TSC 2.0.0 has been released

Written by Quintus on 2015-08-17.

Stable version 2.0.0 of TSC has been released today.

The TSC development team is proud to announce that exactly six years after the last release of SMC, 1.9, two years after I, Marvin Gülker aka Quintus, forked the game under the name of TSC, after months of development and several backthrows, finally the new stable version 2.0.0 has been released today. As I write this, the source tarball and the Windows setup installer are being uploaded to alexandria, our server. So, what has changed?

  • The game now contains a very powerful scripting engine in mruby, a minimal implementation of the Ruby programming language. It allows you to do nearly everything imaginable as a level author. Most prominently it allows to create switches that can have arbitrary effects.
  • New enemies: Larry the bomb, Pip the worm, and the Beetle Barrage.
  • Movable crates were added as a new dynamic game object that may be involved in certain obstacles.
  • All Mario-inspired music and most of the Mario-inspired graphics are gone. Especially all the powerup graphics have been exchanged.
  • Several new pieces of music have been added.
  • Several new levels have been added.
  • The game now officially contains a Tutorial campaign.
  • Many more strings have been made translatable, and we have a complete Finnish and German translation. Note that not all the strings are translatable yet, though, so you’ll still see some English.
  • The ten year old C++ codebase was reworked largely. The code is now more clean, and it is possible to build the Windows version by crosscompilation from Linux without needing access to Microsoft’s proprietary compiler.
  • Compiling people will enjoy that the dependency on CEGUI’s NullRenderer was removed. Also, the entire build system was changed to cmake, and CEGUI is compiled in statically if the old version we required is not found on your computer (we are working on upgrading our dependencies).
  • Several bugfixes, smaller features, etc. You can take a look at the Git commit log if you really want to know them all.

Before the advent of The Secret Chronicles of Dr. M. the Secretmaryo project (Secret Maryo Chronicles, SMC) was basically dead. Its former lead developer, Florian Richter (FluXy), abandoned it about the year 2012. The once active forums grew more and more empty, were invaded by armies of spambots, and only few users still checked them when I took up the project in 2013. First I just wanted to contribute the long requested scripting engine, but after I posted its first version (then written in Lua) I soon realised that if I just leave it there, nobody would pick it up. Earlier I had come into contact with the former SMC assistant lead, Luiji, to whom I express my special gratitude, and without whom there would be no TSC today. It was him who convinced me (probably he did not even realise that role himself) that there must be a future to this game. Till today, he has supported me as the assistant lead of the TSC project in various adminsitrative tasks, and continues to be an important part of TSC. He will certainly remember how we got in touch when working on the now obsolete smc-get program…

Anyway, I forked the SMC sourcecode from its GitHub repository and implemented several new features and fixed some longer standing bugs. I posted my progress in the old SMC forums, and generated some interest there. Over time, some of the old users returned and encouraged me even further, so that after another while I decided that my role with the SMC project shall not be only an intermediary one (the early commits in the TSC repo list me as “Interim project lead” in the credits). I assumed the role of the project lead; after some more or less successful tries to contact Mr. Richter, the decision was made to declare TSC officially a fork of the SMC project. With the German company First Root UG we found a sponsor for our (little) infrastructure which we then used to set up this website, a wiki, a (currently surpisingly active) forum, and the development mailinglist. Many thanks to them; without their support it would have been much more difficult to manage the process.

With more and more features added, and more people joining the efforts, we came to the conclusion that while we enjoy the game of SMC, we need a different goal. SMC to a large extent was still a Mario clone, with different graphics, but with the game mechanics only very slightly changed. It was widely recognised as such. In a long and heated discussion we decided to rename the project to “The Secret Chronicles of Dr. M.” and try to remove Mariosms in graphics and game handling. While this ongoing effort is far from being completed, early results are already visible in the now released 2.0.0 stable version.

Due to various bugs and external circumstances, the release of 2.0.0 was delayed for about one year after its planned publishment. While our timekeeping obviously has been unsatisfactory, we promise to do better for the next releases. However, before I show you the links, I think this is the place to say thank you also to those persons that I did not already mention. Let me say thank you to Chris Jacobsen (datahead) for his sustained support in development albeit he was under time pressure for his graduate studies, thank you to Brian Vanderburg II (simpletoon), who contributed probably the most code to TSC after me, and thank you to the earliest tester of the game, Justin Rissler (DarkAceZ). Thank you to Sydney Dykstra (sydneyjd) for an uncountable number of helping tasks reaching from graphical assets over game testing to server administration, and thank you to Bugsbane for providing the game with his invaluable art. Thank you to Arik Burns (aakburns) for several pieces of music, and likewise to Johan Brod (jobromedia). Thank you to Lauri Ojansivu (xet7), who did the first translation of the game to a foreign language (Finnish) and who wrote and maintains this website. There was involved the help of many more people, and I am unable to enumerate them all. Thank you everyone!

So, without further ado, here are the download links for the final stable version 2.0.0, which will become valid once the uploads have finished:

Marvin Gülker (Quintus)
On behalf of the TSC development team.