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Current state of storm2d?

Discussion in 'Storm Related' started by Achillios, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. Achillios

    Achillios Base Burner

    is this a dead project,or is it still being worked on... (please dont let this be anther situation like Link Dead).
  2. bunnie

    bunnie Haxor Tester

    just go play soldat
  3. Geti

    Geti Please avoid PMing me (poke a mod instead) THD Team Administrator Global Moderator

    Dead I'm afraid; MM pulled development funding at some point as he wasn't happy with how the project was progressing.

    Soldat dev has been continuing over the last several years and is worth keeping an eye on if you were interested in storm.
    FuzzyBlueBaron, Achillios and bunnie like this.
  4. Achillios

    Achillios Base Burner

    I've been following soldat for a few years now and I'm really happy with the recent updates to it. It's a real shame that storm was dropped :(
    ...but at the end of the day, I'm just waiting on news regarding Transmigration....
  5. FlyingCrab

    FlyingCrab Catapult Fodder

    I have an old build of Storm2d, does anyone here happen to have the most recent one?
  6. FuzzyBlueBaron

    FuzzyBlueBaron Warm, Caring, Benign, Good and Kind Philanthrope Global Moderator Forum Moderator Donator Tester
    1. The Young Blood Collective - [YB]

    Tragically, there is no good news on that front. ::(:

    The brutally truncated version of the story being that the financial failure of TrenchRun killed Into Darkness Peering. :RIP:
    Achillios likes this.
  7. Achillios

    Achillios Base Burner

    FlyingCrab and FuzzyBlueBaron like this.
  8. FuzzyBlueBaron

    FuzzyBlueBaron Warm, Caring, Benign, Good and Kind Philanthrope Global Moderator Forum Moderator Donator Tester
    1. The Young Blood Collective - [YB]

    As were we all. I may or may not have a little shrine to it in my Evernote. :QQ:
    Achillios likes this.
  9. Achillios

    Achillios Base Burner

    Rest in pepperoni
    FuzzyBlueBaron likes this.
  10. Slann

    Slann Base Burner

    This is really sad. I remember looking at some pictures of TR and thinking the game looked good.
    For me, both KAG and Soldat had the same destiny, great games that i could play out of the box and have a lot of enjoyment, but due to their evolutions, i could not run them anymore (in KAG's case, because of beta). When i look at them, i wonder why was a newer opengl version required, what changed that made them need things not needed before. When i look at screenshots of new KAG and TR and feel amazed at their pixel art, i try to come with an idea on how any other technology than software rendering was mandatory.
    I have a really shitty computer because i'm not really a graphic whore, that's the number one reason i end up finding games such as KAG and Soldat. When they were updated, they stopped running on my computer. Who is the main beneficiary here? Do these games look better now? Do developers are able to do more/easier? I can't help it but think that those who don't care about graphics are in the same boat as me, they are the main target of the games THD create. People who will keep using their old computer until it literally stop working. They might buy a new smartphone every year and keep using their stupid notebook forever.

    I might be wrong, and i don't have the stats, so i won't pretend i'm on the right. It is just how i feel, not that i'm sure about it, but i wonder how many people that could have fun with TR couldn't because it literally could not run on their computer. Steam stats are biased, after all, who is more likely to participate in gaming communities, those who put effort into their computers, or those who don't? I just wish i could keep playing these games, but i don't run the company and i lack the data to take decissions, there might be more people able to run these games that i give credit.
  11. Geti

    Geti Please avoid PMing me (poke a mod instead) THD Team Administrator Global Moderator

    Hey dude, thanks for insight into your feelings.

    I'll give a bit of perspective on the whys and hows of the crimson engine (the thing behind KAG and TR, as well as some other games historically) ending up fairly heavy compared to what it appears to be doing, and I'll also touch on graphics a little. This is going to be a bit of a read, but I hope it helps you understand where we're coming from and some of the other factors involved.
    • Small dev team of mixed experience levels
      This is the biggest reason for "why it's slow". The broad strokes of the engine were put down by one man who hardly works on the project any more. The task of ongoing maintenance is mainly borne by me (and recently, some part time interns and some open-source contributors). This means that anywhere where something "could be done better" I have to think about how much time it will take away from other development and how much actual value it provides to all players.
    • Big legacy for such a small team
      Totally replacing the engine architecture for something faster is not really an option when there's tens of thousands of lines of game code and still more engine code that relies on it - plus all the invested community effort in making tens (hundreds?) of mods that rely on the way things currently work. The community content fragility was recently shown by a (fairly minor, honestly) change to how heads are loaded and displayed "breaking" a good handful of mods including the biggest and longest-standing role play mod.
    • Almost everything is scripted, almost everything is easily modifiable
      This is the number one CPU cost in terms of actual design decisions, and is why "new KAG" is a lot more CPU-intensive than "old KAG". If the game was all written in C++ it'd be able to run on much cheaper hardware, but it would be much harder for anyone to modify, and much less safe for people to connect to modded servers as well. Almost the entire game runs in script hooks now, which is great in terms of people being able to dig into how something works and change it if they want to, but pretty bad in terms of performance. The worst part of this is that it's "death by a thousand cuts" - there's not one big obvious bottleneck, the whole game codebase is just "not very fast" and it's big enough that that's a problem for some people.
    • Everything is networked
      The next biggest CPU cost of the engine is actually the networking side of things. Because there's so many players in KAG, a lot of work goes into keeping the data sent over the wire small, which means compression and decompression on both ends and also a thing called "delta compression", which is achieved in a very slow way in KAG (mostly affects servers, but still affects clients a little). Also, because everything needs to work on the network "as is" we took the approach of serialising "basically everything" which adds a lot of overhead to pulling that data in and out of a network-syncronisable form (properties, for the modders out there).
    • Most people have a graphics processor from the last 10 years.
      Especially those looking to play a PvP multiplayer PC game, pixel or not.
      The graphics processing side of things is unlikely to be what's slowing KAG down on a cheap machine. It runs fine on integrated graphics and what I would consider "old" graphics cards. The engine is heavily CPU-bound.
      Shaders were added for post-processing along the way which are not present in very early versions of openGL, but have been present for over ten years. The post processing shader is not recommended at all in KAG (and it should run basically on any GL driver in some capacity - again, graphics is not the bottleneck), but is mandatory in TR for correct presentation.
      We actually don't use GL directly; we use it through a library called irrlicht, so it's in charge of asking for the version that it thinks it'll need. This causes hassle with stuff like fullscreen and multi-desktop as irrlicht doesn't have modern support for that, but this ties into the "big legacy" stuff. The whole engine is based around irrlicht, ripping it out isn't a viable option unless you've got a million dollars to throw at it.
    • If I could have a "do over" there would be a lot of things done very differently - but I can't, and I'm still honestly proud of what two fools on opposite sides of the globe accomplished with basically just blood sweat and tears.
    That said
    • Basically any desktop intel CPU of the last 5 years, and any "high-end" basically since the first i7s came out in 2009 will be able to run the game at full speed, even on 20 player servers. I have a $600 laptop with an underpowered and out of date i5 in it that runs those games fine.
    • Crimson has never used software rendering, and very few games do these days.
      MM made decisions that broke irrlicht's internal software rendering early on and since then we have targeted only openGL. We didn't see people complaining about this until beta happened (and we still actually hear about this pretty infrequently), so I think this is a misconception on some player's part - if we did software rendering there would be even more strain on the CPU and the game would require an even beefier processor to run well.
    • TR runs a lot better than KAG.
      We cut down the amount of "automatically serialised" data in properties and did more manual synchronisation. We also kept a harder cap on the player count and designed the game to have less going on at a frame-to-frame level. It's a little less modder friendly but we wanted to help more people run it - but unfortunately the game never took off, so the slightly reduced modder friendliness frankly doesn't matter. I would be pretty interested to know exactly how crappy a computer you'd need to get bad performance with TR; I've literally never experienced it on the release version.

    For Soldat, the bump in graphics target came from rewriting the ancient renderer from targeting a long-deprecated directx version (8) to targeting openGL to allow things like higher resolution graphics output, significantly better performance on hardware since ~2005, and compatibility with things that hook modern graphics apis, like the steam overlay. Continuing to target an old API would actually harm the playerbase there, as they would like to attract new players from other competitive shooter communities, who simply will not put up with 640x480 rendering and blurry tiny textures. That's my understanding anyway, as I'm fairly far removed from Soldat development. @Monsteri might have more to add, I'm not sure how much he knows about the technical side of things :)

    As for transmigration; MM pulled the plug on that too for budget reasons and had a (pretty understandable) falling out with the folks behind it as a result. It was made with unity though (as was butcher) and as such a lot of the above is not relevant :D On that note, storm was a custom engine in Java.
  12. Asu

    Asu THD Team THD Team Forum Moderator

    What GPU do you even have? Do you have graphic drivers properly installed and up to date? I could imagine you are running on Microsoft's openGL1 bridge (which is remarkably ancient). No one in the world would ever like to support GL1. Heck, I don't even think minecraft guys relies on anything older than GL2.
    If you GPU is *that* old not to support KAG properly on Windows, with some luck the open source drivers on Linux could. But if your machine is so old you might be out of luck running KAG at a decent performance level.
  13. asger75

    asger75 Bison Rider

    You feel it too, don't you?
    I'm going to make them give back our past.
    #makekaggreatagain #luvuTHD