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About this blog

This blog centers on DRTS, Freemake and distilled games in general.

Entries in this blog

Freemake First Release - Walk Around The Game World

I just published the first release of Freemake. You can test it at https://distilledgames.itch.io/freemake So far, it is more a tech demo than a game, only allowing you to walk around the initial map design shown earlier. Your chars current position is indicated by the black circle. To move through the world, click or tap on an adjacent node. To ensure a smooth presentation of in-game movements, I implemented a camera, which follows the player around. The implementation is based on the camera in DRTS but simplified since some features are not (yet) needed in Freemake. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jC5Rdu9hpw So far, I spent 23 hours on this project in total.

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DRTS May Update - Touch Screen Support And Sound Effects

This update of DRTS brings several improvements to the in-game interface. You can play the newest version at https://play.drtsgame.com Simpler Controls And Touch Screen Support Controlling the game using a mouse does not anymore require using different mouse buttons. You can select and send units, and scroll the camera using any mouse button. As before, zooming works with the mouse wheel and keyboard. This update introduces support for touchscreens. You can zoom in and out using two fingers. Sound Effects I added sound effects to help keep track of in-game events. You can hear, for example, when you captured a node or a unit is defeated. Rendering To avoid choppy movements on the screen, I made some improvements to rendering. The units locations are animated using client-side prediction and easing. Easing is also applied to camera movements.

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DRTS April Release - Supporting Exchange Between Players

Hi fellow strategy gamers, the April release of DRTS game is now live at https://play.drtsgame.com Conversations After adding support for playing with other people in the last release, this one adds support for communication between players. You can now exchange text messages with other people using the DRTS web app. The screenshot below shows how this looks like in the app: When you have joined a game, you can add messages to be seen by other people in the same game. In this case, the color of the participant's units is indicated along with the message. User Accounts Joining online games now requires signing in to your player account. When attempting to join a game for the first time, you will be redirected to a page where you can sign in or create a new account. Playing with bots is not affected by this and works as before.

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DRTS Web App - Play With Other People

The first implementation of DRTS came in form of a windows application. While the windows app did its job, I felt uncomfortable with the bottleneck resulting from depending on windows as a platform. To lower this barrier, I started developing a version to run in web-browsers. The web app has come a long way since then, offering an interactive tutorial and playing with bots. The update released today expands the web app by support for playing with other people online. To play the game, head over to play.drtsgame.com Starting today, the web app there also offers to join another player for a game. The video below demonstrates the new feature, using two different web-browsers: Under The Hood - Rendering Efficiency And Visibility Changes Also with this update, visibility of the game world is changed in several ways: The computation of visibility is reimplemented using a new algorithm to be more efficient in common scenarios. This change drastically improved frame rates in Firefox, Edge, and Chrome. Symmetry for view propagation along edges: With the new algorithm, visibility is changed for symmetry between pairs of nodes. This means that viewing along an edge always works in both directions, regardless of the travel direction of the edge. When the game is over, the complete game world is revealed to all players.

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DRTS Update - Camera Controls And Picking Maps

Just released another version of DRTS. You can play it at https://distilledgames.itch.io/distilled-rts  Picking Maps I improved the UI to preview maps before starting to play with bots. Now it is easier to find a map you like and see what you are getting into before starting the game. Camera Controls In addition to earlier input methods, you now can control the camera also via keyboard: To pan, use arrow keys, for zoom plus and minus. To improve onboarding, I added buttons for controlling the camera. This visual addition to the UI should help new players notice that the field of view can be changed. Under The Hood To prepare for competitive games, the map generator was improved for exact symmetry of edges in generated maps. Pathfinding now yields optimal paths in more cases.

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HTML5 DRTS Update - Improving tutorial and playing with bots

Today I released a new version of DRTS. You can play it now at https://distilledgames.itch.io/distilled-rts The changes made since the last release are primarily about the tutorial and playing with bots. Tutorial Hugo Blanco recently helped me test the game. He patiently worked through the tutorial and so I learned about stumbling blocks in there. Based on these observations, I compiled a list of planned changes to improve the tutorial and UI Selecting The Split Ratio When testing the tutorial, we found a problem in the stage which instructs the player to split his unit. In the step to select the split ratio, there was insufficient guidance on how to proceed. I implemented several changes to improve this and also make the UI for this easier to use in general: In the tutorial step, visually point out a location the player can click on to complete the step. This is done by displaying an arrow pointing to the slider control. Make the slider control react to moving the mouse over it, to help understand that we can interact with this thing. Make the slider control work the same way with all mouse buttons. The video below shows how this part of the tutorial looks like now:  Some other improvements made in the tutorial: Enable the player to complete the tutorial without relying on external instructions about camera controls: In the tutorial, the camera automatically follows the action to make sure the player can always see everything of interest. The visuals to draw attention to objects to interact with now also indicate if the player should use a specific mouse button. Playing with Bots There are now more maps to play on. You will find a new map each time you start a game. I expanded the map generation function to create symmetric maps. With this release, you will automatically get a symmetric map when starting a game. Since the last release, several bugs have been fixed: Fix a distracting visual glitch discovered by Hugo: Avoid splitting a unit when the resulting units are going to be merged in the next progress step anyway. Game World Movement: Opponents units block each others movement on opposite edges. Game World Movement: Opponents unit blocks movement from node to edge. Game World Combat: Make unit attack the unit blocking its movement with the highest priority.

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New release of DRTS web port - Play with Bots

Following the plan from last week, I expanded the web port of the DRTS game. You can play this new version at https://distilledgames.itch.io/distilled-rts In the upper right corner of the screen, you will now find a button to access the main navigation, and from there, you can start new games.
Besides the tutorial, you can also play on a larger map with a bot.
To make this a bit more of a challenge, I spent a few hours on building a basic behavior for the bot.
It will spread out, conquer more and more area on the map and eventually overrun you if you don’t act. I also started implementation of the map generator, which is used to generate random maps, and the new map you see is coming from this generator.
A good part of the map generation functions are already implemented, but it needs some more work, most importantly to enable symmetrical maps.
Symmetrical maps will come with a future release, as well as a user interface to customize the map generation process. The screenshot shows a game with the new bot and map.

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