StepMania 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.

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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...

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...and in with the new.

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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 StepMania 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.