Devblog #10 (12th July 2016)

Whoops, devblog really late this week (was supposed to be up between Friday and Sunday). Ah well, I’m pretty sure no one reads these anyway. They’re more for me to look back on if I can’t remember what I’ve been doing (highly likely). Hello future self.

Really major progress last week. Demo finally ready for release. Was going to be out today, but it seems I’ve got to wait for the main game store page to be approved by Valve. Anyway, the demo release is a pretty big deal for me. If the demo is not well received, then there probably won’t be a great deal of point in continuing the project. If it is well received then there’s no reason the game won’t have some degree of success, in which case I may be able to continue with my current plan of funding another game with the proceeds of this one.

Anyway, the main breakthrough of last week that has made the demo ready for release is the discovery that no port forwarding is needed to host a listen server and for clients to connect. This was a huge surprise to me, but it’s been tested pretty extensively, and does indeed seem to be true. I’m not entirely sure what is responsible for this miracle, but having done a very small amount of research, I think it might be a Steam feature. In any case, the main issue of the last few weeks has been trying to get dedicated servers working. The main reason I deemed dedicated servers necessary over listen servers was that I didn’t think you could expect the majority of users to be messing around with port forwarding. Now that I know this is not needed, hosting a listen server just involves clicking a button from the in-game menu, so I think listen servers will be sufficient for the time being at least. It’s a shame I didn’t know about this sooner, or the demo would probably be out by now. At least I’ve been able to make some other improvements, while waiting for Valve to sort out everything on their end that would have been needed for dedicated servers.

Here are some of the other major developments from last week:

-I finally managed to alter the moments of inertia for the ragdolls, in order to reduce the spinnyness. I much prefer the feel of the zero-g mechanic this way.

-Finally managed to randomise player spawn locations. This was far harder than you would think.

-Made sure the armour still glows when you set the colour to black. This is to stop people from being invisible against black backgrounds, such as the walls on the “Temple” map.

-Managed to do a playtest with (I think) 8 players. Hadn’t been able to test with any more than 4 previously. There were a few minor issues, but none to do with the number of players, which is very good. Really grateful to all the testers.

Anyway, demo should be out as soon as Valve reviews the store page (Estimated 2-3 days).

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