the Friday 0.9.x release "mini tradition" continues by the release of the 0.9.7 today. Though the changelog is rather long, the amount of code behind those changes is rather small (they were all simple fixes). If the amount of stress and haste before the release would be a measure of release quality then 0.9.7 should do rather good. We released it before Friday lunch without any last minute hotfixes and without any complications.
The pack in the post title refers to the scenario pack. The set of currently 3 "mini campaigns" available for the furnace attendant tier or higher. We finally got around to make it compatible with the 0.9.x release branch. So now there is a scenario pack 0.9.7 available that will work with the 0.9.7 binary version. The changes have been quite significant, because the Tight Spot and Supply Challenge had to be rebalanced to take the oil industry into account. The playtesting of these has been a refreshing experience and definitely a good motivation to think about new challenge missions and content for the scenario pack (we still take it as a work in progress). You can check out the main part of the factory that got me through the new Supply Challenge below. It was built in about 3 hours under constant pressure to provide 6 "hungry chests" in the center with new and new items - that is why it is called the Supply challenge.
Alongside the bugfix branch for 0.9.x the work in the master branch has continued on some small features for the 0.10 (see the new roadmap). Namely things like environment sound playing and map generation strings. But this is now coming to conclusion and Kuba already started with design and planning for the multiplayer network layer. Immediately some scary technical issues showed up: floating point operations non-determinism across different platforms, peer-to-peer communication for players without public IP addresses, etc. We will definitely not be bored in the near future :)
Recently a lot of old entities have been reskinned or remade. Things like inserters, transport belts or assembling machines are now (0.9.x) consistent with the artistic direction. This is all part of the plan to improve the visuals for our new trailer. It has been taking ages, but we are really getting close now. Albert is now working on doodads and aesthetic tweaks for the trailer map. Actually we just spent like 2 hours discussing some details of the map :) Please bear with us a little longer. In the meantime you can enjoy the "good-old" red cadillac in the old trailer, it is not going to be around for long.
And here is the mentioned screenshot from the supply challenge close to the finish:
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