One way to do XOU in real time.....

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Norse Player
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One way to do XOU in real time.....

Post by Norse Player » Sat, 16. Apr 05, 23:56

One thing how to implement XOU in real time, with graphics and all.

We all know that to render a game in real time is hard enough for a single PC. To render 100's of sectors real time with all the players, are simply impossible - think of the resource drain of such a project. So, the solution is to let one server take care of one, or possibly more, sectors in realtime. Depending on how much datatransmission and processing power is needed.

In short, XOU would need a serverfarm of around 25 and more to run XOU in realtime, with calculation of trajectories, the sector economies and so on. So, in my humble opinion, XOU needs to be set into the future, say 5-6 years, before it will be taken seriously.

Every other MMORPG, and I mean every one of them do NOT calculate the dynamic economy. And it isn't a question of high mathematics either, just number-crunching. The serves in question could be hooked up to each other, like linking sectors together are done by the Ancients. How the player is connected to all this I have no idea, unless there are some router who are hooked onto every server simultanously and linking them to the outside world.

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holo_doctor
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Post by holo_doctor » Sun, 17. Apr 05, 00:17

For 1 in Sedictated server games liek HL and such the server does not do ANY rendering on it own

All the server needs to know are the boundries and thewre things are and there size. and how to enforce the rules of the game. The acctualy rendering is done by the client not the server.

A Thoretical XOU server would act simmiler to an OOS sector(s) in the current game, accept that the ship are player controlled and its not done on calculations. Also the fact that the AI not controlling the ships players are. The fact is I think that you wold be able to easly run 500 to 600 players in a full size X map on 1 decent server (providing that there was suffecient bandwidth) quite easly proccessing wise, Considering all the Graphics and Sound demands are not there.

although 500 to 600 player aint exactly MMOG, The load woudl then have to be able to balanced over many servers. you would easly have 5k to 6k ppl over say 2k to 3k sectors in as little as 8 to 10 decent servers. Even then you coudl split the client loging servers and sector control serevr for even more scaleability. but i digress this is getting more complicated than i wanted.

All A server has to do is accept and validate commands from a player and transmit back information only they need. EG current sector layout and pos of other players and AI ship and there shiptype. The client can then handle the rendering.

THis decusion is more a Dev issue anyway and since I don't see XOU comming out or even start codding befor say 2007.
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Norse Player
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Post by Norse Player » Sun, 17. Apr 05, 00:30

Thanks for the reply, holo_doctor. You're right that rendering are done by the client. But the trajectories has to be transmitted real-time, same with the economy.

I was wondering if there would be need for any NPC's as the players could join factions, balanced in numbers of course, and do the 'job' the NPC's should have been doing. But I think the players might not want to haul freight around for extended periods of time. I've read people who played "Eve" and they made some experiences with it that doesn't sound like fun.

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Post by holo_doctor » Sun, 17. Apr 05, 00:35

1: The eceonmy info only has to be trasfered to the player if he requests the info (Eg opens a station screen) otherwise why transmit it in real time Let it handle by the server in the background like it is now.

2: Tragetory of Distance and other thing are handled by numbers nothing more. The average house computer woudl handle this without breaking a sweat. any there server woudl only have to transmit it for object in the current sector. With that in mind would easy handle 50 to 60 ships at once even on 56K

The fact is the Server load is alot less than you think. The main load on this game is graphics. the behind the seans games is probale less than 20% of the total load your computer is under
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Post by pjknibbs » Sun, 17. Apr 05, 01:14

holo_doctor wrote: The fact is the Server load is alot less than you think. The main load on this game is graphics. the behind the seans games is probale less than 20% of the total load your computer is under
Your computer is continuously keeping track of something in the region of 16000 (yes, that's SIXTEEN THOUSAND) objects in X2, so where you get this idea that the background processing is only 20% I have no idea.

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silentWitness
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Post by silentWitness » Sun, 17. Apr 05, 02:26

The XOU game is likely to be a front end 'client' it had all the graphical data on it...

You'd need some way of splitting in and out of sector actions... of course you want oos to take up as little processing power as possible... while for in sector is going to hammer the server pretty hard... especially during major conflicts...

Its do able... but likely to be expensive!!!

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giskard
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Post by giskard » Sun, 17. Apr 05, 03:23

I have thought about this a lot and considered a lot of the problems people would face online playing X. The biggest problem first of all is that the players would want to build their factories and of course this means thousands of them will get built and not a lot of room for other stuff will exist. Eventually you will have to travel pretty far to find a free spot to build your own. The in game lag and other issues would be horrible.

So i thought, what if the player doesnt build factories but buys shares in the existing ones. Egosoft can control how many factories appear in how many sectors. So the problems solved.

The amount of shares in a factory that the player can own can be controled too. Destroying a factory still wipes out the players investment yet as long as it runs the player makes a profit from it.

Seems like a good solution to the problem of factory ownership to me.

It could even be a race thing, eg only members of a race are allowed to buy shares in certain factories where as others can sell shares to anybody.

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DurAlvar
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Post by DurAlvar » Sun, 17. Apr 05, 04:16

Or they could just go with the usual MMORPG solution and make factories extremely expensive and limited to set zones/numbers.
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Post by simonnance » Sun, 17. Apr 05, 04:22

DurAlvar wrote:Or they could just go with the usual MMORPG solution and make factories extremely expensive and limited to set zones/numbers.
and thus only feasable for the very rich, or for clans/guilds.

and of course a profit boost to match the increase in price!

Whatever happends, X-OU wont be the same as any other X-Game, the limits on the one hand, and the flexibilities on the other that are features of online play will make it a whole new game.
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Post by johneh77 » Sun, 17. Apr 05, 04:44

I had recomended in the Devnet (old forum gone now) that we have factory rings around planets and mentioned how they would be a great boon to online gameing as well if a ring had thousands of factories (or spots for facts..) then it would be mostly number crunching rather than a masive graphics load. Would also give majior protection to noobs if these were or nearly were indestructable. Obviously I love the idea of a stock market as well since I also suggested that too ;)

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Post by Snokid » Sun, 17. Apr 05, 05:16

I think the shares idea isn't bad. Only trading is allowed within the races space- due to paranoia or some sort of roleplaying reason.

But players can build outside of the "empires" space- thus claiming space/territory.

So little lag within the races space- due to a set amount of factories. But also a reason not to stay around but to move out into pirate or frontier space.

As said above, graphics and sound will probably be handled client side. Though it will still be pretty intense, it won't be as massive as people are thinking.

It is something to look forward to in earnest, but the single player games are fine to work our way up to OU

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Post by shasla5 » Sun, 17. Apr 05, 07:44

DurAlvar wrote:Or they could just go with the usual MMORPG solution and make factories extremely expensive and limited to set zones/numbers.
That is how it should be anyway. Its just dumb otherwise.

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Post by Deleted User » Sun, 17. Apr 05, 08:19

Couldn't there just be a massive area in space that we can all link up to and fight? After all, isn't this just a great way to prove how good (or bad) your combat skills are? I mean, who ever played Doom (etc) in the team mode? Then you could chose who you wanted to play against.

Dominion and glory over your mates. That's my wish! Surely we could have something like this now while we wait for the dream of a true online universe, where if you want to you can fly around looking at the scenery (don't forget to run away when you see me coming...)

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giskard
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Post by giskard » Mon, 18. Apr 05, 01:27

Orca: you mean jumpgate style ?
Didnt really work in that. Those areas where empty all the time.

The shares idea has an advantage in another area.

Egosoft could setup companies the players can join.

Which leads to an idea right out of jumpgate.

The players who joined a company (Jumpgate used factions, not companies) dont simply buy a factory, they buy up the material to use in its for its construction and deliver it to the shipyard building the factory. Lots of material may be needed and lots of trading will need to be done to earn the cash to buy the resources needed to build the factory.

Its works very well for other games. It promotes a feeling of belonging and with no leaders, just an AI company. Everybody can do what they want.

One done the company decides where to place it, and sends a TL to that location to start the building process. During this trip other companies may try and take out the TL. Leading to the need for escorts. Perhaps part of the duties of high ranking players in that company. Failing to perform your duties may result in a loss of shares.

The more the materials player delivers, the greater his share in the profits. This is a great way of getting team play to work online in mmogs and promotes the right kind of atmosphere within each company.

The company decide when a new factory is needed and where its needed as the universe expands and new players sign up for the game. This gives Egosoft a level of control over how many factories appear in each sector and in the universe as a whole.

Contining the company idea.

If each company had its own list of does and donts and access to ships and equipement that where different from other companies or factions, perhaps based on the factions they are trading with. Then the player would join the company that supplied him with the ships he wanted to fly. One company may actually make mambas for example and supply them to its employees at half price.

Other companies buying the mamba may need to wait a while to get them and may need to pay more for them when they do.

Like wise, a company based on the rule of law may not allow its members to break the law and not be punished. The may lose shares for abusing a rule or be kicked out of the company thus losing all their shares in that company. The company may even insist they perform certain tasks for them on a regular basis.

The tasts changing according the company the player joined.

So if you join a ring of pirates, you may not have access to advanced ships unless you can capture them. Your ask my be to supply certain makes and models of ships to your company for sale on the black market. Your shares in the profits may depend on how many ships you capture. You may not be allowed to capture ships for your selve because the Big Boss may see you as compition and put a contract out on you.

Or you might just stay a freelancer and earn cash trying in the normal way. You might gain favour with certain factions or companies for being a regular customer or supplier. Thus gaining access to some limited benefits.

Theres lots of ways to do this, all sound fun to me.

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Scotterz
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Post by Scotterz » Mon, 18. Apr 05, 03:57

I Don't see how alot of the X-universe is going to be implemented in the Xou...I mean realisticly we are talking about playing X2 without any SETI time compression!! NONE! How many of you have the patience to do all that trading without the SETI 10x?

Xou would be cool for your basic dogfighting, perhaps setting up 'CLANS' Like in the Mechwarrior 2 days, with battles between equally matched clan opponents.A Wing having 5 members ranked from lowest to highest..... ..Recruit level flies M5,
Second Class Fighter flies M4 or less
1st Class fighter flies M3 or less
Lt Colonel Flies M6 or less
Wing Commander flies M2 or less and commands the wing, movement in rank is done by challeng and defeat of your immediate superior in combat using same class ships....

Just like MEchwarrior...hey that reminds me, something they left out in ship design wi accounting for heat dissipation!!! You ought to be able to mount as many lasers as you have got energy to power up, limited of course by the necessity to add heat sinks to get rid of the waste heat...The MEchwarrior system of mech design would work very well and offer alot more flexibility if they did something similar for the new ship designs..Any of you guys know what I am talking about?

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