sudospective's OutFox theme Superuser.

    It was a pleasant surprise to be featured at such a prominent event, so we would once again like to thank Intel and everyone else involved for choosing to use Project OutFox, and we hope everyone who played had fun!


  • Common splash.png

    Spring is here, and so is the next Project OutFox alpha build, 0.4.14! This build has a variety of fixes across the engine and many of our game types. Before we go any further, there is a major change that we need to acknowledge:

    Version numbering and profile folder

    To comply with requirements needed for us to deliver signed builds on Windows, and to make things more concise, we have changed our versioning scheme to drop the "5.3" prefix. We have adopted a x.y.z scheme derived from our existing versioning scheme for alpha builds, meaning that this build is known as 0.4.14, rather than 5.3 Alpha 4.14.0.

    This was one of the last things we needed to address in order to pass validation, so signed Windows binaries will be available this summer!

    To go along with this change, we have also changed the default locations for user data when Portable Mode is disabled. They are now located at:

    • Windows: %AppData%\Roaming\Project OutFox
    • macOS: ~/Library/Preferences/Project OutFox
    • Linux: ~/.project-outfox/

    If you have an existing .outfox-5.3 (Linux) or OutFox 5.3 (macOS and Windows) directory, all you need to do is rename it, and the game will pick it up as normal.

    Themes or systems which check for "StepMania" as the ProductFamily variable may need to be updated to account for these changes. We have reached out to the developers of the Simply Love theme to inform them of our changes, and they have let us know that the theme will be updated in due course. In the meantime, the GitHub page for 0.4.14 has patches for the theme's version detection mechanism, and to address a change in how we calculate when a song ends.

    Highlights

    0.4-modes.png

    Some of the major highlights in this build include:

    Gameplay

    We have rewritten and optimized the SSC chart parser, including fixing a notedata memory leak, and crashes when parsing large numbers of files. We have also fixed a few bugs relating to how we parse song lengths.

    We've fixed an issue with missing legacy high scores from Stats.xml, fixed the logic for the RequireStepOnMines metric in dance and smx, and fixed the DDR timing, as well as the ITG timing windows and scoring, in the LuaTimings and LuaScoring modules.

    We have also added a new type of speed mod, ConstAverage (CA)

    kbx

    The OTO and QUA parsers have received bug fixes, and now support SV (scroll gimmicks) and scroll factor respectively. Support for warps in OTO is coming later.

    We have added additional styles to kbx, taking it all the way to a maximum of 19 keys. LiftHolds have also been made less harsh.

    taiko

    We have finished the OTO parser: it can read everything, including SV (scroll gimmicks), and multiple charts in one folder, though holds/balloon notes are still shown as single notes at the moment. We also have a TJA parser for taiko, and have adjusted the hitsounds on the noteskins to be less laggy and more accurate.

    pump

    There are a number of bug fixes specific to the handling of song lengths in pump.

    para

    Following an overwhelming demand from the community, we have rewritten the old legacy Para Para Paradise PS2 controller driver to work on all platforms Project OutFox supports.

    To enable it, add para to the InputDrivers entry in Save/Preferences.ini; the controller must be plugged in before you start the game. On M1-based Macs, it is recommended that you use a USB-C hub that has built-in USB 2.0 ports for the best compatibility with older hardware.

    po-mu

    We have fixed po-mu's parsing of three-button charts, and also added a new pomu-nine-double (18-button) style, including native parsing of such charts from BME/PMS files.

    Editor

    Improvements continue to be made to the editor including:

    • Support for the stepstage game type.
    • Zoom with the mouse scroll wheel
    • Increased scroll speed when holding a button.
    • Option to toggle autosave
    • Support for adding Note Groups for taiko and stepstage
    • A new "Set Current Section as Attack Time" tool

    Serenity Volume II

    Earlier this week we announced the songs that will be featured in Serenity Volume II. Submissions for charts and song artwork officially open on March 27, 2022; see the linked news post for more information.

    Downloads

    This is just a recap of the major, user-facing features and technical changes. You can read the full changelog on the Alpha 4.14.0 page on outfox.wiki.

    As always, be sure to report any bugs you encounter on either our issue tracker or Discord. Be sure to provide us with as much information as you can whenever you report an issue. We won't be able to fix bugs that aren't reported to us.

    Download 0.4.14.1

  • We're happy to announce big and fresh news to our biggest community project, OutFox Serenity. Our team has been working very hard to make the future of Serenity even better and keep showcasing our community creativity, knowledge and skills, you'll not want to miss it.

    Serenity Volume 2

    The next major version of Serenity has finally come! As a reminder, since Volume 1 Winter Update all Serenity-related development has been moved to it's own dedicated Serenity server. For Volume 2, 10 new songs from a variety of genres have been chosen to reflect the even bigger number of game modes now available on OutFox compared to when Serenity was created. Here's the list:

    Songs

    chop chop

    Support via Bandcamp. "chop chop" is also featured on RaoulWB's own game, Fech The Ferret, go check it out!

    Sweeteners

    Support via Bandcamp.

    Beatucada

    Into My Dream

    Bounded Quietude

    Phycietiia

    Neutralize (PTB10 MIX)

    CRUSH THE DEVIL (IN MY BRAIN)

    Technological ≠ Emotional

    B-Happy

    Serenity Vol 2 Status Sheet

    In order to facilitate organizing things and communication it's crucial to let other people know what you're working on. With this in mind, make of use this THIS SPREADSHEET to keep track of how development for Serenity Vol 2 is going. Also, be sure to first join our Serenity Discord Server to have a quick and directly channel to talk, share ideas and feedback with other members and quickly get the latest info first hand as soon as possible.

    Serenity Playlist

    To accommodate for songs that are not already publicly available on streaming platforms like YouTube, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Deezer, etc. we decided to create our Serenity Playlist where you'll find the in-game cut of every song featured since Volume 1. There's links for full/extended versions, ways to support and artists' socials inside each video description for those interested. Check them out here:

    Compatibility

    Shortly after the Volume 1 launch we released a legacy version for use with older versions of StepMania 5, such as 5.0.12, 5.1 and some of its forks. We felt this was an important thing to do for our first launch, but after evaluating our analytics data it's clear not many people are interested in it. Moving forward, we have no plans to release more legacy packs that target those versions. One of Serenity's goals is to showcase and take advantage of OutFox's new features and gamemodes, including fixes and changes made to already existing modes. Naturally, to fully experience and enjoy it, it's always recommended to use the latest OutFox version available.

    Unfortunately, retrofitting Serenity content to create legacy versions is not an easy task. It takes a considerable amount of time and effort to troubleshoot and validate everything. First, all content made for new modes and styles has to be outright removed. Then, we have to manually check all remaining charts for note types, gimmicks, etc that only work on OutFox (which may not behave correctly or cause crashes on 5.x) and figure out what's the best course of action: edit the charts to make them playable, possibly taking away what the original creators envisioned for it, or simply remove those?

    That being said, those who may still want to play Serenity on legacy SM setups anyway at their discretion are free to fork our GitHub repository and do the required edits for their own personal use.

    Chart & Graphics Development Cycle

    Based on feedback and internal discussion, we also decided to give the community more time than ever before. With Serenity Volume 2, we're starting 27/03 till 16/07 with chart and graphics submissions, then we'll enter testing and QA phase from 17/07 to 31/07, resulting in around 123 days of development for our community to create charts.

    After much planning, we believe this will work better for everyone involved as it alleviates the pressure of having very limited time to participate while also having to manage their own personal matters. We expect to release at least 2 Serenity packs per year, both with more than 100 days of development cycle time for charts and graphics, featuring at least 6 new songs on each pack, going up to 10 songs. Of course, this may be subject to changes based on how much submissions the community brings and other factors.

    If you're interested in having your work being showcased, be it music/chart/graphic then come join our Serenity Discord Server.

    Music Submissions

    As we aim to make bigger and bigger Serenity packs, our search for more awesome music contributions from talented people also grows. If you make music or have any friends who create music and wish to be featured on future Serenity updates, please fill our online submission form, after reading our guidelines to make sure everything is cleared and safe for use.

    Music submissions are always open. Regardless if a volume is currently in development or not, we're always checking our submissions backlog and curating possible candidates for use and will contact you if we think something is fit.

  • A welcome back

    Busy time it has been for everyone everywhere, and this year shows no indication of being different, there are quite a lot of things to talk about since the last update, so get ready for a long read. However, there is one thing before all that is needed to make clear.

    Blog Updates

    On the November 2021 update, we announced that our next blog post would only be next year Feb (3 months of an interval), this is something that we wish to continue doing, while monthly updates are a constant case with OutFox and other OutFox Community Team Projects, it is not with Tiny-Foxes, the new interval of 3 months will help us connect such blog posts with other projects that we are soon to announce, so having this in mind, 3 months will be the minimum you'll have to wait, some might take a bit longer but we will try to keep it during that interval, thanks for the understanding.

    OutFox Serenity

    If you're not aware, we have already released the Winter Update for Volume I, you can check out the showcase here. Now is the time to talk about its development.

    Start

    2021 was very close to ending, while Vol 1 was a big hit, many members of OutFox Team we're discussing releasing more volumes constantly per year, even with the amount of content Vol 1 had, it would be too little of what we could do. Many agreed, but we were already too close to the end of the year that if we wanted to give proper time, we would have to instead, target a Winter Update with a focus on adding content to old songs, rather than adding 10 new songs with little time for the community to make content.

    Reveal and Development

    The songs for the Winter Update were then set:

    • Umi's Secret
    • Plasma
    • Low End Theory

    With a low amount of songs, we were sure our community would be able to make a good amount of content even with the busy time it was. Skipping to the deadline, 76 Charts have been created for 3 songs. Volume I Winter Update StepArtists had 50 days of development.

    Launch

    With the pack ready and set, we were ready to launch at any time, we decided to wait for OutFox's next alpha version to reach as many people as possible, which made us launch a bit later than expected but in the end, it was a good choice.

    What we learned

    While we were surprised at the amount of content the community was able to create in such a little time, we do not wish to apply such pressure again and decided to plan the date of future Serenity Volumes. As such, we have some news to share.

    OutFox Serenity Team

    This will be a busy year for OutFox Development and Releases. Meaning we had to create a team to pay attention only to Serenity.

    OutFox Serenity Team will be a subset of OutFox Community Team, meaning they do not represent or take part in OutFox Staff decisions. Two members have already joined:

    • Daniel Rotwind: Has contributed with the most amount of charts for serenity (52 at the time of writing), is the second highest art contributor for serenity (Behind only Lirodon who is part of OutFox Design Team) and helped with the creation of templates for beat-based game modes.

    • Sevish: Has contributed with "Some Things Must" song featured in Volume I, and reached out to help us normalize all songs for Serenity Packs.

    Each one of those and future members of the Serenity Team, work on a specific area in which they have already shown experience before, and as such, does not deal with any type of moderation for the project. If you create templates for OutFox Serenity, then we will gladly welcome you to try to join our team, if you do something else that you think might help us, be sure to reach us out on OutFox Serenity Server.

    Tiny-Foxes

    It is time for the repository updates!

    Tiny-Webini

    Update by moruzerinho6:

    Tiny-Webini was a tool used to help translate the Project OutFox Website, however, the backend has been updated to help properly translate many elements of the website, and as such, this tool is no longer much use, to maintain its update was also extremely time-consuming, having to recreate the website again but locally and with Electron.

    If you wish to translate the website, please reach out to us on our Discord Server.

    Simply Love OutFox

    Update by Jose_Varela:

    smtheme-soundwaves-community

    Update by Joehuu:

    sm5-legacy

    Updates by MrThatKid4:

    TF_Wheels

    Updates by Jousway:

    R.O.B.-Bot-Custom

    Update by R.O.B.-Bot:

    Added 3D/+ Versions of the OutFox Note/ITG noteskins for the SMX game mode.

    Aqui-Alpha-Noteskins

    Updates by Aqui:

    Had a new major release!

    • All elements resized and reworked accordingly.
    • New Mine and MineHold graphics.
    • More code reworks to maintain visual consistency across game modes.

    kitsu-template

    Updates by Sudospective:

    Changes:

    • NEW! Added support for Def.NoteField
    • NEW! Added Node type ModPlayer
    • Revamped internal library system
    • Fixed issues with mirin-syntax malformed Lua

    Full Changelog: v3.1.3...v4.0.0

    superuser-outfox

    While not much has been happening on the main branch, the stating branch is constantly getting updated with new stuff which is new to OutFox.

    Updates by Sudospective: (Stating branch)

    License

    Many repositories licenses have been updated to 2022.