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Author Topic: Change log - feature additions and bug fixes in active development  (Read 41418 times)
Chris
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« on: February 02, 2009, 01:06:24 pm »

This thread is to keep everyone more directly informed about the implementation of new features and bug fixes, right after I add them to my local development copy. Think of it as a public "change log" of sorts. Extra, extra! Piping hot development news from the programmer's keyboard delivered directly to your screen!

Please note that these changes will take some time to make their way into your hands, since I have to release an update first. Update releases happen periodically, after I've accumulated enough changes to make them worthwhile (it takes about a day to assemble everything, do some sanity checking, and push out announcements in all the relevant places). When I do a release I'll post here, on the news blog, and in the official Steam community (join please!), among other places.

---

To kick things off in style, here's a much-requested feature:

It's official - the ability to whisper (send private messages) to other players in the game will be available in the next patch (ETA unknown). I just spent a few hours thrashing out the basic functionality. At present, the only way to use it is to use the chat function as normal, and also type /msg PlayerName before your message. Like so:

/msg Minus Thanks for suggesting this feature!

As a handy shortcut, pressing / will bring up the chat box as well as entering / as its first character, since the chat box doubles as a console entry box and / prefixes all console commands. (This functionality has existed, largely undocumented, for a while. There are some existing console commands, mostly only of use to game hosts. Type /help to see.) So you can just start typing /msg Chris ... without having to worry about bringing up the chat box first.

I intend to add other aliases for /msg (/whisper and /tell at least). It would also be nice to have a way of triggering it through the GUI; at the moment I'm thinking of adding a right-click menu to the player list, with a "Send message" entry. And, um, not much else. Smiley  "Kick" and "ban" for the host I guess, since those already exist as console commands.

For now, though, it's past midnight and I'm tired enough to start making mistakes. Smiley  G'night.
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Chris
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2009, 11:12:35 am »

In addition to the above, I've been asked to post a list of the bugs fixed locally since the last release (6 days ago), so here's a quick summary, in no particular order:

- Fix: Rifts sometimes aren't visible to remote clients.
- Fix: Observers were being assigned starting planets on custom maps, and could attempt to send orders to the ships on those planets (without success). The error "ArrayBoundsError net.packets.server.battleround(91)" which some people were seeing was probably a symptom of this bug.
- Fix: Players in disconnected state don't get sent to newly-connecting observers
- Fix: mayhemig.exe sticking around using 100% CPU after exiting the game
- Fix: /ban command was crashing server in presence of non-networked players
- Fix: Can't see your own ping.
- Fix: Removed grey "e" under End Turn button
- Made chat box stay open permanently during pre-game settings screen. If it's empty when the game starts, then it closes itself.
- Changed feature: If only AIs are left in a multiplayer game (including if all human players are in disconnected state), end the game.
- Fix: A mistyped console command shows up as chat
- A bunch of errors, console messages, and other miscellaneous pieces of text have been moved into strings.txt so that they can be localised (thanks to Alexandre Fonseca for tracking many of these down, and also for contributing a Portuguese translation, which will be included once I've figured out how Steam localisation is put together)
- Added aliases for /msg command: /whisper, /tell
- Improved console /help command
- Invalid map errors now just kill the game session rather than crashing the whole client. (Still bad, but less ugly.)
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Chris
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2009, 01:07:15 pm »

Work of tonight and last night:

- Fixed some bugs arising from new features (e.g. if a player shared the first word of their name with another player, e.g. Commander Minus and Commander Bob being in the same game, then you couldn't whisper to them since only the first word was interpreted as being the name; now you can use quotation marks to specify names with spaces in them, like /msg "Commander Minus" I really need to pick on someone else in these examples for a change. Of course, if Commander Minus is the only Commander in the server, you can just do /msg comm Paging Commander Minus! for the same effect.)

- Fix: Could /kick yourself.

- Fix: /ban command crashed in presence of non-networked players.

- Bit of fun to keep my motivation up after all those bug fixes: Transparent chat background! The level of transparency is customisable, and I spent a little time implementing some totally sweet fading-out effects for the background for when chat messages themselves fade out. While I was at it, I also sprinkled some magic salt on the existing full-screen fades so that they look a little smoother.

This weekend is going to be scorching hot so we'll see how far I get. I may run away and hide in a public building with air conditioning again, in which case very little work will get done. (Curse the inadequacy of my laptop!)
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Chris
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2009, 12:42:42 am »

This weekend is going to be scorching hot so we'll see how far I get.

Fun fact: Today's predicted top temperature is 40°C (104°F).
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Chris
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2009, 03:36:44 am »

Yesterday I mostly took a break, except for trying to debug Joshkun's network problem; as part of that I made the following changes:

- Error checking tweaks to socket classes
- Critical errors are now logged in log file regardless of debug status

Today has been Chat Interface Improvement Day:

- Added scroll buttons to message log on infobar, and upped maximum message count to 100 to take more advantage of that feature. This means you can scroll back through the last 100 chat and battle messages, which should help in strategising.
- Reduced the maximum message count for the main chat area from 10 to 6, to prevent it from taking up too much space (though it does still do that if there are long messages)
- Formatting tweaks to infobar to make better use of space and increase readability

What next? I have only the following two features on my list for the next release (and nothing else - in the interests of releasing early and often, many other worthy suggestions have been left for later). However, I am considering cutting those features and just going ahead and releasing a patch ASAP.

Quote from: Not yet implemented
- "Start game" has a 5 or 10-second countdown after being pressed. During the countdown, the player who initiated it (and only that player) can cancel it, in case it was pressed by accident or someone modified a setting immediately prior.
- Voting system whereby a majority can vote to reset a multiplayer server, *if* "allow others to manage this server" is enabled. Votes are limited to one per IP address as well as one per unique nickname (underscored suffixes, e.g. _2, don't count as unique nicknames for this purpose).
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Kumlekar
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2009, 08:59:51 am »

- Voting system whereby a majority can vote to reset a multiplayer server, *if* "allow others to manage this server" is enabled. Votes are limited to one per IP address as well as one per unique nickname (underscored suffixes, e.g. _2, don't count as unique nicknames for this purpose).

I hope this will not include bots as part of the majority.
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What is Six Times Nine
Forty-Two!

Jp may have played mayhem before it was cool, but I play while its cool! *

* "Cool" is defined as the period of time in which Kumlekar plays a game.
Chris
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2009, 09:04:13 am »

Don't worry - the day has not yet come when artificial intelligences are given the right to vote. Smiley
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Chris
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2009, 11:14:26 am »

Assuming all goes as planned, expect a v1.2.3 release tomorrow. I have cut the "start game" countdown and the voting system from this release in order to bring you the other changes sooner.
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Chris
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2009, 11:43:07 pm »

Make that tomorrow... I forgot it's still the weekend in America land! Embarrassed

Although I guess this post and my previous post are technically on the same day for many of you, despite the fact that I posted them "last night" and "this morning" respectively in Aussie-time, so from that perspective I'm in the clear...

Time zones. Honestly.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2009, 11:46:56 pm by Chris » Logged
Kumlekar
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2009, 12:09:50 am »

its a 5 hour time difference.
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What is Six Times Nine
Forty-Two!

Jp may have played mayhem before it was cool, but I play while its cool! *

* "Cool" is defined as the period of time in which Kumlekar plays a game.
Chris
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2009, 02:19:07 am »

Actually it's 19 hours (24 - 5), in the opposite direction. Which is why it's craaaazy.
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Chris
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2009, 03:25:01 am »

Assuming all goes as planned, expect a v1.2.3 release tomorrow.

Done! Check it out. Smiley

Full list of changes is in the news post.
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Chris
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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2009, 05:25:53 am »

Back to the code!

Remember: These changes will take some time to make their way into your hands, since I have to release an update first.

- Right-clicking on a destination planet, and dragging from one planet to another, have always been shortcuts for the "send ships" command. Holding down Ctrl while performing these actions now lets you set rally points instead.
- Blip sound when someone speaks [Minus] (thanks Duncan!)
- In-game music levels rebalanced so the music isn't totally drowned out by explosions (thanks again, Duncan!)
- Modifications made to Steam code in an effort to make it retry if retrieving achievements fails (not actually tested yet)
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Kumlekar
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2009, 04:29:04 am »

- Modifications made to Steam code in an effort to make it retry if retrieving achievements fails (not actually tested yet)
Can you explain this?  Also, have you made any decisions about what your going to do with achievements when the improved AI comes out?
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What is Six Times Nine
Forty-Two!

Jp may have played mayhem before it was cool, but I play while its cool! *

* "Cool" is defined as the period of time in which Kumlekar plays a game.
Chris
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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2009, 12:49:19 am »

It's intended to help in the case of intermittent connectivity to the Steam servers. That way, if it initially fails to connect in order to retrieve achievement data, it won't simply give up; it'll keep re-trying.

Also, have you made any decisions about what your going to do with achievements when the improved AI comes out?

No final decisions, besides "something reasonable". I'll probably either deprecate the old achievements (so nobody can achieve them unless they already have them; they'll then continue show up on Steam profiles, but not in-game), or adjust their descriptions to "Defeat the AI at the Medium level" or whatever the closest equivalent to "Highest" ends up being. (Either way, I will probably also add new "Highest" achievements, though perhaps not for Perfect since that's hard enough already...)
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