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Introducing the Whirld project
Submitted By admin on 09/08/05
Mars Explorer, admin, Official, 2.0 

Update: You can now design your own (primitive) worlds in Unity, and play them in Mars Explorer!
» More info in this post
 
 
 
Development of 2.0 is well underway, and I wanted to share some of the fun!
 
I am refactoring every bit of Mars Explorer for optimum performance and minimum filesize, and have already reduced the size of the web player from over 13 MB to under 3 MB. It now loads FAST!
 
I am also working hard on the most important feature of all - streamed worlds. In fact, I am organizing the new world system as a Unity community project - more information about which can be found at the Unify Community Wiki.
 
 
But on to the fun.. Here's a working model of my latest world loader in action:
» Play Mars Explorer 1.99 In Browser
 
Large partions of Mars Explorer's internal code have been rewritten - and there are bugs everywhere, so please don't even bother to report them. In fact, multiplayer currently isn't even implemented properly - but I should have it fully functional again in a couple more days.
 
This version has no built in worlds, but instead downloads BZW worlds off the internet and generates them inside Mars Explorer for you to play in. It doesn't yet support many advanced features of the BZW format - so not all BZFlag maps will work properly in the current Mars Explorer - but worlds comprised mainly of boxes work great, and I am working on adding more advanced functionality. If you really want to be a geek you can create or procure your own BZW worlds and try loading them in Mars Explorer, but there are a couple preset worlds to test as well.
 
Once I have BZW worlds working great, the next phase of the Whirld project is to define a custom Unity map format with support for terrain objects, prefab linking, advanced meshes, hierarchical animation, etc. There is still much, much more to be done for 2.0 - in fact, I have hardly even begun - but it is already incredibly exciting!
 
 
All the best,
 
-Aubrey

» Comment on Document (Too Many Replies for Fancy Display) 114 Comments
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 5:06 GMT
Sooo for custom world, it has a blank bar, i assume for game name like 'Freestyle' and below is http://, what is the bottom one for? A web address but how would you...ya know... put your world on it? Would your world need to be on a specific site on the internet? 
 
Too cool.
 
More comments to come
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 weeks - 19,718v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 5:19 GMT
Yes - If you really want to play around with custom worlds; you will need to find a BZFlag map file, host it on the internet, then input the url of the map file into the http:// field in Mars Exporer.
 
I gleaned the current preset worlds while playing BZFlag by pressing "Esc > Options > Save World", which will save the currently loaded game world file to your library folder.
 
You can find the URL (and by extension, view the source in your web browser) of any of the preset maps by clicking them before entering custom map mode, which will populate the custom fields with the last clicked map's data.
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 5:24 GMT
Fly club! I need help! ;)
 
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 weeks - 19,718v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 5:31 GMT
For example, here's a new world I just found:
http://map.marsxplr.com.s3.amazonaws.com/Ionian%20Pathways.bzw
 
Yep - I am sure FlyClub will soon be having plenty of fun with this :)
 
And just to clarify, I am working with BZW maps as a start for no other reason that that it was an existing format that struck my fancy. Before 2.0 is officially released, I plan to have created a much nicer native format to save and load worlds in.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 5:35 GMT
Alright, but how to i get my world to whatever site it needs to be on?
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 5:51 GMT
I love the bouncy lasers! :D
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 days - 7,364v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 5:52 GMT
WOW, i have a feeling this is gonna be a huge feature in the future.
 
 
NICE work Aubrey
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 week - 17,200v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 6:05 GMT
WEEEEEE!!!
This is great fun!
I just played the boxy castle map.
I got my buggy into one of the top rooms in the towers. -And back out again. Sweet!
 
Maaaaaan, the driving is smoooth and fast, and the impact reaction of the buggy against walls is fun.
-I actually got my bug stuck under a wall for a second or two, before it pulled through and drove under the wall. *LOL*
 
I played it on 50fps/ fantastic with no problems at all.
 
This seems very very promising.
Great Job, Aubrey. *GLOMPS BUGGY!*
 
- Johnny
 
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 6:17 GMT
Very promising, yes yes :)
Just wish i knew how to import files.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 10:00 GMT
Ok... so i downloaded the whole BZFlags thing but now i want to get rid of it. When i try to move it to the trash it keeps saying:
I've tried everything i know how to do...Can someone help me kill this thing?
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 week - 14,368v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 10:08 GMT
So is sketchup worlds out of the question now?
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
14 hours - 1,624v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 10:17 GMT
nice! I think that the slits in the box castle castles could be lower, but I think like this, even witht the multiple respawns, it could be done within the year!!!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
14 hours - 1,624v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 10:45 GMT
what about freestyle, the carriers, the submarine, and lava?
 
maybye 2 years...
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
14 hours - 1,624v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 11:02 GMT
as a matter of intrest, who mad BZFlags?
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
4 days - 11,078v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 11:13 GMT
Yes, I had to do that one... I did something most would find silly... I went into the package contents and killed it from the inside! LOL, it did the trick, but may have after effects... don't know, seens to be good at the moment
 
Super Cheese
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 day - 3,527v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 12:54 GMT
Aubrey, I LOVE the new alpha version.  It's absolutely amazing.  I can't wait until it's done, but I have a few questions.
1:  What are the white transparent shapes that you can drive through?  My little brother thought they were air zones, since you were in space.  I have BZFlags, and I thought it might be just a material from BZFlags that doesn't transfer over to Mars Explorer correctly.
2:  Speaking of my little brother, is there any chance that the security settings me and macdane suggested will be implemented in the 2.0 release.  I know you have a lot on your plate, and I was just wondering.  It will be awesome if it will be, but if not, I understand.
3:  Will any of the features from BZFlag transfer over to Mars?  For example, the teleportation gates, the flags (super power and non-super power), ect.  That would make Mars Explorer even more awesome if you could choose if you want those.
4:  Will there be a program that we can download in the future where it will make Mars maps, not just BZFlag maps?  I think someone suggested this already, but I was wondering if it was possible.  Just basically where you grab a section of land, plop it down, then repeat.
5:  Going along with question 4, will Mars be able to only download BZFlag maps, or will it be able to download maps made on blender, sketchup, etc.  Also, will the old maps come back?  I really like Freestyle, and I'm sure a lot of other people do too.
 
Well, I hope you can answer all of these, but if not that's okay.  Thanks for the great game, and keep up the great work.
 
kirby_freak
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 weeks - 18,835v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 13:16 GMT
Great! I like the idea, tis super! 
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
4 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 13:32 GMT
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 weeks - 19,718v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 13:40 GMT
  1. Right now, I am instantiating all bzflag "spawn" zones as Mars Explorer materilization clouds - which are probably the white things you are seeing
  2. Yep! "Kid Safe Mode" is definitley on the long, long 2.0 list :)
  3. I dont have any current plans to add flags (perhaps someday, but definitley a long way off) - but teleporters sure sound fun!
  4. My eventual goal with the Whirld project is to create a program that will let you create worlds inside Mars Explorer - or perhaps a companion world designer app.
  5. As mentioned above, BZW is just the first format I am implementing because it is so simple. I will eventually define my own much more advanced world format - which will work great with Sketchup, Blender, etc - and which will allow the definition of much more fluid worlds such as Freestyle.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 weeks - 19,718v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 13:42 GMT
BabaG;
 
Whenever you see that OS X message, it generally means that you are still running the program that the disk image contained. If nothing else works, closing all your open programs - or in the very worst case, restarting - should fix the problem.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 day - 3,527v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 13:47 GMT
Yay!  Kid Safe!  I told my brother that, but he just looked at me then turned back to the TV.  Hah.  Well, thanks for all the work your putting into the game.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 day - 4,262v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 14:42 GMT
Amazing! Fantastic! Astounding! Gazemazing! Extraordinary! Extreme! *BREATH BREATH* *RUN AROUND AND SLAM INTO WALLS CARRYING CHAIRS CRASHING INTO COFFE TABLES AND FEEDING DRAGONS PAINT*
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 day - 2,070v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 15:03 GMT
i dont like it
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 16:02 GMT
I likeit , I'm having great fun with it...but where are out classic worlds?
You know? Freestyle? Foxholes? Lava Racer? Erics Maze?
...
 
Also, will there be any bug fixes in 2.0? Such as No-connection players?
Also building on what Macdane and kirby have said,
We do need a kid safe mode,what would the age be where kid to teen stops?
Also, do you plan to post some tutorial on BZW?
I did see many bugs, but I will hold off until you say that 1.99 is working fully.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 days - 7,304v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 16:49 GMT
Aubrey Falconer You have done it again :D You pwn!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 17:07 GMT
Wow Aubrey. You are really impressive. This is I believe the first time any game has done this. You are quite the man I will probably never be as good at.  Does this mean all the original worlds will be gone?
 
-KD
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 17:47 GMT
YAY! THis is great!!! :D I am starting expirementation on the format, my current map will be updated frequently, and available under http://www.geiodo.com/downloads/test.bzw.
 
 
I have no REAL comments for now, but I do have a suggestion....
 
 
In the "Procedural" Unity example project, there is a script that can read any image as a height map, and modify the mesh it is located on, like a height map to a terrain - perhaps you could make this an option as well? Hence allowing people to create terrains very similar to freestyle, and foxholes - you could even export a few of their height maps for use!
 
Anyways, back to work.
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 18:26 GMT
Just be sure to keep the BZ flags format available, even when you DO make a newer format - it would be good as a beginner format, and also, by the time 2.0 is out, we will all ready have a few maps that we would like to keep around. Also, could you perhaps make it also possible to enter world data into a text box, instead of making it ONLY possible to get things off the web? (Perhaps you could change "custom world" to "Custom world from web", and make another option: "Custom world from text".
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 18:28 GMT
Sorry, but there are hundreds of games that use this system - where do yah think the bzflags format came from? Some one just randomly came up from it? Maybe..... Still....
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 week - 17,200v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 18:40 GMT
Teenager:
A person aged thirTEEN to nineTEEN years. :O)
 
Getting older is mandatory.
- Growing up is optional.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 18:58 GMT
I heard that Dane
Shake and Bake! :D
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
19 hours - 2,706v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 20:34 GMT
Aubrey, this is incredible!  I am loving the new version (altho i have to agree with dude in that i would love the classic worlds back :)!!!  I love the skirmish world!  Flying thru the gates, ramping up the triangle structrues....ugh....its amazing!  Well done, keep it up :)
 
Jay
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 22:05 GMT
Yea... I've done all but reset. I'll try that later.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 22:11 GMT
I like it ok, but im more in love with the future. Aubrey said he'll add the classic worlds later, after he finishes other stuff, i dont mind mixing things up for a while. Im just worried about the complexity of the game in the future. I Didn't see any bugs, i think they're just scared of me :)
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 22:12 GMT
How do you put levels on the web!?
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 22:38 GMT
Ftp buddy, and they don't come free.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 22:39 GMT
What he said!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 23:06 GMT
:'(
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 day - 4,262v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 23:33 GMT
This isn't really relitive, but i was thinking about the lasers. Would you, Aubrey, be able to bestow upon us the ability to have negitive laser gravity so they curve up? or a slider for how long lasres last, so we could make a laser forever bounce upsidedown on  the ceiling?
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
22 hours - 2,473v
Posted 2009/08/05 - 23:51 GMT
what, no raptor safari? D= i'd love 2 shoot one of those raptors... i have a few ideas;
 
a screan where you can type in game links and put a level from it into the server!
 
another screan where you can type in game links (again) and put a vehicle from it in the server!
 
modifacations for that in the future, type in the game NAME (that's new) instead of link, (i think this should work with stuff like xbox) and it loads stuff from that game!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 day - 3,527v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 0:53 GMT
I intended it to be an optional thing.  Maybe you could have a password that a parent would go on the app and set, and it would make it so you couldn't log out of the app or change the security settings.  But I was thinking it would be optional.  Of course, Aubrey's actually creating it, so I guess he decides what the Kid Safe mode would be like.  :)
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 day - 4,262v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 1:00 GMT
Hey FC! Does the custom world thing mean we could play the world you made?
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
4 hours - 372v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 1:19 GMT
i played in it
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 3:05 GMT
(Testing my Linux computer, sorry if this is unreadable)
 
You might be able to find a hosting site somewhere that provides direct linking for free. You could try DropBox.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 weeks - 19,718v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 5:03 GMT
New version is up - and multiplayer gaming should now be functional!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 week - 17,200v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 9:32 GMT
shake and bake? *LOL*
- Pancakes or waffles?
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
22 hours - 2,473v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 12:08 GMT
i can't play online! D=
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
20 hours - 1,887v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 16:24 GMT
Aubrey, the multiplayer version is extremly glitchy, is there anything that can be done?
» Reply to Comment
besides goin' back 2 the first version!
22 hours - 2,473v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 16:31 GMT
Malconer
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 day - 6,036v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 17:33 GMT
look at my lasorz!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
13 hours - 1,294v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 17:37 GMT
lookin great!!!
 
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
12 hours - 717v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 17:58 GMT
 
 
Nice! : D
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 18:26 GMT
I know I solution to a problem. If you log into an account, it'll call you mars racer. But if you just put a name and know password, then it'll say your name. So I put Killerdude and it said killerdude joined. Hope this helps.
 
-Killerdude
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
21 hours - 3,209v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 20:30 GMT
mars is dead. you have just single handedly killed it. goodbye i have no reason 2 stay now.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 20:32 GMT
???.........?????
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 21:34 GMT
Waffleboy, you are not giving it a chance. He will put all the things in there.  This isn't full done. Give it a chance.  I have some concerns too, but I am still with it. We're all with it together.
 
-KD
» Reply to Comment
I'm not against new worlds however,
4 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 21:44 GMT
It's not dead waff but for all of our diligent reporting and documentation of bugs, giving input about features, teaching newbees how to play and general support of the game for over a year, I feel that it's perfectly reasonable to request one bug-free version to play the game as it was meant to be played and we haven't gotten one bug-free version even with 1.9.8. I know that the ranks of the disappointed are very, very few and the game costs no money and Aubrey is only one person however, this is a product offered for world-wide public consumption by apple.com and therefore should have at least one version that works properly for dedicated nerd/gamers (like me) unless it was represented more appropriately with a name like: "Mars Explorer Experimental Multiplayer".
 
I still love this game. I just have different priorities, I guess.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 week - 14,368v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 22:05 GMT
All this talk of waffles is making me hungry for the ones i had in florida. MMMMMMM wafflllleeessss *drool*. Why the hell don't they get sold in Europe, it is one of the very few good american foods.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 day - 256v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 22:23 GMT
WOW AUBREY!!!!!    THAT IS PWNAGE
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 days - 7,497v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 22:54 GMT
Looks like somebody didn't have the patience to read what Aubrey said.
 
Oh, and waffleboy, Aubrey never killed mars.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 days - 7,304v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 23:06 GMT
THEY DONT HAVE WAFFLES IN EUROP WATZ THE THIS IS HORRIBLE!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
4 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 23:21 GMT
Looks like someone doesn't have the moxie to say WHO "somebody" is. 
 
It couldn't be me of course because I read everything that Aubrey says.
 
'waff is entitled to his opinion.
» Reply to Comment
Re: besides goin' back 2 the first version!
1 day - 3,527v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 23:25 GMT
!!!  It's Kirby!!!  Yeah!!!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 weeks - 19,718v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 23:25 GMT
Update: Complete source code for my latest Unity Whirld library is now available on the
Unify Community Wiki Page!
 
Note that this is highly preliminary - it doesn't yet do much more than what you see in Mars Explorer 1.99.
If you are interested in game development in Unity, you may want to check this out...
 
 
 
I also just released a minor bugfix in 1.99 to allow saved player names to show correctly in the game.
 
 
 
Oh - and you really don't need to get up in arms folks - this 1.99 is nothing more than a technology demonstration. Long before 2.0 is released, all the old worlds will be back :)
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 days - 7,497v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 23:42 GMT
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/06 - 23:52 GMT
Aubrey, with all due respect, you are missing the point. We are more upset with the direction the game is headed. But as i said on waffles post, change happens and we shouldn't be scared of it. However, We have reason to be upset, in my opinion, the game has change almost completely since it's start and many good things have been removed for no reason it seems. Im just gunna go with the flow i guess... When it gets to be too much change, and it's just not fun anymore, i'll just leave peacefully. 
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
4 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 0:30 GMT
Wow, I just tried it.  Very exciting!=) 
 
Judging from all of the requests I've seen from people who want you to put the worlds they've designed on Mars Explorer, this should make a lot of people happy:)
My brother and I are going to get the free 30 day download of Unity, but we're going to wait until there's snow on the ground.  We'll have plenty of time to try it out then:) 
It will be really fun if we can drive around in the worlds we make!
 
Thanks for all of the hard work you're putting in,
~Edith~
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 0:36 GMT
What is that from lmao.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 weeks - 19,718v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 1:00 GMT
Dear Kruncher, BabaG, WaffleBoy, etc;
 
I truly appreciate your feedback, and I don't want to minimize your concerns in any way.
Your encouragement is also greatly appreciated Eric, but don't worry - I don't write Mars Explorer just to receive the commendations of others - and even if I did, it takes an awful lot to discourage me :)
 
With that said, I honestly don't see what all the drama is about.
There is talk about loosing our roots and destroying all the fun Mars Explorer ever had, but why?
 
I plead guilty to the charge of often enjoying the implementation of new features more than fixing bugs - but as far as I know - 1.9.8 is quite possibly the closest to bug free (modern) version of Mars Explorer ever. There is the dreaded NR syndrome - which I have finally become convinced will not be entirely eliminated without a complete overhaul of the networking system (which is well underway in 2.0), and the master server connection bugs (which I was actually collaborating with Unity's lead networking developer on earlier today - and which will hopefully be resolved soon), but other than those - I believe that 1.9.8 provides a pretty solid gaming experience.
 
As far as the "good things" of Mars Explorer itself - how are we loosing them?
Yes, you can no longer exploit the physics system as much as you used to be able to - but was that really even all that great? Other than experiencing the unparalleled excitement and euphoria of blasting yourself into a blank void for minutes on end while watching a green number crawl higher and higher - possibly even leaving other players without a quarry to pursue - and which can still be enjoyed by accessing the archives on the "Play" page - what are we truly missing? Low performance handling, slow flight, and no tanks can all be relived in the glory of the latest graphics using the server settings. I am sure there things I am forgetting, so please remind me! I will certainly consider re-adding features than are sorely missed.
 
For me, 2.0 represents the most exciting possibility for Mars Explorer that I can imagine. It is where Mars Explorer transitions from a game capable of nothing but wasting time into a platform where anyone can express their creativity in incredible worlds of their own design - and learn tons of great computer skills while doing it. It is an environment where everyone can share the thrill of creation with me - benefiting the entire Martian community whenever they do!
 
I am really looking forward to 2.0.
If you aren't, please let me know why!
 
-Aubrey
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 1:24 GMT
Ok. Thanks Aubrey.  I do have a question, I don't know how to make the worlds on the bizflag website to upload them and play them on marsxplr.com Could you tell me how? Thanks, 
 
-KD
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 1:40 GMT
This is why i dont want to fear change, as hard as it can be. The players and the creators always have different ideas, but only the creator can change the game. Not that it should be different in the respect but it causes some friction. It wasn't so much the jumps that we miss, its the experience of finding them. New ones were always around to be found. And believe me when i say that using them to your advantage was either clever or rude depending on the person you asked, but that doesn't matter, many things still are that way. Skimming was a great thing, not a buggy like characteristic maybe but fun none the less. I used to love 'sharking' with the hover craft, but now it's just boring since you can't go under the world, and its so easy to do now. Not that i want the world to be changed for the one reason i can live without it, but again, its the experience of finding out how to do an impossible task like putting a hover craft under the lava back in 1.9 and such. As the game is now, it's so clean cut that there is about two 'butterflies' left in the game including 'levitating'. Im not saying these things should be re-added at all. The game its self has changed, the focus of the game. It used to be about exploration, it is after all Mars explorer. However, now you are saying it's about expression. So change the name to Mars Expression. Im kidding of course, but can you see my point? I can't say your dream of people expressing themselves through the computer is a bad one, i like it, but the game has changed in the purpose you must admit. We always said we wanted a world like 2.0 back in the old days, to be able to make vehicles and worlds with ease, and no bugs to interfere with gaming, then of course the game play modes like capture the flag. We forgot to think of how this would change the game. Again, change isn't always bad but i just feel that we are loosing an old loved game and making a new one, for better or worse, it's coming. Thank you.
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 1:41 GMT
Same.
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 days - 7,497v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 2:30 GMT
My image, baba, is called the AWESOME FACE >:D
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 2:34 GMT
Very true :P
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
4 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 3:12 GMT

Mars Explorer has always been much more than "a game capable of wasting time" to me. Thank you Aubrey for your response. I don't feel that I'm being dramatic in the least. Nor do I say anything against future concepts or claim loss of roots, etc.

 re: Tank - I conceded our debate in the 1.9.8 post.

re: playing older versions - multiplayer not functional yet for version 1.91 at least.

  All, and I mean ALL I am saying, right now, is that 1.9.8 is still madly bugged and is not at all a solid gaming platform yet. Even mine and Dude's game's integrity are now deteriorating and we two usually can host the more stable games.

I have placed comments about most of what is below in the 1.9.8 post as requested.

Currently in 1.9.8:

No reduction from previous versions in non-responding/delayed/no connection vehicles. Even Host can go not responding if he changes vehicles. This is in every single game, not most. Yes, I read about the total overhaul and I hope it works. Floating Tanks (default gravity)

Rematerialize still works with totally non-Quarry related tags.

Vehicles continue to "Matrix" (freeze and stay frozen mid-air) with or without Delayed etc below them.

More choppy-moving players than any previous version.

Bubbles on dry land.

Lava Racer still occasionally loads without any available land even when other players have land on their screens.

Boot button stops working with a named evictee morphing into an un-evictable yet able-to-text BuggyClone.

Level 4 lasers are occasionally, visibly penetrating walls/gaining Quarry and sometimes reflecting off of nothing at a 90 degree angle.

Lasers are emanating from other vehicle's previous position. I'm  talking way more than half a second here. I mean the shooting vehicle is not even in the area (on my screen) and lasers keep coming and coming from ground, from walls, space, creepy. (Before and after rejoin screenshots below)

Invisible bots that can tag.

Laser hits, even when accompanied by visual "splashes" on vehicle's surface often fail to reliably register.

Now, please take my word for these above reports. If bots are invisible, be assured I checked that badges are on and there simply are no visible bot vehicles on the map whatever. If I see something strange, I take a screenshot and post it on the appropriate thread. Also, I am well aware of all the short term solutions and workarounds and I seek no explanations. I check my facts and I interview hosts about their activity on the host computer and I ask where other players see things on the map so I know what's what. 

 
Lasers coming from a ghost vehicle. These do hit and disturb your vehicle.
I rejoined and saw this tank (below) which was the source of the above lasers!
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 week - 14,368v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 8:45 GMT
We don't even casually have pancakes only 1 day a year
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 9:08 GMT
Alright, time for American invasion. Jim, you bring the cheese, waffle boy, you bring the slim jims, super cheese, get the waffles. I'll bring the burritos. Boo ya.
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
4 days - 11,625v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 9:49 GMT
How do you guys get into that weird world with the grey walls and stuff?
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 9:57 GMT
Play the game...
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
4 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 13:22 GMT
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 weeks - 19,718v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 14:15 GMT
Kruncher;
 
Bug reports much appreciated!
Nearly all of the issues you are reporting are directly related to the main bug in the networking system, and I truly believe that the extensive changes I am implementing in 2.0 will bid them farewell.
 
All the best,
 
-Aubrey
 
 
  • NR, matrixed vehicles: This is why I am overhauling the entire networking system.

  • Floating Tanks: Due to their physics intensive nature, tank physics are currently only simulated on the "authoratative" client game instance. This means that they can float away when non - authoratative game instances stop recieving positional updates for them.
  • More choppy-moving players than any previous version: This is suprising - I thought the new interpolation code was pretty good. However, I did release 1.9.8 with a slightly slower positional update rate (10 times per second) than other beta versions in an effort to combart the NR issue. Please let me know if 1.9.9 is smoother - it has code that is already overhauled a bit, and it updates vehicle positions 20 times per second.
  • Lasers fired from nowhere: 1.9.8 now includes the firing position of each laser inside the "send laser" network call. So unless someone has created a hacked client or something (highly unlikely), the position the laser is fired from should be exactly where the player was when they fired it... If they aren't there on your screen, then you are just seeing an instance of the core positional update bug in action.
  • Laser hits not registering: Laser hits are only determined on the "authoratative" client (the player's computer on which the laser was fired). If you get hit by a laser, yet it doesn't register - then the laser missed you on the authoratative client for that laser. This is probably because your positional sync to their computer was delayed, which is just another instance of the main bug in action.
  • Bubbles on dry land: Interesting - I'll take a look at this. I thought I had fixed this before 1.9.8.
  • Lava Racer not loading: Very interesting! However, the new whirld system should completley take care of issues like this.
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 weeks - 19,718v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 14:29 GMT
Point well taken!
 
My reply is that I never actually intended the "exploration" component of Mars Explorer to be provided by random inconsistencies in my maps - it just happened that way because of my lack of programming skill :)
 
With 2.0, Instead of being stuck with only my boring old maps to try and find bugs in - the scope for exploration will be vastly increased! Eric, FlyClub, MacDane and several others :) are already creating creative worlds that I can't wait to explore. Honestly - dodging lasers inside a space station or racing through a multiplex network of underground tunnels sounds like a lot more fun to me than trying to figure out the best way to run into a wall or sink in a pool. Please don't mistake me - I am not trying to disparage the old, but rather to emphasize the new!
 
I really don't feel that we are loosing an old game, but we definitley are making a new one.
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 weeks - 19,718v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 14:34 GMT
Good question!
 
Honestly, the current BZFlag world loader is nothing more than a "proof of concept" - and soon I will have a MUCH more powerful and capable world format for everyone to work with.
 
There is information on the BZW wiki linked in the original post that describes how to create BZW worlds - but I would recommend hlding off a bit longer till the next version is released.
 
I am planning for the next version to include a tool to save any Unity scene directly to a world file - so now is a great time to get your worlds looking the best they can in Unity.
 
Have a great day,
 
-Aubrey
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
2 weeks - 18,835v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 16:14 GMT
I like the different textures, like armor and crystal or whatever.
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
3 days - 10,178v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 20:39 GMT
I copied myself!
 
The bot bug is back in full force!
 
 
XD
 
 
 
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 22:23 GMT
No more NR, that gets rid of my butterfly, i believe to be the very last. NR is bad for gameplay so im all for ridding the game of it, but this leaves us with nothing. Good bye old mars...
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 22:31 GMT
Yea, i didn't figure you did... However, they were almost never random. That was the fun part, you could always look for them and recreate them. Alright... I'll support the new worlds, with no good glitches. I'd prefer that there were some, but i can't seem to have it my way so i'll go with yours. However, i wont be happy until the old versions multiplayer is up and running. Thank you.
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
4 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/07 - 23:58 GMT
"save any Unity scene" - Now THAT will help me hang on!
 
Velociraptor
Velociraptor
Velociraptor
Velociraptor
Velociraptor
Velociraptor
Velociraptor
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
4 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/08 - 0:11 GMT
Aubrey, I really appreciate that you took the time to address our comments.
 
re: lasers from nowhere/ "core positional update bug" - That sounds like it. If you lookee my screenshots above, you can see in pic 1. lasers from no vehicle and pic 2. , vehicle that produced them, visible after I re-joined.
 
Thank you
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
22 hours - 2,757v
Posted 2009/08/08 - 12:44 GMT
Something I found interesting:
 
 
The other player was stuck in a xorb even though rorbs were not enabled. hmm...
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
6 days - 8,777v
Posted 2009/08/08 - 21:23 GMT
we need a page where everyrone posts the url for all the maps.
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
4 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/09 - 3:05 GMT
So GTR, I tried to answer this question and you replied "I know". What is the deal? Hmmm? You then said you meant to be asking about custom worlds. Well, the world you described "weird world with gray wa 
 
Oh what's the use? Who are you people that ask questions then, when answered, say "I know". I just don't get it. 
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 day - 4,262v
Posted 2009/08/09 - 14:33 GMT
Glitches weren't the only fun part, nor was finding them. I enjoyed utilizing the tanks firepower to hit my buggy bot's rorbs pushing them up a cliff. Abusing bots with a tank was the best part of heavy tank power.
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
4 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/09 - 15:21 GMT
babaG, at least you got it to run.
 
I am dead in the water here and without a clue about the custom world feature.
 
I will play Skirmish Central until a step-by-step tutorial is published.
 
 
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/09 - 20:10 GMT
Ok, that makes one of you. I think i can stand for the majority of respectable players on the game when i say glitches were fun, and so were finding them. Oh and you can still have powerful lasers, especially in your own server if you choose to do that. And never did i say glitches were the only fun part, listen up please. Thank you.
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 day - 4,262v
Posted 2009/08/10 - 14:15 GMT
I didn't say you did. There were plenty of other fun aspects, but I believe exploration itself dominated over them all with a Marsish fist. I'm on your side.
It's extremely hard to be able to continue finding new things when the game has been around for a while, though. Yes, the perspective of the game has changed, but not much can "Repair the damage". Don't get me wrong, I would love it back like it was, but I don't think it would happen.
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 week - 16,790v
Posted 2009/08/10 - 16:33 GMT
Yea make another website on plexpedia.  I really like all the castle stuff. lol This is an awesome idea
4 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/13 - 17:58 GMT
Aubrey, when you can, a ban or locked & publicly visible game feature would really improve every host's ability to provide a quality game. This noob multi re-join thing is out of control.
Thanks
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/13 - 20:09 GMT
Double ditto. Or at the very least, a mute button.
4 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/13 - 20:15 GMT
Ultimately.
 
1. Keep Evict as a warning, allowing the booted player to return with a three strikes out.
 
2. Add Ban for duration of server and/or forever.
 
3. Publicly visible & locked games. (available in Unity's Velociraptor)
 
4. Mute for specific players.
 
5. Disable Messaging Console for everyone.
 
And Thank You for re-adding "rammed" in 1.99
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/13 - 20:22 GMT
Agreed, Ban should have option like minutes or till server end or forever.
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
3 days - 10,178v
Posted 2009/08/14 - 17:07 GMT
How about there are two buttons?
 
"BAN" and "BOOT"
 
 
so you can choose weather It it permenant or not?
 
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/14 - 17:58 GMT
That's what we meant...
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/14 - 22:24 GMT
Deleted due to me being wrong.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 1.99 Alpha Preview
2 weeks - 19,718v
Posted 2009/08/17 - 23:42 GMT
Update: You can now design your own (primitive) worlds in Unity, and play them in Mars Explorer!
» More info in this post
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 1.99 Alpha Preview
4 days - 9,839v
Posted 2009/08/20 - 16:18 GMT
Awesome job!
i don't know if someone has said this already i didn't read all the posts but when ever i try to shoot my lasers come out of one of my bots or where i was before it's really weird.
p.s. I really like how the lasers bounce of things
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Re: Mars Explorer 1.99 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/08/26 - 4:06 GMT
BAM!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 1.99 Alpha Preview
1 day - 3,859v
Posted 2009/08/26 - 15:35 GMT
THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!  Great WORK!!!  I WANT MORE!!  THIS AWESOME!!!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 1.99 Alpha Preview
2 hours - 460v
Posted 2009/08/26 - 21:17 GMT
i love it this is so awesome!!!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
1 hour - 64v
Posted 2009/09/16 - 1:28 GMT
you say change is good, Well hell no it isnt look what yall did u yanks by votin for obama. HE really screwed up the econemy and hes wastin all this money man
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 1.99 Alpha Preview
2 days - 5,729v
Posted 2009/09/19 - 7:30 GMT
werhuz, there is no use for politics on mars; we have a ruler name aubrey. -lol-
 
You must be new here; on mars, EVERONE is from a different cultural background. We have people from New Zealand, Great Britain, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Australia, Canada, Asia, etc. 
 
I don't see THEM posting anything about Queen Beatrix of Holland, Queen Margrethe II, John Phillip Key , Queen Elizabeth, etc.
 
So y do YOU think YOU have the right to post nonsense spam on OUR boards? If you have a political opinion (most do), then share it on a political message board!
 
~Red
 
P.S.- Would you prefer Bush? Obama's met more heads of countries in seven months then Bush did in his entire career!
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Re: Mars Explorer 1.99 Alpha Preview
11 hours - 1,299v
Posted 2009/09/19 - 21:03 GMT
cool. cant wait for 2.0   how close is it to completion, Aubrey?
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer 1.99 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/09/20 - 0:03 GMT
Bam!
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Re: Mars Explorer 2.0 Alpha Preview
5 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2009/09/20 - 0:04 GMT

That would be the world creator post!


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