Realm Zero is an independently developed sandbox MMO game. The main focus is to get away from the traditional MMO style game play which many people have become accustomed to over the years. Players have been spoiled with tab targeted combat, bored by repetitive tasks and consumed by endless hours of level grinding. So the goal is to make a game that both the casual and the extreme gamer can enjoy without feeling like it's a life commitment.

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Mining Demonstration House Configurations - Dynamic House Construction - Interface
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2 comments by realmzero on Sep 20th, 2014

Over the past few months we've had a few new additions which we took from concept to creation. We began by designing and implementing a dynamic cross-breeding plant system, which yields various resources. These resources can then be used in other aspects of crafting to create some really unique and diverse items. We've also introduced player zones and customizable housing. This feature allows players to stake claim and create a unique plot of land, they consider home.

Plant SystemHouse System

However with only a few months until the Alpha launch (Register Here), I've began shifting the development focus towards getting the game network ready. The game has been network aware for quite sometime but, there is a big difference between being aware and being ready. The progress in this area is going extremely well as most of the underlying fundamentals have been implemented. We are now going through and enhancing and implementing new features to make the online experience more enjoyable.

First let's discuss player movement, latency and animation. When I began the average ping was right around 350-400 this was before implementing animation, yikes! This was to be expected as I knew that my initial packet push was overkill and had to be thinned out and optimized. So I ignored that aspect and continued by adding animation packets. Naturally the ping increased once again, this time it was sitting right around 2000-2500.

Player Networking

Alright, now it was time to optimize the packet delivery system. In a 3D environment a players position is recorded in what's called a Vector3 and contains three floating point numbers which are extremely accurate up to several decimal places. So I began by rounding these numbers down for only the network transmission. Next I would evaluate these numbers and see if a significant movement or rotation had been detected and then forward that packet for delivery. This reduced the packet load dramatically as now only necessary packets were being sent, instead of sending redundant information.

Another bit of information that had to be removed and calculated after delivery was player direction and speed. When a player moves in any given direction their movement is a combination of forward, backward, left and right key combinations. Since a player may be moving in more than one direction at any given time, for example (forward & left): you have to calculate the blended direction and speed post process. I achieved this by retaining an instance of previous player position and calculating the DOT Product of the players movement. Using this technique I was able to obtain a direction indicator and also a speed modifier. Now I simply apply both of these variables to the players movement in-between draw cycles which results in very smooth and somewhat interpolated movement.

This entire process of packet optimization took a few days, but was well worth it! Remote players now experience very fluid movement, and rotation with no delays between packet to movement delivery. The best part is now the average ping from Florida->Texas->Florida sits stable at around 50-60, which is a HUGE performance increase! However, I'm not finished optimizing the packets yet! I'm still evaluating two different encryption/compression packages which should help reduce that number even further and assist in the prevention of packet sniffing.

Player Char

We're currently working on implementing a very unique and customizable player chat and communication system. Like most online games you have the standard chat box which displays public communications. We plan to extend this to offer private messaging, inbox notifications and local overhead chat communications. I understand that not everyone wants to see overhead chat communication, this is why we are implementing several options to customize the experience. You will have the option to change the onscreen duration, color and disable the feature all together.

On the back-end we've also added several improvements to protect players and allow game masters to quickly identify problems, such as: player abuse and hacking. Coming from a compliance and security software background, I understand the importance of not losing a single piece of information in day to day transactions and communication. This is why I've designed and implemented a 2-layer transactional log system. Using a non-blocking and low priority threaded logging system these transactions are sent to a MySQL server. In the event the MySQL server is unavailable or and error occurs during processing that data is then recorded into a local XML file. Upon the next server maintenance which is typically every hour and unnoticeable by the players, this local XML file is then merged into the MySQL database.

This system is being used to record communication, item creation, player trades, item destruction, etc. You can see from the illustration below how the system operates inside of the networking engine.

Network Processing

Over the next few months you will begin to see more and more networked components introduced. Some of these will include: equipment, inventory, resource node generation, gathering and much more! We've also allocated a solid month to improving the characters animation and combat system introduction. Since there are many underlying components that support the combat framework, we are saving that feature for last.

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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 11)
Trenial
Trenial Jul 1 2014, 1:55pm says:

TOP 100! NVR4GET!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Jetcutter
Jetcutter May 22 2014, 9:39pm says:

Wonderful!! Donation link?

+1 vote     reply to comment
realmzero
realmzero May 22 2014, 9:56pm replied: +2 votes     reply to comment
Jetcutter
Jetcutter Aug 3 2014, 6:42pm replied:

Donations closed

+1 vote     reply to comment
realmzero
realmzero Aug 4 2014, 6:19am replied:

I'll have a new campaign in January.

+1 vote     reply to comment
AToyThing
AToyThing Mar 1 2014, 11:55pm says:

NEW RUST YEY! CANT WAIT FOR IT

+3 votes     reply to comment
realmzero
realmzero Mar 2 2014, 8:35am replied:

I actually just watched a video of Rust for the first time last night.

The biggest difference is that this will be a massive persistent world with guild/player hierarchy & evolving surroundings based on player population. We have a dedicated server located in Texas that runs the server environment.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Trenial
Trenial Jan 17 2014, 8:57pm says:

Looking good on the rankings Hank! Ive been meaning tod rop you a line on Skype see how things are, sorry for my absence-ness! Back in the fold shortly!

-Trenial

+1 vote     reply to comment
Reedtheman
Reedtheman Jan 11 2014, 10:21pm says:

You gonna make your own Darkfall like MMO with this? It reminds me of older days of Darkfall's development in a way.

+1 vote     reply to comment
realmzero
realmzero Jan 16 2014, 7:27pm replied:

It will be more of a blend between Darkfall & Ultima Online with more of a sandbox approach. The idea is to let the players sculpt the world.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Realm Zero
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Windows, Mac, Linux
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Realm Zero - Devs
Engine
Unity
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Realmzero.com
Release Date
Coming Dec 2014
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Medieval
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Latest tweets from @realmzero

Only 30 days left any we are halfway there! Visit: T.co and show your support... T.co

Oct 21 2014, 7:22pm

After 2000+ lines of code cleanup and optimization, character races are easily supported! #mmorpg #mmo #gamedev

Oct 21 2014, 6:59am

Restructuring the character creation code, prepping for Alpha!

Oct 20 2014, 6:48am

Player queues are now working! The server now has the ability to limit the number of concurrent players! #mmo #mmorpg #gamedev

Oct 19 2014, 5:39pm

If you haven't already visit: T.co and show your support with either a post or... T.co

Oct 18 2014, 7:21am

@redbull redbull, redbull, redbull, redbull... Coding Energy! #gamedev #mmo #indiegame

Oct 15 2014, 11:08pm

I've been working on tons of improvements for the back-end server component. Mainly management features to help... T.co

Oct 15 2014, 10:41pm

RT @epocu_feed: Realm Zero by @realmzero features FPS Combat, Full Loot, Crafting & More! T.co #gamedev #alldev http://

Oct 11 2014, 12:40pm

Working on packet compression for simple strings. Trying to get the best ratio, any suggestions? #mmo #mmorpg #gamedev #indiegame

Oct 11 2014, 8:29am

Skill saving/loading/locking has been completed! Everything works both client & server side. Here is a example... T.co

Oct 7 2014, 7:59am

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