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Skirmish Online v0.03 complete! (And other oddities!)

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Has it been 10 days already? Sheesh, I've been neglecting my journal! Sorry for keeping everyone in the dark, hehe.


Skirmish Online


Guns a'blazin!


Skirmish Online is progressing wonderfully! v0.03 is finally completed, and I couldn't feel better about it. The roadmap ended up more than twice as big as I had originally planned, and I wound up implementing tons more features than I had thought. For those who like scrolling, I present the v0.03 Roadmap. I'll go over the major additions since the last update:

-> Player->Projectile, Player->Scenery, and Bullet->Scenery collisions are now much more accurate. Feels good to not have players get stuck inside crates anymore!
-> More accurate rotation info on players (2 bytes rather than rounding 1..360 to 1..256. This meant more accurate projectile trajectories.
-> Revamped the heck out of the movement prediction. This was done by making player movement more acceleration-/velocity-based. Movement overall initially feels somewhat akin to ice skating, but you get used to it quickly. Player velocity is now compressed and bundled into movement packets, giving a massive accuracy increase. To show comparison: previously it would sometimes take 20-30 bullets to kill an enemy on your screen, because the prediction of the remote player was off. Now bullet accuracy is about 95%, which means it usually takes around 7-10 shots to kill someone. This was a huge step in enhancing the game's playability.
-> Reliable player addition and death packets. Sometimes a player wouldn't get added to some clients, or a killed player didn't show as dead on another client -- just standing still. These are now fixed and, like above, presents a big improvement in the game's 'funness'.
-> Basics of 'Team War' mode and game modes in general. Team War is a standard team-based battle mode where the two teams combat until eachother's reinforcements are depleted. When a team-mate dies, you lose one reinforcement. The reinforcement counters aren't in, but the system of teams, friendly-fire, team-mate appearance/colours are implemented. Works well.
-> Playerlist/score menu. Holding down the TAB key (like many shooter these days) shows a list of connected players and their kills/deaths as well as latency. Helps me prove to Alex when I've beaten him thoroughly. :P
-> Submachineguns (SMGs). Another weapon-type down. In contrast to rifles, they are typically lower-damaging, have a faster firerate, and less recoil.
-> Shotguns. These were a real treat to test, hehe. These babies blast out 6+ projectiles with large recoil, but at close-range are very deadly. My testers enjoyed themselves: hiding beneath trees, waiting for me to walk by, and then pelting me with a full round of shotgun shells into me, draining half my health. Ow.
-> A heap of bugfixes, which is common to any development cycle. ;)


Of course I'm THAT good :P


We had a very interesting surprise on the night of the pubtest. I had previously implemented a 'test key' for decreasing one's health by 25% to test the healthbar and death functionality. Unfortunately I had forgotten to remove it. The key was also the spacebar, which is very commonly used. So the first 5 minutes of the test was composed of people setting their fire key to spacebar, and repeatedly killing themselves suicidally. 'Twas fun, heh. Four of us decided to illustrate this, as well as what happens when you play too much Skirmish Online:




Additionally, Odin, a friend of Draffurd's, has offered to construct us a website for Skirmish Online. I haven't seen any of his material yet, but I'll see how it goes. If things don't work out properly, I still have the original option of brushing up on my CSS skills and making something nice. I'm planning on learning some PHP down the line to integrate some dynamic pages within the site. Things like online player listings, scores, and other goodies.


Star of Shadows RPG

Now that v0.03 of Skirmish Online is done, I had promised myself to finish v0.03 of Star of Shadows. This hasn't seen a release in a few months now; mostly due to my harddrive failure not too far back.

The main things to add are a few bug fixes, some maps for the indoor areas of Test Town, and some new quests to keep testers happy. (And you folks, but of course!) :) Hopefully this will be done within the week and out for everyone to enjoy.


Hey! Mapping was never my strong area!



Real-Life (Yes, the last one on the list :P)

Exams are over, and a new semester shall commence. My last semester of highschool this time. I'll be taking the course I need for University, Discrete Math / Geometry, as well as assisting in teaching a computer-related class if I can sort out the final details with the head of the computer department. Otherwise it means some boring filler course, which I don't want at all. (For background sakes, I'm already graduated; returning to highschool for a math credit I need for uni)

Also on the job hunt. Fast food has taken its toll, and I've had it with the food industry. Going to apply this week at Rogers, Best Buy, Future Shop, and Staples. Hopefully I can get in one of them and enjoy a more technological position. :D

GOSH DANG'D CANADIAN SNOW! It's been snowing non-stop for over 24 hours now, and the shoveling is killing me. It's the really wet and heavy sort, that makes shoveling a pain. I need to vie for one of those ergonomic shovels next Christmas!

I'll digress on whining about my electric shaver breaking, too. I can only divulge so much real-life information at once without losing journal readers. ;)
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It plays awesome. Can't wait for 0.04. And that new place in test town looks great. I think your mapping skills are improving alot! I'll work on some more detailed building sets for skirmish online. I've been walking around my campus looking at walls and floors and trying to memorize that patterns. :P

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I'm enjoying your progress. I thought I was unusally productive for a GDNet member, but your journal just strips away my ego (as it should). [grin]

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