Developer Updates: Developer Blog #2

For today’s devblog, we will have a closer look at exactly what happens within the development process.

This isn’t something we will be posting within our dev blogs on a regular basis, but we have received a few questions regarding the process.

Below you will find a post by Sypheria (A.K.A Matt) found on our forums.

“The following are simplified generalized explanations of how game systems are implemented depending on the multiplayer components complexity. They do not all follow this exactly but are the most common. It doesn’t include integration or building off existing systems, security, art workflow of any kind or many other aspects.

Single player games are fairly straight forward. A system is created, may need to be integrated with some other systems and then can be tested and any bugs found and fixed.

In relation, multiplayer games are also fairly straight forward. Client and server systems can be created in tandem; more often than not you see these being done by a single person because of the simplicity of a single person doing both. Often the systems are duplicated and the interactions simplified. In many cases multiplayer games act as the server themselves and connect peer 2 peer. Games like minecraft are even more decoupled by containing servers that handle all game rules within themselves and most of the traditional portion of the client is just a render for what is currently occurring.

Before any server/client development can even begin, tools are required for making mmo content. Everything could be hardcoded to save upfront effort but this quickly becomes unmaintainable. These tools edit content contained within databases, which need to be created and often duplicated for the client. Extreme care must be taken in a mmo to ensure the destruction of existing data cannot occur under any circumstances. The clients version often has stripped out data to hide transparent information. All of this needs to be coded and while it can be done by a different person, it is often much faster for the person who will be implementing the system on the server to do it all.

At this point, the client team/person can begin implementing binding between the database, creating systems on the client and tying them together. For a large team with people to spare, this is often the workflow. For a smaller team who cannot afford the time of programmers rewriting the same system as changes become required, it is wise for them to work on other systems until the server is finalized and the system design/interactions are complete. These change often as new considerations are discovered. They change even more in an agile environment.

Once the databases, systems and interactions are all completed on the server, the client can begin their interactions. These are like languages. Both the client and server have to speak exactly the same language or they can’t understand each other. Failure to do so cause hard to detect issues or even crashes.

At this point, if other server teams have made database changes, they may opt to merge. This again can cause huge issues and loss of data.

When everything is ready, the client begins testing with the server. If at any point a error is encountered on the server, testing and possibly client system implementation may stop until it can be fixed. This test/fix cycle continues until everything is deemed to be working.”

Officer tables and god-rays!

We are constantly adding to Novus AEterno. As many of you know, we try and share as much information with you guys as possible.

We have recently posted the following pictures on our Facebook page:

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For anyone who has not seen this image before; this is the desks that your officers will be using on the bridge of your capital ship! Both your weapon and navigation officers will use these desks to complete their tasks.

This is not the E.C.H.O!

We have also recently added a graphical improvement to the game.

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The addition of godrays to the game has really improved the overall look of the universe. This is still a work in progress, but we are pleased with the outcome so far.

Livestream taking place tonight!!

It is saturday, which means it is time for another livestream!! Make sure you join us tonight as we share with you more of the inner workings of Novus AEterno. As always we will be opening the floor to your questions and showing of some of the elements we are currently working on!!
The livestream will start at 5pm EST/2pm PST (10PM GMT) onhttp://www.twitch.tv/novusaeterno