Articles

  • 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.

    182070164-b155eaf9-b587-4cd5-9be5-5ec6b4cab6a9.jpg

    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.

    msedge_A3oarUz3hY.png

    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.

    msedge_F7QcspO1E9.png

    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

    Common splash.png

    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!

  • 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