There haven't been an update for some because I was a bit busy with some personal life and in some months I will be moving to another location. Yet, I try to keep this project running and still have plans to make it better.
Here are the changes for this one:
- - Dreams now uses the graphics and timer engine used by CG for other episodes which consumes less resources and provides a bit more fluent graphics as far as possible. The episode is fully playable but there are still some issues and artifacts I'm fixing. Also I'm making some of the code a bit more object oriented
- Patcher has been improved and became a bit smarter. This makes more mods run much better than before, especially regarding Keen 1 Galaxy mod, Keen 8 and Keen 9.
- Python3 support has been added. So far it can be used for controlling some variables of Sparky and Robored. For the basic integration I tested on those and it works pretty well. Plans are to get the AI code into python scripts and allow modders are better way to program their own stuff. I also will be adding scripts to some existing mods in order to make them playable as intended to.
- Last but not least the run button. In Keen 1-6 (not dreams) you can assign another action were Keen runs much faster! I know, original Keen did not move that fast, but I think it's a nice change which can make the walking through some larger levels a bit less boring. Also it might be interesting for speedrunners to check it out. Whenever you "run" through levels you have to be extra careful with enemies not to touch you, so there is a good balance in my opinion. if don't want to use that feature just do not use it!
I will update the other releases as soon I have taken a deeper look into the python3 integration with libsdl android.
Now let's talk about some future, shall we. I really had big plans for CG but I decided to go a bit back. Version 2.0 is one of the mayor plans still, but supporting more features especially the Galaxy and Dreams game had is the main priority up to that point. I will be adding other features and see how they are received. I'd rather see where we get and what is better received than to strictly plan something in advance. It also depends on this community a bit...
For example I consider dosfusion an attempt that didn't work out well. Dosfusion in Commander Genius runs and supports other games, but I really wanted a fusion with the original developer (Qbix) and make the dosgame become something bigger. He didn't like the idea and we agreed that I will be concentrating more on the Commander Genius engine itself for the Commander Keen games. CG is not emulator anyways so I won't be extending the Dosfusion part anymore. I might even remove some time later...
About Python I will be extending the support and hopefully through that get more mods to work better. It will depend on how modders receive that feature and which guys will be helping me on this project. If it fails it might get removed, I dunno yet.
I want to see what others might use and I still believe we should modernize Keen or in general 2D platformer like these, I love 2D platformers!
Having seen some bigger mods like (Keen 7-9) I'm really happy that the Commander Keen adventures continue. We have great artists, componists and hackers on this site with great potentials.
It is too bad that the legal issues with the executables hinder publishing these mods. CGs Game Center provides some Mods for free to download Keen games. Regarding for example Keen 8 and 9 I cannot provide a downloadable content because for that the users must provide the purchased executables. Even worse goes for Keen 6 which is harder to get. Yeah I can demand in CG providing these executable. Maybe I will do that, but I do not consider it a clean solution to that problem.
But I might have a solution. Since Commander Genius is that massive and provides most of the code for handling what needs to be handled, why not support these mods without requiring the executables. With some python scripts and the graphics, sounds and music the mods provide there isn't that much to be changed. I think that way we can provide Keen 9 without an Keen 5 executable legally and maybe even Keen 8 without Keen6.exe. Not sure if that would be a problem, but most of the graphics in these game are by the modders. It is mostly patched away.
Those are my thoughs. Maybe in future we can skip those executable and just your own resources and make the game yours. Make the modders more independent.
Legal issues with the name and owner of the Commander Keen franchise? So far nobody seems to care what the modders have done so far here. I doesn't matter really, we can change the name at any time, don't you think? "Captain Keen" maybe?
Tom Hall itself reached the other day and told me he was playing Commander Genius and enjoying it without any complains. He only complained that there is no updated Mac version. Good thing this guy is remembered by its fans and not ripped apart like Duke Nukem.
I want to provide and see what others might use make happy. From my point of view I still believe we should modernize Keen or in general 2D platformer like these, I love 2D platformers!
My thoughs so far. I wish you all a nice weekend!