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The One Man MMO Project

By Robert Basler on 2015-01-12 00:16:20
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
If anyone ever tells you sorting your meshes by material and minimizing redundant calls in OpenGL isn't worth your while, they're wrong.

Frame rates have been slowly decreasing as I've been adding new content. Recently my 2GHz Core i7 with NVidia GeForce GT 555M had hit an all-time low framerate of around 50FPS. I needed to do something to crank those framerates back up so players with lower-spec machines would have a chance.

The obvious candidate was the way my renderer handled materials. It didn't really do enough to tell if materials that had different settings were otherwise identical (same textures/shaders.) And it did nothing to reduce redundant state changes, happily changing shader and every rendering setting at the end of each material even if the next material used all the same settings.
By Robert Basler on 2015-01-01 13:18:43
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com

I really enjoy my annual ten-thousand foot view of The Imperial Realm::Miranda's development. Its such a big change from my head-down, in-the-trenches day-to-day.

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[Evolution of Miranda's Environment in 2014]

By Robert Basler on 2014-12-21 11:46:14
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
As I've added more and more particle effects to The Imperial Realm::Miranda I've started to see problems with drawing order. The most obvious problem is sometimes when the camera moves during explosions and the smoke alternates in front of and behind the flowers on the terrain. It's not so pretty. The large bulk of my particles are transparent (have cut out bits) but I have a few that are truly translucent (partially see-through bits) which really complicates things.
By Robert Basler on 2014-12-14 00:12:19
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I watched a ton of RTS game trailers last week trying to figure out what elements people might expect in the trailer for Miranda. Besides a bunch of prerendered stuff that I'm not going to do, what I saw were a lot of explosions, some simple vehicle physics, and a lot of weapon effects that leave trails of smoke. That's not too bad a list.

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By Robert Basler on 2014-12-03 02:31:40
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
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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By Robert Basler on 2014-11-27 13:05:30
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
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."
By Robert Basler on 2014-11-21 15:35:41
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
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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[Chat, building smoke, animated radar dishes, new silos and power gauge.]

By Robert Basler on 2014-11-12 11:22:52
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
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:
  • October 9 - Friends and Family Alpha.
  • November 9 - Teaser Trailer & Limited Public Alpha.
  • January 9- Beta.
  • February 9 - Trailer & Launch.
The plan was aggressive, I had a lot to do, but it could have happened.
By Robert Basler on 2014-11-11 16:52:54
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
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.

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Darth Vader's Lightsaber from The Empire Strikes Back


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The Indie Game Revolution at The Experience Music Project Museum

Read more... (2 comments)
By Robert Basler on 2014-10-04 14:14:09
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
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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Read more... (0 comments)

More Posts

Project Line Counter in Visual Studio 2010 - 2011-06-04 00:01:45 (3 comments)
A Chrome UI - 2011-04-07 10:28:46 (3 comments)
Happy MMO Easter - 2011-04-22 16:17:59 (1 comments)
Looking for a Fast Square Root - 2012-03-29 11:19:56 (4 comments)
Shazam! - 2010-01-15 12:58:21 (0 comments)
Bad Bug - 2015-03-22 01:26:40 (0 comments)
Complimentary Conundrum - 2014-10-04 14:14:09 (0 comments)
The Imperial Realm::Miranda Pre-Alpha - 2015-06-02 15:40:51 (5 comments)
Full Indie Demo Night 2 - 2015-03-26 02:16:40 (0 comments)

Recent Comments

What Do You Think of Unit Caps? - 2015-07-06 06:07:37 (2 comments)
Not a huge fan of the increasing cost model. It tends towards slowing down gameplay (one reason free to play games use it so much).

I can think of a few options though:

Ongoing supply costs (bit like in Warcraft) i.e. unit tax. It means that smaller ...
Combat Revamp - 2015-07-06 05:51:45 (3 comments)
That makes more sense, and I wasn't holding up Total Annihilation as a great game (although I know some love it).

As for distinctiveness I guess it depends. If usual engagements are relatively small looking at small details is fine. If it's a big ...
What Do You Think of Unit Caps? - 2015-07-02 13:41:38 (2 comments)
As long as it is high enough, I'm fine with a limit in units. But it should be high enough, that it is very hard to reach, almost impossible.

What another suggestion is, is the following:
You can create X units normally (f.e.x. 100)
For every unit you ...
Combat Revamp - 2015-06-29 09:28:10 (3 comments)
40 sounds like a lot, but its actually 20 for two factions (I'm still working out a strategy for the other two factions units) so if you consider there are 6 manufacturing buildings, silos, walls, power plants, and base defenses, it isn't actually ...
Combat Revamp - 2015-06-29 01:43:36 (3 comments)
Interesting stuff. I loved Red Alert back in the day (to be honest often more for the base building). I did feel that there was always another layer of gameplay that occasionally peaked through inevitable the tank rushes/big blob of units. There was ...
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