2015년 4월 5일
It's been quite a while since we did an official update post, so we'd like to use this opportunity to sum up some of the things we did in the past month or so and talk a bit about future plans.
It's been quite a frantic experience working for the deadlines we have set up for the singleplayer, and I must admit I was a bit worried work on further polishing and improving the multiplayer experience might stagnate. To my relief, just the oposite turned out to be true. Creating the singleplayer often forces us to think from a quite a different perspective, and very often the result is a "hey, that could be made to work in multiplayer also" moment.
Thanks to such moments we have the new gunship skill, native skills, and almost compleetly reworked insurgents that now have different classes of their own, each with it's unique set of skills and different strengths and weaknesses player needs to exploit in order to deal with them.
Implementing some singleplayer fearures also made us aware of quite a few user interface elements that can at times either not be visible enough, or clutter the screen too much, so they are at the moment being overhuled. You'll be seing new item interaction icons, new player marine markers, new item icons, monster hit chance and other information being displayed through symbols instead of numbers, new options regarding what information is being displayed and much more.
Some work was done on the netcode for monsters, specially the burrowing monsters, who in part used some of the very old and network resource heavy system, and are now having their own brand new small and elegant packets for each action. The way multiplayer game handles game ending has been greatly overhauled. Game will now keep players connected through the game over menu, allowing host to freely synchronize scores with the clients. As a result, players should no longer see unacurate endgame scores. We'll continue looking for problematic areas in our network system and makng them work propperly.
Players can now see their and community best statistics from the in game menu. Players can also see different community scores as a leaderboard from from the Steam page. It has recently been found that some kill scores have not been propperly calculated, so these have been fixed, but some users might still have those scores saved. For understandable reasons we are unable to test every one of those scores in every situation, so if you ever notice any of them being off, please report it through the forums. Also, please note that some or all of those stats could be reset prior to release.
There have been quite a few complaints about game crashes on end screen, soecially during longer play sessions. We have been trying to figure those out for a while, and have finally found the root cause. Few issues regardin the freing of allocated working memory have been found which led to game no longer being able to allocate new memory after a while. Unfortunately it is not a single issue so we are unable to provide a singular easy fix, but we have managed to seal some major leaks, and users are reporting noticeably improved stability. We will continue working on this issue further.
While digging through the core of our engine, we also managed to stumble on few systems that were unnecesarely draining system resources. Some querries to object lists were greatly optimized, so users, specially those with CPU bottlenecks should feel an emprovement.
Game's graphics engine has been upgraded with two new features, antialiasing and soft particles. Combined with new HDR system implemented some time ago, we are very happy with the visual aspect of the game.
Some updates ago, we introduced a preloading system as an experimental system. We have been collecting user experiences with it and are mostly happy with how it works, but have noticed some issues. Namely, preloading objects, although it can reduce cpu drain at times and increase game fluidity, can also easily overwhelm either computers working memory or GPU memory, leading to reduced performance. At this moment we recomend using this option with care.
Ironward team wishes you all a happy Easter!
2015년 2월 21일
There have been complaints about de-sync problems in the game, so we have been digging through netcode a bit again. Few problematic areas have been identified and reworked in a much neater way. Namely, update information regarding marine death, revive and ailment grants have been reworked as separate packages. Code for detonating explosives has also been reworked and optimized. These changes should both prevent the desync issue and reduce the network load.
We are aware of some additional problematic parts of the netcode, most pressing ones being connected with the synchronization of boss monster behavior and damage. We are still working on those and hope to have them fixed in the near future. In the meantime, if you notice any de-syncs please let us know. Any information that would allow us to pinpoint when exactly the problems happen is very valuable.
It has also been noticed that some updates ago, game experienced a drop in a general frame rate. Some time has been spent profiling for bottlenecks in the code and several has been identified and fixed. Users testing the version so far report a considerable improvement in that area. It is worth noting though that few users have been reporting performance drops on the final waves. Again, please let us know if and under what circumstances you experience any problems, so we can better identify and fix them.
While profiling for performance drops, it has been noticed that loading of certain resource files from the disk caused major performance problems, specially noticeable issue was with the boss monsters, where game would noticeably stall waiting for the sound resources to load. Same issue was noticeable at the beginning of the game where certain objects and textures were not loaded in time and were displayed as black or white squares. In order to combat that, a preloaded system was introduced. It will upon game start immediately begin loading certain resources and keep them in the working memory for as long as the game is running. This should make the game run much more smoothly and with much fewer bugs caused by resources not being loaded in time. It could increase the game's memory footprint, so you might choose not to use it (or use it only partially) if you are low on RAM as it is. In the Options menu you can choose which types of files you wish the preloader to load. Please note that it is still an experimental feature, so if you encounter problems, please try playing with different preloader settings (game needs to be restarted for preloader features to be turned off), and let us know about your results.
You should also now be able properly select default HUD options for monster and item names display from the HUD tab of the options menu.
The way game calculates damage has been a bit problematic in the past, so it has been changed, with percentage modifiers now being applied last, after the value modifiers. This new, in our opinion more logical way of calculating might have an impact on some skills and weapons. There might be adjustments in the future to keep the gameplay balanced.
There is a problem with game lobbies we have hoped we managed to solve with this update, but turns out it is still present. It has to do with the workarounds we were forced to apply in order to make full 8 man lobbies visible from the "games in progress" list. It manifests with some users entering a lobby but not being to connect or see other players. It has been noted that re-creating a lobby fixes the issue. We apologies for leaving this issue and will handle it as soon as we can.
On a more positive note, I can report that much work has been done on the singleplayer mode, with some new features being implemented, and first missions being made. Some of our users who have made special contribution, either by contributing financially or by promoting and testing the game will quite soon be given the opportunity to participate in early singleplayer testing.
The Red Solstice team