Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Someone Completed my First Mission

...only a day after I created it! Basically, they had to kill a mafia don and take his corpse to the police station as proof to collect the reward (they're very open-minded ;-) ). He is flanked by two bodyguards with Uzi's, so it should have been pretty hard.

Unfortunately, one of the cops had wandered into the Mafia house as well, and decided to also shoot the mafia don as soon as he retaliated to the bullets coming from the player. So basically the player had a free "henchman" helping him out, which made the job considerably easier. Still, I'm very proud that they even discovered the mission and knew how to complete it.

[This posting refers to GTA-MUD, my mud based on Grand TheftAuto.

Mud Update

This MUD game is brilliant fun. I don't mean in a "my programming's brilliant", or my game design, but I just really enjoy doing it. I normally get about 3/4 people connected every day, and if I'm in front of my server at the timke, I log on and pretend to be a very-intelligent NPC, to make the game worthwhile.

The thing that is so great, IMHO, is that I can actually see and appreciate people using my game. I've got a few projects on Sourceforge (I may have mentioned them before ;-) ) and they get a lot of downloads, but I get absolutely no feedback what-so-ever. I discovered only a few weeks back that I get the most out of programming when I know other people are using it.

Anyway, things are trundling along nicely. I'm slowly increasing the number of locations and items (though I want to keep the number of locations small so that players can meet each other easily). I'm really concentrating on making the game world as realistic as possible.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Several People Connected!

Today was a milestone! I woke up and had a look at my MUD server, and 36 people had connected! Several of them were still playing when I logged on. I had a nice chat with someone who told me that it'd been recommended by one of his mates. I only registered my mud with The Mud Connector and Top Mud Sites yesterday!

It did give me a bit of food for thought though, as it did show some flaws in the system:-

  • Once an NPC has been killed, they stay killed (and there's only about 5 in the game.
  • There's not enough guns.
  • There's not a lot to do apart from fighting.

I'm quickly rectifying these problems now.

[This post refers to GTA-MUD, my mud based on Grand Theft Auto.]

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Someone Connected!

My first forray into hosting an on-line game has officially happened, and it, er, didn't go too well. Due to a small bug in my MUD server, it got stuck in a loop waiting for something to be received, even when something had been recieved.

(Basically, it was looping round while the bytesAvailable() function returned zero. Unfortunately, if the user had already typed in their commands, they would sit there waiting for the program to respond. Which it never would.)

Oh well, it's just the start. Needless to say I've corrected the problem and it's all now up and running. Telnet to onlinegameplanner.no-ip.org on port 4000 if you like Grand Theft Auto!

I've spent the remaining time adding content. I think another problem with MUD's is that the content isn't reactive. I want to make everything in this game reactive, from the NPC's reacting to other characters actions, to locations being affected by the time of day. This is no small job, as it means everything must be able to react to everything else. Call the exponential police...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

MUDdy Waters

Ahem. If you tried my MUD prior to this morning, you probably failed to connect. I had it running on Windows, and it works fine when I conncet locally, but if I try remotely, Windows goes into "freeze for 5 seconds every 10 seconds" mode. Literally. Even the mouse won't move. Even after I've closed the MUD and stopped all Java programs.

However, needless to say it works fine under Linux. Now I just need to spend some time on content. There's only a few locations, and some very unintelligent NPC's. But all that's going to change. I want to make this as realistic as possible. It's going to take some work, but it will be slow but sure work.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

My Programming Adventure Continues...

I've decided on the first version of my multi-player internet game that I'm going to host on my PC (now that I've got a static DNS). I decided on a MUD, since I'd already started writing one based on the GTA universe.

After a bit of polishing up, it now works, though is very limited in location and content. Anyway, if you've got nothing else to do, give it go! It's called GTA-MUD. The GTA stands for "Great Text Adventure", for legal reasons obviously. Let me know what you think!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Sourceforge Software Map Not Being Updated?

Has anyone else noticed that the Sourceforge software map has not been updated for a while? I've got a couple of projects that their own statistics page says have a rank of <1000, but the software map still shows them in the 9,000's, where they were weeks ago. Their rank on this page hasn't changed for ages.

Sourceforge is free so I can't really complain, but it's a bit frustrating that hardly anyone will be seeing my projects. Although I guess some must, to have got them to their high rankings. Oh well.

If you're not busy, check out Laser Squad 3D and Realtime Chaos.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My Programming Adventure

I've decided that I'm on an adventure to try and find the most entertaining and fulfilling form of gaming/programming I can. (What I mean when I combine the two is a form of gaming of which I could program a version myself). Playing against other people is where it's at - I think it's a hundred times more entertaining playing against someone else rather than the computer.

I started off badly, writing multi-player network games when I've only got a single PC (and thus couldn't actually player them properly). The only network I have access to (at work) isn't very condusive to games.

I then wanted to try an MMORPG, but I actually find these boring. I tried Crossfire the other day (a 2D MMORPG). It is pretty good, and lots of time has obviously been spent creating it, but after wandering around for a few minutes I was bored. Unfortunately, my PC is too low-spec to be able to run a 3d MMORPG, but I imagine these would be the same.

The next thing I discoverd was a simple multi-player 2D arcade game across the internet called Search and Dread, and I think this is my calling. It only takes a low-spec PC, it's quick and fun to play, and you can easily play against other players, and actually ineteract with other players straight away. No wandering about chatting to NPC's for the first hour.

So this is what I'm working on next - multi-player arcade games across the internet. I just have to think of a game that's not already been invented!