Big Ol' UpdateAugust 28th, 2016

Another update is here and it didn't even take ten months! And yes, this means this project is still alive and kicking, well, alive anyway... So, what happened during all those months? Let's take a look!

The big part of why this update took this long was splitting game update and rendering code into separate threads. Now this wouldn't be so damn hard if I had kept those things separate in the first place. So there was some refactoring that needed to be done, which lead to another refactoring, which lead to... yeah, you guessed it right... Anyway, what this means is that game is no longer locked in 20 FPS, but can run as fast as your GPU (and horrible code) permits, yay! After like two years I spent with it in the lands of 20 FPS, only after I've seen it run 60 I realized how utterly horrible it was (except for mouse pointer, I always knew how atrocious that was). Refactoring also tends to bring new bugs, or unearth hiding ones, so some time was also spent at cleaning those up. All is not finished though, as there are still some places where movements are not properly interpolated, which causes some jerky movements (if you run 60 FPS, you have 3 rendering frames per 1 game update frame, so you have to do something to make it appear 60 FPS). (side note: there are also some issues with input, which doesn't work well if you press the same key really fast)

Was all that time really worth the effort? Hell yeah! But wait, there's more! To justify this long update, we'll throw in something extra! Let's see... Well, there is fix to music mentioned in the last update, but it happens that now it sometimes fail for different reason. Maybe something to do with multithreading, but OpenAL docs are so piss poor they don't even mention threads, so yeah. Whatever made me choose that damned thing that doesn't bother throwing any errors at me... it's getting dumped as soon as I have time for it!

Now to the new things that actually work (I hope so anyway). There were some minor changes to script that no longer requires you to do reference counting but automatically sets your variable to null if object is destroyed or warps out. Arrays are now serialized as well, which should be quite useful (so far, no support for multidimensional arrays...). You are now also able to send information and units from one mission to another through persistent data.

Moving away from script oriented features, what's new is rebindable hotkeys, because you certainly don't want to be stuck with whatever crazy hotkey scheme developer came up with. Last but now least, something that will help me more than you, is generating minidumps on crash. This is a little file that you can send me, alongside log, when your game crashes and there is a non-zero chance that it will get fixed! Super convenient! What this also means is that saving game every five seconds to reproduce is no longer necessary, which caused noticeable lags if there was too much stuff. It also wasn't 100% guaranteed to reproduce the issue...

So, that's about it for this update. There wasn't much progress in content apart from concept art, so yeah. Speaking of which, I've taken it onto myself to take some time off programming to make some temporary ship models just to have something and I can only hope they won't be too insulting to the original concept art... so sorry for that in advance! They are meant only to test out how they will work, with their layouts and turret placements. So there might be an update within a month or two with some content update. Ha! I've got you there for a moment didn't I? or did I?

UpdateDecember 21st, 2015

Half year passed since last update. Coincidentally, that's how previous update started... This time however without updated game client. As it turns out, there are some bugs in my audio code and OpenAL doesn't really give you much info about what's wrong, only that something bad happened. Even better, OpenAL doesn't always fail when it should, which is even more fun. Thanks to that, for a long time there was a wrong system in place that appeared to work, except that music sometimes didn't start playing. It used to happen only once in a while, but few days ago it started to happen in a pattern that helped me tracked down the issue. It turns out that OpenAL will allow you to create whatever number of sound sources, but after you exceed some number, creating further sources may or may not succeed, which is that weird and annoying part. So until that is fixed, new release will be postponed. That also brings us to the good news section!

Good news is that we now have awesome original music, so far comprising 3 tracks, one for ambient, threat, and combat situations. This is also why bugs in audio are that much more annoying. Continuing good news, we now have new additions to the team in form of two concept artists with some great ship concepts so far. Speaking of which, we are still looking for some 3D modeler to get these rolling out and turn this into something playable.

Onto code updates! There were changes made to how GUI works under the hood that wasted a lot of time, but were necessary to retain my sanity when making changes to GUI visuals and new functionality. Oh yes, it was that terrible. GUI started as makeshift piece of code that got the job done and was expanded over time without much thinking about future and slowly evolved into this huge unmaintainable mess that was all over the place. Anyway, that's taken care of. In the department of new features stands rudimentary research system. It is working and all, but some nice visualization of tech tree will be needed before I would call it finished. New to the game are unit voices, so now ships can respond to your commands and comment on the ongoing battle and such - Homeworld style. So far there are only proof-of-concept notebook built-in microphone recorded crappy lines, but that may change soon, probably even in the next update. There were also small improvements like fighter/bomber behaviour so they will follow your orders in a more intelligent way, multiple ships able to dock to one subsystem and possible minor things I don't remember (time to start that changelog, right?).

UpdateJune 29th, 2015


Half year passed since last update. New version is uploaded and ready to go. Since lack of assets is still ongoing problem, there isn't much content, and it is still more like proof of concept. There is a tutorial mission that tries to introduce you to game basics, battle mission that should show that hurling everything you have at enemy without thinking isn't that effective as chosing targets and surrounding your enemy.

As always, I'm still looking for all kind of artists to help out.

Game server and new hostingJanuary 21st, 2015

In an attempt to get hosting for game server, I've been informed that my forums are screwed up, and mails with authentication keys aren't being sent. And since I didn't get any emails complaining about the situation, I believed that everything worked (it also turns out that some email could get lost, so maybe that was the reason?). So it appears that free hosting I had really sucked...

Fortunately, guys at provided me with completely free hosting (save for a domain name) that currently runs both website and game server! How awesome is that? Very much, that's how! So big thanks to them! That means that forums should now be functional, and you can connect to game server from game if you copy this little file into "soil/settings/" directory. Chances that you will meet anybody there are minimal, but you know, we can always organize some games on forums ;)

I apologize for any inconvenience caused by my previous derpy hosting and my inability to see it :|

Third attempt... now with Star Destroyer!January 9th, 2015

Hey, happy new year! You know, to both of you who read this! ;)

This update (over in downloads section), while not particularly large, is at least marked by much optimism. First of: while not exactly a person doing the dirty work for me, certain guy knows as Nomada_Firefox was kind enough to supply me with a lot of Star Wars models, so BIG THANKS to him and all those who created those models. You can now download this Star Wars dataset and have some fun with totally imbalanced and unfinished dataset. And if your definition of fun means balancing and creating damage models, we will both be happy.

Another big thanks goes to certain guy known as teknomancer2008 who participated in a "compatibility testing program", resulting from a fact that he could not run this game at all... Thank to his patient testing of many of my derpy attempts to fix some bug, Soil now runs on Intel HD 4400, and with luck will run on other Intel GPUs that can support OpenGL 3.2! I still have no idea what exactly fixed it, and attempts to break it again failed, so it will be classified as a miracle until proven otherwise.

While this update brings no new features (or I can't think of any), there is plenty of bugfixes including one crash fix in editor and a huge desync is now fixed (you know, that's useful for multi-player). While I don't know if it is new in this release, but if game still desyncs, if will automatically resync, so you can continue playing... or you know, sometime in the future.

With nothing more to say I again call for help of content creators, testers, clowns, balancers, just some feedback or spreading word to anyone who might be interested! And if you cannot get it started, please contact me and I will gladly try to help you. Reporting errors and bugs benefits me more than you, so why wouldn't I help?
And hey, here is some really bad video, because I'm too lazy to edit it :P

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