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Newsletter #14 - HAL

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The progress page has been cleaned up and features that are no longer in the preview have been removed. Due to this, the overall progress has gone down to 62%. It should get back up there quickly though!

From the Programmer
Written by Invisible

While testing the ping system, I found something strange: When connected to localhost, my ping is about 150ms. Naturally this is a bit higher than I was expecting it would be, so I spent a good part of Monday and Tuesday attempting to figure out what the problem was. After long discussions in the #gamedev IRC channel, and numerous code tests, I found the problem. Sometime around the beginning of this year, I coded a lag simulator into the server so that I could test the networking easier. After running the tests, I promptly forgot all about it... Until yesterday. Ooops. Apologies to the people in the #gamedev IRC channel that were completely confused by this problem, in particular Shadowdancer who went out of his way to code a test case.

Community Spotlight
Written by Lee and pifreak

Last week, a player named Dumaine started to play SAO. He then went ahead to create a variety of mods and helpful tools for the game. He designed and created a mod viewer program using Game Maker, which automatically displays SAO's image sprites as you update them. This allows players of SAO who like to create mods for the game, to view and edit them easily without opening and logging in.

Dumaine also created a piece of music for a SAO, which some players have been using as a substitute of the original game music. Along with this, he also created a mage sprite, and changed various other in-game graphics.

Sadly, he decided to leave the game after just one week of being here. But hopefully he'll be back. ;)

All of the clans within the community are currently remaining dormant, with not much activity happening within them.

In the Loradon community, the forums are fairly quiet with only the odd comment being posted. Various older Loradon players can still be seen within the IRC server however, and many are eager for the preview of "Loradon 3.0". :D

Ace has been gone for a while, and with him, his bot HAL. Not having HAL to help us moderate the in-game chat has shown us moderators how much we really depend on Ace's creation. The good side of this is that it has forced us to log into the game, and it was fun to see InvisibleMan's character. There were many noob wars against him, but they did not go very far since his character is invincible. It was quite funny to see.

Although it is fun to login from time to time, we still need HAL back soon. It is troublesome to be in the game 24/7 if you aren't a bot, and it is a lot better to hook it up with your IRC client. This also gives us an easy to access chat log, and an IRC client is easier to minimize than the game. This made me realize how much "Loradon 3.0" will need something similar, more likely in the form of a direct IRC relay programmed by InvisibleMan though. I would love to see the Loradon moderators getting this because they can do a better job and see everything that goes on in the game without necessarily being online or even at the computer. Whoever is chosen for the job, I wish much luck because I am planning on playing "Loradon 3.0" and I want it to be a fun, appropriate community.

Dev Demo Report
Written by Roarman

The bug tracker is working out better the longer we use it. There are a lot of aspects to it that increase efficiency and make it easier to work with reoccurring old bugs. Creating the topic for each bug correctly was a problem at the start, but with time it is working for the better.

This weeks demo brought an exciting new change. The start of the melee system overhaul has started with a new feature. Now melee characters have a chance to use this skill and not take as much damage like their archer and magic user counterparts. Most of the 'fixed' bugs were re-tested and some found to only be half fixed. Testing is a challenge sometimes, but I'm up for it. Til next time.
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