Articles

  • Believe it or not, di bus can't swim!

    Common splash.png

    Project OutFox Alpha 4.10.0 has been released! This build has a collection of various bug fixes, as well as technical improvements to multiple game types!

    Game improvements

    beat/BMS

    In beat, we have made several improvements to the BMS parser:

    We have adjusted the way the game reads BMS difficulties. As a lot of the charts are seen as the same difficulty we would end up losing a lot of the information in them, and half of the charts would be missing and unplayable. We are in the process of improving this further for the new BMS theme for Alpha V, so it will be better in time.

    The BMS parser also now supports the Land Mine channel for the first time! In previous versions there was a blanket math overflow, which meant that a lot of the channels were not being identified correctly, and thus flagging for extended channels was not being used. Mine damage based on the channel value will be added next alpha.

    mines-bms.png

    Captured using Alpha V BMS theme in development.

    We have also improved its handling of Long Notes; we did not seem to parse these correctly due to the flag sometimes being applied in the wrong manner, which meant some of the holds were not being applied in charts.

    We have also restored #RANDOM support again this alpha, as it was still using a legacy codepath we did not clear up in 4.9.10, apologies for that! This alpha allows for the #RANDOM n where n is 1 onwards.

    This alpha also includes several behavioural changes in the way the files are parsed, allowing for the correct Base to be used in reading channels, and allowing us to enable the missing hidden sounds as well as the missing channels that were inaccessible before.

    po-mu/PMS

    Im po-mu, the PMS parser has been similarly updated to improve its handling of difficulties. We have been able to adjust the channels used for po-mu to support Land Mines for the first time as well, and this also includes BME based po-mu files are properly supported as well in this alpha. Though without locale emulation, they will not load in native Windows 10 at this time. A fix for this is coming soon.

    gddm

    gddm has had an internal reworking due to recommendations from members of the DTXMania community (thanks APPROVED!), to ensure that we do a few things a little bit more to how players expect.

    One of the important features is the ability to change the lane setting from 10 to 9 lane, or 9 to 10 lane, depending on the e-drum kit you have. We were already able to read and support multiple lanes in older alpha builds depending on the ‘dominant’ right hand lane, but now if the game does not spot it as the style you wish, you can change this in the options menu.

    135681903-45440040-29ac-4251-88eb-21a39da2f8fd.png

    Real mode is 10 lane, and New mode is 9 lane; this gives you the flexibility to play the game how you wish moving forwards with the new theme and makes things less awkward if you do not have a 10-piece e-drum kit.

    This alpha has also worked a bit more on the latency issues plaguing some users, we have tweaked the keysound flow a lot this build, so please give it a try and let us know if this has improved gameplay for this mode.

    This build also has had work on the Channel 02/BL support to remove the old BMS era restriction. This means any measure change/time signature change is now respected, and thanks to APPROVED to making this chart which was a literal BPM Change/Time Signature Change Spam Chart we were able to effectively fix this for good. This change is also reflected in the gdgf mode as well as the GDA parser.

    135686294-d108a3f1-888e-4332-ad2d-166432b1f178.png

    gdgf

    Before this alpha, all the game was able to use on this mode was Autogen-based charts, or charts made with the default SSC format. Thanks to Squirrel and Jousway, the parser has been finally fixed and implemented to allow 3-fret and 5-fret guitar and bass charts to finally load natively in-engine.

    gdgf is based on a row system. Our internal mechanism is column based, and has been for some time, so ensuring this methodology is carried over was important. We still have a lot to do before simulation is better here, so please bear with us. We do NOT support the holds that were introduced in DTXMania AL yet; these will be done at a later date.

    This mode also now supports full up, down, and forward wailing controls, as requested by members of the community. To map this you will need to ensure your controller has the options to allow for wailing, as many newer guitar controllers have special ‘button’ modes for wailing. We will add new controller pages to the wiki to help players set up their games in due course.

    StepMania_Fy7dNg8Cjx.png

    Guitar chart loaded from a DTX file. Captured using Alpha V gddm/gdgf theme in development.

    This mode also has the 6-fret custom mode that we promised back in the spring, as we know a lot of folks wanted 6-fret availability in OutFox. We have chosen cyan as the sixth fret to follow the colour scheme from the original.

    Due to these changes, we have changed the styles and noteskins used for gdgf, so existing charts and noteskins will have to be updated. We will be releasing a patch for our Serenity pack later this month.

    Thank you all for your patience while we worked on this, it was a slog to try to transpose the system to something our game recognises!

    We have also begun a project to develop a BMS-like BGF based parser for this mode, which will include all 6 frets. Squirrel will be adding the information for this on the wiki for discussion; feedback is more than welcome!

    gh

    We have continued to work on the internal mechanics on this mode, so do forgive us while we fix things!

    We have added a new Backplates directory to the Appearance folder (thanks Jous!), which can be used for scrolling textures applied to the notefield. In gh backplates are used for the note highway, but they can be enabled at the theme level in other game types as well.

    StepMania_TgivJsQzh6.jpg

    There is also new noteskin support within the engine, while the measure lines and textures now behave as expected. Thanks to those of you that requested these features. The internal notefield and scrolling system has seen some updates as well as we move towards Alpha V.

    dance

    The RNG system was given a revamp, the stageseed generation was also fixed, as well there is also better audio parsing. Thanks for all the reports of the odd edge cases with some of the odd ‘stuttering’ bits and pieces you sent in; this was due to an undesirable response in the sampler expecting a calculation from the ‘old’ resampler path that didn'’'t exist on the new resampler, so we tweaked it to stop this.

    There have been other engine adjustments too; we discovered a few other weird bugs in how the buffer works due to the new keysound code for BMS and po-mu, and this has resolved a bug for dance modes.

    techno

    We fixed the methodolody of the lifebars and the odd crashes with the styles and different play styles available to this mode. There were a lot of edge case crashes which we have fixed for now. In regards to styles, we WILL be fixing the ability to play different styles per player. It’s disabled for now to just prevent arcade cab crashes.

    Platform support

    macOS

    In addition to being signed and notarized, as of Alpha 4.9.10 our builds for macOS are now also a universal binary.

    Download

    This is just a recap of the major, user-facing features and technucal changes. You can read the full changelog on the Alpha 4.10.0 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 Alpha 4.10.0

  • It's September time! Welcome everyone, time to see your monthly blogpost, this month has been a bit chill as we're getting close to the end of 2021, now let's do this:

    TinyFoxes Status

    Speaking as the TinyFoxes creator, this project/organization has become bigger and more than I ever expected it to be, at the moment of writing this, we have 43 open source projects that range from translations to themes/noteskins/judgments/guides/tools/templates..etc. To think that this started as an organization to host OutFox language files, it obviously became more than that, and it reflects on the community vision of Tiny-Foxes.

    As a community manager of Project OutFox, I always keep a look at community comments, ideas, and how they see us and that gave me the opportunity to also see how TinyFoxes is seen as, some believe that it was created to control modding on OutFox so we can control the quality of those contents as an Alpha product, I want to clarify that this isn't my or OutFox Team intention, no content is forced to be on TinyFoxes to exist or to be considered by us, TinyFoxes is content approved and looked upon that will be showcased as officially verified community content, it's why we showcase at our official website.

    Anyone can submit content to TinyFoxes, you only need to contact the OutFox Team to verify if the content is allowed. Now, let's clarify some things:

    • Any content that is made for OutFox will be considered to join.
    • Content that is not made for OutFox but works will also be considered, but we will expect maintaining content to be future proof. (For example: CMD removal)
    • "What is considered OutFox content/Allowed on TinyFoxes?"
      • Themes
      • Tools that interacts, creates, updates, deletes OutFox files.
      • Noteskins
      • Judgments
      • Chart Pack(s)
      • Announcers
      • BGAnimations
      • Backgrounds
      • Toasties
      • OutFox related Guides.
      • Programming code made for OutFox.
      • OutFox Documentation (Research also counts)
    • "What is NOT considered OutFox content/Allowed on TinyFoxes?"
      • Exclusive SM5.1/5.2 or lower content made explicitly not to work on OutFox.
      • Non-original edits of created content.
      • Unlicensed content.

    With that out of the way, I'd like to announce that starting next year, TinyFoxes blogposts will be released every 4 months instead of each month, I hope this gives the community more time to finish their content before being featured.

    Project Updates

    OutFoxPTBR

    Archived lines for OutFox Alpha 4.9.10.

    Aqui-Alpha-Noteskins

    Had a major September 2021 update

    <- 2021 UPDATE ver 2.1 ->

    • Revised 8th note colour to better contrast against holds
    • Reverted Holds and Rolls to colour-coded blue and green
    • (help aozora can't reconcile with it for some reason)
    • adjusted mine colours

    New 2.1 tag created.

    RyutoSetsujin-Customizations

    Added new "popira" noteskin.

    Tiny-Web

    Updated RyutoSetsujin member information.

    OutFox-Web

    Updated to math recent website changes.

    Tiny-Webini

    Updated to match OutFox-Web.

    Released 1.9 Beta

    Matches websites changes after serenity pack release.

    • Removed FAQ page. (We have wiki now)
    • Updated About Page
    • Added Serenity Pack page (You can't translate everything)
    • Fixed missing "=" on elements properties.
    • Updated home page to showcase latest website elements
    • Removed the old move-freely page, will be supported again later.
    • Updated home page title (and as such, the program title)

    OutFox-zh-CN

    Updated contents for OutFox alpha 4.9.10.

    OutFox-Translations

    Updated zh-CN content for OutFox alpha 4.9.10.

    smtheme-soundwaves-community

    • Updated theme to match 4.9.10 soundwaves content/features.

    a4.9.10 tag created.


    That's it for now everyone, hope you all have a nice month, see ya.

  • "Alpha V" is our internal codename for the next major alpha of Project OutFox, Alpha 5.0; we have a number of new things planned for it, and one of them is a new default theme.

    While Soundwaves served us well as a transitional interface, it was still built around many of the same behaviours associated with StepMania, including a "one size fits all" approach to handling game types that is less than ideal, and dizzying options menus that even we have trouble navigating. Long story short, on Alpha V we plan to replace Soundwaves with a new default theme, which will be modern and better-suited to our current direction.

    Actually, no. There will not just be one replacement for Soundwaves, or two, or three. Our goal will be to give every major game type its own default theme. Each game has its own requirements, including different ways we need to render gameplay, different behaviours we have to simulate, and so on, so it quickly becomes unwieldy to put everything in the square hole as we have in the past. A general goal with these new themes will be a narrower focus, modularity, and improving support for different input methods. We are also aiming to support frequently-requested features, such as song favourites and different sorting methods.

    In this post, we will be previewing just a few of the new themes we have been working on, with a focus on those that have had the most in-engine work so far. You may have already seen in-game footage of some of these new themes in the OutFox Serenity trailer, or teased in discussions on our Discord server.

    Some of these images are mockups, and in any case the designs are subject to change based on feedback and implementation. If you have any feedback, ideas, or questions regarding these Alpha V, we have added a new #alpha5-wishlist channel to our Discord server where you can discuss them.

    pump

    Our new pump theme features a more familiar layout and control scheme, integrated with OutFox features such as our chart statistics and NPS displays, as well as mouse/touchscreen support.

    All screenshots are in-engine.

    dance

    The new dance theme is also being designed with mouse/touchscreen support in mind, carrying over popular features from Soundwaves, but with an overhauled codebase, a revamped workflow, and official support for vertical aspect ratios (portrait mode). The color scheme system from Soundwaves is also being revamped, making it easier to share your creations with the community.

    All screenshots are mockups except for the gameplay screenshot seen below, which is in-engine.

    para

    The para theme is designed to reflect the aesthetic of Eurobeat, downplaying scoring and visual chrome to put a more prominent focus on the gameplay and routines.

    All screenshots are in-engine.

    beat

    The beat mode is also set to receive a major overhaul, and we have some internal design concepts with a redesigned user experience, and a steampunk-inspired design.

    All screenshots are mockups.

    taiko

    This mode will feature a theme comprised of original assets, arranged to resemble a popular franchise involving a Japanese percussion instrument. Though, we've also brought in some of our original ideas, including an optional stats and NPS graph to show just how much of a storm you're drumming up.

    All screenshots are mockups.

    gddm/gdgf

    Also internally known as "concert", this theme is designed for both gdgf and gddm, and has a visual aesthetic inspired by live music. The gameplay screenshots showcase a combination of noteskins, theme-level code, and new theme features introduced on Alpha 4.9.10 that enable a more familiar gameplay layout.

    All screenshots are mockups except for the gameplay screenshot seen below, which is in-engine.

    gh

    Our new gh theme will have a more streamlined look and feel, and a more familiar workflow. We have also been testing out a new system for customizable "backplates" for notefields; while it was designed with gh in mind, it is also usable in other game types with a few simple theme metrics.

    All screenshots are mockups. Backplates are avaliable now in a nightly build.

    pomu

    And finally, Halloween is coming a little early! With a classic design, original characters, and being the first PMS/pomu client with multiplayer support, we hope that you'll have a lot of fun with this.

    All screenshots are mockups.

    This is just a small taste of what's to come; we will have more to share with you over the next few months, so stay tuned! Once again, if you have any feedback or suggestions about Alpha V, visit the #alpha5-wishlist channel on the Project OutFox Discord server.

  • Dear OutFox Community,

    As we move closer towards the release of Alpha V, and after the issues we had with the release of 4.9.9, we would like to address some of the things that as a team we have noticed over the past few months. As a community, we're not sure if the addition of a Discord server has caused some of these issues and behaviour, or if it's the fact that we are more easily accessible than if we were on a forum or IRC channel. We are writing this post to make our stance and that of our staff and volunteers, as well as those who contribute time or content to make the game better.

    We love OutFox, and still love a lot of the things that StepMania was. The name change was needed so we can sign our MacOS (and soon Windows) builds. There is no conspiracy about moving away from the core playerbase. There are no other issues about us 'abandoning' our dedication and efforts on improving StepMania via it's own repository in the future with some form of update from our team as discussed with Shakesoda. There is also no conspiracy theory about us hating 'dance' based games. Just because 4/5 panel is not literally everything we live and breathe does not make it correct for you to throw out misinformation or treat us in a way that moves toward literal cyberbullying to the team. We understand your passion and drive for the modes that you play, but this does not give you any right to try to enforce that view in a negative manner towards us.

    What we don't love at all is continued demands and entitlement - something that over the past two to three months has begun to get extremely volatile from certain communities and individuals. OutFox is not our life or existence. OutFox also is not our job. We code and develop (and support) OutFox as our fun and to drive us to do better. We will always do our best to fix things or do things as fast as possible, including updates, bugfixes, support, handling feature requests, supporting legacy 5.1/5.0 code, providing support for players who don't even use OutFox, etc. This also is true when that demand is your first or one of your only interactions with our team or server.

    Before you ask us, (or anyone else in your life) to do something for you, please take time to carefully consider what you are asking for, and where this expectation has come from. We are extremely patient and generous here at Project OutFox, so some expectation of us for very little in return is something we have become used to; including community support, bug support, even code support and providing test builds to fix issues folks have. What you are not entitled to however, is to expect some defined service level or response time, or to demand information at a whim. We do things as quickly as constraints of life allow. Whether that be minutes, hours, days or weeks, you have no entitlement to expect one or the other. The game gets improvements as and when - if you cannot see the improvements this brings to your specific mode of play, then that is a shame. As we improve the engine it benefits more than just a specified mode, and this is the future of OutFox. It will become more than what it was when we took the reins, and that is to support a brand new rhythm game sandbox moving forward.

    We thank you for continuing to support the project, but for the sanity of the team, we felt this issue needs to be addressed before it gets out of hand, or worse we suffer from the demands of people who do not consider how their actions affect the team.

    ~Project OutFox Team

  • Hi everyone, what a busy month, we managed to get one of our biggest projects done and we're definitely gonna talk about that, so get ready to read!

    OutFox Serenity

    If you haven't seen it already, a community pack was in the works and is now released with OutFox Alpha 4.9.10, the community team worked hard on this with the help from you to make this possible.

    You can read all about it here, but let's talk more about it, the progress, the problems we faced, and solutions, after all, transparency is the source of trust.

    The announcement of a community pack

    A new version of OutFox was coming, and it was one of our best-known versions yet, it added support for many gamemodes, new functions, new features, it was awesome and our team was also hyped about it so much that we came with the idea of a community pack after we saw the old attempts of it. We didn't really expect it to be as big as it is today but many people found the idea awesome so we ran with it.

    Submissions

    Now that we know a community pack is what people expect we need to open the contributions, with the help from Lirodon we created a page to open content submissions (which is still open btw) and saw the wave of people wanting to help, after some time we also created categories and channels for our Discord server as almost everyone who wanted to contribute was already there.

    Chart Organization

    This is the part where things get a bit tricky, we had internal files for up-to-date submissions and templates for our members, it felt good enough at the start but we quickly saw the problem.

    Most submissions included other charts from notes that are not completed yet, attacks were also affecting charts from other people, speed mods, changes, warps, and we had to waste way more time than expected fixing that.

    An unexpected situation happened with one of our community members where helping us manage the content got almost impossible so we had less management than usual which made things slower.

    We also noticed some of our internal files were in an unexpected folder, and more than half the files were missing because of that, WHOOPS.

    The testing week

    After some time we were able to things done to launch a testing week were people to help find missing content/issues with release candidates, it was really important and helped us discover what we couldn't find.

    The first day was a bomb of issues, but it quickly turned into just a few issues here and there later, this means the community is active and helpful and we thank everyone for that, really.

    Oh wait a second, this is a community pack and it includes charts, charts have notes and people want to know how hard those notes are, this means...RATING!!

    Yes...we didn't have a standard rating yet, but thanks to our active community we quickly were able to decide one, for dance, it was very split with ITG and DDR X, we choose DDR as more concrete reasons were given for it. The community then helped by re-rating every chart for every mode, which you can see here, again thanks to everyone for helping.

    Music license

    Some content wasn't licensed with CC, it was only given as a right for Project OutFox to distribute, while is good enough for us to release a game with it, it isn't for us to host on Github, we choose to respect the artist license decision and remove individual files from music that do not include/use a CC license and improved our credits to reach out to more content of the artist.

    Launch!

    With charts, graphics, music, everything ready we decided to launch the pack with next version of OutFox so branding content started to be made, Lirodon created this awesome trailer and the new splash screen which calls back to Serenity, our website was also changed to fit with those changes.

    What we learned

    Making a pack is both fun and rewarding for both the team and the community, it requires great work but it sure pays off. For the next volume, we will be using our Github repository to better manage the files with the content creators so they can interact in real-time with the files we have. With the experience we got, expect fewer errors and more communication between you and the team on how everything is going, this is also true for OutFox Development Team.

    New Project

    konko-module-system (by Sudospective)

    Konko is a module system based on the Kitsu template that allows for beat-based tweens without a gameplay screen or even a song.

    Konko is object-oriented. You can create nodes that act as extended actors that can have beat-based tweens appended to them. You can also create a global-ready or update function to add beat-based tweens to existing nodes.

    Projects Update

    Tiny-Web

    Updated to add konko-module-system

    Aqui-Alpha-Noteskins

    Got a 2021 update (part 1) with updated noteskin graphics.

    smtheme-soundwaves-community

    Got update with Alpha 4.9.9 theme content.

    kitsu-template

    Updated code structure, nodebuilder, and more functions.

    OutFoxWeb

    Updated content to reflect website changes.

    Tiny-Webini

    Update content to reflect with OutFoxWeb changes.

    RyutoSetsujin-Customizations

    Got a major update to its repository, content, and naming.

    TF_Wheels

    Fixed sorts, added new splash, added taiko support, fixed metrics, and new DDR HD note skins.

    OutFox-ja, OutFoxPTBR, OutFox-fr and OutFox-Translation

    Updated to add the new lines for OutFox 4.9.10


    That's it for this month, everyone, the team is gonna rest a bit and update the community pack with leftovers, but this doesn't mean exciting content isn't on the works, something new is coming to OutFox...just wait.