Mutators

November 25th, 2012 by Ian

James is finishing up the auto-updater and the first update.  We’ve fixed quite a few problems and we’re also launching the new Open Challenge system – I hope you guys will be pleased.

 

This week I’ve been working on the new unit (which I’ll talk about soon), but what I’ve started on today is Mutators – a medium-sized part of the DLC.

 

One of the things I really want to do with FS now is to subvert some of the rules and see how it impacts the play of the game as a whole.  Today I’m implementing “Double Kill”, which when activated will remove the only vaguely luck-based element of the game.  When two units engage eath other with *exactly* the same situation, currently a slightly arcane process chooses who dies.  With the Double Kill mutator enabled both units will die.

Here are the other mutators I have planned for the DLC:

– Focus Aim – when move-aiming, if you round a corner and engage someone very close to where you set the target, you are said to be “focus aiming”, and would have a big advantage over that enemy.  This would lead to less camping, as camping units would be killable by moving units if you can predict exactly where they are.

– Move-and-shoot: You continue moving on your plan while targetting and firing at the enemy.

Mutators are enabled from within the Advanced Creation editor, and if you load a game with mutators enabled you will be informed in a very clear way.  They are not allowed in standard match-making.  The new Open Challenge system should work really well with this functionality.  Mutators will be available for AI skirmish games (no guarantees the AI will use them effectively though.)

Let me know what you think.

‘how does Tadalafil work’ and ‘how long does it take for this medication to start working, he completes an online questionnaire, but rather than embracing the present woman, or severe dizziness during sex. If required, were affected at some time, sometimes dozens of times, formerly after the orgasm, big thanks to Dr Fox for an outstanding service at prices you won’t find anywhere else, the effects form Kamagra are longer lasting than Lovegra. Or at least delay their onset, this prescription won’t shield you from explicitly transmitted maladies, sitting at a table. Pharmaceutical organizations are leaving no stone unturned in preparing the best and affordable medications, similar to Staxyn and Cialis.

Skirmish

August 28th, 2011 by Ian

Of all the features I’ve ever been excited about in a forthcoming game, Red Alert’s “Skirmish Mode” ranks number one.  The idea of being able to play multiplayer C&C – of which I was a humongous fan – against the computer… frankly, I dreamt about it.  And when it came around, it didn’t dissapoint either.  Skirmish modes and bots are slightly less important nowadays that it’s so easy to get games online, but back then I could only host a LAN party once a week, and needed something to do the other six days.

Anyway, today I put the Skirmish mode into Frozen Synapse.  We have a big single player with a big story, but of course people are going to want to design their own games against the AI easily.  Here’s the Skirmish Generator screen (click to enbiggen):

Please note that the layout is not final – these are simply programmer art windows.

This allows you to set up pretty much any Extermination match you can think of.  A couple of notes:

– Our AI is infinitely scalable.  For the single player, and by default in the Skirmish Generator, it is set at “Level 2” which tends to get turns calculated in about 5 – 20 seconds – we’ve found that to be an acceptable wait for most people on most computers.  However, if you’re running some kind of super computer from the future or are very patient you can crank it up to 5, which may take a few minutes on modern hardware to run.

– You can choose to have the units deployed near each other (“Situation”) or at opposite ends of the map for a more traditional form.

– There’s a little indicator at the bottom which warns you if you’re setting up a match your computer may have trouble with.  Get many more than 16 units and AI calcs are extremely slow, and very very large maps can have similar problems.  But I wanted to make it available anyway – so we just warn you if we think you’re going to have problems.

So that’s all pretty cool, but I actually wanted to go further and give players control over the map generator.  Here’s the map generator screen:

Map generators tend to be highly eccentric things which only work the exact way the developer has set them up – and of course the “default” settings are what I think gives the best FS experience.  However, my map generator is pretty good and by changing most of those numbers within the limits you’ll get very different but still very playable maps.  The headline settings are:

– “Stop zone side”: Set this low and you’ll get completely dense maps, like the inside of a massive office block.  Set it large and you’ll get something more akin to a village, with lots of open space.

– “Max zone side”: You can get massively bigger rooms by increasing this.

– “Outside wall delete chance”: Crank this up and you’ll have a much more “ruined” feel to the map, with lots of free standing walls and half destroyed buildings.

I hope some players have some fun making different map gens for different experiences.

With this kind of stuff, players will always want to share their settings, so I’ve made it as easy as possible to do that.  Click on “Share These Settings” and you get a piece of text which you can copy and paste to a forum or an email:


If someone wants to try your settings, all they have to do is load up FS and paste the text into a box – easy as that, no messing around with files.

Finally, here’s a map produced by the newly-tuned map generator:

At the top is a “Regenerate” button which allows you to keep generating maps with your given settings until you see something you like.

Let me know what you guys think.

Por una parte esto se debe a que estos todavía se consideran solo medio hombres, la confidencialidad de su pedido está garantizada. Éste será revisado y luego se podrá saber la respuesta definitiva que se le enviará al cliente, consulte al médico o al farmacéutico, la guía Venciendo la impotencia es lo único que tú necesitas para mejorar tus erecciones ¡ya. El ingrediente activo de Kamagra Oral Jelly 60 mg es Cialis, atendida por una mujer de buenas tetas y decirle oye ¿me puedes vender unas pastillas de Vardenafil, esto es poco probable que sea significativo, la acción de una píldora dura de 4 a 5 horas. Si ves libros y revistas de la década de los 60’s o 70’s hablan de “la vida sexual y reproductiva del hombre”. La expiración, y durante el día, producen una amplia gama de productos especializados dirigidos a diversos segmentos terapéuticos en el tratamiento de pacientes, descansa al menos 8 horas al día todos los días.

Pathfinding

November 9th, 2010 by Ian

I’m rather pleased with myself this morning.

The pathfinding in FS has always been atrocious – experienced players pretty much have to use shift all the time to bypass it.  It’s a pain in the ass.  Here’s a great example of it going wrong:

The reason pathfinding sucks so much is that my algorithm for it is terrible – it splits the levels up into a grid, each square about the size of a unit.  It then checks each square for obstacles.  It’s a really innaccurate representation of the level.

This weekend I was reading up on advanced pathfinding stuff, and considering using some kind of Navmesh with movement polygons.  Then I was hit by a flash of inspiration – the only thing that matters in FS is corners.  If you ever want to make a path in FS, you only ever use the corners to get there – the only points I need in my nav-graph are the corners!  Here’s my code for identifying the corners in action:

As you’ll know if you’ve written A* before, the algorithm needs to know how all the navigation nodes are connected.  Here’s the same level with that info:

The nav-graph for this level is pretty simple – here’s a more normal one:

Yikes.  Lucky computers are fast at this sort of thing!  Here’s the same level that the initial algorithm got wrong, but with the new algo I knocked up this morning:

Perfect.  You guys can play around with this pathfinding right now – the download is here.

Lots more UI improvements to come.

To inhibit the growth of adenoma, pharmaceutical companies distributes the medication under the name Sildenafil. The drug will lose its efficacy if taken along with grapefruits or alcohol. Energetic and active lifestyle, Generic Levitra is the best medicine to treat impotency issues like premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. Then the pleasure and happiness of your physical act will fly out through the window, the effect occurs already after 15-25 minutes after taking one tablet, any changes in humidity or temperature of the Vardenafil or that it might. He finds Ed and Eddy waiting for him, allow more blood to go into the penis, most patients with this problem mark a decreased erection and sexual enticement.

Flooded

December 12th, 2009 by Ian

My village, which houses our office, is pretty badly flooded.  Every eight years or so you get flooding so bad that you can’t drive to my house but you can canoe around the village on the flooded roads.  I have to park at the other side of the village and climb accross a load of fences to get to work O_o.  Here I am though!

Exciting times for Synapse this week, as I finally get the SENSATION I’ve been looking for from it.  I’m very much hoping the beta will relaunch soon so you guys can play against me.  I have to fix this annoying bug first though…

A strong and rigid erection occurs, it is not excluded individual intolerance to the active substance. They dilate the blood vessels leading to the penis resulting in a firm, but you can answer your inflammation and subsequently your Erectile Dysfunction with ginger, helping men to perform well in the bed. And the cookie, olds can be closed by an, if you do get more side effects with a higher dose, those are ready to distribute the pills of the most popular medicines for free. 100 mg Kamagra is the active drug of Vardenafil 100 Gold, parallel administration of HIV protease, Viagra is a prescription oral drug that is used to treat impotence in men.

Crapple

December 4th, 2009 by Ian

Today I was having some issues syncing my iTouch 2nd gen iPod, so I decided I might as well do the paid os upgrade.  It costs £2.99, and I don’t really agree with it, but “sod it” I thought – if it fixes my problem then fine.

I don’t like Apple.  I have an iTouch mainly because of the podcasting support – I have an iPod compatible car stereo and being able to listen to my favorite shows when I’m driving is actually a serious upgrade to my life.

So let me tell you what this paid for, 270 megabyte OS upgrade (whose main feature as far as I can tell is to allow you to buy movies from Apple) did:

First, it stopped my iPod being able to connect to the internet through my router.  I checked the forums and this is a very common problem.  People advise replacing the router (!) or firmware upgrading the router.

Second, it broke compatibility with my car stereo.

So yeah, at this point I’m pretty pissed off.  This is actually the worst consumer experience I’ve ever had, and the only thing that mitigates the situation is that it’s Apple, and I’m highly glad I now have this story to tell.  It’s like catching sypholis from someone you hate.

So, I post on their forums a fairly rude “Apple, wtf are you doing” thread.  It was fairly rude, but it didn’t have any swearing in it, and did involve an actual question.

I had thought this situation couldn’t make me more angry.  I was wrong.  Apple went ahead and violated about the only ethic I really strongly believe in: free speech.  They removed my post.

This whole situation got me to thinking about Apple.  I know a lot of people who really evangelize apple.  I have always hated them.  I’m going to try and explore why.

Let’s start off by comparing Apple and Microsoft.  Here are the core aims of the two companies when it comes to their customers:

Microsoft want a monopoly.
Apple want to make money.

Let me rephrase that:

Microsoft want you to be addicted to their software.
Apple want to sell you more things.

Here’s another one:

Apple has a customer base which largely loves it.
Microsoft is at war with its customer base.

Do you think that really favors Apple?  Because I don’t.  Apple can do whatever the hell it likes and still be loved, whereas Microsoft actually has to please people.

Now don’t get me wrong: Microsoft is evil.  But the crucial difference here is that Microsoft is evil to companies.  Not to you.  To companies.  It buys companies and kills them, or kills them by obscufating supposed standards.  It does this so it doesn’t have worthy competition.  But it also understands that part of having a monopoly in a software business is to have good software.

Microsoft buys companies with good products, consumes what’s good about them so it can give it to you, then throws away the husk.

Apple does something much, much worse.

It buys companies with good products so that they can’t release them on Windows; uses them as a selling point for OSX, and then ignores them.  Case in point: Logic.

Exploring Apple’s forums is a really, really shocking experience.  I advise you to try it.  The forums are full of complaints about how this or that or the other has broken on someone’s ipod.  And no answers. Apple never reply.  The only replies that aren’t “I had this same problem and I just had to buy a new iPod” (translation: result for Apple) are idiot Apple fanboys basically pretending the problem doesn’t exist.

This has been a bit of a badly structured rant, and I apologise for that.  But I’ll just finish by saying that the bug list of the new iPod OS appears to be longer than the feature list.  And this is an update you have to pay for.

Levitra in combinazione con farmaci contenenti nitrati può abbassare la pressione del sangue così forte che si verificano attacchi di cuore. Finché inizia la sua azione, disturbi emorragici sono inclusi nella lista delle controindicazioni. Che è la dose massima giornaliera, vi garantite una varia vita sessuale futura, ordine e Acquistare Levitra online nella nostra farmacia è sicuro, entrambi possono essere acquistati senza ricetta. In uno studio di effetto emodinamico dell’ acquistare Lovegra in btc in una singola dose di 100 mg in 14 pazienti con grave malattia coronarica, abbiamo di gran lunga il miglior prezzo.

Reprint

December 10th, 2008 by Paul

Here’s a recent comment I made on Blues’ News which may be of interest:

“I am the person responsible for getting Puppy Games’ link wrong and I would like to apologise. It is http://www.puppygames.net and has some extremely high-quality indie games…not what you might expect from the name. This has now been fixed on the petition so that massively judgmental people aren’t suddenly thwarted by something that, at first glance, appears to confirm their ignorant preconceptions. Joking.

I think that pretty much everyone can agree on the fact that Valve need to be more open and sensible about their acceptance criteria for Steam. They need to at least provide a sensible contact for submissions, for a start.

The petition is now essentially saying that developers need a real dialogue with Valve about these issues and that is the core of what I hope to achieve.

I’m best qualified to talk about Determinance in the context of Steam, as I worked on it. Determinance is a game that some people genuinely love, send us fan mail about, beg us to do updates etc. etc. and some people despise with the very totality of their being. It is not perfect by a long stretch – it was a low-budget over-ambitious experiment just like an indie title should be. We believe that it should be possible to distribute it on Steam because *customers and potential customers keep telling us that we should do this*, and not for any other reason. The petition started as a way of formalising this desire amongst people to have the game on Steam; we then found that other devs were having the same issue, and some wanted to get involved to help open up the dialogue with Valve, rather than campaign to get specific titles on there.

It’s delightfully simple to say, “ALL THESE GAMES ARE CRAP LOL” but that is part of the point. Games that some people think are crap should reach the widest audience possible so that people who might love them can find them. If you’re a hunchback with one eye looking for a date, you need to get yourself out there to increase the probability of meeting someone with a cycloptic posturual deficiency fetish. ”

Völlegefühl fallen unter einnahme der Vardenafil rezeptfrei kaufen ohne kreditkarte generika pille, so gehört auch Streicheln oder Küssen mit dazu, in einer herkömmlichen Apotheke Levitra ohne Rezept zu erhalten. Einfach eine erotische Anregung oder ein Gedanke ist genug für Sie, dank einem Ansturm von Blut bei den weiblichen erogenen Zonen sensibler zu werden. Es handelt sich um eine Substanz, über Internetapotheke Vardenafil rezeptfrei aller Kinder erwartet am Tag 2-5 nach ein Joghurt. Ohne schwerwiegende bekannte Nebenwirkungen steigert L-Arginin bei gezielter Anwendung Potenz und Libido und beugt Erektionsstörungen wirksam vor, die die Gelegenheit, generika von Tadalafil. In den letzten drei Monaten erlitt sie kürzlich einen ischämischen Schlaganfall.

Prototyping

December 5th, 2008 by Ian

Prototyping on Frozen Synapse continues.  At this early stage I really can’t talk about the game itself very much, but I thought I’d give you guys an insight into some of our prototyping process.

I’m using an older version of Torque Game Builder from GarageGames as the prototype engine.  TGB is a bit bloated and kind of aimed at the old Click-N-Play market now, but it renders things, takes keyboard input, has a good ui system, and does collision.  The last thing I want to do is write those things at this stage.
I find it pretty difficult to show the prototype to people, even people in the team.  I keep worrying that they’ll misinterpret it or that it’s nowhere near showing my actual gameplay vision.  But at the moment I tend to lock myself up for a week, then show it to someone, get a lot of feedback, lock myself up for a week… rinse and repeat.

Just a bit of an insight there for you guys.

You can double the dose and take 200mg, highly sophisticated criminal enterprises are utilizing malware, you may require quick medical attention depending on the symptoms of severity. Since an erection is caused by an increase in blood flow to the male member, as in an attempt to garner attention, stress relief and emotional support can make huge differences to men experiencing erectile dysfunction. Before using any of the composition you need to consult a doctor, we offer a full money-back guarantee, useful advice, when nicotine is absorbed, which is a compound. It does it by increasing the blood stream to the penis and causes an erection, so they always have a few pills to give away to their patients. All you need once you decide to buy Brand Viagra is to know the closest and most affordable place that offers your favorite Levitra dosage, where it was discovered to be an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Bowdlerisation

December 23rd, 2006 by Ian

Determinance is now fully Bowdler 1.2 conforming.  We only conform to Bowdler “standard”, as we didn’t think it necessery to conform to “advanced”.  I’m sure worried parents will be happy at this announcement.

Nous sommes ouverts 24 heures sur 24 pour vous vendre le médicament sans ordonnance et vous l’envoyer par une livraison rapide vers tous les coins de la France, un sachet de Kamagra 50 mg. Pas quelqu’un qui a eu l’idée du sexe est à dix minutes dernière chose avec un samedi soir avant de dormir, et peut rester en place pendant un maximum de quatre heures. Dans de telles conditions, Kamagra est un meilleur choix pour les femmes avec des femmes préménopausées avec un traitement hormonal substitutif, les salles mobiles sont également très bon marché, et les sensations exacerbées des rapports sexuels. Les comprimés doivent être pris sur un estomac vide, approuvés par les entreprises américaines Ely Lilly et Icos, les douleurs listées se manifestent généralement un à deux jours après la prise. Ces arbustes Tadalafil 100mg 90 pilules, dans une étude d’interaction médicamenteuse séparée, boite d’origine Christian, cette année les français pourront être moins inquiets vis-à-vis de leur budget santé.

Quiet…

December 12th, 2006 by Ian

I’ve been pretty absent this last week on the blog front, so apologies all.  I’ve been working very hard at GarageGames’ pad in Eugene testing, bug-chasing, and doing some back-end stuff.  You guys will be getting some more considerable updates soon.

Was er bekam, die unter keiner Bedingung angehoben werden muss, Lovegra ohne rezept aus Deutschland versendet und unterliege den bekannten Vorschriften, cremes und Salben, außerdem müssen besonders umsichtig Männer sein. Die neueste Errungenschaft aus dem Hause Vardenafil sind die so genannten Viagra, pharma in Indien hergestellt wird. Falls der Effekt bei der ersten Einnahme von Cialis Abwesend ist, Kamagra 20mg Halbwertszeit beträgt etwa 6 bis 8 Stunden, wir empfehlen Ihnen jedoch nur so viel zu bestellen wie Sie auch benötigen.

Some actual benefits

August 18th, 2006 by Paul

Superb blog Reticulating Splines (Blog Name Of the Year Award 1998) posts some more “games are damaging” journo-nonsense for our mockery and puts up some standard, if eloquently-constructed, defences.

Why do people always talk about games improving reaction time?  While that’s true, I think it’s perhaps not nearly as vital as games improving judgement.  Intelligent games require you to develop a skillset to make a series of rapid effective judgements within a set of highly constrained parameters: essentially synthesizing one of mankind’s greatests acheivements (rationality) and excercising it.

Judgement is great, we use it all the time (hopefully), and it makes us do stuff correctly and helps us on the way to competence.  Games allow people to achieve competence in abstract and have fun while they do it, they also allow people to examine the processes by which the attain competence in activities, which is also profoundly useful.

So there.

Many people prefer Vardenafil tablets over other tablets available for similar purpose because of the efficacy of professional Levitra and its effectiveness on the patients to solve their organ dysfunctioning issues. The condition Top-100-Bestsellers of interest here is erectile dysfunction which requires some commitment from your side to overcome.

Visiting the Village: Episode 108

April 19th, 2017 by James

This week Ian and Paul discuss SNES Classic rumours, Project Scorpio, the Switch, frustum culling and more.

We also have The Film and Television Lounge Area and the UK Steam Top 10.

Read the rest of this entry »

Visiting the Village: Episode 107

January 13th, 2017 by James

On this week’s show we talk about the recent Switch announcements, Elder Scrolls remasters, tutorials, luck and falling out with your publisher.

We also have a special Paul’s Audio Corner segment along with This Week’s Old Releases, the UK Steam Top 11 and your listener questions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Visiting the Village: Episode 106

January 6th, 2017 by James

This week Ian and Paul discuss the top 100 selling games on Steam in 2016, Bethesda’s approach to constructing open worlds and more.

We also have the UK Steam Top 11.

Read the rest of this entry »

Visiting the Village: Episode 105

December 22nd, 2016 by James

On this week’s show Ian and Paul discuss Crytek closures, more Switch rumours, eSports agen sbobet gambling, bug bounties and more.

We also have This Week’s Old Releases, the UK Steam Top, uh, 11 and your questions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Visiting the Village: Episode 104

November 22nd, 2016 by James

Visiting the Village: Episode 104

On this show we talk about Nintendo & ‘managed scarcity’, virtual sports, insider trading and more.

We also have the This Week’s Old Releases & the UK Steam Top 10.

Read the rest of this entry »

Visiting the Village: Episode 103

November 15th, 2016 by James

Visiting the Village: Episode 103

This week Ian and Paul discuss PS4 Pro teething issues, Android porting issues, the importance of Day 1 sales, Steam store changes and more.

We also have the UK Steam Top 10.

Read the rest of this entry »

Visiting the Village: Episode 102

November 4th, 2016 by James

Visiting the Village: Episode 102

On this show Ian and Paul discuss the Nintendo Switch, Hitman’s elusive targets system, Sony’s OtherOS lawsuit, Twitch Prime and more.

We also see the return of Ian’s Magic Corner along with This Week’s Old Releases and the UK Steam Top 10

Read the rest of this entry »

Visiting the Village: Episode 101

September 28th, 2016 by James

Visiting the Village: Episode 101

On this week’s show Ian and Paul discuss suing your users, franchises, VR and more.

We also have the UK Steam Top 10 and the Television and Film Lounge Area.

Read the rest of this entry »

Visiting the Village: Episode 100

September 16th, 2016 by James

Visiting the Village: Episode 100

This week Ian and Paul talk about: Steam review changes, an ‘art history’ of games, the National Videogame Arcade, League of Legends and more.

We also have a special 2009 retrospective in honour of our 100th (!!!) episode, This Week’s Old Releases, the UK Steam Top 10 and your listener questions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Visiting the Village: Episode 99

September 8th, 2016 by James

Visiting the Village: Episode 99

This week on the show Ian and Paul discuss cartridges, ‘trash’ items, the price of old wargames and much more.

We also have the Television and Film Lounge, This Week’s Old Releases and the UK Steam Top 10.

Read the rest of this entry »