PbNet News from Rm Feb 2019

Feb 1st, 2019

Paintball Net Update

Not a lot of update this week. Still crunching along on the PX backend while modifying the game server to use it.

I’ve had to engineer a few solutions I didn’t expect, but that’s the fun part, actually. For most of what I have left on this part of the project I already have a solution. I just get to apply that solution over and over until done. Which is the not-exactly-as-fun part. =)

This week the other parts of my life reminded me they still exist and need some attention, so I’m pleased I got as much done as I have.

As I’ve worked on the PX, I’ve also been envisioning how the other parts of the project will need to work. PBN is splitting into multiple servers now, each with a job to do. The game server, which I can have as many of running as seems useful. The PX, which is the backend for everything. And I’ll be working on a simple (mostly invisible) “lobby” server and a final server (maybe a REST server) to deal with purchases. And then there’s the browser-based UI that gives the game a face for the players.

Sort of like this:
UI -> Lobby -> PX
UI -> Game -> PX
Payment Processor -> Purchase server -> PX

Because I’m sure people really want to know how the plumbing works. =)

Right now, my plan is to proceed thusly:
* Finish PX, reset player DB, relaunch game server
* Tackle mobile and other usability issues with the UI
* Build the purchase server
* Build the lobby server and reconfigure the UI to use it

Almost seems too simple… 😉

Until next week: Have fun!

-David

Feb 15, 2019

Paintball Net Update

Still working on the PX. The end is in sight, though.

I’m thinking that next week I’ll be able to move this new version into place and start testing with players.

So, yeah, this has taken a bit more than twice as long as I expected. I guess I shouldn’t have been so optimistic about how long it would take to more or less redesign how the game talks to its database. 😉

This week I had to implement a new locking mechanism, then strip out the old one. By “locking”, I mean giving one game (or the PX) exclusive access to a player or a team to make changes. Can’t be letting processes just do their thing without some attempt at coordination.

I also had to change how the top 10 lists work. In Ye Olde Days, each PBN server had its own set of top 10 lists. These were based on global data, though, so it’s not like they were *really* local. Just…local-ish. Now they will be fully global, updated at intervals (10-15 minutes).

Oh, and team stats will be accurate across servers too. Which will actually be a first. 😉

More news next week.

-David

Feb 18th, 2019

Paintball Net Update

Since my server host is having issues anyway, I went ahead and pulled down the game.

I will be spending the next day or two getting the revisions into place.

I’ll post when it’s back.

-David

Feb 22, 2019

Paintball Net Update

I got a lot done this week. Shell scripts, database updates, PX testing. I expect to let players back in next week. There will be 3 game servers running, so we can see how everything works together (or doesn’t).

I reset all players back to newbie status, including wiping stats. If we’re lucky, we don’t have to do that again.

With Tammy‘s help, the in-game help command has been overhauled. It still has some work needed, but at least it seems to be for this version of the game now. =)

More news next week.

-David

Feb 26th, 2019

Paintball Net Update

PBN is open to players again. (same link as before)

What’s new (so far):
* 3 servers are running. Beginners/default server, Tournament server (which lets tournament games be played back to back), and an experienced players server (requires 100 splats to log in).
* rtell and rreply are back, allowing communication across servers. Tournament masters also have rannounce for announcing across servers.
* the web page’s “touch mode” option now has a rough draft/sorta ugly “touch pad” located hopefully about where your left thumb is to support movement. I’m still working on this, but it needs testing and I’m open to suggestions. So you use that to move and you touch the map to fire. (No more quick-touch/long-touch.)
* speaking of movement, that should be improved (less berserking and running off into the weeds).
* new commands for every player (prices in game money):
> resetgames – clear your own games ($100)
> buy cangive – buy the option to give/drop ($2000)
> buy moreweight – buy +25 carry ($2500)
> buy moregames – buy +10 games/day ($1500)
> buy morealiases – buy +10 aliases ($500)
> buy locker – buy a locker ($2500)
> rename – rename an item ($200)
> renamechar – rename your character ($1000)
* updated the in-game help command
* new UI option to “default chat”, so what you type is considered chat unless you start it with a /.

That’s the major things (i.e., what I can remember at the moment). Most of the work the past month has been creating the infrastructure to support multiple games. With that out of the way (at least in testing), I can focus on the web page more. Also, I’ll be working on the infrastructure to support payments (to buy in-game money, mostly).

More news as it happens.

Thank you for your patience. Have fun with it. =)

-David

Feb 27th, 2019

Paintball Net Update

Some of you players are really good at extracting money from games. You’ll have to write an article or two for the new newbies. =)

I updated the UI last night with some improvements to the touchpad. So if you want to check that out, do a forced reload of the web page (Ctrl+F5 in Chrome).

The touchpad can be used 2 ways:
1) You can tap the “outer” ring of buttons to move one. Press and hold to move more than one (as long as you hold it). And tap the center to center the map (if that didn’t happen already).
2) You can press the center, then push in the direction you want to go. Kinda like a joystick. So long as you’re pressing, it’ll keep you moving as fast as the terrain permits.

The real test, I guess, is: When you play with the touchpad versus someone with the keyboard-and-mouse, do you feel competitive?

Thanks for your help!

-David

Feb 28th, 2019

Paintball Net Update

I seem to have a working purchases server now. I call it the PCH, because I’m creative like that.

In short (ish), the PCH is a Node.JS REST(ish) server that handles requests from the payment processor. The PCH communicates with the PX to create redemption codes based on the purchase, which codes are then passed back to the payment processor, and from there to the buyer. It’s all so wonderfully asynchronous.

At this point, Paintball Net now consists of:
* PX – player database and communications facilitator
* Game – the beating heart of the game
* UI – the browser part of the game
* PCH – the purchases handler

So many moving parts, and I’m not done yet. 😉

I still have to make what I’m (so far) calling the “lobby”, which won’t actually be a lobby. Instead, it will be a server the UI communicates with to get the list of active games and players on those games.

But, hey, I’m making progress. =)

For now, I’m using BMT Micro as my payment processor because I’ve used them for years. I may get more fancy later.

I have 2 purchase options:
* Paintball Net Cash – Basic Package – $5000 for $4.99
* Paintball Net Cash – Gold Package – $12500 for $9.99

I have no idea if FB will allow these links, but here we go:

Basic
https://secure.bmtmicro.com/SCL/X0Qv7U

Gold
https://secure.bmtmicro.com/SCL/N6Yvf3

My plan is to add a couple “Buy” buttons to the UI, but that’s for tomorrow. Or next week.

Thank you for reading this far, and thanks again to all the players who have been helping out!

-David

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