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Hello All

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Just wanted to take a second to say hello and introduce myself.

My name is Kenny Long, I am a software developer by day and professional musician by night.

I have been programming for about 30 years (yep I'm old - but I did start when I was 14!). I am currently doing .NET development, but spent years writing C/C++ code on Unix platforms. I specialize in massive online transaction processing apps for banks, wall street, etc. I worked on a few games including one commercial game Shadowbane actually made it to release (probably shouldn't have - wasn't ready). I wrote the network layer code and developed a lot of the NPC AI for that.

I have periods where I play games pretty much non-stop then periods where I lay off for weeks. I guess I would consider myself an avid gamer. My favorite games are RTS - namely Starcraft and Age*. I am currently playing AoEo in the beta (it is open beta now if you are interested) and enjoying it.

Seeing how far you all have come and the current state of the game has inspired me to try to pitch in and help out. I noticed two items on the task list that looked interesting - the network layer mods and the path finding delay problem. I may end up picking up a couple of the smaller ones first though :)

Anyways, hello all and I look forward to more interactions in the future!


Kenny Long

(AKA Chakakhan)

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the girls faces!! lol XD (they look like guys who cross-dress) no offence

Yea, but I love the way they walk! Whoever did those walking animations did a fantastic job!

Mythos, I have been playing the latest version today against the AI and I also played a couple of games against my son.

The biggest issue for me was hands down the movement delays. It takes nearly a second for a unit to start moving after you click on the destination - it doesn't seem to matter if you are moving a couple of tiles over unobstructed or if you are moving completely across the map. I compound the problem by clicking the destination multiple times and each time you get the one second delay.

The pathing in formations is a bit painful. Too much motion and they want to stay exactly in formation until they reach the very end of their path. Probably need to figure out what feels right from a player perspective and figure out how to implement the solution. Philip had a fantastic thread in the forums where he basically blogs while is he is working through solving some of the pathing issues. It was very impressive, he obviously is very sharp.

The pathing is probably the most complex part of the gameplay side of things and it is what gives the gamer the feel that he is actually in control or not. I absolutely hated the "Medieval Total War" series because it felt like my units were only taking my commands as suggestions. They were primarily concerned with keeping the formation even when the end of the formation wheeled around and ended up getting chewed off by the enemy as it passed through their lines.

There has to be a balance when the formation makes sense and when it needs to be ignored. AoEo does a fantastic job of this. Starcraft 2 and AoEo are both fantastic at the whole pathing responsiveness thing. I loaded up AoM, AoE2 and AoE3 today to do some comparisons. There have been lots of improvements through the years! I would suggest you all give AoEo a try while it is in open beta (open beta registration closes Friday morning) just to get a feel for how responsive and obedient the units feel. It feels good, even in the worst cases such as when you are taking a huge army through a choke point.

I looked at the network stuff and I don't think it will be hard to allow re-connections and add an observer mode. The move timing is a challenge, but not as challenging as the pathing :).

AI needs some work, but it seems like it is coming together pretty well. It seems to do a good job with the big picture stuff overall, just falls down on some of the detail stuff. I have read some forum threads where the developer is planning on improving the Jubot AI and he seems to have a good handle on things. It sounded like he knew where the problems were and had plans on addressing them.

From a graphics engine / artwork perspective I think you have a playable game. There is plenty to clean up and improve upon, but they provide a more than adequate platform to play on. Kudos to the artwork team! Very few open source projects I've seen have this level of quality and consistency.

This code looks to be in really good shape. Kudos to whoever picked JS over Lua as well! I saw someone was working on getting premake working with VS2010 - that would be nice.

So gameplay is key at this point I think. Getting the pathing stuff fixed will make the most difference in gameplay at the moment. First and foremost getting rid of the initial delay will help a lot.


Kenny Long

(AKA Chakakhan)

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  • 1 month later...

DM613, you write like a spambot and your signature contained links to WoW gold. I took the liberty to delete your signature. If you are a human and can understand this, please note you will be banned next time you are caught spamming the forum with such links. Thanks!

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