Nope, I’m doing housework :)

Turns out that my apartment complex is going to do an inspection on Monday, probably because I’ve been here 4 years and I don’t think people usually stay longer than 6 months :) Mostly I mean in Bedford rather than this complex, although the complex ain’t so great either.

I’ve been contemplating moving to the same complex that Gophur/Krieger have been in, but I can’t really take a significant rent raise. That said, I gotta go register for my provisional drivers license this week (I’ll give the multiple choice another shot while I’m there), and if I’m gonna be driving within the next 3-4 months, well I might actually look a little further afield – Bedford shuts down at 10pm, and the water here is truly awful. After 4 years it still makes me puke if I drink it unfiltered.

Unfortunately, despite having very few places to keep stuff, I’ve some how managed to accumulate a remarkable amount of crap. From paper copies of bills I paid electronically (shredded) to a bewildering assortment of cat toys that the cat wanted nothing to do with, broken PS/2 keyboards (3!), PS/2 and USB mice of the old ball type (5!), a huge collection of cables and adapters that I don’t think modern science has names for anymore that I’ve been dragging around with me since 1992 (nearly 40 of them), USB<->PS/2 converters, joysticks (4), crappy books like Iain M Banks “The Algebraist” (it was just too waffly and tedious like his Iain Banks books, so I couldn’t get into it)

Frankly I’m amazed at just how much crap I’ve thrown out. I’m pretty sure you could fill an apartment with that stuff and it’s not exactly empty now I’m done throwing stuff out :)

Bring it on, Cylons

Battlestar Galactica tonight, oh and I need to catch the first 15 minutes of Heroes.

After that gonna chill out on Saints Row tonight cause I’ve got a couple of tasks I want to work on this weekend, I want to try and finish the Brigade OIC stuff I was finally getting a good run on, and I want to clean up the ridiculously convoluted system we use for getting terrain data from the editor into the game’s server-side databases. We go through two layers of building terrain meta data which is used by the next step to load the data in. And the metadata is lost at that stage, so its sole purpose is (in effect) just to make the process more complicated.

Bad news for Sparrow, I’m going to be out in our gameworld this weekend, probably even play some with my squad.

s! have a good weekend.

Net2 test doing well

I don’t know that Killer has tried it yet (reminder to self to nag him about this), but we’ve opened it up some to the close betas and aside from one strange CTHL (which I think was actually server-related) so far so good. We’re generally getting feedback for an element of this that I’m hoping for but not yet broadcasting.

I’m really wrestling with the Brigade OIC system. At every turn it wants to be on a different server or it wants information that’s going to be difficult to setup a replication between hosts for. It utterly begs for merging of the chat/map hosts, but I’m just wading thru this crap and trying to keep it as simple as possible for now. But its a bit like hunting for sappers in the new bushes… ;)

Right now I’m eager to get it and TOEs out of the way to work on scoring, I guess my backbrain has been ticking away on it and along with bits of maintenance I’ve had to do over the years I’ve got the confidence to attack it afresh. If I can merge map/chat and get Net2 to be not just a backup but also the primary world connection it’ll be a great time to drop in a vastly simpler replacement system (e.g. leveraging the database to do all the data accumulation and crunching) along with a couple of critical features that the current system is just a major pain to try and wedge into the current system.

Gonna ask Killer tomorrow about casting the net wider on the Net2 test. And really hoping I can get plowed thru Brigade OIC and down to the nitty gritty of TOEs. All the time I’ve had to work on that on paper and on the backburner it’s a lot clearer how I’m gonna fill it out now, and a lot of the elements that were looking complex I’ve found much easier solutions to – or flushed concepts that I’d picked up trying to translate the coding concepts into producerese: per e.g. once I got it thru to myself that each brigade has a unique TOE, TOEs stop needing to be a separate, stand alone, complex object… It’s just a part of the Brigade.

Currently reading Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Disposessed. My cat appears to approve.

Saints Row

Damn cool :) Time to order me a steak and get in an hours recharge time before bed. Too many whiney PMs during the couple hours I tried to play the game. Most of all what gets me is the guys who I know we’re gonna lose because they’ve swallowed too much of their fellow whiners BS. One guy, in particular, railed on me for our ignorance of history. In short, “the sherman was called the ronson for a reason”.

Yes, it was. The M4A3 was called that. But the M4A1(76)W and M4A3(76)W weren’t. Why? The W stands for “Wet” – wet ammo stowage – I’m not citing that as a definitive and final historical source, but it seems to be on the right level for explaining it to most of ya’ll.

Yeah, I definitely need to beat some hookers with a virtual baseball bat now.

Well, pooh

I spawned in tonight and the first thing I saw was a stuck firing bug :)

That said, unlike normally, he was on a different server than me, and I definitely saw way less of it. Well, maybe finding the remaining issue will be a lot easier now there are less potential causes – or maybe one of the prior fixes will turn out to be a cause now there’s a fix in place.

OMG – Stuck Friendly Firing! Now my head is gonna explode.

“Stuck firing”, I dub thee “space semi bug”

I happened to be in the area, and the code that handles firing states I thought “god this is ugly, all that stuff that’s been commented out since 2000, and the terrible formatting and variable names”. So I started by adding spaces infront of semicolons. Strange. There’s a semicolon after that for loop, which makes it an empty loop. Which means it only ever checks for ‘stuck’ firing on the torpedo launcher on destroyers.

NetCode2 going well

Whether its called BackChannel, AuxNet or NetCode2 … It’s going very well.

I’ve slowly been giving out instances of an executable that uses Netcode 2, which seems to be helping those few guys who’ve tried it (mostly guys with a bad dose of the CTHLs). I’m noticing a bit of an improvement in seeing guys coming round corners. I’ve been working with the author of the network library to get a few caveats that we need cleaned up (such as handling a host with multiple IP addresses that needs to know to respond with the correct IP address).

It doesn’t eliminate the possibility of losing your connection: I can never guarantee that because that’s the nature of networking.

It does push it back to closer to pre-1.19 levels. But I can’t do more about it until I have time to add code to deal with ‘limbo’ vehicles.

Right now it’s only an SSE2 build. I’m going to look at giving it out to some of the closed beta testers before looking at offering out a more generally available version.

No, don’t ask. You can’t have it – even if you stopped by here before unsubbing to see if I’d posted anything about CTHLs. You can watch this space, but nothing more.

And no, I am not remotely thinking about building a non-SSE version. The client guys will do that automatically if/when it becomes an official public test. My test versions are SSE2 only.


I was gonna try installing this today, but I had things I wanted to do so breaking my machine seemed like a bit of a bad idea. I dunno if Vista still insists on attacking all boot blocks it can find. But it crippled my machine last time because I run “Windows Too”.

Gophur’s Friday Funny

Gophur posted this today on an internal mailing list… (3Mb MP3) of an ‘unfortunate’ telemarketer…

Killers back

He’s been moving house, had family round, and not in the office until today. So he wanted catchup on the weekend and the week so far. Also had a chance to ask him a bunch of questions I’ve had on my todo-list about damage/scoring. Now, hold on to your hats, this is not “we discussed what I might work on right now” or “might work on next week”. This is stuff that needs think-tank time, but talking about it now is apropriate because it helps order some of the work moving up the stack.

But essentially, our damage/scoring/kill registering all happens distributedly where it doesn’t really need to. It also involves an awful lot of list and data management functions that (frankly) could be farmed out far more effectively to, oh heck, say, I dunno… Ok, lemme take a wild flailing stab in the dark here. A database?

That’d enable me to clean up the whole despawn process three-to-four orders of magnitude. Its a bit like Mega Transformer trying to come together under fire in order to finish an opponent (the opponent being your attempt to reconnect to the map mission host).

It’s looking very much like the next big thing I’ve got to do is ditch the mmhost, move its functionality into the chat host, make the client only open one initial connection – to the resulting “uiHost” or “connection server” (I dub thee connHeir *groan*), and then opens the world connections as it needs them, without ever parting from its uiHost connection.

When you despawn, you don’t have to wait for your AAR packets to pick a new vehicle; if you want your RTBed vehicle and your sortie AAR you might have to wait from ms to seconds. Oh. What a joyous day that will be.

And I won’t have to spend a half of every work day trying to juggle bytes of data to try and maintain the map/chat separation craziness.

Shiny, happy coders holding satchels!

Awh man

Had a blast playing Axis tonight. Me, Drake85 as sappers, and (forget the callsign, oops) in a tiger went out on a little sojourn around Wuustwezel. I was in “well I’m gonna die” mode – I know a few of you have seen that. Tank tracers flying left and right, everyone else is hugging the ground, and I’m standing atop a berm with my binos out…

We trotted out west, tanks roaring out of bush lines almost running us over, smouldering wrecks everywhere, haven’t seen so many before in the live game so densely packed, infantry popping up here and there, ruined trucks, aircraft debris raining down on us.

Darke found me as I was approaching my first Crusader. “This is gonna hurt” I said, apparently, in area chat, before placing my first satchel. I walked around the front to avoid the blast, and the guy musta seen me and jumped for his gunner. Round comes the turret. I did place that satchel, right? Well I’m dead. The barrel of the gun swings right into my face, no more than 3 inches away, and the satchel goes off. He can’t have been more than miliseconds from pulling the trigger :)

Got a total of 7 kills on that sortie, one continuous adrenaline rush – we ran into 4 allied tanks who carefully split off from the road west of town and tried to skulk off to the south.  The crusaders almost evaded us but I yelled “Come back, this won’t hurt us a bit” and they kindly put a bush line between us and stopped with their gas tanks irresistibly sticking out the back of the bushes.

Was also at the Roosendaal fight earlier (before Lost, I think), approaching that town is like flashbacks to flatland :) Eventually my “superman” stint ended with my standing on the top of the wuust bunker while an ei walked up infront of me, deployed his atr and shot me.

Made a few MSP attempts at other towns, but I seem to be cursed. The third night in a row every time I’ve deployed an MSP there’s been an enemy opel, bedford or laffly within 25m fo me. My last MSP tonight was in one of those big dark green bushes. I UMSed it and respawned, got a little disoriented, stepped out of the bush and was totally disoriented. Instead of seeing my opel parked in the bush, I was looking at a laffly. Thinking “wth how does that happen? did I screw up the sto system last patch or something?” when the other inf who’d spawned with me opened fire and the brown uniformed guy infront of me said “waaaugh”. Oh, I realized, and joined him in getting a dozen or so kills before we managed to take the MSP out.

I’d barely done typing “I think they’ll know where my MSP is =(” when a tracer could be seen a good km+ away over at town, which slowly rose, got bigger, and finally hit my MSP truck first round. Bah. What are the chances? Well if they weren’t small maybe I’d have moved a few more feet and not been in the blast radius along with my truck, dangit :)

Good to see Wheelz in game, although I seemed to die alot on those sorties. Also got to see a few old buddies (s! hussars/ULubKFS1 squadron) when I was playing Allied earlier but, didn’t get chance to have fun ’cause I was at work which means I’m busy and getting really low FPS.

Some pretty great stuff going on in the pipeline at work today, didn’t get the meeting with DGlenn (Codec) about bouncing grenades but we did have a brief talking about them. The project Granik/DG have in mind should be such a nice touch. But I think its going to be an Xmas present.

Found and fixed a couple of bugs with the side-balancing stuff – primarily the bug stopping people changing sides or seeing the “side selection” delay. That little detail is probably a huge factor in why we’re back to not seeing side balancing work so effectively.

Took a few minutes to look at the “RTB to mobile spawn” code, but no conclusion there. And I also added the code for “RTB Promotion” – it needs client work but, essentialy, if you wait an extra 20s after the despawn timer, it will allow you to promote a Rescue to an RTB or an MIA to a Rescue.