New gameplay

Sorry for the distinct lack of updates this blog has. A lot is happening right now with Stainless, and most of it's good. :)

First off, Stainless is going to have online multiplayer! Woot. Thanks to the fabulous work by the guys over at Panda3D, it may even live in a browser plugin on the SourceForge website. Either way, I came across a problem I never anticipated with online multiplayer: NAT punch-through.

If you don't want to read that article, it basically says that I need a lobby server to hook up servers and clients trying to connect to each other. No problem, I'll just use SourceForge, right? Wrong. Turns out this NAT punch-through stuff is nigh on impossible with TCP, so you have to use UDP. And SourceForge won't let you listen to UDP traffic.

So it seems I need to rent a dedicated server, or set up my own. I opted for choice #2, since this is a pretty small project, and not worth the money yet. So I bought one of these babies:

It's a SheevaPlug server, and it costs $99 plus shipping. No idea how well it's going to work, but apparently they're pretty reliable. It runs Ubuntu, and I'm going to set it up with Dynamic DNS for the ultimate poor man's dedicated server! It should be able to handle the load (if there is any), because I'm just having it listen for a few bytes of UDP traffic. Any heavy-duty web serving will still be handled by SourceForge.

In terms of the actual game, a lot has changed. You can now mix-and-match special abilities with weapons to create your own unit classes, and you can pick your own player special ability, along with two weapons. The possibilities here are endless, and I haven't even added all the special abilities I want to implement.

Here's a screenshot of the new unit selection screen, and a random screenshot of the latest version of Impact.