Version 1.02 Release and Next Steps16 Jan 2023
Version 1.02 Release
Version 1.02 has finally been released, containing many bug fixes as well as several quality-of-life improvements to TFE. With this release, several user-levels that could not be finished are now completable; many INF, collision and jumping issues have be resolved. In addition, the GPU Renderer now behaves much closer to the software renderer in many ways, especially in relation to exterior adjoin behavior. Finally the Sound UI has seen a large improvement, with the ability to select output devices, reset to default. In addition, TFE will attempt to use several different audio APIs when the default does not work due to driver issues.
This doesn’t solve all of the bugs, of course, but I think it puts the project on solid ground when it comes to playing the core game and most user levels. In the previous post on Upcoming Plans I discussed the early 2023 plans for The Force Engine. I plan on starting on the next step in the plan, Version 1.10 - the official Linux release - this week. The plan is to use the Steam Deck as a test platform in order to ensure that TFE supports the device well. I will be starting from existing Pull Requests (PR) that have already been submitted as well as building in TFE native support for using sound fonts and midi synthesis using the audio system. This will, in turn, require the audio system to be upgraded to handle higher frequency output (either 44.1 or 48kHz) - which will enable support for HQ audio later this year.
During this process, I will still fix bugs, of course, but that won’t be the focus for a while (except for critical issues of course). And once version 1.10 has been released, the plan is to move on to Version 1.11 - which will be full color support, along with various optional visual enhancements and image quality improvements. See the Upcoming Plans post for more details.
The Version 1.0 Release of The Force Engine has been a great success overall. Projects like these take time to mature, and people found many bugs and issues - just look at the massive list of fixed issues in version 1.02 - see Downloads for example. Yet the release went really smoothly and many people had a great experience playing Dark Forces using TFE. And, for that, I largely credit the many individuals listed in the credits who tirelessly tested the game and reported the many, many issues they found along the way.
So, thanks everyone for testing!