Starstrike: NS 2D!

245

Comments

  • AgentAgent Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-10 Member: 26330Posts: 82
    CODE
    STARSTRIKE ALPHA 2 CHANGELOG (06May08):

    - Added line of sight so you can only see enemies your troops have LoS to.

    - Optimised mainloop efficiency: better FPS now.

    - Reduced bonus res for killing an enemy unit from 1-3 to 1.

    - LMG maxammo increased by 50%.

    - Shotgun maxammo decreased by 50%.

    - HMG maxammo increased by 20.

    - Added -win switch to play in a window.

    - Added splash screen at boot.

    - Reduced resource generation rate by 25%.

    - Increased heal rate of Marines at an armory by 140%.

    - Increased heal rate of Aliens near a Hive by 140%.

    - Increased heal rate of Aliens near a Dc by 70%.

    - Added energybars for alien Lifeforms.

    - Several new maps implemented.

    - Gorges no longer respond to nearby enemy presence by charging to their death. Will now hold ground and spit from present location.

    - Added healspray. Any gorge standing beside a damaged lifeform or structure will spray it for a healing effect.

    - Alien interface added: Aliens now playable! Use the two new alien maps to check them out.

    - Alien special abilities: Leap and Blink! Hold CTRL while issuing a rightclick order. Leap requires two hives; Blink is usable at one hive.

    - DC's heal nearby aliens and structures and add 10% armor per DC to a max of 30%.

    - MC's increase energy regeneration by 20% per MC to a max of +60%. Also increases movement speed of lifeforms progressively at 1, 2 and 3 MC's.

    - SC's increase damage caused by 10% per SC to a max of 30%.

    - Marine AI implemented. No Alien AI yet beyond basic raids (with skulks only) and response to attacks.

    - Increased power of shotgun and added spread effect to make it a useful weapon.

    - A-star pathing algorithm implemented. Units will now always find the shortest path to their destination through complex paths without becoming stuck.
  • ComproxComprox *chortle* CanadaMembers, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, NS1 Playtester, NS2 Developer, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver, Subnautica Developer, Subnautica Playtester, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2002-01-23 Member: 7Posts: 6,616 admin
    Nicely done. I actually had a bit of a battle with the marines now! Now excuse me for being blind, but how do I pick the maps again? I dug around a bit but can't find the command.
    NAPT
  • AgentAgent Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-10 Member: 26330Posts: 82
    It's a console command. Just type LOADMAP FILENAME.MAP to fire up something new!
  • AgentAgent Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-10 Member: 26330Posts: 82
    Has anyone else played the game? Let us know what you think on our forums!
  • AgentAgent Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-10 Member: 26330Posts: 82
    Work is continuing on the AI and alien playability. New abilities are being added for the aliens; Lerk is getting spore cloud, Gorge is getting bilebomb and Onos is getting stomp! Most attention is being focussed on the alien AI.

    I am in need of good 2D tileset artists to work on / replace the existing artwork in the game. The walls in particular need to be designed and additional tilesets would be useful. If you would like to help, drop me a line in this thread or on our official forms (the link's in my sig).

    Keep the feedback coming, guys!
  • AgentAgent Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-10 Member: 26330Posts: 82
    Hey all, just updating everyone with what's happening with Starstrike.

    Work continues, the Alien AI is almost complete and I am recruiting a new 2D artist to complete some graphical work. Plans are being drawn up for the multiplayer mode and possibly some new gametypes as well.

    If anyone has any suggestions, comments or criticisms for the game, post them here or better yet on the official forums.
  • CrispyCrispy Jaded GD Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-08-22 Member: 30793Posts: 3,225
    edited June 2008
    WTF?

    I just booted this up, sent some Marines out to get res nodes and about 15 seconds in some ENEMY Marines RUSHED my CC and destroyed it??!!


    I really wasn't prepared for MvM play. I suppose that'll be clearer when you actually have a front end to select your maps from....

    Ok, some bugs:

    - Win conditions: When my CC was destroyed the game didn't end (or at least there was no 'Game Lost' message.
    - Turrets attack without Tfact (I think you already know about this)
    - Game speed setting (I want it slower while I'm learning!)
    - Tiny maps (aggressive AI starts waaay too close to you, some maps feel more like Combat than Classic)
    - Marines do not seem to reload (including a need to reload would add a little strategy to timing attacks) [include an "if idle for 5 seconds -> autoreload" function if you do implement this]
    - No 'fog of war' graphic to help me understand what points of the maps I can currently see and what points I cannot
    - Some enemy structures appear on the radar and in the 'fog of war' areas, others do not.
    - No 'Commander Eject' option (I wanted to get out and build, or die quickly to end the match)
    - RT icons need some animation to relay their function since the graphic is quite poor
    - Marines DON'T OBEY ORDERS! (I ask them to build an IP and they stand shooting the enemy even though they are both so far away they are not in any immediate danger). Fades also continually try to rush Marines even when below half health and receiving fire from 4 x Marine LMGs.
    - Gorges can place structures anywhere on the map, regardless of how close they are to them (they should only be able to place within x units of the Gorge)
    - I didn't notice any structure limits (although I didn't have time to fully test this), which means that the enemy Commander will just Turret spam his base, making it fairly inpenetrable and encouraging turtling from both the player and the Commander.
    - Gorges don't seem to lose energy when spitting/healing, so can heal/spit indefinitely next to an OC.
    - Lerks don't seem to have any attacks other than 'bite', making them a waste of resources.
    - Skulks attacking strutures (only tried on RTs so far) seem to be causing MASSIVE slowdown, the more Skulks attacking, the more severe the issue.
    - Medpack graphics do not seem to disappear.
    - Hive does not autoconstruct once dropped.
    - No Alien structures seem to have innate regeneration (I suspect this is true of the lifeforms, too)

    It's quite fun to play, though.

    Some things I'd like to see:
    - Some way of controlling your Marines' 'idle' functions. I'd like to switch between 'Resources' (automatically seek out and attack enemy resources/defend team resources), 'Attack' (automatically seek out the nearest Alien Hive or Marine CC and attack it) and 'Defend' (all units automatically return to the nearest friendly Hive/CC). I know this is not something you will want to prioritise right now, but just having that as an option in a release candidate would be nice as it would make it a lot easier to move your Marines around the map. Either that or just have a 'select all units' button.
    - Improved AI
    - Improved pathfinding

    (I know the last two are the top of your agenda)
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • AgentAgent Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-10 Member: 26330Posts: 82
    Hey Crispy,

    Thanks for the detailed response. That's quite a list! Exactly the sort of feedback I'm looking for.

    Some of the stuff you've listed as 'bugs' are intended, and many are as a result of the game not being complete yet smile-fix.gif. Let's see what we've got here:

    Win conditions have not been implemented yet. It's clear when you've lost, and you can just restart and play again, but it's not always clear when you've won. Obviously this has yet to be implemented.

    Turrets can't be built without a nearby TF, but will indeed continue firing even if the TF is destroyed or recycled. This is as a result of simplified control in the game engine code and I haven't decided whether to change it. Without autonomous marines adding to the defense of an area, being able to drop an entire defensive line by destroying just one structure seems unbalanced. This will be ironed out in final play testing, once we're at that stage.

    Game speed setting: This is likely to be implemented down the track, when a frontend is finalised.

    Tiny maps: Obviously only placeholder maps are in use at the moment until we have proper tilesets created and in play. At that point we can start generating some proper maps.

    Reloads: You're right, marines never reload. I'll have to throw this idea around a bit; it might complicate gameplay a little. I'll add it to the list and discuss it with the team.

    Fog of war: This situation is intended. No graphical representation of the fog of war exists or will be implemented in the future. This is in keeping with the original NS, in which there is no visible fog of war and you can only see what your troops can see. It's a line of sight system in NS and the same system is used in Starstrike.

    Radar bug: This is new. I haven't observed this and it hasn't been reported to me. Be aware that a marine's line of sight has unlimited range and your structures also have a line of sight. Enemy structures should never turn up on motion tracking, nor should enemy marines/aliens who are not moving. With this in mind, see if you can gather some more information for me on this, and I'll look at it as well. Specifically, with the exception of the Motion Tracking technology, nothing should ever appear on radar that is not also visible in the main view. If you don't have motion tracking and can see something on radar that doesn't appear in the main view, we have a bug.

    No Commander Eject: Intended. In Starstrike, there is no marine inside the command chair. You can't eject him, and if you want the game to end early just selfdestruct your structures (select them and hit Delete on the keyboard) or just load a new map from the console to start a fresh game.

    RT icons: Placeholder graphics, of course. The icon will be improved in a future release. Animation of this icon is a possibility.

    Marines obeying orders: This is going to be improved in a future version. The team is throwing around ideas as to how to implement this; we need a way to tell your marines when you want them to prioritise construction/repairs over combat. At the moment, marines always prioritise combat if they have ammunition and will not build or weld things if there is something to shoot at. I do mean to implement a way to tell him to put his gun away and start building/welding, but we haven't decided how to implement this best. As far as Fades go, there are problems with implementing any sort of automatic action from your troops. Given that almost all of your units are melee combatants, they have to be made to automatically close to engage enemy marines, otherwise they get cut down if you're not directly controlling them. We need to work out some sort of halfway AI for player-controlled units to account for this and to avoid suicide rushes. We'll get to that. For the purposes of clarity, in the existing release there are only two orders that can be given to a marine: Move and Target. If a marine has more than one valid target within weapons range, you can right click an alternate target and he will fire on the designated enemy. Aside from this, you can only tell him to move somewhere. The "build" order does not exist (neither does "weld"): the marine is just trying to walk to the spot containing the structure. If a marine is ever standing beside an unbuilt structure and is not in combat, he'll build it, but it is currently impossible to actually issue a build order, specifically.

    Gorge building: It's true that the player can drop structures anywhere, even out of range of gorges. Since they don't autobuild, however, there is no advantage in doing so. The gorge still has to run there to build it. I see no reason to change this as building out of range of a gorge is to the player's own peril.

    Structure limits: There are structure limits as a technical requirement in game design, but they are high enough such that it is highly unlikely either side will reach it. With the default AI config currently in use, an enemy commander will build a maximum of ten turrets, which is enough to stop stock marines with LMG's from getting in. A full HA train with heavy weapons will not be stopped by any number of turrets, however, so if the enemy is investing huge amounts of resources on defense you have to invest in offense to get through them. This seems rational to me.

    Gorges losing energy: Got me. This is an oversight that, spank me, never occurred to me. Gorges are supposed to be able to spit forever (just as the other aliens get to use their primary attack without energy cost) as a necessary departure from the original game to suit the 2D environment. However, they should lose energy while using healspray. I will definitely implement this.

    Lerk attacks: To be implemented. The game isn't finished yet smile-fix.gif Lerks are going to receive the spore cloud ability, and I am debating giving them their old ranged spike attack back to replace the bite attack. Yet to be decided. While on the subject, Onos is also going to receive the stomp ability, and the gorge will receive the bilebomb ability. Skulks will retain their existing leap ability and fades will keep their existing blink ability.

    Skulk attack slowdown: Previously unreported and I can't reproduce it. I have a top-end system, however, so it may be a CPU thing. See what you can find out.

    Medpack graphics persisting: Previously unreported and I can't reproduce it. If you mean the item appears to stay on the ground after it's been collected by a marine, I've tested this extensively and I just can't reproduce it. If you mean something else, I'm not clear on what you're reporting.

    Hive does not autoconstruct: Intended. The gorge has to build it manually. This is a balance reflection on the pooled resources of the alien team in Starstrike, giving them a huge advantage over their NS counterparts who must individually amass resources.

    No innate regen: Intended. A balance design that may be reviewed later during final playtesting. Right now, even the smallest amount of innate regen makes DC's useless, so I've made you build them if you want regen of any kind. Final decision on this is pending.

    And to your wishlist:

    Idle functions: This is in consideration. I had never intended for marines to act of their own accord under any circumstances, ever, but I think it would be kind of cool to have them act autonomously as they would in a real game of NS. I may code this functionality and make it an option on the frontend so that the player can decide whether they want full control, or freewill in their marines. Decision pending.

    Improved AI: Obviously, work is always being done to improve the AI. It will certainly get better over future iterations of the game engine.

    Improved pathfinding: The pathfinding routine is 100% complete and I have no plans to change it in any way. Starstrike uses a true A-star algorithm which guarantees with 100% accuracy the shortest possible path from A to B and never gets stuck unless there is no route (in which case the unit won't move at all). If you have a suggestion as to how this system can be improved, I'm all ears smile-fix.gif



    This has been a good feedback message. If you have further questions or comments I encourage you to post here or on the official forums (link in my sig).
  • tekproxytekproxy Members, Constellation Join Date: 2005-03-11 Member: 44813Posts: 153 Fully active user
    Many (or much?) kudos to you, good sir. I have been awaiting this for some time now. Looks like you've put a lot of work into it! Good going.
    I LIKE FADES.
  • BlackHawkBlackHawk Members Join Date: 2008-06-17 Member: 64467Posts: 194
    Hmm sounds cool i guess.......
  • spellman23spellman23 NS1 Theorycraft Expert Members Join Date: 2007-05-17 Member: 60920Posts: 3,365
    edited June 2008
    I'm getting a
    QUOTE
    Runtime Error 1505 - Display using 16 bit not supported by available hardware at line 560


    Similarly doesn't work on 32bit.

    It's a Ati Radeon 7500

    EDIT: NVM, figured it out. Not a bad game, although victory conditions might be nice....
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    helping bring perspective and learning since the olde days

    QUOTE
    <jenny> What's the plural of 'Onos'?
    <Mexican> For a while, I thought it was 'Oh ######'!


    Vote on your Ideas/Suggestions!
    http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/index....howtopic=125347
  • CrispyCrispy Jaded GD Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-08-22 Member: 30793Posts: 3,225
    edited July 2008
    QUOTE(Agent @ Jun 27 2008, 12:03 AM) »
    Gorge building: It's true that the player can drop structures anywhere, even out of range of gorges. Since they don't autobuild, however, there is no advantage in doing so. The gorge still has to run there to build it. I see no reason to change this as building out of range of a gorge is to the player's own peril.
    The one flaw here is that the average player may not know that the Gorge has to build it since there is no tutorial and no indication on-screen. Unbuilt structures use the same icon as built structures.

    There needs to be something to tell players that structures need building if you want the game to be picked up by people other than NS players.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • AgentAgent Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-10 Member: 26330Posts: 82
    Well, as I've indicated before and as is quite obvious from playing the game, it's not finished yet smile-fix.gif

    As development comes to a close there will be a progressive mission structure, tutorials and a manual to take care of that issue. Also, notice that unbuilt structures fade in and out to indicate they are not operational. That's how you can tell that a structure hasn't been built yet.
  • AgentAgent Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-10 Member: 26330Posts: 82
    Development update!

    Over the last few days I have been working on frontend (main menu) and ingame interface systems to complement the existing console features and to make navigating game options and different maps easier. Still more work to be done but it's all functional and does make things easier.

    Win and lose conditions have been implemented. For most maps you lose if all your units and structures are dead, and you win if everyone else's units and structures are all dead, but individual the system is very flexible and all sorts of win and fail conditions are possible for future development.

    A basic tutorial has been implemented, accessible from the new main menu. It teaches new players about base construction, resources, reinforcements, structures in the basic build menu, equipment drops, resupplying troops and combat, and introduces the player to the aliens. More tutorials are planned to teach the player about advanced structures, research, tactics and more info about the aliens. There will also be a tutorial to instruct the player on how to use the aliens themselves.

    The basic tileset has been improved and looks a little better now (still more work to be done).

    Alien units (skulk, gorge, lerk, fade, onos) are the first to receive proper time graphically; our new art team member, 'Kirilot', has begun work on his original representation of the Kharaa. Have a look here:

    http://www.starstrike.ausleague.com/files/aliens_all.gif
    http://www.starstrike.ausleague.com/files/skulk_anim.gif

    Any and all feedback and comments still welcome! Either post here or on the official Starstrike forums at:

    http://www.starstrike.ausleague.com
  • CrispyCrispy Jaded GD Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-08-22 Member: 30793Posts: 3,225
    I like the new Alien sprites. The Lerk is maybe a bit big and the Skulk/Fade claws are a bit too long, but otherwise they look great!

    It's good to hear the Front End is coming along. I think you'll get a lot more people playing and user feedback once you implement that and make it a bit more user-friendly.
  • AgentAgent Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-10 Member: 26330Posts: 82
    Hello again, time to announce the next Alpha release!

    Alpha 3 is here, with a reasonably complete frontend menu system, ingame menu and other polishes. Still some final work to do but it's all functional. Here is the changelog:

    CODE
    STARSTRIKE ALPHA 3 CHANGELOG (04Jul08):

    - Added frontend main menu system.

    - Added builtin support for multiple screen resolutions - no more commandline switches!

    - Added multiple game speed settings.

    - Added ingame ESC menu.

    - New loading screen and music while waiting for maps to load.

    - Provisional fix for alien melee attack slowdown bug. A side effect of this fix may cause less intelligent behaviour from aliens during combat. Testing and feedback needed before this bug is listed as officially fixed.

    - Added win and fail conditions.

    - Tileset updated.

    - New pulsing effect for alien structures.

    - New visual effect for unbuilt marine structures.


    Download it here: http://www.starstrike.ausleague.com

    Don't forget to comment!
  • invader Ziminvader Zim Members Join Date: 2007-09-20 Member: 62376Posts: 255
    just downloaded the game cause it looks uber interesting. however, i have the idiots question of the week

    i get this message afer extracting the game and clicking on the exe file
    "this application has failed to start because d3dx9_34dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix the problem"

    how do i get rid of this message and get into the game?

    As far as im aware u cant install the game u just extract it?

    Ive tried reextracting but no luck so far, ive had alook raound the file structure but havnt managed to find a dll stash of files to see if this ones corrupted or missing.
  • AgentAgent Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-10 Member: 26330Posts: 82
    Hey Invader Zim,

    It's a DirectX related file. It's not used directly by Starstrike and isn't included in the downloadable ZIP from the site. However, Starstrike does require DirectX to run. If your DirectX install is incomplete, Starstrike won't execute.

    You need to reinstall DirectX, from the game CD of virtually any game released in the last year. Alternatively, look for the file on google, download it and put it in your system folder.

    Not being a DirectX tech support guru I can't offer you much more assistance than that, but your goal is to fix your DirectX install.

    For the sake of completeness I'll address your other question: Starstrike does not 'install' per se, and you are right in that it's just a ZIP file to be extracted. There are no .dll files anywhere in the Starstrike file structure; all routines are coded into the game executable.

    Let me know if I can help in any other way.

    Once you get it running, let me know what you think! smile-fix.gif
  • CrispyCrispy Jaded GD Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-08-22 Member: 30793Posts: 3,225
    edited July 2008
    More bugs!


    Front End
    1. Credits loop forever instead of returning you to the Front End
    2. Starstrike banner on Front End has corrupted/illegible website info at 1024x768 and 800x600
    3. Game speed menu does not show you what speed you currently have selected
    4. Game speed menu does not show you confirmation of your selection once a selection has been made
    Tutorial
    1. Tutorial message box background makes text less legible: the horizontal lines on the background texture make it hard to read the text (which is also possibly too small a font)
    2. Text inconsistency between naming scheme used by tutorial and build menu: Tutorial reads "Resource Collector", build menu reads "Resource Tower"
    3. Marines do not automatically move out of the way to allow a Commander to deploy a structure at his location (most RTSs allow this)
    4. Aliens/Marines cannot move through friendly structures (possibly as designed; but affects the Skulks in the tutorial map)
    5. Alien structures in tutorial drawn after massive delay: When Marines round the corner they will begin being attacked by invisible structures, only after 3-5 seconds will the structures be drawn and the Marines be able to target them (1024 x 768)
    6. "Hold TAB" tutorial message prompt pops up too frequently (annoyingly so): this is roughly every 30 seconds, should be more like 90 or 120 for subsequent reminders.
    7. Final tutorial message box remains on-screen if SP game loaded after completion of tutorial
    Single player
    1. Incorrect version information at bottom of screen (reads: "Alpha 2.0", should be "Alpha 3.0")
    2. Massive framerate drops on Complex barely a minute into the game (1024x768)
    That's all I have time for today.

    [Edit] This was tested on the following system:

    CODE


    System Information


       Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 2 (2600.xpsp_sp2_gdr.070227-2254)
               Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
              Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.20GHz (2 CPUs)
                 Memory: 512MB RAM
              Page File: 572MB used, 677MB available
        DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)



    Display Devices


            Card name: RADEON 9800 PRO
         Manufacturer: ATI Technologies Inc.
            Chip type: RADEON 9800 AGP (0x4E48)
             DAC type: Internal DAC(400MHz)
       Display Memory: 128.0 MB
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • AgentAgent Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-10 Member: 26330Posts: 82
    Hey Crispy, thanks for your continued feedback, it's much appreciated. Let's see about that stuff:

    Credit loop: This one's intended. Hit escape or click the mouse to get back to the front end.

    Frontend banner: Placeholder image. It's just a resized version of the banner that used to be used for a splash screen at boot, hence the corruption (actually just a loss of image quality due to the resize). The image is pegged for replacement.

    Game Speed menu: I suppose it would be useful to see the currently selected game speed. I will add this to the list. The confirmation suggestion is a little questionable - you want it to ask you to confirm which option you've selected before accepting it? I'm not sure that's necessary; why do you think that needs to be implemented?

    Tutorial box: I don't like the little window box either, I just threw it together in photoshop in 2 minutes to make do for the time being. Pegged for replacement. I'll also be making it much larger, as I agree that the text font is far too small at higher screen resolutions.

    Tutorial text: Personal habit of mine, calling them Resource Towers. The tutorial uses the correct term, "Resource Collector". It's the tooltip and build button that need correcting. It's on the list.

    Marines moving out of the way: Interesting. I'll think about this.

    Units moving through structures: Intended. In the tutorial map, the alien lifeforms are blocked inside by design to prevent them from rushing the player's position while he is still being instructed. They can't get out to attack the player until the player has already attacked them and destroyed one of the Offense Chambers. By such a time, the player is ready for the attack as they have already accomplished the 'build sentry turrets' tutorial objective.

    Delay in drawing: This is a known bug and affects all opposing units and structures from time to time unpredictably. If you play standard games often enough, you'll have noticed that this happens about once per game, with enemy units attacking the player but not becoming visible when they should. They'll fire on the player, but friendly marines will not return fire as they can't see them. After 5-10 seconds the enemy units will become visible and friendly weapons will start firing. I haven't been able to track this bug down; I'm still working on it. If you can find a set of circumstances under which opposing units and/or structures are predictably invisible, please let me know as that would be extremely helpful in the bug hunt.

    'Hold TAB' message: I wasn't sure how frequently to pop the message up; I wanted it to be infrequent enough so as not to be annoying, but at the same time frequent enough such that a confused player unaware of the TAB function would not be scratching his head for long enough to give up and quit. I'll tinker with the frequency a little.

    Tutorial box remaining in singleplayer: This one's easy to fix, will do.

    Incorrect version info: Whoops! A silly oversight. I'll fix that in the next release.

    Framerate drops on Complex: I get this too. It's less of a bug/issue and more of a technical limitation. Unfortunately it can't be corrected and the only workaround is to play on a machine with a faster CPU. The cause is that the game isn't truly intended to run four teams on a large map. The slowdown is caused by pathfinding calculations (which are very CPU intensive) for a large number of units (four teams' worth) on a large map. The slowdowns would be alleviated for most systems if two of the four teams were deleted from the map and it was converted to a 1v1 scenario. We created such a complicated scenario for the purposes of the tech demo, so that game engine limitations can be explored. I could reduce slowdowns (but probably not remove them entirely) by creating alternate AI configurations and setting up each of the three AI players to use a different 'brain'. I intend to create multiple AI's for future releases anyway, but right now, because they all use the same brain, they all launch their attacks simultaneously, causing all of their units to require pathfinding calculations at the same time, stressing the CPU. It's a good map, so I intend to release a version with only two teams in the future. It should be playable in that state, but for the time being the map serves a useful playtesting purpose in its complicated, sluggish state.

    Again, thanks for the feedback, keep it coming! It's all useful.
  • invader Ziminvader Zim Members Join Date: 2007-09-20 Member: 62376Posts: 255
    got direct x working, started the game up and had a play.

    i played a 4 way match between 2 rine and 2 alien teams cos i couldnt find a two way match that wasnt mvm.

    the game took 3 hours probably because of more poor stratergy. Basically i used a trench warfare strategy with TFs and sentrys, taking ground and edging closer to various rts and enemy bases.

    I like the game and will play it some more but i do have a few observations and thoughts

    firstly in a 3 hour game i didnt see a single higher lifeform, i only saw skulks

    The other rine team never developed JPs of HAs either

    I couldnt see the point in the obs.. i tried seigeing from behind a wall next to an enemy base i built some seiges and an obs but the i still could nt see to in to the enemy base, and i couldnt work out how to ping them.

    So in the end i had to assult, once my rines were in the base the seiges started fireing.

    The map i played was a very tornament layout, id like to see some maps layed out more like space stations and ns classic levels. (they may already exist but id didnt see any.

    It would also be cool to get some sort of statisitcs screen at the end showing you scores, and kills to losses ratio ect.

    The only bug i suffered was an FPS of 10, i usually have no problems running first person shooters upto 2006/7 with out drag, but this game was very laggy. Some times id have to click multiple times to get the game to register it. THis maybe to do with me set up.

    conclusion 7/10 game once it reaches beta or final release i expect it to be awsome
  • CrispyCrispy Jaded GD Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-08-22 Member: 30793Posts: 3,225
    QUOTE(Agent @ Jul 4 2008, 01:12 PM) »
    Credit loop: This one's intended. Hit escape or click the mouse to get back to the front end.
    A bit dubious. I can't check it now but I don't think there is a sufficient pause between the end of the credits and the beginning. If you want them to loop there should be a noticeable gap so signal the fact that they are looping, or perhaps just begin the Credits cycle with a title "CREDITS". There are other ways to make this looping more obvious, like tying the credits to a BGM track with an obvious start and end.

    QUOTE
    Frontend banner: Placeholder image. It's just a resized version of the banner that used to be used for a splash screen at boot, hence the corruption (actually just a loss of image quality due to the resize). The image is pegged for replacement.
    I suspected this was the case (and that resizing was the cause of the problem), but as a tester I never assume what is intended/placeholder and what is not, otherwise when developers forget to fix really obvious things somehow the QA department will end up with the blame.

    QUOTE
    Game Speed menu: I suppose it would be useful to see the currently selected game speed. I will add this to the list. The confirmation suggestion is a little questionable - you want it to ask you to confirm which option you've selected before accepting it? I'm not sure that's necessary; why do you think that needs to be implemented?
    It's pretty standard practise to give you visual feedback when you toggle an option on a menu. This can be the selection being highlighted temporarily before returning you to the previous menu, or a separate button to return you to the previous menu when you are satisfied with your choice (which in this case would remain highlighted). If you don't have this confirmation, the only way of finding out which speed you are playing at either to go into the game and test it (fine if you can toggle game speed from a menu in-game, otherwise this is timewasting) or to go back into the same menu you used to find out what you just did. Both of these options are frustrating and feel a bit clumsy for the end-user, imho.

    QUOTE
    Delay in drawing: This is a known bug and affects all opposing units and structures from time to time unpredictably. If you play standard games often enough, you'll have noticed that this happens about once per game, with enemy units attacking the player but not becoming visible when they should. They'll fire on the player, but friendly marines will not return fire as they can't see them. After 5-10 seconds the enemy units will become visible and friendly weapons will start firing. I haven't been able to track this bug down; I'm still working on it. If you can find a set of circumstances under which opposing units and/or structures are predictably invisible, please let me know as that would be extremely helpful in the bug hunt.
    I was getting it pretty regularly on that tutorial section, but it didn't occur the first time. I'll see if I can investigate further.

    QUOTE
    'Hold TAB' message: I wasn't sure how frequently to pop the message up; I wanted it to be infrequent enough so as not to be annoying, but at the same time frequent enough such that a confused player unaware of the TAB function would not be scratching his head for long enough to give up and quit. I'll tinker with the frequency a little.
    Well I don't know how you've set it, but I didn't see it until the final section of the tutorial. Because I was having trouble taking down the OC wall I guess the tutorial thought I was taking too long and kept prompting me every 30 seconds. The thing is it takes just under that amount of time to wait for all my Marines to respawn and re-equip (using 2 IPs), so the message was coming up all the time and almost taunting me at being rubbish! Imagine a new player in that situation: he's thinking "Yes, I know what I damned well need to do, I'm just not as quick as you think I should be!"
  • AgentAgent Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-10 Member: 26330Posts: 82
    Hello again, and thanks for your continued feedback!

    Credit loop: Fair enough. Since the credits aren't long enough at this time to reach the end of the BGM track I'll increase the length of time before repeating, at least for the time being.

    Placeholders: Fair enough again. I do keep a list of things that need to be corrected/adjusted/replaced/etc, and it does help to be reminded what needs adding to the list.

    Menu feedback: That's not unreasonable. I think keeping the menu up with an arrow or something beside the option you've chosen would work. Then you have to hit Back to move up menu levels. I'll do the same thing with the screen resolution menu.

    Draw delay: Still no luck tracking this one. It's being particularly evasive. I experience this bug often enough not to forget it exists, and that's too often. I'll squash it eventually.

    TAB message: For clarity, the mechanic of it is simple: if the tutorial window has been closed for about 30 seconds, it reminds you how to reopen it. The tutorial window stays open for about a minute or so before autoclosing, and when it closes the 30 second reminder countdown begins. Because most tutorial objectives are completed within a minute, the window rarely autocloses until the final objective, which can take a couple of passes, and that's why you never got reminded until the end. The purpose of the tutorial is to educate players who have never played NS before, and I have a couple of testers or two who are not gamers and have no assumed knowledge. I am accepting their feedback on all matters involving the tutorial as a priority, so I'll put it to them and see what they think.

    Afterthought: What about if I just make the reminder appear one time only? Still thirty seconds after the window closes so a newb isn't scratching his head for long, but only one time. Does solve everyone's problems?
  • AgentAgent Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-10 Member: 26330Posts: 82
    Addendum: Invader Zim, I saw your post and will address your points later today; I don't have time to write a full reply just at the moment, busy busy busy!
  • AgentAgent Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-10 Member: 26330Posts: 82
    Hi Invader Zim,

    I've got some time now to see about your feedback:

    DirectX: Glad to hear you got it running. I hope you're enjoying the game so far!

    1v1 MvA: Yeah, there are no 1v1 MvA maps at the moment. I'm just using some simple maps quickly thrown together with no real thought for design at this stage. When the Alien AI is at a playable state, I will create MvA maps for release. At the moment maps in which you can play as the Aliens are in short supply, as they're not really finished yet and until they are, they're not as much fun to play as the marines (who are just about finished).

    Higher Lifeforms: They are in the game, and if you play as the aliens you can evolve to the higher life forms. As I've noted, however, the alien AI is still rudimentary and doesn't build or evolve at all. It just runs around with skulks, responds to attacks and sends light raids of its own. That's it. They don't put up anything even close to a fight yet smile-fix.gif

    Marine Items: The Marine AI isn't 100% complete yet either. They will build a full base and attack and defend for a proper fight, but they don't know how to use any items other than medpacks and ammo packs yet. I am still working on the code that will make them drop weapons and armors. They do research the tech required to drop them, but I haven't taught them to actually use items yet. When I'm done, they will throw shotguns around until they've researched heavy weapons, then you'll see some increased firepower coming from them. They'll also build heavy trains and jetpack rushes, and drop mines around their base. I have lots of plans for increasing Marine AI intelligence!

    Observatory: An unfinished building. At this point its only purpose is to grant access to the Phase Gate and Motion Tracking, which both work just fine. It does not reveal nearby lifeforms out of LoS and I haven't created the Ping ability yet (though both of those abilities are on the to-do list, and will dramatically increase the structure's usefulness).

    Sieges: They require LoS from one of your Marines to fire. Since there's no ping sweep yet, that's the only way to get Sieges to fire. Incidentally, I'm getting an intermittent bug in which sieges won't fire even if one of your Marines has LoS to a target within range. It's uncommon enough that I can't reproduce it at will, but it has happened to me once or twice before and I can't figure it out. If anyone can figure out what circumstances cause this, let me know so I can fix it.

    Maps: Yes, all maps but one are tournament style, symmetrical maps at the moment for lack of creative time to put into making them. I've just slapped some maps together for testing purposes, and made them symmetrical so that testing is fair. Towards the end of development some more creative maps will come. I plan on recreating several favourite NS maps for Starstrike, such as Veil and Eclipse. These maps are tried, tested and fair and people enjoy them, plus they should add to the nostalgic fun factor of the game! There will also be unique maps that my content developers are working on, for those who like new and unique stuff.

    Statistics screen: Yes, I thought about that. A low priority at the moment, but we'll see how I go.

    Low FPS: Were you at 10fps for the entire match? Or just at certain points? Despite its simple 2D appearance, Starstrike is an extremely CPU-intensive game, making up to eleven million mathematical calculations per second! Even though it's just a 2D game, it requires a top of the line PC to play properly. Other 2D games like Starcraft don't even approach this level of complexity. I am always working on cycle efficiency to improve framerates on other systems, but from a programming point of view Starstrike is one of the more complex games I know of. Heavy combat can slow things up, and another big CPU drain is pathfinding for multiple units on large maps. I am always working on ways to improve this, but unfortunately you do need a powerful CPU to play.

    Mouse clicks: A side effect of low frame rate. If it takes the CPU longer to complete one mainloop cycle (that is, render one full frame of graphics, make a set of calculations and update memory locations) than it takes you to click and release the mouse button, then the mouse button will have been released by the time the program looks at the mouse to ask it if the button is currently depressed, and it won't realise you clicked at all. I can't buffer mouseclicks without causing additional slowdown in the calculation sets, so best workaround is to hold the mouse button down for a moment each time you make a click.

    QUOTE
    conclusion 7/10 game once it reaches beta or final release i expect it to be awsome


    Thanks for the vote of confidence! I hope it will be as good as you do smile-fix.gif
  • CrispyCrispy Jaded GD Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-08-22 Member: 30793Posts: 3,225
    QUOTE(Agent @ Jul 6 2008, 12:23 AM) »
    Afterthought: What about if I just make the reminder appear one time only? Still thirty seconds after the window closes so a newb isn't scratching his head for long, but only one time. Does solve everyone's problems?
    The purpose of the TAB message is to remind players of how to bring up the tutorial instructions/goal. The final stage is fairly simple: kill everything; so I don't think the message needs to be repeated in that instance.

    However, if you applied a general 'only appears once' rule to the TAB message, it's possible that some players may not get the message when they actually need it (e.g. on a middle section). I'd say if you can make it so it only appears once per section, it would be fine.

    Otherwise, change it so it appears first after 30 second and for subsequent appearances after 90 seconds, or something less intrusive.

    Bear in mind that when the tutorial messages are in a bigger font and take up more of the screen they will become more obtrusive.
  • AgentAgent Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-10 Member: 26330Posts: 82
    Progress report!

    The most important addition to the game so far is a working Aliens AI - and it's a tough one! In repeated trial 1v1 games, the aliens AI defeats the marines AI more often than not, so you are already in for a fight and I am still improving it! The Aliens AI will be included in the next release, which isn't far off.

    I've changed the Lerk; he doesn't bite anymore, but spits rapidfire spikes like he used to in older versions of NS. This has given him a purpose he lacked in the current SS build: Fast support raider! I am likely to add his poison cloud spit ability as well before the next release, making him even more useful in a support capacity. Along the same lines, I'd like to give the gorge his anti-structure bilebomb ability and the onos his stomp ability before the next release as well. We'll see how I go.

    I've fixed the siege cannon bug: I finally found the cause of sieges refusing to fire even when a marine has line of sight to a target. That's been fixed, and sieging is now the most effective way to defeat the aliens AI, much like in a game of NS.

    Skulks have been juiced up - they run a little faster and bite much harder now. Skulks generally overcome marines one on one now, especially if they come at him from around a corner. This means marines now need to stick together more than ever!

    Many tweaks to hitpoints for structures and units. The onos has thicker skin now, meaning he can only really be defeated with advanced weapons like in a real game of NS. Look out for the aliens AI, who likes to send multiple onosses at you when you least expect it!

    I've also reconfigured the way alien hives and DC's heal as a balance issue. Currently, all units and structures within range of a healing structure would receive healing from ALL such structures simultaneously, meaning that a large enough cluster of DC's can become absolutely indestructible as they heal >100% per tick. I've changed that: Now, while each healing structure can still heal everything around it at the same time, each healing target can only receive healing from a single source at a time, meaning that two DC's give no added benefit over a single DC. The aliens still need to throw down all three DC's to get the full 30% armor bonus, though.

    Minor bugs and adjustments as well. Updates to come as I continue work towards the next release!
  • spellman23spellman23 NS1 Theorycraft Expert Members Join Date: 2007-05-17 Member: 60920Posts: 3,365
    edited July 2008
    Heya. Very nice work so far. I know how painful it can be to setup a good game development.

    One question though, are you planning on keeping the rigid tile system? As much as it simplifies stuff, it can feel a little clunky. Perhaps setup a smaller tile system, but the hit boxes take up multiple tiles. This also allows things to take up more room, such as an Onos taking more room than a skulk, or HA larger than a regular Marine. Just my minor gripe.

    But yeah, good stuff so far, looks like you already have serious debug crowd but I might chime in later when I have more time to play it more thoroughly.

    Edit: Yes I realize there are already things that take up more than one tile. I'm just interested in a finer grain of distinction and movement. Moving my Marines around a turret farm is very difficult sometimes. =]
    helping bring perspective and learning since the olde days

    QUOTE
    <jenny> What's the plural of 'Onos'?
    <Mexican> For a while, I thought it was 'Oh ######'!


    Vote on your Ideas/Suggestions!
    http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/index....howtopic=125347
  • AgentAgent Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-02-10 Member: 26330Posts: 82
    edited July 2008
    Hey guys, just a general update.

    Spellman: In response to your post, I do intend to keep the tile based system. I'd like to have a finer "grain" for the tiles but it adds a great deal of complexity to an already very complex mathematical system, which puts it beyond the scope of this project. I have some ideas along these lines for future projects (I have a few in mind) but at this stage I don't plan to use them in Starstrike - it would require an almost total rewrite of the core engine as virtually all other game mechanics depend on the mathematical "one unit : one tile" relationship. I might be able to implement things like variable hitbox size for the large onos or the small gestation egg, however, but this would only apply to bullet collision and not unit to unit collision (ie, the unit isn't actually bigger than one tile but you can still hit it with bullets in a larger hitbox). I will investigate possibilities here.

    There are a number of people contributing suggestions and bugs, and I've attributed some in the credits (including you!). These efforts and contributions are definitely appreciated.

    Here are some of the things I'm working on at the moment:

    - Sometimes one or two units in the group will refuse a move order. I've identified the cause of this and am working on a solution.

    - Alien AI. Right now it's at the stage where it can give the Marines AI a run for its money and will keep a human player on his toes, but I'm still making it smarter!

    - Including phase gates in pathfinding. I'm working on a way to make Marine units consider phase gates when deciding on a path to the destination. If it's quicker to use a gate than to walk the whole way, they should do so automatically. Working on theories to implement this.

    - Zoom function. This one's very mathematically complex in a 2D game (you can't simply raise and lower the camera like you can in 3D games), but I've made some progress. You can now use the mouse wheel to zoom the view in and out to change the scale of the viewport. It's something I don't think has been done in any other 2D RTS game to date, and adds yet another useful interface feature. It works (sort of), but I haven't worked out the mathematical formulae that will allow mouse clicks to translate properly into the new zoom level. In other words, you can zoom the view in and out, but if you're at any magnification than 1x you won't be able to click on your units or give them orders properly. Even though this feature isn't finished, I want to include it in the next release so that you can see what I'm trying to do.

    Are people interested in this zoom function? I think it contributes usefully but I'd like some opinions before I dedicate any more time to it as it's very complex and time consuming to implement. What do you all think?

    I'm hoping to release the next alpha soon, so keep the bug notices and suggestions coming!
  • locallyunscenelocallyunscene Feeder of Trolls Members, Constellation Join Date: 2002-12-25 Member: 11528Posts: 4,022 Fully active user
    I don't think you need it(a zoom function). But I haven't been able to beat the marines yet >_< so maybe it would help
    QUOTE (Flayra @ Mar 28 2007, 09:21 PM) »
    It's not an easy balance to achieve, but we do want to make a game that will be both the best competitive game since Starcraft and also one that many people can enjoy casually without being in a clan or an experienced or knowledgeable NS player. That's the goal at least!


    - NS in game name - tilde - My Steam Id Page - .
Sign In or Register to comment.