Author Topic: Forums back!  (Read 268 times)

Online BadgerBadger

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Forums back!
« on: June 09, 2017, 08:33:24 PM »
Alright, who provoked the AI to take down the forums?

Offline x4000

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Re: Forums back!
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2017, 09:04:05 PM »
OH THANK GOODNESS!  Fingers crossed they stay.  Here's what I posted on the kickstarter:

Quick note: we are still alive, and all is relatively well, although our forums and kinda-our-wiki have been down for the last 50ish hours and counting. There may not be a resolution until Monday, we're not sure.

We have had quite a bit of drama with our hosting provider and trying to get a backup re-applied after an accidental self-inflicted wound on our part. There are 10 days of rolling backups, but we can't directly apply them ourselves (grumble), and a lot of the host's techs also can't.

It's been quite a fiasco, although we've been happy with this host until now. We're trying to work it out with them, as the main issue seems to be communication as well as their client-restore processes.

Please note that we do not host any of our actual game development tools on our website. We use a variety of web services on a number of providers to keep things pretty spread out for the sake of redundancy. Our code and other assets are safe and sound, and are generally never on less than three computers and two separate server clusters at a time.

Also worth noting, this in no way impedes our ability to work, or to do releases, etc. It DOES impede our ability to update public release notes (or the wiki in general), and it in theory would impact our ability to handle things on mantis if that database was also affected (it is not).
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Online BadgerBadger

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Re: Forums back!
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2017, 09:05:54 PM »
So you wanna post here all the awesome stuff you've been up to since things went down ;-)? I need my updates fix....

Offline x4000

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Re: Forums back!
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2017, 09:23:52 PM »
Our wiki is still undergoing issues, so here's a version that includes a lot of it:

* The game console has now been fully moved to the AIW2ModdingAndGUI project (source code aside), and has been re-skinned using our own graphics and text mesh pro.
**This may not have seemed like a high-priority thing to do, and indeed it was not in and of itself, but it validates a particular GUI creation workflow that we now have, as well as providing a concrete example for that type of GUI.
*** Basically our existing GUI creation methodology is all based around xml creation of things and populating them certain ways.
*** But now we can also take an entire GUI canvas, create it in the WYSIWYG unity editor in the AIW2ModdingAndGUI project, and then wire it up in a completely traditional-for-UGUI fashion and after that let it be triggered from the dynamic GUI.  These are even loaded using the existing "gui prefabs" logic that the xml-oriented GUI uses.
** The end result is just as performant in both cases (and basically identical), and so mainly the question is of which approach is easier for a given piece of the GUI.  There's no one right answer.  Even the xml-oriented version is using prefabs that have a bunch of nested stuff, but this is just taking it to a completely other level of having the entire canvas/window populated.
*** At any rate, being able to do this now and having an example of how to do it was well worth the time in this particular build.  It should open up options better for the upcoming GUI revisions.

* A massively new way of drawing the "sprite gimbals" over squads in the game is finally complete.
** We tried a variety of approaches, but for various reasons dynamic batching, instancing, and so forth all yielded subpar results when individual sprites were made up of often up to 6 sub-parts (main icon, border, flair, mark level, and health bar).
** We're now baking the sprites into meshes prior to them ever being instanced, which cuts the graphics load of the gimbals to around a sixth of what they previously were.
** That said, the sprites themselves still need to be instanced even after being baked, and to do that we need a single mesh for all the types for the most part.  So we're hiding data in the uv2 and uv3 channels that let us know which instance properties to conditionally apply to which vertices, which in turn lets these things colorize themselves (via HSV shift) as needed.  But since not everything needs to be colorized, our new ubershader for the baked group is now actually more efficient than before, making the savings more than a drop to 1/6th of the previous load from this source.
** Performance improvements in this area might not seem like that big a deal, but on a GTX 1070 with 5k ships on the screen, the icons were approximately half of the visual load.  Facepalm, right?  So this has been a big priority.
** The downside of the new approach would seemingly be that now these icons are harder to edit, though, if someone wants to mod.  Bummer... except that it's just as easy as ever! :D
*** We've created editor tools in the AIW2ModdingAndGUI project that allowed us to merge meshes, set the uv2 and uv3 channels properly, and so on.  You can re-bake the meshes as desired, and we can do so quite easily as well.  You can't do it by xml anymore, but that's a pretty small thing.

* Fixed a bug in the prior build where the gimbal icons no longer reacted to player mouse hovering or clicking.
** This was because of the changes in the hierarchy of pieces of squad parts in the last version.
** Thanks to TheVampire100 for reporting.

* When you are placing ships/structures on the map, there's now a filled circle that shows the radius of the footprint that ship will take up.  It then also shows the icon of the ship in white over where the footprint is.

* Fixed an issue where the missile turret was not assigned its flair properly.

* The game now automatically checks its models for missing materials, or materials not set up for instancing.
** There were then a number of ships that we fixed that on so that they have instancing set up properly.

* The font_size property now actually works on the new text labels in the game (not buttons or anything else presently).

* The game now has icons for the various resources, which can be inserted into text with <sprite> tags from text mesh pro.
** Unfortunately the process for getting those in there requires the creation of sprite dictionaries embedded in the main game Resources folder at the moment.  We will likely alter that at a future time, but for now that's stuck.
** The process for getting new sprites in there is pretty convoluted in general at the moment, to be honest, so that's again something we'll have to work on later.  But it does work, and it does perform well!

* Fixed a bug where "dfgdfg" would show briefly as the planet name in the prior build.
** Thanks to BadgerBadger for reporting.

* Updated to Amplify Shader Editor v1.0.005, which has a number of new features and some at least minor performance improvements.

-----------------

* Bonus Fleet Ships:
** Vampire Claws
*** Cloaked melee ships that heal themselves when they do damage.
** Vorticular Cutlasses
*** Melee ships that damage themselves when they do damage (when balanced, their dps will be much higher than vampire claws, for example).
** EtherJet Tractors
*** Cloaked Jets with Tractors. What could go wrong?

* Dire Guardians:
** Dire Warp Beacon Guardian
*** The AI can always send waves to the planet this guardian is on, and if it is on alert this is likely to happen.
*** Not to be confused with the Dire Warp Bacon Guardian (despite internal typos to the contrary), partner-in-crime to the Pancake Golem.
** Dire Commander Guardian
*** Increases reinforcements sent to the planet it is on.
*** Triggers waves (like a raid engine) while this is on alert.
** Dire Shredder Guardian
*** Internally constructs and launches shredder drones (vicious little melee ships).
 
* Guardians:
** Vampire Guardian
*** Can be very hard to kill if you don't kill it quick, because of its ability to heal itself from doing damage.
** Implosion Guardian
*** The Dire Implosion Guardian's little (and far more common) brother. They're a real pain in the rear if you're a golem...
 
* Golems:
** Seeded like Flagships, you find these, clear their planets, and claim/repair them to gain control of them.
** Unlike flagships, these are rarer, claiming them costs AIP, and they don't have the quasi-Ark functions for building/repairing/etc. Instead, they're considerably more beastly than Flagships and some have unique abilities.
** Armored Golem
*** Short-range brawler.
** Artillery Golem
*** Long-range sieger.
** Black Widow Golem
*** Massive paralyzing-tractor capacity, and does engine damage with its shots.
*** The "if you move while tractoring something, it moves with you" logic has also been implemented.
** Regenerator Golem
*** Regenerates ships you lose on its planet, at the cost of some of its own health.
** Cursed Golem
*** Has powerful fast-firing railcannon, but damages itself in proportion to the damage done.
** Hive Golem
*** Internally constructs hive drones, which it launches in large groups against any threat on the planet.

-----------------

* Fixed an issue with the AI Warp Gates not having their mechanical parts rotating properly.

* Put in some code to automatically tell us when our animators have messed up.

I'm working on on-GPU animation of the ship swarms, as another thing, but it's not done yet. :)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline x4000

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Re: Forums back!
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2017, 09:27:17 PM »
My notes on the on-GPU transform stuff:

The unity transform updates just aren't performant enough for us to have a ton of ships flying around in squads during a battle, which is a super huge problem.

I knew that the matrix math for following complex splines was going to be Right Out from way back during the kickstarter, but I've been planning this whole time to run those splines offscreen, then apply them as differentials to the ships.  Running 10 or even 50 spline calculations per frame is child's play on the CPU, and that would be plenty to have super duper complex motions for the ships thanks to additive handling of the base position of the ship plus the offset of the spline.

More recently, I've figured out pretty quickly that still wouldn't be enough, because there would still be matrix ops to do the translations in local scale.  Waaaaay fewer, but still more than unity can afford since its matrix ops are petty hefty for a variety of good and non-good reasons.

So that got me to thinking about animating these ships on the GPU side, via feeding them data from the splines that are calculated on the CPU.  No matrices on the CPU!  I've been avoiding dealing with that problem in favor of some of the more immediate things, but now I'm finally on to this new one instead.

In the meantime, I happened to hear that Horizon: Zero Dawn ran into the same problem on the Unreal engine, and they did things like their weapon animations and a lot of the robot animations purely on the GPU for the same reasons I've been thinking of.  So: cool, then, I know it can be done.

Anyhow, I just have gotten the movement part working, and it's blazing fast.  I need to also start feeding it rotations, which I haven't gotten to yet, but at the worst I'm pretty sure I can pass a matrix from the spline's local space directly to the GPU and just multiply the vertices by that on the GPU.  There it's all native floating-point data structures being run on however many hundreds of parallel cores even a cruddy Intel HD laptop has, so it just laughs at that sort of thing.

I still have more to do, but I'm feeling really good about how that bit is progressing. :)
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Online BadgerBadger

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Re: Forums back!
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2017, 09:29:04 PM »
Thanks :-) There's a couple really big updates in there, like the "show icon when placing units". Also, hurray for Golems! When a golem is destroyed, will it become a destroyed hulk you can rebuild like the flagships? I feel like that would lead to more cool moments of the "We need to go reclaim the Golem on that heavily defended planet" sort.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2017, 11:27:03 PM by BadgerBadger »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Forums back!
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2017, 12:36:48 PM »
When a golem is destroyed, will it become a destroyed hulk you can rebuild like the flagships? I feel like that would lead to more cool moments of the "We need to go reclaim the Golem on that heavily defended planet" sort.
Yep :) More occasions of "now I have to pull my bacon out of the fire".
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Online BadgerBadger

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Re: Forums back!
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2017, 12:44:20 PM »
So will there be a Bacon Golem along with the Pancake Golem then?

Online TheVampire100

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Re: Forums back!
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2017, 01:03:22 PM »
If someone mods a Bacon Golem into the game he is my personal hero.
Also, can the AI get Golems on their like in Classic? Or are they player exclusive?

Offline Toranth

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Re: Forums back!
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2017, 02:20:30 PM »
Is anyone else still missing occasional images after this forum restore?
The one I see every time I look is the "New" image that goes next to the thread name, for example when clicking "Show unread posts".

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Forums back!
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2017, 02:33:01 PM »
So will there be a Bacon Golem along with the Pancake Golem then?

Will it always be on fire?

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Forums back!
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2017, 02:49:13 PM »
Also, can the AI get Golems on their like in Classic? Or are they player exclusive?
The AI cannot currently get them, but it will later. Those will probably just die-forever rather than leaving repairable hulks, for balance reasons.

"Master AI: How did the human get 10,000 golems?"

"Sub AI: Um, well, you see..."

Of course, energy costs should prevent that extreme, but we'd also like you to have to actually find and repair a specific type of golem if you want it rather than just stealing it from the AI.

On the other hand, if the reclamation design I have in mind works out, and you feel like occupying your entire reclaimed-ships-strength-cap with one unit, and you organize the most intense liliputian mugging in history...


Quote from: BadgerBadger on Today at 12:44:20 PM
So will there be a Bacon Golem along with the Pancake Golem then?

Will it always be on fire?
That's how you know it's on.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Dominus Arbitrationis

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Re: Forums back!
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2017, 03:23:18 PM »
Is anyone else still missing occasional images after this forum restore?
The one I see every time I look is the "New" image that goes next to the thread name, for example when clicking "Show unread posts".

Are you able to make a Mantis issue about that and include a screenshot? I'm currently not able to replicate the issue.
Come help out at the Wiki!

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Offline WolfWhiteFire

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Re: Forums back!
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2017, 04:49:41 PM »
Secretly, the Bacon Golem is the reason space is a vacuum, it constantly being on fire consumed all the oxygen in space.
So will there be a Bacon Golem along with the Pancake Golem then?

Will it always be on fire?
That's how you know it's on.
Secretly, the Bacon Golem is the reason space is a vacuum, it constantly being on fire consumed all the oxygen in space.
(Tried multiple times to get that chain of quotes to look right, but couldn't figure out how)
« Last Edit: June 10, 2017, 04:52:14 PM by WolfWhiteFire »
That crazy non-hardcore player who decided that when AI War 2 comes out focusing on hunting the Nemesis as much as possible regardless of risk will be a good idea.

Offline Toranth

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Re: Forums back!
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2017, 06:49:37 AM »
Is anyone else still missing occasional images after this forum restore?
The one I see every time I look is the "New" image that goes next to the thread name, for example when clicking "Show unread posts".
Are you able to make a Mantis issue about that and include a screenshot? I'm currently not able to replicate the issue.
That specific one, yes, I can replicate it, so I added a Mantis issue for it.

Has there always been a Website category in Mantis?