Friday Update: Technical Limitations

Discussion in 'News' started by Kenzie, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. Kenzie

    Kenzie Administrator
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    Time Gunners is an experiment to see if we can create a high-action FPS designed specifically for WebGL. To succeed it needs to run well on a wide range of hardware without sacrificing on gameplay & features.

    One of the biggest challenges with WebGL is that it’s CPU limited. It has to run all the game processes on just 1 core. Other platforms can utilize all of the computer's cores (multi-threading) making games run faster.

    Because of these challenges, we’ve been forced to focus on performance lately instead of gameplay. Part of these performance updates included reducing the number of players in a server from 16 to 12, removing the bullet impact effects and getting rid of tracers, which negatively affects gameplay since you can’t see where shots are coming from.

    Even after these changes, we’re still getting unacceptable frame rates on our high end development computers, which doesn’t bode well for having it run well on a wide range of hardware. At this point, adding any new features will only make performance worse.

    There are few new technologies in active development (WebAssembly, Shared Array Buffers and SIMD.js) which could help since they’re supposed to enable/support multi-threading and increase javascript performance. However there’s no time frame for when these technologies will be available for public use.

    I know there are some multi-player games that currently run in WebGL, however they don't usually tend to have many features. So to be like those games we'd have to strip everything out of our game, which we don’t want to do. We have a vision for what we want Time Gunners to be and we just can’t bring that vision to life with the current WebGL technology.

    The current version of Time Gunners will still be available to play, but for now we won’t be doing any updates.

    But don’t worry, we’ve already started working on our next experiment, details to come soon… ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. MiguelDreamer

    MiguelDreamer Spec Ops

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    Sad to see this happen, I started to imagine that with Trello boards being inactive and 2 weeks with no updates :(. Hopefully in the future Time Gunners continues being updated and with more performance improvements, and maybe consider a Steam release.

    Can't wait to see your next experiment. But you should avoid WebGL, if you don't want this happen again.
     
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  3. Proton

    Proton Administrator
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    Our next experiment was always planned, but we thought we would be able to finish Time Gunners first.

    We'll give more detail as we get a prototype ready, but think of it like Time Clickers + Time Gunners = Borderlands style multi-player incremental FPS

    We're looking forward to sharing a prototype to get feedback on :)

    There are lots of open questions. In Time Clickers we removed the randomness and let you spend Time Cubes to choose your upgrades. Can this work with upgrading your guns or is there a lot of value in the randomness? Prototypes and player feedback are the best way to tell.

    Also we created a voxel engine for infinite procedural generation. Should the world change with every timeline (secrets in different places, different enemies, etc.) Maybe this is a player choice when they Time Warp. Perhaps each Time Line has different mutators like how Rogue Legacy handles prestige.
     
  4. Vonbear

    Vonbear Spec Ops

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    Is it also going to be made in webgl?
     
  5. Kenzie

    Kenzie Administrator
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    The prototype we're working should run in WebGL, but our current plan is that the full game would be released on Steam (no web version).

    Things like the WebGL performance limitations, and the ability to create procedurally generated worlds (which won't work in WebGL) are a few of reasons we're looking at making a Steam game.
     
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  6. Vonbear

    Vonbear Spec Ops

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    That sounds nice!
     
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  7. cyrusmagnus

    cyrusmagnus Rookie

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    Ya'll seem to be some highly skilled devs. It's very cool that ya'll are following your passions on this. I really wish you'd consider releasing another idle game. Time Clickers was wonderful, the music, the mood of it, the bright colors and flashing lights. It was like playing a rave, nothing like any idle game I've played before other than perhaps DDR or its ilk.

    First time poster, but will continue watching and hoping your team reconsiders Time Clickers development for perhaps another round of updates.

    Thanks for writing good code in a world of game companies run by marketing departments rather than devs, where speed, quantity and "fit to the current meta" trumps quality, attention to detail, and FUN. Ya'll are doing it right!
     
  8. Proton

    Proton Administrator
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    There are 2 parts to Time Clickers, the incremental progress curve (which fits nicely into an action RPG shooter) and the Idle mode where the game plays itself. We aren't positive how the idle would fit in yet, for sure we want to experiment though :)

    For example, Clickpocalypse 2 is like an Idle Diablo, the characters walk through the dungeons and fight on their own. I'm trying to imagine Borderlands if your character could walk and shoot on its own, there could be some problems there. But one idea that we know works in that direction would be to have minions (maybe drones) that fight for you. But we still need the player to move forward, so there is something needed there.

    Part of the fun is discovering ways of playing and what feels right. And that is most fun when we get to share that process with the community. So our goal is to get a prototype created that we can release and start iterating on.
     
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  9. Kenzie

    Kenzie Administrator
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    We've officially announced the new project.... Time Warpers! For more info you can check out the Welcome to Time Warpers! post in the new Time Warpers forums. :)
     
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  10. Tommy123

    Tommy123 Rookie

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    i kinda like time gunners...
     
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  11. Blood_Rain

    Blood_Rain Rookie

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    Have you guys tried to take performance ideas from the WebGL version of a game called: Bullet Force Multiplayer?