Archive for the ‘Programming’ Category

Recent Hacking Attempt

Hello everyone, Quinn here. Quick Reminder! We will NOT request any passwords, emails addresses, or other personal information via PM. If any information is requested via PM, please report it and do not respond. With that out of the way, on to the meat of the post: Hacking Round 1 Sometime yesterday, some of the arcengames.com […]

AI War 2 Alpha v0.103 released!

Here are the release notes, which are mostly bugfixes and more quality of life adjustments. A Tale About Linux Okay, so — Linux support, grr.  Mostly that has been going fantastically, and we have a lot of folks playing the game on linux machines with no issues.  That said, we’ve had a few problems with […]

The AI From Within – Part 4: The Special Forces

Keith here. A Short Update on Development Goodness, how time flies. We’ve been pretty quiet for the last few weeks finalizing the Kickstarter (95% of you have completed your BackerKit surveys, thank you! 137 backers have not yet, please do so!) and getting everything setup for the alpha. We been applying our noses directly to […]

AI War 2 Random Working Notes Video Roundup – Circa January 19th

Chris here!  Okay, so this is a whole lot of random stuff from the last month, and these are some of our internal videos that I did a quick vetting of and figured were safe to release for those people who might be interested in them. These are all unlisted on our youtube channel, to […]

AI War II – Far Zoom First Look

Lots of stuff has been happening on the AI War II forums in general, and a lot of news in the dev diary section in particular.  Once the kickstarter for the game launches — later this week — we’ll be sharing more through our blog and social media.  It’s been an intensive process so far […]

Volumetric Lights And Custom Frustrum Culling

What!?  Shouldn’t this post be about procedural generation or new robots? ;)  That stuff is coming, don’t worry.  As you can see in the release notes, a lot of work has been done on that.  But in the meantime I did want to do a release with a few other things in it. Volumetric Lighting […]

Raptor Dev Diary #3: More Audio And Video

Oi, Raptor!  Been four business days since we saw you — what’s new? The short list of new stuff shown in this video: Improved post-processing visual effects. Improved raptor skin. Completely re-rigged and freshly animated raptor. A couple of glitches there, though, most notably in the walk animation. Completely new sound system based on SECTR […]

Raptor Dev Diary #2: Thar Be Dinos Behind That Longwinded Man

First video of any of the parts of the game in action!  Bear in mind this is circa alpha 0.1, a private build.  The video should make that pretty clear, though.  I wound up talking about a TON of stuff with the project in general, and unity development as a whole as well, instead of […]

Free tool for game developers: Random Game Title Generator (with source code)

Bear with me, because this is going to sound strange.  First, let’s get the premise out of the way: naming games is hard, and it’s also incredibly important. Why is it so important?  Well, take the following screenshot of Steam: Unless you have banner rotation featuring, this is ALL people see of your game.  Even […]

Technical Notes: (Finally) Sprite Batching in our Graphics Pipeline

The really big update in the current version of The Last Federation is anew sprite batching system — and this is something that is going to be making its way into our other games soon, too.  This is a performance improvement that I have been putting off since 2010, and arguably since 2002.  I first […]

Old AVWW Top-Down Interior Generator Source Code Now Released

As promised, the source code (and runtime) for the old Interior Generator for the top-down version of AVWW has now been released.  If you want to read about what it is and what it does, please see the link above — it’s described in great detail. And here is where you can download the source […]

AVWW Interior Generator (Technical Overview)

I’ll have a full developer diary #11 (no video this week, though) posted in the next day or so.  However, first I want to talk about interior floorplan generation.  This is something that I’m going to release as an open source example program in a month or two, once it’s fully polished. This past week […]

Q&A: In What Ways Is A Valley Without Wind Randomized?

Question from leekster: I was just curios how much of the game is procedurally generated? Is it in the vein of Dwarf Fortress, where all of it is random? I understand monsters can’t be random due to all the animations and textures. But are spells randomly generated? Thanks for your help. Answer from Chris: Well, […]

AVWW Pre-Alpha #9 Video — Bats, Espers, Burowers, New HUD, and Weather

It was just three days ago that I wrote the #9 preview for A Valley Without Wind, and mostly that’s still the best source for the goods on what all is new this  time around.  However, the big thing we were missing last time was a video, because of a few technical difficulties with the […]

AVWW #9 Preview: Characters, Monsters, and Weather (Video Coming Later)

We’re transitioning the video creation duties from myself to Erik, and in the process of that we’re having a few technical difficulties that are requiring some updates to his machine and so forth.  So that’s delayed the video for our progress report #9, but I wanted to go ahead and do a written update (and […]

A Valley Without Wind Pre-Alpha #8 — New Lighting Test

This video is just a simple lighting test showing off our new way of handling light in AVWW. The older method, using the z buffer, is still available for lower-end graphics cards and computers, but this new model looks way better, and on most computers won’t use that much more CPU/GPU! What We Were Doing: […]

Horizontal vs Vertical Game Development Phases

This is going to be a three-post day, to hopefully. make up for having neglected the blog for three weeks.  In the last post, I talked about the design process for A Valley Without Wind, at least at a high level — that’s a complex topic, so I might write more on that in the […]

The A Valley Without Wind Design Process (And “Where Have The Videos Been?”)

Keith LaMothe and I are working together on the design and programming of A Valley Without Wind, him with the greater share of programming, me with the greater share of design, though we both do both.  This is a bit of a new process for me, despite the fact that I’ve worked with teams on […]

Massive Content Generation Techniques In A Valley Without Wind

So!  It’s been less than a week, and a lot has changed.  I’ll start by showing the latest footage of the game: The reaction to last week’s video and screens was mostly positive, particularly when folks saw shots reflecting the actual in-game resolution, but there were common concerns about the buildings, the character’s running animation, […]

In Support Of SlimDX

With the massive new 4.0 version of AI War hitting tomorrow, one of the big bullet points from that release is a wholesale platform shift: moving to Unity 3D, away from SlimDX / .NET.  In the past, I wrote about why I chose SlimDX, and why I felt it was the best DirectX interface available […]

Designing Emergent AI, Part 6: The “Tempo,” and AI vs. Player Agency

In the fifth installment of this series, I talked about the reasons for not over-engineering AIs and thus letting them fall into traps by making them too predictable. That was intended to be the final article in the series, unless more questions came up that I needed to address. Recently a new topic has arisen, […]

Choosing A Network Library in C#

I am a bad, bad man for not having blogged about this sooner. Last year I blogged about How I Chose SlimDX as my graphics/sound/etc library of choice. And I’ve been meaning to blog about how I chose my network library, and what I think of it, yet have failed to do so. This was […]

Iterative Game Design The Right Way

The industry standard way of designing games is to do so in advance, crafting a hefty “design document” that is basically the bible of how the game will be created. I can see the value of this when working with a huge team of staff, and certainly I can see the value of this when […]

Designing Emergent AI, Part 5: Don’t Squeeze a Handful of Sand

In the fourth installment of this series, I talked about the asymmetrical nature of the AI in AI War. That was intended to be the final article in the series, unless more questions came up that I needed to address. Recently a discussion arose on the Arcen Games forums, however, which I think really helps […]

Designing Emergent AI, Part 4: Asymetrical Goals

The first part of this article series was basically an introduction to our AI design, and the second part of this article series took a look at some of the LINQ code used in the game, as well as discussing danger levels and clarifying a few points from the first article. The third part of […]

Range Checks – Approximation vs Accurate

Range checking is a hugely important topic for AI War, since it is relevant for targeting, movement, and calculation of other values such as danger levels, etc. So some of the key optimizations that I talked about in the past had to do with using distance approximation methods instead of more highly accurate distance calculations. […]

techZing 10 – AI War

“Justin and Jason talk with Christopher Park, founder of Arcen Games and developer of a space-based RTS game called AI War: Fleet Command, about how he was able to release a sophisticated computer game in under seven months and create a formidable artificial intelligence in only a matter of weeks. The discussion also covers the […]

How to stream an ogg file using DirectSound in SlimDX.

With a nudge in the right direction from the SlimDX devs, I’ve finally got a working streaming solution for DirectSound in SlimDX. This will be a part of the 1.007 release of AI War, improving performance in the game, but I also wanted to share the code for this since it isn’t out there anywhere […]