Saturday, December 19, 2009

1.70 Release

One last attempt to make people happy enough to make a donation for the holiday season. I'm leaving in a few days to spend three weeks overseas with my loved one, and every little bit will help.

Last update (definitely) for at least a month.

Changelog since 1.69:
  • All players must first go to the Join room, even to create a new server. This is needed I think to encourage people to be aware of other games in progress
  • Network game names now go by the host player's name
  • Wiggle missiles! A forum member brought this up recently, and while I didn't go as far as the old game where some missiles could do a complete U-turn, missiles from tanks now follow a random arc. As a nice side effect this creates the damage probability distribution I was looking for (more direct hits but also more wild shots)
  • Wormsign intervals are now statically determined by the following pattern: 1-2 minutes Wormsign, 3-5 minutes spice production
  • AI have received many improvements in reactionary intelligence and base management
  • Increased efficacy of Mindgas effect
  • Homing bullets now correctly angle to follow the target
  • Fixed bug with Merc and Starport orders causing bad queue creation or otherwise failing
  • Fixed bug with Death Hand icon not highlighting in HVF menu
  • Fixed bug with units remaining on Retreat permanently
  • Fixed bug with Carryalls rarely freezing when trying to pick up a unit marked for death
  • Fixed bug with Stop orders not syncing over network
  • Fixed bug with Mercs accidentally going on Airlift orders causing strange behavior
  • Fixed bug with Death Hands being able to move over non-combat tiles (such as Refinery dock)

Friday, December 11, 2009

1.69 Release

This isn't a typical bugfix release. Please read the list below carefully. Wormsign has been much changed after I concluded the randomness of their attacks was actually a worse idea than if they always attacked. Many other changes you'll care about also.
This may the last update you see until late January as my overseas trip is less than two weeks away. Anyone who feels like donating could really bring some holiday cheer my way by doing so.

Changed this version:
  • Move and Retreat orders now provide a 10% bonus to speed
  • Units on Retreat orders are no longer slowed down by being damaged, and will no longer default to Move orders within a certain distance of the player's Retreat Flag
  • Wormsign has been drastically altered. It will last about a minute on average, and during this time, don't even think about breathing on the sand. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
  • Wormsign also gives a warning ten seconds before it starts. That's how long you get to stop your groups and get off the dunes
  • Pre-spice masses are only created and will only naturally blow (i.e. from aging, not from being disturbed) when the worms are quiet. Their frequency of both creation and eruption has been slightly increased to account for the difference
  • Pressing the Tab key doesn't just show statistics; now it also shows a halo around all of your units representing their general health
  • Added a "Default to Attack" option at the Outpost, which when enabled will cause any units produced to go on Attack orders toward the queue location
  • Trading Posts are now invisible to enemy players, although they will still be attacked in range
  • Sonic Tanks and Fremen have had their ranges reduced by 1. However, their shots will "follow-through" one extra whole cell beyond the target now. This has been shown to increase their overall damage against enemy armies and bases in most cases. Also, like Sonic Tanks, Fremen no longer hurt friendly units
  • Increased speed of mousewheel selection oval growth
  • PSMs are now drawn on the minimap if the IX upgrade has been researched
  • Fixed bug with Harvesters and some other units defaulting to Stop orders inappropriately
  • Fixed bugs with some menu selections
  • Fixed bug with some information remaining when exiting and restarting a game
  • Fixed bug with music overlapping when exiting from a game
  • Fixed self-destruct explosions not being net-synced
  • Fixed Death Hand launches not being net-synced
  • Fixed rare bug with Frigate draws
  • Made slight changes to performance which may or may not be noticeable

Sunday, November 29, 2009

1.68 Release

First off, please see the previous post, and thanks for your support. Secondly please wait a few days before posting bugs in the forums as I need to take a break.

1.68 massive changelog:
  • Main executable is again separate from music files, and will be going into the future
  • Many, many bugs fixed and some graphics tweaked
  • New menu system added for most production buildings (please use your mousewheel)
  • Full network synchronization with acceptable speed (still only 2 human players)
  • Greatly improved close-range pathfinding (no more units doing the "dune shuffle")
  • AI players now send attacks in formation (not as great as it sounds but still an improvement)
  • Units put on Retreat will not be selectable until they are close to their destination, when they will default to Move/Protect orders
  • Added a timer to the global Retreat Flag button
  • Flak Trikes now take double damage from ground units when moving
  • Outpost now controls default Retreat settings and building auto-repair (if researched)
  • Auto-concrete now has greater range from each ConYard
  • Fremen have range 2 instead of 3
  • Slightly reduced AOE of Rocket Launchers/Deviators (very slightly)
  • Added percentage complete for flyer queues at HTF
  • No problems should remain with Sandstorms
  • Trading Posts will not appear on enemy radar
  • Outposts, Trading Posts, and MTPs have higher vision to balance Sandstorms
  • AI Death Hands will now launch when attacked
  • Reduced Harvester strength by 10%

Monday, November 02, 2009


Hello everyone,
I've just made plans to go overseas this holiday and new years. For those few of you who are close to me, you know what this trip represents. For all the other followers of this project, I won't go through even part of the whole story, but this trip will bring me back together with the person I love more than anything after three long years of waiting. I might never have seen her again but I got lucky recently in a couple ways. This trip is a financial risk for me but one I have to take.
I will try to put out the next version before Christmas, but if you ever even considered donating to this project in the past, now would be the perfect time, and I would appreciate any support. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Greetings to the globe

Just wanted to say hello to all the countries of the world with visitors to this site. I just checked my analytics and I see people visiting from Japan to Norway to South Africa, 63 different countries in fact. Apparently I have the most fans from Germany, but also a visitor from Iran and even someone from the Isle of Man. Salutations and peaceful wishes to you all.

In honor of this I've added a Translate button to the web page. I'm sure it will be entertaining sometimes in its misinterpretation, but I think it's overdue.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Okay, supposedly, all my databases have been repaired. I won't be convinced of this until a few days have gone by with people posting and registering. Please check it out and let me know (somehow) if you see any errors.

Oh, and don't worry about this slowing down any dev progress. I've continued working and should have something new for everyone in a couple weeks. And hey, in the mean time, there's that "donate" button over there on the right...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Forum Maintenance

Hey everyone,
My web server was upgraded recently, and while they claimed my databases would not be affected, they definitely have been. I'll have to work on this today and see what's going on. Hopefully I haven't lost too much data and can get things running again soon.

EDIT: Everything "should" be fine now (and incidentally should be much more responsive after the upgrade). Feel free to resume normal forum activity.

EDIT AGAIN: This is really starting to piss me off. Found out people couldn't register due to database problems, tried to fix it, and now everything's hosed again. Getting real sick of my web hoster right now.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

1.61 Win32 release

Linux version will be up after I get some library issues resolved.
This is a standard update with some bugfixes and some new features. In my latest testing, network sync has been perfect (knock on wood). Please leave a note in the forums if you see any out-of-sync situation in the future. No improvements to networking speed yet.
  • Added Sandstorms. They occur rarely (more often in the Deep Desert) but they reset all visibility for all players. This is likely to remain a permanent new feature
  • Selecting units and scrolling the mousewheel now allows immediate issue of orders. Scrolling the mouse up chooses Move orders, and scrolling down chooses Attack orders (defaulting to Protect and Guard orders respectively as normal)
  • Foot Soldiers now receive a +2 range bonus while in Crags, but Crags no longer stop low bullets
  • Devastators now fire twice as slowly, but with 250% damage. This makes them even better against large targets and even worse against infantry. Plus dammit, they're devastators. They should wreck what they're designed to wreck
  • Split pickup lists for Carryalls into two separate ones for Harvesters and all other units (improves Carryall prioritizing of targets)
  • Starting Units now provides a Flak Trike
  • Allied units will share vision
  • Re-added spice field voice call for first discovered spice
  • Refineries will now drop the first harvester upon completion automatically
  • Fixed a sync issue with IX and other building bonuses
  • In-game Exit button works again (like the Back button now)
  • Switched to OpenGL rendering
  • Fixed music bug with "back" button
  • Disabled Z-menu for HTF
  • Fixed bug with detonating units not causing much damage
  • Fixed bug with HTFs not counting flyers properly
  • Fixed bug with selecting buildings to Demolish
  • Merc purchases now ensure unit cap adherence
  • Alliance units now have tiny amount of player coloring
  • Fixed several other small bugs

Monday, September 28, 2009

Linux 1.59 release

My first Linux release, so bear with me for some issues. I am not sure if sound works, and only the non-music version is available because I don't yet have a Linux interface for the music streaming library I use. You will of course need OpenAL installed, and OpenGL is the renderer. I've included a list of dependencies you'll need to run it; hopefully it's complete. Otherwise it seems to test out fine on the development environment I finally got set up.

If you try it, please drop by the forums and let me know how it worked. If it works well, cheers. If not, at least you got excited. :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

1.59 release

First of all please note this is NOT a network update release. This is largely another bugfix but there are a couple new things you should enjoy.
  • Biggest feature: Scrollmouse building menus. Select a building and try using the mousewheel! This actually took a lot to implement but is well worth it
  • Saboteur behavior has been changed. They can be given Attack orders and will detonate automatically as soon as they are within range. They have also been slowed down but are still very fast
  • Protect orders now scan out to a much larger range for attacking enemies
  • Several AI enhancements including more aggressive building, new tactics, more intelligent spice usage and less CPU cycles
  • Finally resolved the issues with some video cards showing garbled images and text. Turns out the graphics rendering library I use automatically scales images by powers of 2, so some smaller pics were scaling differently depending on graphic card capabilities
  • Switched over to using a true font for text. I may or may not keep this depending on how it affects performance in the future
  • Infantry coming out of buildings after destruction now act on Guard orders
  • Losing your Palace will now mean loss of the current alliance
  • Added "back" buttons to some menus
  • Hopefully corrected the rare random issues with carryalls freezing in mid-air and harvesters sometimes being dropped at 1,1
  • Several other minor bugfixes/tweaks

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

1.57 release

This is the typical follow-up bugfix release. Several things corrected and I even fooled around with some new things.
  • In-game network chat is now enabled (press Enter to go in Chat mode)
  • Keeping an IX active now provides a 5% bonus to all weapon damage, giving players an incentive to keep it around after upgrading
  • Several AI tweaks, including Ornis not being so wastefully purchased, better base spread, and more defensive structures
  • More info shown in the Host chatroom, including local IP
  • AI MCV deploys now remove concrete underneath
  • Fixed bug with Auto-repair costs
  • Fixed bug with worms exploding out of the sand
  • Fixed bug where flyers would drop units off into unexplored cells
  • Fixed bug limiting human players to 6 Flying units or less
  • Tweaked Ornis for tighter loops and better dogfights
  • IX now has custom coloring (always hated that it was stuck at blue)
  • Fixed bugs allowing units to react in some ways to allies as hostile units (including Ornis)
  • AA Trikes are now very aggressive on Protect/Guard orders against Ornis
  • Harkonnen now build more AA Trikes
  • Fixed some draw problems with flyers
  • Fixed inappropriate mission failure messages
  • Non-music version now zips to fit on a 3.5" floppy (just thought I'd mention it for retro love)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

1.56 Release, and new project name!

Hey guys,
Today I'm releasing 1.56 of what will now be called Dune 2: The Golden Path. There was too much confusion going around from the original project I did years ago and all the extra names (Dune 2: The Sleeper Has Awakened Universal Version 1.44cabc3 Single Player Edition Super Mega Hyper etc...), so I'm rechristening this project to coincide with the first (and seriously alpha-level) release of network play. It only supports two players at the moment and I would not even think of trying it across the internet as it will be unplayable. It may work halfway well across a cabled LAN though. The network support for this release is a proof-of-concept for the network library I finally decided to use. The optimization of that code will take many more weeks or months of work.

Notes on Network games:
  • You need TCP port 10191 open through any firewalls on the server side if you are trying to connect over the internet (which is not recommended in this release anyway)
  • Do NOT try to connect more than one player to a server
  • There will be losses of sync occasionally as well as hangs or other inexplicable behavior, and games may fail to start altogether
  • In-game chat is not available, but you can chat in the network chatroom
  • Please restrict to LAN games if you want any chance for performance (that means using local IP addresses, not your external IP)
  • My online database that tracks all the running servers has performance problems. It will be upgraded in October. Not that it really matters yet since you won't be playing many games online.

So here's the insane revision history since 1.44c:
  • In the main chatroom you can now select up to four AI opponents
  • AI have received many, many improvements. Still not perfect yet but they will more than likely be a greater challenge now, and they have a few new tricks up their sleeves
  • Fixed many bugs including all the known ones from the previous version, and many that would have crashed games if anyone had ever encountered them
  • Some optimizations that may give a barely noticeable speed increase
  • Cleaned up the mousewheel selection area procedures
  • Only Harvesters and other non-combat personnel may cross Refinery and Starport open areas
  • Ornithopters will now dogfight each other (these are fun to watch)
  • Faction modifiers now apply correctly. Previously Ordos had Harkonnen bonuses and Harkonnen had no bonuses. My apologies to all those who suspected Harkonnen were not tough enough
  • Infantry are not generated when a building is Demolished
  • Ordos AI players will now produce WORs and Troopers
  • The Concrete upgrade is now Auto-Concrete to a limited distance from each ConYard. Regular concrete production has been accelerated
  • Silos now store 2000 credits of spice
  • Fixed the infamous bug causing the game to crash when a player builds 10 Refineries

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Off-topic: Iron Wind Metals

I'm a fan of wargaming as well as computer gaming. My favorite games are science fiction games like Warhammer 40k (although my involvement with Games Workshop is quite over), AT-43, Battletech, and games of my own design. Recently I decided to place a very small order (I'm of meager means) at a place I hadn't dealt with previously. I looked around for new power-armored figures and found a line at Iron Wind Metals. Shipping costs were high for such a small order but I was willing to give them a try.

If anyone out there buys miniatures for wargaming, think twice about buying from Iron Wind Metals. They use an under-developed Paypal ordering system, and I followed their rudimentary instructions but my order was not entered into their system properly. After many days delay and lack of accountability (no receipt, no tracking, no confirmation; they actually suggested I use one of their informal communications as a receipt), I voiced my unhappiness, and was in turn insulted and compared unfavorably to the "adolescent nephew" of one Michael Noe, apparently a staff member there who is unfortunately allowed to deal directly with customers. Naturally I wouldn't recommend anyone deal with this company after this experience.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Status update

Hey everyone,
Just another status update for everyone "obsessively refreshing" my web pages. :)
Progress is going very well. I am saving the next update for all the changes I have been making and so far my intentions for it are coming to fruition. If this keeps up the next update will be a major one. I don't want to say more than this until I know how some final pieces will fit together, but I'm excited, and when I'm excited I work faster and more often. I can't give an ETA yet but I will update in a week or two with hopefully a better idea of when good things might happen for all of us.
By the way, don't forget you can subscribe to these posts if you use RSS with the link at the bottom of this page. (also here:


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another bug

Making good progress here, and along the way uncovering more bugs and errors. This time I found an indexing error left over from many versions past when I changed how factions were handled. The end result is that Ordos units were being produced with Harkonnen bonuses (speed penalty and hit point bonus). Sorry about that! It's yet another thing that will be fixed in the coming version, but right now it's shaping up to be a dramatic update, so please be patient.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Hey there everybody,
I've been hard at work in many respects lately and giving D2TSHA some time as well. Next update will probably be in a few weeks and will be a big one, if everything goes accordingly. I'm working with another developer on a module that should really speed things along, so I have to go by his schedule a bit. Look toward the end of August for the next release.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bug alert

Hey everybody,
Thanks to playtesters in the forum (Sardaukar and Xaver in particular), I found one bug in particular you can avoid for now, which will be fixed in the next version. In 1.44c and earlier, do NOT build more than 9 refineries. It will cause a crash.
I'll update with a new version in (probably) a couple weeks.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

1.44cU SP update

Okay, this should be the last SP update in a long time. I'm getting interested again in doing the network code now that the major crashes seem to be eliminated, so I'm switching gears. Here is an updated version of 1.44 with a few small bugs fixed, which should be very stable. I'll talk to everyone again in a while.
By the way, if anyone is following me on Twitter, you might as well give up now because I'm quitting it soon. It is so much a complete waste of time I can't even comprehend how popular it's become. I'm pretty sure my blog updates with significant information are perfectly acceptable for most readers here, rather than spitting a few sentences a day about me eating and being hungry. I mean, seriously, this is the only site/service that's made me bored with myself.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Crash averted

Well it seems with the help of playtesters I've finally gotten the major crashes eliminated, by removing a bunch of legacy code. So, great news for the single player version. There's a major problem though: the legacy code I removed is the networking base for the multiplayer version. It was just functional enough to prove the concept, so it didn't affect the game to remove it. But, since it appears to have been the cause of the crashing by sending a legitimate "end game" signal after the server shuts down, for whatever reason, I may have a big problem. If the networking library I chose to use ends up having some issue for certain people where the server shuts down unexpectedly, I'm going to have to restart the multiplayer coding part of the project with a new library. It's not what anyone wants to hear, but I'm not publishing something that kills every other match indescriminately. So, I'll be taking some time out to do some heavy testing in the future, and I'll update as I make discoveries.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

1.44bU SP update

Another bugfix update. This time I took out a lot of legacy code running for various purposes, but the removal of which should not affect the game adversely. If you experience crashes without errors while running this version, please change the config.ini file so that Sound and Music volume are at zero (exactly), and try to recreate the error. I'm just making sure that the music streams in the background aren't causing a problem. If you still get the crash, please report it in the forums as per the instructions there. Thanks.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

1.44aU SP update

This is just another version of 1.44. I re-wrote a bit of the keyboard input code to keep things cleaner, and changed some debug information. Please run this with logging enabled (F12) and let me know in the forums if you have any crashes. Please include the first 5 lines and the last 10 lines from the D2TSHA.log file generated in the same folder as your .exe file (to avoid having to send the whole thing). I apologize for the size of the generated log file but I'm forced to use brute methods to try and figure out where the crash is happening.
I still cannot replicate any of the random crashes people are seeing, even after playing for 45 minutes and clicking on stuff like mad. Hopefully this will get us closer to an explanation.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New videos

I put up some new gameplay videos on YouTube.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I am a twit

Bit the bullet and joined Twitter. You might occasionally see updates about Dune 2 code there. :)

1.44U SP Update

Mostly a bugfix release.
  • Major fix to pathfinding: should be NO more examples of units entering invalid cells
  • Disallowed crags to generate within two cells of edges
  • Fixed selection graphics on the menu bar
  • Re-added code which gave Silos a flag
  • Fixed bug allowing Death Hands to airlift
  • Units that can Deploy now cannot be airlifted (MTP, MCV)
  • Demolish and Retreat Flag buttons cannot both be selected now
  • Several improvements to AI base building and unit placement
Please register at the forums to report any remaining bugs.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Son of a b...

ene gesserit...

In programming a game like this, there are lots of times when you want to try and find out what cell the unit is in, or to make a comparison of some kind. In these instances you use a simple conditional based on coordinates, such as "If (UnitX = CellX) And (UnitY = CellX)", which will answer true if your unit is in the same cell you are asking about.

Did you see what was wrong with that statement? Because that's exactly the mistake I made a long time ago, only it was so particular I didn't discover it until now. After hours upon hours of debug trapping and testing, tons of seemingly illogical behavior, tracing the error all the way back to some potentially very complicated code, and a handful of expletives, it turned out to be a simple coding error. Nothing a machine or an analyzer could have prevented; this was all on me. I entered the X coordinates for the cell twice instead of the X and Y coordinates. This meant that, when a unit was in a cell that was on the diagonal line on the map that had matching coordinates (65,65 etc), an adjacent cell would be considered as wide open for travel, regardless of what was in it, because the system thought it was the very same cell the unit was in. I know, right?

I could expound much further on this but I'll save us all the headache. Suffice to say pathfinding will be fixed in the next bugfix version. Crashes may still remain but they won't have anything to do with this.

Monday, June 08, 2009

New Single-Player download

Here's a new download for everyone. I'm just calling it the SP version now, instead of a Preview. This will be the last update of this kind until the network version is finished. There may be further bugfix releases but I do not plan to add any more features.

Recent changes:
  • MAJOR performance increase. While adding some debug code recently and analyzing performance, I noticed a few areas I could revisit. This was a case where my original decision in coding was to go for a "blanket effect" in a routine to make sure nothing was missed. But now with things being more stable, I decided to eliminate a lot of overhead and take the risks of a more precise process. The resulting improvement in game speed is very substantial, especially noticeable when hundreds of units are present.
  • Added a debug log. Hitting F12 during gameplay activates it. It doesn't track much info of use to the player yet, although it does dump a lot of data to the hard drive, so be careful using it. I will probably expand upon it in the future.
  • Fixed a bug where hitting an order key multiple times would cause the order to repeat itself by virtue of the input queue.
  • Totally surrounded crags now block ground fire again.
  • Fixed a bug where Sonic Tanks were powering back up after all Windtraps were destroyed.
  • Updated some Mentat entries.

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.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

1.38 Update (and download update)

First of all, I've updated the Preview 4 single-player download to back-port some changes I made recently.  Additionally, you'll be up against two computer opponents now instead of one.  I look forward to people's feedback on the new zoom level and the way harvesting works now.  I'm only putting up the one with embedded music from now on, since I haven't seen many people opt to get the smaller version.

Recent work:
  • Completed preliminary player input structure
  • Refineries now cost 400 credits, but normal Harvesters are free (Armed harvies cost 150).  Also, Harvesters take 150% more time to construct.  This is an experimental update based on some player ideas and may not reach release
  • Added global zoom-out function and graphics (this effectively scales out the minimap to fill the whole main screen when active)
  • Added wormsign visuals and controls
  • Added TechLevel information to all menu items in preparation for future game option
  • Added additional sound fx and sprite creation (craters, explosions, etc)
  • Fixed several small glitches
  • Re-added config file loading/saving
Soon I'll be diving heavy into the input structure.  This will entail me setting up a new game environment where I can start to give myself control as a player, and then completing all the network versions of the input functions.  So, it may be a while before the next update, but progress will be ongoing.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

1.36 Update

Recent updates:
  • Bullets and Spice now net-synchronized
  • Completed early minimap synch
  • Client drawing routines for all units, buildings, bullets completed
  • Optimized net communication
  • Net player input (definitely biggest part of the project)
  • Player lobby / join mechanisms
  • Signaling for sound/sprite creation
  • General stability / optimization

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New video

Just a quick showcase of what's in store...

Monday, March 02, 2009

Ongoing progress

Two more important milestones: 
First, I have map and building data net-synchronized, so the client screen map is starting to look close to the final result.
Second, I have shown the server system can handle more than one concurrent client connection!  This is still only in proofing phase, so there's lots left to do, but every step forward like this tells me I'm working with the right libraries and concepts.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Google Earth

The new Mars surface map is possibly the most beautiful thing ever put on a computer.  Check it out.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


A victory today...  Got to see my first unit visible on the client!  Still lots of work to be done but it means I'm on the right track with network communication.  Now I have to get the graphics flow to match the original idea, including map synchronization, spice level updates, unit/turret/shadow/mask timing, etc.  Once I'm done with that, next will be the client input system, and finally I'll have to decide how to allow players to actually connect and start games.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

1.34 Update

I have now almost completed the dedicated server structure, and will be working on the client interface soon.  All I need to do for the server is the last 5% of network signaling; then I have to make something to listen on the other end.  I've also analyzed the framework and required modules to get the .EXE file for the dedicated server down to about 600k (total).  The client will end up much larger than this of course, but should still shrink down a bit from the Preview releases.
Most of the major decisions regarding structure have been made, so now it's just time to get the work in to get things moving.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

Just wanted to wish everyone a good year coming up.  One my first priorities is to finish this project so I can move on to other things, so rest assured I'll be working on it.  Things are moving along slowly but surely and I hope to have more time to devote soon.  I'll post again before the end of the month.