- MEDIA ˇ
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To penetrate and dissipate these (ingame) clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education. – Thomas Jefferson
This time I’ll write a bit about our upcoming real-time volumetric cloud system. Unless something goes horribly wrong and the sky is falling down the new clouds should make an appearance in the Jefferson build.
About a year ago I wrote the code and shaders for the current cloud system, that uses sprites to render the clouds seen in the action game. At that point I was already pursuing various options for rendering clouds in a different way, that I wasn’t satisfied with the quality and performance I could achieve using sprites, but due to lack of time I had to let go of the research and use the sprite system.
I would just love to see a thick black and grey smoke slowly sweeping throughout the battlefield and to see smoke and dust linger for several seconds after various explosions and impacts – however…
this will destroy the performance and the frame-rate will drop through the floor, making everybody curse at me and scream and yell and shake their fists in my general direction! SO…
There are few things as annoying as a stuck front door. Maybe it works, but you have to kick JUST there to get it open, maybe it has one of those half busted locks that only works after you’ve tried it three times.
With that in mind, let’s talk about the ongoing issue we have with login problems. There are quite a few users who find themselves unable to log in to the game, or having to retry a lot in order to get in. This is unfortunate, since the inability to slaughter virtual foes with abandon will inevitably lead to violence in the real world.
That’s why we do this, of course. For the public health benefits.
Behind every action game bullet and every strategic movement a server is using electrial power. In this post I will tell you a bit about the use of power switching on the backbone network.
Here is the picture of the power used by the backbone network. All servers is connected to dual power supplies in the servers. This is for safety use, if the normal powers drops it will switch over to the backup power. We have two power feeds.
This is the power consumption in the morning Central European Time. In the morning there are lots of players and more players give more power use by the servers.
We are hard at work with new levels with shiny new tools! In today’s post I’ll tell you all about how we work, why it takes time to make a level and what we’ve been doing to remedy this.
You have to consider that for every new, unique environment we want to put in the game, there is a lot of man hours and coordination involved. The environments have been created first, that is, the textures and geological rules for how the terrain features should be generated. A new one of these is a big decision as it takes time to make and affects everything that will go in it. We stick with it for potentially many maps. Then level design and level building is done using one of the environments, and any special models can be planned alongside this. A new environment can also be planned and created alongside a level design. When planning new models, we aim for re-usability, not only to have the option to place it in other levels, but also in case anything should happen to that special level they were made for. If we decided to cut a hypothetical Paris-level, it would be a shame to have a beautiful hypothetical Eiffel-tower just sitting on our hard drives! These are just some of the considerations we need to take into account when we want new map content in the game.
Many of you may think that analyzing data and running statistics is dreadfully boring, and you may be right – but for a self-proclaimed geek like myself, I actually enjoy playing around with data – especially if it poses a challenge and on top of that shows some nice or surprising patterns.
My latest “assignment” was quite interesting, as I was investigating mission wins during each played out war. Not only was I looking at faction wins for each mission, I also looked into wins for the different battle types and wins depending on which faction was the defending party.
The focus in Heroes & Generals, as of now, is on the European theater of WWII. With the two factions battling for the other’s capital, the way to success is capturing land. And land in Heroes & Generals means cities. And lots of them.
You see, we really want to reward cooperating and strategic thinking players, and the way to do so, is to make sure that tactical players have an advantage. In the action game, owning more access points means an advantage for the attackers, since it’s harder to defend a city when attackers are coming in from multiple sides, and in the upcoming new battle system and resolver, the amount of access points owned by either faction has a say in the defending and attacking stacks’ combined force.
Some of the most common questions people ask when they try out our applications for iOS and Android are: “So, how do I move my Assault Teams around?” and “I can’t join a war!?!”. Both of these points are entirely valid, and we are working on getting that functionality into the respective applications. Before I start the actual implementation, however, we do need to think long and hard about the best way of enabling the users to perform the actions they want — that is, design the user interface we want to implement.
In this post I will focus on some of the issues that arise when you want to fit a fairly complex interaction patterns into touch devices with limited screen real-estate. Since the act of choosing a war can be supported with a simple scrollable list, it is the movement of Assault Teams that really needs our attention.