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Cosmic War

Preparing for the apocalypse

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Preparing for the apocalypse

Unread postby icycalm » 28 May 2018 07:04

The apocalypse is when Uber decides to pull the plug on PA, and shut down its servers, as they just did a few days ago with SMNC.

I used to think that at that point it would be easy to just keep playing on private servers, but it seems things may not be so simple. Some related info from 2015 that perhaps someone can interpret for us:

https://forums.uberent.com/threads/ui-f ... st-1085282

exterminans wrote:
pjkon1 wrote:If we're asking for Supcom UI features why not ask for templates? Those would be more useful (the more APM challenges of us would be able to spam a mix of vehicle and air at the beginning rather then just vehicle without losing a huge number of factories to invisible build space restrictions or take up huge amounts of time placing the factories.


Templates could actually be implemented by modders.

Not in a very comfortable way since our beloved devs made sure that client side mods won't be able to access ingame coordinates in a comfortable way, or be able to issue any meaningful commands, but it's still a purely client side thing.


Manipulation of the command queue (slicing, inserting, moving and merging commands) however is burried so deep in the closed source core of the server, that there is no chance for us users to get that working on our own.

*Sigh* At some point I just wished Uber would come to reason and open up on the development of PA. It's rather clear that they just don't have the human capacities to finish the development of the game in a timely manner. The game has still a lot of completely unused potential, but especially with the JS API we have right now, there is only so much what modders can do to help.


https://forums.uberent.com/threads/ui-f ... st-1085344

exterminans wrote:
tatsujb wrote:
exterminans wrote:Templates could actually be implemented by modders.


and in effect already are if you look at hotbuild closely.


Yes, but hotbuild2 only does it by fuzzing. It tries "random" positions in all directions around the tower until it happens to find screen coordinates which turn out to be valid ingame build coordinates for walls.

It works, but it's minbogling stupid to be unable to work in world coordinates, rather than needing to fiddle around with screen space coordinates.

That's completely unsuited for any kind of "real" templates which were supposed to include any information on spacing or alike, since there are no guarantees whatsoever on the transformation matrix used for world to screen space.


I've been thinking... At some point it might be worthwhile to go the same path as with TA and Spring. Just reverse engineer the original product, rebuild from scratch and just use the assets and APIs from the original game. Sooner or later it will either go this way or the game will die when the servers are being shut of, anyway. I just wonder if it's really wise to wait until that point and watch the technical debt build up in the original software until the product has eventually reached its end of life. Because that would mean that the public domain variant could only be released 2-5 years after PA was canceled, with not much of the community being left at that point. At the current development speed it would be at least another 2 years before the game is even actually feature complete, and I seriously doubt that Uber will keep an entire team of full time developers dedicated to the game for that long. Not even to mention the refactoring on the graphic component (switchover from OpenGL to Vulkan) and several other technical components which would be necessary by that time.
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Unread postby ysignal » 04 Jun 2018 13:46

If you start PA without Steam running you can run a local server without connecting to the Uber servers, which suggests that PA's core functionality is decoupled from them. Provided that the local server option works as advertised it should be usable over the Internet, though you might need some sort of utility to smooth out the differences between the network code for LAN and Internet.

Porting to Vulkan is probably not a concern as support for OpenGL 3.x should continue for quite some time (dropping it would break a lot of software). So, the game will most likely remain playable without a rewrite for as long as any other semi-recent game in your Steam library, as long as the PA community has a few coders willing to pitch in on the network issues.
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