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Author Archive for: ‘Reto.Goonstah’

Translations underway

We are well aware that many of you are not native English speakers, so we have been working on translating the game. It has been a lot of work, and we are not finished yet. But we have already started testing and it looks good so far.

Russian version of the soldier screen

Russian players will probably notice a few bugs here and there.

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Happy New Server Year!

As some of you already noticed, we got some new servers up in Australia and Japan, with two more in Texas and Brazil on the way.

Orange servers are online. Green ones are coming soonOrange servers are online. Green ones are coming soon

Orange servers are online. Green ones are coming soon

Getting good ping in Australia has been underway for a long time, but we finally got it. We also have quite a few players from Brazil, so we’ll add a server there. There’s also a server on the way in Texas, which can provide good ping for California and Florida which currently don’t have the best connection.

We do our best to keep an eye on where servers are needed and put servers there. If you feel that we missed a spot, please let us know in the forum.

Coming soon: Support for Google Chrome and a new installer

About a month ago, Google released a new version of Chrome. That meant the death of self-installing plugins for Chrome. Heroes & Generals relies on a browser plugin to enable communication between the strategy game and the action game. Since they announced it, we have been working on a traditional installer that installs the plugin and the H&G downloader (“hngsync”).

installer The installer is actually not that fancy as far as installer go.

Having a proper installer also lets us fix a number of other issues; It becomes a lot easier to choose where to install the game. We can configure the firewall (well, Windows’ own firewall anyway) from the get-go. And we can download the entire game from the start, so you don’t have to wait for it the first time you log in.

It has been tested over the past few weeks, and it looks like we’re very close. Big thanks to everyone who helped testing!

When we release it, everyone will have to install, even if you already have a working version of the game on your machine. And, unfortunately, you will also have to download the game files again. The good news is that the whole install, download and patch process is more reliable now.

Expect an update soon!

Stress tests and how to ruin the servers’ day

One of the areas we focuse on now is to increase the amount of users our servers can handle at once. This goes for both the action servers (currently limited to 24 people per battle) and the strategy game servers. This post is about the strategy servers.

Of course, we design, build and program the servers, to handle high numbers of players at once. But there will be bugs and unexpected bottlenecks, so we run some internal simulations of lots of people, to test if everything is ok. But no simulation is as good as the real thing, which is why we also run load tests with the players from time to time.

The idea behind the load tests is to get enough people on to get at least one of the servers into trouble. The tests tell us 2 important things:

1) How many people we can handle currently

2) What we need to fix in order to increase that number

In order to maximize the amount of people coming in, we close the servers for about 24 hours leading up to the test, and send out a bunch of new beta keys.

Server timers

A graph showing various timers from the servers.

The tests involves a lot more people than are usually on, so they are usually quite chaotic and the servers are less than perfectly stable. The chat channels are burning with questions from new players (and old), while we on the dev team are focused on the performance data coming from the servers. Stressful as it is, i still think it is fun to be part of.

Last time we had a load test was about two months ago. When we reached 300 users, one of the servers started showing problems and at 600 it had all but given up, and we stopped the test (it was the server that handles statistics about everybody’s kills, deaths, captures, favorite weapons etc.). The good news is that all the other servers seemed to be coping just fine. Since the last test, we have been working on fixing that issue, and we are almost ready for another test. Thanks to everyone who joined!

See you soon for another test.

Building the Live server

Dev, Test and Stable

We currently have 3 versions of the game running: dev, test and stable. Each one has its own server (for this article, “server” usually means several machines).
Dev is the development setup. Most of our work is done there, and it is often down for short periods. Well, sometimes long periods too.
When we’re about to make a new release, we move everything to the Test server, where we test it, fix bugs, test some more etc. This process takes anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on the amount of new stuff.
When Test is ready, we move everything to the Stable server. Those of you who have been playing the game, have been playing on that server.

Our Dev and Test servers

The machines running our Dev and Test servers

Live

We are about to launch yet another server: Live. This is the server where the game will be running for real. It is a lot larger than the others, with capacity for many more players.
For both Stable and Live, the actual machines are located in several locations. The strategy game is hosted in one place – and the action servers are spread all over the place, to keep the ping down for as many players as possible.

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GUI in the action game

This post is going to be about how we go about creating and displaying the OSD (on-screen display) in the action game.

In the past – before Heroes & Generals – we have tried a number of different approaches, but we weren’t quite happy with any of them.

This time we decided to go for a Flash-based OSD. This allows us to use a full-featured editor and file format, with a built-in scripting language. A lot of games are doing that these days, and at least one company makes a living out of providing technology for this purpose: Scaleform. When we contacted them 2-3 years ago, they wanted sum of money up front. At the time, it was too large a sum for us, being an independent developer with no funding. So, in stead we looked at gameswf, which is what Scaleform is based on. It is also free (public domain) – and it fits our needs quite well.

The end-result is that we can use Adobe’s flash tools to create the in-game OSD. Here’s the compass and health-display:

Compass and health-display in Flash

Compass and health-display in Flash

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Job opening for Flash programmer

We are looking for an experienced Flash/AS3 programmer for our studio in Copenhagen.

In Danish:

14. februar 2011

Flash spil programmør søges til ansættelse snarest muligt.

Vi søger en dygtig Flash programmør til at udvikle online strategi-delen af of vores nye spil, “Heroes & Generals”.
Jobbet vil omfatte primært AS3/Flash arbejde.

Vi forventer at du har stor erfaring med ActionScript og relaterede værktøjer (Flash CS4, Flash Builder).

Det er være en fordel, hvis du har erfaring med en eller flere af tingene nedenfor.

– Adobe Alchemy
– Flash Catalyst
– GUI design
– Databaser
– Unity 3D
– C#

Henvendelse kan  ske ved email til: [email protected]

Direct link: http://www.heroesandgenerals.com/community/development/jobs

What are you waiting for soldier? We need heroes on the battlefield and generals to lead them!