Author Topic:  2.0 Progress  (Read 16105 times)

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Craig

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2.0 Progress
« on: July 08, 2013, 08:14:56 AM »
Time for a 2.0 Progress Update

Circuitry is mostly working well. There are some corner cases which still need to be sorted out.

I haven't been working on this update full time. The 6 months leading up to the release of 1.92 were so all consuming both time wise and energy wise, I put almost all of my real life responsibilities to one side. So the last month or so I have been catching up with or dealing with those responsibilities. I've also just tried to spend some time with my wife and daughter who I hardly saw at all during those 6 months.

Saying that, I have still managed to get quite a bit done during the last month. The games save system was a problem. Every time something new was added to the game, more code had to be written to build and write the save data. This was time consuming, bug prone and just a chore. It also increases the amount of RAM needed to save. So I've redesigned it to use a more formalized serialization technique, where all the data that must be saved is kept separate from all the other general game data, and when a Save is executed, the separated data is just serialized (dumped to disk) automatically. This means I don't have to keep writing new code for the save system when a new feature is added and it keeps RAM usage to a minimum when saving. This change has actually required fairly extensive changes throughout a lot of the program. It is still not finished, probably about half complete.

I've also redesigned the Special Block system. This is the code that handles any block that requires extra data, like Chests, Sentry Turrets, Spawner Blocks, etc. Any Block that has options or data and is not just a normal block. The previous system was quite inconsistent, bug prone and used much more RAM than necessary (e.g. chests being opened in multiplayer and then no one else can open it even when the original player closes it). The new system should be much less bug prone and use much less RAM (always a good thing).

I've also added another fairly significant feature which has been frequently requested and is quite important for a sandbox survival game. I'm pretty excited about it. No one else is though because no one else knows what it is yet ::) (Not even our testers know yet).

Another change is now everything is craftable or smeltable or cookable except whitewool, the color blocks, keys and natural rocks/ores/minerals/plants. Furnaces now also use blueprints (they didn't before) so that makes everything more consistent, makes adding new smeltable items easier for me, and allowed me to add a Easy Smelt list to the Furnace screen (like the Easy Craft list).

I've also rebalanced prices for every item in the game. I wrote some diagnostic code to analyze what every block/item cost and how much the raw materials cost to craft it (if it is craftable). So now every item crafted can be sold for a profit (in the system shops at least). This goes for every craftable item. The profits are generally smaller than before, but a lot more consistent. No such thing as massive profits for one item and either none or small profit for something else. It's all fairly consistent across the board. Obviously the more expensive the item (and materials) the more profit.

Every items price has changed as a result, some now cost more, some cost less, but in general it's not going to be as easy to get rich quick, unless you're prepared to get underground to find those valuable ores and rares. Every craftable items price is now founded on the cost of the materials needed to craft it. This also required rebalancing of some items utility stats to make them more consistent with their price.

Every mineral/ore deposit has been rebalanced. This will hopefully be closer to how it was pre 1.8 and just generally make mining more rewarding and enjoyable.

The Scripts and particularly the Script Blocks working together with circuitry are truly amazing, Can't wait to see what players come up with here.

So far this update has 12 new blocks and 55 (yes that is FIFTY FIVE) new items.

A release time frame is too hard to calculate at the moment. My wife is from Ukraine and she left her home, family and friends to settle with me in NZ. That was 3 years ago and she is home sick. She is very close to her family and misses them terribly, and her friends there. So we are going to her home for a couple of months starting early August. There are still many things we need to organize for that, so it is impossible to finish the update before we leave. I will be working on the update while we are there but I can't realistically expect to get more than 3-4 days a week to work while we are there.

There is still quite a lot of work left to finish the update. Nothing new will be added, but the changes I've already made, particularly to the Special Block system and Save system, still need a lot of work to complete and test because they affected most of the program. So I can't yet make a reasonable estimate for when 2.0 will be complete.

« Last Edit: July 08, 2013, 08:29:38 AM by Craig »

Craig

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Re: 2.0 Progress
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2013, 03:13:08 AM »
Ok so pretty much everything has been added.

We are now into the testing and fixing phase.

To update progress I will post images of our bug list. This is a list of all known things that need to be finished or fixed. Over the next couple of weeks this list will grow as we find new problems and shrink as the problems are fixed.

Once we are close to understanding exactly what is left to finish, I'll post a more formal list.

List at 20/08/13

Craig

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Re: 2.0 Progress
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2013, 09:58:00 AM »
All fairly useful combat setup.



Let's go a lootin!

Craig

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Re: 2.0 Progress
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2013, 05:05:14 AM »
Mob AI is much better now. Mobs cannot attack you through walls, and ranged mobs will only shoot at you if they have line of sight.

Also they won't just continually zoom in on your position now. Sometimes they will wander around, and sometimes they will turn and flee if attacked.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 05:46:49 AM by Craig »

Craig

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Re: 2.0 Progress
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2013, 08:45:29 AM »
Hotbar choices:

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« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 08:50:28 AM by Craig »

Craig

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Re: 2.0 Progress
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2013, 10:24:25 AM »
I think this is the most exciting update yet.

I'm having so much fun playing with all the new stuff, that often when I should just be doing a 10 minute test to test some changes, it turns into a 2 hour play session :\

Ugh what to do? Must finish update!


Craig

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Re: 2.0 Progress
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2013, 10:39:39 PM »
I can record video now so expect to see some crappy I mean quality videos of box houses soon.

Craig

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Re: 2.0 Progress
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2013, 05:59:58 AM »
Have made good progress on the update this last week. Should have a good build for the testers by the end of this week. Still quite a few things that need fixing, mostly to do with IO stuff, but the light at the end of tunnel is now visible.

Craig

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Re: 2.0 Progress
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2013, 12:16:34 AM »

Craig

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Re: 2.0 Progress
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2013, 01:59:40 AM »
The last 5 days have been very successful.

The 1.8 multi-threading engine for real time, on the fly, map data compression/uncompression was starting to cause me various problems. It had some inherent flaws that could not be worked around, and it was so complex, it was near impossible for me to understand exactly what was happening in all situations across multiple simultaneously executing threads. This is the equivalent of a petri-dish for bugs.

So I bit the bullet, and redesigned it from scratch. It is now near flawless, and because it is much simpler than the previous design, I can now understand whats happening, which makes it both easier to work with, and far less likely to harbor bugs. For you guys, that means a more robust game.

I've also spent a lot of time tuning the RAM usage. The game's RAM usage is now lean and mean. There is very little excess RAM usage going on now compared to the bloat of 1.8. In fact the excess is now so lean, it's not even worth trying to trim further. The game now runs on about 80-120 MB of RAM (it varies based on various states of loading, 1.8 runs on about 200-220 MB) + your maps compressed block and light data (file size) + your graphics mesh data. The end effect of this for you guys is much more RAM for graphics mesh data (the graphics of the blocks you can see) so the graphics do not have to be unloaded so often as you move around. In fact for most maps, the game will now have enough RAM to keep all of the mesh data and will not have to unload at all. On most maps, the game now has 200-230 MB available for mesh data, which is plenty. Another benefit of this reduced RAM usuge is practically no Out of Memory blue screens, and the save system is now super robust, so it will save no problems even on big maps.

I've also spent quite a bit of time these last few days performance tuning. The game now plays a beautifully silky smooth 60 FPS in most situations. As long as the view distance is not to far for each given map, as not to overload the 360 GPU (e.g. on large built up maps the view distance may have to be reduced a bit). The trick for me now is to ensure it stays this way for release.

Added some new music too, 15 new tracks, so there is now 43 tracks in the game.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 02:56:50 AM by Craig »