Archive for August, 2010

Master Server Updates

Posted by Toumaz on August 29, 2010
Updates / 13 Comments

The Master Server has been updated for performance reasons – you should hopefully experience “Unable to contact master server” related errors a lot less as a result. I was doing some very, very bad things in the piece of code that ran every time the game client looked up its stats. (Horribly bad. I won’t mention the specifics to any other living being: it was just that embarrassing.)

Ranking updates for all players are also temporarily disabled – this will be re-enabled with the release of the rewritten master server, which will take me some time to finish – but I hope that you guys will also prefer being able to play over getting disconnected every other game. Use the statistics website to look up the top 100, and I’m very sorry for any inconvenience caused by the recent server problems.

If anything weird starts happening as a result of this update, please let me now – it would primarily be related to things saying “unauthorized account” upon joining a game.

Have fun!

Rewriting the Master Server

Posted by Toumaz on August 13, 2010
Development / 7 Comments

As some of you might have noticed, the SH master server hasn’t been quite as snappy as one would like it to be lately. The reason for this is actually a rather pleasant one – during peak times, there’s a ridiculous amount of connections done per second to it! The downside is, of course, that my network library seems to choke on handling all the connection requests at once. This is bad – and it is also the likely cause of all those “master server unresponsive” messages some of you have been experiencing.

Since that is the case, I will be rewriting the master server communication code entirely in favour of using persistent connections instead of connection on-demand. This might take a while – a week or two, at worst, with lovely 13 hour school days coming back up – but it’ll lay the foundation for several exciting new features that can be added in the future. (To name a few: friend notifications and messaging, possible NAT punchthrough, and dedicated servers!)

So all in all, while this might take a while, please bear with me. It’ll increase the overall stability of the master server as well as open up for future development.

And boy, more than one thousand registered players, with almost 24,000 matches played, in which four and a half million enemies have been killed? I’m thoroughly impressed!


Posted by Toumaz on August 08, 2010
Development / 15 Comments

After releasing 1.0.1, and with 1.0.2 probably a week or two away still, I’m already making plans for the first ‘big’ update to SH.

Thing is, I’m not entirely certain what that will end up being, so I’m going to let you guys help me decide.

Dedicated Servers

Would be released as both a Windows and Linux binary, hopefully. This would help combat self-hosted games behind a router without forwarded ports. Could also allow for such things as scripted gamemodes later down the line. Would take a medium amount of time

Linux Client

Simple enough – a Linux build of the game client. I’ve attempted this earlier, but it was a wee bit too hard for me on the outset. As such, doing the dedicated server first might prove useful in giving experience. This wouldn’t require all too major changes to the codebase itself.

Mac Client

And for those of you who have been asking, I’d love to do a Mac client, but here’s the problem: I’ve no Mac to compile and test it on! Otherwise, the time investment should be about as much as for a Linux client.

Friends System

Having a friends list, possibly with a messaging system. Friends list itself isn’t that hard and would only take a moderate time to implement, but messaging system would require pretty much a complete rewrite of most of the client<->master communication code and drastically increase bandwidth requirements, which I’m not all too keen on.

NAT Punchthrough

Since you’re probably going “what?” – NAT punchthrough would attempt to open a connection to a server behind a router without the need for port forwarding. Would not work with all router configurations, however, but the definite majority. Again, possible complete rewrite of server<->master communication code.

New Weapons

Ak-74:s! The Burning Seal! Ruger 77! This could take anywhere from a moderate time to very long to implement depending on how complex the weapons are.

Post your opinions either as comments here or in the News section in the forums for more in-depth discussion!

Seal Hunter 1.0.1 released!

Posted by Toumaz on August 05, 2010
Releases / 8 Comments

This is mainly a bugfix and balance release after some of the more horrible bugs discovered in 1.0. :)

The new release can be downloaded from the downloads page.

Introducing Seasons

This release introduces the concept of “Seasons” in regards to the highscore lists. Due to a few very much game-breaking bugs in v1.0, all current highscores have been archived as Season 1, and all highscores rankings are started anew. This is in order to keep the game fair for everybody regardless of which version they started out in, and also to keep the competitive aspect of the ladders fresh.

The end of a Season will hopefully be announced ahead of time in the future if it is mid-version, but all new versions that contain major changes to the way score is calculated or the gameplay itself will result in the start of a new Season.

General Changes

– Added classic TSH hud as an option
– Added option to use the player color for sniper lines
– Fixed turtles getting stuck in their shells after a player has left the game
– Scoreboard will now immediately disappear as soon as the scoreboard key is released
– Fixed shotgun shell being ejected too soon
– Switch weapon key now behaves the same way as in TSH; hitting it during cooldown will switch the weapon as soon as it is able to
– “First Blood” sound effect removed
– Chat and HUD text are now in bold for increased readability
– Ready countdown timer will now begin from 3 if the game being hosted is singleplayer
– Fixed enemies walking outside the map boundaries with 4 players
– List of servers now sorts itself by ping
– Fixed game being passworded indefinitely after restarting if passworded once
– Fixed loadout not saving when exiting menu with ESC
– Fixed a land mine exploit
– Fixed a bug causing certain aspects of the game score to stack between rounds
– Windows taskbar icon will now flash when a player joins the host’s game
– Fixed Punt Gun shell particle
– Number key weapon selection redone: 1-5 now correspond to the loadout weapon order, tilde (the key to the left of 1) will select the basic pistol

Gameplay Balance

– Rebalanced the Carl Gustav – it should now prove more viable in later levels (Price dropped from $9500 to $9000, splash decreased, overall damage increased)
– Fixed victim spawn rates during the level 4 boss not increasing properly (this makes level 4 harder)
– Made the level 2 boss spawn delay a bit longer
– Grenade minimum speed has been increased slightly
– Reload progress is now reset when switching weapon mid-reload
– Explosion radii penalty for 3 and 4 players has been reduced
– Increased the damage of the AWP and Shotgun against white seals
– Increased the damage of the Mac-10 against the level 4 boss
– Rebalanced the Land Mine (Old: $750, 750 damage, 1 mine/purchase, 3 second arm time, $15 combo bonus. New: $750, 220 damage, 3 mines/purchase, 2 second arm time, $20 combo bonus.)
– Fixed level 5 boss not devouring players in certain cases

Master Server

– Fixed server going unresponsive if a player leaves the game
– Fixed Big Spender achievement
– Fixed incorrect indication of players online

A notice for those with problems hosting

Posted by Toumaz on August 03, 2010
Uncategorized / 11 Comments

As a quick little heads-up, those of you having problems hosting games, please read this topic:

You also want to make sure that your firewall/anti-virus software isn’t blocking Seal Hunter’s traffic.

In other news, Seal Hunter 1.0.1 should be released sometime this week, with quite a bunch of fixes and tweaks to the gameplay balance!