August 2012 blog archive

This page contains all the blog posts from august 2012. To read the most recent blog posts, click here.

26/08 - Spectator mode

Spectator mode has now been added to HD:X. It allows players to look at other pvp games as they're being played. There are two levels of spectating : the top level allows a viewer to see the basic details of maximum 10 games at once (the HP of both players and the number of ships & structures they have in play), the detailed level shows the actual boardstate of a single duel. Most updates arrive in real time, for now without all the visual effects that are present in real games.

With that, the final multiplayer section is now ready for testing. Soon, i'll start on the campaign mode, which is the final single player element for HD:X.

19/08 - HD:X PvP in alpha

The HD:X alpha has been updated and now features pvp. In the end it only took two weeks to get all of this working, which is a lot less than what it took during development of HD:S. There are some fairly big differences in how it all works compared to HD:S. In HD:S, there was much less confirmation between clients and server, causing desyncs to occur when one player had a slow/lagged client or a slow connection. In HD:X, every action from one player must be confirmed by the server and the other player, drastically lowering the chance of stuff going out of sync.

Even so, due to the huge amount of new card abilities (most of which are also more complex than the average ability), it's still possible to have desyncs. These can however be detected, and in some cases even be fixed. The moment a desync is detected, the game will also notify the player, so looking for the cause of the desync (i.e. a bug) and fixing it should take relatively little work. Since desyncs now technically only occur as a result of bugs, and no longer due to slow connections or high pings, there's a good possibility of being able to remove all the causes of desyncs.

12/08 - HD:X PvP

The basic framework of multiplayer games has already been completed. It's much more complex compared to HD:S, since the multiplayer server has been given a lot more control over the game, primarily to lower the chance of desyncs appearing.
So far the game allows players to set up and join games. Ships and structures can already be played and all combat phases are in. A few tricky elements still remain : handling actions and activated abilities, as well as detecting when the game should end.

Duels are not the only thing that require a multiplayer server to connect players and exchange information between them. Some form of spectator rooms are planned as well : these allow players to watch duels between other players.

05/08 - Crystal Chaos

Crystal Chaos is now out on the NULLL Games site. It's a small game where the player controls a Xyloxi character, who has to gather various crystals while avoiding the Mithri leeches that have invaded the nebula.
Over the coming weeks, the game will be uploaded to various flash games portals.

In HD:X, everything is ready to get started on PvP. Another patch for the alpha has been released, mainly adding in new features and visual effects.