Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Tuesday Installations

What A Day

It was so simple on paper. Clean up the beta files, make an installer, test it on a few test systems I have here, get it ready for a small demo Wednesday morning ready for a Thursday launch.  Damn paper!

Half The Day

In reality, I spent about 5 hours getting the sky to work again, and then to get the guns working again. Small almost incidental changes had the knock-on effect of causing the reflective sky to disappear, and for the gun geometry to fly all over the shop.  The solution was to write a sky shader and use some older gun models to get back on track.

The Other Half

Fear not however, as my hurdles jumped, I cleaned up the files so only Reloaded specific files are used, and I created a nicely clean installer which also uses a DirectX web installer to reduce download size and also runs the VC redist installer in case you are missing any DLL files the software requires. During our alpha testing, the full zip file was around the 500MB mark.  Thanks to file cleaning, and a better compression level thanks to NSIS, the new beta installer is around 190MB.  This should please everyone, not least our server which is going to get hit HARD on Thursday!  To make sure the download is not agony for you, we have created a silent mirror system so you will have two servers serving up your much anticipated beta file.

Signing Off

I have yet to start my compatibility testing with the new installer, but I am going to dig out an XP machine as I have received reports that all is not well on that operating system at the moment.  It's also prudent to test an installer under different conditions to make sure you see what we see when it's finally on your PC.

As I won't have much time left on Wednesday to actually code, I am dividing my time this evening and tomorrow evening either hiding or finishing functionality demonstrated in the editor and engine. One example is the weapon and health panels, which although functional, are currently using placeholders. Even though I have the actual art now, it came in a little late and my current task is installer testing.  Maybe if I don't tire later tonight or same time tommorow, I can add them in as they do look rather sharp!

Appeal For Rick

Rick has asked me to retract his email as the official place to send your woes to, but you can keep an eye out on the forum for news about how and where to post your findings. For this beta, I suggest you avoid submitting bug reports about the stuff that clearly is not working (as we already know about them), and make your feedback more general about the stuff that appears complete and whether we're heading in the right direction.

Appeal For Testimonials

Rick is looking for some quotes we can put in our 'Beta Press Release' about how amazing the product looks so far.  If you can email him directly at rick@thegamecreators.com it will save him bouncing back to this blog every ten minutes.  Much appreciated!!


  1. Thursday come come ... damit
    i want a DeLorean to get my hands @ reloaded
    kidding by side
    glad to hear all worked out at the end
    thanks @ Lee and Co.

  2. Sounds like hard work lee,thanks for all your effort.

  3. Lee you can test Reloaded on Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate editions using XP mode if you can't find a XP machine.

    Here is the link.

  4. I hope you don't mean you want to use a web installer to download Reloaded!! Why is that GOOD?? For most people it makes no difference but it's not a better way to do it. What about those of us with limited download?? I hate having to download the same file over and over again just to install it on multiple computers! I want to download it once and store it my downloads folder for future use!

    In what way does a web installer reduce download size? You realise it still has to download, right?

    Still, I AM glad you recognise the importance of small downloads, even in this supposedly always-connected age.

    Rant over.


    I wouldn't trust XP Mode if I were testing stuff. It's designed to run XP games, not test them, and there's a really good chance something inherent only to XP and not XP Mode is what is crashing Reloaded. Just my two cents.

  5. Just the DirectX Web Installer, not the whole thing ;) It also avoids re-downloading if your machine already has the DirectX files! Don't worry about XP, I have a machine somewhere. It depends if I can find and fix before the beta launch, but if it gets fixed the day after I don't see a problem updating the beta so everyone can enjoy, even XP users ;)

  6. Sorry for going on like I did. It was unacceptable.

    Oh, now I see how it can reduce download. Right-o then, all good.

    Oh dear. I just remembered I had the most bizarre dream last night. Like, properly weird. It was about you and Rick, Lee. For some reason I was in the UK and was driving away from a carpark (which joined on to an earlier part of the dream) and ended up at your house. Only it wasn't in Wales, it was in Scotland and your house was in a small and sparse forest, atop a narrow hill with cliffs down the ocean. I went into your house and you and Rick met me at the door. You were really pleased to see me for some reason, as if we were old friends meeting again. You said, "Come in, come in!" But I just stood there, staring at you. I remember thinking I had no idea how old you were, and you suddenly said, "I'm 36 and Rick is 58". That made it all good and I came in. Rick had to leave because he had business to do, so you took me out the back to your hammock and lay in it swinging back and forth chatting. Now that I think about it, it was rather rude of you not to offer me a spot to sit ;)

    We finished chatting (mostly about programming projects that we had both attempted over the years) and I showed you my phone (in real life I have just bought an awesome second hand Samsung Galaxy S3), then, somehow using the GPS, I showed you how my phone could keep track of which direction I was facing and take photos smoothly looking out over the ocean. You were impressed with modern technology. More happened after that, but I can't remember it.

    Oh THAT'S why you looked different in the dream: you weren't wearing your glasses.

    The whole time I had music playing, something like Survival by Way Out West, which made the whole experience even more surreal.

    For all of today I have had this annoyingly unshakable feeling that I know you really, really well. I couldn't work out why until just now when I remembered my dream.

  7. I stopped using XP with FPSC about 4 years ago.

    1. How many people are actually still using XP with FPSC? Hopefully nobody... this would spare you sometime with working on such compatibility issues.

    2. As of September 2013, the market share of Windows XP is still 31.42%. That's a huge chunk of people to cut off. And besides, it should be entirely possible for Reloaded to run on XP since DBPro was written ages ago. It'll most likely be just a small, easily fixed bug. And imagine if you still had XP and missed out just because the developer was too lazy to fix a bug?

    3. Yes, XP (and especially Vista) are pretty unstable systems.
      Windows 7 is tha shit :)

    4. XP? Unstable?? You've got to be kidding. Vista, yeah, 99.9999999% of people would agree with you on that, but XP? It was one of the most stable versions of Windows I've ever seen! 7 is better, but XP was only slightly worse.

    5. Vista is a terrible operating system.

  8. However, you do realise that Microsoft is cutting all support for XP come April 8th. People can continue to use it if they so please, but, it will be a very unsafe place to be.

    1. Yes I do. And? Just because it'll be unsafe doesn't mean that people will stop using it. If M$ suddenly cut support for Windows 7, there's not a chance in the world I'd move to Windows 8, even with the supposed security risk. Not a chance. I imagine many people feel the same way with XP.

      And besides, it's good to support older operating systems. There's nothing wrong with it, particularly in Reloaded's case since it's not going to be using anything specific to newer OS's anyway. It won't be limited at all by supporting XP.

  9. Hi Lee!
    Whats about sending DB Elite to kickstarter? I think it is possible to collect up to 7-10k $ in few weeks.DBPro is still have great community

    1. That won't happen any time soon. _MAYBE_ some time in the distant future, but for the time being Lee is working flat-out on Reloaded and TGC hasn't the cash to hire people to work on DBE. 7-10k would not be enough to develop DBE, either.

      I totally agree there's still a strong DBPro community, even if no one ever actually completes anything with it ;)

    2. 5.000 $ was start goal for AGK2 for example. And there is no need to write DB Elite from scratch only update it.Also FPSC reloaded is made by DBPro, so if you update it FPSC also will looks and work better.

    3. Well ok, maybe, but I firmly believe it won't happen soon if at all.

  10. Great work Lee! Hope you have time to put in that fine art you talked about :)
    So.. 00.01 tonight I can download Reloaded? Yes? ;)