It’s been four years since the release of the first alpha version of SCP – Containment Breach, so I decided to make a little montage of the progress of the game. A big thank you to everyone who’s played the game during the years, all the people who’ve helped with the development and everyone else who’s been following and supporting the project!
As some of you may notice from the last few clips in the video, there’s some new stuff coming up: the developers of the Nine Tailed Fox Mod (ENDSHN and Vane Brain from Third Subdivision Team) have been working on a new update for the game for some time now (with some collaboration by me). The update will introduce a couple of new SCPs and expand the role of some of the existing SCPs, and also include a ton of bugfixes, optimization and some visual improvements (some of which can be seen in the video)!
During the past few weeks Barotrauma has gotten a nice surge of new players, and I’d like to thank all of you for all the feedback, ideas, bug/crash reports and of course the fun multiplayer sessions I’ve taken part in. I though I’d also share some random pics from the /vg/ threads:
The new version is up now! The changes to the way the game handles moving the submarine “under the hood” were definitely the the biggest and most time-consuming change in this update, and unfortunately it isn’t something that’s visible for the players (at least until underwater ruins and shipwrecks are added). There’s still quite a lot of other additions and a huge amount of bugfixes in the update, as seen in the changelog.
Here’s some gameplay footage that shows some of the new stuff:
Since the last update I’ve been mostly working on changing how the game handles moving the submarine which is why there hasn’t been much to show. In the current version the levels actually move around the submarine while the sub itself is stationary, which makes it really difficult to have multiple submarines in the same level, or any structures outside the sub for that matter. Even though a game mode with multiple subs isn’t on my to-do list at the moment (maybe at some point in the future though), some sort of explorable underwater structures (sunken subs, alien ruins…?) are a must, so I needed another way of moving the submarine.
It looks like the lag was caused by my careless use of a feature in the Lidgren network library which allows sending messages through UDP reliably (= so that they’re resent if the recipient doesn’t acknowledge receiving them). In some cases that lead to severe congestion problems, causing enormous lag not just in the chat but all the reliable messages that the game sends. Rewiring devices, picking up or dropping items and attaching/detaching items were all synced using reliable messages, and there were definitely problems with all of those even though the chat lag was the most obvious effect.
I think I’ve managed to fix the problem though: the reliable messages are now sent using a homebrew packet loss detection system which allows me to slow down or cancel the resending process entirely if it seems like the line is choking (once again thanks to Glenn Fiedler his excellent articles which have helped me quite a few times during the development of Barotrauma).
However, I haven’t yet been able to test and verify that the fix is 100% working, because I still haven’t managed to reproduce the issue when playing the game on my computer. I did host a few “real” online rounds with 4-5 players and everything was working great, but it’s still possible that the problem re-emerges when there are more players. So, I decided to upload the current build so that I can use you guys as free testers in case you want to try a version that probably works much better than v0.2.2 while I try to get rid of any bugs in the new netcode and verify that it’s actually working.
tl;dr: Chat lag and a bunch of other networking issues probably fixed, try at your own risk by downloading the latest build here:
Apparently the problem with the chat getting unbearably laggy after a few rounds is still there, even though I thought I managed to fix it. After the optimizations done to the networking code I haven’t been able to reproduce it when debugging the game on my machine (even with 10 clients and very high simulated lag and package loss), but it’s definitely still there even though the game may run smoothly for a few more rounds than before…
It seems that it isn’t just a problem with the chat but all the messages that are sent using a reliable delivery method (such as picking up items and damage done to the walls), the chat lag is just the most noticeable effect. I’ll be doing my best to fix it as soon as possible, but in the mean time I guess the best way to work around the bug is to restart the server whenever the lag appears.
The problem with the autoupdater should be fixed now btw, turns out it was a problem in the update servers end and not the launcher itself. Although, I did add proper exception handling to the place where the crashes happened so if there are any similar issues in the future, the launcher will show an error message instead of just crashing.
Unsurprisingly my “one or two week” guesstimation of the release date wasn’t accurate, but here it is now! Also, thanks for all the name suggestions even though I ended up going with Barotrauma.
Here’s the changelog for the new update:
- major optimization and much better lag compensation
- tons of bugfixes that should fix most of the syncing issues
- admins can play on their own server without launching another instance of the game
- setting the job preferences actually does something now
- reconnecting to a server if the connection is temporarily lost works much better now
- proper error messages if UPnP port forwarding fails
- security guard gear: ballistic vest, helmet & stun baton
- wifi components that can be used for transmitting signals between devices
- wall labels with a configurable text
- a bunch of new sprites and sounds
- wearing a diving suit slows the characters down
- attempting to fire the railgun when there are no shells loaded doesn't consume power anymore
- improved version of Aegir
- a new submarine, "Vellamo"
- nuclear reactors overheat much more slowly and there are warning signals for overheating and a remote shutdown button in both of the default subs
- ambient sounds change according to the speed of the sub
- fixed parts of the submarine getting stuck in the level on collision
- the autopilot is a much better driver now (although it may still crash at very tight spots)
- aiming underwater is much easier
- improved humanoid animations
- stunned/dead characters can be dragged
- all characters can now use plasma cutters and welders regardless of their skills, but insufficient skill level will make them flicker and work much less efficiently
- same for the harpoon gun, anyone can shoot but lower levels will make the gun less accurate
- rewiring devices may cause electric shocks if the electrical engineering level is too low
- some random "prop fish" swimming in the background
- a new hostile creature
- a tutorial going through all the basic tasks and game mechanics (more in-depth tutorials will be added in future versions, including one for making custom subs)
- an auto-updater in the launcher
- the game generates a detailed report if it crashes
- physics optimization (i.e. using simplified physics & animation for off-screen characters and disabling them entirely if they're far enough)
- lighting optimization (caching the lights/shadows if a light source hasn't moved instead of recalculating them every frame)
- two new background music tracks
- better looking explosions
- better looking water particle effects
- minor UI improvements
- better UI scaling on different resolutions
- health/oxygen bar improvements and status icons for bleeding and water pressure
- gap-hull connections are visible in the sub editor
- pumps don't have to be manually connected to a hull in the editor anymore, they automatically empty/fill the hull they're inside