Yesterday, ships were finally added to Widelands! Strictly speaking the ships have been in since build 16 was released, but now they even do something. Eager to test them out I took a look at the latest version, I edited the allowed buildings of Atlanteans and used the editor to set up a quick map with a small lake. I built a port on both sides of it, and then a ship which sailed between them, transporting wares and workers. Transportation was easy to set up by adjusting priority in the ports which worked just like a regular warehouse. The advantage of course is that with ships you can transport resources across the map as long as there is a port on both sides.
Personally, I’m really happy to finally get to play with ships. Those familiar with Widelands will know that it is similar to the older Settlers-games. And while Settlers II introduced ships, I have to admit I have only ever played demo versions of it. Ships, of course, were one of the promised features which was only included in the fullversion. They did include teaser screenshots and descriptions of how the ships worked though, and in some way I have been waiting more than 10 years to get the ships sailing back and forth on my screen.
And I think it looks awesome. At the present no scenarios or maps are built around ships since they have not been available and even now they are not enabled by default. However, I think that in time this can offer some significant changes to the gameplay. I look forward to how expeditions, colonies and dealing with territories split across the map works out.
For those who are impatient and want to try it out for themselves, grab the latest development build or compile the latest version yourself. (Beware that changes happen rapidly in the development versions and are not guaranteed to be free of bugs or issues.) For the rest, seafaring will be included in build 17 (unless something unexpected happens) which is due to be released some time next year. I look forward to it.
This is a collection of some various, interesting things I have stumbled across lately which doesn’t really justify a separate post each.
Someone made a Creative Commons licensed book about the architecture of open source applications. Since the code is open and freely available, this makes it possible to discuss how it is constructed and how the choices made in development affected the end result. Among the programs covered are Eclipse, Mercurial, CMake and Battle for Wesnoth. I read some parts of it, and it looks like they are already working on volume 2.
If you know what a Möbius strip looks like, you should check it out this short little story about a girl living in Möbius world. Actually, it is brilliant, so you should probably go see it anyway.
“Achieving your childhood dreams” is the name of a presentation I watched a long time ago (last fall or something), which is a really inspiring talk by Randy Pausch. He was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. The talk is his chosen topic for what they referred to as a “last lecture”, which essentially means if you were given one last lecture to hold, what would you talk about? The twist here is that he had recently been diagnosed with cancer and informed he had maximum six months left. He also gave an interesting lecture on time managment. They have both been posted on YouTube by Carnegie Mellon.
Also on YouTube is the
TV-series Pioneer One. It is an interesting approach because they are funded by donations and make the episodes freely available from their website. So far they have released four episodes, with two more coming soon. It is hard to say something about the plot without spoiling too much, but it is a sci-fi series.
And Ubuntu recently released alpha 2 of their upcoming Oneiric Ocelot release. Check here if you want to take it for a test spin, or here to see the expected release schedule. Since it is still under development, I recommend not using your day to day machine, but rather test it in a virtual machine or something in case something breaks.
Speaking of Ubuntu, you may have noticed the main colors used are orange and aubergine. If you have wondered exactly which colors are used, these two friendly owls (?) will let you know.
That’s it for now…