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Revival!

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Ah, yes. It's been a few days, hasn't it? I'll try to cover all of the main bases. [smile]


Radeon X1300 PRO

Bought one. Both my Radeon 9600 PRO and my GeForce 6000 GT decided to break ($200 CAN apiece, #!$*@%), so I got this one. I also (wisely) got a warranty at the store I bought it at that's good for 2 years. Basically, if it breaks in any manner, they hand me a new one. Woot.

My power supply came in, too. Turns out it doesn't fit in my motherboard or case. @#&$@*. There's $50 down the drain, too. Agh. My monies!


Skirmish Online

..is proudly coming back. Legacy was looking like a nice start, but my heart simply wasn't there for it. Skirmish Online was the most promising game I've ever worked on, and I think that I'd be wisest to stick to it until its completion. I'm sure there's a few of you around here that feel the same. ;)

However, Skirmish will be going the way of the mighty phoenix. It sort of died, but now rises from the ashes again. What I mean by that poor metaphor is: I'll be rewriting Skirmish from the ground up, again.

Delphi has been a really great language, but RAD and game programming just don't like to mix that well. There are so many areas of my code that are horribly inefficient, ugly, or plain broken beyond repair. I made so many hack-jobs that I'm surprised the whole thing still sticks together. The end-result is awesome, but it's pretty unstable and I know it can't live up to the potential I envision.

That's why I'll be retaking the battle in C++. I used the basecode from Legacy that I had already written, so I had an SDL/OpenGL setup, logging system, map engine and basic sprite engine already in-place. Uber.


And the progress?

Over the last few days I've been working on retooling my editors to work with the new source. The TOG Editor (Tile/Object/Ground) and SME (Skirmish Map Editor) are now changed over to the new data format, and Skirmish is capable of fully loading game maps and TOG data, and displaying them. Of course this doesn't sound like much, but fully implementing what took me the eventual course of a few months in just a few days feels sort of neat. [smile]

I guess I owe an obligatory screenshot, don't I? This shot is from DarkCampaigner's "Forest Fortress" map, which will eventually be a CTF map:


(Scet wasn't the only one with a glorified map viewer! [grin])



As you can see, it's nothing fancy, but it's something else that's very important. Something that is crucial: a start. Small daily steps will eventually add up, and Skirmish will see itself reborn as something even more kick-arse than it was before. And in less time, too!


What'll be different?

Skirmish Online won't resemble quite the same game that you played before, if you had the opportunity to test in the past. Here's the general rundown of things that will see significant changes (off the top of my head):

  • Faster movement. Movement prediction will get a total overhaul, and will hopefully result in much faster and more fluid movement and actions.
  • New weapon/inventory system. Weapons will become part of a universal set. Grenades, rifles, rocket launchers, mines, and all manners of destruction will work from a base stat-set. This will allow for less rigidness in weapon distinction, and more flexibility for cool weapons.
  • Way better networking. I'm going to be taking advantage of the super-cool RakNet library, which is a fairly high-level lib that manages most of the stuff I had major issues with in the original. Things like managing 'connections', reliable packets, and a master server system will be a huge boon. It even comes with an autopatcher system! Woo! This lib will ideally save tons of implementation AND debugging time.
  • Classes and The Shop(tm). Player classes will be implemented as early as possible, as well as the shop system, will will enable players to customize their character. No details of these are set in stone, yet.


..And probably plenty more. Hopefully there are still some folks around that are up for some exciting testing sometime soon (a week or two?)! (If you're game, add me on your MSN (hopedagger (at) gmail.com))

I apologize for the seemingly whimsical project changing, but this one is in for keeps. It's a shame to start from scratch again after working on the last source for 5 long months, but sometimes you need to take a few steps backwards to make many more strides forward. [smile]


EDIT: Ah, the domain seems to have updated finally. SkirmishOnline.com lives again! [smile]
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You know, im actuially kind of glad that you are rewriting the game. I see great things for Skirmish, I was one of the first to play. I would rather it take a little longer and get done right then be hacked together and nearly impossable to fix bugs down the road. All I have to say is I better be in on the tests! and if you have any SDL questions, I can lend a helping hand, im fluient in it.

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I apologize for the seemingly whimsical project changing, but this one is in for keeps. It's a shame to start from scratch again after working on the last source for 5 long months, but sometimes you need to take a few steps backwards to make many more strides forward. [smile]


lol, I know how you feel.

I glad to see it coming back, I've been looking forward to playing this[grin].

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Have you considered using my Propane Injector classes? They have a lot of really useful SDL/OpenGL features, like:
  • Endian-independent image loading (PNG/JPEG/TIFF/GIF)
  • Angelcode-format bitmap font support, with inline font colour and 'math' printing routines such as demoscene sine/cosine printing and drop shadows
  • Actor management, simple collision and culling, with hooks for network replication
  • Guaranteed multiplatform support on OSX, Linux, Windows with GLSL shaders and filesystem management. Has been built successfully with gcc2/3/4, mingw (although it's just really gcc), djgpp (gcc again!) and MSVS 2003/2005. I was going to work on a partial port for the GP2X, but their software GL implementation is pretty weak.
  • Simple render to texture API
  • XML and INI file loaders (generalized serializer interface coming soon)
  • Basic SHilscript support
  • Can be used from Python via SWIG. I'd like to get a .NET version up and running, but don't know what the process is to change a wad of C++ header files and classes into a P/Invoke assembly for happy use in C#.
  • Endian-independent MD2 loading, illustration, and collision

About the only thing it's really missing is networking support, and I'd like to add that, as well as joypad support at some point in the future. I think the testbed version has some smart pointers and a basic physics integrator, but I haven't actually tested them since I wrote them.

There have been a lot of games built on top of it, and thankfully some of them are actually quite good (e.g. the ones that other people used). For a good example of what non-Ravuya can do, take a look at Laz's F.A.R.T.

Drop me a message and I'll send you a copy of the core classes running underneath my GUI demo.

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Guest Anonymous Poster

Posted

Woohoo! Glad to hear you're working on Skirmish again :D

If you need another tester, I should be online every once in a while, but not as much as I used to be, not with school starting :'(

Sorry to hear about your hardware troubles :(

-DarkCampainger

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Original post by HopeDagger
(Scet wasn't the only one with a glorified map viewer! [grin])


At least you got to pick your map format.

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