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Saturday June 9, 2018
Version beta/update-70 in Sunrise Crater

This update includes an update to animation speed (to match what it was originally in TSO) and many bug fixes:
  • All animations are now at 1.2x speed. FreeSO was running these slightly too slow when compared to both TS1 and vanilla TSO. Interaction sounds should now correctly match up with animations. (Please report any issues related to this immediately!)
  • Update Monogame:
    • Fixes OpenGL audio bugs
    • Mouse cursors now work in DirectX
    • We can add Multisample Anti-Aliasing soon
    • Probably a lot of other weird issues fixed
  • 3D City View now has touch screen controls. (desktop touch support via the "-touch" launch param)
  • When running, avatars now travel up stairs and get off chairs faster.
  • Avatars will now run to destinations further than 10 tiles away (unless "walk here" is queued, which will force walking)
  • Large scale program restructure. Please double check your NVIDIA and Firewall settings, since the application executable has changed!
  • Fixed purchase lot not telling you when your purchase was rejected because the lot name was already taken.
  • The purchasable outfit list is now ordered by price.
  • Secure trade's "grace period" is now less visually confusing. (disabled checkbox looked active)
  • Actually enforce Welcome Lot rules. (visitor skills disabled, except for newbies)
  • Welcome lot bonuses are now based on account age rather than sim age. Remember you that you're only allowed one account per person.
  • Smoke particles are no longer visible from floors above the current in 2D.
  • Fixed a weird bug with the 3D city transition and disabled surrounding lots.
  • Fixed a few crashes to do with the new loading stuff

Additional fixes in version beta/update70f:
  • Fix floor tiles becoming flat colours and lines in OpenGL (anisotropic filtering is disabled in 3D as a result, sorry!)
  • Fixed TTS crash bug.
  • Fixed mouse cursor flicker in 3D.
  • Fixed sims that aren't you showing 0 skill locks.
  • Fixed crash when buying a lot in DirectX.
  • Login dialog now remembers the last username you enter.
  • Game no longer crashes in other language if hints are missing.
  • Add special dialog if TSO is missing from the target directory.
Posted by: Matt
Saturday May 19, 2018
Version beta/update-69 in Sunrise Crater

This super-sized update brings us a brand new 3D City View, changes to a few lot categories to help encourage their use, a bunch of bug fixes, loading improvements and new objects.

3D City View

  • In 3D mode the city will now have a perspective camera similar to the one used on a lot! 3D mode is finally a consistent experience.
  • All properties in the city now have "facade" 3d models essentially 3D thumbnails that appear on the map. These are very similar to the ones you might find in TS2.
  • You can now use mouse wheel zoom to seamlessly return to city view, or zoom back into your lot (in 3d). Technology is amazing
  • The city rendering pipeline has been rewritten from scratch, allowing for a cool water shader and smoother terrain when up close.
  • 2D City view also has a face lift! The city smoothly fades out at edges, the water shader is still present, and terrain is smoother zoomed in.
  • The tooltip when hovering lots has returned. Now you actually know the price of a property without randomly clicking it!
  • Should generally use less memory, and no longer leak memory when returning to SAS.
  • Some work in the background for our new neigbourhoods system. The new city view is a lot more modular, so you might see more cool stuff in the future.

NOTE: Lot facades are generated off-server by an authorised machine with a GPU. Right now the applet providing the service is still in development, so 3D Lot Facades may be out of date at times. Additionally, the facade worker is not currently open source.

Welcome Lot Type

  • To celebrate our new hints system, we've kickstarted a revised Welcome lot type that should really help new players get started for the foreseeable future. The plans are to make this lot type both welcoming for new players and rewarding for hosts.
  • Hints system directs people here, and tells users about skill and money bonuses (and onlinejobs) when joining this property type.
  • Property filter in gizmo automatically set to welcome for new players.
  • 3x Visitor Bonus
  • Group Money Objects are now enabled on this lot type.
  • Skills and Money 2x for new accounts (less than a week old)
  • Skill and Money force disabled for older visitors. Roomies can still earn money/skills, and visitors can still play group money objects without earning anything.

Romance Lot Type

  • Relationship gain/loss is 2x on this property type.
  • 2x Visitor Bonus.

Offbeat Lot Type

  • 3x Visitor Bonus. More changes pending.

Particle System

  • Added a new general purpose particle emitter that objects can attach to themselves. (in 2d and 3d)
  • Added a smoke particle for Broken objects. This should help a lot with keeping your objects in good shape.
  • Super tip: If you want an object to stay repaired for longer, get someone with high logic and mech to repair it! maybe you can pay them for the help!
  • PART chunk format. Volcanic particle editor and particle emit/stop primitives coming soon, for new objects!

New Objects

  • Some objects have been rescued from the depths of the game files! The first release features most of the unleashed objects present in the debug catalog.
  • These objects have recieved patches to fully port their functionality to TSO without running into weird bugs.
  • A few of these objects have been given unique description text by our users on Discord! Check out this link for more info: http://forum.freeso.org/threads/seeking-help-with-catalog-text-for-several-objects.6287/
  • If you download the latest remesh pack from the launcher, some of these will already be remeshed and beautiful! Wow!

SPECIAL THANKS TO RAEVEN FOR FIXING THESE OBJECTS!!!

Loading Improvements

  • The game window will now pop up a lot quicker when you open it. It will also load faster in general! (async loading ported from Simitone)
  • The whole lot load process has been reworked to operate asynchronously. That means we can show a neat progress bar instead of the game freezing.
  • Since most of the loading will be done in the game thread, smooth zoom should work a bit better.
  • Loading lots in 3D mode will now be considerably faster.

Misc

  • Cost for terrain tools has been halved.
  • Terrain tools now show errors when the action you're trying to do won't go through.
  • The flatten tool will no longer fail when trying to flatten to the same height as a nearby wall.
  • Terrain tools can now be used to flatten an area with buildings or objects on it... as long as no tiles on the edges end up uneven because of it.
  • Bookmarks now try to order themselves by online status.
  • Chat history no longer shows "Test Lot" when joining a real lot, and keeps the player count up to date a bit better.
  • Rain is now less frequent. It's summer!
  • Fixed some memory leaks with city content and mipmapped TSO textures.
  • Sandbox now has a /time command.
  • Fixed bug with sprinkler where walk style would not be reset on interaction cancel.
  • Crafted bed no longer has an incredibly long wake up animation.
  • Speech bubbles now show in Free Camera.
  • Some improvements to the patcher application.

3D Mode (in-lot)

  • Object Headlines, such as flies, now appear in 3D mode.
  • The ground in surrounding lots now blends smoothly into the city.
  • The wall camera offset has been reduced slightly, so that remeshed counters would stop z-fighting with them.
  • Surrounding properties and trees are now visible. These will only be drawn if their bounding box is on camera.
  • That weird transition to 2D map is gone. Seamless 3D map forever baby.
Posted by: Matt
Friday April 6, 2018
PlaySO Weekend

Free Money!
No, no, we aren't making you pay us. We're paying you!

Every hour this weekend starting Saturday 00:00 UTC, the first avatar you log into your account (or that is already logged into your account) will receive 500 Simoleons. This will continue all weekend, reaching a potential maximum of 24000, if you're crazy and play the game for the whole 48 hours. This is secretly a stress test of the events system, which is usually only used to bring you messages like this and deliver event objects, but can potentially do much more than that.

In the future we hope to make it possible to bring more interesting events on weekends or holidays, such as free green, skill speed increase or even changes to certain object's tuning values (how quickly you can use the toilet, as a more ridiculous example). Our dynamic events system should make it possible to even make these incredibly fine grained, like potentially a "skilling happy hour" where skill speeds could go much higher than usual.

Note that the money will appear in your account without fanfare - on the hour it will likely not show up either, it will only display when your money changes via in-lot increase or decrease. This will also be improved in future!
Posted by: Matt
Sunday April 1, 2018
Version beta/update-68 in Sunrise Crater

Update
Posted by: Matt
Thursday March 29, 2018
Version beta/update-67d in Sunrise Crater

Some bug fixes are in this update:
  • Support "server self-resync", a mitigation technique for desync loops
    • May cause issues with plugins, but hasn't in testing. the server will log whenever it happens so we can track down issues if they crop up
    • Automatic when lots of resyncing happens, or manually triggered by admin
  • Fix chat channels sometimes not appearing
  • Object lists can no longer contain duplicates (hopefully fixes desyncs or emergent scheduler issues).
  • Fix room score on islands and balconies
  • Improve roof rendering (diagonals and floor tile cuts)
  • Fix base game floor tile strings.
  • Lot thumb content less likely to crash game.
  • Stop using memory for palette data outside of volcanic.
  • Some final fixes for blackjack and roulette
Posted by: Matt
Sunday March 18, 2018
Version beta/update-67 in Sunrise Crater

The developers have pushed a huge update today that includes many bug fixes, a completely revamped chat system and two new objects! Find all the details below:

Chat

  • A huge makeover! The chat window is now a lot more colourful and easy to read.
  • CHAT CHANNELS: A new way to host events, coordinate pizza/code/band, and much more.
  • By default, all lots will simply contain one default channel. This cannot be modified, and behaves as before.
  • Lot owners have the chance to add additional channels to the chat at their property. These appear at the top of chat history.
  • You can switch the channel you send messages to using the new channel bar. To hide messages from certain channels, click them again when they're your active channel. (useful for hiding pizza messages!)
  • You can manage who is able to view and send messages to channels separately. For example, for speeches at an event you can have a channel only roommates can write to, but everyone can see. Everyone else will still be able to talk in the default chat.
  • Each channel has a few options: chat color, whether the channel is visible by default, and text-to-speech.
  • The channel bar is not present when only the default channel exists.
  • NOW SUPPORTS EMOJI! Type a colon to begin your emoji-in-a-2003-game experience. : ok_hand :
  • Supported in property chat, private messages and email. Even has emoji search and autocomplete!
  • Chat can be RESIZED by dragging the bottom or right sides of the window, or the corner. CTRL+ and CTRLstill change text size. Thanks Rhys!
  • You can now change your chat text colour. Also applies to private messages.
  • Chat history is now visible by default.

Text-To-Speech

  • Text-to-speech is now enableable in game via the new Chat Settings. By default it is set to "allow", which allows text to speech messages from channels with it enabled.
  • You can still disable text to speech entirely, or enable it for ALL channels (including default!)
  • You can now change the pitch of your avatar's text-to-speech voice. Now you can remake steamed hams but in the Sims, or other stupid things that might involve people with different voices.
  • Text to speech has been completely refactored to play sounds through monogame rather than through Windows, preventing the game from freezing or crashing when too many things are being said at once.

Text

  • UITextEdit and TextRenderer now support BBCode, though currently users are not allowed to use this directly in any textboxes ingame.
  • [color], [s] (shadow), [emoji] (for emoji codes)

Improvements (EXPERIMENTAL)

  • Lot synchronisation has been entirely reworked. Instead of serializing state every time someone joins, new joiners reuse state from other users that joined in the last 30 seconds, and recieve a batch of events that happened since that state was serialized.
  • Basically, should prevent the start of the Awards Ceremony happening again (lots of people joining at once freezes everything)
  • Lot thumbnails are now loaded via HTTP rather than the data service. They are now cloudflare cached with a 1 hour TTL. They also have smarter memory management, so you can look at the entire city without running out of memory and crashing.
  • Data service now only loads avatar relationships/jobs/bookmarks when they are requested. Greatly reduces data service load when looking at lists of avatars.
  • API performance improvements.

Bug Fixes

  • Added failsafe to move inactive pets crates out of world near the mailbox.
  • Filling your entire first floor no longer causes the game to crash rendering thumbnails.
  • Carpool no longer allows intersection. Should stop it flying to weird locations. Thanks Rhys!
  • On islands, the carpool will appear
  • Large scale refactor and engine improvements for Simitone.
  • Lighting tweaks to improve colour blending.
  • Walls cutaway in 3D is less buggy.
  • Floods no longer clean up as a single object now they clean up one by one.
  • Race condition fixes for asynchronous lot state save.
  • Fixed a crash when selecting text.
  • Misc. volcanic fixes
  • UIAlert button spacing improved for 3 button alerts.
  • Changing lot skill mode no longer resets your lot category timer.
  • Instant updates for lot thumbnail changes you cause.

EOD Changes

  • Updated a few UIEODs to allow any literal strings to be translated. They are pulled from .cst files f110 to f112
    • UIGameCompDrawACardPluginEOD
    • UIRouletteEOD
    • UISlotsEOD
    • UIBlackjackEOD
    • UIWarGameEOD
    • UIManageEODObjectPanel

Slot Machines

  • Slot machines 1-4 have added sound effects of putting a coin in and pulling the handle.
  • Slot machine 1 now has a winning and losing sound effect.
  • Slot machine 5 now utilizes more "antique" sound effects.
  • Made consistent some .piff files to be treated as "Content" and always copied, like the rest.
  • Minor text change in Slots UI for future translations to have more room.
  • Slot machines 1-5 strings updated for FreeSO.

Roulette Table

  • Literal strings updated to be in .cst file for translation.
  • Players now cleanly exit the table upon: closing UI, no longer having $ to meet the MinBet, on table closure due to table balance being below required minimum.
  • Two race conditions fixed that could throw null exceptions in player client's UI.
  • Two new sound effects, one for bets placed and one for round win.
  • New Croupier .iff by Raeven allows diversified Croupier Avatar.
  • Roulette Learn To Use strings updated for FreeSO. (e.g. remove mention of debt)

Blackjack Table

  • Bug fixes due to 2 race conditions
  • Players now cleanly exit upon table closing
  • Players now cleanly exit with a message that they don't have enough Simoleons to play.
  • Dealer NPC now faces players properly (thx Raeven)
  • Table sprites for chips and cards now 100% functional (thx Raeven)
  • All literal strings now found in f110 & f111 .cst files
  • Removed redundant function from UI
  • Added failsafe events to clear ID attributes from table if no player is present
  • Removed half-implemented animations for when players "push" with dealer
  • 4 New Attributes added to blackjack.iff (& .str.iff)

New Objects

  • Relive the FreeSO Awards Ceremony with a huge decorative picture frame object. Find it in the Decorative catalog.
  • New floor drain object - keep your bathroom floors dry. Find it in the Miscellaneous catalog. Thanks to Raeven and Alex.

Award Photos
Posted by: Matt
For past news, visit the news archive.