Items have been moved over to the new "Known" system. All Packets now work on an Event System, as opposed to being processed every tick. Information is now exchanged on a need-to-know basis. Once you learn about something there is no network activity until something changes. Update packets are now much more specific and unique information is only transferred once. I'd like to have no less then 500 people per server but the goal is to have a few thousand. This new system bumped me up a few hundred players I'm sure.
- Dragging items to move them around the map
- Picking up items and placing them in your backpack
- Using items on the map (doors, spawn points, signs)
- Using items in your backpack (food, equipping items)
- Player Identification GUI to see other player's equipment
Once these features are completed I will be doing another open test. These features (plus some secret ones I haven't even told you about yet) will make for an exciting night.
All was well until I ran a test session to record Video Update 5 to demonstrate the item system. With only ~50 items on screen and four players we were reaching 2000ms ping times! What a load of shit!
Up until this point I have been sending periodic updates of player and item locations. To be exact, every client was receiving information about on-screen objects ten times a second. On top of that they are full packets containing information that only needs to be sent once. It was easy and saved me time, which I try and do whenever I can.
The way to remedy this is to have the server keep track of what each client knows about. When you see a new character for the first time you will receive a full packet describing them, then update packets when needed. Not only will this system send much much much less packets, the packets will be much smaller and more specific in nature.
This is what I will be working on until you hear from me again. It's rather simple, I don't expect it to take much time.
Up until this point the editors saved their data in XML files. Although they are easy to read and edit, XML parsing is slow as fuck. The editors can now export binary data files for the server and client. As a result the 3-5 second loading screen has been eliminated. Also, not being clogged with markup tags everywhere, the file size for data files has been cut by more then 50%. I'll still use XML for the development files to keep testing and editing easy.
Thanks to everyone who participated in a successful and helpful test. I had a blast showing you where the game currently is, and I hope I gave you some excitement for things to come. I look forward to Alpha 0.4, I hope you all do as well.
This is the latest addition to the Release Videos series for Noble's Land. These videos are to preserve documentation on the state of the game at every release. Seeing as this test mostly featured PVP, that's what you'll be watching. I received a lot of great feedback, all of which I will be addressing in a more detailed writeup.
Some of the more dedicated fans might have noticed I skipped Video Update 5. Yet again I decided to hold off until there's more to show. The Video Update series seems to get the most views and I'd like to reserve those for awesome new features. The GIFs were enough to get the point across for 0.3. I'll push Video Update 5 when I announce the next test to get people excited ahead of time. Turnout was great but we can do better for the next one.
This weekend Noble's Land Alpha 0.3 testing is live. No registration required, just download the launcher and go. Please report any bugs or submit any feedback as you try out the game, any and all input helps.
The main goal is to test stability and bandwidth use under load. I am hoping to get more people then the previous tests. I'd like to see what happens when there is a large group of people running around, talking, and interacting. I'd also like to see how the launcher handles under strain as well. If there are any bad designs or even bugs I'd like to find them now before I expand the systems and make things more complicated.
Tonight's test will consist of mainly combat. Hold Left Shift and hover the mouse cursor over others to target them. Stand adjacent to deal damage. You can also explore the island. Based on the feedback I receive tonight I will push out a patch during the weekend which will fix bugs and hopefully add some content.
Keep in mind that this is an Alpha release and everything is subject to change. Download the launcher HERE to begin testing.
The lasted addition to Noble's Land is PVP Combat. I ran a test tonight with a handful of people where we had battles around a makeshift spawn point. I'll be covering the whole system in detail in the upcoming Video Update 5.
I'm going to do the Alpha 0.3 release and test this coming weekend, starting Friday, April 5th. This will be an open test, there is no need to apply. You will simply have to download the Launcher/Updater from NoblesLand.com. I'd ask that you please register for the Forums after you try the game out and post any bugs, suggestions, or random thoughts about the game. Feedback of any kind is exciting and greatly appreciated.
Video Update 5 will be posted in the next few days to demonstrate the features players will be testing.
Working away on Alpha 0.3, preparing a better way to test with others. The launcher is done, back to the client/server. This is a look at the latest feature, target selection. If you Shift + Left Click on a player they become your selected target. The blue arrow will flash above their head to indicate which person you have targeted. The health bar doesn't function right now, I force it to animate.
Next up will be a mix of things. I'd like to get some basic "hit a target your standing near" combat in but before that I need to work on the Object/Item system. Before anyone can die they need a spawn point. A spawn point is essentially an item you can't pick up but can use on the ground. Doors and cave entrances are other examples. I'll whip up Video Update 5 sometime soon, once there is more to show.
To make testing with others easier I've been working on the Noble's Land Launcher. When the Launcher first runs it will get an XML file from noblesland.com that lists all the files for the game as well as their sizes and sha256. It will check if the file exists, compare sizes, then finally compare sha256 to ensure all files are current and up to date. I also threw in the functionality to remove files, so that vapor files don't build up over time.
The Launcher now forces new users to customize their display settings before the first launch. There is some error checking, like preventing smoothing at the design resolution. The configuration files will only download if they don't exist, so that it doesn't overwrite any changes. Pretty straight forward.
Once I make the Launcher check for new versions of itself it will be ready to go. It's pretty awesome to know that no matter when or where, you will only have to download the Launcher one time.
There is now proper ghosting support. When a player disconnects they alert nearby clients to remove them from their screen. Clients also only receive information about on-screen players, cutting down on network traffic and of course cheating. Just now finished adding name displaying. You can now toggle between viewing your name, others names, both, or none by pressing the V key.
Trying to round out the experience, I'd say it's feature complete for now. I'm going to move onto mouse interaction. This will open the door for interactive map objects, usable and equip-able items, and player combat.