Time for Alpha!
During the last months, I implemented quite a lot of features into the engine and game logic to lift this game up into Alpha state. The first game mode is working and most of the core game mechanics are implemented. Following is an overview of the features I wanted the game to have before reaching its Alpha stage. All of these are now implemented and tested.
- Launch configuration is read from .ini file which is generated automatically with default settings on the first launch. If that launch configuration file is deleted, the game will start with default settings and the default .ini file is generated again.
- Path-finding is much more efficient due to fewer iterations needed and usage of the popular command design pattern.
- Multistage image post-processing is introduced to the rendering loop to apply various shader based effects such as HDR Bloom and Motion Blur.
- Post-processing effects can be performed on a lower resolution as the current scene to provide higher framerates and sufficient image quality on less powerful machines.
Image Post-Processing: HDR Bloom example
Supply Depot without and with HDR Bloom enabled
- UI elements can now be attached to different floating anchor points to enable HUD and menus to automatically adjust to various screen resolutions.
- Basic network code is implemented. You can open a lobby and other players can log in. The current maximum is set to 4 players per lobby. The network code is optimized to be unsusceptible to connection loss on both client and server side so the game won’t crash or freeze when the TCP connection is interrupted for some reason.
- Yes, I am using TCP.
- Depot Defense: The first game mode available in Isostuff is all about defending your Supply Depot against wave after wave of nasty drones until the timer reaches zero. You earn points for building structures and units, gathering resources and destroying enemy buildings and units while protecting your own.
- Construction vehicles deliver required supply crates to the construction site they have been assigned to.
- Large crates are introduced. They yield twice the resource value of regular sized crates.
large supply crates
The next things I want to complete before the next Update are basically of visual nature.
I will improve image post-processing effects, build some new assets for the levels and implement one new unit (the basic tank) along with an extended damage system. Units will have different armor rating when attacked from different angles to add a tactical component to the game. Large supply crates will slow down construction vehicles when picked up and some basic power ups are to be introduced with the upcoming Alpha update.
Stay tuned for more Isostuff to come.
One last thing for today:
My recommendations for the technically interested viewer:
I really gained a lot from Joey de Vries great OpenGL tutorials. For those of you who are interested in the possibilities modern (core profile) OpenGL has to offer, I recommend visiting his web site: Learnopengl.com
This is where I learned the basics of awesome image effects such as the HDR Bloom I use in my game.
I just found this paper about different approaches on RTS network code design in Age of Empires 1 and 2 on gamasutra: Gamasutra.com It may be a bit old, but it gives interesting insight on the topic of multiplayer network programming especially for RTS games.