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LbaNet Multiplayer version of LBA1

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  #1  
Old 2009-06-27, 14:39
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Rincevent_123 Rincevent_123 is offline
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Twinsun Game discussion

Hi folks,

I would like to introduce you with a project that I started about 2 years ago but that I left on side for a while. But now I am back at work and I hope you will enjoy what is already there.

Before starting I would like to thanks David whose perspective map viewer was of a great help in order to build my own game engine. Also thanks to alexfont and its LBAnimator that was also essential for the character animation part of my engine.

So now let’s start with the game presentation. This LbaNet project was created with the simple idea to make a multiplayer version of LBA1. For now it is still on its early stage but I could already make a
playable demo showing the basic functionalities of the game. You can download the demo at this address: http://www.mediafire.com/?hexi1jdyqym

This first demo will need to connect to a server for the multiplayer part but can still run locally in case no server is there.

So what is already in there:
- the display engine
- a simple physic engine/collision engine that I have done (try to go over water ;-)
- the music player that can play lba cd track
- on the multiplayer side a chat server and a server keeping track of the player position

There are still a few bugs and there is still a lot of work to do, but at least it is playable ;-)

There is a readme file explaining the installation process in the archive. So what I would like to ask you is to download the demo, try it and tell me if it work on your side and what you think of it.

I would also need 3-4 of you guy to test the multiplayer part of it. I can run a server on my own PC but of course I cannot host 100 of people. So I would like to run a first test with a few people to see if everything works before trying to find a solution with bigger hosting capabilities.

For now, the game is for windows only, but the code is written completely in C++ with only portable libraries so it should not be so hard to port it to other platforms.

Thanks, and hope you guys enjoy the game.

Rincevent

Forgot to add a screenshot, here you go:

Last edited by Rincevent_123; 2009-10-10 at 15:29. Reason: rename post
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  #2  
Old 2009-06-27, 14:41
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Sounds very cool! I'm on OS X at the moment but as soon as I sort out my Windows in a couple of days I'll test it out.
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  #3  
Old 2009-06-27, 14:51
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Sounds interesting. I'd have time to try it out.

So far the game isn't properly starting for me. I get the DOS window which says it couldn't connect to the server and is starting the solo version, but then a different window pops up and crashes. Are you supposed to play this in some kind of compability mode?
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  #4  
Old 2009-06-27, 15:15
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Nope, it should work normally without compatibility mode. Try to install
this: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en and try again.

Thanks,

Rincevent

By the way, please read the install instruction before starting the game. A cause of crash could be that you did not copy all HQR files of
the original LBA game into the data directory.
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  #5  
Old 2009-06-27, 15:19
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the vertical dimension seems off, everything looks squished
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  #6  
Old 2009-06-27, 15:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rincevent_123 View Post
By the way, please read the install instruction before starting the game. A cause of crash could be that you did not copy all HQR files of
the original LBA game into the data directory.
You also require Midi_mi_win.hqr, which only comes with LBAWin. In the readme, you mentioned the LBA CD, where the file isn't on.
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  #7  
Old 2009-06-27, 15:32
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Ok, thanks for pointing that kobold, I did not thought about it, I will update the install file.

Elmuerte, what do you mean by "everything looks squished". Could you post a screen of how it look like on you machine?

The view is using perspective, so it is normal if some object are distorded a bit. You can try to change the camera angle with moving your mouse
with the left mouse button pressed. You can also zoom/unzoom with the mouse wheel.
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  #8  
Old 2009-06-27, 15:38
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It already looks squished in your own screenshot.

Compare the original:


To your version:


There are several houses that don't have inner walls because of the weird angle you display the bricks.

A few bugs I noticed:
The top room on the ground level with the nurse in it in the Citadel has a broken disappearing ceiling. When you walk inside, the ceiling disappears, only to appear again when you've reached the center of that room.

Also, the music isn't playing in the Citadel itself.
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  #9  
Old 2009-06-27, 15:43
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Ok, then this squizing is normal and come from the perspective view (as I said you can change the camera angle to better fit the orginal view but it is not possible to have a 3D view which will be exactly like the orignal LBA1 2D view.

For the ceiling bug, I was aware of this one but did not have time to fix it.
There is a few other bugs that are there:
- you can get stuck sometime when going up/down stairs (if it is the case press F10 to replace twinsen)

- there is no exit from twinsen house.
- some house do not have inner wall but that is normal since in the original game there was a door hidding that but I do not display the sprite yet with my engine

- for the music, you need to have the LBA cd in your CD drive if you want the music to be played in the citadel.
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  #10  
Old 2009-06-27, 15:52
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I sent you guys a PM with ip address of the server I am running at home, could you try out and tell me if it works.

Thanks,

Rincevent
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  #11  
Old 2009-06-27, 16:18
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Here is a screen of kobold and me connected to the server.
We discovered a few bugs, but the multi seems to work so far


Last edited by Rincevent_123; 2009-06-27 at 16:37.
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  #12  
Old 2009-06-27, 16:58
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It's pretty well-done so far. You can change the camera angle with the mouse, and you can change behaviour modes with F1 - F4. F5 makes Twinsen ride a horse, that'y pretty funny.

Changing between scenes works all right so far. The characters are all animated, using their standard idle animation. And the disappearing ceilings work for any building, not only for the ones that have disappearing ceiling grids in the original game. You can also drown in the water, which has a good animation. Of course, this version is quite bland and buggy but it's a good start and can be expanded quite easily.

It's promising enough, and the only of the "LBA Online" variants that actually has a playable version.

I like this camera angle better, btw.:


Rincevent - you don't have to use image hosting, press the "Manage Attachments" button in the posting window and upload the screenshots directly to the MBN.
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  #13  
Old 2009-06-27, 17:05
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Amazing!

Though David's brick rendering library should be sharpened I think. The game graphics is kinda akwardy squishy in all of our tries of 3D-rendering.
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  #14  
Old 2009-06-27, 17:58
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Maybe you can put the necessary LBA files directly with the program itself? If I'm missing files that only LBAWin provides, that would be quicker and more practical. Also, my compliments for making the first working LBA online thing
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  #15  
Old 2009-06-27, 18:19
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I actually do not know exactly right now which files are from the original game and which are not.

I attached the midi hqr to this post, just rename the file from ".txt" to ".hqr" and place it into the data directory of the game.
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File Type: txt Midi_mi_win.txt‎ (79.1 KB, 194 views)
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  #16  
Old 2009-06-27, 19:49
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Good effort guys! Although I think it would be nicer to have the original camera angle, I don't really know why you've messed with that?
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  #17  
Old 2009-06-27, 21:45
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Looks fun

Great stuff.
We have had so much progress with LBA related tools and engines recently, it makes a fan like me very happy indeed.

I cant test this now, as I'm away from my main machine, but when I'll get back I'll give it a try, and I'll be following progress closely
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  #18  
Old 2009-06-28, 11:15
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I thank you guys for the nice feedbacks. It keeps me motivated to work


So let me give you an overview of what I am working on currently:

- A complete rework of the physic engine to get rid of those nasty bugs where Twinsen get stuck. With the new physic engine it should also be possible for Twinsen to jump.

- I am going to get rid of the HQR files and replace them by a format of my own to save map information. By doing that it should be possible to remove the following HQR limitation:
  • Color palette replaced by true color with a transparency channel (imagine for example maps with glass windows where you could see trough)
  • Size limitation of 64*64 blocks per map (imagine having only one map for the whole citadel island external part - not sure yet that it will be doable, but in any case I will try to extend the limitation)

Also by doing that I will create a saving format using xml standard so that it can be easily understood and modified by human without the need of any tool to extract/compress stuff. The final goal would be to have a set of human readable text files defining an island. This way anybody could easily design his own island and upload it to the server. Once on the server, the new island will be shared and everybody could come and play on it.

- The last part is of course the bug fix. Talking about that if any of you know a good place for bug tracking where everybody could post issues they found on the game that would be nice.



Last but not least, if any of you know a good place where I could host the server part of the game that would also be a great help. Indeed I am currently hosting the server on my own PC but my internet connection will not support more than 5-6 people playing at the same time. Plus my machine is not running 24/24h and I do not have fixed IP address so it not really a good place to host a game server


That is it for now. I have no idea currently of how long this will take me before giving a new release including all that stuff, but in between I could make some small releases mainly for bug fixing and testing.

Thanks,

Rincevent
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  #19  
Old 2009-06-28, 15:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rincevent_123 View Post
Also by doing that I will create a saving format using xml standard so that it can be easily understood and modified by human without the need of any tool to extract/compress stuff. The final goal would be to have a set of human readable text files defining an island. This way anybody could easily design his own island and upload it to the server. Once on the server, the new island will be shared and everybody could come and play on it.
I don't get it. What's the problem with using programs like the LBArchitect? I think it's the best way to create your own islands, as it allows you to edit the grids visually. If it would be just text, it would be very complicated considering the very high number of bricks in a single area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rincevent_123 View Post
- The last part is of course the bug fix. Talking about that if any of you know a good place for bug tracking where everybody could post issues they found on the game that would be nice.
Mantis bugtracker sounds like the best solution. Alexfont, Zink and OBrasilo (aka Battler) use the Sacred Carrot bugtracker for all of their projects. You could ask them how to set up one of your own, or ask them if you can join the existing one.
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Old 2009-06-28, 16:23
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Having human readable xml files is good because it potentially means other people can make their own editors at some stage, as well as being able to tweak stuff without loading up an editor.
Its just a "neat" way to develope stuff.
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  #21  
Old 2009-06-28, 20:05
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Actually, I would be happy to be able to use tools like LBArchitect to generate the maps. However, as I said I would like to get rid of the HQR limitation.

But also like Darkflame already explained it is always better to have human readable and editable file as it is much easier to debug or to change small things manually.
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Old 2009-06-28, 20:40
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Maybe some kind of converter or something like that? You will be able to make maps on LBArchitect and then just convert it to the needed format. Just giving an idea, don't know, if it's possible.
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Last edited by Jareth; 2009-06-28 at 22:43.
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Old 2009-06-28, 21:38
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Yes, I will actually provide tools to convert HQR file to my own format, so as you said Jareth it will still be possible to create map with LBArchitect, then save the map to HQR and convert it to the xml format after that.

And maybe who knows once the game is more develloped it could be a good idea to integrate those converter into LBArchitect so that you could save directly to the good format using LBArchitect.
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Old 2009-06-28, 22:11
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If adding it to LBArchitect, it would be better to make it an additional plugin or a library, because it would be only used for LbaNet and many users probably won't use it.
I can't imagine the ".xyz" or .HQR format being converted to a .xml but if it's possible, then it surely will be useful.
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Last edited by Jareth; 2009-06-28 at 22:42.
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Old 2009-06-28, 22:39
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All good ideas
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