Episode 3 (β release)

    Good morning.

    The Umineko Project team extends you our heartfelt greetings.

    Episode 3 α-testing finished in an unexpectedly short timespan given the amount of work we had to accomplish, and we feel pretty satisfied with the results. Today we reached the third milestone towards a complete Umineko port. As usual we suggest to proceed to our How to upgrade page to read the details of the upgrade process. And for more patient players here comes a work summary.

    Firstly, about the upgrade and installation specifics.
    We got a few complaints about upgrades to newer versions resetting user preferences and breaking game configurations. The former issue was successfully resolved by us and it will no longer happen. But the latter is almost always the subject of a user mistake (we fixed all the other cases). Therefore, a number of precautions were added. From now on, the game will try to validate most critical resources, informing you about missing or corrupted files. Moreover, a 3-month warning message was added to unobtrusively remind you of the possible need to upgrade.

    Secondly, about hardware/software compatibility.
    A lot of work was done on improving game performance, and as a result system requirements lowered a bit. For example, we now support a 4096 pixel texture limit (GeForce 7xxx series, Radeon X series, various tablet GPUs). Workarounds exist for cards without non-power-of-two texture or standardised FBO support. A less performance-affecting workaround (instead of no-texture-reuse) for visual glitches was added for Intel GPUs — no-glclear ons.cfg option).
    We significantly improved gamepad support adding SteamPad Controller and DualShock 3 rumble support on OS X and Linux. Current Linux builds were also tested on SteamOS, and so far no issues were reported (Debian is Debian :D).

    Thirdly, about the changes in general.
    — We started to unveil font customisation instructions starting with scaling.
    — A long awaited option to prevent game from skipping the unread dialogues has just debuted as well.
    — Background music files were reencoded with a proper sampling frequency, significantly improving sound quality and enlarging the upgrade size. Sorry for that, but previously it was not possible to do due to side compatibility issues.

    What now? In front of us are multiple vast tasks affecting future episodes. Editing is progressing on the Episode 4 translation, and this will take a few months longer to complete (we hope you will use the time to look for issues, if there are any, and patiently wait for updates). We are working on expanding our list of supported platforms for technical users. And simultaneously, the engine and script are receiving the work they need to support our future ambitions.