Welcome back to another State of the Game! This week, I released a new snapshot build, and began work on the back end stats and achievements system. This system will be responsible for handling all life time, account level, stats, which in turn, will power earning in game unlocks, gaining ranks, unlocking badges, and, for the very rare feats, unlocking achievements.

If that wasn't enough, this system will also be tying into the Bombdog account system, allowing you to show off your badges and awards on the forums and across the Bombdog site. Yes, that means there is a new website in the works as well.

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The image above is just a mock up, but you can see the general idea of how things are going.

This is a fairly complex system, likely one of the most to go into the game so far, so I am trying to approach it in a way that is scalable to many stats and achievements, without bogging down the system with something as silly as stats. I would rather have the CPU power to put more explosions on the screen!

In the mean time, if you have some great ideas for achievements, please share it in the forums!

Posted on January 21, 2015

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Welcome back to another state of the game! This week has been full of deep diving bug fixing to address the issues in the latest snapshot build. Unfortunately, it's not super glamorous and I don't have a whole lot to show. :(

I have been diving deep into the steam connection issue, as this is a very annoying issue for users and also very confusing. I have tracked this down, and for some reason the requests are not being sent to the bombdog website, but it seems to happen randomly.

I do hope to have these issues fixed soon and a new snapshot out and available to play next week! Until then, thank you for reading and I will see you next week!

Posted on January 14, 2015

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Welcome to another State of the Game, where exciting stuff is revealed and your whole world will change!

Not really, but kinda of, because this week [well yesterday] I released the first Social Update snapshot build! This build was packed with a whole slew of new features, but is not at all finished, and according to reports, has a few bugs in it. But, hey, that is what snapshot builds are for!

So what is in this release? Let's dive into the change list! 

Login System Rewrite

The whole login system has been rewritten to give the user a better understanding of what is happening as they log in. It will show when it is connecting to the servers, when it's logging in, or if it's connecting to steam. It also handles errors in the login process much better as well. On top of all this, it allows you to connect your Steam copy of M.A.V. to a Bombdog Studios account. This means that if you are playing the game on steam, all your stats will affect your base account, so all your stats are in the same place. This also allows you to unlock any account upgrades [like alpha camo or the alienware cockpit] even if you are playing through steam.

Freeing the Saved Builds

Before, when you saved a build in M.A.V. it was locked to your account name. This unfortunately made it so if you logged in with a different name [like through steam] you couldn't access any of your builds. It also meant you couldn't share your whole builds file either! That restriction has been removed! Now, all your builds are still saved with your username as the 'owner' but you are allowed to load and build. So share away!

Parts spawn to the side

A large complaint in the garage was people would try and spawn a new part only to accidentally click and pull apart their whole build. This was not game breaking, but it was SUPER annoying and cause many people to nearly smash their whole computers! Not wanting to be responsible for broken computers [and dreams] I made the new part spawning in the garage happen over to the left side of the M.A.V.. On top of this, when you go to spawn a part the camera will move to the side, allowing you to still see your M.A.V. while you select a new part.

Wacky Wheels


If you played with the wheel chassis very much you might have noticed the rear suspension could go completely crazy at times. This bug has ruined many of great trailer shots that I have tried to do, so it had to be eliminated. I rewrote the suspension math and have a much more stable and less wacky system in place now.

Pregame Lobby

I created a new pregame lobby, that is very similar to the garage, but with reduced functionality. In the lobby you can easily see what team each player is on, you can switch teams yourself, and you can even vote on which level to play next! On top of all of this, you can switch your current M.A.V. with any of your saved builds, which should help prevent people from leaving servers just to change their M.A.V.. You are also allowed to preview your teammates M.A.V.'s, and even view everyone's M.A.V. before teams have been decided.

No More Leaky Memory

The massive memory leak that really reared it's head in 0.5.21 is now fixed. Before, opening the add part menu in the Garage would gobble up massive amounts of memory, and never release it! I could only open it 16 times before I crashed [I have 32GB of RAM] and many players with less RAM or 32 bit machines would get crashes in as few as 4 clicks. Now with this fix, I opened the menu 75 times, with a memory increase of only 8MB, before I got so bored that I declared the bug fixed. The original issue was caused by how I handled database connections and transactions paired with a strange behavior in unity3d's garbage collector [the thing that releases memory]. In theory, the memory usage would go up every time a call to the database was made, and the add part menu makes a LOT of database calls. I also reduced the number of calls to the database, which showed a significant speed increase in the opening of the menu.

Hidden IP

Some users were concerned that the IP of their server was displayed for everyone to see. This coupled with the known open port of M.A.V. 'could' give attackers an advantage to try and compromise the server. I agreed and thus removed the IP address from being listed in the server browser. I also removed all the unlabeled and unused information there as well.

Custom Ports

I also wanted server owners to be able to say what port M.A.V. should use. There is now a PortNumber field in the server INI prefs file, which will allow you to change the default port used for a M.A.V. server.

Multiple Servers

I also changed the preferences to load a local Server Prefs file instead of the global one. This means you can have a MAV folder with one server config file and a separate folder with another server config file. If these servers are setup to use different ports, you can then host more than 1 server on the same computer!

 

As with most snapshots, there are some bugs with these features, which I will be fixing as soon as I can. After that, I will be working on proper stats tracking, achievements, profiles, and adding TONS of parts! See you next week!

Posted on January 7, 2015

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Yes, double holiday blog posts!

Sorry, but I have been lazy with this post. While I wanted to cover the whole year of 2014, honestly I think way too much happened! It started off with a whirlwind ride with the Kickstarter, which lead straight to being greenlit. Then there was the push to launch on Steam, then a move around the world [with a day job career change]. We got the commander update, new parts, the Hexapods, the start of the social update, the most snapshot builds between releases EVER, camo patterns, music, level art, new levels, and so many bug fixes [and creations :/].

Honestly, I think the craziest part of the whole year is right now, today. As I look into 2015, all I see is a bigger, crazier, more impressive year for M.A.V..

 

So let's lift our howies into a barrage, level down our cannons, hone our snipers, and blast into the fray of 2015, guns blazing. Here's to you, the supporters that make M.A.V. a possibility! 

 

Happy New Year!

Posted on December 31, 2014

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Welcome to this special Christmas Eve State of the Game!

This past week I have been busy re-writing the whole game mode system to better accommodate the features of the new pre-game lobby. This includes having the AI added to the game before the game start, so their teams can be switched or they can be removed. There is also full team control as well, so 1 vs 4, 2 vs 12, or any other combination of teams are possible.

I did also make some small improvements to the garage and am continuing my bug hunt for the terrible memory issue the garage is currently having.

That is all for this week! Have a happy and safe holiday and I will see you next week!

[Don't forget, a M.A.V. gift code makes a great last minute gift!]

 

Posted on December 24, 2014

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