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stefanhendriks

D2TM - DEMO 4 Released!

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D2TSHA indeed has this placing system like you mention. I have tried it, but with a slight difference. When you place a slab, you see a timer and after that you can place another slab. So actually it is not that much different from D2TM, but you do not have to re-select the concrete again.

I do not think this 'segment' building is 'fair'. I think the construction of a wall should represent the lenght you specify of that segment. So in that perspective, pre-placing walls and then seeing them being constructed is more logical to me.

Anyhow, I am not really busy with this stuff in code. I am now refactoring the GUI parts (sidebar and its icons) so it is easily maintainable.

I also made short-keys (but they are not 100% bug-free yet, because of this crappy legacy code I am now refactoring ;)) to the 'build lists'. Ie, F1 is const yard, F2 is Infantry/Troopers list. Saves some clicks, and I know some players (like me) like to use-short key's.

I am  not sure if it is in DEMO 4 already, but there is also the possibility to get the structure you have selected in screen with the C key.

So, select an (enemy) structure. and then press C and you immediately jump there.

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I suppose when the wall is building built bit by bit after determining the tile positions, you would not be able to build any other structures since the construction yard is tied up by the wall construction?

That said, there should be a way to cancel wall construction too while it proceeds automatically.

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I suppose when the wall is building built bit by bit after determining the tile positions, you would not be able to build any other structures since the construction yard is tied up by the wall construction?

That said, there should be a way to cancel wall construction too while it proceeds automatically.

There are 2 ways this could be done:

1. the progress indicator 'slows down' (as it shows the overall progress of all walls)

2. the progress indicator will have a counter, like you have with queue's. You see the progress indicator going from wall to wall and see the number decrease as walls are being completed.

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hi, nice demo 4 some improvement since 3.5 and some life since more than one year!

Bulding queue would be a good idea for factories.

the game crash when harkonnen devastator explode.

Fixing so when the game start no unit are out of screen. the screen bounds could be improve.

satrting with an mcv instead of a delpoyed base would be nice

keep up with the good job!

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hi, nice demo 4 some improvement since 3.5 and some life since more than one year!

Bulding queue would be a good idea for factories.

the game crash when harkonnen devastator explode.

Fixing so when the game start no unit are out of screen. the screen bounds could be improve.

satrting with an mcv instead of a delpoyed base would be nice

keep up with the good job!

I have fixed the boundaries start position with Skirmish games. But not for other things like pathfinding.

Starting with MCV is easy to do.

Also, does the devastator always make the game crash on explosion? Or just once? Was it at the border of the map? or not?

Thanks for the feedback ;)

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the game crash when harkonnen devastator explode.

I think this is why the game crashed with me, I made a post about it in this topic some time ago. I was attacking the base with devastators when the crash happened, and I don't think I have used devastators since then. I will take a look if the game always crashes when a devastator explodes, and post my findings later.

Btw, it's the only crash I ever experienced with D2TM, and that's a lot better than most commercial games these days. Now I know these are a lot more complex than D2TM, but I still want to give Stefan credit for the stable game he has built, even while it's still under construction.

EDIT:

I tested this with DEMO 4, and the game didn't crash when my devastators exploded, so it doesn't always happen. I will keep looking if I can find what causes it though.

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Thanks for the compliment.

To be honest, I think that is a miracle there are so little crash bugs. If you have taken a look at the code, it is very prone to errors and that is the exact reason why I am refactoring it. There is so much that *could* go wrong :)

Somehow I do not screw up, even in that hazardous environment.

Are commercial games that unstable though?

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Are commercial games that unstable though?

They intentionally screw a couple of things up, so that you have to download like 10 patches :)

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With all the money of the world, an extensive testing team and whatever, I'd expect more ;)

Though, the funny thing is that conceptually there is not much difference between C&C 1 and the latest C&C (3).

Dare I say that even conceptually nothing changed between Dune 2 and C&C 3? ;)

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With all the money of the world, an extensive testing team and whatever, I'd expect more ;)

Well, that's probably the point. About a decade ago, game studio's were still small, and everyone did their best to create an awesome game as everyone felt much more 'responsible' for the game because of the small team. You still had the idea you played a significant part in the creation of th game. Today you need ten to twenty times as much people to create an 'a' game, and most of the studio's are owned my a publisher (y' know, like, these guys who don't really do anything but get all the money and the credit...) and all they look at is how they can cut the development costs. For most software products testing is more expensive than coding, and I have no reason to believe this is any different for a game so that's where they're going to cut away a LOT (but it's not the only thing they cut on, don't worry). After all, you have this huge team of testers who are willing to pay you fifty euro's to do the work for you, and after that's done you bring out those ten patches to make the game playable, re-release the game as an 'oldskool classic' edition, and it ends up for five euro's in the budget bin.

Though, the funny thing is that conceptually there is not much difference between C&C 1 and the latest C&C (3).

Dare I say that even conceptually nothing changed between Dune 2 and C&C 3? ;)

Do you mean code-wise or gameplay-wise?

If gameplay-wise:

I wish that was true. IMO Red Alert 1 (I never played C&C 1, but I believe they don't differ much in gameplay) is still one of the most awesome games RTS games ever made, because they made the game pretty 'serious'. I think this was the case for C&C 1 too. After that, instead of making the game 'grow' with its players, they did the opposite and made the sequel more cartoonish and 'funny'. Biggest mistake ever IMO. In the end, you end up with crap like RA3 (C&C3 is still kind of good though).

If code-wise:

Only the highest gameplay layer is very much the same (well, I guess, I've never seen the source code from a recent strategy game), but in the old days you were drawing images directly to the framebuffer, these days you draw 3D models in a 3D environment with integrated physics and shaders are used to redefine the functioning of your graphics card and all this stuff in your 3D environment needs to have a decent collision detection and if it collides it must react accordingly and and and... you get the idea. To make all this stuff work together is just like hell, and this is usually where most of the bugs are located.

Also, if you're interested, you should look around a bit on the net for story's from game programmers working for EA.

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I wish that was true. IMO Red Alert 1 (I never played C&C 1, but I believe they don't differ much in gameplay) is still one of the most awesome games RTS games ever made, because they made the game pretty 'serious'. I think this was the case for C&C 1 too. After that, instead of making the game 'grow' with its players, they did the opposite and made the sequel more cartoonish and 'funny'. Biggest mistake ever IMO. In the end, you end up with crap like RA3 (C&C3 is still kind of good though).

I totally agree ! :)

But:

Only the highest gameplay layer is very much the same (well, I guess, I've never seen the source code from a recent strategy game), but in the old days you were drawing images directly to the framebuffer, these days you draw 3D models in a 3D environment with integrated physics and shaders are used to redefine the functioning of your graphics card and all this stuff in your 3D environment needs to have a decent collision detection and if it collides it must react accordingly and and and... you get the idea. To make all this stuff work together is just like hell, and this is usually where most of the bugs are located.

Basically what you are saying, is that because of the graphical enhancements , and the need to go 3D (with the extra dimension, litteraly, of complexity) the games become more bugged.

It sure is a shame that because of the looks, the overall quality of the product decreases.

I do agree that with all the 'features' (that are not gameplay wise actually, because no-one really asks for realistic collisions within an RTS?) that it will make it super complex, and hard to debug.

Also, I really love the somewhat 'older' games. I really like 2D, and I will probably never switch to 3D :)

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Basically what you are saying, is that because of the graphical enhancements , and the need to go 3D (with the extra dimension, litteraly, of complexity) the games become more bugged.

Kind of. Actually, 3D really isn't that hard once you get the hang of it. Most people take a look at books or papers about 3D engines and the like and quickly run away in fear of the complex calculations. But because they don't read on, they miss that the graphics API's like GL and DX do most of these for you, although you still need to know the basics of the calculations going on to be able to use the API's. But like I said, it really isn't that hard.

But it is the eternal 'more' and the eternal 'and' that gives problems. Developers usually don't write everything from scratch, but use combinations of engines: one for graphics (3D), physics, sound, network play, etc. And that is where it goes wrong, as you might have bugs in you own code, the library might have bugs, or that little hack to make this stuff that wouldn't work together nicely is giving some strange results after all.

Like you said, no one needs realistic collision detection in an RTS, at least not for debris hitting buildings. But it appears that that kind of thing is all that people look at. I can live with it if flying pieces of blown up stuff goes straight trough a building. Sure, it's nice if it doesn't, but it doesn't add anything to the gameplay.

Also, I really love the somewhat 'older' games. I really like 2D, and I will probably never switch to 3D :)

Never say never :P

3D has some really cool possibilities, for example animations and zooming. Just don't overdo anything like the stuff we just discussed.

You can make a lot of animations for one model, and blend them together to get a huge amount of possible 'states' for your models, which is very hard to do in 2D because of the amount of different images needed.

Also, I really like to be able to zoom my view. In Supreme Commander, you can zoom your view from 'we see only one unit' view to 'we can see the whole map like a huge mini map' view. In 2D, zooming in will need high quality images, zooming out will need an enormous amount of mipmaps. Combine this with the animation problem and you'll understand why this simply isn't possible in 2D.

So I once had an idea that takes the best of both worlds. Make a 3D game, but render using an orthographic projection. What you would usually do is the so-called perspective divide, which makes everything further away from the viewpoint appear smaller. If you don't do this perspective divide, you'll get an infinitely far away, satellite-like view, just like the old RTS games (or CAD programs). I think this might be a nice combination of old and new looks.

EDIT: Fixed some typo's

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I've tried some OpenGL and I know it has a lot of benefits if you want to blend bitmaps and what not; but , somehow it does not 'attract' me.

I find it fun to see my game run on a moderate computer :)

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Agreed.

I was a bit unclear in my last post, edited it later. I wasn't suggesting to use the technique I mentioned in D2TM but just some RTS in general, as D2TM's main goal is to recreate Dune 2 with better controls and other useful features. Making it semi-3D with fluid animations and the like wouldn't leave much Dune 2 feeling to the game :P

Which reminds me:

I noticed you are refactoring the GUI code atm. Maybe it's a good idea to make it resolution-independent, if you weren't doing so already?

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Which reminds me:

I noticed you are refactoring the GUI code atm. Maybe it's a good idea to make it resolution-independent, if you weren't doing so already?

Could be, I am not doing that with that in mind. But since I introduce Drawer classes, it should not be hard to implement these things. Also, I am refactoring with a limit. If you really want to abstract this part of the game, you would expect to see a Button class and so forth (which might be introduced anyway, because I am getting fed up with this unlogical handling of graphical stuff.. but anyway).

However, a higher resolution is not possible yet, the herald pictures are fixed ones for 640x480 (look with the grabber util (in tools/) into the gfxinter.dat file and you will see what i mean).

Agreed.

I was a bit unclear in my last post, edited it later. I wasn't suggesting to use the technique I mentioned in D2TM but just some RTS in general, as D2TM's main goal is to recreate Dune 2 with better controls and other useful features. Making it semi-3D with fluid animations and the like wouldn't leave much Dune 2 feeling to the game

Ah, i misunderstood then. Do you think the new explosions are still dune 2ish? Or should they be less impressive? I think they look cool, but I am not sure  yet about their 'dune 2 ish' style.

Also, new revision committed. What do you think of the new code anyway? I think it is much better then the old :D

Edit: Added some more text

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Good to see this is going again. Haven't realy noticed changes since 3.5, but I haven't been testing the changelog.

Refactoring the GFX: if there's help you need with that, well, I've not got loads of time, but I can perhaps do a few bits and pieces. Turning things into 'draw a button this big' I agree would be good, and for resolution, bear in mind that the game screen could be variable size (min 640, max depends on map size!), while the Mentat screen could be fixed but with black surroundings.

Also there are several icons I missed in my first pass for 3.0 (?) like the troopers which need redoing. Do you have a 'blank' icon for this?

I got DEMO 4 working on Ubuntu Intrepid + Wine, by the way, it worked fine apart from no midi, but that may have just been my driver.

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Good to see this is going again. Haven't realy noticed changes since 3.5, but I haven't been testing the changelog.

Don't get your hopes up too high though. I have some time now, but the amount of spare time will decrease in 2 or 3 weeks.

I got DEMO 4 working on Ubuntu Intrepid + Wine, by the way, it worked fine apart from no midi, but that may have just been my driver.

Very cool. Perhaps if you download the MP3 add-on and install it, you might actually have music as well :)

are several icons I missed in my first pass for 3.0 (?) like the troopers which need redoing. Do you have a 'blank' icon for this?

I've to double-check that, I can't remember if there are 'fixed' icons for Troopers and such in my mailbox/project dir. I will check it and let you know (unless I have them, you'd hear nothing).

efactoring the GFX: if there's help you need with that, well, I've not got loads of time, but I can perhaps do a few bits and pieces. Turning things into 'draw a button this big' I agree would be good, and for resolution, bear in mind that the game screen could be variable size (min 640, max depends on map size!), while the Mentat screen could be fixed but with black surroundings.

TBH. I think making the GUI more resolution friendly is a minor, or trivial, issue. So i won't spend time on this , with the time i have 'left' the coming weeks. I appreciate the offer though :) But you already know that. Perhaps I have to add a credits screen so your name will come up there ? ;)

I could 'stretch' the gfx in-game for the mentats btw. Or would that be ugly?

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Do you think the new explosions are still dune 2ish? Or should they be less impressive? I think they look cool, but I am not sure  yet about their 'dune 2 ish' style.

IMO, the explosions are a nice addition to the game. They have the same color scheme as the rest of the game, so they fit in nicely. Also, they aren't overdone and that's important too. Only when you blow up a building, the explosion is really big. But as that doesn't happen too often, it's pretty rewarding :D

Maybe in a later version, once the options screen is made, you could make an option to switch the explosions on/off in case people don't like them.

Also, new revision committed. What do you think of the new code anyway? I think it is much better then the old :D

I've been digging a bit through the new code today, and it's definitely an improvement over the old code. A lot clearer this way. The whole program structure is not yet clear to me, but the new additions make it easier.

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IMO, the explosions are a nice addition to the game. They have the same color scheme as the rest of the game, so they fit in nicely. Also, they aren't overdone and that's important too. Only when you blow up a building, the explosion is really big. But as that doesn't happen too often, it's pretty rewarding

Maybe in a later version, once the options screen is made, you could make an option to switch the explosions on/off in case people don't like them.

Yeah, an on/off switch would be nice. I think you're right about being rewarding when you destroy a structure. I always like to see big things being blown up now in the game.

've been digging a bit through the new code today, and it's definitely an improvement over the old code. A lot clearer this way. The whole program structure is not yet clear to me, but the new additions make it easier.

Thanks. It is a bit odd to digg through it. But here a hint or two:

- get to main.cpp (see how it is 'set up').

- get to cGame_Logic.cpp (most of the stuff is here). Find the runGameState method. THis one is important. The game playing thing (ie, where all the fun happens) is in the first case where it calls the 'combat()' method.

From there, the mapdraw() method is basically the most important thing happening.

Although the code is not as clear as i want it to be, I do like to point out that the main loop (run method) now finally looks easy, while it was a hell to go through before DEMO 4:


void cGame::run()
{
set_trans_blender(0, 0, 0, 128);

while (bPlaying)
{
poll();
TimeManager.processTime();
handleTimeSlicing();
        runGameState();
handleKeys();
shakeScreenAndBlitBuffer();
frame_count++;
}
}

:)

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The 'frozen ai' bug occured again, this time its a bit different than the one I wrote about before.

The ai builds their base, harvests spice, builds vehicles but doesn't attack me or eachother. If I go to one of their bases they won't attack me. Only if I attack 1 unit that unit will attack me, the others don't seem to bother.

The AI isn't fully inactive, they go to spice blooms to blow them up.

I've made a few screenshots:

1zciov5.jpg

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Thanks for putting so much time into testing this.

Did I also see your own turrets not firing at the enemy? That would indicate that it is not AI related, but in overall bugged?

@Nema:

I could not find the new icons for troopers, but i did find the empty icon base. (attached in this post).

edit: FOUND THEM! :D

Edit 2: screenshot of the new icons (i know they should not be for Atreides, but this is refactored / Work In Progress code)

iconbase.zip

post-64-128332398961_thumb.png

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FYI: The key F11 will make a screenshot for you (no need to do PRNT-SCREEN ;)), this feature is already available in DEMO 4. Do note that once you restart the game, it will start overwriting previously made screenshots.

Something that might occur in the newer versions is an assertion fail. if that happens, I need the info what is on the screen. FYI I have put up a screenshot of such an error.

In later versions, if people could send me the data on that screen with their log file. I should be able to pinpoint better what went wrong :).

post-64-12833239896683_thumb.png

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Thanks for putting so much time into testing this.

Did I also see your own turrets not firing at the enemy? That would indicate that it is not AI related, but in overall bugged?

Exactly, my turrets didn't react when the enemy came within firing range. The same problem occured at the Ordos and Sardaukar base. They have rocket turrets in their base but they didn't fire on my trikes.

Yeah you're right about that it is overall bugged. Their and my turrents and units don't react on eachother.

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Stefan

this is an amazing remake!

i love it, AI is challenging sometimes. t throws units at you.

only problem is that Troopers are overly charged. Other than that, i didnt look for bugs. only thing that did bother is the unit seleciton.

Both of what i said(troopers and Selections) have been tagged as bugs/changes that need to b made.

Still overall this demo kicks a$$

Congrats!

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