RnD Networked Games

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BrownSky
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RnD Networked Games

Post by BrownSky » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:11 am

If I could vote for one new feature in Rocks'n'Diamonds (apart from networked gameplaying working, which it isn't doing currently, at least for me with version 20180907), it would be:

The ability to store all levels on the server PC, and have clients access the levels from the server.

This is in contrast with how it is now, which requires server and clients to have identical level files. Which makes it really hard to keep the networked game playing functional, especially if you are creating and updating levels as you go.

If this feature was able to be implemented, it would be a huge leap forward for Rocks'n'Diamonds, and make it more of a competitor to, dare I say it, Minecraft. I know the two games are very different, but they are actually "the games" available on our computers for my sons to play, and thus competitors. My sons only like to play multiplayer games. Minecraft does multiplayer so well! One computer stores the map and presumably sends all the necessary information to the other computer(s) for all players to interact with the same world and with each other, without conflicts.

I feel selfish asking for this without offering to help develop it, but as someone whose skills are strictly limited to VBA and SQL (and not very good at those, either) and with no networking programming experience, I don't feel able to help :-(

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Holger
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Re: RnD Networked Games

Post by Holger » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:46 pm

Hey, now after reading this post, I realize that we already were in contact by mail a few month ago, and you already made quite some valuable suggestions on how to improve R'n'D! I'm glad to see you here in the forum, too! :D
The ability to store all levels on the server PC, and have clients access the levels from the server.

This is in contrast with how it is now, which requires server and clients to have identical level files. Which makes it really hard to keep the networked game playing functional, especially if you are creating and updating levels as you go.
If I remember correctly, you already made this proposal for R'n'D in one of your mails, and I heavily agree that this is not only a very good idea, but in fact a more or less mandatory feature for usable network games in R'n'D!

Therefore, a feature that (hopefully) comes close to what you described is already implemented in that "leaked" version which you have tested (and which unfortunately did not work out of the box on your two machines for unknown reason).

The feature is implemented a bit differently from what you described above, as the levels are not stored at a central "server" PC, but still locally on this or that client PC (so not all clients connected via network can "see" all levels from all clients), but if you start a level installed on your client, it will get transferred to all other clients via the network server, so every client can play that level, even if it is not installed on that client, too.

Your suggestion would probably still be better (as all clients would then also be able to actively start all levels, regardless of where the level file itself is installed), but it would also add some more complexity (e.g. how to handle editing a "remote" level file locally in the level editor). But I like the idea of having simple access to all level sets from all clients!

Too bad that your two computers apparently cannot "see" each others using UDP broadcast! And I have no idea why -- I've tested this feature with my Windows 7 VM and (I think) also with my Windows 10 VM, and it worked fine in both directions, if I remember correctly (the Windows VM being either the network server or a network client, while the other network computer was a Linux PC.)

Hopefully I have the new feature of being able to directly enter the network server hostname or IP in the setup menu available soon, so you can test again.
I feel selfish asking for this without offering to help develop it, but as someone whose skills are strictly limited to VBA and SQL (and not very good at those, either) and with no networking programming experience, I don't feel able to help :-(
Don't worry -- testing my new network code on your machines is indeed very helpful, especially as I do not have a native Windows system available for testing (but only Linux, Mac and Android, with Windows only running in virtual machines).

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Holger
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Re: RnD Networked Games

Post by Holger » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:07 pm

Hopefully I have the new feature of being able to directly enter the network server hostname or IP in the setup menu available soon, so you can test again.
OK, so I've added this missing functionality last night; please check if it works for you:

https://www.artsoft.org/RELEASES/rocksn ... 0928-1.exe

Just put the new EXE file to your R'n'D program folder, no need to rename it. It should add a new option in the "game" menu to enter the "network server hostname", which can either be a valid hostname or an IP address. Leaving it blank reverts to the previous default behaviour of trying to auto-detect the network server in the local subnet using UDP broadcasting.

(Beware of bugs! This is a nearly untested quick (but hopefully not too dirty) hack done late at night, so it might not work as well as it hopefully will do in the next release version.)

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Holger
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Re: RnD Networked Games

Post by Holger » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:07 am

Too bad that your two computers apparently cannot "see" each others using UDP broadcast! And I have no idea why -- I've tested this feature with my Windows 7 VM and (I think) also with my Windows 10 VM, and it worked fine in both directions, if I remember correctly (the Windows VM being either the network server or a network client, while the other network computer was a Linux PC.)
I've did some more tests on this; please see the other thread about R'n'D network games for the results:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2610&p=15313#p15313

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