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Monday February 25, 2019
New Post on FreeSO Blog!
Source: http://freeso.org/first-elections-clover-heights-and-calvins-coast/

Rhys has made a new post on the official FreeSO blog, going into detail about the new features introduced with the Neighborhoods update that went live a few days ago.
Go give it a read!

Posted by: S1ndle
Sunday February 24, 2019
Spring Fling Today at 8PM UTC!

As you may have heard from an announcement made at the AFA ceremony, Neighbourhoods is just around the corner! To help the players understand a bit more about what the update involves, we are going to be hosting a ‘Spring Fling’ this weekend! The event takes place on Sunday the 24th at 3PM EST / 8PM UTC at the Sunrise Crater Town Hall.

The fling will include a variety of events such as minigames, a dance competition (so grab a partner and practise syncing up) and of course the Neighbourhoods FAQ itself. There are prizes to be won so we hope to see you there!

To help us give you the information you want to hear, we’d appreciate if you could send us any questions you have about the update via this google survey below. Asking us in advance allows us to give you more accurate answers, so please take advantage of this. Don’t worry if you are unable to attend, all of the information will be documented elsewhere for you to read.

Thanks kindly and we hope to see you on Sunday!

FAQ Survey: https://goo.gl/forms/nmHKz6gsI2Avv9WJ3

Edit: a few questions have been raised so I'll just add the answers below.
- You do not need to come with a partner, you can bring one if you like.
- There is no dress code really but if you want to dress up to dance, go for it!
- The event is fully free, no costs anywhere.
Posted by: S1ndle
Sunday February 24, 2019
Version beta/update-73b in Sunrise Crater

Update 73b brings about a number of bug fixes brought on by the previous update, as well as a few miscellaneous fixes and additions. This is also to be the last update for the next few weeks, as the current updater will be replaced with one to feature less crashes, easier deployment, and less strain on bandwidth caps.

And now the patch notes for Update 73b.

- Known Issues listed in Update 73 have now been fixed
- Gingerbread houses take longer to spoil. (for real this time? we'll see.)
- MaxSize now settable in SLOT editor
- When "complex shaders" are ticked in options, surrounding lots now have shadowed lightmaps at the quality your FSO lighting is set at. 6/16 resolution.
Posted by: S1ndle
Friday February 22, 2019
Version beta/update-73 in Sunrise Crater

The much anticipated Neighborhood system has finally arrived in FreeSO. Soon the top two neighborhoods will have mayoral elections and citizens of those neighborhoods will be able to vote for their mayor of choice, so live long and campaign hard!

And now the patch notes for Update 73, there are dozens upon dozens of fixes and additions.

Neighborhoods are here!
- The mayor system! Elections at the end of every month for the most popular nhoods.
- 34 Neighborhoods, each with a community sourced name and description, centered around points of interest throughout sunrise crater.
- Info on each page about Top Avatars, Properties by activity. More categories to come.
- Mayor controlled community lots ("Town Halls")! 128 visitor limit, up to 100 buy/build "donators", openable by anyone.
- Bulletin boards! Post and check out events in your neighborhood!
- Over 20 new UI elements in total.
- Town Hall donation system: Build community lots with up to 100 residents of your choosing, at 1/3rd of the cost! (objects cannot be returned to inventory, but remember who donated them)
- New "Bulletin Board" EOD, which lets you view and post to the bulletin board from the town hall.
- Mayors can post to a special category in the bulletin board which can showcase a link to a property.
- When the mayor of a neighborhood joins a lot, an icon is shown on their thumbnail and their name includes (Mayor).
- For more information, see the Hints dialog ingame.

UI, Graphics
- New font rendering! Uses MSDF fonts (see https://github.com/Chlumsky/msdfgen) to get very sharp text at any text size. Also added a few additional characters.
- New roof rendering. Roofs now have bottoms, edges, and support parallax occlusion mapping to give them a lot more depth.
- Gamma correction for lighting. More believable darks - still being tweaked! (performance may be slightly lower on old gpus right now, this will be resolved in future)
- New contact hardened outdoor shadows for high lighting mode - shadows blur the further they are from the ground.
- Fixed more dynamic accessories not appearing on sims. (Repair effect, iguana)
- NPCs missing head thumbnails now have them generated automatically. (pets, some vendors)
- The sim now waits until the active interaction is complete before self deleting.
- Added 4x MSAA (experimental). This is the Medium antialiasing option, which trades grass quality for a much faster antialias.
- Lighting now respects the height of the object. Street lights will have a light source farther up than a lamp, for example.
- Counters now cast shadows.
- The Free Camera now has FOV controls. (thanks jwofles for base)
- Fixes to DPI scaling, mainly to show off our new fonts. Still WIP, not perfect yet.
- Emoji updated (i guess we will have to do this again soon :joyfuljams: )
- Headlines relating to Avatars are now correctly removed when they are deleted. (finally)
- Lighting now bleeds up floors instead of down. Fixes roofs looking like they're emitting light.
- Roofs now have bottoms. You're welcome.

Simulation
- New collision system with "static" object footprints kept in a tree structure, "dynamic" object footprints in a list. Greatly improves routing and object movement performance on TSO scale lots. (not too much effect on TS1 scale lots)
- Various changes to primitives such as Set to Next, resulting in greater than 2x (simulation) performance increases on some properties.
- SimAntics -> C# JIT compiler. Currently experimental - only used for Simitone currently. Promises another 2x performance increase for simulation.
- New smoother routing. (experimental) Routes use bezier curves instead of straight lines, and attempt to find a straighter path to things instead of hugging objects.
- Debug drawing with `!debugroutes true`
- Will be turned on and off in the next few days, as it may cause desyncs.
- No more ! Object Owner and Tip Jar text now know the names of all roommates - even if the user is not on the property!
- Routing non-interuptability now resets between interactions. (verified in TS1)
- New manage roommates dialog, shows all roommates and lets you search for more. Doubles as the donator management for Town Halls.
- Fixed a bug where using an interaction on someone leaving a lot would cause a SimAntics Exception
- Reworked action validation for a bit more safety, and supporting switchable rules like those used at Town Halls.

City View
- Made floating property buttons float in 3d space, rather than being stuck to weird places on the screen.
- "Properties I've recently visited" property filter is now functional.
- New camera behaviour and click-to-zoom that uses neighborhood information.
- Can overlay neighborhood regions in realtime, either in Gizmo nhood mode, on hover or when centered.

Server
- .NET Core support. Still need to set up servo build process to not screw this up
- Alternate API server that uses ASP.NET Core 2. Will likely obsolete the ASP.NET Web API server.
- Obviously the new neighborhood handlers, configuration, etc.

Volcanic
- SLOT editor: edit placement and routing slots in any objects. Useful for debugging existing ones too.
- Simantics AOT export: Export SimAntics scripts as C# (experimental)
- Data Service Editor: Edit the TSO data service definitions and add your own entity types, extra fields onto existing ones. (used to add neighborhoods)
- Animation Exporter (very experimental, unfinished)
- New font. Minor fixes.

Known Bugs
- The updater is terrible (incomplete updates can cause exceptions on launch and other things)
- 3D Mode attempts to load some remeshes/models on another thread when joining an online instance, resulting in them throwing an exception and not loading at all. Can be mitigated by using DirectX.
- (the above causes the game to crash on OSX and Linux in 3D mode, as it is not as good at gracefully handling GL errors)
- There is a small issue with text rendering that can make money over head look weird.
- The new contact hardened shadows can cause performance problems on older GPUs around sunrise/sunset. Can mitigate by returning to 2nd lowest lighting setting. (no 3D walls)
- Edge case: You cannot delete a message that you posted before you became mayor. You can promote it, but attempts to delete it after will say that the message is "already promoted".
- New font rendering draws some non-standard space characters as *.
- Repairman does not work. (FIXED IN DEV)
- Robot job is completely broken as the robots go off the track. (FIXED IN DEV)
Posted by: S1ndle
Sunday February 10, 2019
Version beta/update-72h in Sunrise Crater

Update 72h is here! With this update, the snowstorms have finally let up. This update includes changes by members of the community. The updates Rhys has been working on will come in Update 73.
  • Grass and Sand are no longer replaced with snow. Weather is temporarily disabled. (rhys)
  • Visitors can now repair the Moderate fridge (dotequals)
  • The sim in the pie menu is a little different, now they look at the button you are hovering! (lazy duchess)
  • Some bugs have been fixed with the gingerbread station, and the spoil time has been increased. (miha)
  • Small backend stuff for the AFAs, piffs can now safely add OBJDs without causing lot loading oddities. (rhys)
  • [Volcanic] Generate XML entries for the catalog, copy GUID from object page, hex edit for unknown primitives (dotequals)
  • [Volcanic] Make empty and help links now work in remesh editor. (rhys)
New Remeshes! Download and extract the latest remesh package from this forum post into your /FreeSO/Content folder:

Includes a remesh for the new object by S1ndle, the backdrop and party light by Dica, and the theatre chair that can be found in Town Hall by AOG.

That's not all... an all new object is in the catalog. Can anyone afford it? No? It's there anyways! If you're literally rolling in it, you can pick up the limousine for §1,000,000. Yes, really. Yes, it's just decorative (for now?)
Posted by: Matt
Thursday December 13, 2018
Christmas Events in Sunrise Crater

Christmas events have arrived in Sunrise Crater! See below for a special message from game developer Rhys and a public health alert from the Mountaintop DADDI & MOMI Hospital System.

Merry Christmas everyone! You've noticed the snowstorms, but you probably haven't noticed the Christmas Tree in your inventory! Place it on your lot to celebrate!

Each day you'll be able to open a present from the tree - since it isn't close to christmas yet you'll be getting a variant of a "common" present, but in the 6 days leading up to christmas you'll get some rare objects you can't get anywhere else!

"But my tree only starts with 2 presents!" you say. Well, rumor has it that your tree has a designated delivery man who comes every night, really likes cookies and doesn't like to be seen by other sims, because he's ashamed of his facial hair or something. Your tree can hold up to 4 presents, though even if it's full he's likely to show up for the cookies anyways. You can find cookies in the "miscellaneous" section of the catalog.

I'd recommend setting out some cookies next to a fireplace (preferably off... but that won't stop him) and letting him do his job in peace. Christmas is effort enough without all these early deliveries to worry about!

Rhys



On Tuesday morning, the Mountaintop DADDI & MOMI Hospital System (MDMHS) issued a public health alert:

For reasons unknown, an epidemic of "the giggles" has been aggressively moving through the communities of Santa's elves, rendering them all but paralyzed with laughter in a time when they are accustomed to keeping those tiny little noses to the grindstones for the final 11th hour push to finish their gifts before Christmas day. MDMHS is working around the clock to monitor the symptoms and attempt to provide remedy to the unknown ailment as soon as possible. These include holding one's breath, thinking about something sad, drinking a giant glass of water, and so forth. We will provide further information as we progress toward a cure—or at least any success toward curbing the symptoms.

In a rare public statement, Governor Burglar Cop has responded to the halt of Christmas gift creation, and issued a plea to the citizens of Sunrise Crater:
"We need every able citizen and nimble pair of hands to get themselves down to the Winter Workshop of Wonders to help with the work stoppage. We must finish the work in time for Santa to deliver the gifts to every household in Sunrise Crater. Drop in regularly to receive the new shipments of materials and build, build, build! I will not go down in history as the first governor of Sunrise Crater to have failed Santa Claus!!"

When asked about the growing pressure he's received as of late to break each neighborhood into its own governing body, led by locally elected mayors, Governor Cop responded with "tf" and left the press conference.
Posted by: Matt
For past news, visit the news archive.