Space Clouds

Beta client 290.1144

** update 1144 ** (all known beta issue fixed)
* fix for the graphic corruption causing random crash (and bluescreen on some cases) as well as missing particles

** update 509 **
* Fix for the biggest issues that were added with the beta clients. All ships should now render properly / where they are expected to be
* Your ship should no longer shake seemingly randomly when you move around.
* A few various crashes and corruptions were also fixed.

– As with all beta client, there are likely more issues to be found and fixed. This is why it is beta after all.

Its been a long time coming. I started this client optimisation pass with the goal of supporting large scale bvb action (which currently result in more or less locked up client).

* In the process I ended up having to write new optimized container for our nodes childrens list (before we used a list, now its using an hybrid between a vector and a map for fastest possible iteration and somewhat fast element removal).
* I also ended up rewriting the way our particle system use d3d hardware buffer (before it was constantly rewriting it, now it only flag and rewrite the bits that changed)
* I rewrote how our scenenodes (the objects containing everything that end up on the screen including their rotation / resize etc) are created to remove useless parents set and overwrite (some nodes ended up moved around from parent to parent 3-4 times everytime they were made).
* Changed our billboard nodes to use a single hardware buffer containing the actual billboard index (which are used for most projectiles). While this is in practice slower when theres only a small amount of projectiles to use the hardware buffer over just sending the data directly to the gpu, the time it represent in a frame is extremely small. On the other hand, when sending the data directly to the gpu vs using a buffer, if you have 200+ of said billboards to do in the frame, it become a whole lot slower and represent nearly 20% of the gpu/cpu time in those situation (since the gpu will wait for the cpu to upload the data), this change resulted in a large improvement in the amount of billboards (projectiles) that could be on screen at once.
* This beta should also fix the few crash dumps i received over the past weeks.
* The ship preview on connection has been fixed.
* The account creation now include a password and email validation field with dynamic coloring if they match / dont match.
* Multiple other smaller performance improvements.

All in all, you should see a small generic improvement to the fps, between 5-20% depending on the scenario. On the other hand, during what was previously borderline on the client load or completely above client capacity, you should see an increase in the 20-25times the performance.

Keep in mind that while I did test and fix hundreds of problems during those optimisation there are likely a lot remaining. If you do find any new bug in this beta, please mention it in forum pm or in this blog forum post.

I wanted to do a side by side comparison of the previous beta with this one in my test scenario (20 stations firing mags at 10k range with max rof) but sadly current beta just froze / gave a frame every 15-20sec so it didnt make much of an animated gif heh.

Heres one of the new version, with lagkiller disabled and very high graphic settings (altho in a mostly empty galaxy except for the 13000 projectiles floating around at all time).

Those on the current beta client will automatically get an update at that time. If you do not have the beta client and want to try it, use http://www.starsonata.com/dl/StarSonata_2_beta.exe. It is independent from the live client and you can use both on liberty.

Weekly Dev Meeting – September 16th

Bloggy

Col Legno

I altered base bound gear (Junkyard stuff is most of what will be affected by this) so that you can no longer put higher tech gear on lower tech bases. This way gear won’t get stuck on bases unintentionally.
I added a pop up confirm dialog for transfering base bound gear to bases so that there are less accidents while transfering gear around.
I also fixed some minor spelling and mission issues.

Jey

I finally confirmed that the hardware buffer corruption is fixed, altho in the process another issue was found in the client where some effect nodes end up stuck on the screen. Waiting for secondary test of the issue.

Applies fixes to the webserver for dealing with team score updates.

Blue Dwarf

Finally finished up the changes I was making to aura generators, cleaning up some of the code behind the environmental damage auras (common in Subspace areas) and addressing the issue that auras affect people in instances when they shouldn’t (e.g., protected galaxies).

I’ve also tweaked the Omni Census PDP-01 item to be a bit more useful, the size and energy cost have been reduced to 25 and 750 respectively and it can now be used directly from your ship. The display has also been improved a bit.

Ryan

It turns out slaves got caught up in a change where ai could no longer own debris and could no longer own debris themselves, so I fixed that. I worked on the UZ lockouts with Col Legno and now all the ai share the same instance-wide lockouts, so you can no longer get trapped in the boss room. We originally avoided this because you could kill a 10 minute lockout ai to overwrote your longer boss lockout, but I’ve changed it so that lockouts can now only be extended from new kills.

Player questions!

Question 1

Who has had the biggest influence as an programmer within this game?
Jey: i guess it would be blindside
because he was a god able to write shaders and stuff !
graphic programmers are mythical creatures
you dont often see them in the wild

Jeff: I liked the guy who wrote Effective C++

Col Legno: I’m kind of stuck on Roy Osherove atm. nothing to do with the game at all. but he’s kind of a unit testing god. He has some really cool ideas.
and Michael feathers – working effectively with legacy code.

Blue Dwarf: I don’t know, I kinda take a bit of everything from everywhere. I liked some stuff from Doug Crockford (particularly JavaScript: The Good Parts), but somethings are just ugh (One True Brace Style can suck it). I guess that’s a good thing, given I learnt Perl first.
Oh, Gary Bernhardt, because who doesn’t love some batman?

Jeff is stingy and didn’t want to do questions, so only one this week! Give us some more awesome questions so Jeff isn’t so stingy next week!

Here’s the link to submit a question!

Weekly Dev Meeting – September 10th

Bloggy

Col Legno

I fixed bugs.

Jey

I found the buffer issue for the client and think it’s fixed, needs tests run on it.
Fighting the webserver over team scores which are taking too long to calculate.

Blue Dwarf

Not a great deal from me, really. Nothing fancy or exciting.

Shameless plug for a shout out and making an attempt to actually be organized though, next weekend is our bonus weekend. Is there anything in particular you guys want?

Ryan

My main focus this week was on towing, specifically in the Nexus for new players. I fixed a few bugs (such as inventory disappearing after towing) and we’re also making the starting bases towing bases so that new players can tow right away instead of waiting out their stasis timers and get right back into the action. I also fixed a font bug for the names below AI ships, where characters were aligned improperly.

Player questions!

Question 1

When will the SPEX system or whatever it was called be implemented? The ingame voucher system that was discussed years ago.
Ryan: It’s waiting on a webserver patch that has been delayed for a while now due to a variety of reasons. I’ll give this a solid soon™.

Question 2

What is the meaning of life?
Jey: Life is code and code is life
Jeff: Meaning is relative to the person evaluating a thing. There is no extrinsic meaning of life. The meaning of life is the meaning that you choose to give it.
Col Legno: dude…no 42 for the meaning of life?!?!?! come on!

Here’s the link to submit a question!

Weekly Dev Meeting – September 3rd

Bloggy

Ryan

I fixed a longstanding issue relating to field generators that was causing HQ and Outpost kits to become stuck in a strike when they ran out of rations.

I’ve worked on the (Empty Itemtype slot) stuff that a few of you have seen on the forums.
The Userbase side of it was very easy, but there is a little bit of work to finish up to get it working at 100% for ships.

eslottest5

I also fixed a few bugs with our gui tables and have added support for resizing inventories! I hope you all enjoy it as you play, I know I will. :)

inv_resize

Col Legno

I’ve been fixing T21 daily missions, the dailies will now allow you to do one mission a day but each mission has a three day lockout. I fixed some subspace issues too.

Blue Dwarf

So the Outpost/HQ/Palace thing is pretty much done and includes some small, but nice, new management changes for teams.

It works simply so:
If you share a galaxy with a team mate, own the Palace, an Outpost or the Headquarters you’re unable to leave the team, unless you’re Councillor+ (for OP/HQ).
If you are booted the Palace is abandoned, all other offending bases are set to destroyed (dropping no items).

In addition to this there is now a confirmation dialog for booting players which should save some players from those accidental boots. The dialog will inform you if booting the player would affect your team but not what bases or where.

Which brings me to the last point, there’s a new command for checking any offending bases, /basecheck which’ll provide a report on your bases.

Additionally, bases will automatically be set to your team on deployment and transferred bases between team mates will keep their team ownership, removing the need to team a lot of your kits.

Theodore

Theodore is content now! Yay.

Added repeatable olympus boss key missions.
Adjusted the inertial dampener bps to prevent excessive prom needed at one time.

Player questions!

Question 1

Can the subspace invasion be looked at. It doesn’t seem possible to reverse the colony nerf by any mechanism. Ie it’s not possible to lose the aveksaka ownership of the galaxy. It’s not possible to clear a galaxy as there’s eggs that never stop spawning even when you clear the pillbox. Or at least explain the intended mechanism to us. Thanks buzzy
Ryan: We have the colony nerf turned down until we’re satisfied everything is 100% worked out. In the meantime there are some fixes on test server and they’ll work their way live soon. Once we’re satisfied everything is working as intended, the alien device will begin working at full strength again.

Question 2

I know it’s asked a lot, but can you give any estimated date for the Steam release?
Jeff: Last time we submitted it, they took issue with a few things which we have now fixed, and we’re ready to give people beta keys to test the Steam functionality in client. We misunderstood what we were submitting last time, and though it was just the online assets, but instead they actually looked at and tested the game, so that’s why we have been polishing the in-game Steam stuff a bit. We should be able to resubmit very soon, but the last time we submitted at this stage, it took them several months to get back to us. Fingers crossed.

Here’s the link to submit a question!

Zebucart.

Look. It’s a zebucart. Wow. This is amazing.Zebucart

Something something Improcerus event. Congratulations to the winners, I guess?

Bye.

Btw, uni reset in 3 weeks. Kthnx.

 

(In all seriousness, that’s the zebucart reward for the Improcerus event. Just found it funny to do a lazy blog. Wonder what the other dev’s reactions are going to be when they found out I posted this. And no, there’s not really a reset.)

Weekly Dev Meeting – August 26th

Bloggy

Before we get into things, a return has occurred and we’d like to welcome Precursor back to the dev team!

Ryan

Worked on some changes for base kits with yclepticon, with changes to both starting space and resists. The space changes should allow a tech/rarity equivalent expander to fit in a base from the start, so you don’t have to juggle small expanders just to be able to fit the ones you actually want to use. For example the T12 store bought kit has 300 space so you can fit size 250 transdims. The resist changes are detailed in this dev notes post.

Jey

Prereset patch coming up on thursday evening! Other stuff too, but it’s just the same as last week. The beta is now in an usable state, but it’s nowhere near ready to become live client and will likely have to wait until after reset to be fully fixed.

Col Legno

I’ve been fixing a bunch of little things and planning the galaxy layout for SM22.

Blue Dwarf

I’ve been working on a couple of small bugs, firstly stopping the AI Outposts from spawning inside AI owned/protected galaxies, such as Earthforce Perilous Space Outpost and issues involving ownership of HQ, Outposts and the Palace when leaving or being booted from your team.

Player questions!

We had some pretty cool questions this week

Question 1

What is your favorite Boss in all of Star Sonata?
Jey: DC

Jeff: Iq’Bana

Ryan: I always liked Iq’Bana most visually.

yclepticon: Lion or Poseidon

Blue Dwarf: All the bosses! … Not really sure, Blob has cool scripting but is annoying to kill (because of his script)… Actually, Astro Santa, even if he doesn’t quite work as I wanted him to.

Theodore: Rhino

Col Legno: Copper, It was the first I could solo, and it was fun learning how

Question 2

Do you guys think this game will ever hit mainstream?
Jey: I do hope for it to grow a few times bigger than it is now. But mainstream would be horrible, the game plain simply isn’t designed to accommodate millions of players.

Ryan: I think mainstream is a pretty big stretch but I feel like we have a lot of room to grow even if we stay “tiny” compared to games like WoW.

Col Legno: Nope ss will never hit mainstream
But I think it’ll be more comfortable in it’s niche

Question 3

Did you guys ever wanted to plan on doing something big for this game?
Jey: Big is rather relative, many of the updates are big if you consider all the work that goes in them :P . Unless you mean C2 kind of big, then there can’t be all that many since we worked many years on that before it was even able to render c1 galaxy :P .

Jeff: C2 was pretty big. Alien invasion were pretty big. Tech 21 and tech 22 were pretty big. :) We have some new ideas for the future, but nothing that’s ready to be announced yet.

Ryan: I’ve always wanted more dynamic content in the game rather than static bosses you go kill so it’d be more than “go here kill that”.

Blue Dwarf: I’ve not particularly done much big stuff so far, although I have some cool wishes if they ever come to be of stuff. It might not seem big to players but for us it’d be big. Rewriting missions and added a epic staged-mission type thing to replace mission chains would be good and I’d love to play around with the universe generation to create some more interesting galaxies or solar systems and add other things like supernovae and comets/meteors.

Col Legno: If ss was my full time job I’d have big plans. But with a day job, all I really want to do atm is fix things

Here’s the link to submit a question!

Weekly Dev Meeting – August 19th

Bloggy

Jey

Still working on the beta client issues. I got a few mostly fixed, but some of them make very little sense in the scope of what was changed in the beta. I am also in the process of investigating a windows 10 related freeze but still uncertain as to if its caused by ss or by an issue in the drivers.

Col Legno

More Subspace mission fixes and bug testing!

Blue Dwarf

I’ve been looking into a rather cryptic bug with our wild AI placement at universe generation. It seems a bunch of our spawners weren’t being placed correctly, but after cleaning up and fixing a few other things I can’t find anything wrong! So I guess it magically fixed itself (or maybe one of us fixed it without knowing).

Jeff

Finished the new account dialog screen. Now with pretty colours and Earthforce lady!

Player questions!

Totally forgot! But we need some more so ask away!

Here’s the link to submit a question!

Weekly Dev Meeting – August 12th + Universe Reset

Bloggy

Jey

Still working on fixing the issues on the current beta client, progressing steadily but still unable to give an eta, could be now or could be this weekend. There is a full patch in preparation, date will be announced once it’s certain. I also did some slight tweaks to our database configuration to reduce the website slowdown whenever the team scores are updated.

Blue Dwarf

Not a lot of interesting stuff going on in my world of late, but I’ve got some good stuff on my plate for next week!

Col Legno

I have had a horrible frustrating week of no internet! But despite that, I managed to fix the sentinel spawner issue in Trials of Adum. After it’s patched in you’ll be able to do the trials without being auto aggro to the sentinels.

Ryan

Moving!

Jeff

Working on a new look for the new account dialog.

Player questions!

Question 1

What are your favorite aspects of Star Sonata? Such as combat, building bases or the colony/ruin system.

Col Legno: I like having alts on everyone’s teams and know peoplg. Game politics and social interactions.
Jey: trading and politics
Jeff: building bases
Ryan: bases and teams
Blue Dwarf: Story, lore and universe generation and teams in the days when I was more active.

Question 2

Anything more you can tell us about the Steam launch, understanding you cant reveal everything now. Such as when it happens will be it be something mid-uni or timed to align with a uni reset? Are servers prepared to handle that big of a influx of new players in the Nexus? Any big changes or other things in the works you guys are doing specially to support and refine the game for the steam launch?

Jey: Uni reset is not needed for steam
Jey: Server have a queue system planned to handle the influx
Jey: Rest is content so I cant answer those, but i hope more cleaning / bug fixing to ensure as smooth as possible experience for new players

Here’s the link to submit a question!

Universe Reset

Ahab’s Bubble and Squeek brews have been dropping in quality lately and that can only mean one thing! The Space Rats are falling ill. Enquiring with Farmer John, Ahab has established this is because the binding forces of the universe itself are breaking apart! Creaky the Robot predicts the final collapse will occur at August 29th, 1PM in the Earth time of Eastern Daylight Time. We hope to see you all on the otherside!

Weekly Dev Meeting – August 5th

Bloggy

Jey

Beta client! Details here.

Blue Dwarf

I’ve finished up my map and handed off to Ryan to integrate onto our website.

I’ve also fixed a bug with the calculation for costs of built items when their blueprint builds more than one item and I’ve been thinking over the design and how the item and mission viewer would work.

Col Legno

I’ve finished up the T21 skill mission changes and they’re in testing. I’ve added a new prize for the end of the last Subspace mission and hope to finish testing the rest.

The Vert

I fixed some spawners jumping out of galaxies when they were not supposed to. I fixed it in the XML for one spawner in Enigmatic Sector and one in Sol (that pesky damn Broodmother!)

I have finalized the individual wild slave balance that so many players have requested, and which was planned and discussed a long time ago. Titan Bigger Greens, Green Battleships and Qokuji’qi are much more balanced now. This only affects their wild slave form, and not the spawner itself.

We’ve also discussed fighters for a bit, but we need some more time on this and get the content developers together to progress on this.

Ryan

Among other things this week, I helped integrate Blue Dwarf’s map into the website. We’ll also be exposing the universe info in JSON format under a starsonata.com/api type url, we’ll give you more details in an upcoming blog post. I’ll be moving over the next week, so you probably won’t hear to much from me for a couple weeks.

ergosphere

Unfortunately we don’t often get updates from ergosphere due to time differences, however I was sent this from him!

The below images are of the Kalthi Commander, which I have made a model and textures for. The Kalthi Terminator will look the same as it, except larger. I have also made textures for the Armored and Wrathful versions of the Kalthi Commander in a similar way to the other Perilous Perilous Space Kalthi ships that I have made.


Player questions!

Question 1

“Whats your favorite alcoholic beverage?”
Suit: I’d say I like beer. But not the American type. Belgian/Dutch beers.
Guinness is nice too.
But it depends on the situation. When out to dinner, wine is preferable.
Or a random evening, sometimes a single malt Whiskey

Blue Dwarf: Cider for me, prefer sweet to dry. Rekorderlig, Kopparberg, Aspall and Old Moot Cyder specificly.

Col Legno: Chocolate Martini.

Jey: Rum.

Jeff: Uuuuummmm, I’ll say right now it’s Ouzo. I also like a nice dark rum.

Ryan: Margaritas for me

Question 2

“Is there any plans to develop/implement Tech 23 in the future? If so what kind of time frame if any can we expect on its implementation?”

Jeff: We don’t really have any plns or thoughts right now
Jeff: I believe our current plan is to resubmit to steam and new content areas.

Here’s the link to submit a question!

Weekly Dev Notes – July 29th

Bloggy
Has to be said, pretty slow week. But slow weeks give us the longest meetings it seems!

Jey

An update hails down from the Great White North!

Jey has been up visiting his home town, but tells us he’s planning to do a patch soon. His client work is ‘pretty much done’. The final performance increase is around 23 times in high activity scenarios (e.g., base combat).

Blue Dwarf

I’ve been working on the bug where aura projectors affect others in locations they shouldn’t (such as non-PvP galaxies).
The map has been recieving some tweaks and tests to present older browser issues with some information on why it’s broken, instead of just breaking in their browser.

Col Legno

I realized I forgot to make an instance for roaming Hermes. I set up an instance for him and it’s nearly done.

The Vert

I fixed a bug where I had added Micro Vacuum Scoop twice in the drop tables, where one should have been a Mini Vacuum Scoop.

Ryan

Alien invasion fixes seem to be working and should be patched in sometime soon!

Player questions!

Question 1

Actually two questions, since they’re the same question
“When will tech 21 and/or tech 22 base gear be implemented?”
and
“When can we expect to see t21 and 22 base stuff being worked on? Can we get a fairly quantitative answer?”

We had a pretty length discussion on this in our meeting today. The overall result is that we’ve agreed on an acquisition method for these skills and are now beginning to plan it out.

Question 2

“There was a fair amount of discussion about a base slot revamp, any updates on that?”
yclepticon: It’ll be considered in parallel with the SM 21-22 project.

Here’s the link to submit a question!