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Multiplayer lobby

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The issue quantumstate encountered isn't actually one (more like a feature) as the server prevents creating a lot of accounts from one IP in a short timespan.

My issue is probably due to some packaging error of the gloox package I'm using (I currently switched to a build of the 1.0 SVN branch of gloox, but there is still problem and I need to find some time to investigate that further).

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I agree completely about needing someone to consult for UI stuff. If the programmers have a direction from someone minding the aesthetic issues, we will make it happen. The current UI is very ugly, especially the partly transparent black boxes all over the place, layering issues, ugly/inconsistent resize behavior, etc. That would be a worthy task for someone who need not even touch the code.

Also, what is the possibility of going the server route, where folks can host different 0 A.D. servers and we just host a master server that provides a list? Kind of like old-school Call of Duty. Maybe this patch is essentially what that is, except the "server" is the host's computer, which is not ideal in my mind since if the host leaves the game the game crashes.

The crashing issue should be fixed, if I'm thinking of the same bug as you are, but the game will currently end when the host leaves or is disconnected. It would be nice if the other players could continue playing, but I suspect that wouldn't be trivial given the current network architecture. Maybe if we support multiplayer saved games, we could come up with a decent way of continuing them after interruptions.

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I agree completely about needing someone to consult for UI stuff. If the programmers have a direction from someone minding the aesthetic issues, we will make it happen. The current UI is very ugly, especially the partly transparent black boxes all over the place, layering issues, ugly/inconsistent resize behavior, etc. That would be a worthy task for someone who need not even touch the code.

I'm up for that. I have no plans to work on the Egyptian civ, so can afford to spend time on tasks like this and the GUI. I'm really busy at work right now, but I'll have much more free time in around two weeks. Does that work?

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Yay! Can't wait to try it. So can this connect with the forum databases and pull user lists from there?

What if we kept the same general 'look' to everything (the gold, the tiles, etc.), but inverted the color scheme (white-ish tiles, black text)?

It would probably imply changing the rest of the game's look too, though, so it fits. Aiming for an off-white/cream color could work.

Eh, not really. Not every single screen in the game has to have the exact same color scheme, as long as there is a unified look to things. We desperately need a graphic designer to go through and redesign the way our menus and screens look. Just leaving it up to programmers to make things look pretty without guidance from the art dept is leading to some very ugly stuff. That's one of the major problems we have: not much thought is going into aesthetics and there's no guiding force on the graphic design side of things. Now that things are starting to be functional, it's time we start making function meet form. :)

I've always favored muting the UI just a bit. Never was a fan of all the "ornate" gold and whatnot. But perhaps that is best left to an intense discussion later or better than that, a mod :)

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Never had problem with the gold myself, because it is usually just around the periphery. It's mostly there because we haven't come up with anything else more interesting. :) It would be great if in a couple weeks Pureon could prototype some layouts with different styles for us. After a short, intense discussion, where the layouts are altered due to input, then move on to prototyping each new menu screen with the style we choose. Each menu screen can have its own thread with information about what we expect that page to do and what we need from a new layout.

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I hope this can be included in the next alpha. I'd like to post a screenshot as well as a teaser for the community (to show them we didn't forget it and it is being worked on). But it wouldn't be clever to tease them, if it would take months to get it implemented. Anyway, we'll see :) .

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I'm up for that. I have no plans to work on the Egyptian civ, so can afford to spend time on tasks like this and the GUI. I'm really busy at work right now, but I'll have much more free time in around two weeks. Does that work?

In fact, I think you'd be ideal for that, given all the great work you've done in the past with icons and stuff (y) Having some mockups would be nice, and having someone to ask when new features get added and need UI work, would be even better!

Here are some things that come to mind:

* Session diplomacy box

* Tooltips are inconsistent and ugly, especially in game (unit training, construction)

* Post-match summary screen

* Game options menu (not implemented yet, work in progress [leper]?) - and see in game Menu > Settings

* In game unit stats screen (not implemented yet)

* Multiplayer lobby (not implemented yet, but work in progress)

* Large text boxes: in-game manual, "technical details" on main menu, history / civilizations menu, anything with transparent black background

* Various dialog boxes: try joining a non existent game and see the ugly status dialog, or in game Menu > Resign

* Error dialogs: try running game with -autostart="foo" option to see an ugly error

* Various "widgets" positions and appearance: frame rate counter (Alt+F), game time (F12)

You can probably find more. I'm sure working on the overall theme would be useful too.

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Hello forum readers! For those who don't closely follow IRC, leper and I have made a lot of progress in the last few weeks on the lobby and so I though I might share a few developments.

1. Lobby reliably compiles and runs on *nix and never Windows compilers(?)(Untested on OSX).

2. GUI tweaks - everything should look better aligned, more consistent, and should support lower resolutions (It supports resolutions lower then 800x600).

3. IRC commands! The lobby chat now supports things like /nick /me /quit...

4. Mod support; authorized users can /ban and /kick from the lobby.

5. WIP Automated spam checking (can't tell you how this works)

6. Heaps of bugfixes

GitHub repo is available here.

Let me leave you with some screenshots and, if you have any reasonable suggestions, feel free to post them.

Lobby at 691x568:

post-14700-0-21101900-1376138274_thumb.p

Lobby at 1600x900:

post-14700-0-58345200-1376138481_thumb.p

Active lobby at 800x848:

post-14700-0-74789400-1376184662_thumb.p

EDIT: Add active lobby screenshot

Edited by Josh

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should support lower resolutions (It supports resolutions lower then 800x600).

Why? We only support 1024x768 for the game.

if you have any reasonable suggestions, feel free to post them.

Timestamps for chat.

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Timestamps for chat.

There's already an option for that, though it is disabled by default. We should just enable it and rip out the option IMO.

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I'm sure this is a long way down the road, but when (if) user accounts are implimented, they should draw off users off the forum database. That way, everybody on the forum will already have their own account. That's what the guys over at Super Tux Kart are doing. A highlight from the article:

There is a significant advantage here though (else we would just separate everything), namely all registered users on the website will be able to use their account for online gaming and vice-versa. So accessing your profile from your web-browser, is a nice feature that could be easily implemented in the future.

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I'm sure this is a long way down the road, but when (if) user accounts are implimented, they should draw off users off the forum database. That way, everybody on the forum will already have their own account. That's what the guys over at Super Tux Kart are doing. A highlight from the article:

That sounds like an insane amount of work for a negligible gain. Also, not everyone registered on the forum plays 0 A.D. and of those who do, only some will ever play multiplayer. Likewise, many people will play 0 A.D. but don't even know the forum exists. So rather than trying to integrate the lobby server and the forum software somehow, if we want game accounts with web profiles, we should just design that separately. Then people can link to them in their forum signature or something :)

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That sounds like an insane amount of work for a negligible gain. Also, not everyone registered on the forum plays 0 A.D. and of those who do, only some will ever play multiplayer. Likewise, many people will play 0 A.D. but don't even know the forum exists. So rather than trying to integrate the lobby server and the forum software somehow, if we want game accounts with web profiles, we should just design that separately. Then people can link to them in their forum signature or something :)
Would it be possible to make a new field in forum profiles that links to their lobby profile? :)

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we can have portraits presets and make Alliances and bands to team vs team, other player prefers audio voices to talk with their partners, is important for Lived matched replays and tools to do tournaments.

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