Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.
Published on April 15, 2017 By Frogboy In Ashes Dev Journals

Martyr_hp

 

Greetings! Spring is here and there's lots to talk about. So let's do this!

[[..]]

## Multiplayer population ##

While Ashes of the Singularity is primarily a single player game, we are concerned about the multiplayer population.  While people at the lower ranks are having no problems finding people, it gets harder (meaning longer) to find a match the higher up you go.  This is a real problem.

What we are doing:

  1. Use the Escalation browser: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AuBwidOf1nOuh-Z_qrrsc7nNm43uOA (note, it's not digitally signed so Windows will give you a scary message, you can ignore that).  It will let you chat with others and will inform you if there are games available that you can join.
  2. We are going to start connecting the top players into our Stardock.net system so that we can better host tournaments and contests. 
  3. Multiplayer Scenario support.  The way this will work is that we will have a set of scenarios that players can opt into or out, press a button and it will find players to play with (with 1 on 1 still being one of the pathways).

 

## Stability ##

The recent Windows updates have made DirectX 12 a little unstable in Ashes.  And in fact, overall, we've been seeing an increase in instability.  We have some theories on why this is happening (it's not like the underlying code has changed) but the bottom line is that we are making stability improvements our primary focus for version 2.3.

 

## Modding ##

We now have an "easy bake" app that lets modders take their FBX files and turn them into Oxmodels.  This will pave the way for matters to truly create their own units.

The goal is to do whatever is necessary on the engine side to allow modders to create almost any RTS game with the engine.  I personally would like to see a Total Annihilation mod for instance.

 

## Juggernauts ##

The art on these is basically done.  What we are currently lacking is engineering time to implement them as we are focusing on Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade right now.  Once that ships, we'll have some more bandwidth for that.

 

## Season Pass Policy ##

The complicated formula for who gets a season pass of Escalation DLC made the Inception DLC a bit bumpy to get out there.  I think it's mostly cleared up now.

So that we're clear: IF you bought the upgrade from the base game to Escalation you get a season pass.

 

## Vulkan ##

The Vulkan work is largely completed.  However, it won't be until June before it's released as there is a ton of compatibility and optimization work to be done given the game's popularity as a benchmarking tool for high end graphics.

Now, Vulkan doesn't mean Linux.  It just means that the door is open to Linux.  The challenge with Linux is that the user base has to be sufficient to justify it.  Right now, the biggest challenge for Ashes remains the hardware requirements.  Most PC gamers cannot run the game.  This was always known which is why we have always viewed the game as a very long-term endeavor (hence the roadmap we've posted).

Thus, if I have say 3 engineers working on the game we have to carefully consider what gets what priority.

For me, the priorities are as follows:

#1 Improve compatibility (which translates as game stability)

#2 Support the modding community

#3 Get more units into the game (Juggernauts)

#4 Add more depth to the gameplay (more units, more resources, etc.)

#5 Improve performance, lower hardware requirements

Thus, in my view, getting the above things done trump getting a Linux version out. That doesn't mean no Linux version, it means it's not yet on the radar.

 

## What's next? ##

Right now, the team is focusing on improving stability (more accurately described as compatibility) while they await reinforcements from the GalCiv team to arrive.

We are play testing Episode 3 which includes 2 dreadnoughts (which work ok for the campaign but will need AI work for skirmish, multiplayer).

I am also hoping to have Steam Workshop support for mods, maps, scenarios in for 2.3 but it's a bigger challenge than it might seem given the sheer size of the maps (hundreds of megabytes each). We have solutions for these challenges but they will take engineering time.

 

That's all for now, as always, you guys are awesome! Cheers!

-brad


Comments (Page 1)
on Apr 15, 2017

Thanks for the recent addition of the replay ability, it's good.

Looking forward to the future updates. Please consider adding the ability to stay on to watch the game after you have been killed. Though perhaps make it so chat between dead players cannot be seen by those still playing so spoilers can't be dropped.

Really looking forward to Steam Workshop.

No ETA on 2.3 but I guess that that depends too much on when GCIII Crusader drops.

Thanks for the update.

on Apr 16, 2017

I wonder if it's possible we could get steam workshop support for things like balance/ui mods whilst the map filesize is worked on at a later time? I don't think people are really begging for custom map support (considering we have so many maps already) as much as just support to get players using mods in general.

on Apr 16, 2017


## Season Pass Policy ##
The complicated formula for who gets a season pass of Escalation DLC made the Inception DLC a bit bumpy to get out there.  I think it's mostly cleared up now.
So that we're clear: IF you bought the upgrade from the base game to Escalation you get a season pass. 

The real question now being : What is included, or clearly planned to be included, in this season pass?

Nice news otherwise, thanks. Keep up the good work.

on Apr 16, 2017

Great to hear your updates and plans, any thoughts on the longer term? I read your previous road map (https://steamcommunity.com/app/228880/discussions/1/490123938434377747/) that pretty much covers up to now.

A suggestion regarding stability in multiplayer games - the ability to rejoin games if connection is lost or game crashes. I hypothesize that it could take considerably more development effort to achieve 100% game stability vs. e.g. 80%+ stability and the ability to reconnect to a game. (sorry if this is a repost..)

Another note, would be great to have a history of score summaries - e.g. recent games - Dota 2 has a good implementation of this sort of thing with stats, performance etc. Also having a history would be good if you accidentally clicked the big continue button in the middle of the screen at the end of the game before reading the scores - happened to me more than once   

Anyway thanks for the update, looking forward to seeing the game evolve.

on Apr 16, 2017

DesruX

Great to hear your updates and plans, any thoughts on the longer term? I read your previous road map (https://steamcommunity.com/app/228880/discussions/1/490123938434377747/) that pretty much covers up to now.

A suggestion regarding stability in multiplayer games - the ability to rejoin games if connection is lost or game crashes. I hypothesize that it could take considerably more development effort to achieve 100% game stability vs. e.g. 80%+ stability and the ability to reconnect to a game. (sorry if this is a repost..)

Another note, would be great to have a history of score summaries - e.g. recent games - Dota 2 has a good implementation of this sort of thing with stats, performance etc. Also having a history would be good if you accidentally clicked the big continue button in the middle of the screen at the end of the game before reading the scores - happened to me more than once   

Anyway thanks for the update, looking forward to seeing the game evolve.

 

We already have this ability.  The game autosaves and you can load it and continue the game where you left off.

on Apr 16, 2017

Looking better every update.  Thank you!

on Apr 16, 2017

DesruX

Another note, would be great to have a history of score summaries - e.g. recent games - Dota 2 has a good implementation of this sort of thing with stats, performance etc.

That already exists actually:

http://www.ashesofthesingularity.com/metaverse#/personas/00207181-5c7a-472c-baab-8e4ae6fad1a7?graphTab=faction&graphType=single

If you click on match history and click on a match it tells you a bunch of stats.

on Apr 16, 2017

Game saves don't work right with the new update, between that and crashes it's near impossible for me to finish a game with friends.

on Apr 16, 2017

bbc6rgf57ytty5yxyw5gt

Game saves don't work right with the new update, between that and crashes it's near impossible for me to finish a game with friends.

Game saves mp has never been great, second try dx11 and 12 crashes happens also from poor OC so that might be the cause of your/your friends crashes. W10 creator update seems also to create instabillity 

on Apr 16, 2017

I don't have the creators update and my hardware hasn't changed at all so I'd say it's something with the game. It's perfectly stable in single player. In multiplayer it's normally whoever isn't hosting crashes, also since the new update it crashes when the last Nexus is destroyed in multiplayer.

At least before I could use the saves to resume a match. Each update is definitely making the game better but stability needs to be worked on.

on Apr 17, 2017

bbc6rgf57ytty5yxyw5gt

I don't have the creators update and my hardware hasn't changed at all so I'd say it's something with the game. It's perfectly stable in single player. In multiplayer it's normally whoever isn't hosting crashes, also since the new update it crashes when the last Nexus is destroyed in multiplayer.

At least before I could use the saves to resume a match. Each update is definitely making the game better but stability needs to be worked on.

Well I have also crashed when the last nexus is destroyed but I rather think it's when they disconect that is the reason. I agree with they need to fix the stabillity I have allready lost in Ranked dou to instabillity

on Apr 17, 2017

1) Awesome to see another fan of Total Annihilation here. Seems to get forgotten a lot in the face of Supreme Commander.

2) While it's a little disheartening to know Ashes won't be getting those awesome updates done in the next little bit, I understand.

3) Off-topic-ish, but very stoked for Crusade as well. Looks like a cool expansion.

on Apr 19, 2017

Hi there,

As a Linux user, I'm intrigued about the following:


## Vulkan ##

The Vulkan work is largely completed. However, it won't be until June before it's released as there is a ton of compatibility and optimization work to be done given the game's popularity as a benchmarking tool for high end graphics.

Now, Vulkan doesn't mean Linux. It just means that the door is open to Linux. The challenge with Linux is that the user base has to be sufficient to justify it. Right now, the biggest challenge for Ashes remains the hardware requirements. Most PC gamers cannot run the game. This was always known which is why we have always viewed the game as a very long-term endeavor (hence the roadmap we've posted).

First of all, I don't question your priorities and your motives, they're yours, and I understand both, that you need to do your finance math / business case to justify a port and have different priorities bringing the game to more players (performance etc.). That's fine, even when I see that a game not developed with cross platform from the beginning can result in a lot of work.

My question rather concerns the port to Vulkan - why the decision for Vulkan when you do have DX12 in place? Don't get me wrong, but porting to another graphics API is not a weekend task. The only reason (despite easier efforts porting Linux/Mac with MoltenVK) I could think of having the same API on Win7/8/10, being able to develop the graphics engine on a lower level even for those older operating systems having the same API "everywhere" instead of maintaining a DX11 and DX12 codepath. Is that the reason?

on Apr 19, 2017


First of all, I don't question your priorities and your motives, they're yours, and I understand both, that you need to do your finance math / business case to justify a port and have different priorities bringing the game to more players (performance etc.). That's fine, even when I see that a game not developed with cross platform from the beginning can result in a lot of work.

My question rather concerns the port to Vulkan - why the decision for Vulkan when you do have DX12 in place? Don't get me wrong, but porting to another graphics API is not a weekend task. The only reason (despite easier efforts porting Linux/Mac with MoltenVK) I could think of having the same API on Win7/8/10, being able to develop the graphics engine on a lower level even for those older operating systems having the same API "everywhere" instead of maintaining a DX11 and DX12 codepath. Is that the reason?
 

It was stated in another post that AMD did the initial Vulkan port, so, I assume since Vulkan is pretty much everywhere except for mac, it made sense to have a game that scales using Vulkan, and (this is just speculation) AMD can showcase it on all platforms.

on Apr 20, 2017

...
What we are doing:

  1. Use the Escalation browser: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AuBwidOf1nOuh-Z_qrrsc7nNm43uOA (note, it's not digitally signed so Windows will give you a scary message, you can ignore that).  It will let you chat with others and will inform you if there are games available that you can join.

...

 

The browser seems not to be available any more???

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