What a Day, What a Lovely Update

The most difficult change today is invisible. I changed the way that bullet ids are assigned. This requires a protocol version change, so both the client and the server are updated at the same time. If you’re having trouble getting the latest version (160330.0421), try restarting Steam, that seems to kick it sometimes.

Each and every bullet in Steambirds has a lovingly-crafted artisanal id number. It used to be that the enemy bullet ids were assigned from the same pool of numbers that the unit ids are drawn from. However, this meant that after a long hard day of defending the motherland, the bullets would use up all the ids available! This confused the server and made it impossible to log in to it, and probably felt pretty broken for the folks still in it. The solution I chose to implement today is to give bullets their own separate id pool; in fact, they have 64-bit ids now, namespaced to the unit that fired them. So we can support 4 billion bullets per unit now. Probably enough. The amount of network traffic is only affected a little by this, because we were already encoding bullet ids efficiently. So, in the end, the server should be able to run for a much longer time!

Pat authored a loverly giant explosion for our biggest bosses. Man, watch that thing go, it’s a treat!

We have flair now! Players show their level next to their name. Should make it easier to group up for dungeon raids or simply to show off. You can tell, also, that a player is one of the developers because we have a big yellow Admin under our name. Accept no subsitutes!

I toned down the red letterbox that closes in on you as you die. Folks were saying it was obscuring the battlefield. Blood can do that! The new graphic hopefully does a better job balancing “seeing clearly” with “not being surprised that your health was so low”.

Loot should clean itself up after being dropped. Consider it an anti-litter campaign in the Rebel City.

Engine charge rates are increased. They should be more useful now!