The One Man MMO Project
Up until today I've been exporting NvOptimusEnablement to enable the NVidia card in my laptop (which also has an Intel card for 2D.) For whatever reason, it stopped working mysteriously this week which led to an hour of trying to figure out why it was all of a sudden taking 3 seconds to render each frame (Intel OpenGL is really, really sad.)
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Lair Engine uses UDP for messaging. Sometimes it is super-inconvenient to break a message into packet-sized pieces so on top of that, I have what I call JumboPackets. JumboPackets support sending messages larger than a single packet. The cool thing about the way I implemented JumboPackets is that as far as anyone outside the networking system is concerned, they are just like regular packets - only bigger.
The one problem with JumboPackets is that they're subject to rate limiting like any other packet, so if a jumbo packet is actually 3 regular packets, it must be reassembled on the proxy, sent to the client and then reassembled again. So a 3K packet at a 1K/second send rate limit with 2 hops takes 6 seconds to get delivered. This problem gets worse as packets get larger. Recently I started experimenting with much larger datasets (more units, more teams) and discovered that some of the packets sent during the initial connection were getting quite large and noticeably slowing "load time."
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In the last blog post I said I'd been working hard to get Miranda out the door. Here's some of the things I've been working on...
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Back at the end of April I decided it was time to get The Imperial Realm::Miranda finished, so I worked out a feature development plan with the goal of releasing the game on November 9th, the 5th anniversary of the project. I optimistically believed that would be early enough to beat the AAA Christmas launch window PR blitz. The plan was:
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To celebrate the 5th anniversary of my work on The Imperial Realm::Miranda I left the computer at home, took the family to Seattle, and spent three days having fun, eating well, and seeing new things.
Darth Vader's Lightsaber from The Empire Strikes Back
The Indie Game Revolution at The Experience Music Project Museum
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There was a post on Gamasutra this week about #StealKeyRequest: phony reviewers scamming game developers for free Steam codes and then selling them on discount game key sites. That's not cool. If this happens to players of The Imperial Realm::Miranda, at least they will know what happened.
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The Imperial Realm::Miranda was originally planned to be a free-to-play game with currency sales to support the game. Now that it is a pay-to-play game, currency sales are out, and a way to sell overall access to the game is in. Enter Secret Lair Codes.
Secret Lair Codes allow access to the base game on either a timed or permanent basis, and support additional entitlements which can be redeemed either per-account or per-force (Miranda's analogue to a character slot in other MMO's.)
The screenshot above shows the screen which allows you to redeem per-force entitlements for codes which have been redeemed on the current account. The plan is that Miranda will have a Standard Edition and a Premium Edition which will both allow access for the life of the game, as well as a couple of lower-cost, timed, trial options of up to a month in duration.
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I have a couple of new screenshots to share. I've been worrying about the performance of rendering and loading for a while now, but I ran Miranda in Release mode today for the first time in ages, and was very pleasantly surprised to find that everything is in fact running wonderfully. Load times are good, frame rates are solid. Stuff like that makes a Friday.
This first shot shows everything I've been working on this week. Buildings are tinted (when selected) with a color selected by the player. Selected (or under attack) units have health bars overtop of them that match the tint color and the background color of the name in the new player list in the top left corner. The player list shows the faction, player name, color and level for every player you can see. I experimented with putting the player name directly above every unit, but with a lot of units onscreen it was an illegible mess. Kills Today is an idea I shamelessly stole from Transistor - thanks Supergiant!
This shot shows the same base from the top of a nearby mountain during heavy weather. I changed the magnification mode on the dust which got rid of some pixellation.
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Because I think this was mostly a waste of time I'm putting the one I built in the public domain in the hopes that someone else doesn't waste time on this. If your lawyer isn't satisfied with this statement, feel free to have them email me.
I experimented briefly with this cool css hexagon drawing example, but in the end I went with squares which are simpler. The picker can be resized easily by making the squares smaller/larger in the CSS.
Here's a live example of the color picker.
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Three Normal Mapping Techniques Explained For the Mathematically Uninclined - 2015-03-01 11:28:33 (8 comments)
Just figured out that the normal maps I generated with GIMP's normalmap plugin were wrong. I needed to check Wrap and Invert Y.
I noticed this by looking at this:
Stick-outy stuff should look like its sticking out. Thanks Ben!
Grab Bag - 2014-12-11 00:21:13 (2 comments)
I knew that quadtree template would work better than Facebook ads! I never played Warzone, but I am taking a lot of inspiration from Red Alert 2 and the other games in the C&C oeuvre. You're right, The Imperial Realm::Miranda is awesome and I will ...
Grab Bag - 2014-12-10 17:38:02 (2 comments)
I randomly found your site while searching for implementing quad trees :D
Anyway I cant believe the awesomeness of your game, it seems like command and conquer, tiberian sun, yuri's revenge,red alert2 etc online???
Also reminds me of warzone ...
Enabling NVidia GPUs on Optimus Laptops - 2014-12-03 12:18:32 (2 comments)
This seems somewhat heavy-handed given the documentation, but it does work. I had to modify the popup to tell the user to restart The Imperial Realm::Miranda since this doesn't take effect until the next run. Might make this an installer step at ...
Enabling NVidia GPUs on Optimus Laptops - 2014-12-03 02:45:15 (2 comments)
Wow, did some more testing and even successfully loading NVAPI isn't enough to enable the NVidia card with the 334.75 drivers.
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