Future and evolution of DXX' Multiplayer
#1
Hello folks,

You might wonder why you have not heard from me for so long (apart from some posts here and there).
Yeah there had been some ... stuff recently. Personal stuff. I still wonder how - or even IF - to bring this up in public but it made me rethink the project as well. Don't you worry now - it'll go on I just want some things around to change.
Some of you might already know about this "personal" thing - most likely because I told you about it and I thank everyone for listening so far.

Anyways as it may be of COURSE the project stalled a bit again due to the stuff from above.
This in result made me rethink my plans for 0.58 again. So I'll probably concentrate only on one of the planned things for 0.58: the host-authorative Multiplayer (including bugfixes, too of course).
However I am still in planning phase. I want to think out every step I might take very carefully to not run into a dead end at some point. Still the MS-DOS-game-compability over IPX gets in my way again. As you all know I spent most of 2010 to let UDP-specific features not influence the DOS-compability mode.
Still back then I did not think about host-authorative Multiplayer which also requires some changes way deeper into the engine which might very well result in conflicts for DOS-games again.

I know my chances and I KNOW it's possible to get a host-authorative Multiplayer over UDP while ALSO having compabilty over IPX for DOS games. But right now I think about if I am going to do that. Fact is that this prallel development will consume much more time than Host-authority itself will need. And I wonder if I WANT to invest that free time OR rather ditch IPX completely.

Currently the arguments for IPX are bad:
- Harder and harder to administrate for me as worse and worse support on modern systems and possibilities to test
- Game is inconsistent/error-prone via IPX anyways (to maintain compability)
- Thanks to the Tracker and our IRC chat the main argument FOR IPX - Kali - is also obsolete since now we have a free and open alternative EVERYONE can use (besides you could still chat in Kali and make a UDP Tracker game)

So actually looking to this problem from this side, I have to say that IPX-support for compability is something that only slows me down while also being one of the most "useless" features in the whole project.

Making a decision here will definetely take influence over the direction on how the while Multiplayer will evolve in the near future. So I'll soon make a decision here and YOU - dear reader - are invited to tell me your opinion on that, too. And if you do not have a forum account just send me an eMail if you wish.
EDIT: That means that IF I decide to remove IPX support for DOS-compability, then 0.57.1 is the last version that still has it.
EDIT2: Really - I mean - IF removing IPX == yes, then I'll do it NOW.

stay tuned,
-zico
The greatest pleasure in life is to do what people say you cannot do.
Uhm... Honey, there's a head in the toilet!
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#2
Short answer: Kill it!

Slightly longer: I wouldn't say Kali (I don't use it) is obsolete yet, but I suppose it will be when UDP and the tracker are perfected. Would it be possible to leave the IPX code in as a legacy build option? No longer included by default or supported, but still available if it's really wanted?
zif: Why haven't they fixed that yet :S
Ralathar: Bug report it :p
zif: I'll bug report you
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#3
Currently IPX is already only optional. With a simple scons command (use_ipx=0) you can disable it. But if I leave it in - disabled but STILL with DOS-compability - this is just as having it enabled all the time. Still keeps me from trashing all the obsolete things and improve stuff without creating one layer of exceptions after another.
The greatest pleasure in life is to do what people say you cannot do.
Uhm... Honey, there's a head in the toilet!
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#4
(09-09-2011, 04:43 PM)zico link Wrote:Still keeps me from trashing all the obsolete things and improve stuff without creating one layer of exceptions after another.

Ok, yeah. Hence my short answer Wink
zif: Why haven't they fixed that yet :S
Ralathar: Bug report it :p
zif: I'll bug report you
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#5
No I would say Kali is pretty obsolete now when it comes to games. I can only think of 2 people holding out with older versions and 99% of the games are .57.1 UDP based games now. Just my opinion, but UDP is the direction forward and anything that cleans it up is a good thing. I say remove IPX completely and if anyone feels the need there are many versions compatible with Kali and IPX to fall back on.
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#6
I'm also inclined to say kill it.  Just leave .57.1 available for those who refuse to give it up.
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#7
Hm last time when I used IPX  in Descent it was.... around 1998.

If it holds you back - remove it.
As for the rest....no classic CTF then?  :-\
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#8
Well shortly after I wrote my first post about this I started removing the IPX code from the game. Thanks to my work from 2010 it was finished 10 minutes later. However I have not committed it it to the official repository, yet. Will still sleep a night over it. Maybe someone still comes up with a good argument *for* the IPX-support/DOS-game-compability.
Still I guess there is not. Also I think I shoudl also listen to my own voice here. Having this compability just has too many disadvantages in expense of many good things I could do without.

Of course do not expect the UDP Multiplayer to be perfect in 0.58. After all I wanted it to be "polished" for 0.60. I try to get done as much as I can for 0.58 and without IPX/compability-code I can do everything without any restrictions so it'll be pretty interesting and a real breeze to work on the code finally.

@aqqman:
I already have a "classic CTF" modeon my TODO. That's not a big of a deal. However in terms of implementation it will more likely be a simple game option ("SPAWN FLAG IN BASE") rather than a whole new game mode - will be much easier I figure.
The greatest pleasure in life is to do what people say you cannot do.
Uhm... Honey, there's a head in the toilet!
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#9
I say go ahead and kill it.  Even players like Flip who (at least as far as I've last heard) still use Kali are telling you to go ahead...
The UDP and tracker are already more stable and have fewer problems than in some (heck most) commercial games I've bought.

And with the UDP I've finally been able to play some LAN games with friends without any problems or disconnections.

The eyes of the plush lobster stared deep into my soul. I touched it, made as if to pick it up, and then I became a panther.

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#10
Yes UDP does well for lan games, and you can increase packets per second to max without problems.

zico - without different spawn points for each team and returning flag it wont be real classic ctf but.. thank you.
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