A community run radio podcast is starting this weekend!
KAG Radio is a community-run Radio for you, offering diverse music every day, talk shows and interviews that include various community members, and events (giveaways, competitions and games)! Tune in tomorrow afternoon (U.K Time) at our website http://radio.kag2d.nl for the premiere of the Radio where we’ll talk about the Beta and current KAG news!
Make sure to tune in for some community fun!
Once again, the site is http://radio.kag2d.nl
Forum discussion here: https://forum.kag2d.com/threads/kag-radio-music-talks-events.13962/
We’ve been optimising our arses off for the past month or so leading up to release, and the good news is, it’s been successful!
We’re currently on the fence with regards to the JIT compiler, we got it working but it has two side effects: code ran slightly differently, meaning subtle, hard to find bugs were introduced to all scripts; and it C++11 support was required, meaning anyone on old debian or centos would be out of luck running the new game without patching their libstdc++ manually. We’re currently running without it but keeping it as an option in the future if we really need to squeeze more performance out - for the moment it’s looking like we wont need to though!
With all the fancy new stuff KAG beta does, it starts at ~8% CPU usage (mid range dedi box) for 1 player (0.1% for zero players because the game gets completely paused with a new serverside option).
Now, that might sound like bad news; fortunately, it scales really, really well with the number of players (performance is contingent more on the number of complicated objects in the game now, rather than number of players), with our server pushing ~10% CPU for 4v4 (about 0.25% increase per player).
This is largely due to a massive netcode rewrite that’s still partially underway. We’ve learned a lot about networking this kind of game over the past few years, and the way we were doing it initially (based on the quake 3 model) isn’t optimal for a game with a large number of objects - it’s fine for classic where the majority of objects are players, but in the beta the number of game objects is easily into the hundreds, with trees, bushes, inventory items… As such it has been almost completely gutted out.
Long story short, bandwidth up and down per player at 1kBs up, 3kBs down (client end, for 8 players), compared to before the rewrite 2kBs up and 70 kBs down. This means KAG beta outperforms KAG classic in bandwidth utilisation, even though there’s a lot more going on!
We’ve still got to sort out some desync and disconnection issues, as is to be expected with a large network rewrite, but it’s gone very smoothly so far.
We’re going to be crunching all weekend to see whether we can get something together for a semi-public release (hint: watch the forums) because all the major technical hurdles have been stomped, there’s just gameplay issues to iron out now :)
Happy Birthday, Game.
It’s been a very long two years, and we’re not done helping you grow up yet, but it’s been an amazing journey so far!
Sorry for almost forgetting your special day. Enjoy your cake; we know it isn’t much, but we were so busy picking bugs out of your hair (as usual) that we barely had time!
While it’s easy to look through rose tinted glasses at the past (remember +16 bombs on incarnum’s?), we feel that your glory days are still to come, and might be just around the corner. We’ll know (and you’ll know) when you’re ready.
Love, Max and Michal.
All of our services are down at the moment due to hardware failure of a critical network device in our datacenter. FLAB is working hard on fixing the issue. As soon as we’ll deal with the problem we’ll let you know.
We are terribly sorry for any inconvenience. We should have it resolved in the following hour.
I mentioned last post that I’d have a talk about some snags we’ve hit.
While I understand any halt to progress hurts for you guys, I figure that telling you about what’s going on keeps you in the loop with our expectations, and is definitely for the better.
Our major snag at the moment is performance. While we were expecting worse performance than with classic, we certainly weren’t expecting a hit this hard.
The client is not a problem - it runs at 30fps even on a shitty laptop with a 1.8Ghz cpu and a 64mb graphics card, so - great!
The server however, is a problem. It runs fine for a TDM game with a small number of players, however even for 8v8 in war mode, the CPU usage is unacceptable. With 12 players, the CPU of our box started maxing out. This is something we need to address before releasing anything, because we feel that it’s certainly not fair to server owners to plunder their boxes, and not fair to you guys to release something that cant have a stable server ecosystem.
The client runs quickly because it doesn’t have to do nearly enough logic - it doesn’t have to think about what’s happening for every object in the game, just the ones near to the player. The server, on the other hand, has to simulate everything.
To address this we’re considering a few things:
The other snags are related to bandwidth use (it’s high, not extreme but not nearly as minimal as classic, especially during action packed siege fights in war) and modding issues - modding works fine inside of base, but making mods using the intended system has quite a few large issues. Progress with single player content hasn’t been nearly as quick as we’d like either.
We’re weighing up our options and we’ll keep you posted on how things are going. We wanted to get a release out over the past week (actually, last weekend), but we’ve just uncovered more work to do.
As I said, I understand that more posts about the game coming out can be very frustrating, especially as you’ve been ready for it for months and months, but I hope you can support us while we drive forwards on making sure the game itself is ready for you.
Once it’s playable at a larger scale, we’ll be giving access to the beta via the forums. We’re very likely to omit fixing modding issues, optimising bandwidth use and waiting for tutorial content to be finished for that release so it can be out as soon as physically possible. Those points will definitely be addressed in time (and likely in that order as well), but we’re on the same page as you guys - we want you to be playing it above all else.
On a lighter note, there’s probably a video of some WAR gameplay coming (including boat to boat ballista combat, and possibly accidental keg hilarity) once MM gets time to put it together.
We’ve just had a full-on 2 weeks, and are heading home. Bye bye San Francisco!
Since I’ve got some messages here and there that people weren’t sure what was going on, here’s the low down:
Last week, MM and I went to Chicago to work with FliesLikeABrick at his place, working on a user reputation system, discussing how some of the modding stuff should work, and doing a lot of testing and long days.
jrgp came up for a few days as well to grind out some work on the site, was fun to meet him.
MM and I then went to San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference (GDC). We met up with Rayne for some of that time, and while a lot of our time was taken showing people the game, listening to people talk at the conference, shoving our faces full of food and meeting up with friends we don’t get to see many times per year, we also got a lot of work done on KAG, and hit a few snags.
We’ll drop some more photos once we’re all home and slept and showered, figured you guys could use an update on what we’ve been up to though.
I’ll talk about those snags in the next post, I need to grab a drink and find a power outlet before I continue :)
What is this?
ARENA Open is a series of four seasonal qualifiers, all of which are going to be held throughout the year, and one big event featuring actual prizes for contestants.
It is going to be a 1v1 knight tournament with:
-1 bomb for every knight
-new, premade maps
Tournament hosted by Ej
More info here
As you can see most of the team is purple which means that’s all devs working hard on the beta :). This was actually a LAN game. We had an unusual opportunity to meet in RL and work all together in Chicago last week. We coded the beta, the website, a new surprise addition to the API and ate a lot of cheese. We have a lot done but still some bug fixing and optimizing to do. Will keep you updated.
The lovely folks at Indie Statik have written a fantastic article about Michal’s game development career and the making of King Arthur’s Gold. Be sure to check it out!
Indie Statik is an up and coming news outlet focusing on independent game development. We are extremely flattered to be featured on their site.
Hey this is MM, I haven’t posted in a while but I really want to explain a few things. We mentioned we entered private beta about 2 months ago and the testing is still going. I still keep saying its gonna be public “soon” because the game really has all content in place most of the time. So it is a matter of us being satisfied with a build to call it “done” and give it out to all of you that bought the game.
However, it’s not so easy. During these 2 months the game design has been changed a LOT. Things you see on the videos I made a few weeks ago, a lot of that stuff has been either removed or changed to something better. This is because we are CONSTANTLY playtesting with our dedicated team of testers. We implement features, tweak stuff, release a build, play and repeat that over and over. This is very frequent now, at least once a day a new build is pushed to them. So, the things that don’t work in playtesting are put on an anvil and me and Geti smash them with a large hammer.
We could release before it is ready if we wanted to, but we don’t. We are extremely dedicated to making this game as good as possible. This is gonna be the best multiplayer experience ever made.
A note to you if you bought the game. The things you see on the buy page or buy poster, some of them are irrelevant now. Not because we didn’t make them or can’t make them, but because we did make them and they turned out to be crap while testing. Nobody wants that.
The workshops you see in classic KAG didn’t really work as we wanted them to work. So there were builds without any workshops, you had a trading post like you see on the videos, but it felt a little too spammy, like a convenience store where you could buy anything without upgrading at all. In recent builds we replaced workshops with factories that produce items. This turns out to be the best idea we had and I hope they will stay.
Farming as you see on the video I made (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwufFZ8zvgE) was fun the first few times you played it, but right now none of the testers wants to farm - it tends to be too boring. So we are replacing it with a more straightforward way of farming which doesn’t require tedious tasks. We’re keeping all the fun elements like destroying the enemies crops to prevent them from having food and make them spawn longer.
A bolt-throwing machine that you see on the buy page has wheels and can be driven by 2 players. So its much cooler in reality than on the page.
The ram is something you’d expect from a medieval game, but in reality using the ram in a tile based map was very tricky. We wanted it to require a lengthy run, so that you actually rammed it into a door or wall. But its too hard to have a straight runway in KAG. Having the ram work by just clicking at the wall is boring and something you might find in EA games not my games. We won’t do that, so we just removed the ram. In place we introduced a hand held drill that heats up, steams, and hurts enemies, which is much more fun. We just need to make it more balanced cause it is quite overpowered :)
The canopy was never introduced because we are in the opinion that standing with a canopy to protect your team mates is the most boring thing in the world. We want the game to be dynamic and focus more on attacking than defending. We just made the boats give ample protection from incoming arrows, and rely on builders to construct more permanent cover during a siege.
There are more examples where this has happened during testing, but the core thing to understand is that if something is missing, it’s missing because it wasn’t as fun as we needed it to be, so we put something better there instead.
We can’t wait to share the beta with you guys, so you can see for yourselves how much the game has been expanded and refined.