Stardale - Game

by Chris posted on Dec 14, 2014
(2,147 Views / 5 Likes)
Hey everyone, I hope you're well! I've been working on the server STILL and integrating it with the client. It's been somewhat of a tedious process because I like to do a lot of tweaking and experimenting, which has taken a bit of time. Also, because we're a bit tight for cash I've had to spend a few days on another experimental project which is now complete. So with that said, feel free to upgrade or pre-order Stardale if you haven't if you want to help us out ;). If not, if you can share Stardale on social media that is great too :)

Above in this gif animation we have one of the alien mobs from a jungle world. This is likely to be a boss and we have a bunch of little green dinosaur like mobs that will run around jumping on you, attacking you. It's going to be loads of fun, it kind of reminds me of the Jurassic Park 2 Compsognathus dinosaurs that tore apart that man in the opening scene of the film. With that said, you might want to land on these planets with a fully loaded arsenal - you never know how many you might run into.

Other news this week we signed an NDA with Sony to get us closer to testing our build and publishing on Playstation 4. :) Sony is extremely busy with tons of applications, it has taken us almost three months just to get to this point, but we're excited we've signed some paperwork with them now.​
by Chris posted on Dec 4, 2014
(1,654 Views / 6 Likes)
Hey everyone, it's been a bit too long since my last dev log post. :mad: We're still here working hard :) This past week has been extremely slow. I've been optimizing the server and I've got it down to running at around 1% CPU usage with 120+ connected users. After 120 for some reason the CPU starts going up in a way that is somewhat odd, which needs to be figured out. I've ran the test server setup with up to 200 connected players, although the CPU spiked up from 1% at 120 to 30% at 200 (doesn't seem like a linear increase o_O), each player was sending a position update 4 times per second. This translates to 800 movement updates per second that the server was handling, then relaying the positions back to each player along with each other player position. :D

So with that said, I'm happy it's coming together. Although it's a little odd that from 120 to 200 players connected the server would spike from ≈1% to ≈30%, it'll get figured out. I suspect it might be something to do with the thread handling.

I hope everyone's thanksgiving was good last weekend, perhaps some of you found some nice black friday/cyber monday deals! ;)
by Chris posted on Nov 22, 2014
(1,798 Views / 7 Likes)
Hey everyone,

So this week was a little different than normal. Generally as a developer building Stardale I work from a basement apartment and as you can imagine, sometimes you don't always have the opportunity to see many people when confined into a subterranean living space and writing out lines of code! Nonetheless, I was invited to speak at a panel discussion event for Global Entrepreneurship Week hosted at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario this past Thursday, Nov 20. There were six speakers in total including a former Ukranian Astronaut building a commercial spaceflight company, digital marketing CEO, and SEO company CEO.

I really enjoyed meeting everyone at the event and speaking with them. All the panelists were all really great and amazing people discussing their successes, tips, and experience working internationally. During the brief 8 minutes we each had to speak I discussed our experience working internationally with our artist, Jose, who is from Uruguay - the theme of the night was working across borders. I also discussed the importance of staying motivated and how for me personally, I've learned so much about being my own boss and the importance of keeping people excited about the project. All of us working on Stardale are in love with the project, we truly believe in it, and in the absence of a pay cheque during the early days of development you have to have love for the project to stay focused, motivated, and to give that push to work extra hard every day to reach our goals.

So the event went really well, I was really nervous but I left with a good feeling and new excitement to be building such a great game. :)

What else is new with Stardale this week? Earlier in the week I continued working on the Stardale server and improving optimization. I also spent a day making a quick little port of Stardale onto Android. During the last week of October I spent about 6 hours working on taking some snip-its from Stardale and porting a little falling pumpkin shooter to android. I didn't want to spend too much time, it was just a quick little test for me to see how fast I could put something up on android and get it working. Turns out it took 6 hours to create falling pumpkins, have them fall, explode, allow the player to shoot a rocket by dragging your finger in the direction you want it to aim, and keep a score. I spent another few hours this week refining it and modifying for terrain damage and modification. At some point you might see an extremely light version of Stardale on Android, however, this android project is just something I do in my spare time (which I rarely have); Stardale for PC/Mac/Linux/& PS4 is my primary focus.

Anyway, that's what's new this week! Christmas is coming and we'd love it if you could share Stardale with friends or family! Even sharing on facebook, twitter, and social media really helps us to gain traction and get Stardale out there. :)
by Chris posted on Nov 18, 2014
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One of the things I've been working on is optimization of data processing and transferring from client <-> server. This is a huge component of ensuring that the game doesn't eat up all your bandwidth, or just as bad, run your CPU up 100% without blocking or properly managing the data stream. Things you have to begin taking into consideration is that the game could be running 60+ FPS, the player could be moving each frame, but do you really want to send out 60 position updates 60+ times per second to the server? If you have 10 players each at 60fps, that would be 600 updates per second for the server to manage. If you have 100 players at 60fps, that would be 6000 updates sent per second all sent to one server - clearly it would kill many lower end servers and pretty much burn them down especially if it isn't optimized.

Another thing to deal with is how to send that data. For example, simply serializing with C# using the default BinaryFormatter is inefficient for high performance data if you use it out of the box. There are rewrites such as protobuf, which claim to serialize data approximately 12x faster than BinaryFormatter which I've been testing. Another option is not to serialize certain data which is also an option, although serialization makes it way easier to send and then deserialize and handle that data on the receiving end.

So there you have it, I didn't think it would take so long to optimize but either way we'll work through it! It'll be lots of fun when we get there. I can't wait to blow up and take some resources from some unsuspecting space pilots :p. *evil laugh*
by Chris posted on Nov 15, 2014
(1,997 Views / 6 Likes)

Stardale Server Debug Spam stardale-mini-dino-mob.
Happy Saturday everyone! This week went by super quick! It's nice to see more activity on the forum and new members joining. Welcome to the new faces that have signed up this week. :)

In development news, the past week was spent building more server side components. We're moving at a decent pace and I'm happy with what I've been able to accomplish this week so far. Unfortunately it's never enough, I wish there was more time in a week as the time seems to go by so quickly! I've been working on transferring game data, component data, and have essentially rewritten several of Unity's core components so that we can transfer the data required to process players, player actions, and whatever else a player does. This has taken some work to reengineer some of Unity's API given that Unity doesn't like serializing certain data for network transfer - but I've overcome this for the most part - *pats self on back*. I had multiplayer going with several clients all interacting - so far so good, it was fun to fly around with an Xbox 360 controller (USB->PC) and watching my ship whiz by across several other game clients! Unfortunately a few minutes prior to this post I broke something though so I'll have to figure out what happened. :oops:

Jose has submitted some pretty cool mobs and boss animations which he's been working on, we can't wait to see more of them. We'll hopefully have them in game soon once I complete more work on the server stuff first. :)

Anyway we hope to post more news soon! Thanks for reading.
by Chris posted on Nov 8, 2014
(2,580 Views / 7 Likes)

I can't wait to push Stardale further and achieve our vision - it's going to be so much fun when we get there and can all play in the Stardale universe! This week was spent working mostly on server side stuff. In addition, as you can see from an earlier post, this week we also made the day/night cycles in Stardale. I'm pretty happy with it so far, I've ran it a few times just on a side monitor because I think the night purples might also act as a good therapy light lol :p.

With the server I've been focusing in on multi-threading, modeling the server to be expandable and testing out a few different ways of passing data back and forth.

In the client I also created some growing mushrooms and trees, essentially the tree will start from a seed and grow to a maximum height.

I can't wait to get this game going even further, once we release it's going to be so much fun with planet battles, space battles, mining, creating weapons and gear, trading, finding new planets. It's all just a matter of getting there and programming it in and having the artwork completed.

Thanks to everyone so far who has supported us and bought alpha/beta/ and/or release. We've had a few pre-purchases so far and although it doesn't total to much, it definitely will help go towards paying rent and being able to eat! [​IMG]
by Chris posted on Nov 5, 2014
(2,101 Views / 6 Likes)

A quick update on what's new and what we've been working on! Day/night cycles! Over the last day we put together a day and night cycle simulator that adjusts world lighting based on time tick. It is adjustable and dependent on the world's rotation, so some planets will have longer day/night cycles, others will have shorter, depending on its speed of rotation. I've also been working on planet foilage and getting trees and mushrooms to grow. Nothing like tall mushrooms to bounce up and down on! :)

I hope everyone had a happy halloween a few nights ago! :) Stay tuned for more soon.