Friday, May 22, 2009

Preview 5 Released

Long list of changes (so I'll just call it Preview 5):
  • When selecting multiple units, totals for each type show on right menu bar and can be manipulated
  • Pathfinding logic rewritten; units now operate much more intelligently
  • Drastic improvements to AI for CPU players, including avoidance of worms, building special units, building spacing, and heirarchy
  • Sonic Tanks have received final alterations. They now require power when firing, and will shut down during a power outage. They will not hurt friendly units and will not damage themselves, but they will damage all buildings.
  • Crags should not proliferate to edges of board now (thereby trapping MCVs sometimes)
  • All players gain a very small amount of spice per second
  • HTFs now repair flyers at a slow rate whenever they are docked (automatic and without cost)
  • HTFs now have a "repair hold" button that will force flyers to remain grounded until they fully repair, once they have reached 1/3 health or less
  • Starting units are now the same for all factions (tank, quad, infantry squad)
  • Rocket turrets have lower Rate of Fire and Gun turrets have greater health
  • Deviator mindgas now powers down buildings for 2-4 seconds when affected
  • Removed options for non-square maps (32x64,64x128)
  • Atreides now have slight "starting location" bonus, by beginning on the bottom and having more room than the other factions (switched places with Ordos)
  • Fixed bugs with money and timer tickers in GUI
  • Wormsign icon now blinks
Whew! I'll rest for a little while now and then continue working on the server/client files. See you again in a few weeks.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I'm preparing a new release shortly. This one will contain many enhancements and should show much more intelligent pathfinding without a much higher CPU load. Units should be more responsive and efficient than before (maybe an average player won't notice it but I notice everything); for instance, telling a unit to retreat when the cell with the retreat flag is already full (or otherwise moving into an obstruction) will no longer cause the unit to pause in his tracks for half a second figuring out where to go. I'm focusing now on improving performance with some things, and after that I'll stop making changes for a while to make sure we're good and stable before moving on. Keep your eyes open in this week.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Another download update :)

After doing some playtesting recently I uncovered some things I wanted to change, so I've been spending time on the game features and processes as a diversion from the network code.  I've also added a few new things that I think will please many people following this project.

After this I'll be working on pathfinding for a little while.  It's one of those things that's easy to implement poorly, and impossible to get perfect.  I always feel like there must be something I can do to make it better.  And this time, I really think there is, and I have many ideas I want to test out at least.

Updates in RC4c:
  • Deep Desert mode is now activated!!  I think people will love this one.  It increases the rock and spice on the board, and as for the worms... well, I'd stay off the sand.  ;)  You can choose this mode when creating a game.
  • The Harvesters icon in the top bar now shows how many harvesters you've created/are creating, out of how many possible you could have, in addition to showing the "idle harvester warning".
  • PSMs now generate at a much faster rate.  It should be much more difficult to empty the board of spice.
  • Sonic tanks have been rather completely revamped.  Because of how I designed the attack mode in the game, it's very difficult to control their lanes of fire, and they end up destroying themselves or other friendlies too often.  Now, they can no longer hurt friendly units.  Their disadvantage is that they will damage themselves a little every time they fire (rationalization: the sonic weaponry is so powerful it shakes them apart).  Keep them on 25% retreat if you want the chance to repair them before they blow themselves up.  Now I think people may actually use these tanks.
  • At any Refinery you'll find a global Maintain Operations switch.  This will automatically place a new harvester queue at the same location any harvester was when it was destroyed, where possible.
  • Saboteurs now default to Stop orders after moving, so they don't rush around anywhere and give themselves away.
  • Crags are generated at half the previous rate during map creation.
  • ConYards cannot be demolished now.  (durr)
  • The mouse scrollwheel circle now has a minimum size of zero, instead of looping.
  • Players choosing to be Observers for a game now take "kill with a word" to a new level... just click on any unit you see to shatter bones and burst organs.  Obviously this is for debug purposes and will not be in the final product, but it is fun.  :)
  • Fixed several small bugs.