Articles

  • "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.

  • "Has anybody seen my tambourine?"

    5.3 Alpha 4.9.1 has been released! This build focuses mainly on improvements and bug fixes (continuing on from Alpha 4.9), while there are also expansions to MIDI input support on Windows (including Lua APIs for analog input).

    As mentioned earlier, we have sorted out the misunderstanding that required us to temporarily rebrand as Project OutFox, so we have returned to the StepMania name. It was all resolved amicably, and it had to be acted upon due to it being reported, so no problems there.

    As always, the download links and a full changelog are on the release page. Happy Halloween!

  • Project OutFox 5.3 Alpha 4.9 has been released! This is our build for October on our roadmap. Alpha 4.8.6 (September 30) did not pass QA on Windows, and it ended up containing changes signifigant enough to justify a bump to 4.9.

    We have sorted out the misunderstanding that required us to temporarily rebrand as Project OutFox, so we will be returning to the StepMania name on the next alpha. It was all resolved amicably, and it had to be acted upon due to it being reported, so no problems there.

    Gaining Imhotep's Favour

    Alpha 4.9 contains major changes to fonts within themes. Since we began the project, we had become aware of numerous issues, such as missing glyphs and language support. To fix this, we have created a new release of the the Texture Font Generator, fixing the missing characters for Cyrillic and Extended Latin, Kanji GBK for Traditional Chinese, Kanji Hojo, Kanji JIS, Kanji symbol characters, Korean basic characters, and Korean Hangul. It has separate versions for Chinese, European/Latin, Japanese, Japanese supplemental, and Korean fonts, as well as "Legacy" for Windows-1252 character maps (seen, in particular, in OpenITG/NotITG).

    We used the new generator to create updated font textures, including the IBM Plex fonts used within Soundwaves, Noto fallback glyphs used for rendering foreign characters not covered by fonts in a particular theme, and an improved version of a font texture often used within In the Groove 2-centric content. All these fonts have been rendered at a higher resolution, with a more consistent size and wider character support.

    As a result, you may notice that the default theme's typography looks a little different on Alpha 4.9 (and in some areas, has also been refined), but that it appears much sharper as well (Alpha 4.8.5 on top, 4.9 on the bottom).

    StepMania_wqE7dcRNJ0.png StepMania_Wy0bzQjEza.png

    As they do not work properly with Unicode, we are also deprecating the string.upper() and string.lower() functions in favour of the new Lua functions ToUpper() and ToLower() -- which performs the same operation in a manner that correctly handles capitalization of these characters. The previous functions remain supported for compatiblity reasons, but be forewarned that text may not always capitalize properly.

    Full screen

    On all operating systems, we have added the ability to use Alt+Enter to toggle full screen mode. But be warned: the SDL window does not scale modes which your monitor does not support in full screen. It will draw a border around the window if the mode is not a suitable mode. You can find these modes in the log.txt, as SDL is kind enough to display everything supported there.

    We have allowed other operating systems this function for familiarity, and the fact we didn't think it'd work on macOS/Linux, but it did.

    Download

    As always, the download links and a full changelog are on the release page. Be sure to report any issues you find.

  • 5.3 Alpha 4.8.5 has been released! This is our build for September on our revised roadmap. It contains a large number of bug fixes (including one bug that was 16 years old) and a few new and experimental features to try out.

    We have temporarily rebranded as "Project OutFox" for the time being, as we need to get some paperwork done in order to use the "StepMania" name.

    As always, the download links and a full changelog are on the release page. Be sure to report any issues you find.

  • 5.3 Alpha 4.8 has been released! This is our build for August on our revised roadmap, and it contains a number of major changes (including several user-facing changes):

    Input

    Due to Windows and Ubuntu updates that have directly affected several of our users, we have performed another major rewrite to our input handler. As part of these changes, we now have a preference in the Experimental Options menu for switching from XInput, to the legacy HIDAPI-based input handler used prior to 5.3 Alpha 4.5.

    920TQHFoEI.png

    The legacy mode has a few advantages, including support for more than four controllers at once (which XInput is limited to by design), not requiring the creation of controller mappings, and being able to handle controllers that have been especially troublesome under XInput (such as the ParaParaParadise PlayStation 2 controller - more on that later). This, as a result, gives us a greater level of controller support than ever before.

    You will need to restart the game for the input mode switch to take affect, but we will remove this requirement in a future update. You may need to adjust your offset after switching, as some controllers may behave differently between these modes (especially custom Arduino pads; we have received reports that Step ManiaX pads feel "tighter" on legacy input than XInput).

    If you use older controllers, please ensure they are plugged in BEFORE you start the game. Because we do not depend on DirectX anymore, we need to initialize the system on startup. We are looking into this, but once the system is live, controllers can be added and removed as normal. We really do not want to go back to DirectInput 7 or 8 as Microsoft is really punishing use of these systems, and will remove them outright eventually.

    New loading window

    Another major change on Alpha 4.8 will be apparent as soon as you launch it. Out with the old splash screen...

    mcmGPoJmhx.png

    ...and in with the new.

    zogtGiMrpe.png

    This replaces the legacy loading window (including the buggy macOS loading window) on all platforms. In the future, we will provide the ability for themes to customize it, as well as other new features.

    Audio

    We have replaced libmad as our MP3 decoder with dr_mp3. It's lightweight, supports VBR, and addresses one of the broken_pipe issues we faced on our Raspberry Pi builds.

    In addition, warnings will now be added to Logs/info.txt if the game is unable to load a song's audio file (such as if the file is corrupt or broken).

    Para mode

    Finally, we have refurbished the para game type. This mode simulates the gameplay of ParaParaParadise, a short-lived, motion-controlled dance game based on para para - a Japanese dance style typically performed to eurobeat music.

    We adjusted the timing windows and hold behavior to be more faithful to the original game, with a single timing window, and being able to hit notes as long as that particular arrow is held when it reaches the receptors. It is lenient by design, as this is a routine-based game with a stronger focus on performing choeography than timing. As mentioned earlier, our input changes also addressed support for the controller used by the official PlayStation 2 version of the game.

    If you would like to see the mode in action, Taikora demonstrated it during it a stream using the controller on a pre-release build.

    Download

    As always, the download links and a full changelog are on the release page. Be sure to report any issues you find.