Big Iron / News: Recent posts

On "Vacation"

I'm getting into a hectic period at my day job, so I'm taking a short break from Big Iron. I'll keep fiddling with it as I get time, but it will probably be several weeks before I can get back to serious work on it.

I will continue to check my mail if anyone needs to get hold of me.

Posted by Jason E. Steele 2002-11-02

New Big Iron Pre-Alpha Release

The next release of the Big Iron pre-alpha code is now available from the "Files" link of the Big Iron project page. New in this release is the full implementation of the ping, connection and chat protocols for the network layer with an improved GUI client test program. There have been no changes over the previous in the 3D engine or scripting layer.

Starting with this release, images, fonts and textures in the data directory will be released as a separate tar file. Download both bigiron-cvs20021019.tgz and bigiron-data-cvs20021019.tgz; untar them both into the same directory. As with previous pre-alpha releases, do not try to do 'make install' - run the sample programs from the top directory (see the README file for more information.)... read more

Posted by Jason E. Steele 2002-10-20

Bit of a Chat...

I've checked in a partial implementation of a text chat protocol (src/net/ChatProtocol.hpp) and updated server-test and client-test to start to exercise it. So far, I've only tested connecting/disconnecting and basic broadcast messages. The code is highly experimental and should be used with caution.

The chat protocol supports client-to-client, multicast and broadcast messages (although multicast is not fully implemented yet.)... read more

Posted by Jason E. Steele 2002-10-14


I've tried to start building some developer documentation for Big Iron by writing up a description of the terrain engine used to generate the screen shots on the web page. You can get to the documentation from the "Docs" link on project page on SourceForge.

I'm currently working on the networking layer; I've checked in support for a ping protocol and a connection protocol. I still need to add a protocols for chat and for a protected remote shell protocol. I've added preliminary document describing the network layer framework and the protocols I've designed so far.

Posted by Jason E. Steele 2002-10-12

CVS Snapshot Release

I've put out a new release with the latest CVS code, including the enhanced terrain features (texture, coloring, fog), a scripting interface and the fundamental classes for the network layer. Check the "Files" link on the project summary page for the file bigiron-cvs20021009.tar.gz. The release notes describe what the test programs are and how to run them.

Python 2.2 is now required by the configure script. The check works for Cygwin on my Win98 box. Let me know if you have Python 2.2 installed and the script doesn't find it.

Posted by Jason E. Steele 2002-10-09

Feet on the Ground

The CVS code has been updated with height-of-terrain checks (so the trees and the camera actually follow ground level now), vertex coloring and a simple noise base texture. I've also enabled OpenGL fog to give some atmospheric perspective. New screenshots are available.

The next major step in the terrain rendering code is detail texturing, but there are a lot of complicated issues to work out. I've got a rough idea of how I want to do the texturing, but my brain hit its linear algebra limit for this week. :) ... read more

Posted by Jason E. Steele 2002-10-07

Where were we...?

After a break of over a year, we're getting development going again on Big Iron. I'm going to chunk the current CVS tree and start over. The current plan is to stick with plib - Steve's added some cool stuff since last I looked. I'm developing against plib 1.6.0 and libpng 1.2.4.

I've added WIN32 (using cygwin) as a supported platform. My current development platforms are 400mhz Celeron Win98 w/ GeForce3 4 and a 440mhz Celeron Linux w/ Voodoo III.... read more

Posted by Jason E. Steele 2002-10-03

Big Iron Kicks Off

Big Iron is intended to be a free open source equivalent of such commercial games as StarSiege and MechWarrior. It is being developed in ANSI C++ using Steve Baker's portable games library (plib) as the 3D, sound and joystick SDK. Linux is the primary development platform, but portability to Windows and Mac is a secondary objective.

At the time of kickoff, I have the autoconf and make file structure set up, and a couple of utility classes and a demo of a height-mapped terrain model, and a rough plan of a feature set for an alpha (0.1) release and a wish list for an eventual 1.0 release. I'll put a couple of screen shots of the demo on the web site when I get it uploaded.... read more

Posted by Jason E. Steele 2000-04-25

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