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Monday October 8, 2018
Version beta/update-71b in Sunrise Crater

This update is mostly aimed at fixing serious issues introduced by the last few versions, but adds a lot of new objects and a new 3D mode feature.
  • Added 15 new objects to the catalog! More fixed up objects from Raeven, given the descriptions you suggested.
  • Fixed a few typos and bugs with previously added objects.
  • The repairman bug (infinite loop) is now fixed for HoldemCasino tables
  • Pushing a hand on which a player doubled down now returns the doubled bet amount, rather than just the original bet amount
  • Change splash screen to halloween one.
  • Fix a fatal crash caused by in-game music.
  • Fix a fatal crash on the newspaper graph tab (for older GPUs)
  • Fix a tuning crash when the en-US culture had been modified by the user.
  • Fix an exception that would show when launching the game multiple times by accident.
Backported from WIP version:
  • Improved drawing order for objects in 3D mode
  • Revamped mouse-ground hit detection to work more reliably for complex terrain.
  • Added MASK_DEPTH and MASK_DEPTH_PORTAL special render types to remeshed objects
Update 71c:
  • Fix crash importing some models with DEPTH_MASK_PORTAL. (volcanic)
  • Allow 32 concurrent connections when downloading thumbnails and facades in city view, rather than like 2. (much faster lot thumbnail downloads - you'll notice the difference is that they actually work)
  • DEPTH_MASK_PORTAL: Calculate bounding box from everything except the portal mesh.
  • Optimised and fixed some object scripts.
  • Fix a graphical issue with the new DEPTH_MASK variants that caused them to peek thru walls when anti aliasing is disabled. (the normal backbuffer didn't have a stencil component)
  • Lot tuning can now be dynamically changed by admins.
  • Expose some more data and engine functionality to SimAntics.
  • Revert a change to Blackjack and Holdem that may have forced client disconnections.
  • Server now logs client disconnections caused by message handling errors. (for debugging the above)
  • Fix casino end table's pick up tree (so it doesn't duplicate newspapers and other stuff, thanks raeven!)
Posted by: Matt
Tuesday August 21, 2018
Site Updates

We have put together a few updates that reflect all the recent changes and additions to FreeSO, some general housekeeping, and a brand new game guide.

Starting with our new game guide written by Fawn: How to Build a Successful House. This guide will teach you how to build a house from selecting a location on the map, designing an efficient layout, and rising to the top of your category.

The Getting Started guide has been tweaked to include mention of new accounts under a week old earning skills and money at double the normal rate when visiting a lot in the welcome category.

A new Group Skill Objects guide has been set up for this new category of skill objects. The Maze object guide has moved from the Group Money Objects guide to here. Expect a guide on the War Game to come in the future as well.

The Maze Group Skill Object guide has been updated with information on how to use it to earn skill points and includes new images for the logic player and round walkthrough.

The Skills guide has been updated with the Group Skill Objects. Maze for earning Logic and Charisma, and the War Game for earning Creativity.

All the recently added objects to the game are now available in the Buy Mode Objects catalog. This includes all the objects that were winners of the description contest held on Discord, and the casino object set by S1ndle.

And finally, the Current Cities page has been updated to show Sunrise Crater as the official city (server) of FreeSO. For those who want to look back at TSO/EA Land history can check out the Legacy / Lost Cities page for all that goodness.

Enjoy the updates!
Posted by: Matt
Friday August 10, 2018
Version beta/update-71 in Sunrise Crater

The update today brings us a brand new casino game, Texas Holdem and an entire set of casino themed objects to go along with it. We are also treated to the return of the Maze Group Object and the introduction of a new group skill objects concept. Stay tuned to tsomania.net for updated game guides to reflect all the new changes!

New Features:
  • Added Texas Holdem EOD! Much more in depth than the rest of the casino games, this is for people who want to go all in. (Thanks to Architect) Go here for more information on the creation of this EOD.
  • Added a new set of casino themed game objects, including a bar and counters! (Thanks to S1ndle!)
  • Introduced Group Skill as a concept! High end skilling for active or high skill level players. See this blog post for more details.
    • Maze: Logic/Charisma. Win gives you 0.02 skill points and motives.
    • Wargame: Creativity/Creativity. Win gives you 0.02 skill points and motives, Lose gives you 0.01.
  • The last of the TS1->TSO object ports have been completed, with descriptions from discord. (8 objects, see previous announcements) Thanks for participating, and thanks to Raeven for fixing them!
  • Thanks to Raeven in general, actually - helped with all both EODs!

Bugfixes:
  • Select a Sim can no longer crash due to a bad lot thumbnail.
  • Refactored "Run Immediately" interactions to be a bit more reliable.
  • You can now choose a positive or negative reaction for a sim to sim interaction as soon as it appears.
  • Floor and wall keyboard shortcuts now work in 3D mode.
  • Volcanic no longer crashes in OpenGL.

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