Author Topic: Coming Soon  (Read 107871 times)

Arcana

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #40 on: June 20, 2015, 08:04:45 PM »
Is it a stretch to think this could be the first stage in a larger project to bring in more and more functionality until we are teaming and street sweeping again? :)

No. 

The problem is combat mechanics, but if it is the only thing I think it could possibly be, it opens the door for combat mechanics to be added as a shim (albeit a pretty complex shim).  Which is interesting.

Ohioknight

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #41 on: June 20, 2015, 08:23:01 PM »


Ooh boy, this is gonna be GREAT!
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Codewalker

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #42 on: June 20, 2015, 08:49:02 PM »
Is it a stretch to think this could be the first stage in a larger project to bring in more and more functionality until we are teaming and street sweeping again? :)

Short answer: Arcana's right, "no". That's not what this project is designed to do and its distributed nature would make combat... challenging to get right. Though we do plan to implement extensibility at some point in the future to open it up as a platform that people can use for interesting things, so who knows.

Long answer: Sort of. This particular project is only around 7-8 months old, starting when the concept for how it works was inspired by kicking around ideas (hint: it doesn't work like traditional client/server architecture). BUT, it builds on other work that started over a year prior to that, giving it a head start. So despite being a "side project" in parallel, the work done on it still represents progress toward what we all want to see and unlike Icon is useful in getting there.

Ohioknight

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #43 on: June 20, 2015, 09:54:15 PM »
Short answer: Arcana's right, "no". That's not what this project is designed to do and its distributed nature would make combat... challenging to get right.

I suspected a distributed "server(? what would the proper word be?)" architecture from the image -- WONDERFUL concept WONDERFUL approach.  THANK YOU in advance.
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Arcana

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #44 on: June 21, 2015, 05:06:24 AM »
I suspected a distributed "server(? what would the proper word be?)" architecture from the image -- WONDERFUL concept WONDERFUL approach.  THANK YOU in advance.

Its more likely serverless in a sense.  I'm envisioning something X-like, where each one of us runs our own local "server" that handles and processes messages, and an XMPP-based communications architecture where players can connect to a central server that acts as a message dispatch which broadcasts all messages to all other local servers.  In effect anyone running a copy of the message dispatch server is running a communications hub that allows game clients (through intermediate software) to connect to each other, and see what the others are doing.

Because the only centralized component is the message server, anyone running a copy can claim to not be running reverse engineered copies of the CoH server software, and can claim to not be infringing on any of NCSoft's content copyrights - because it doesn't contain any content.  And because the system uses its own messaging system, it can't infringe on any of the technical APIs or interfaces of the game, in particular it cannot infringe on the (possibly protected) network code of the game servers.

The problem is that in this architecture, things like actual combat are problematic.  The game clients have no awareness of how combat works, so they cannot be told things like "hit this entity for 200 points of damage" or anything like that.  They won't on their own regenerate health bars or burn or recover endurance.  They have no possible way of recording, much less understanding, what happens when one entity grants a power to another.  All those things came exclusively from the game servers, and there's no "fragment" of them in the game clients Codewalker could leverage (to oversimplify a bit).

However, hypothetically speaking someone could actually write a combat engine and slip it into the system.  If Codewalker was hit by a bus, a lot of his technical wizardry might get smooshed with him.  But if his XMPP protocol is well documented (or even poorly documented but unencrypted and well-structured), anyone else could step in and write one that acts as a kind of "plugin" to the local message processors.  In effect, each player would have to have a local "mapserver" that had the intelligence to perform combat, and it would need to be synchronized with all the others.  You could also do this via an extension to the central server software which would eliminate the need for enhanced synchronization.  The point being, you no longer need someone who understands how the game clients and the game servers worked on a very low level.  You only need someone that could replicate the game functionality and understood how to add it to Codewalker's software instead.

Separate from the fact this almost certainly makes life easier for the SCORE team because they would be working in an abstracted environment much simpler than the raw one, it also opens the door for experimentation by the players.  Anyone with only knowledge of XMPP/XML and knowledge of how Codewalker's code works could theoretically experiment with extensions.  Which is not to say I would rather have the effort be in any other hands besides Codewalker, but knowing him I suspect its intentional that one of the properties of the project is that the future does not lie exclusively in any one person's (or group's) hands.  Once released, it can't be killed by any one person, or stopped by any one group.  In fact, eight people who want to use the software can't be stopped by anyone, not Codewalker, not Titan, not NCSoft, short of physically going to their houses and taking their computers.

Just before shutdown, I wrote a long article talking about how a distributed MMO might work.  One of the reasons why Codewalker's teaser seemed so obvious to me is that this is ground I've already traveled.  Not that I'm taking any credit for any of this work: I'm certain Codewalker (and the SCORE team) is plenty smart enough to come up with this all on his own.  Instead, I'm intrigued by the notion that its possible a conjecture I made a couple of years ago that I never thought would ever be tested might one day be tested: that its actually possible to make a game like this work.

Codewalker

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #45 on: June 21, 2015, 05:31:26 AM »
Instead, I'm intrigued by the notion that its possible a conjecture I made a couple of years ago that I never thought would ever be tested might one day be tested: that its actually possible to make a game like this work.

Well, the conjecture that started us down this path is that while its viability for synchronizing a full combat engine and AI state with hundreds of NPCs over is questionable, XMPP itself is quite capable of broadcasting some basic position, motion, and animation information. Thanks to the protocol's extensibility it does not require special handling on the server, so any spec-compliant XMPP server software can be used. And COH seems to looove its hierarchical structured data, making XML a very good fit for things like costumes. Since the real deal still has a lot of effort left, it seemed like a good opportunity to show some progress and give the community a new toy to play with.

Whether it's possible to run an actual game distributed like that, it's too early to tell. XMPP itself is a much more verbose protocol than the COH client<->mapserver one. That may be less of an issue in the age of near-ubiquitous broadband than it used to be.

But for what we're using it for, yes, it works surprisingly well considering it was designed as a protocol for instant messaging.


Sullster

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #46 on: June 21, 2015, 05:40:11 AM »
Nice teaser picture :D

Looking forward to it :D
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Aggelakis

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #47 on: June 21, 2015, 06:38:00 AM »
You make me happy, Codewalker. You and the rest of the wizards at work.
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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #48 on: June 21, 2015, 06:56:29 AM »
You make me happy, Codewalker. You and the rest of the wizards at work.

This, very much so.

If Codewalker was hit by a bus, a lot of his technical wizardry might get smooshed with him.

So, this structure lessens the need for any sort of "Save the Codewalker, save the world" time travel shenanigans?

Vee

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #49 on: June 21, 2015, 07:31:25 AM »
I assumed it would be a paragon city bus so Codewalker would only be gently nudged aside.

Kyriani

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #50 on: June 21, 2015, 07:57:18 AM »
I can't wait to play with this! ^_^ yay for the code wizardry! We're one step closer to having the city back!

Solitaire

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #51 on: June 21, 2015, 11:24:14 AM »




My question regarding the image is this, are these friends logged in to the same zone and chatting or just npcs you have been able to add chat boxes too? Please be the first option...

The zone looks like PP.
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Leandro

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #52 on: June 21, 2015, 01:21:43 PM »
Since Codewalker spilled the beans and posted an screenshot, I am going to assume the NDA is lifted. Yes, these are two accounts logged in the same zone chatting, though I'm pretty sure those two character are both Codewalker staging the screenshot. Probably doesn't want to show any real characters so people won't bug playtesters for early access. It's getting really close to release, just hang in there!

Edit: I was going to one-up him with a screenshot showing two actual characters, but...



At least I get to show off that bios work! New info! Yay!
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 01:42:25 PM by Leandro »

duane

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #53 on: June 21, 2015, 01:50:14 PM »
darn salvage is full!!  Time to invent or sell at wentworths!

Brou

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #54 on: June 21, 2015, 02:30:23 PM »
This is kinda nice. Can the players move?
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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #55 on: June 21, 2015, 03:02:28 PM »
I am so psyched for this!

Codewalker

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #56 on: June 21, 2015, 03:07:09 PM »
This is kinda nice. Can the players move?

They can move and emote. Non-straight-line movement is a little jumpy on the remote end at this point, but I don't think that will stop 1.0, and we can continue to improve it post release.

There are a few showstopper bugs that need to be fixed first, like the costumes intermittently not appearing to other players, but we are definitely close. There's also a couple of high priority features that need to make it in first, for example making in-zone doors work so it's not a pain to get into places like City Hall.

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #57 on: June 21, 2015, 03:12:45 PM »
As I said... I just can't wait to see you all again in the streets of Paragon City!

you guys absolutely rock!
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Ohioknight

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #58 on: June 21, 2015, 03:50:26 PM »
They can move and emote. Non-straight-line movement is a little jumpy on the remote end at this point, but I don't think that will stop 1.0, and we can continue to improve it post release.

There are a few showstopper bugs that need to be fixed first, like the costumes intermittently not appearing to other players, but we are definitely close. There's also a couple of high priority features that need to make it in first, for example making in-zone doors work so it's not a pain to get into places like City Hall.

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AmberOfDzu

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Re: Coming Soon
« Reply #59 on: June 21, 2015, 05:01:23 PM »
I'm amazed that this is underway, and look forward to it!

Will there be a single networked community sharing a single virtual space? Or will it be a few predefined communities, or will it be loosely organized groups of folks?