Development

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!

Priorities

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!

Almost There!

Posted by Toumaz on July 22, 2010
Development / 17 Comments

Okay, so. I suck at updating this here thing, I think that has been made perfectly clear over the course of this time.

Anyway! The Release Candidate was just released privately. What does this mean? This means that the release is creeping very, very close. If you want a more precise indication, unless there’s any really horrible bugs that somehow pop up from absolutely nowhere, expect Seal Hunter to be released within the next week. I’m sorry I’ve been so bloody slow in developing this, but life in general has kept me awfully busy – and it is well known that all programmers are lazy.

So there you have it – expect some multiplayer seal hunting goodness to hit the ‘net in a week’s time or so. And on a final unrelated note, we totally won the Gamer’s Choice award with Eggnappers at SGA2010 as well! Thanks a lot to everybody who voted for us.

See you online very soon!

Summer Update

Posted by Toumaz on June 07, 2010
Development / 9 Comments

So. In case any of you were wondering on how to neglect a blog in the best way possible, this is how you do it!

The last few months have been hectic for me, including a frantic two week crunch for our school game project (featuring the game’s scripting engine exploding a week before the final presentation), traveling woes, my¬† computer not doing what I tell it to, and Company of Heroes automatching. Yeah, I need a bit of fun on occasion, too. :(

Where does this leave Seal Hunter, though? As I’ve possibly mentioned earlier, the scoring system is truly the last little bit that goes into the game, and I’m still sorta waiting for a reply from the original developers on that particular detail (hi!). Not that receiving a reply would’ve mattered, anyway, as I’ve been insanely busy myself. :)

The statistics page is sorta-up, though (but not publicly accessible), and I’ve spent what little free time I’ve had to improve on that further. I really hope I’ll be able to properly release Seal Hunter this summer – it might not be in the most polished of states, but god damn it, you’ve waited long enough.

As I promised in the forums (you should totally go visit them), here’s the two game projects I’ve been working on across the last school year:

I’m greatly biased towards Eggnappers, myself, seeing as we had a lot more time to truly polish that one up. If you want to do me a great favour, go download Eggnappers and try it out with a friend or three. If you want to do me an even greater favour (and if you enjoyed the game, of course!), please click the Vote button beneath Gamer’s Choice, because winning the Gamer’s Choice award would be quite awesome indeed.

On that note, I’ll be attending the Swedish Game Awards Game Day Expo later on this week down in Stockholm. Come by our hope-to-be booth and say hi!

Multitasking

Posted by Toumaz on March 06, 2010
Development / 16 Comments

Another blog update that ended up being written all too late. Anybody surprised? Didn’t think so. :)

For all Russian players, I’d like to tell you about a new Russian fansite that has been finished up fairly recently – sealhunter.ru! If you’re one of those bear fighters from the east, you might wanna give it a gander.

While progress has been slow, I’ve spent most of what little free time I’ve had lately trying to iron out the last few not minor bugs left in the Beta, as well as streamlining most of the interface and menus. Optimistically speaking, we are relatively close to a public release. (At least I can promise it’ll be out before 2012, because, y’know, the world’s gonna end.)

What’s been keeping me busy, you ask? A school game project we’re polishing up before submitting it to the Swedish Game Awards, cleverly enough named Eggnappers (if you want to register an account and become a fan of our game, that’d be all kinds of nice of you, and it’ll help us more than you might think). In about a month I’ll be entering another game project, so yeah, my schedule has pretty darn hectic lately.

Regardless, I promise I’m truly making some progress on Seal Hunter – I suppose you could label me as a kind of a perfectionist, and I really don’t want to release a half-arsed game, because you guys deserve better. I’m sorry for taking so long, though, and for a lack of updates – I hope the finished game will make up for it.

And for a laugh, if anybody would be up for it – let’s have a Q&A session! Simply put, if you have any question related to Seal Hunter (the more complex the better!) ask it in the comments of this post and I’ll be sure to answer them all in a Q&A newspost later on!

…Please?