BZFlag inspired game under development

All things BZFlag - no [OT] here please
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etigah
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BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by etigah » Sun May 06, 2018 1:16 am

I'm working on a BZFlag-like game project. At this point, it is more or less a clone of BZFlag, with HiX map and with very similar physics.

The working title for the game is "Battleground Sports". You can head to this link to download a very early dev build. Binaries are currently available for Windows and MacOS.

I will try to answer some questions that might come up. Feel free to ask about anything related to this project.

Why make a new game?
In my opinion, BZFlag gameplay is great, but there is still so much unfulfilled potential there. So since BZFlag development has been slow for a long time, I decided to create a new game based on its concepts. Also I think it makes sense to start over rather than to build on top of the BZFlag code for a number of reasons (aside from my lack of C++ skills...)

What will be new in this game?
Some things are low level such as the fact that it is based on a game engine. But I would like to focus on the high level goals.
I'll save the details for another time to keep this short. The initial project goals include :
  • Features to help new players learn game mechanics
  • Address network performance issues (lag , packet loss, etc..)
  • Reliable cheat detection
  • New game modes
What is the plan?
While the game I'm releasing now is sort of playable, I plan to start working on a new version from scratch soon.. My plan is to pile all ideas I want to test in the current version, while on parallel create a new one with a better design. The new version will also likely be very different both functionally and aesthetically.

Is this game meant to replace BZFlag?
My end goal is to create a new game inspried by BZFlag. That said, BZFlag has many things that are not going to be part of this game.

Is the game going to be free?
It is free to play and also open source.

How can I help?
Try the game, give me feedback and suggest ideas. If you want to contribute code, you may want to look into the Godot game engine that this game is based on.
Monetary contribution may also be another option at some point.

This project is still in its infancy, and no parts of it have been fully implemented yet.
I would greatly appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Download URL: ftp://45.32.180.51
Project License: GNU GPL V3 (see COPYING for more info)

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Zehra
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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by Zehra » Sun May 06, 2018 3:31 am

I was skeptical when I first read about this, but decided to give it a try.
The game interface is nice, but key mappings were off for me and it took me a while to get somewhat used to it. :P
It looks like this has some potential to it , which is nice and compare to many projects which never got past a line of code.
(Some projects never got past the drawing board.)

There is a few glitches/bugs though, one of which is when jumping onto a box/block and part of the tank remains over the side.
The other is that the escape key seems to freeze the game client, but other than that, it is pretty good.

I like your idea overall, but there is a few things which were not clear.
1. What are the plans for long term support? (To avoid it starting and dying a month later.)
2. Will super flags be implemented?
3. How are you solving the lag problem?
4. Will we be notified of any major releases?
5. Any plans for adding in scripting as an option, either client or server side?

My main suggestions are this:
1. Start a group with members who will support the project or are at least interested.
2. Provide a way to exit chat. (Typing enter might happen and someone might not want to type in a message.)
3. Provide some screenshots. (Most people won't want to download something if they don't even have a remote clue on how it looks like.)
4. Work on consistency on the game. (People don't like inconsistency in a game.)
5. Maybe add options to turn on and off effects.
6. Maybe have a server and web page working together. (So people can see if anyone is online.)

My main comments are this:
1. It is nicely done with graphics and effects.
2. Artwork appears a bit too grayish.
3. Mouse movement is pretty weird.
4. Keyboard movement is mostly fine.

I'll be looking forward to seeing future developments. :D

-Zehra
There's this game I love and it's called Ducati. ~Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
The details and the skill of knowing and applying them is what excellence is made of. ~Zehra
The best player is the one who knows what to do and when and applies it successfully. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra
My blog is available at zehrahblog.wordpress.com.
See where I've last been active at Strayers.

etigah
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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by etigah » Sun May 06, 2018 12:00 pm

First, thank you for taking the time to try it and give such detailed feedback.
Zehra wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 3:31 am
1. What are the plans for long term support? (To avoid it starting and dying a month later.)
2. Will super flags be implemented?
3. How are you solving the lag problem?
4. Will we be notified of any major releases?
5. Any plans for adding in scripting as an option, either client or server side?
1- There is no guarantee it will be maintained , but I know I have started working on this project over 18 months ago, so with any luck I will at least keep at it for a few months to come. It is open source so I hope other contributors will join to take it further.
2- New weapons will be added. I'm not a big fan of most weapons currently in BZFlag, so it will probably be very different.
3- In 2 ways. 1- by making the relative connection quality readily visible at all times, so when you approach other players, you know what to expect without constantly checking lagstats. And 2- I'm experimenting with a few ideas that might seem crazy. One is to host the game on multiple servers at the same time, such that players communication can take a shorter route based on their relative locations as the traffic is routed through the closest server. I tested this and it is working , but not without glitches. Another idea (and less crazy) is to make the server try to keep connections appear steady by adding a buffer and only transmit the player packets at fixed latency, and while at it, penalize players with flaky connections by deciding on the server if a shot should be a hit based on the fixed latency assumed earlier. It perhaps needs a clearer explanation, I will prepare a detailed write-up of this and other planned features some time.
4- Naturally.
5- The entire game is written in a Python like language called GDScript. There is currently no scripting API, but it might not even be needed. Next version will be based on a newer version of the Godot game engine, which will open the game to other language options, like Python and C#.

The game is still in pre-alpha, so bugs and incomplete features are to be expected. I noted your remarks, and I will work to improve some of the things you mentioned.
Zehra wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 3:31 am
3. Mouse movement is pretty weird.
I'd like to know what exactly is the issue you are having with mouse controls, is it the motion indicators, or sensetivity, or is it something else?

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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by Zehra » Sun May 06, 2018 11:18 pm

etigah wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 12:00 pm
1- There is no guarantee it will be maintained , but I know I have started working on this project over 18 months ago, so with any luck I will at least keep at it for a few months to come. It is open source so I hope other contributors will join to take it further.
2- New weapons will be added. I'm not a big fan of most weapons currently in BZFlag, so it will probably be very different.
3- In 2 ways. 1- by making the relative connection quality readily visible at all times, so when you approach other players, you know what to expect without constantly checking lagstats. And 2- I'm experimenting with a few ideas that might seem crazy. One is to host the game on multiple servers at the same time, such that players communication can take a shorter route based on their relative locations as the traffic is routed through the closest server. I tested this and it is working , but not without glitches. Another idea (and less crazy) is to make the server try to keep connections appear steady by adding a buffer and only transmit the player packets at fixed latency, and while at it, penalize players with flaky connections by deciding on the server if a shot should be a hit based on the fixed latency assumed earlier. It perhaps needs a clearer explanation, I will prepare a detailed write-up of this and other planned features some time.
4- Naturally.
5- The entire game is written in a Python like language called GDScript. There is currently no scripting API, but it might not even be needed. Next version will be based on a newer version of the Godot game engine, which will open the game to other language options, like Python and C#.

The game is still in pre-alpha, so bugs and incomplete features are to be expected. I noted your remarks, and I will work to improve some of the things you mentioned.
1. Sounds pretty good. (*hopes a few might get involved in helping to develop this*)
2. This sounds like a good idea and a few people have suggested adding new flags/weapons in the forums.
3. Viewing connection quality is something that I wanted to see as a feature, but would likely never get implemented as a feature in BZFlag.
Many times the best ideas come from trying something different or give an idea on how to do something better.
4. Yes.
5. GDScript seems interesting, although I'd have to look into it a bit more.
Python and C# seem like good options, since no need to be managing memory and more focus on concepts can be done.
etigah wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 12:00 pm
I'd like to know what exactly is the issue you are having with mouse controls, is it the motion indicators, or sensetivity, or is it something else?
There didn't seem to be any mouse control, since I moved it and the sight moved a bit, but it didn't appear to move the tank.(no driving.)
I'm not sure if this was intentional though.

-Zehra
There's this game I love and it's called Ducati. ~Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
The details and the skill of knowing and applying them is what excellence is made of. ~Zehra
The best player is the one who knows what to do and when and applies it successfully. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra
My blog is available at zehrahblog.wordpress.com.
See where I've last been active at Strayers.

WorldOfTanks23
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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by WorldOfTanks23 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:39 am

I noticed there's no Godot project file in your sources. Why is that?

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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by JeffM » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:44 pm

Because like most of these announcements, it is done by someone with very little software development experience. They get an idea, throw something on the net and then it stops.

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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by etigah » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:23 pm

WorldOfTanks23 wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:39 am
I noticed there's no Godot project file in your sources. Why is that?
The project file for Godot 2 is called engine.cfg. It changed in the new version but I have not updated to that yet. Currently I'm just experimenting with some ideas I would like to test, so updating to the latest version is not a priority.

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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by trpted » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:53 pm

#1 Great that you offer Windows and Mac, but what about Unix/Linux?

#2 If the source code is how one gets to work on Unix/Linux, then:

a) Is it only for 64bit or also for 32bit?

b) What does one need to do to create from source code?

Thank you

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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by etigah » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:28 pm

trpted wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:53 pm
#1 Great that you offer Windows and Mac, but what about Unix/Linux?

#2 If the source code is how one gets to work on Unix/Linux, then:

a) Is it only for 64bit or also for 32bit?

b) What does one need to do to create from source code?

Thank you
There is an option to export a Linux binary but I'm only creating 64bit macOs and Windows ones as they are more popular. My main development machine runs 64bit Linux.

To run the game from source, you would need to have Godot compiled with the external module GDNet.

Note: the exact version I'm using for development can be grabbed from https://github.com/godotengine/godot/tr ... 2b801011c3

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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by WorldOfTanks23 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:23 pm

Could you post a couple of screenshots? I'm not running a binary of which I don't know the origin and since you're not converting to the newer version I''ll just wait for the project to be along a little further.

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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by Zehra » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:16 pm

If you don't trust the author, why even bother looking into the project.
It's trivial to take screenshots and you could have asked the author for a preview.
Also it is better to ask such questions by private message. :book:

-Zehra
There's this game I love and it's called Ducati. ~Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
The details and the skill of knowing and applying them is what excellence is made of. ~Zehra
The best player is the one who knows what to do and when and applies it successfully. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra
My blog is available at zehrahblog.wordpress.com.
See where I've last been active at Strayers.

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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by blast » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:49 pm

It's better to ask for a screenshot via a private message? Since when?
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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by JeffM » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:53 pm

It’s a reasonable expectation that a post announcing a new game project have a screenshot of said new game project.

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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by etigah » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:34 am

WorldOfTanks23 wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:23 pm
Could you post a couple of screenshots? I'm not running a binary of which I don't know the origin and since you're not converting to the newer version I''ll just wait for the project to be along a little further.
I uploaded a short video here, since making a video is much simpler than taking a screenshot nowadays :wink: (sorry about the quality)..

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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by blast » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:04 am

Clicking on the video link is locking my Firefox up for some reason...
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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by JeffM » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:34 pm

Just so you know, since it seems you have used assets from bzflag, you can't change the license on those assets to the full GPL from the LGPL or MPL licenses that bzflag is distributed under. Assets from bzflag must be maintained under the original license.

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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by JeffM » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:15 pm

Here is a screenshot from the video (after converting it to Mp4 from the evil that is FLV)
1.PNG
(1.27 MiB) Not downloaded yet

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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by Zehra » Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:21 pm

@etigah

Would it be possible to set up a list server, to show if any players are connected to your server?
This way it would be possible to know if players are on.

-Zehra
There's this game I love and it's called Ducati. ~Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
The details and the skill of knowing and applying them is what excellence is made of. ~Zehra
The best player is the one who knows what to do and when and applies it successfully. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra
My blog is available at zehrahblog.wordpress.com.
See where I've last been active at Strayers.

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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by alfa1 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:44 pm

etigah, what the video shows looks pretty good, congrats! (And I like that basketball plus :) ). I run it on Wine time ago, just to have a look, but was not able to see it very well (I was able to play but all was dark except the radar, IIRC).

Maybe I try it with Godot for Linux sometime in the future (not so easy); BTW, the last time I saw some BZ players' statistics (about 2 years ago) it was like 50% Windows, 25% Mac and 25% Linux, then I encourage you to try a binary too (tho I know it is not so simple compared to other systems).

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Re: BZFlag inspired game under development

Post by WorldOfTanks23 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:21 am

Etigah please make a new version based on the current Godot release.

And please upload a few more screenshots.

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