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Ed Welch

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About Ed Welch

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    Programmer
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    Art

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  1. Ed Welch

    Improving Interrupts

    Ok, I didn't know that. As a player it seemed random. I never understood why sometimes the interrupt didn't trigger.
  2. Ed Welch

    Dynamic Difficulty

    Typically, at the start of a game you are presented with the game difficulty menu, as above. Players should choose the level according to their experience. The problem with this is that the player really has no idea how easy the "Novice" level really is. I know some games where the easy level is actually quite challenging (it's easy for the game developers, but only because they understand how the AI works). For this reason, a lot of players always choose the easiest level, just to be on the safe side, but then they run the risk of a boring game, because it's not challenging enough. I decided to solve this problem by having no menu at all. Instead, the game automatically adjusts difficulty based on certain statistics. I found out afterwards, that in fact a lot of games do this already (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_game_difficulty_balancing). However, I treat the combat difficulty separate to resource management difficulty. I rate the players proficiency in battle according to a few statistics. I consider a player to be inexperienced if their soldiers are not taking cover and if they aren't getting interrupts. Difficulty mainly affects how the AI behaves. For a player with a high difficulty level more enemy combatants will be smarter - they will take better cover, be more alert and try to flank more often. In Merc Tactics the difficulty level (score) is displayed when the inventory screen is open. This is a number between 0 and 10. I still haven't implemented the resource management difficulty yet. This parameter is based on how well the player spends his money. I.e. a player that wastes money repairing weak weapons gets a lower rating. The Dynamic Difficulty feature is implemented in the latest 0.6 Demo.
  3. Ed Welch

    MercTactics Demo 0.6 released!

    Today we are releasing the 3rd game demo. You can download the Windows installer here: http://www.astronautz.com/MercTactics/MercTacticsSetup0.6.exe MercTactics is a squad-based tactical strategy, similar to games such as Jagged Alliance, or XCOM. The main reason for releasing this demo is to get feedback from players. Specifically, I would like to know how you found the game play and if it was too hard, or too easy and any ideas to improve the game. The game comes with built-in help. As you play the first scene, pop-up windows will explain how everything works. Also there is a feedback form, which you can use to send feedback to our servers. To start the game just select "New Campaign" from the main menu. There's also a "Quick battle" feature, that you can select to just play one battle. This is a beta, although are a lot of minor bugs, it should run fine on any machine. You will notice some minor graphic and UI flaws and some features that are quite not finished yet, but don't worry about those. I hope you like the game and have fun playing. Ed
  4. Ed Welch

    MercTactics Poster graphic

    Yeah, I've being busy making the game production quality. I hope to release the final version this year
  5. Ed Welch

    MercTactics Poster graphic

    I just finished the new poster artwork for MercTactics. I hope you like it. Watch this space, there are a lot of new improvements and I will be posting the new game trailer and beta demo soon!
  6. Well, the front page is definately slow. Forums seem to be sluggish too. I use palemoon
  7. > On my extremely powerful laptop, it takes 10 seconds to open gamedev. so, it's not just me... >Recent blog posts seem unaffected, as if it was a huge update from gamedev that changed the data format of blog posts and the transition from old data to new data wasn't perfect. Yeah, the blog entry I'm looking at is a year old.
  8. I noticed the site become so slow as to be barely usable. Also, the blogs have been thrashed - formatting has been ruined. For instance, embedded videos have changed to plain text non-clickable links. Posts that once had images embedded, are now replaced with just the name of the image in plain text. What on earth is going on? This used to be a great site.
  9. Ed Welch

    Improving Interrupts

    Any action taken (moving one square, or taking a shot) reduces the counter by one.
  10. Ed Welch

    Improving Interrupts

    Most squad based games have an interrupt feature that works as follows: During your turn you can arrange it that some of your soldiers don't use up all their action points - leaving enough APs for a "reflex shot" and facing them in the direction of the expected enemy assault. Then during the enemy's turn, if an enemy soldier moves within the range of you soldier it may, or may not trigger an "interrupt". If the interrupt triggers, then the enemy's turn is interrupted and it becomes your turn temporally, you can shoot at the enemy, or do any other action until your APs run out, then the enemy's turn continues. The problem with this is that the interrupt only triggers, based on a random throw of the die (that is for the case of the original X-Com game and Jagged Alliance 2). When you position your soldier for the interrupt, you are putting him in a vulnerable position and if the interrupt doesn't happen (because the random die throw), then your soldier is almost certainly going to get pummelled. For that reason when I was playing X-Com, I almost never tried to get interrupts, because I didn't like the idea of my soldier randomly getting shot to pieces based on a die throw that was completely unpredictable. So, for Merc Tactics I have being working on ways of "solving" this problem. This is how it works: There is no die throw, instead there is a "counter" which starts at number depending on the soldiers interrupt skill. During the enemies turn each time an enemy moves within the soldiers arc of fire the counter goes down by one. When the counter reaches "0" the interrupt is triggered. In the screen shot below, for example, you see an arc of fire drawn on the ground with the number "3". 3 is the number of times that the enemy can move within that arc before the interrupt is triggered. Now the interrupt is triggered: Once the soldier shoots or moves the counter goes back to the original setting, otherwise it holds it's value. So, if the counter didn't hit zero in the first turn, you could keep the soldier where he is and try to get the interrupt in the second turn. This scheme removes the random element and provides feedback to the player, so they always know the likelihood of an interrupt occurring.
  11. This is how you do it: void VertexBuffer::CreateConvexHull() { btConvexHullShape convexHullShape( m_pPositions->GetVertexData(), m_pPositions->GetNumVertices(), m_pPositions->GetStride()*sizeof(float)); //create a hull approximation convexHullShape.setMargin(0); // this is to compensate for a bug in bullet btShapeHull* hull = new btShapeHull(&convexHullShape); hull->buildHull(0); // note: parameter is ignored by buildHull btConvexHullShape* pConvexHullShape = new btConvexHullShape( (const btScalar*)hull->getVertexPointer(), hull->numVertices(), sizeof(btVector3)); m_pDynamicShape = pConvexHullShape; delete hull; } Note: btShapeHull is a class to reduce the polygon count in btConvexHullShape (otherwise btConvexHullShape preforms very poorly) Also note: some extra padding is created around the object, for unknown reasons and that makes them seem to float a bit above the ground when they are dropped. Setting the margin parameter to zero won't work, because that parameter is actually ignored. That's why I call convexHullShape.setMargin(0); before creating the btShapeHull.
  12. I was just looking at a video that explains some of the new features in AMD's Vega GPU (). I couldn't quite figure out how the "High Bandwidth Cache Controller" worked. I'm assuming that the game developer has to specifically mark the assets as controlled by HBCC for it to work. From then on the GPU and driver handles loading and allocation on demand. It seems like this is very similar concept to "mega-textures" except that it's controlled by the hardware.  
  13. Ok, thanks for the answer. So that sort of rules kickstarter out of me anyway ;) The Reddit advertising sounds interesting though. If I put the advertising on a forum of a game in the extact same genre as my own then I have the perfect audience. But spending only $100 really gets results? That sounds kind of low.
  14. so, you think it's a good idea to do a kickstarter, even if you don't need the money, just because it creates exposure for your game?
  15. Alright. I guess I'll just have to live with it then ;)
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