Announcements

  • 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

  • Today we have not one, not two, but three big announcements:

    Project OutFox Alpha 4.9.10

    Project OutFox Alpha 4.9.10 builds upon the work and bug fixes from the Alpha 4.9.9 hotfix builds, and also contains some new internal features that serve as building blocks for current and future content:

    Alpha 4.9.10 contains a number of new details, features, and bug fixes for some of our game types;

    modes-diagram.png

    • The interactive sync/calibration process now supports other game types besides dance.
    • We have fixed issues with rate mods and the sound resampler.
    • In pump and taiko, we now support timing windows from both games (with pump having Normal, Hard, and Very Hard settings), and have added judgement fonts to them as well.
    • In pump, we also gave the default noteskin a refresh to improve visibility, and changed the design of the center panel graphic in response to feedback.
    • In gddm, we now support the older GDA format for BandJAM/GDAMania-era six-part drum charts. We also fixed a bug that caused crashes when loading DTX charts that don't use all nine lanes.
    • In beat, the noteskins have been updated to have button sprites under the receptor line.
    • As demonstrated in the OutFox Serenity trailer, we now support showing judgments per-column. By default, per-column judgements are displayed in modes that typically use them, such as gddm and popn.
    • We now support displaying a loading screen before gameplay when the game needs to load keysounds in game types such as beat and popn. Previously, this occurred over a black screen with the game appearing to hang, which was just a little disconcerting. The default theme features a reference implementation of this feature, but themers can customize it to their heart's content.

    As always, this is just a recap of the major, user-facing features. For a full change log, as well as a developer note from Squirrel over what had happened with Alpha 4.9.9, see the Alpha 4.9.10 page on outfox.wiki.

    Download

    OutFox Serenity Volume I released!

    serenity-bn.png

    OutFox Serenity Volume I has been released! Formerly known during development as the OutFox Community Pack, it features music by Aspid Cat, Drazil, Jack5, Matduke, mmry, PizeroFox, Seo, and Sevish. Alongside 4-panel (dance) and 5-panel (pump) charts, some of its songs also have beat, popn, techno (8- and 9-panel), gddm, and gdgf, and gh charts.

    More information

    A lot of (out)fox to give

    Project Moondance was a legacy brand used by our team early on, often in parallel with "OutFox" and "Team Rizu" (the name we used to initially refer to our main dev team). As our project and community evolved, however, this nomenclature became confusing, and we began the process of phasing out the "Project Moondance" and "Team Rizu" names in favour of just "Project OutFox", because everyone called it just "OutFox" anyway.

    As of today, we are beginning to migrate our main website from projectmoon.dance to projectoutfox.com. Right now, it is a redirect, but it will become the main URL soon (the old domain will still redirect, though). The site will also be updated over the next few weeks to reflect the new direction of our project, so stay tuned for future details!

  • We have been working on a new documentation wiki known as Outfox.wiki/, to provide in-depth information on how to play, create content for, and develop Project OutFox. We have deployed a new format and framework for the wiki to replace one that the webmaster, in retrospect, didn't think was flexible enough for our needs. While it features the same content as it had before, it also features:

    • A new visual appearance with more continuity with the main site.
    • Better organization
    • Cleaner URLs (no more weird outfox.wiki/#/example, we now have proper subdirectories). This did break all existing links to the wiki, so be sure to update your links if you have been linking to content on the wiki.

    Be sure to check back often, as it will be continually updated with new information as we go. Its content is drawn from a Git repository; commit access is limited to the development team, but you can always perform pull requests.

  • Hello everyone, hope you're having a good day, with the announce of Moondance Team and Team Rizu joining sides to create Team OutFox, we also created a new Twitter account focused only on that, expect everything about OutFox to be announced there too! Here's the link: https://twitter.com/projectoutfox

    Be sure to follow us so you don't lose anything, Narumi and the OutFox Team will do her best to keep you updated!

  • Hello everyone, we recently did changes to our internal team to reduce the amount of confusion related to how many teams we had and their naming. As of now, Moondance is not a thing anymore and we'll reference "Team Rizu" less, we hope this reduces any confusion that has been caused in the past, the new way our team works is the follow:

    • Mainly, there's only "OutFox Team" now.
    • Everyone from Moondance is officialy part of OutFox Team, more specifically the "OutFox Community Team"
    • The only effect on Tiny-Foxes is Moondance naming references removal.

    We have also updated our wiki to reflect easily how our team works now, see how it works.

    This however does not mean you can't join anymore, if you're looking to help with assets, community management, gamemodes..etc you can always reach the OutFox Team.

    Thanks for reading and have a nice day.

    Team Rizu

  • "An Alpha is never late, it arrives precisely when it means to!"

    Project OutFox 5.3 Alpha 4.9.8 has been released! There is a lot to go over with this release, including new game modes, user-facing features, and other internal bug fixes and improvements.

    Gameplay features

    Game types

    One of our major goals with 5.3 has been to improve its various gametypes, and add new ones never implemented in StepMania before. Many of them have been neglected for years or even a decade, so they have been buggy and incomplete.

    modes-diagram.png

    Alpha 4.9.8 contains improvements to a number of gametypes (including new styles, and updates to the parsers for BMS and PMS), as well as one brand-new gametype:

    • gdgf (renamed from "guitar"): We have added a 6-fret style. This mode and its sister drum gametype gddm will support a DTX loader in the future, but you can also use the built-in editor to author drum and guitar charts in the standard .SSC format too.
    • popn: This mode has been around for a very long time, but has not really had any support or been looked at since before 2010. It was side-lined into the BMS loader, which actually broke a lot of the needed changes PMS actually uses, and as a result most PMS files with 7 or 9 lanes, would be added to the game as beat 10-lane or 14-lane charts. We thank the anonymous reporter of this bug, as Squirrel took the time to investigate it and we decided to return a new modernised PMS loader to the game, which now correctly loads PMS songs as they should be. This also removes the oddity and edge crashes when anyone wished to play this mode on OutFox. With these changes. we have been able to load packs such as Colorful Channel with no issue.
      • The new loader can also handle long notes, the 06 (POOR), 07 (BG2) and 0A (LAYER 2) BGA channels, and the ITEM channel.
      • In addition, we have support for 3-lane (battle), 4-lane, 5-lane, and 7-lane charts, while community member Daniel has contributed several new noteskins specifically for popn mode too.

    115632725-40f41e80-a300-11eb-8d9d-479a82dcb6bf.jpg

    • para: A double style has been added.
    • techno: 9-panel and 18-panel styles have been added. In addition, a new version of Broadhead with column-based colors has been added as a global noteskin and as the default for techno.

    techno-double.jpg

    • gh: A new 5-fret (and 6-fret coming soon) gametype based on a collection of popular games that used a guitar-styled controller to press frets and strum along to bass and guitar parts of a song.
      • It can load charts in the .chart and .midi formats, and supports co-operative multiplayer (i.e. one player can play a bass or rhythm guitar chart while the other plays lead guitar, for example).
      • To implement this gametype, new note types were added, and internal changes were made so that its code doesn't have to be squished around dance-centric code.

    StepMania_WBuGwTLnhj.jpg

    All gametypes have access to features such as the built-in chart editor and modifier systems, allowing you to extend your content to as many as 52 styles in 14 gametypes as of this release.

    Most gametypes currently have a "preliminary" implementation, meaning that they are functional but may be missing features. They also run within the default Soundwaves theme, which was primarily designed for the dance gametype and its associated paradigms, and may not necessarily work well with all gametypes. The next phase of implementation will be to give each gametype a tailored theme and user experience, so that they will no longer have to be shoehorned into an interface they aren't meant for.

    Most of these modes are sadly-neglected and have been without support or a maintainer for upwards of a decade, so be a touch sympathetic to them if you decide to take the time to explore, they will be given the love they deserve. We are going to stop the trend of "adding new stuff then doing nothing with it" that was so common in the project we are formed from.

    Given that we now have more gametypes that aren't step-based over those that are, we have also made a decision to reinstate the Project OutFox name for our builds going forward rather than StepMania. None of this means we are abandoning step games, though.

    LiftHolds

    We have added a new option for hold and roll tails known as a "LiftHold", where the player must let go at the end of the hold. You can add them to charts by using DL instead of 3 to end a hold or roll in the .ssc file, while a modifier is available to change all holds and rolls in a chart to LiftHolds.

    lifthold-tail.png

    New pause menu

    Due to limitations in how pause menus are currently implemented in-game (we need to change it in order to support the new BGA layers needed for for BMS, PMS, and DTX. Plus, since it was an actor in ScreenGameplay overlay, it became invisible if a song [such as the majority of mod files] toggles its visibility), we have made a new implementation of one within the fallback theme.

    115640138-27f26a00-a30e-11eb-94f1-6cb697b01ace.png

    It appears instantly once the Back button is pressed; we may restore the existing "Hold Back to give up" behaviour as an option in the future.

    Theme developers can enable the new pause menu by setting the the metric UsePauseMenu=true under [ScreenGameplay]. A basic menu design is provided, but it can be customized by themes. We have maintained backwards compatibility with themes which do not enable it.

    Technical changes

    Timing changes

    Since Alpha 4.9.7GG we have slightly adjusted the renderer pipeline to optimize how we deal with frames within the kernel timer of the OS. This is to prepare for new sound/rendering drivers coming in the near future, but as we've found with a lot in this game, baby steps to fix little blockers before we do major updates. We also have removed more of the Rage engine in favour of modern mathematics algorithms, and this has needed a slight tweak to the order on how we draw things.

    if you find your median timing skews early or late (like the example below) after migrating to 4.9.8, take a moment to re-calibrate your offset.

    115966525-dcb2a400-a525-11eb-9888-538f322ba115.png

    Video upscaler

    We have implemented the ability to change the scaler algorithm used by FFmpeg for videos in Project OutFox, via the preference VideoUpScaleFilter. If you have an older system, take the time to experiment with the different algorithms and see how it affects your performance, as this will add a little load onto your system.

    • 0 - none (default; recommended for Raspberry Pi and low-end devices)
    • 1 - fast bilinear
    • 2 - bilinear
    • 3 - bicubic
    • 4 - X Sharpens + Contrast
    • 5 - Point
    • 6 - Area
    • 7 - Bicublin (recommended)
    • 8 - Gaussian
    • 9 - Sinc
    • 10 - Lanczos
    • 11 - Spline.

    Input

    We have added a new preference, UsingArcadePads, which will allow you to use the input driver for Python boards natively without any freezes. As per the "starworlds" StepMania branch, you need to set InputDrivers=Python23IO,SDL in Preferences.ini. This will set up your board driver, and allow you to use keyboard/XInput/Bluetooth controllers to control the game while you're on your pad (if you exclude SDL as input, you will have no keyboard input!).

    You will need to set UseOldJoystickMapping=0 as well, so the game will initialise the XInput controller driver alongside your Python board. This preference only currently supports the Python23IO driver, but will be expanded to Reflex and other drivers in the future.

    Release notes and download

    You can see the full changelog and download links for Alpha 4.9.8 here on GitHub, which has details on the other improvements and bug fixes featured in this build.

    Give all of the new modes a try and be sure to give us your feedback! You can visit the new r/OutFox for support and discussion of Project OutFox on Reddit, and stream Project OutFox on Twitch.

    OutFox Community Pack

    We are still accepting applications for music contributions, graphics artists, and charters for the OutFox Community Pack project. With the release of Alpha 4.9.8, we have added a series of new channels to the Project OutFox Discord server for organizing submissions, as we formally begin the process of producing the pack!

  • Hiya Everyone!

    We are not dead!

    We have encountered a few problems with some new mode implementations which have meant a slight rewrite and addenda to the note, scoring and hold system was in order. This, tied in with the latest Windows updates has meant our release schedule has slipped for this month, but do not fear, we are striving to fix the final bugs so we can get a release out to you all really soon.

    Following feedback, we will be looking at adding a new launcher and update system this fall, so it will make the update process easier. As is always the case: we will not require an online connection to play the game - nor will the update check/score uploading/etc. be forced/mandatory. If you are on an offline system or cabinet, we do not wish to interrupt this experience.

    The next build will contain some new modes. Please let us know what you think of these so that we can continue to widen the scope of our game, and remove the limitations on the engine placed upon us due to StepMania's original scope and design. A lot of the new mode work will require new note, scoring, and even notefield work so we can ensure not everything is forced within the 4-key paradigm as was in the past.

    We thank you for your continued support, and remember to stay safe out there.

    We appreciate you all,

    Team Rizu

    OutFox Community Pack

    We are still accepting music, graphics artists, and charters for the OutFox Community Pack project.

  • We are looking for legally-unencumbered music to include with Project OutFox in the future. Submissions must:

    • Be licensed under a free content license that permits modification and commercial use with attribution (preferably a recognized license such as Creative Commons CC-BY or BY-SA)
    • Not contain copyrighted material (i.e. no remixes of copyrighted songs, or use of legally-encumbered samples)

    If you have any questions or would like to submit or suggest music, join us on our Discord server! Our submission deadline is July 31, 2021.

  • We would like to provide an update on our roadmap for the next few months.

    StepMania 5.3 Alpha 5.0.0 is being pushed to December 2020, due to us wanting to get in a lot of new content and features in and test them thoroughly before releasing. We will continue our monthly fixes and dev streams during this period, so 4.8.5, 4.9 and 4.9.5 will be the September, October, and November builds respectively.

    With the level of new stuff planned we felt it wise to not rush it and ensure you folks get the experience you deserve. It'll also be a nice holiday present for those of you with some time off over the new year to enjoy the new game.

    4.8.0 is still on schedule; we are just applying some last minute fixes for Para mode, and we will talk about this more tomorrow on our developer stream which will be at 9:00 p.m. BST/ 4 p.m. EST.

    Thanks again for all your support and contributions, we truly are humbled by all the hard work you do for this community.

  • We have been hard at work on OutFox, as well as engaging with the community via other platforms -- such as our Discord server, and occasional development update streams on Twitch. As we approach our first public alpha release -- which will be released on December 15, 2019 -- we will be updating the site to reflect the progress we have been making.