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Software Update - Multiple server rooms, tutorial improved

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:52 am
by ChrisGibbs
Multiple server rooms

Support has been added for a variety of different types of room (lobby) on the server, according to experience in ranked games and number of rankings points (RP).

Previously there was just a single lobby in which all users were placed - a simple solution, but if there were too many users and games then each user's connection would become swamped with update messages from the server, and also made scrolling through the user list cumbersome.

There are now four different types of room when playing online:

  • General (no joining restrictions)
  • Intermediate (at least 5 ranked games are required to join)
  • Expert (at least 10 ranked games and 1501 RP are required)
  • 2v2 (no joining restrictions, but all games created are 2v2 mode)

Note that the number of games / RP needed for intermediate and expert rooms will be tweaked over time to balance the number of users in each of the three main room types. There is probably a "sweet spot" in the region of 100-250 players per room in which there are plenty of games going so that you don't have to wait long for players to join a new game, but the user list is not so large that the connection to the server slows down.

The server automatically and intelligently assigns newly connected users to a suitable room, based on a number of factors including the user's experience and the number and distribution of users already online - in general when you login, the server will try to assign you to a room of the highest experience level possible that already contains some users.

Once connected you can move freely between rooms using the menu item in the top-left of the lobby (keyboard shortcut: Alt+R). The room in which you are currently playing is shown in the window title and also in the the lobby menu bar, using an abbreviated name of the room such as "Gen. Room 1" (General Room 1).

Tutorial improvements

A couple of steps have been added near the start of the tutorial that explain the main aim of the game in a clear and concise manner, plus some steps have also been tweaked to make the game even easier to learn for new users.

Issues fixed:
  • A minor issue that seemed to occasionally result in the "Touchscreen mode" checkbox in the login window not being disabled during the login process has now been fixed.

Under the hood:
  • This update includes several performance improvements on the server, and together with the multiple room support should allow the server to comfortably handle up to 100,000 users or so online at any one time.