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Back in a Minute Total Re-Write, version released

Back in a Minute Total Re-Write, version released published on No Comments on Back in a Minute Total Re-Write, version released

This release saw the total re-write of the entire Back in a minute codebase, for optimal performance, less I/O operations and greater compatibility with other *NIX systems (including MacOSX). This release is an intermediary release mostly done for the books, but includes Kastian’s optimizations and several bugfixes; not to mention GOOD NEWS for the continued development of the project!

DOWNLOAD version
Download the latest release from the download page.
Default game directory is ~/.biamin. Put in that folder, chmod+x it and run ./biamin -i to install an alias to your .bashrc file.
GPL-ONLY versions (without CC licensed graphics) is now available at the GPL-only repository!

CHANGES in version
As the ridiculous version number suggests, there have been quite a few additions since the last blog update. Let me first admit that this release has been a long time coming! I’ve had a vacation, stuff to do with the building I live in, been writing on my MA thesis and been ill with fever and allergies as summer struck Norway with a vengeance. Thankfully, Biamin’s now official collaborator Kastian has stepped up and has fixed some of the most annoying legacy code I had produced in working out this game.

I am not a programmer, more of a hobbyist hacker. So even though my code eventually worked, its logical architecture wasn’t where I wanted it to be. The first thing Kastian rewrote from scratch was the MapNav() function, which displays the interactive map in the game. Like I had wanted to do, he wrote it fully in awk, instead of using awk, echo and sed. While I went away on holiday in Barcelona, he took it upon himself to go through the entire code to improve it. And he completed it in version 1.3.7! While the game stayed the same, his optimization cut the code base down with 300 lines of code, which is quite a feat! His sparce changelog sounds as follows:

# kstn major rewrite CHANGES for 1.3.7
# remains of GPS_Fix() included in NewSector()
# CHANGES for Also, I (sigg3) have made 1.3.7 first GPL-only release too..!
# NoWriteOnGamedir() replaced to Die() because was used only once
# CosmeticName() removed because was used only in Intro()
# LookForItem() removed because was used only in NewSector()
# ActionsBar() removed because was used only in NewSector()
# TranslatePosition() removed because used only in MapNav()
# TopMenu() removed because used only in MainMenu()
# HowTo() removed becouse used only in Credits()
# remains of GX_MapSight() included in GX_Map()
# all TodaysDate() moved to Intro() because need only once
# Fixed some little bugs (I'cant remember how many :) )

The last two weeks, we’ve corresponded semi-daily with bug reports and feature ideas. While I didn’t have too much planned for Back in a minute upon release, except bug fixes and architectural changes, Kastian’s game-related input has convinced me that there are many possibilities worth checking out. I added him as a collaborator on our gitorious page recently, to ensure that the project can move on even when I’m either writing on my MA or am otherwise occupied.

Current ROADMAP: 1.4 to be LEGACY
Without going into too much detail, since they’re still being worked out as I type, I have decided that the game will have to be split up at some point into: Biamin-LEGACY and Biamin 2.0. The legacy game will remain the quick-and-dirty game you know today, which originally gave the project its name, while the 2.0 release will see some really cool changes that makes the world of Back in a minute come alive!

The Biamin-LEGACY code will probably be stabilized and polished up until version 1.4, which will only receive occasional bugfixes from that point on. New features of the game, which changes game-related content and player experience, will all be directed to the Biamin-2.0 branch of the project. Don’t worry, you will still be able to play the version you want to, be it LEGACY, GPL-only or 2.0, from our repository and the download page. But the LEGACY code will soon have reached the original goals I had set out for it when I released it publicly. If anything, it protects my sense of nostalgia for all those hours hacking on it alone pre-publishing.

Quick note on the GPL-ONLY version
This version is included as a courtesy to the occasional License Feinschmecker who cannot abide mixed licensed code. The reason I did not opt for the GNU GPL v3 for the entire codebase is simply because the GNU GPL was never intended for the artistic content in games, and I don’t want to see my work used in commercial products, however small the chances are for that ever happening. The GPL-only repo will contain both LEGACY and 2.0 versions. We still recommend the standard version of the game, with dual GNU GPL v.3 and CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 International licensing, for the best gaming experience:)

I should probably go through and update the About page now… 😛

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