The following is some of the history of osu! since its beginning. Special thanks to Sinistro for helping in compiling the 2007/2008 content.
osu! began as a proof-of-concept named "ouentest". The first version was released on 2007-07-01 to a small group of peppy's close friends and featured a very basic editor and play mode. The editor had no seeking or snapping functions, but could only make simple beatmaps. There were no sliders or spinners at this point, but basic scoring/combo counters were present. The first release took approximately 16 hours of coding time and was done in a single all-nighter.
pUpdater was introduced (soon to be known as
osume) to handle updating to the latest version.
By the end of July, the menu system was changed to add a bit of style to the game. An initial implementation of sliders was completed, with a non-animated orange slider ball and some relatively ugly curves. Beat snapping was added to the editor, as was a timeline and a more robust editor interface (quite similar to what you see in Compose view today).
Song Selection for Edit Mode
Slider creation in the editors
The main menu was updated with a new look, and the editor received a lot of new functionalities, including copy and paste support. The Windows's menubar and cursor were added, making editor features were a lot more accessible than before. Sliders were more extensively supported, with ticks present and disappearing as the slider ball passes them. Stacking of hit circles were present. Local high scores were a lot better supported. The
.osu file format was revised and completely revamped, but includes conversion of older files to the new format.
Song Selection screen for Play Mode
Evolution of the hit bursts
Gameplay was enhanced with the debut of combo fire, the HP bar, mouse trails, and better looking sliders. By this point, osu! had a humble collection of around 10 beatmaps made by the testing team of around 5 people.
Song Selection for Edit Mode
2007-09-17 was the birth of osu! as far as the public was concerned. The forums as we know them today were established, and hosted from peppy's home domain (
ppy.sh). Attention was gained via a news announcement on bemanistyle which drew quite a few interested people with previous rhythm game experience.
Slider creation in the editor
Spinner (based on DS's official Ouendan)
News announcement on a gaming website
Quickly after the public release, the first play mods, Easy and No Fail, were added, as well as break sections (which up until now had been ignored and missing). A large number of changes quickly made osu! look more and more like a commercial rhythm game.
2007-10-01 was the day when online rankings were made available publicly. This also saw the launch of the
.osz packaging method, and online beatmap database with an early web-based submission system. Online rankings were added to the in-game interface and also displayed on the website.
The song selection screen saw improvements, with grouping of difficulties and more intuitive song wheel movement. The soft sample set, keyboard-based controls, in-game searching all originate in this month. Players could make universal skins and per-beatmap skins for the first time and full TabletPC support was implemented.
Song Selection in Solo Mode
osume) version 2 was released, supporting optional package downloads. This included making the first user-made skins available to all players via the updater. The editor saw the addition of distance-based snapping, bookmark support, multiple slider curve types, custom colours, play-testing, lead-in time, and much more.
A new SS rank was added to the ranking system, replacing S rank in cases where perfection was achieved. The No Video and Hidden mods were introduced, and the SH (sliver S) and SSH (sliver SS) ranks to go with it. For the first time, players could skin and assign normal and soft sample sets per timing section.
.osz files could now be loaded by double-clicking them, or dragging them onto the osu! icon.
Main Menu (Flooded with stars)
Testing IRC usage
The Beatmap Submission System (BSS) was made public, allowing users to easily upload and share their creations. This introduced the status of pending and ranked maps and helped organise the rapidly growing collection of user-submitted beatmaps. In-game chat was added, as an IRC client built from scratch and connected to a standard IRC server (no bancho yet). Extended chat was visible. Avatars and basic stats were displayed in game (using an http-based communication). Audio controls were also added to the main menu, which also now plays a random song on startup. Replays could be watched for both local scores and online plays. Players could spectate other players (and spectator data was sent raw over IRC!).
Songs could be edited by dragging them into the osu! window. Tooltips were added; explaining all the various buttons in the osu! menus and editor interface. Many new quality skins were submitted by early skinners (Holiday by LuigiHann, WindWaker by awp). New sorting methods were added to the song selection screen. peppy could now send universal announcements to all osu! players. Minor tweaks were made to gameplay, such as non-active circle dimming.