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The One Man MMO Project
The story of a lone developer's quest to build an online world :: MMO programming, design, and industry commentary
The Imperial Realm::Miranda Pre-Alpha
By Robert Basler on 2015-06-02 15:40:51
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com

The first Pre-Alpha invites have been sent and the live server is up and running!

If you're on the very short friends and family list, you should have received an email with the install link and a Secret Lair Code to create an account.

[Doesn't look like much, but this is the first base on the Live Server.]

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing something you've put so much effort into actually working in a live environment.

So if you're one of the lucky few, give the game a try, and most importantly: let me know how things go.

If you didn't get an invite, be patient, these are the early days. This first test is mainly about finding out if the game even runs on other people's computers.

Getting the live server set up has been a bit of a challenge. While there were a whole slew of little bugs in Miranda's HTTP code that Amazon's web server showed up, by far the biggest difficulty was simply getting the build up on Amazon S3 and Cloudfront

One of the reasons I chose S3 was that it had a tool which would only upload changed files. When you have 100GB of data, transfer time to upload new versions is a pretty big deal. I learned this week that the official AWS Command Line Interface sync command doesn't actually work. It detects changed files by file size only which is worse than useless. Miranda's installer compares MD5 hashes, so it fails when it downloads a file that is not the one it is expecting. Amazon's documentation says that sync can use file times as well, but Miranda's installer says that feature doesn't work either. I'll be looking at the unofficial S3Cmd next. It reportedly supports MD5 hashes for at least some files. If that doesn't work, I'll have to modify Miranda's patcher to spit out the set of changed files to upload. For now, I'm doing the diffs manually (ick!)

That might not seem like a problem that should take a lot of time to work out, but with Amazon's tool not working correctly, every attempt takes at least half an hour to set up.

The upside of all this trouble is that with Amazon giving the installer fits, I was able to find a lot of bugs in Miranda's tools. The installer gained some simple logging and improved error messages. I also fixed a bunch of bugs in the crash reporter -- I've looked at a lot of crash dumps the last few days. One little thing I discovered was that when at the end of the installation it runs Miranda, it would run it as administrator. That's not optimal, so with a little Googling I found ShellExecuteFromExplorer which let me fix that.

Happy days!

By BeatCrazed on 2015-06-02 16:30:37
Homepage: email:Lerriszero at gmail dot com
It's great to see this coming along, and it's good to see that live integration issues are being dealt with.

The S3 method of detecting changed files seems like a silly hack job to me. Comparing file sizes would surely be faster than hashing the files, but there are more than a few file formats that pad a file to a certain length, either to the maximum length the file format can take, or just to the next chunk that it deals with. The people who designed S3 surely knew about the potential problems it would present, right?

Well, I imagine that the next wave of invitations will either be more friends and more family, or a selection of people from the mailing list. If it is the latter, and if the selection is not a random distribution then I hope that you will afford invitations to those who have showed interest in the game. *cough* :D

I await updates with bated breath.
By Robert Basler on 2015-06-03 00:30:24
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I've had 2 bugs reported on the Pre Alpha so far. Both are fixed. I expect there'll be quite a few more.

Lots to do, lots to do!
By Dondergod on 2015-06-03 04:02:14
Homepage: email:
Good luck, can't wait to try it myself
By ConsortiumCzar on 2015-06-20 13:39:40
Homepage: email:czarconsortium at hotmail dot com
I have been visiting your website and watching the development process as closely as you will allow here since the beginning. As someone who has many thousands of hours logged in MMORTS games, I can see the potential with this one. It this "the one"? We shall see! Can't wait to test for you!
By Robert Basler on 2015-06-21 01:42:27
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I'm pretty sure it's the one.
By Luke Thorne on 2016-02-27 08:52:01
Homepage: email:lukeypukey36 at gmail dot com
Hey dude I would love to give this game a try. I really can't believe that someone is actually doing a "good" idea for once. command and conquer has always been one of my favourite games of all time and always will be!. Having an open world large scale version #gameset4life :P I really think this game will be a hit! Best of luck mate kick EA'S ass! I will try and tell people about the game so you can get sales up and people playing once release.

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