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  Slot Racers - online multiplayer arcade shooter - in beta  (Read 3792 times)
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Offline lazybearsoft

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Posted 2012-02-12 02:00:16 »

Hi all,

This is my first attempt at a Java game, Slot Racers. It's actually a port from C++  code, with enhancements
by me. The original Slot Racers game was devleoped for the Atari 2600, was a 2-player shooter, in which each player
controlled a vehicle which could shoot bullets at the other player.  In it's C++ incarnation, the two players had to share
a keyboard on one computer. When porting this code to Java, I have added (among other things) the ability
to play against other players online. The game and server is currently in beta phase....I would appreciate if some folks
could give it a try and let me know if they run into any problems, or just have any suggestions for improving the
game. You can find my Java version of Slot Racers here:

http://slotracers.dreamhosters.com



Some notes:

  • The game currently run as a Java applet within a browser. I have plans to port this code to run as an Android app, soon.
    When you first load the Slot Racers web page, the applet takes 2 or 3 minutes to load the first time. After the first time, it loads pretty quick. If I update the applet jar, then I have to go thru the 2-3 minute load again. I have no idea what the reason for the 1st time delay is.....the jar is only approx 100k. Maybe someone here can clue me in on why 1st time applet load takes sooooo long.
  • Once the applet loads, you will have to type in an alias you want to use as a player name, then click the 'JOIN GAME'  button. At the moment, the Player List is only for informational purposes (you cannot choose which player to play against...I will adding this ability later). After clicking the join button, if the server is not full, you will either be put in waiting mode (if there is not currently another player also waiting to play), or if there is already another player also waiting to play, you will automatically be paired with that player, and gameplay will commence.
  • Server is currently set to allow 100 players max. If you try to join while the server is currently full, you will get a message that asks you to try again later.
  • Server to client comm is done via UDP sockets, therefore there is no persistent connection. The server uses a 'heartbeat' message to determine if any clients go away. If a client doesn't respond to the heartbeat within 15 seconds, the server decides the client is 'disconnected', and any game in progress is stopped.
  • Game controls are listed on the Slot Racers web page. Keep in mind your browser has to have focus for your input to be recognized by the applet.
  • Game ends when one player reaches 10 'kills'...after which you may choose to replay against the same player, or quit back to the 'lobby'.
That's all I can think of, for now. Post any bugs you find or suggestions here and/or by replying at my twitter account:
 
http://twitter.com/lazybearsoft

If you find that the game server is down, or some other catastrophic failure, please let me know via twitter....
that way I will be notifed and be able to respond faster.

Thanks, and have fun!

Lazy Bear
Offline ra4king

JGO Kernel


Medals: 336
Projects: 2
Exp: 5 years


I'm the King!


« Reply #1 - Posted 2012-02-12 03:16:54 »

Still waiting for someone to join :/
I tried opening a new tab and play against myself but after joining the game and seeing the map, it froze then went back to the connect menu saying the connection was lost Clueless

You should make a computer player for us to try out when there's no one else to play against Smiley

Offline lazybearsoft

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #2 - Posted 2012-02-12 03:33:55 »

to ra4king:

Thanks for giving it a try. Yes, I just started posting announcments about the game an hour or so ago....so until I get a stready stream of traffic there, your best bet is to have a buddy also join at the same time as you. I should have mentioned this in my initial post....server just got opened to the world today, so not much action as of yet.  =p

Making an optional AI opponent is a great idea, and one I have already been thinking about....but that may not come about until after I have finished an Android port....so many ideas, so little time....

As far as testing it out against by opening 2 browsers....this should be possible. This is how I did much of my testing locally, and tried it again after putting the server live. I didn't try it in two tabs of the same window, but two seperate browser windows....but I wouldn't think that would make any difference. As long as you have a persistent internet connection, it shouldnt have gone back to connect menu. Can you tell me what OS you are using, what browser, and what version of Java runtime environment? If this is a bug, I would like to correct it ASAP.

Thanks!


- Lazy Bear
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline ra4king

JGO Kernel


Medals: 336
Projects: 2
Exp: 5 years


I'm the King!


« Reply #3 - Posted 2012-02-12 03:48:29 »

I am on Windows 7, using Chrome.

I tried it again and it worked now :S

Also, it loads instantly, it doesn't take 2-3 minutes for me. Smiley

Offline lazybearsoft

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #4 - Posted 2012-02-12 03:53:46 »

ra4king...I saw you playing a few minutes ago, as ra4king and ra4king1. I was joined and waiting as LazyBear after you were in playing state...was hoping you see me after you finished your game. Would be nice to play against you.  Grin

I also tried playing against myself after seeing your post, to see if I could replicate your problem. I didn't see any problem, yet....

The 2-3 minutes is only for the first time loading the applet.....it didn't take a few minutes at least for your first time loading Slot Racers applet? I had that happen to me on multiple PC's (XP and Vista)....curious.
Offline ReBirth
« Reply #5 - Posted 2012-02-12 03:56:48 »

It's always been problem in showcasing multiplayer game, no people when we test it. But I see you can face yourself here.

Offline ra4king

JGO Kernel


Medals: 336
Projects: 2
Exp: 5 years


I'm the King!


« Reply #6 - Posted 2012-02-12 04:04:32 »

Ugh knowing the orientation is impossible. I gave up after losing to you so many times T__T

You should switch the arrow keys when going left so hitting right actually turns left and hitting left turns right.

Offline lazybearsoft

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #7 - Posted 2012-02-12 04:09:44 »

ra4king, it was fun playing against you....you almost had me on the 2nd game!  Cool

It seemed to play pretty well, lost you halfway through the 3rd game, though. Did you disconnect?

(another future feature to implement....add in-game chat ability)  Tongue

One thing I did notice, players can choose to 'play it safe' and just kind of circle each other for a while....need to come up with another element to dissuade that kind of thing. Maybe a roving 'land mine'....any suggestions?


Offline ra4king

JGO Kernel


Medals: 336
Projects: 2
Exp: 5 years


I'm the King!


« Reply #8 - Posted 2012-02-12 04:13:41 »

Yeah 2nd game I was soooo close: 9 to 10 T__T
3rd game I started doing poorly again so I rage-quit haha.

How would in-game chat work? I would be way too busy trying to kill you Tongue

A player can still die from a bullet even when circling the area.

Also I did notice some frozen bullets, that looks like a bug :S

And please implement that earlier suggestions about the keys, at least make it an option if you don't like it Smiley

Let's go again!

Offline lazybearsoft

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #9 - Posted 2012-02-12 04:24:29 »

ra4king....I understand your frustration with the key controls. I have noticed this, also....I believe this was the same control layout as in the original 2600 version (but with joystick instead of arrow keys). It wasdifficult for me too, at first, but after so much play testing I finally got used to it. Perhaps if I use all 4 arrow keys as directional, and then 2 other keys for throttle control, that will make gameplay easier...? I'll try some different key layouts in the near future...

Death by circling bullets (within the same 'orbit')...that is actually by design, per the original Atari 2600 version....so stay clear of them!

Frozen bullet after game restart..that is a bug. At least those ones dont kill you.... Emo

In game chat...yes, not too useful during the game, but maybe useful in-between matches.

I also saw another bullet bug for the first time....the bullet was circling around part of the maze, not just in its own 'orbit' as designed, but actually looping between an inner and outer orbit. Not sure how I'll reproduce that one....

No prob about the rage quit....but I do appreciate you trying the game out with me  Grin
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline lazybearsoft

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #10 - Posted 2012-02-12 04:28:51 »

ra4king - I will have to take a break for a while, so can't play another match right now....but try to find another friend that will play against you for the time being. And you will have the advantage of having a little experience with the game, so you should be able to win some matches!  Tongue
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