Releases

  • Common splash.png

    Happy 2022! We're celebrating the new year with the second half of our second anniversary celebration, Alpha 4.12.0! This build includes some bug fixes and improvements over 4.11.0, and also introduces a few major changes which we will go over right now:

    Unicode support

    Alpha 4.12 has very long overdue extended character support in the file handlers. BMS and DTX files use different encodings to .SSC and .SM simfiles, and in the past, they often showed up as garbage characters, or mojibake characters which could not be easily read into the game. A simple fix for this was to convert the simfile into UTF8, but with many hundreds of files, this is not reasonable to ask of players.

    OutFox_ZwDcFakbTR.png

    Captured using Alpha V DTX theme in development.

    This build correctly can detect the encoding with no user interaction, and will load them as expected into the correct game mode, including:

    • ANSI/Windows Extended (SMA/BMS/DWI/KSF)
    • SHIFT-JIS (BMS/BME/PMS/DTX/GDA/TJA)
    • UTF-8 (DTX/BME/SSC/SM/OTO)
    • UTF-8 BOM (GDA/DTX)
    • UTF-8 Extended (TJA/BME/DTX)
    • UTF-16 (DTX)
    • UTF-16LE (DTX)
    • UTF-16LE BOM (DTX)
    • UCS-2 (DTX)

    Songs taking advantage of this change will take a little longer to parse and load on startup, but there will be opportunities to optimize it.

    Game modes

    4.9.12-modes.png

    Throughout 2021, Project OutFox began to position itself as a multi-game engine, designed to be more of a working museum dedicated to preserving the history of rhythm gaming. We have been building upon and fixing game types that were inherited from the StepMania codebase, as well as implementing new game types that have never been implemented in StepMania before.

    Alpha 4.11 and 4.12 respectively include two major new game types that we hope you'll have fun exploring and making content for:

    smx

    Alpha 4.11 introduced initial support for smx, a simulation of Step Revolution's StepManiaX - a five-panel game type that uses a similar layout to dance, except with a center panel. We have also implemented beat bars in this mode that show the locations of stops and BPM changes.

    msedge_O1nvzW88Ek.png msedge_UMRqgiMs6d.png

    To help support Step Revolution and the official StepManiaX game, we ask that you not rip or use official assets and songs from the game in OutFox. We will not support the arcade game's timings (this mode plays best with the ITG timing windows) or file format, so please do not ask us to add them! The winter update to OutFox Serenity Volume 1 will add smx charts, and you can author your own smx charts in the editor.

    kb7

    On Alpha 4.12, we have removed kb7, a mode that was originally developed by the SSC. There were many players who wanted it to be more than it was, but the mode was generally used by a small set of players, and the original creators of the mode also wished for it to be retired when we got the chance. We salute the mode and what it did for StepMania at the time.

    But fear not, keyboard players, as we are proud to present...

    kbx

    kbx is a revamp and rewrite of the kb7 mode, aimed at players that wanted a specific down-scrolling game mode, but with different sets of columns. We of course have varying modes with different sets and styles already, but there was no actual option to have things set in one specific place and one specific mode for it.

    msedge_YeVIIt6H34.png

    kbx supports 1 to 15 columns, and is a single-player mode. It will eventually get its own theme and other mechanics, but for now, it will fallback to our usual theme, but this does not make it any less playable!

    We have decided to follow the playstyle of ez2 and o2Jam-styled games, but with our own little twist on things as is common with OutFox modes. In the future, there will be options to set this mode up to how you prefer, with styles and timing/scoring modes available to change up and adjust as always. The default noteskin for kbx is based upon the synthwave aesthetic, and this look will carry into its eventual theme as well. To help you learn and become comfortable with this mode, some of the noteskins are set up to display the key binding for each column below it.

    Another unique aspect about this mode is that it will automatically autogen charts for existing songs too; i.e. songs with dance-single charts will show up as autogen 4K charts, pump-single and smx-single will show up as autogen 5K charts, dance-double will show up as 8K, etc.

    To make this mode more accessible, we have also included a chart modifier that allows you to replace LiftHolds with normal holds. This was based on feedback from players, who felt that how they are used in charts may increase difficulty or make the game overly punishing.

    Our default keyboard mappings can be seen below, but as always everything is completely remappable! You can also assign controllers, MIDI input, drums, DJ controllers, pads, etc. to this and play in any way you like!

    kbx.png

    To help improve performance, kbx does not support using modifiers in the same way that other modes such as dance does. You may be wondering why we took the time to write a "slimmer" Player Options for this mode. In honesty, there are a lot of things happening in the background we don't use in some modes, and we wanted to try out turning some of these things off to see how it works with the game and performance styles.

    OTO parser

    We have also begun work on an OTO parser to enable osu and osz file support! We support the mania mode (3) at this time (we were unable to finish the taitai (1) support in time, it will come soon). The game reads them and can play them with synched video and BG changes, but we do not support osr or osb at this time.

    Place song folders with OTO files into a group folder as you do with other simfiles, and they will be parsed as kbx charts. This mode supports multiple difficulties per folder, and will not make some versions 'disappear' as the old versions did. If there are multiple different songs in the same folder, the OTO parser can read and differentiate between the chart and its song/background, meaning you do not need to swap out anything or move stuff to individual folders. We will look into making this option available to other modes in the future. This new parser is based off of the .chart parser using line by line, splitting up each section into its own loading function.

    Input

    MIDI

    Project OutFox's portmidi driver has exited the beta stage on Alpha 4.12.0; this driver was written to accommodate the use of MIDI drumkits with the gddm mode. This was the first time that our engine contained a fully functioning cross platform MIDI driver, the previous semi-broken win32-midi being Windows-only. This new driver offers a 1 millisecond clock timer and near real-time input on Linux and macOS, but only supports one device connected to the system.

    We are in the process of designing a MIDI-based FSR controller for modes which need it, as the MIDI system is currently the lowest latency for Windows-based systems. We hope to open source this in time, when the code is better (and Squirrel has the time).

    The reason we kept it in beta for so long was there was an identified need to have a MIDI driver capable of supporting more than one MIDI input device, as had been requested by be-mu and gddm players, like DTXMania has, being able to add a second device to enable menu control, or to enable non-standard setups, for example pedals or ride cymbals from a second kit.

    To assist with this need, we added another MIDI driver to the game, rtmidi. This driver allows for more than one device support compared to our portmidi driver, which is limited to a single device, like an e-drum kit, or a DJ controller. rtmidi allows for more than one device to be connected for two-player use, or for extra control for menu options for example.

    The new rtmidi driver can be added to your Preferences.ini if you wish to use it:

    # Windows
    
    ## portmidi - you only have one device
    InputDrivers=portmidi,legacy,minisdl
    
    ## rtmidi - you have more than one device
    InputDrivers=rtmidi,legacy,minisdl
    # macOS (M1 and Intel)
    
    ## portmidi - you only have one device):
    InputDrivers=portmidi,SDL
    
    ## rtmidi - you have more than one device):
    InputDrivers=rtmidi,SDL
    # Linux (x86_64/ARM/Raspberry Pi)
    
    ## portmidi - you only have one device):
    InputDrivers=portmidi,SDL
    
    ## rtmidi - you have more than one device):
    InputDrivers=rtmidi,SDL

    Windows legacy input by default

    If you have been reading the previous changelogs, we have been testing a slightly modified version of the old SM 4.x/5.x input driver for those that prefer the 'feel' of that era in input timing. Until the new GA driver is finished (we are waiting for the Q1 2022 Windows 10/Windows 11 update), we will set this driver as default from this alpha.

    If you are on an established Preferences.ini, to use it you can follow the style above:

    legacy (Windows Only)

    InputDrivers=legacy,minisdl

    You can also leave this blank, or add MIDI if you plan to play DTX or use a MIDI based input device in the future. You will need the minisdl input driver for your window and operating system controllers, it allows for a smaller footprint on the game, and for your Windows based playback this is important at the moment. It shows up in the 'test input' screen as 'Window Handler (aux)' so you have window controls, and full-screen etc support while keeping the base drivers compact. This driver will be default on all operating systems in due course, when the GA driver is complete.

    If you however need to have an XInput supported device, or you have an advanced setup, you can reset the driver to how it was before this alpha with a simple change in your Preferences.ini:

    SDL Driver (Windows Only)

    InputDrivers=SDL

    This will enable the support for the XInput system, and the legacy system in the default theme experimental options, (the UseOldJoystickMapping one) which will allow you to switch between the options.

    If you use a ParaParaParadise controller you will need to add the Para Driver (Windows only right now!) before your options in preferences.

    Legacy Driver (Windows Only)

    InputDrivers=Para,legacy,minisdl

    SDL Driver (Windows Only)

    InputDrivers=Para,SDL

    If you use a Reflex controller, you have several options, however it is best on Windows if you use the new legacy driver for now. To enable the Reflex controller, you need to add the following to your entry: (please note: You need legacy for keyboard input and to avoid HIDAPI problems!)

    (Only one player is supported at this time, however if there is demand we can add more player support! Bug Squirrel for more information!)

    Reflex Driver (Windows Only)

    InputDrivers=Reflex,legacy,minisdl

    If you have a Python 2/3 controller, like the above set up for the Reflex you can simply add your entry here, (remember to set up your COM ports etc as seen in the Windows Device Manager) and remember that this device is not seen in Windows 8 or higher due to the change in the way USB controllers became emulated.

    Windows Only

    InputDrivers=Python23IO,legacy,minisdl

    If you have a RTIO controller, you need to add this as the other controllers, remember that legacy gives you keyboard and mouse support.

    Windows Only

    InputDrivers=Rtio,legacy,minisdl

    Linux i386 and Windows 7 builds

    For Alpha 4.12.0, we have produced a build for 32-bit Linux i386 systems, which supports systems as far back as Ubuntu 14.04. This build is something that we have not done in a while, so be sure to provide us with bug reports if you find any issues.

    In addition, we have also produced a specific build for Windows 7, as the tools needed for us to build Project OutFox for Windows 11 are not quite compatible with older versions.

    You can download these builds from the GitHub release page

    Download

    This is just a recap of the major, user-facing features and technical changes. You can read the full changelog on the Alpha 4.12.0 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 4.12.0

  • Do you know why we stopped the car?

    Common splash.png

    December 16 marks the two-year anniversary of the first public alpha release of Project OutFox; we would like to once again thank you for all the support and good vibes you have brought us as we work on this project. We have some big plans for OutFox in 2022, including new themes and touchscreen support, a new online system, and of course new modes and other modernizations!

    5.3 Alpha 4.11 is our Second Anniversary Edition release; it is mainly focused on bug fixes and performance improvements, but we've also slipped in a few little previews of things we're working on for a future release (hint: try pressing F1 when you're in the editor).

    There are a few important changes to note:

    • The names used for the executable and the directories for installation, save data, etc. have been changed from "StepMania"/StepMania 5.3" to "OutFox". This is part of the rebranding process that began on Alpha 4.9.8, and is needed to comply with the requirements for code signing and Microsoft SmartScreen verification. It also reduces the risk of conflicts with older versions of StepMania, so OutFox can be safely installed alongside StepMania 5.x without the risk of it overwriting or damaging profiles or stored scores..
      • Due to this change, you will need to move your profiles over to this new version. The old version will also need to be uninstalled manually; sorry about all of this, it is just for this update. On Windows, the uninstaller does not delete the Save folder, so you can specify your existing directory when installing Alpha 4.11.0 if you prefer.
    • The beat and popn game types have been renamed to be-mu and po-mu; this change does not affect the ability to load chart files with the old names, but you will have to rename the folders accordingly if you have noteskins for those game types.

    Download

    This is just a recap of the major, user-facing features and technical changes. You can read the full changelog on the Alpha 4.11.0 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 4.11.0

  • 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

  • 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!

  • Edit 3 (2021-08-08): We have released a third hotfix build; we finally fixed the annoying RageFile glitch that was causing the hash system to be different from StepMania 5.1/5.0.12. Sorry about all this hassle, we fixed a wedge of bugs in the loading system, but did not expect everyone to have built massive amounts of stuff on top of these bugs being there, so we have adjusted the system so backward compatible themes/API/ScoreShare/Groovestats/etc. work again once more. A build is also avaliable for Intel-based Macintosh again; we had run into difficulties preventing an Intel-compatible build of the previous hotfix build.

    Edit 3 (2021-08-06): We have released one more hotfix build, HF2. It includes a few things we were going to leave to the next release, but as we had to fix bugs in them anyway, it was easier to just add them now.

    Alpha 4.9.9HF

    We had pulled Alpha 4.9.9 shortly after release in order to fix some late-breaking bugs. But now that those are all taken care of, we have released Alpha 4.9.9HF!

    There are some additional highlights in this build on top of what is already in Alpha 4.9.9, including:

    • We have fixed the signed macOS builds. In order to fulfill security requirements in newer macOS versions on Intel-based devices, we also performed some fixes to gh mode; way the notes were cast have been fixed, fever/star power has been sorted to be more GH3-like, and taps and open strums are also tweaked to be better. Please give them a try and let us know! A theme for this mode is in the works, so apologies for the barebone approach we have at the moment. It's also why we are an alpha after all...
    • There were several issues with the notes loaders and how antivirus/security software apps were seeing OutFox when we were loading simfiles. We have addressed this by allowing you all to add more than one simfile (i.e. .SSC, etc.) in a song folder, cutting down on the folder rabbit hole. As we move to a more multi-game engine, this will also allow you to keep things tidy on your drive, and ensure it is a seamless experience for you all. Of course, please check the audio files are the same for the chart you are going to add to the folder, as you may find you have a nasty sync issue, but we also now support multidifficulty setups, as this is required for pump and taiko specifically.
    • This hotfix also sees a tweak to the difficulty system used in OutFox. In the past it was tied to the DDR paradigm and then left to rot as one of those "StepMania Things". This however really stifled what we could do within the engine, especially with modes with different names/brackets etc. With the release of gddm and taiko we needed more difficulties than the game offered, so this has now been resolved. Themes which are based off of 5.1/5.0.x will still work due to the numbers being the same as before. If there are any issues with your theme, do let us know, but we have tested several with no issues.
    • We now support the #VOLUME and #PAN parameters for keysounds in BMS-derived formats.
    • We have fixed a 17 year-old bug where the engine would attempt to run commands on tweens that don't exist during transitions.

    The original post follows:


    Common splash.png

    Project OutFox Alpha 4.9.9 has been released! Given how long it's been since our last alpha release, there's a lot to go over with this version. This is a summary of most of the major changes; you can read the complete changelog on on OutFox.wiki,

    Gameplay

    Game types

    modes-diagram.png

    Project OutFox has begun to position itself as a multi-game engine, designed to be more of a working museum dedicated to preserving the history of rhythm gaming. We have been building upon and fixing game types that were inherited from the StepMania codebase, as well as implementing new game types that have never been implemented in StepMania before. Carrying on from 4.9.8, there have been various bug fixes and enhancements to some of our non-dance modes, as well as one brand new mode:

    • beat: There are bug fixes for the BMS loader array and missing difficulties.
    • dance: We have preliminary support for a new hold type known as a minefield (also colliqually known as a "mine hold"). They are a hold that is a mine, penalizing you each time you press the corresponding input.
    • ez2: A new default noteskin has been added.

    127696702-dcbe2713-3976-4396-8ca4-e64784957d84.jpg

    • gddm:

      • We have added a parser for loading DTX files; we have planned to 'straddle' support for the DTXMania NX/Ver. K layouts for the specified channels from the documentation, as these appear to be the most popular branches of this. It will be improved in time, as we get better knowledge of this system. For more information on supported DTX/BMS/PMS channels, see the related section on the official changelog.
      • We also support the combined" lane system which adds lane 2 and lane 3’s extra notes, and Real mode (again, REAL filenames are yet to be parsed as such, the engine makes a ‘guess’ on this!)
      • gddm still needs a lot of work and optimisation before we will consider it ‘ready’, so do expect the odd quirk or weird behaviour, and let us know what you think/would like to see as we define the mode and its featureset and support.We will be working on the gdgf parser in the coming months so that the guitar/bass charts will work as well.
      • We do not support XA file decoding at this time, we are looking into options. If you have a DTX file with XA files contained, they will just be played as silence, but won’t crash the game.
      • The game does not currently support the #PAN and #VOLUME configurations as of this alpha, so some keysounds will be louder than expected. Apologies for this in advance; we wanted to get a release out as it’s been so long, so this is still being worked on.
        • #PAN and #VOLUME are now supported on 4.9.9HF! They are completely supported in gddm from the parser, (do reset your cache of course!) and they also work in beat/popn. taiko will need the support as well, so shout out to Jous for putting up with my waaaahh-luigi on getting it added to the game. This build also supports the hidden chips/keysounds for gddm and we'll work on getting the final compatibility added in due course.
    • gdgf: Community member yaladre has contributed a new DTX noteskin with a more familiar appearance.

    • gh: A note positioning bug has been fixed, while the gameplay screen in Soundwaves has been tidyed.

    127721393-c4cd720d-b98a-4c60-b592-d36b34be31e7.jpg

    • para: We have added a new eight-sensor style, adding back-left, back, and back-right directions. This mode was originally designed for the arcade cabinet for when the player twirls or turns, but was never actually implemented. The sensors for the back are actually there! For those who feel adventurous, we will be publishing some information on how to make your own 360-degree 8 sensor controller in due course.

    127715610-ba677562-b567-4ef6-b56b-293b199d75ae.jpg

    • popn:
      • This mode also had a few tweaks and adjustments mainly in how keysounds are loaded within the game, which should make it smoother overall.
      • A bug was fixed that prevented some seven-button charts from being parsed correctly.
      • In addition, we have also added two-player (versus) and 18-button (double) modes! This was not available on the original client, but it did always irk us how there were never two-player options other than three-button battle. We plan to have battle mode, as well as a dedicated experience for this game type, in a future build. There is no PMS/PME support for this style yet.

    126884299-09ee5a5c-dfa5-4e4e-bbfa-6d9d157fcd5f.jpg

    • pump:
      • We have fixed the scoring bug that was in the previous build; thank you for those who took the time to report the issues. Keep in mind that Soundwaves still uses dance paradigms for scoring, but other themes that use different scoring systems based on the official games should work correctly now.
      • The tickcount for combos on holds has been tweaked to work correctly, as there was a miscalculation in the offset math inherited from upstream. This now behaves as expected.
      • We have added support for co-op charts; the included co-op noteskin currently supports up to five different players, but charts can support up to ten.
        • The player numbers on the noteskins are separately labeled, so with a few adjustments and extra assets, you will be able to update any noteskin to work with co-op. Co-op charts made on StepF2/StepP1 should work on OutFox,
        • Co-op charts made on StepF2/StepP1 should work on OutFox, however, better note types are currently being developed by Jousway so that there can be more than four real players defined. Stay tuned!
        • We're still working on improving SF2/SP1 custom charts parsing. Except for a few charts, you can play the majority of content made for it on OutFox with no problems. As always, if you find any oddities make sure you report them to us!
        • Those of you who have reported that we still have a ‘superb’ bug on holds, this will be fixed when we introduce the new piu mode . Remember that the pump mode is getting quality of life updates for now, before we move over to updating things properly in the future.
        • Micro/mini-holds also do not trigger misses/cause a weird tick to happen anymore, and there also are no ‘phantom’ mines in long (5+ measure) holds - this was an oddity which has been fixed now.

    Last but not least, we have added a brand-new game type as well, taiko (also referred to in the context of OutFox as "TaiTai"). It simulates a popular rhythm game where you hit a drum in its face.

    127720652-944671e6-b52d-46f1-9924-fe41d0e18349.jpg

    As with gh on the previous alpha, this is a "preliminary" implementation. Some of the quirkier parts of this mode are a work in progress; bear with us as we also write new parsers for this mode, and develop a dedicated theme/interface for it. We plan to add support for the special note types and other effects in the game, as well as improve timing and other bits and pieces that are still yet to do. We still have the scoring and timing system to finish, along with effects on double notes/taps and the "roll" notes which you hit as much as you can. The autogen for this mode has been rewritten by Jousway to generate charts more approriate for the game from existing charts in other modes, so that you don't get odd holds/overlaps in things.

    Feel free to give it a try and let us know what you think!

    All game types have access to features such as the built-in chart editor and modifier systems, allowing you to extend your content to as many as 56 styles in 15 gametypes as of this release.

    Technical changes

    MIDI input

    Due to the interest we had been getting from the past two alpha releases in the form of gddm and techno, several players that were not on Windows did inquire about the possibility of there being a new MIDI driver available for Mac and Linux users, So we decided as a team to move forward and produce one. This enables you to play Project OutFox with MIDI instruments and controllerd, such as electronic drums, keyboards, DJ mixers, and a prototype mini FSR pad we made using a Teensy LC and some tiny FSR sensors.

    IMG_20210724_2026112.jpg

    It uses the PortMidi library, and there is no need to have any extra applications "translating" it to keystrokes (unless you're doing MIDI via an iPhone something like that of course), but native MIDI controllers work a treat. If you have a midi device and want to try this out, you will need to load up your preferences.ini in your save folder, locate the inputdrivers= part, and then make sure it looks like this inputdrivers=portmidi,SDL

    This driver works on Windows, Linux, ARM (rPi and Rockchip aarch64 SoCs), and macOS. To enable the driver, use the line InputDrivers=SDL,portmidi in Preferences.ini. We have currently coded it for a single device at a time, but do let us know if you feel there is a need for multiple device support, or if you find a device that doesn'’'t behave.

    Linux

    We have added a preference, TurnOffWMCompositor, to disable compositing effects in window managers when Project OutFox is running.

    We have also fixed a renderer bug that was causing edge case crashes under KDE Plasma Desktop, and added a stub for an upcoming Pipewire audio driver.

    macOS

    On macOS, our builds are now signed and notarized. You no longer have to fiddle with Gatekeeper/quarantine/etc. to run Project OutFox on your Mac. You can now just download and install it as you would other applications.

    We also fixed an edge case lag spike on M1 Macbook Air models when using a Bluetooth audio device or controller.

    Windows

    There has also been work done on a small side part of the game, while we have been waiting for a fix from upstream in regards to the "polling/framerate" "issue that a lot of folks have helping us diagnose for some time. The long and the short of the issue, it meant on some songs, the input would skew towards the update loop rather than honouring its timestamp, thus producing spikes on the scoring graph on the results screen, and make a odd looking ‘stair’ display on the scatterplot of the steps and judgements taken.

    To resolve this while we’re waiting a fix, we have reimplemented the old legacy driver that was on 5.2/5.1 and adapted it for OutFox. This driver can be tempremental, but it seemed to behave with the devices we tested it with. If you tend to find that your input is affected with the message loop issue, you can set up the driver with the following instructions:

    • Open Preferences.ini in your Save folder
    • Locate the line InputDrivers
    • Change the line to InputDrivers=legacy,minisdl
    • If you wish to use the new portmidi driver as well you can use InputDrivers=legacy,minisdl,portmidi

    This will allow you to run the game with minimal resources, keeping vsync on, and should remove any previous issues of FPS/rate/polling problems. When we have the fix from upstream, we’ll revisit and modernise this with the newer drivers and processes.

    On the Test Input screen, you will see a new Window Handler ‘Aux’ driver. This is just the driver that manages the window controls, maximises, fullscreens, etc, so no need to worry about it. This will also show you that you have the correct drivers selected in the InputDrivers setting.

    Rate and Pitch

    Due to an overwhelming set of requests, we have taken time to fix and modernise the rate/haste system which had been broken for a bit since this project began.

    Pitch seemed to be a lottery (though we had not seen it work) and all the rate mod used to do was seemingly speed up the song with no other effect or option being honoured.

    We have fixed the way the off/speed/pitch/speed and pitch options work, so they actually work. This took quite a bit of time to fix the internal pipelines for these, but the end effect is definitely fun. Thanks to Squirrel, Jousway and Jose for bringing this one up the pipeline to get it done for this release! To ensure compatibility with legacy themes, the system ‘defaults’ to how it was in 5.0.12, with a 0.01x increase, and being on the main menu as folks requested. This is a long overdue Quality of Life update for this, so we’re really pleased that its done.

    Thanks to the stamina players that popped in to request this, and to mattm for saying that most wanted a speed and pitch option, which we have called ‘both’ internally to signify this change.

    Default theme

    • We reordered the Select Game menu to move prominent game types closer to the top, and lesser-known/niche games towards the bottom. Please give us feedback if you feel a mode needs more representation/love!
    • We have been shortening and toning down excessive transitions and animations to make the menus in the Soundwaves theme faster.
    • We added the rate and sound effect settings to the first screen of Player Options (in addition to its historic location on Song Options) to make them easier to find.
    • A contributor to Tiny-Foxes' Soundwaves Community branch has added the capability for Soundwaves color schemes to specify custom difficulty colors. Whilst integrating this feature, we have also added all *The gameplay screen in gh mode has been tidied up to put more of a focus on the notefield.

    Release notes and download

    You can see the full changelog for Alpha 4.9.9 on OutFox.wiki, which has details on the other improvements and bug fixes featured in this build.

    Download

    Give all of the new features and modes a try and be sure to give us your feedback! If you encounter any bug in the game, please report them on our bug tracker or our Discord server. We won't be able to fix bugs that are not reported to us. If you feel adventerous, also consider requesting access to our nightly build testing programme, as we are seeking testers for builds containing major internal changes.

    You can also visit r/OutFox on Reddit for support and discussion of Project OutFox, and stream Project OutFox on Twitch.

    This release of Project OutFox is dedicated to the memory of SHIKI, a Japanese musician who was an influential figure in the worlds of doujin trance, BMS, and rhythm game music. Our release artwork for Alpha 4.9.9 pays homage to Reach's classic simfile for "AIR"—one of SHIKI's most well-known songs.

  • "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!

  • "I'm only human, after all..."

    Common splash.png

    StepMania 5.3 Alpha 4.9.7 has been released!

    This is our first build for 2021, and there are a ton of changes and major bug fixes (including a number of bug fixes dating back as far as the 3.9 era, if not earlier).

    Check out the full changelog here for more information.

  • Common splash.png

    StepMania 5.3 Alpha 4.9.6 has been released!

    This is our first official build with a native binary avaliable for the new ARM-based Macs (Apple M1). With this release, we are one of the first macOS-compatible games to have a version compiled natively for Apple M1, and one of the first with full controller and pad support as well. We demoed the build, as well as its controller support, in a recent Twitch broadcast.

    This is our final build for 2020, and also marks the one-year anniversary of our first public release!

    Check out the full changelog here for more information.

  • We have released a native, nightly build of StepMania 5.3 for the new ARM-based Macs using the Apple M1 system-on-chip. We've been surprised by how smooth the game runs on this architecture, so we hope you will give it a try and report and issues you encounter.

    Screenshot_2020-12-08_at_22.03.24.png

    The build currently does not support controllers and pads, as we are currently awaiting dev notes on the topic from Apple.

    You can download the build here; please note that this build is NOT a universal binary, and only supports M1-based Macs.

    Thanks again for your support, and stay safe everyone!

    EDIT (12/12/2020): We have controller support on ARM now, which will be included in the next public build.

  • "STEP INTO THA GAME"

    5.3 Alpha 4.9.5 has been released! There are a ton of new things in this build, so check out the full changelog here for more information.