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Thursday, 29 May 2008

The Mushrooms Are Served (ADV)

Week ten of playing Soul Shaker saw the group of heroes finally escape the lower levels of the citadel and reach the ground floor. And while the in-game clock reports 17 hours 30 minutes of play, I suspect it has been nearer 19 or 20 hours after the slight delay in the counter for networked play has been taken into account.

There were no further issues due to any coding (as such) this week. However, I think the area sizes of the module are placing a strain on the computers when it comes to heartbeat checks, as I noticed some of the "growths" did not always disappear as they were meant to. They, like some other aspects of the module, have heartbeat scripts to help govern their behaviour, and while the visual effect is not critical, I noticed the lack of response all the same.

Heartbeat scripts have often been the cause of minor issues in past modules and I have decided that while single player modules appear to handle these scripts OK, it seems multi-player games (where computers are trying to work in synchronisation across a WAN) are less forgiving and throw up these kind of minor issues. Because of this, I have decided to reconsider module area sizes in future designs to help alleviate strains on heartbeat scripts in a multi-player game. This may mean either reducing area size designs, or simply reducing the number of scripts that use the heartbeat hook.

SYNOPSIS SNIPPET: (REALM LEVEL: Sixth) REALM TIME: 17 Hours 30 Mins

"It was not until Karasten drew close to the water plants that he realized that these too were part of the hostile environment. Suddenly, tendrils from the plants reached out and grabbed him, sticking their sharp barbs into him. Finding a target with normal weapons was not easy in this situation, but Grimbold found that a well placed fire or acid grenade helped release the plants grip on those trapped within their binds." Read the full synopsis here.

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