Developing Avoyd, our FPS, FPE voxel game with modifiable terrain and six-degrees of freedom in zero gravity.
Doug Binks - 05 Dec 2013
I was recently testing my LAN server browser dialogue menu with multiple machines running servers when I encountered an unusual issue. I had two machines, each running a server and a client. On one machine the client could see both servers, but on the other machine only the local server was found. The application had firewall permissions, and since the server was both sending and receiving packets without problem the firewall didn't seem to be the culprit.
Working LAN discovery with two servers running on two different machines. Note the two IP addresses listed for Machine 1.
Doug Binks - 30 Oct 2013
It's been a busy couple of months since my last technology update. After being laid low by a viral modification program masquerading as an Autumn cold, I have emerged into my cold weather form with time to spare for a bit of programming.
Some of my work has gone into improvements in the Runtime Compiled C++ I use to help program Avoyd with which you can catch up on over at the RCC++ blog. The rest has been on two fundamental features: materials and multiple voxel models.
Juliette Foucaut - 30 Oct 2013
There's still a lot of work to do on the site as it's still pretty basic, but one thing I've been able to do thanks to the automation is to import the entire archive of the Developer's Diary which Doug wrote in 2001-2002 when he was working on the first version of Avoyd. It's been quite emotional to go through those old posts as it brought up a lot of memories, both good and bad.
I hope you enjoy having a peek at the archive (list of posts below), and if you're one of the people who supported us all those years ago by testing the game and/or buying it, I'd like to give you a big thanks. You're part of the reason why we got back to working on our dream game. And also, there's you, thank you! :)
Note: you can find an overview of the Avoyd v1 (a.k.a Avoyd 1999) story and download the full game here.
Juliette Foucaut - 30 Oct 2013
A couple of months ago, my friend bananako made great suggestions to improve the looks of our website. I started tinkering and I hope the changes do justice to her input. (I recommend checking her blog, her drawings always put me in a happy mood :)
I also finally made a home page about Avoyd. I've been struggling to figure out what to say on that page, but we're happy with the result for now and I can easily change it as the project evolves. I still have to come up with a logo for Avoyd.
Juliette Foucaut - 22 Oct 2013 - edited 02 Aug 2016
I think we should call sandbox first person games First Person Editors (FPE).
I was doodling around in Avoyd looking for inspiration: how do I describe our game? It's an FPS, but there's more to it and I think it's not the only game in that category.
Doug Binks - 30 Aug 2013
Our first technology update video is available on Youtube. I wanted to show how modifying the environment works since I've recently improved this area. The graphics are still in the early prototype phase and I'm only rendering debug colours rather than materials - I find the aesthetic oddly pleasing though.
Juliette Foucaut - 23 Aug 2013 - edited 10 Feb 2014
A robust website that successfully weathers spikes in traffic is a must when trying to sell and support a game over the internet. Last July Picroma suffered temporarily when they released their game, Cube World, for purchase. They then had to deal with a DDoS attack. More recently, Oculus Rift's site stalled when they tweeted about John Carmack's involvement in their technology.
Whilst we can only dream of enjoying the same level of interest, we'd like to spare ourselves the worry. When Doug researched a web hosting solution, he spotted that Wolfire used Google App Engine. They list their reasons clearly on their blog, and given that they have years of hands-on experience on the matter, we decided to follow their lead. As an added bonus, this solution is free for low levels of traffic.
Doug Binks - 29 May 2013
I've just added networking using RakNet, and implemented level load from a server along with synced editing. This proved to be very simple to add as RakNet has a fairly clean interface. I'll admit to being very tempted to develop further the network code I used for the original Avoyd, but RakNet has a number of features I'd need to implement which aren't trivial.
Doug Binks - 09 May 2013
One of the key features we wanted for the new Avoyd was to support large environments. The old version of the game used a simple three dimensional array for storing the voxel data which restricted the size of the world. So for the new code I've implemented an optimized octree structure, which both helps with data storage limits and the calculation of lower level of detail (LOD) graphics for distant structures.
Doug Binks - 27 Apr 2013
Our plan for the new Avoyd is to expand upon the original free-for-all gameplay with single player, co-op and team vs team. We intend for all modes to use the same ruleset to create a consistent universe.
Competitive games are normally symmetric. This means players on either side have access to capabilities of the same power, though often with different styles. For example, in Quake Arena, every player is equal and has access to the same weapons.
Juliette Foucaut - 11 Apr 2013
Over 13 years ago, Doug Binks (mainly) and I started working on a shareware-style game called Avoyd.
A first-person shooter set in zero gravity, gamers could play deathmatches against bots or other people on a LAN. To our knowledge, it was the first game in which the players could build and destroy the entire environment.
We sold digital copies of Avoyd over the internet for a few pounds, steadily increasing the price as we added more features. After Doug joined a games development company, we slowly stopped development and released the last version, Avoyd 1.7.1, in 2003. At that stage, many features and designs we had in mind had yet to be implemented in the game.
Our current project is based on the original Avoyd.