Development icon Windows problems
Ok, I have been very lazy and the release I promised is very much late. The thing has pretty much just been lying around, waiting for me to decide if it is in a releasable state. So I decided it is and packaged it and everything, but when I booted to Windows to do some testing, it crashed.

At first I thought it was the fault of my cross-compilation (I used Wine to produce Windows exes and they worked fine in Linux), but the problem stayed after I compiled it natively. I traced the segfault to a function call (a couple of different functions both produced the same error just before entering them), but it doesn't make sense to me.

I hate to debug stuff when I have no idea what's wrong and especially since I'm forced to debug in Windows (I use primarily Ubuntu).

In conclusion, no release until I fix the Windows version.
Posted to Development on 21 Jan 2010 by aave
Development icon Announcing Lone Explorer Edition
So, as I hinted earlier, I'm forking a single-player version of the main Infiniverse code. This version is called the Lone Explorer Edition (LEE) and has the following features:
  • Single player

  • No network connection required

  • More limited

  • Pretty much only exploring and sight-seeing is allowed

The reason for this version is that I can more easily release its source code as there will be no networking stuff and thus the source is harder to use for cheating in multiplayer game. Also, I'm able to release a version of LEE sooner, as a kind of preview to the "real thing" (which is currently a bit broken). Final reason is that there are some people who don't care about multiplayer and just want to check out the universe.

As for the schedule, I've already branched LEE in the repo (and cleaned the networking) and it compiles and is mostly ready to release. I have also written some documentation for the source code and added most dependencies to the tree (as there are only few of them, I'm going to include them all so that it is as easy as possible to compile from source).

What remains to be done is some repository re-arraingement and changing the thing to use the included dependencies. I also noticed some bad performance, so I might take a quick look at that before releasing.

All in all, expect a single player peek at Infiniverse (in binary form) in a week or two and a source release (of that limited version) soon after.
Posted to Development on 28 Dec 2009 by aave
Development icon Christmas closing in... What will New Year bring?
It has nearly two months since last update. sad I have been busy with other stuff, but I think I can get back to this after the holidays (or maybe even sooner).

The first thing to do is to examine the state of code and re-familiarize myself with it (two months make you forget things, but they'll come back quickly...). My roadmap is to finish all on-going critical changes and then clean up the code, so that I can release a single-player preview, which will be open source (more information follows later). After that, I'll complete the broken networking stuff so that I can release an alpha of the MMO part (which will be far from complete, but I hope somewhat functional). The plan after that is to keep a rolling release, meaning the game updates itself automatically as soon as code new stuff.

I'll also look into making the whole thing (including networking, not just core engine) open source.

PS. Added two screenshots.
Posted to Development on 20 Dec 2009 by aave
Development icon No News
Things have pretty much remained stationary since the last post. The compiler still doesn't work (or assembler, whatever) as discussed in the previous post, and I've been hacking some small new features into Performous.

Technically I could compile freebasic code using my server. It's a bit inconvenient, but only a bit. I'm also at a stage, where I don't need to run the program very often, so that helps too. However, I do have a C++ school project starting, which probably eats some coding passion...
Posted to Development on 28 Oct 2009 by aave
Development icon A Few Outside Obstacles
Development has been non-existent during the last few days, mainly because of three reasons:

  1. My laptop's screen stopped suddenly working. Fortunately after finding the right tools and a long disassembly involving about a hundred screws, I got it back to working. The sources weren't in danger as I could have probably gotten them out of the computer (which was working fine otherwise) and I had fairly recent backups.

  2. After a recent update in Ubuntu 9.10 beta, the FreeBASIC compiler gives segfaulting exes, which seems to be the fault of gcc's assembler. The matter is still unresolved.

  3. I bought Rock Band instruments and have had tons of fun playing with them in Performous. :P

Posted to Development on 20 Oct 2009 by aave
Development icon Massive changes in networking
Today I branched both the client and the server and started to make some fundamental changes to the communication between them. Although my previous protocol improvements at least halved the bandwidth requirements, I can now see that I can do much better. For example, the coordinates of other players are currently sent as two integers, whereas on the new branch they are only two byte deltas to the client players position. I also decided to limit the maximum number of connected players to around 250 (like I'll ever get even 20 simultaneous players), which allows me to use a single byte id with each player. These things bring a position update packet size down dramatically. Also, by using single bytes wherever possible, I can get the data from a stream/string easily with the pointer index operator [], without the need to perform memcpy's.

In addition, the server itself sees some drastic architectural changes and the communication style is switched from an event based to take place at more regular intervals. Furthermore, I plan to finally make the switch from TCP to UDP, which might bring some further speed to the communication.

These things are a lot of work (and packing/unpacking bytes for transmission isn't very pleasant), but I find them essential. I'll keep you posted on the progress.
Posted to Development on 15 Oct 2009 by aave

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