Articles

  • Common splash.png

    Happy Halloween! We've got a new release for you!

    Project OutFox 0.4.18.x marks the beginning of the "long-term stable" (LTS) phase for the 0.4.x branch, meaning that we now consider this branch of Project OutFox to be stable, and no longer require the "Alpha" branding. All future feature development will target the alpha 0.5.x branch (also branded as "Alpha V"), but we will continue to support the 0.4.x branch with bug fixes and performance improvements until December 2023.

    We will continue our monthly release schedule for 0.4.x until December 2022, after which it will move to a quarterly release schedule. This means there will be four more updates in 2023, with the last scheduled to be 0.4.24 in December 2023.

    Alongside the switch to LTS status, there's also a few major new features in 0.4.18:

    New mode: bongo!

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    bongo is Project OutFox's 18th game type, based on a console game first released in 2003. It has gameplay similar to taiko mode, except using a pair of bongos instead of a taiko drum, also incorporating a microphone input for clap notes.

    This mode supports the same chart formats we use for taiko, so existing TJA and OSU charts can automatically be parsed and converted to bongo charts as well. Just keep in mind that existing charts may not have been authored with this gameplay style in mind, and some holds and effects do break sync, but we will be fixing these issues in time as part of our ongoing work on `taiko. It will also receive a dedicated theme in a later release.

    We have designed this mode in collaboration with OpenTaiko, so that charts made using the new TJA letter types in the charting format will be cross-compatible moving forward.

    32-bit ARM legacy build

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    We have added a 32-bit ARM legacy Linux build, which is designed for 32-bit boards manufactured around the 2010s (2010-2016), often with a Tegra chip, with the ARM Cortex-based processors of the time. As with our other legacy builds, it is compiled using an older glibc from the Ubuntu 14.04 era. The photo above is from community member Chriswak, showing the game running on a Jetson TK1, a Nvidia Tegra development board.

    The extreme minimum requirement is a Linux distro with a glibc version of 2.19-2.21. To confirm your CXXABI and GLIBCXX versions, run the following commands;

    strings /usr/lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/libstdc++.so.6 | grep GLIBCXX
    strings /usr/lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/libstdc++.so.6 | grep CXXABI

    If your list does not show GLIBCXX_3.4.22 and CXXABI_1.3.11, you will need to update your system to GCC 7.0 (which is still supported even on these old distros) with the following commands (add sudo or run under a root shell);

    apt-get update -y 
    apt-get install software-properties-common -y 
    add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test -y 
    apt-get update -y 
    apt-get install gcc-7 g++-7 -y 
    update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-7 60 --slave /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-7 
    update-alternatives --config gcc

    New PandaLog system

    This month we also added a new logging system which will greatly help with any debugging needs that you have. There are now separate main, theme, crashlogs now, and these have varying levels of detail, depending on need. If you happen to have a crash or need to debug a theme or Lua script, this is now much easier to do.

    You can adjust the detail of the logs by setting the LogLevel preference in Save/Preferences.ini to a number between 1 and 5, with 0 giving full detail, and 5 giving the least detail.

    As we no longer follow the SM logging system, we have added a dummy info.txt to maintain compatibility with GrooveStats Launcher.

    New FFMPEG system

    This release also sees some changes to the FFMPEG builds used in OutFox. We had discovered there is a memory leak bug in the upstream code; while it doesn't really affect many of the video players out there generally, the code we use to acquire and display video data is based on the functions that are bugged in newer versions, so folks using banners or video backgrounds would end up with crashing and freezes due to this.

    We have reverted back to a much older 'bug free' build of 4.x for the time being until it is fixed upstream. If you get any quirks or errors on videos, do let us know; we tried a lot of different formats and videos commonly used, but we didn't cover everything!

    Linux joystick preference

    This build adds a support option for those folks on some builds which have had evdev issues with the newer kernels (5.1 and newer) making pads not show up.

    By default OutFox uses the event system, as this is recommended by distros like Ubuntu and Debian but with recent updates these can miss seeing pads and controllers.

    The new preference UseLinuxJS (Use Linux JoyStick) sets /js* by default, so folks can access the controllers correctly. If you want the older behaviour, take a moment to set this to 0 in your preference.ini file in the /save folder. We will keep an eye on this for now, and if you get access denied errors, ensure your user is in the input group using a terminal:

    sudo usermod -a -G input USERNAME

    where USERNAME is your current user (type whoami) to see what this is in a terminal. Let us know if you have any issues, and pop into the Discord server if you need any help!

    pump hold fixes

    This month we have been working with the players and developers of the Infinitesimal theme for pump with fixing the hold situation in the simulation of this mode. With a lot of revisions and testing, we can happily report that the holds are operating properly now, and we are grateful to those that gave their time helping us perfect it!

    Always on Top mode

    We have added a new AlwaysOnTop preference, as some streamers have reported that their capture methods have issues with the game unless it is always on top. This preference.

    Thanks to Zui and SHRMP0 on the Project OutFox Discord for making the suggestion known to us, and for our streamer friends for enjoying the game on different platforms.

    New AllowRotation Preference

    This preference was backported from alpha 0.5 as some of our users have requested support for rotational options. This preference is off by default, and allows rotation for portrait screens where the resolution/display is rotated, mainly for vertical orientations

    StepLastSeconds changes

    For songs which have multiple chart files in the folder, like pump, be-mu, po-mu, kbx via .osu, etc, there is a slight bug in the way the game sends the 'length' data to the theme/engine that counts stages at the moment. This is a long upstream bug and we are working on a fix in Alpha V, and will backport it when it is ready.

    The issue is, if some charts are different lengths, they will show correctly in screen game-play, but only display the LONGEST length in the music wheel, or 'ScreenSelectMusic' as it's known internally. Fixing this bug will also benefit other modes so it is something we want to work on.

    Updated Windows installer

    Last but not least, we've also given the Windows installer an update. We did some internal changes to how we generate and localize it, and gave it a fresh coat of paint. A Brazilian Portuguese localization has also been added.

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    Downloads

    This is just a recap of the major, user-facing features and technical changes in this release. You can read the full changelog on the 0.4.18 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 0.4.18.1

  • Get ready, the time for winter update has come with gifts for serenity, time to check the next songs out!

    Songs

    Halcyon

    Summer Overload

    Relaxation Piece of Conclusion

    Serenity Volume 2 Winter Update Status Spreadsheet

    As usual, you can make others aware of what you're working on by using our spreadsheets, leave a comment and our team will write it down when possible:

    Schedule

    Mission Date (DD/MM)
    Open Submissions 18/10/2022
    Testing Weeks 18/01/2023
    Testing Weeks End 31/01/2023

    Contributing

    Here are the ways you can contribute to this volume:

    Join our Discord Server

    We have a Serenity-focused discord server where you can interact with the serenity team and other members of the community who are also contributing.

    1. Click here to join. (or copy the invite code: mNcFU67mK7)
    2. After reading the rules channel, grab simfile templates inside the #simfile-templates channel, those will help with your development as they already have any required metadata such as bpm changes/author info/keysounds..etc. (It is important to note that you're not allowed to change the main chart header if you want to apply bpm changes/attack it should only take place in your chart)
    3. Submit your chart using the #chart-submission channel.

    If you want to contribute with graphics, use the #graphic-submissions channel, and make sure to read our graphics guidelines here.

    It's important to note that OutFox Serenity Volume 2 will be the last time we use the serenity exclusive discord server to accept submissions/tell where people should go, after submissions are closed we will switch back to the main Project OutFox Server.

    Open a Pull Request to our OutFox Serenity Repository

    If you know how to use Github, you can open a pull request to our repository, click here to open.

    Make sure you're targeting the right branch when making a pull request.

    Take your time and have fun making part of OutFox Serenity!

  • We would like to present a little roundup of some of the things going on in the world of Project OutFox!

    PAX West 2022 and TwitchCon

    After its previous appearance at PAX East earlier this year, the Intel Gaming booth and its Project OutFox setup returned for PAX West over the Labor Day long weekend! We would like to once again thank Intel and everyone else involved for choosing to use Project OutFox, and everyone who stopped by to give it a spin.

    Intel Gaming will also be at TwitchCon in San Diego this weekend (7-9 October 2022), so be sure to drop by and check it out! Use the hashtag #ProjectOutFox to share your photos/videos on social media; we would love to see them!

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    Project OutFox 0.4 LTS

    Our first long-term stable (LTS) build of Project OutFox will be the upcoming 0.4.18; there were a few final things that were unfinished in 0.4.17, so we decided to pull it when we spotted that there were issues. We have been working hard on fixing those bugs so the LTS build is actually stable, and will announce a public release date when it's ready.

    In the meantime, if you're interested in testing release candidates and pre-release builds for Project OutFox, you can join the testing program via the #pick-a-role channel on our Discord server.

    Serenity Volume II

    Our Serenity Volume II song pack was released last month, and we would like to thank everyone who contributed, and everyone who has checked it out!

    We have begun development on the "Winter update" for Volume II, just as we did with Volume I. We will have more details about its new songs very soon, so keep an eye out on Twitter and YouTube.

    Project OutFox Alpha 0.5

    Last but certainly not least, we have been hard at work on Project OutFox Alpha 0.5; right now we have been working on our new online system, the new default themes, and on making builds of the game that we can distribute via Steam.

    We have a growing number of users on our Discord who have been testing Project OutFox on the Steam Deck. We want to make sure that everyone is getting the best experience with Project OutFox, no matter where and how you play.

  • We have released our next alpha build of Project OutFox, version 0.4.16! As we have begun testing of alpha builds based on the upcoming 0.5.x branch, we are shifting the 0.4.x branch to long-term support status. This means that future changes will be limited to bug and performance fixes, and all new feature development will target the 0.5.x branch.

    Highlights

    Performance

    • We have pulled in updates to the Vorbis and SDL libraries, which provide us with a number of bug fixes and performance improvements.
    • This is our first public release to include a 64-bit Windows build, which will be available alongside our existing 32-bit builds. 64-bit builds have improved performance, and improved stability on installations with larger song libraries.
    • We have had a few reports about 'drift' on the Steam Deck, and we have done some testing as part of our development program for Alpha V and can confirm the game runs flawlessly in whichever mode you choose. We've had several users as well as our own deck in testing, and as we are well under way for our Steam launch this would be something that we and our testers would have noticed.

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    be-mu

    In be-mu, we have stabilised the way keysounds are loaded, and have fixed hidden 'lanes' that the mode supported that were not played. The parsing system has also seen another update, moving away from the legacy SM5 method and now properly defining and enabling all the lanes.

    StepMania could only mainly play a number of sounds related to the number of columns (lanes), and as the BMS reader was created for the historic "DDR in BMS" style charts, we had a lot of work to do to ensure proper expansion. These fixes enable the full keysound range, and properly displays and parses charts as it should.

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    In addition, we have added support for footpedal lanes on 5-key charts, which were popular in older simulators like nanasi. It heavily utilises channel 17, which some simulators double up as 'free scratch', but for ez2 fans, we wanted to keep it as close to what nanasi and others did back in the day.

    po-mu

    po-mu mode now also supports Player 1 11-19 channel modes, featured in nanasi and some other simulators from the early 2010s. This is sometimes known as "extended pomu". It can also play back the correct keysounds, including the player hidden, and any effect channels that can be used.

    Charts which did not use all the lanes for their mode, (7k o2j inspired lanes without scratch are an example) would often also not show up correctly, or be shifted by an entire column, or just parsed incorrectly. This has been fixed in this release, so 5K / 7K / 10K / 14K (no scratch) charts now read correctly. Thanks to Daniel and our friends at the BMS international community for reporting this to us.

    po-mu in BME files have also been given a proper update, and we have fixed the lane errors that were reported to us, thanks to those of you that took the time to point out our extended channels were wrong!

    We are happy now that the po-mu parser and the extender parser support matches what we aimed for in this mode, so we will finalise the notesloader with #RANK and #TOTAL support in Alpha V, which has the new lifebar and gauge code. Keep an eye out for the update!

    pump

    Thanks to all of our pump mode players that have been so patient while we work on getting the mode fixed up and right for you, I can appreciate you have been waiting for a long time for some of these issues to be resolved. We have fixed a few of the remaining timing issues and we hope these solve the weird gimmick issues we had before.

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    Thanks to shrmp0 and SheepyChris for helping us with the layout adjustments and column placement changes that are present in the engine this build; we should not expect themers to fix issues the engine really should have in built. A healthy engine makes a lightweight and fast theme.

    We will continue working on this mode into the end of the year, so we hope you'll enjoy the fixes as they come!

    Downloads

    This is just a recap of the major, user-facing features and technical changes. You can read the full changelog on the Alpha 4.16.0 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 0.4.16.0

  • OutFox Serenity

    Hello everyone!

    The testing weeks for OutFox Serenity Volume 2 just finished, thanks a lot to everyone who contributed, be sure to take your well-deserved rest as the pack releases with Project OutFox Alpha V.

    It has been some time since the start of Volume 2, since then, we had much time to request feedback and take decisions about the future of Serenity and how to better manage the space in which submissions are made, this blogpost will share important information about what we want to do in the future, how/why we decided such things, and how we expect it to benefit you as a player or as a Serenity Contributor.

    Development Time & Submission Space

    With Volume 2, we decided to give more time than usual for contributors to make graphics and charts, we took at face value the number of charts that were made for Volume 1 and how much time everyone had, it wasn't a good idea, many contributors shared their sentiment about waiting till the end to see what others wanted to make and the high timeframe removed some motivation, however, that wasn't all.

    If you aren't a member of our Discord Community, a key decision was made before Volume 2 that made OutFox Serenity a separate server from Project OutFox, this meant that everyone who wanted to contribute to OutFox Serenity would be required to join another server, the reason for such decision was to remove channels and roles from the main server to clear channel navigation and prepare for "plans". After some time, we noticed that fewer people would participate for lack of visibility, a member who joined our main server had no way of knowing that OutFox Serenity was even a thing, while good things came from having a different server, it only hurt the project.

    With that in mind, here are our plans for the future:

    • The next volume, OutFox Serenity Volume 2 Winter Update, will have a timeframe of around 3 months open for graphics and chart contribution. (Not including testing weeks)
    • With OutFox Serenity Volume 3, we will bring back the serenity channels to Project OutFox main server and archive the separate server. (No content will be lost)

    As to how we think this will help:

    • Our latest feedback request showed that many contributors see a 3-month timeframe as the perfect time to produce content.
    • Having the Serenity channels back to our main server will instantly open the visibility to more than 1800 users, it will also help Project OutFox Moderation Team not have to take care of two servers.

    OutFox Serenity Volume 2 Winter Update

    As you have read above, our next volume will be another Winter Update (or OutFox Serenity Volume 2.5 for some), some might remember that we planned to release 2 big packs this year, but we decided to move that content for something different.

    We won't reveal the submission start date as we want contributors to take their time without having to worry about Serenity.

    Just like Volume 1 Winter Update, Volume 2 Winter Update will add a small number of songs (3 songs) to focus more on adding charts for the past large bulk of new songs.

    OutFox Serenity Volume 3

    Volume 3 will be a different from other volumes in every way and will also redefine Serenity works, taking together feedback from the community and some crazy ideas we had.

    Seasons

    Many members shared their interest in Serenity "Seasons" and we always listened to such feedback and decided to take that to the test, here's how Seasons will work:

    • There's no upper limit, you can release updates to a Season even after it has been "released".
    • Each Season comes with 3 songs, they'll be released with a base SSC template, and templates for specific modes will be released when ready.
    • Serenity Volumes will get a new patch at the start of every month after it was revealed.
    • Each Season will add its content into their Volume folder, meaning all 4 seasons of Volume 3 will be added to "OutFox Serenity Volume 3".
    • Each Season will have its trailer of selected songs "jukebox style", but a volume release trailer won't be made anymore.
    • Seasons will follow Meteorological Seasons timing, which means:
      • Spring Season will release 3 new songs on 01/03.
      • Summer Season will release 3 new songs on 01/06.
      • Fall Season will release 3 new songs on 01/09.
      • Winter Season will release 3 new songs on 01/12.

    Having a constant flux of songs will help make the project feel more active, the small number of songs should give a healthy amount of charts for each and each year will close as if we had launched a big pack with 12 songs. It is important to note that we will allow songs to be released without song-specific graphics (which will fall back on their Volume specific Background/Banner/Jacket).

    OutFox Serenity Volume is planned to take place in 2023, expect more details to be shared later.

    Song License

    It is the main objective for OutFox Serenity to make a legal, safe, and full of content pack, this means that you must be allowed to play any chart you want, be it in public at a cab, streaming on Youtube/Twitch, or just having a time.

    The majority of songs included with OutFox Serenity use CC-BY licenses, which grants enough rights to make both the artist and player safe, however, you might have noticed that not all of them are like that and the more popular OutFox Serenity gets, the more non-CC-BY music submissions we get, we came with the following conclusion:

    ARR (All Rights Reserved) music submissions will be accepted by everyone as long we the artist agrees not to strike or go after anyone who streams/records/plays a chart that includes the Artist's song if played from Project OutFox or Project OutFox related products. We will update our submission and guidelines page to make it clear that if one submits music with such a license, you'll have agreed with such rules, otherwise your content will be removed and future submissions will not be accepted.

    Tiny-Foxes

    Now with the Tiny-Foxes news, it has been quite some time since our last blogpost as Project OutFox is working to get Alpha V out with new themes and features for Tiny-Foxes members to develop, but that hasn't stopped new ideas from being created.

    New Projects

    Fini

    A project which allows Project OutFox translators to separate each .ini section into its file.

    Features:


    OutFox-sk

    Created by jose1711, OutFox-sk is a repository that hosts a Slovak translation of Project OutFox!


    Rotwind-Noteskins

    Repository project which hosts noteskins of Daniel Rotwind for Project Outfox.


    Virtua-Steps

    This is a modification of the legacy theme from StepMania 5.0.x to be used as a theming playground of sorts trying to come up with something I personally feel proud of.

    Project Updates

    SM5-Arduino-Lighting

    Has been updated to mention more wiring methods.


    RyutoSetsujin-Customizations

    • Added pump noteskin.
    • Updated README.md

    Aozora-Alpha-Noteskins

    Alpha Noteskin Logo

    Has had a new release with a new kbx noteskin, alpha-kbx!

    This update introduces Alpha-KBX into the fold, a bar-based noteskin for exclusive use for the kbx gamemode.
    Be sure to copy the respective noteskins into the proper folders as to avoid problems!

    For alpha-arrows [Outfox Directory]\Appearance\NoteSkins\global

    For alpha-kbx [Outfox Directory]\Appearance\NoteSkins\kbx


    smtheme-soundwaves-community

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    Updated to have the same features as Project OutFox 4.15, you can download the new release here.


    JudgeFonts-by-MattMayuga

    • Added pump variant for Side Stars.
    • Added OutFox variant for Side Stars.
    • Added new variants for existing judgefonts.

    Here's an image to showcase how Side Stars OutFox looks:


    superuser-outfox

    Superuser Got a new release, Superuser v1.3.0!

    it's been 84 years...

    Sorry for the long pause on releases! I've been hard at work implementing a lot of things, including a Lua wheel! Big thanks to @Jousway for creating the wheels in the TF_Wheels repo as well as giving lots of help with mine!

    • Scrolling through the music wheel should be much smoother now.

    This new wheel is VERY different from what you're used to. It's not just one wheel either, it's two!

    • Group and song selection is now done through separate wheels.

    You may notice the little colorful chocolate pips on each song. It's a quick way to glance at what charts a song has.

    • "Chart pips" have been added to song panels in the song wheel.

    Not only that, but the group wheel has some neat stuff, too! People looking through packs can now see a short list of artists with songs in it!

    • Artist list, song count, and group banner are viewable on the group wheel.

    And finally, because this new wheel style is weird and confusing and scary, there's instructions on screen to help you through it.

    • Control information is presented on the song wheel and difficulty selection.

    ...oh right.

    • Difficulty selection is separated from song wheel.

    That's about all I have to summarize, be sure to check the commits and compare for more detailed changes!

    See you soon <3
    ~ Sudo

    Project OutFox Steam Workshop

    As many of you might know, Project OutFox will soon come to Steam, and Steam Workshop will be supported, this does not mean Tiny-Foxes will stop being supported, we're still in talks about it but Tiny-Foxes projects added into Steam Workshop will be considered semi-official and secure, this is important as moderation/license requirement will be taken seriously.

    That's it for now, see you next time!