Hey everybody, Flavien here for another weekly update. This week we’ve been working on network improvements, bug fixes and adding new special effects to the game. Work on the carrier patch is progressing well, with an ETA scheduled for next friday. Also, we’re going to host a new community playtest for alpha backers next saturday. More information on this playtest below.
One of our backers (Lomsor, thanks to him) reported jitter, causing the player ship/camera to micro-jump around when the network conditions have deteriorated and become unstable. We found two issues. The first one was related to physics inputs: when the server runs the physics simulation and a player input packet is missing (due to lag or network stability), the server was assuming no input was given, resulting in a temporary loss of control of the ship (until the next input packet is received). Instead, in this scenario we instead repeat the latest input, which makes controls feel smoother and more natural (again: this only applies to bad network conditions, when the latency suddenly jumps around).
The second issue was related to error correction. The client and server run their physics simulations in parallel; to prevent cheating, the server is authoritative, meaning that when a mismatch is detected between the client and the server, the client applies a correction to its local player. We normally smooth this error correction over time to avoid micro-jumps, but due to a small bug in the algorithm, smoothing was disabled when flying at high velocities like in warp. This bug is now fixed which should make network jitter unnoticeable to the player.
TLDR: we’ve improved our network code so that it behaves more smoothly and naturally when the network conditions degrade.
Spawn markers in hangar
This week Jan created a spawn marker effect that gets placed on top of spawns to make it easier for new players to understand where the available spawns are (for example if they need to fly back to repair or resupply their ship). It is color encoded, blue being the default (spawn is available). The spawn marker turns green for your own ship when docking, or red when the spawn is unavailable (due to another ship docking in the spawn).
Community playtest event
We’re happy to announce our third alpha community gathering, for players that have alpha access:
Saturday, October 6th 2018 (in one week), 19:00 UTC
See this post for more information: I-Novae Community Events
As usual Dan will stream the event, so make sure to check out our Youtube channel if you’re interested !
Interceptors flying in formation