Crack the nut! v2.0
November 8, 2017
posted by andy



We find ourselves at the intersection of emerging games and technologies. AUTOMAKHAN has always felt like some unwieldy chimera perched atop this intersection, waiting in the wings for its chance to shoot both fire and ice upwards into the sky as a kind of celebratory gesture.


Building a game engine from scratch is difficult. Synchronizing a complex multiplayer simulation is a Hellish experience that I would not wish upon the most evilest chimera. Running a 3d game at 60fps in the browser is a worthless challenge and someday any of its merits will be lost in the sands of time.


Most indie games are never completed, and few attain commercial success because the market is saturated. It is tough to attract attention when so many competitors and internet trolls abound.


Despite the many challenges, I believed that someday we would crack the nut. As the obstacles towered high, our chimera took flight, simultaneously scorching and freezing the technical challenges below with the skill and finesse that one would expect from a legendary bird/reptile hybrid.


And it is with this that I bring news of a game update. Play it now at https://automakhan.com!


New race - elven guild


Improvements

  • Stable 60fps with minimal GC hiccups
  • Integrated public chat and games lobby makes it easier to start and find games
  • Faster delivery of game assets via CDN
  • More accurate bounding boxes and hit detection
  • Cliffs and ramps add realism and strategic depth to the game
  • Line-of-sight raycasting enables hiding behind terrain features

Gameplay changes

  • The available races are now Lizardmen Tribe, Undead Horde and Elven Guild, each with a diverse set of units with new abilities such as flying
  • The only available map is now Football, a 3v3 match-up that runs horizontally from left to right
  • Each team starts with a number of blue gems used to deploy buildings and which can only be acquired by destroying opponents’ buildings
  • Buildings with worker units supply red, green and/or black gems used in the deployment of other more specialized buildings

Though our job is far from over, this is the first build to have truly cracked the nut. As one critic has mentioned, this new style of RTS is inarguably the future, despite its owing so much to the classics. And as long as you are running the game in Chrome (or Firefox [on a relatively decent machine]), I think you will agree.


Many thanks to Aleks, Nik and Tomas for gameplay improvements and suggestions, which are brilliant as always!



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