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Thread: Technical issues: The platform system explained

  1. #1
    WoR-Dev TrustyJam's Avatar
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    Technical issues: The platform system explained

    Hello everyone,

    In the wake of the last few weeks of posts by our community highlighting some of the issues they are currently (and have been for a long time) experiencing in the alpha we felt we needed to explain to you all what is being done in order to fix them. We therefore asked Philipp - the other part of our programming team not focusing on the artillery, to explain what he primarily has been up to since the alpha was released on Steam Early Access.


    The Platform System

    Hey, I am Philipp and one of the Programmers on the War of Rights Team.
    I have mainly worked on core systems like Game rules, Spawning or Networking to name a few.
    For quite a while now, since January last year, I have been focused on a rather large and difficult undertaking that we deemed necessary to make developing War of Rights easier and allow us to deliver a viable online multiplayer experience. That being a completely new Platform / ”Lobby” system.

    What is it?

    The job of the Platform system is to handle all functionality relating to a “Platform” the game is currently running on.

    Some of the crucial features being:

    - Authentication
    - Matchmaking and Server discovery
    - Connection handling between client and server
    - Platform related data exchange (Usernames, Clans, etc.)
    - Chat

    And some of the less crucial ones:

    - Friends/Clans/Groups
    - Ability to join games your Friends/Clan/Groups are on
    - Rich status display about what you are doing to other (i.e. “Attacking on map x for side y”)
    - Statistics
    - “User generated content” (Icons, server banners, etc.)

    Why is it?

    Right now, our online functionalities are being handled by a library that was designed for ps3/xbox360 era p2p style gaming, onto which we added the functionality required for steam servers. Since we released into early access this has been an ongoing headache. It makes it far too difficult for our small team to debug issues relating to connection failures and other connectivity issues. Adding new functionality is also a pain every time and might cause more issues down the line. In short, our current solution is not viable if we want to keep expanding on it.

    What does it solve?

    A completely new implementation allows us to separate all online functionality into its own module and focus on solving issues that have plagued the game since early access release, which we so far are barely even able to reproduce, let alone debug.

    Some of the issues that this will fix or help us fix are:

    - Stuck on establishing context
    - Random disconnects
    - Failure to reconnect to a server
    - Failure to connect to a server
    - Server mass drops
    - Servers not showing up in the list
    - Connections to other players staying active after disconnecting
    - Lighten the load on the game networking module and thread

    What does it allow us to do?

    Apart from allowing us to properly debug and fix all our connection issues, it also allows us to implement some planned features as well as hypothetical features down the line so we don’t need to rip everything apart each time we want to add something.

    Some of the planned features are:

    - Proper error messaging for networking related issues. This includes a description of why a join attempt my have failed or a message that tells you why you have been kicked/banned of a server.
    - Integrate with steams friend system so that you can join your friends and groups directly from the steam client.
    - Integrate with a backend service that allows us to supplement user data with our own persistent data. This makes it possible to integrate the company tool into the game itself.
    - Backer reward cosmetics

    Some hypothetical features this system allows us to implement without an insane amount of work:

    - Cross battle persistent data
    - Game events
    - Server slot reservation based on company or event
    - Expanding to other platforms in the future (Epic, xbox, playstation, switch, phone, microwave)
    - Platform cross-play

    Why is this taking so long?

    As you might imagine, this is a huge amount of work for a small team like ours and involves threading, networking, serialization, and other fun stuff.
    The key here is to get it right and build a sustainable framework that is maintainable as well as extensible. This includes designing it to allow for easy integration of the different Platform Apis. (Steam being the main one, but lan also needs to be implemented for internal testing).

    So, finding a combination of tools and learning them has been quite a challenge, but we hope to release the first iteration of this soon, and alleviate some of those ongoing connectivity woes.

  2. #2
    Thanks Trusty! Nice to hear about things being worked on behind the scenes

  3. #3

    USA Brigadier General

    Maximus Decimus Meridius's Avatar
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    finally,

    thank you for this update. it is great to hear what is going on behind the scenes and that it will be a possible fix for a bunch of problems, it is also great to see that it will be a base of a lot great features. please keep your work AND such dev updates up.


    PS:

    I would like to buy a microwave that can run WoR. Do you deliver them with a Civil War look?
    http://www.warofrightsforum.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=522&dateline=14500460  02


  4. #4
    ATOMBaneblade's Avatar
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    What baffles me is that it took this community shit storm to get you to do this! Why was this not done from the start? It would have saved lots of time on your end and on the communities end and would have soothed the headaches of many community leaders, Company member and public player over the state of your project. Is this an acknowledgement that you guys have communicated poorly in the past? Is this a one time PR stunt to calm the community and then go back to business as usual? Or have you guys learned the lesson that communication with your community is something important and will now do this more frequently?

    I genuinely almost cried tears of joy that something like this was posted now...FINALLY some information <3. But the fact that it took all of this time and effort to do this is frustrating and disturbing.

  5. #5

    CSA Lieutenant General

    Johnny Walker's Avatar
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    Hi thanks a lot for this update, if you would do such updates more often, there would be no shitstorm.
    We just want to know as a community where you have problems and where you are working on it.

    Kind Regards

    Colonel H. Richter
    TGV Commander
    Legion Staff Officer










    Coporal Hermann Richter
    52nd New York


    Staff Officer
    The German Volunteers



  6. #6
    Dane Karlsen's Avatar
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    Great post. Clear and at the front of the forum, for those who don't want to go searching the forums or listening to interviews in order to find the answers they are searching. And in addition to that nice to hear about more of the awesome work you guys are doing these days. I am very much looking forward to the next updates!

  7. #7
    Yes! Finally I would be able to play on my microwave oven.

  8. #8
    WoR-Dev TrustyJam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbsmith7 View Post
    Great update. Definitely recommend posting this information on the actual website for people who don't troll the forums like we hardcore people do.
    Thanks for the recommendation.

    It will be part of the field report/patch notes released in conjunction with the artillery release. We will likely also add the first view of cav which we posted a few months ago to it to just be sure that everyone's fully up to date. The work presented is not really a new reveal. We've been mentioning the lobby/platform system a number of times throughout the year and a half which it has been in development and we've also had Philipp write one or two explanatory posts about it earlier, but this is the first time it has been worded as precisely as it has above - and probably also given the space that a programming task of this scale deserves.

    We're happy that this is appreciated by you and we will make sure to post somewhat regular updates as to its progress if its development should take several more months before it is ready (which I'd say is quite likely although we don't have any ETA's regarding its completion).

    - Trusty

  9. #9

    CSA Lieutenant General

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustyJam View Post
    Thanks for the recommendation.

    It will be part of the field report/patch notes released in conjunction with the artillery release. We will likely also add the first view of cav which we posted a few months ago to it to just be sure that everyone's fully up to date. The work presented is not really a new reveal. We've been mentioning the lobby/platform system a number of times throughout the year and a half which it has been in development and we've also had Philipp write one or two explanatory posts about it earlier, but this is the first time it has been worded as precisely as it has above - and probably also given the space that a programming task of this scale deserves.

    We're happy that this is appreciated by you and we will make sure to post somewhat regular updates as to its progress if its development should take several more months before it is ready (which I'd say is quite likely although we don't have any ETA's regarding its completion).

    - Trusty

    Yes exactly this accuracy of the information is what the community wants to see because it's the only way they can feel what's happening and that you are taking care of their concerns and fears

    Kind Regards

    Colonel H. Richter
    TGV Commander
    Legion Staff Officer










    Coporal Hermann Richter
    52nd New York


    Staff Officer
    The German Volunteers



  10. #10

    USA 2nd Lieutenant

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    Thanx Trusty and Phillip on this Dev. Update. That`s what I and I guess a big portion of the community was hoping for. Please keep these coming specially when you feel the next game update/Field report could take some more time than planned. Keeping the community informed and thus kinda involved is very worth the time you may have invested for this Report.
    Keep these coming, please.

    Thanx again gents!

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