The first two superweapons in Miranda are the the Empire's Fuel-Air Explosive Missile and the Independents' Orbital Bombardment Platform. Both weapons are powerful area-of-effect attacks and each player can only have one. Unlike superweapons of old, the superweapons in Miranda have a 5KM maximum range - this range limitation reduces their griefing potential. The really dangerous thing about superweapons is that they erase the shroud above the superweapon for all players in-range who have radar. You build a superweapon, you better be ready to get hit by one.
Currently the map shows superweapons as blinking red dots, but I decided tonight that I'm going to add countdown timers to the map so players can see which superweapons will be ready soonest like Red Alert did. Why not give players a way to prioritize targets?
Low power disables the superweapon countdown timer. On power restore, it takes a minimum of ten seconds for the weapon to be ready. I'm calling this a reboot time, but really it is time to make sure that everybody in the simulation is updated with the new time that the superweapon can fire. The timer also resets if you log out.
On Thursday I was ready for testing so I set up a new base. I immediately discovered two bugs in the base layout code. I put those aside for a moment and continued. One thing about not having a big QA department to help me test the game and send me nice detailed lists of bugs and how to reproduce them, is that when I encounter a rare bug I have to fix it immediately since it's unlikely I'll see it again any time soon. That happened several times in a row on Thursday so while I fixed a lot of great rare bugs, I didn't actually get to testing my nice new superweapons.
Friday I started work setting up my second PC for superweapon testing. When I upgraded it a couple months ago I tried not to install Visual Studio for full development. I've been using the final build delivered by Miranda's patcher for testing which is fine for most work, but getting the debug build to run I discovered that Microsoft hadn't patched Visual Studio for me. Kind of ironic given how pushy Windows 10 is with all its other updates. I was able to get Visual Studio updated but it didn't install all the same updates my main PC has and Miranda wouldn't build. After an hour of trying to get it properly updated, I gave up and just copied the new files from my main PC.
To finish off the week I spent three and a half hours fixing a bug in the simulation server that has been plagueing me for weeks.
Friday after work I read a rather scary article about Windows executables being modified with malware by one TOR exit node. What that means is that executables are no longer safe over plain HTTP and I need to get HTTPS set up for Miranda's setup program. Miranda setup verifies all the files it installs, but if the setup program itself is modified and the player ignores the Windows UAC warning, there's no way for Miranda setup to detect the danger. The only way to protect the setup binary is with SSL.
I was quite excited to discover this video this weekend! Someone made a video with Miranda in it. The first of hopefully many to come. Too bad I don't understand German.
Monday I should see some super weapon combat. I still have to do a little bit of effects and audio work for the Orbital Bombardment Platform then I'll be going back to working on server performance for the balance of the week. It's frustrating but I can't really estimate how much effort is going to be required to get the server to the needed performance level. Server work is kind of boring so what I'm doing is alternating between server work and feature work so that I have interesting things to show people every couple of weeks. I'm still trying to decide if I'll do the new wall layout system or attack drones and repair facilities next. I'm kind of biased towards drones, I always loved sending out a crowd of those to mess up my opponent's plans.
If you want to know when I'll be doing my first test weekend, just take note when I stop talking about the server.
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