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Friday October 25, 2019
Version Beta/Update 78, 78a, 78b, 78c, and 78d in Sunrise Crater + New Blog Post

WOW! That is a lot of updates! But with this latest round of updates comes two huge things; Improvements to 2D mode, and this year's Halloween Event. Get comfy because this is going to be a long one, and be sure to read the new post on the official blog, because it talks about the Halloween Event a little bit.

Update 78:
Hello, it's almost time for an update. But! Since more pressing matters will dominate the announcement, I'll go over the core engine changes now.

Some big changes are coming to both 3D and 2D mode. These may introduce a lot of bugs (reports welcome), but they clean things up a LOT and will be better for the game in the long run:

The first is that you can now switch to 2D mode at any time in 3D mode, by pressing F12 or changing a setting in the graphics options. When you're in 3D Mode, the 2D camera gains smooth rotations, middle mouse rotation and instant switch to first person camera using generated and remeshed 3D models. As a result, 3D Mode should probably be thought of more as "3D Features Enabled" mode.

The second is that the core rendering process of both modes has changed completely to make them work side by side like this. For you, the game should look the same, but 2D mode should stutter much less than before. Now that the core is out of the way, we can focus on optimising individual elements:

- Wall geometry (walls cutaway performance increase)
- Floors (build mode, pool improvements)
- Lighting (less stuttering)
- Grass shader (higher framerate on intel GPU)
- Asset loading/unloading (would like to move off garbage collected system - less stuttering)

This will be the focus of the next few updates, alongside a bug round.

As for other features...
- Volcanic's BHAV editor has had a facelift! Comments, Layouts and Labels are now supported & saved, and will be present on all objects added to the game by us. We may even annotate existing objects!
- Sims can now "look at" objects and other sims, if interactions call for it. This is most notable in Simitone, though eventually FreeSO will use this functionality to make sims look at each other when using the ingame chat!
- Rotation in 2D mode is now performed around the ground at the center of the screen, rather than around the "base height". This means rotating on upper floors will be less disorienting.
- Fixed various issues with clicking objects and sims in 2D mode.
- Fixed an issue where 2D + lowest lighting + opengl would make all floors a solid color.
- So many more that I forgot them all!!!

Update 78b:
- Fix issue doing like anything with objects in db
- Fix booting on osx (run `mono update.exe` if you're in trouble)
- Add "force update" by holding shift and pressing F10 at login
- Enable culling for objects in 3D/Hybrid 2D (huge performance increase when zoomed in)
- Allow clicking thru floor levels similar to newer updates of old lotview
- Fix crash when changing surrounding lot settings
- Draw "headlines" after other elements
- Fix server crash when creating new or job lot.

Update 78c
- flipped direction for 2d rotate (middle mouse)
- fixed object shadows not drawing if complex shaders were enabled (regression)
- fixed crash when changing game resolution in 3D with max anti aliasing
- fixed job lots not starting (for real this time)
- fixed... an npc failing to break multitile objects correctly
- fixed visitors being able to bribe said npc and ruin the fun

Update 78d
- Zombie now does not attempt to break objects for sale
- Longer "kicking" period til the object breaks, giving you more time to act.
- When the zombie spawns, the sound will be played globally, all sims will shout bubble the zombie and they will look in its general direction.
- The zombie is now worth 12 candies
- Fixed visuals on the tally digits in 3D
- Fixed sunbathing towel being disabled on most lot types.
Posted by: S1ndle
Thursday September 5, 2019
Version beta/update-77 and 77a in Sunrise Crater

Update 77 and 77a have arrived, and with it comes drivable cars! You can now upgrade the three existing decorative cars to be drivable, showing up when you enter a lot. You can now also upgrade sofas and the toy rocket, why not give it a try? You'll be sure to have an explosively fun time.
As always the patch notes are listed below

Update 77:
- Upgrades for sofas have been added, and one for the toy rocket. It's..... fun.
- Support "fallback" fonts for characters missing from the main font. First is thai - in future they will be read out of a folder a user can add to.
- Greatly optimised performance for cars driving on and off the property.
- Fixed motive gain on sofas from sofas1.iff.
- Fixed a bug where resyncing while in a dialog would clear your dialog state and freeze your character. It would also desync the timeout from the server, causing a chain reaction desync to occur 30 seconds later.
- Fixed a bug where resyncing while an asynchronous inventory or budget operation was in progress would cause responses to be ignored, causing a desync.
- New inventory primitive modes for "token-like" objects, which cannot be traded or placed. Used for drivable cars, but will be extended in future for event purposes (and showing count/contents on the inventory screen).
- Car portals can now be placed on water.
- Purchasable vehicles are currently forced on in the server but future server config will allow you to specify which new controller objects to import.
- Fix issue with volcanic thumbnails not updating.
- Fix issue where exporting mesh with volcanic would not export the one for the selected multitile part.
- Fix various issues with upgrades and trading.
- Allow upgrades on custom objects.
- Fixed an issue where re-saving an FSOM to iff would break its bounding box. (existing broken bounding boxes are still wrong)

Known Issues:
- Sofa upgrades do not work due to the upgrade tuning reading from the wrong source
- Lot crashes may occur after someone joins with a vehicle, and certain actions are performed.

Update 77a:
- Fixed the above issues. Certain actions were entering buy mode (client crash, without resyncing after car joined), changing roomies, and placing objects was also affected.
- Doubled grace period for single money object payouts from 60 seconds to 120. (time that only the sim responsible can get the payout in)
- Fixed validation for return to inventory on community lots, and added UI validation for pressing the I key (thanks @Collin !)
Posted by: S1ndle
Thursday August 22, 2019
Version beta/update-76c in Sunrise Crater

Update 76c has arrived and come with some technical additions, and the ability to upgrade armchairs and dining chairs. But most excitingly, band has received a rework to be more enjoyable. So bust out this guitars and drum sticks, and start a jam session with your buddies!

As always the patch notes are listed below:

- Developer-facing API additions by @Collin#7376 for neighborhoods, avatar api etc. Meaning this information is now available for web-apps! For more information see dotequals' page on the wiki:

By @The Architect#9966 :
Make Band Suck Less: BandEOD has been updated with several quality of life changes in order to incentivize users to play:
- Payout has been considerably boosted, especially in lower rounds.
- Choosing "rock on" will speed up the waiting time between notes.
- A minimum payout has been added, wherein players are awarded a certain amount of money despite losing a round. Every 5 rounds (5, 10, 15, 20) will update the minimum payout. Players who lose on subsequent rounds will still receive the highest minimum payout already achieved. No minimum payout will be given below 5 rounds. (A round is when an additional note is added to the song).
- The UI has been partially redesigned to display the current payout and current minimum payout. This will only be visible once a game has started.
- After successfully playing back any sequence, the Sim belonging to the player who played the final note will jam on their instrument in celebration of the round win.
- More time has been added to the decision of whether to rock on or sell out. (Up to 10 seconds from 5)
- More time has been added to allow each note to be played back by the player. (Up to 10 seconds from 5)
- More time has been added before the game begins after leaving the lobby. (Up to 10 seconds from 3)
- The server code has been rewritten to be more thread safe.
- Note tooltips are no longer solfeggio, but are now E major notes with a Lo and Hi E (hard coded literals)
- Some bugs have been fixed regarding note buttons and mid-game disconnections.

- New technique for upgrades to use - tuning grouping. This makes it easier to copy levels between iff files so that upgrades for very similar objects can be copied between files making for much easier creation and rebalances. (futureproofing)
- Volcanic no longer updates "external containers" when the window is not in focus, aka game rendered elements. Greatly improves performance when multiple object windows are open.
- Fixed a bug where the bulletin board UI would render incorrectly when returning from a post.
- Fixed the "unknown primitive" hex editor in Volcanic.
Posted by: S1ndle
Tuesday July 23, 2019
Object Upgrades coming to FreeSO!

A system that allows for players to upgrade their objects is being introduced to FreeSO! The system is being rolled gradually, starting with beds and overtime being introduced to other object categories.
You can learn more about upgrades by reading the new blog post written by Rhys on the official website.
Posted by: S1ndle
Thursday June 27, 2019
Version beta/update-75 and 75a in Sunrise Crater

Summer is here! And with summer comes plenty of fun new objects, fixes, and a heatwave that has melted all the snow in the city.

NOTE: The heatwave does not have any negative effects to sims, objects or pets. It is mostly visual.

Update 75
- Summer is here! A heatwave has melted all of the snow in the crater, and we've introduced some new objects to help you deal with the heat. More info in the next message!

- Self moving objects now use interpolation to move buttery smooth, instead of stuttering about!
- Affects carpools, whacket-ball, duck, bubbles, roaches, mice, robot factory and (???).
- Preliminary work to interpolate movement between container slots.
- Fix a bug where the game could crash when switching properties.
- Global Tuning: Tuning that is sent as soon as the player logs in, and is available in city view.
- Tuning Presets: Tuning that can be applied as part of an ingame timed event. This can include tuning for motives, object payouts, skill speed and more - and allows all of these things to be automatically changed while the server is running.
- (part of work towards object upgrades)
- Admin API for Events. (should make things easier on other M.O.M.I. )
- Tuning changes while the server is running now immediately update any lots that are open. (fixes dynamic payouts not updating til a lot restart)
- Objects *inside* objects that move often will no longer update shadow maps. Fixes lag holding stacks of plates.
- Hidden objects (like the go here destination) no longer update shadows, which caused a stutter.
- Fix object shadows when shadows for surrounding lots are enabled. (complex shaders toggle)
- BBCode can no longer be escaped from user input using backslash.
- Preparation for discord integration.

- VM Snap to Routing Slot can now snap to other floors, if you try hard enough.
- FSOAbortAllInteractions can now instantly cancel the idle interaction.
- "Go Here" can now include an interaction parameter
- The carry animation can now be reset separately from all other animations, without playing one.
- Added "FSOAccurateDirectionInTemp0" TSO call mode. Returns a direction from -180 to 180, in the range -32768 to 32767.

M.O.M.I. Municipal Munchables" - Script: M.O.M.I. Raeven , Graphics: D.A.D.D.I. S1ndle
"The Outdoor X-Grill 1700" - Scripts: M.O.M.I. Raeven, Graphics: D.A.D.D.I. S1ndle
"Bare Essentials Condiment Kit" - D.A.D.D.I. S1ndle
"'Cottingley' Fairy Lights" - Script: M.O.M.I. Raeven, Graphics: D.A.D.D.I. S1ndle
"The Watering Hole" - Unused Object fixed by M.O.M.I. Raeven
"Fun-Co's" Tub o' Balls - Script: Hot tub with mods by M.O.M.I. Raeven, Graphics: D.A.D.D.I. S1ndle
"The Wood Plate of Zen Stuff" - ๐“๐“ฎ๐“ฟ๐“ฎ๐“ป ๐“ป๐“ฎ๐“ช๐“ต๐“ต๐”‚ ๐“ธ๐“ฟ๐“ฎ๐“ป
"Summertime Snoozin' Towel" - C.O.U.S.I.N. Andrew
"Beach Cabana" - Unused Object reworked by M.O.M.I. Raeven (unfinished, may be added to catalog soon)

"โ€˜Summer on a Stickโ€™ seasonal beam" - C.O.U.S.I.N. Andrew (for winners of the the BBQ games)
"???" - Unused Object reworked by M.O.M.I. Raeven
"What-a-Balloon Box" - Scripts: rip in peri peri, Graphics: D.A.D.D.I. S1ndle

Update 75a
- Fixes to the new objects when moving them between lots.
- Water Balloons can now be thrown on hills.
- When a player hits a trap, they now immediately lose the water balloon they were holding. If the game is started on elimination mode, they lose all lives.
- Multifloor targeting: Interactions, Go Here and Object Movement can now be done across all visible floors, rather than just the top. (build tools are unchanged)
- Lot Category Improvements: Objects with specific category limitations now show them in the catalog. Attempting to buy them shows a warning (that can be dismissed)
- The heatwave has intensified, "blended" snow lots are now properly grass.
- Fix to 2 tile casino bar.
Posted by: S1ndle
Friday May 31, 2019
Version beta/update-74b in Sunrise Crater

Just a tad late getting this up on the website, but no worries. Update 74b is here! Bringing with it the new Free Vote option for neighborhoods, community contributions, and measures to prevent brute-forcing of accounts.

As always the patch notes for Update 74b:

- Implement a Free Vote option for Neighborhoods, which allows sims living in neighborhoods that do not have an election to vote in any ongoing election.
- You will receive an email when the election period starts and your neighborhood is ineligible.
- You can select from any neighborhood with an active election. You will then receive the mail for that election cycle.
- Sims living in neighborhoods with elections will vote as normal.
- Move limitation for entering and voting in elections is now 14 days instead of 30.
- Moving property will affect your ability to participate in the free vote as well, to stop users from double-voting.
- (from Jones) Objects can now be sent back to inventory by pressing I.
- (from Jones) Fixed a bug with job UI
- (from simptomo) Fixed an issue where Set To Next primitive could yield an incorrect result.
- Implement a "Restore Lot Tool" which allows restoration of properties from fsov saves, useful when the property has been deleted, changed unexpectedly or vandalised. It creates database entries for lots and obejcts, and can even steal objects back from user inventories to attempt to retain persist state (eg. sign plugin)
- Add support to upload update builds to GitHub Releases rather than AWS.
- Failed attempts at reconnecting to the server no longer leak TCP connections. (this caused some networking issues on busier days where over 500 dead connections were still "active", and sometimes the lot server simply stopped listening for connections due to it)
- Failing too many login attempts will lock you out for a few minutes. Consecutive will increase the time exponentially. Logging in successfully will reset the exponential lockout time. This is to prevent against brute-forcing into accounts by logging in hundreds of thousands of times, which hasn't happened yet but still needs to be addressed.
- Collision verification cheat for debug mode. Hasn't propped up with anything yet but should be able to reveal cases where the static collision tree desyncs from what it should be.
- Fixed CORS configuration on the server for some additional safety (and less warnings in logs)
- Fix a bug that would force you out of the property on showing the
timeout dialog (if your window is too small)
- Fixed attempting to purchase too many clothes. Now refunds the
purchaser if the outfit owner cannot be changed (not the best solution,
no error msg but works for now)
- Wait 100ms before re-establishing connection, to deal with cases where
we are yet to receive the ServerByePDU or are disconnecting ourselves.
- Draw lot facades after the flashing square beneath them (when they are
online) to avoid masking issues.
- Don't cut off city object opacity at 0.1.
- City tree alpha is now non-premultiplied.
- Fix object alpha blending for surrounding lots (roughly)
Posted by: S1ndle
For past news, visit the news archive.