Due to various factors I've been somewhat absent. Although still rather busy I'll be more slightly more active.
I'm very impressed and excited at the recent updates. In particular the improvements to networking are a huge step forward to making higher quality games. Developers now have the possibility to make some types of games that were previously (nearly) impossible.
I had been working on a client-server system where players would have to run the game themselves and connect to the server. Fortunately this kind of method isn't required now. After several tests games run very smoothly through hosting normally.
Duel Monsters Online
Some of the BYOND updates broke a lot of old features, and outdated some of my old hacky methods; it's taken some time to upgrade those systems to use the latest BYOND updates.
Aside from that I've made some major changes and updates, not too many new things but a lot of improvements overall. Can't give an expected release date at this time, I have to be honest that I got a little carried away with the feature/upgrade list this time. It's going to take time.
I downloaded it recently and realized I never updated it. The update had quite a few improvements, such as 4 stages with Robot Masters, charging, sliding, 4 powers, 1 transformation, 6 playable characters, and just generally felt more polished.
Unfortunately the pixel/collision systems I built for that game are honestly garbage(The update has some improvements but it still runs poorly). I had designed it with too many possibilities in mind, so it was never optimized.
New Pixel/Collision System
After several revisions and attempts(at least 5 "completed") I finally gained enough experience to develop a much more efficient and usable collision system.
It's optimized as much as I feel it needs to be without getting silly and runs very well in my opinion. The procedures seem to generate low CPU usage.
CPU Usage for all procedures added together after 5,000 frames of me leaping around shooting bullets/sliding/running into stuff is about 0.946 Total CPU.
Compared to over 5.6 Total CPU for 1,000 frames in the Mega Man game.
Network Testing Results
As I mentioned earlier the BYOND update provides some major network improvements. I decided to test the game with Lufia to see how smoothly it plays and runs over a network with my latest project.
Game: Mega Man platformer with accurate rectangle collision detection, jumping, running, shooting, sliding, charging, rush coils.
Frames Per Second: 60 (sixty)
Distance between host and client: 10-15,000 KM (6-9,000 miles)
Time played: About 10 minutes
Testing involved basically running around, jumping, sliding, shooting, charging buster and bouncing on the 10 rush coils positioned around the area.
The game ran very smoothly with barely any CPU usage. Definitely no noticeable jumps or skips or lag spikes. Felt very responsive even over that wide distance.
As Mega Man is a game that requires precision controls and instant response, it was a good test subject. The game was fully playable, the true challenge was accurate and timed jumping, fortunately because there were no noticeable delays the entire test felt responsive throughout.
With the network improvements and with what I've tested and seen myself, I feel BYOND can potentially handle medium-to-fast paced pixel based online multi-player games smoothly with relative ease. Depending on the game and programmer of course.
I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of interesting games we'll see in the coming months.
Lots of games are possible using a pixel based system. I would like to first make a Mega Man game to replace the poor quality one I made initially. That will help me iron out any problems. I've already made a huge amount of progress, I would upload a video but I'm sure people don't like watching boring development progress videos.
I doubt I'll be releasing a library or anything of the sort, although it's running nicely the code, comments and layout won't be up to the high standards of the forum folk. It's a shame that BYOND doesn't have a "library society" that could take a developers demo and bring it up to a standard with a specific format for code, comments, documentation, optimizing, discussing with members how library would be used and tweaked for usefulness and so on.
There are a lot of good demos floating around that could be a valuable resource to all developers.
I'll do my best to post occasionally to keep anyone interested informed of progress on my projects.
Mar 8 2010, 4:23 pm