Author Topic: Very Interesting Things  (Read 1549 times)

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Offline chief1983

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Very Interesting Things
It's been a bit slow in this forum lately, and that makes me a sad panda.  So I thought I'd highlight all the numerous things that anyone remotely interested in FS2 multiplayer should probably be excited about.

  • *nix WebUI dedicated/standalone server from Eli2, currently compiling with autotools, Eclipse, Xcode4/5.
  • SquadWar has been nearly fully ported to PHP and is running on FS2NetD as we speak.
    • http://fs2netd.game-warden.com/squadwar/
    • Possibly need help creating a map based on arbitrary planet path information
    • Need help integrating the old PXO code back into FSO to connect to SquadWar for match recording.
    • Currently supports manual match reporting in the meantime, with support for screenshot upload of match results.  These stats should be more reliable in recent nightlies after many fixes mentioned below.
    • Need beta testers (sorry to any who had already added some data, I goofed with a maintenance script and messed most of it up).
  • All FS2NetD related code is available to SCP team members by request via a private Git repo now.  The code has been available for some time, but this is the first time it has been available under a shared version control system.  This should hopefully enhance the team's ability to address issues with multiplayer and FS2NetD.
  • Recent static analysis efforts (Coverity Scan results from niffiwan's efforts specifically, and memcpy/memset fixes by Goober5000) seem to have already uncovered quite a few potential causes of buffer under/overrun issues that have likely been the cause of numerous multiplayer (especially standalone) crashes.  3.7.0 did not have quite the stable standalone experience I had hoped for, but with Coverity's help, *nix WebUI standalones, and possibly AddressSanitizer running on those, we may be able to have stable standalone servers running on real server platforms in the very near future, that could easily be dropped onto your average Low End Box running Debian or FreeBSD.
  • After perusing the old but most recent posts on the multiplayer forum, I think Karajorma has been dropping hints that he is working on Something Cool for multiplayer.

As you all can see, there are numerous developers still interesting in enhancing multiplayer performance.  I see good things in the coming year, for those of you players still interested in carrying the torch.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2015, 06:21:32 pm by chief1983 »
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Re: Very Interesting Things
It's exciting that there is still some multi support. I have friends and family that love freespace but can't stand multiplayer performance.

The biggest is how ships are bouncing all over the place (even after following the suggestions for improving multiplayer) and the delay for client end handling.

There are smaller things like non-rotating ship parts on the client end and the constant problem with single player sexps not working in multiplayer games. Karajorma has been awesome in fixing the sexps by the way.

Single player is ok. There is a very active single player campaign community; however, I would like to see more attention towards multiplayer/coop. I am no programmer so I am not going to tell anyone to do it if I can't contribute. The game is already amazing and I don't want to discredit the work of the community. This is just a wishlist and I am sure it will improve with time.

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: Very Interesting Things
Having someone willing to test stuff would be very helpful. One of the biggest issues is that multiplayer bugs are only spotted months or years later. Generally after the coder involved has forgotten exactly what they did. Better to catch them before the code even goes into trunk.
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Re: Very Interesting Things
Is there some kind of schedule for beta testing? Might be hard to do when there are no games up. I'd be willing to help out. Whenever I'm around, I'm usually in #multi.

Edit: Great job on the work you've been doing, by the way. It's great to think that some day soon we might get some SW action going again. :cool:

 

Offline Black-Devil

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Re: Very Interesting Things


  • SquadWar has been nearly fully ported to PHP and is running on FS2NetD as we speak.
    • http://fs2netd.game-warden.com/squadwar/
    • Possibly need help creating a map based on arbitrary planet path information
    • Need help integrating the old PXO code back into FSO to connect to SquadWar for match recording.

I am interested in Multiplayer gaming especially FS2. And i did some mission before PXO were shut down.

Were the old Accounts Ported too?
Or do i have to get me a new Profile?[/list]
Do not attack Alpha ONE...

 

Offline Echelon9

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Re: Very Interesting Things
AddressSanitizer is now actively being used on Webui-based standalones running on OS X and Linux servers.

So far, they have been surprisingly stable -- the few memory related issues were quickly patched. This initiative should lead to much more stable standalone servers.

 

Offline chief1983

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Re: Very Interesting Things
Black-Devil, none of the player info from the original SquadWar database was provided, so this SquadWar instance would be a completely fresh start.  The pilot code does integrate with the FS2NetD database now though, so it will allow you to choose from your existing pilots or you can create new ones if you would want to have per-squad pilot names for instance.
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Nuclear1:  Jesus Christ zack you're a little too hamyurger for HLP right now...
iamzack:  i dont have hamynerge i just want ptatoc hips D:
redsniper:  Platonic hips?!
iamzack:  lays

 

Offline Black-Devil

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Re: Very Interesting Things
Ah ok thx
Do not attack Alpha ONE...

 

Offline Echelon9

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Re: Very Interesting Things
A really pleasing development from WebUI Standalone development.

The WebUI standalone has been confirmed as able to (a) appear viewable on FS2NetD, and (b) be connectable by clients provided NAT is adequately mitigated, and (c) host short games.

i.e. the WebUI standalone has pretty much all the simple features of the Windows standalone.

 

Offline chief1983

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Re: Very Interesting Things
Yeah, I still am seeing a lot of general connection issues, but I don't believe it's the standalone's fault at this point.  At least not the *nix specific standalone, I've had difficulty connecting to anything via FS2NetD that is running from my house, and I do have the port forwards set up.  We may need to dig into why sometimes connections can be established and why not other times, maybe with some gratuitous logging added throughout the connection establishment code.
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"You may not sell or otherwise commercially exploit the source or things you created based on the source." -- Excerpt from FSO license, for reference

Nuclear1:  Jesus Christ zack you're a little too hamyurger for HLP right now...
iamzack:  i dont have hamynerge i just want ptatoc hips D:
redsniper:  Platonic hips?!
iamzack:  lays

 

Offline chief1983

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Re: Very Interesting Things
Just thought I would bump this with a status update.  The state of multiplayer seems much improved in the upcoming 3.8.  The ping calculation had some long-standing bugs that have been fixed.  I haven't had connectivity issues at all recently, between my house, my work, and the 4 VPS standalones I have running now.  In-game lag is another issue still unfortunately, as it is still reportedly worse than retail.  But I think we have made some steps in the right direction, and getting recent confirmation that the lag is indeed still pretty bad would be helpful.  For confirming this, I specifically set up a retail standalone using an unpatched release build, which I will attempt to leave running full time, and only restart to update to a new revision.  I will try to keep it on what seems to be the fastest standalone (by pings from FS2NetD or my house), CentOS was winning but the openSUSE one I just set up is responding with faster ping times using a Debug build.  So I may move it to that one.  Just pick one with (Release) in the name.  No need to worry about port forwarding to host, unless you want to run a mission I don't have.  All of my standalones are currently retail, with the multi-mission-pack.  There may be more added in the future.

jg18 has gotten pretty close to native integration for SquadWar.  But he's had to take a break from that to focus more on RL related things.  I'd like to give a huge thanks for the work he's put in so far on this and other multiplayer aspects though.  It's been hard to get coders willing to put work in for multiplayer and he has done more in this specific area than many recently.

After many years of annoying me, I fixed FS2NetD to display raw ping values when you hover over the ping bars graphic on the website games list.  This has revealed that the ping values are substantially higher than one would see in game.  Given that my standalones are all over the country, but FS2NetD's pings are universally higher than I see in game, I think this is another ping calculation bug in the FS2NetD server and not just that it is farther away geographically from all the servers than I am (pretty sure that's not possible).  The relative scale still matches up though, so it can still be relied upon as much as it could before you could see the numbers.

If someone wants to have a go on a test some evening, drop on IRC in #multi, #freespace, etc, or the Discord server #freespace and see if I or anyone else would like to go for a round or two.  I'd love to put the standalone servers through some real testing.
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"You may not sell or otherwise commercially exploit the source or things you created based on the source." -- Excerpt from FSO license, for reference

Nuclear1:  Jesus Christ zack you're a little too hamyurger for HLP right now...
iamzack:  i dont have hamynerge i just want ptatoc hips D:
redsniper:  Platonic hips?!
iamzack:  lays

 

Offline z64555

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Re: Very Interesting Things
 :yes:

EveningTea: Time to go Freeman on this cultist..
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Offline jg18

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Re: Very Interesting Things
Thanks, chief. :)

A couple comments:

In-game lag is another issue still unfortunately, as it is still reportedly worse than retail.  But I think we have made some steps in the right direction, and getting recent confirmation that the lag is indeed still pretty bad would be helpful. 
By "retail" do you mean the FS2 retail .exe running on today's machines through GOG compatibility or something similar? Or compared to how FS2 retail used to run back in the day? According to AdmiralRalwood, FS2 retail currently doesn't perform noticeably better than FSO:

*snip*

However, it's undeniable that there used to be people who played multiplayer with retail FS2. This led to a question: does retail actually behave differently than FSO in multiplayer, on a fundamental level?

Having recently done a direct IP game as both host and client with the retail executable, I feel that I can confidently state that it does not.
Thus although it's hard to say for sure, it looks like FSO hasn't added significant latency as far as today's machines/Internet connections are concerned. From my studying of the netcode, so far there's nothing suggesting that FSO might have done something that adds significant latency, but it's still too early in my study of the netcode to say for sure. I can say a bit more on this but it's out of scope for this thread.

After many years of annoying me, I fixed FS2NetD to display raw ping values when you hover over the ping bars graphic on the website games list.  This has revealed that the ping values are substantially higher than one would see in game.  Given that my standalones are all over the country, but FS2NetD's pings are universally higher than I see in game, I think this is another ping calculation bug in the FS2NetD server and not just that it is farther away geographically from all the servers than I am (pretty sure that's not possible).  The relative scale still matches up though, so it can still be relied upon as much as it could before you could see the numbers.
Personally I don't understand the point of the FS2NetD web interface's reporting ping values, since presumably they're calculated from the FS2NetD server to the game servers. Wouldn't players only care about their own pings to the available game servers (as reported in-game) rather than the FS2NetD server's pings to those game servers? In that case, maybe we could get rid of the FS2NetD ping feature entirely (or at least not display it)? Maybe not worth modifying the existing FS2NetD web interface but perhaps something to consider for the future.

For an example of what I mean, suppose there are available game servers in both the U.S. and Australia and a player in Australia is looking to join a game. If the FS2NetD server is in the U.S., then presumably the FS2NetD website would display  a higher ping value for the Australian game server than the American one.  But the player would see in-game that the Australian server has a lower ping than the American one. In that case, why should the Australian player care about what ping values FS2NetD reports on the website?
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