We’re proud to introduce our new member, Ragox, a professional map designer who previously worked on the unique RTS named BattleForge developed by EA Phenomic.
So far, everything is going smooth-lier than ever :D
We’ve decided, and we’re calling it FactionCommand, which is a self-explanatory name which is also great for SEO, and lazy people.
Our vision of our game has been mostly influenced by Westwood Studios, ever since they had defunct in 2003 and previously been acquired by EA in 1998 - we have lost that old school Command & Conquer gameplay and that’s a bummer because anyone who’s played the recent EA CNC games would have to agree they’ve lost the frigging plot… and just when I thought Tiberian Wars was playable, CNC Twilight just ruined it for us all, nobody wants tower defence games, we want classic RTS gameplay that Westwood Studios brought us in Tiberian Dawn, and Red Alert and Tiberian Sun.
So you can understand we’re going to old school our gameplay up and bring back the fun and simplicity of all the early CNC titles, Tiberian Dawn included (my favorite), and no we won’t be a full clone it’ll retain originality and improvements.
Stay tuned for more updates.
Had to apply my ninja-rendering-engine-design-stealing skills in order to improve the performance by drum roll 15% ! Yeah it’s not that much, but still, it’s better than nothing. =)
Have a smiley for today
Now we’ve all probably used Steam before, valve’s game launcher which allows players to pre-load games and buy games directly within it’s launcher cutting out browsers completely using something like webkit as a rendering engine, one of their most boasted features is their score boards and unlock system which seems to be implemented into nearly all new games that appear on the steam store, and the most unlockable title Team Fortress 2.
Well at RageEffect we want to bring you a similar launcher, only we don’t really plan to sell the game (if we don’t have to!) this giving out the game for FREE with regular updates, and how can we afford to do this? Well we’ll make money from our launcher instead - that depends entirely on advertisements through the use of our launcher, and between game matches, or surfing the score boards.
See the chart above to understand how our launcher will work.
Seeing most of the games contain inner debugging tools such as collision viewing or pathfinding visualizer, I decided to add some visual debugging stuff too.
Usually I never do these kind of stuff since every code I write is according to my ‘holy plan’, and I perceive this ‘plan’ as something magical, something perfect, something that can’t be forgotten. Unfortunately my vision was wrong, and those plans weren’t as perfect as I imagined them.
Why? Because as I added more features, modified and optimized the existing structures I forgot about some stuff that I made long time ago, and it’s only now that I see that something went wrong thanks to some custom visual debugging utilities I made.
Here is a pretty illustrated example :
What you see there is the Spatial Grid Registration System ( call it whatever you want it has many names ) used to let a unit find other units by checking nearby blocks instead of checking every single unit on screen ( AKA the O(n) problem ), the spatial grid system allows me to eliminate that problem giving me a great performance boost BUT the system has to be configured the right way. As the first pic shows, the blocks are way too small which isn’t a good thing cause when a unit moves out of a block it has to tell to it that it has left, then tell to the new block that it just joined in, and from the look of that first pic it has to do hell lot of times if it wants to go downhill.
This is the fixed version, the blocks are way bigger and the unit now has to do less work than previously. Fixing everything =)
This problem would’ve stayed ‘invisible’ to me if I hadn’t implemented any visual methods of debugging.
That’s it !
No updates for a few days, I got a book to read =)
Edit: Break is over !
Fog of war is a big deal in most RTS games, but why are they so different these days?
We’re bringing the classic ‘fog of darkness’ back into RTS… if you’ve been playing some of the modern games you’ll notice it reveals the map, well no that’s no good for tactics and for first time play of any map, we want user experience at maximum.
Sometimes even great games have pathfinding problems cause it’s a hard thing to do, but in RTS games it’s UNACCEPTABLE !
When I heard that Supreme Commander’s developers made a revolutionary ‘new’ pathfinding called ‘flowfield’ I had to check it out. The trailer demonstrating it was great, even if it looked a bit unrealistic cause of how all units were gliding over the terrain, it wasn’t a big issue.
Being a fan of the first game, I hated the changes they made in the second as much as any other supcom 1 fan but still, out of the curiosity, I decided to waste my money and get it.
The more I dig into the debug functions of supcom 2 the more I learned how it worked.
Finally once I understood, I said to myself :
“ Hey this isn’t real pathfinding, it’s more like an avoiding algorithm , that’s probably why they removed the walls from the game ”
And that’s how it was, their pathfinding was a great idea, but it overly simplified and inaccurate.
Here is a test I did :
In that pic you can see how the unit goes inside the maze ( path illustrated with the red line ), works perfectly.
And there you see how it fails to go out properly, the incomplete flow field forces the unit to go through the buildings to get outside.
The reason why it does that is because, the flowfield isn’t fully generated and it doesn’t scan the whole map in order to find the correct path. It actually gives up if it doesn’t find the path soon enough.
So to get inside it has to go through the maze but to get out it just phases through? How realistic is that? But more importantly imagine the unfair advantage people get, closing the maze will make the unit go through it, leaving it open will force the unit follow the maze path.