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Portalus Games | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Historical | Status:Final  (rel 01/22/08)  | Pub:Portalus Games
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New Dev Log

Posted by Jon Wood on Aug 17, 2006  | Comments

New Dev Log -

A new Developer Log has dropped anchor over at the Pirates of the Burning Sea website. This one comes from Justinian, one of the game's programmers. The log talks about avatar movement in the game and the kinds of issues that can and do crop up from time to time:


Greetings! I'm Justin, and seeing as I've been here at the Lab for about four months now, I decided I should finally stop hiding from Aether and write a devlog. Well, that and I just kicked off a complete rebuild of the game on my machine, so I've got some time on my hands.

I came to the Lab after working as a programmer for a number of small non-gaming software companies, but my love has always been games. I got my start in programming by trying to re-create Zork on my brother's DEC Rainbow 100 when I was about seven. I've mostly worked on server and networking projects at previous companies, so when Joe asked me at the end of my interview what part of the game I most wanted to work on, I foolishly said I'd love to work on the server. I came in on my first day to find that he had dumped a whole bunch of server bugs and tasks on my plate right from the start. And instead of just working on bugs for a while like a new programmer would at a normal company, Joe tasked me with the creation of a the new Dispatch Server on my second day on the job. And that's just the way I like it. Servers aren't the only thing I've worked on around here - there's plenty of cross-pollination here at the Lab - but it does seem to be the majority.

But enough about me, let's talk about avatars.

Several weeks ago, Joe tasked me with an interesting problem: avatars' position and motion information was being sent back and forth between the client and server WAY too often. We weren't even getting great-looking avatars for all that data - they were popping around on the client when they went any faster than a walk. So we came up with a plan, and I completely ripped apart the old system - completely making a mess of all the towns in the game in the process. Replacing a system like that takes some time, so everyone had to bear with me while avatars walked backwards, slid around without moving their legs, or shook violently like they'd had more coffee than even I drink. (Team Brady makes pretty frequent dashes for the coffee shop down the street, just so you know.) That was just the avatars - you should have seen the chickens...

Read it all here.

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