Monday, September 28, 2009

Linux 1.59 release

My first Linux release, so bear with me for some issues. I am not sure if sound works, and only the non-music version is available because I don't yet have a Linux interface for the music streaming library I use. You will of course need OpenAL installed, and OpenGL is the renderer. I've included a list of dependencies you'll need to run it; hopefully it's complete. Otherwise it seems to test out fine on the development environment I finally got set up.

If you try it, please drop by the forums and let me know how it worked. If it works well, cheers. If not, at least you got excited. :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

1.59 release

First of all please note this is NOT a network update release. This is largely another bugfix but there are a couple new things you should enjoy.
  • Biggest feature: Scrollmouse building menus. Select a building and try using the mousewheel! This actually took a lot to implement but is well worth it
  • Saboteur behavior has been changed. They can be given Attack orders and will detonate automatically as soon as they are within range. They have also been slowed down but are still very fast
  • Protect orders now scan out to a much larger range for attacking enemies
  • Several AI enhancements including more aggressive building, new tactics, more intelligent spice usage and less CPU cycles
  • Finally resolved the issues with some video cards showing garbled images and text. Turns out the graphics rendering library I use automatically scales images by powers of 2, so some smaller pics were scaling differently depending on graphic card capabilities
  • Switched over to using a true font for text. I may or may not keep this depending on how it affects performance in the future
  • Infantry coming out of buildings after destruction now act on Guard orders
  • Losing your Palace will now mean loss of the current alliance
  • Added "back" buttons to some menus
  • Hopefully corrected the rare random issues with carryalls freezing in mid-air and harvesters sometimes being dropped at 1,1
  • Several other minor bugfixes/tweaks

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

1.57 release

This is the typical follow-up bugfix release. Several things corrected and I even fooled around with some new things.
  • In-game network chat is now enabled (press Enter to go in Chat mode)
  • Keeping an IX active now provides a 5% bonus to all weapon damage, giving players an incentive to keep it around after upgrading
  • Several AI tweaks, including Ornis not being so wastefully purchased, better base spread, and more defensive structures
  • More info shown in the Host chatroom, including local IP
  • AI MCV deploys now remove concrete underneath
  • Fixed bug with Auto-repair costs
  • Fixed bug with worms exploding out of the sand
  • Fixed bug where flyers would drop units off into unexplored cells
  • Fixed bug limiting human players to 6 Flying units or less
  • Tweaked Ornis for tighter loops and better dogfights
  • IX now has custom coloring (always hated that it was stuck at blue)
  • Fixed bugs allowing units to react in some ways to allies as hostile units (including Ornis)
  • AA Trikes are now very aggressive on Protect/Guard orders against Ornis
  • Harkonnen now build more AA Trikes
  • Fixed some draw problems with flyers
  • Fixed inappropriate mission failure messages
  • Non-music version now zips to fit on a 3.5" floppy (just thought I'd mention it for retro love)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

1.56 Release, and new project name!

Hey guys,
Today I'm releasing 1.56 of what will now be called Dune 2: The Golden Path. There was too much confusion going around from the original project I did years ago and all the extra names (Dune 2: The Sleeper Has Awakened Universal Version 1.44cabc3 Single Player Edition Super Mega Hyper etc...), so I'm rechristening this project to coincide with the first (and seriously alpha-level) release of network play. It only supports two players at the moment and I would not even think of trying it across the internet as it will be unplayable. It may work halfway well across a cabled LAN though. The network support for this release is a proof-of-concept for the network library I finally decided to use. The optimization of that code will take many more weeks or months of work.

Notes on Network games:
  • You need TCP port 10191 open through any firewalls on the server side if you are trying to connect over the internet (which is not recommended in this release anyway)
  • Do NOT try to connect more than one player to a server
  • There will be losses of sync occasionally as well as hangs or other inexplicable behavior, and games may fail to start altogether
  • In-game chat is not available, but you can chat in the network chatroom
  • Please restrict to LAN games if you want any chance for performance (that means using local IP addresses, not your external IP)
  • My online database that tracks all the running servers has performance problems. It will be upgraded in October. Not that it really matters yet since you won't be playing many games online.

So here's the insane revision history since 1.44c:
  • In the main chatroom you can now select up to four AI opponents
  • AI have received many, many improvements. Still not perfect yet but they will more than likely be a greater challenge now, and they have a few new tricks up their sleeves
  • Fixed many bugs including all the known ones from the previous version, and many that would have crashed games if anyone had ever encountered them
  • Some optimizations that may give a barely noticeable speed increase
  • Cleaned up the mousewheel selection area procedures
  • Only Harvesters and other non-combat personnel may cross Refinery and Starport open areas
  • Ornithopters will now dogfight each other (these are fun to watch)
  • Faction modifiers now apply correctly. Previously Ordos had Harkonnen bonuses and Harkonnen had no bonuses. My apologies to all those who suspected Harkonnen were not tough enough
  • Infantry are not generated when a building is Demolished
  • Ordos AI players will now produce WORs and Troopers
  • The Concrete upgrade is now Auto-Concrete to a limited distance from each ConYard. Regular concrete production has been accelerated
  • Silos now store 2000 credits of spice
  • Fixed the infamous bug causing the game to crash when a player builds 10 Refineries

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Off-topic: Iron Wind Metals

I'm a fan of wargaming as well as computer gaming. My favorite games are science fiction games like Warhammer 40k (although my involvement with Games Workshop is quite over), AT-43, Battletech, and games of my own design. Recently I decided to place a very small order (I'm of meager means) at a place I hadn't dealt with previously. I looked around for new power-armored figures and found a line at Iron Wind Metals. Shipping costs were high for such a small order but I was willing to give them a try.

If anyone out there buys miniatures for wargaming, think twice about buying from Iron Wind Metals. They use an under-developed Paypal ordering system, and I followed their rudimentary instructions but my order was not entered into their system properly. After many days delay and lack of accountability (no receipt, no tracking, no confirmation; they actually suggested I use one of their informal communications as a receipt), I voiced my unhappiness, and was in turn insulted and compared unfavorably to the "adolescent nephew" of one Michael Noe, apparently a staff member there who is unfortunately allowed to deal directly with customers. Naturally I wouldn't recommend anyone deal with this company after this experience.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Status update

Hey everyone,
Just another status update for everyone "obsessively refreshing" my web pages. :)
Progress is going very well. I am saving the next update for all the changes I have been making and so far my intentions for it are coming to fruition. If this keeps up the next update will be a major one. I don't want to say more than this until I know how some final pieces will fit together, but I'm excited, and when I'm excited I work faster and more often. I can't give an ETA yet but I will update in a week or two with hopefully a better idea of when good things might happen for all of us.
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