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Journal of Raduprv


Posted by , 23 January 2006 - - - - - - · 260 views

Yesterday and today we worked at the update, rectifying various bugs and stuff like that. Most of the bugs were problems in the map definitions, such as maps were not connected properly, doors didn't work and so on.
Today I found some time to work at my side project, I made a few GUI changes, such as removing many buttons from the main interface and placing them to the Base View interface. I didn't do that yet, but I managed to finish a few base view things. I will post some new screenshots when there will be something to show, rather than very crappy work in progress.

Preparing for the update

Posted by , 22 January 2006 - - - - - - · 196 views

Today (actually, late last night but still today) I put the update server and client patch online, so that people can test it.
As expected, many bugs were observed, especially a client crash due to bad map definition files (one entry to a cave had an invalid map id which caused the server to crash whenever someone tried to go there).
Other bugs were related to some typos of mine (for example, using the term reactive_weapon when it should have been active_weapon). That occured because I copied and paste some other item definition, which was reactive_aromr, so I just replaced armor with weapon. That bug took me quite a while to figure, and just a few minutes to fix.
Xerafax (the lead programmer for the client) fixed a bug which caused some objects in the client to dissapear, so now, one day later, we are ready for yet another update test.
I don't have much hope that this will be the final test, because I am sure many other problems will be discovered, but that's how things are done, one step at a time.

Unfortunately, until the update is done, I will not have much time for my secondary project. I am still looking for some artwork for it, if anyone is available.


Posted by , 20 January 2006 - - - - - - · 211 views

Eternal Lands:
Today I make almost all of the preparations for the 1 week tests, and I guess that we will start it tomorrow, unless something special happens.
My plan is to get the update done first, and then start adding various items to the game on a weekly bases (adding them all at once is a bad idea, it is better to add them a few at a time, and see how they affect the economy). Additionally, it is better for the players too, keeps them interested in the game, wondering what new items will be available next week.
Learner (the developer that aquired the license last year) implemented a minimal auto update system that will be able to download files that changed and thenr estart the client. However, this will be the first time we test it, and it is not really refined.
And a big middle finger to ATI for not fixing their drivers. The frame buffer object thingy is very poorly implemented by ATI, it crashes a lot, freezes, etc. Not really nice, I wish they were releasing better drivers.

My other project:
Now I am starting working at the base structures. So far I am defining the data types, loading the structure definitions from files, etc. Soon I will start displaying them and actually build a base. Of course, I still have no art so I will make my crapy testing art. I will post some screenshots when available.


Posted by , 18 January 2006 - - - - - - · 170 views

Eternal Lands: Right now the client developers are submiting the latest small patches that will enter in the update (in theory we were under a feature freeze, but as long as the patches are minor they are OK). Sunday, if everything is OK, we hsould have the update test running.
I was also talking lately with another former developer who licensed our engine last year, and he is still helping us with many things, including code sharing between our projects. Together with him and the client lead programmer we were talking about implementing missiles in the game. We can to the conclusion that the best option would be doing a 'ray tracing' collision detection, by tracing the path of the missile and see if it hits a 3d object box, in which case we do a polygonal collision detection check.
We thought of a new additional map format for the server (so far the server loads the client maps and a definition file for the map). This additional format will hold only the 3d objects that will have a collision flag (that is, solid objects such as tree, houses, etc.) while skipping the insignificant 3d objects such as small rocks, small bushes, etc.
We are not going to start implementing it until maybe April, and I will provide more details at that time.

My new project is going well, I changed the way the buttons are added, displayed and checked for the mouse clicks/overs.
Before each button had it's very own 9 global variables (x/y pos and len, and the start/end u and v + a variable to denote if the mouse is over it). It was a pain in the ass to add new buttons, and new buttons, and the code was looking very messy.
Now they are all in an array of a structure that looks like this:

typedef struct
int mouse_over;
int pressed;
int x_start;
int x_len;
int y_start;
int y_len;
float u_start;
float v_start;
float u_end;
float v_end;
int type;//dissregarded unless type==what_to_display;
void (*func)();


Tomorrow I hope I will add the "select location for the new base", for when you start the game. More details about it tomorrow.
And still no one to actually provide some art for me...

Encyclopedia screenshots

Posted by , 15 January 2006 - - - - - - · 127 views

So today I almost finished the encyclopedia (there are a few more things to do).

First, the list of categories and which entries each categoty has:

Obviously, it will look much better when I'll actually have some artwork. The right menu will have, in some instances, images rather than a semi transparent black box.

This is how an entry will look like:

Looks very 1337, right? :D

My new project

Posted by , 14 January 2006 - - - - - - · 259 views

I was thinking for a name of the new project, and althought I did come up with a few names, I am still thinking about it.

Today I almost finished the encyclopedia thing, will post a screenshot tomorrow (which will look like utter crap because I lack textures, so I had to make some mock up texture that look worse than the black boxes I use for text).

Eventually I think I will have someone to do the artwork, which is a shame because the game will be free. But oh well, some things require sacrifices, that's the way life is.


Posted by , 13 January 2006 - - - - - - · 259 views

Eternal Lands: We are preparing for the update, pretty much everything is done except for some alst moment changes, testing, and the update itself.
Hopefully, next weekend we will start the pre update tests so that by the end of January it will be done. We have a lot of new items, but have decided not to introduce them all at once but maybe 2-3/week.

My new project.

Here is a new screenshot (the buttons change their colors if the mouse is over them, but for the time being they do not do anything else).

Now, they are implemented in a very messy way (each button indidividually, rather than an array of buttons and states and stuff). In the end though, there are only ~15 buttons (not all are done yet), and most of them ar eimplemented already, so wtf, I am making a game, not an engine.

The buttons are made by me, I found a cool program (which is free) called "Buttonz". So I made the buttons and my wife placed them in a single texture for me.
The color change is done the OpenGL way, I do not have a different set of buttons (the time buttons do have an alternate state of buttons though).

Since no one seems to be interested in helping me with the 2d art (no response to my thread in the Help Wanted forum), I guess I have to bugg my wife every once in a while to do this or that for me :)

P.S. Some of the buttons will change, both their location and caption.

The blessing of running an MMO

Posted by , 11 January 2006 - - - - - - · 200 views

So I came home today from 8 hours of work (I had to stand most of the time so I was dead tired), I open my ICQ client, and the first thing I see is a message from one of the admins (the only one except for me and my wife) telling me things are FUBAR because today was a random event day (the day of rare manufacturing) and the chances to produce rare items were very high.
First I thought he exagerated, but then people were saying stuff like: "I created 80 enriched fire essences in 5 minutes". Now, that was not supposed to happen. Normally, creating an enriched fire essence is a chance in 1K. The way I designed it, with some special perk and that more rare items day, the chance should have been maybe one in 500, but not 80%!
One admin command was used to change the random day to some other day, only 16 minutes after it started, but it was already too late.
I took a quick look at the items stats log (where it shows how many items entered and exited the game) and to my surprise, about 6K enriched fire essences were created. If leaving things as they were, that would have totally and irrevokably fucked up the whole ingame economy.
So we had to do a rollback to the last backups (about 18 hours lost, 2 days lost for some other players who were online continously for more than 18 hours).
Most of the players understood the need to do that, but a few were bitching (which was not really so unexpected). Half an hour before the rollback, I told them that since we will have a rollback anyay, they might as well get their best items and go have some fun in the main PK map. Which they did, and it was interesting to watch them all wearing their best gear that is usually only for the show :)
After the rollback was completed, I manually set the current day to the "day of more experience", with a 40% experience increase, in order to somehow compensate for the damage.

Now everything is OK, but still, I couldn't do any useful stuff today besides for solving this problem (fixing the server and doing the rollback).

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