Modern Toolchain Test Builds 112589-pte / 112585-pte / 112575-pte / 112527-pte

Discussion in 'PA: TITANS: General Discussion' started by panews, December 20, 2018.

  1. panews

    panews Planetary News Official PA

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    Seasons Greetings Commanders,

    This is a call to action to help us test the start of our tech upgrade. Planetary Annihilation is moving to tier 2.

    As we enter the holiday season we bring you a little present in the form of not one, but two(!) Public Test Environment (PTE) builds. That’s right, the choice is yours. But before we get ahead of ourselves, a little reminder that PTE builds are opt-in and an opportunity for you to try out new features before we move them to stable. They may be a little unstable, a little rough around the edges, but they’re the cutting edge of Planetary Annihilation. Check this guide on how to opt-in to PTE.

    Work on Planetary Annihilation started back in 2012, and it was built using the latest and greatest tooling at the time. But like the Progenitors, things have moved on and tooling has improved. This PTE comes in both legacy and modern build flavours, using either the build tools PA has been using since release, or the modern 2018 goodness. Newer tools allow us to lower RAM usage and boost performance, among other benefits. Of course this also means it’s less well tested and therefore possibly less stable at this time.

    The PTE will be running its own servers, separate from the stable servers, and all of them running the modern build. This is the place to come for cutting edge performance. Bring your friends!

    It’s not just about tech though, there’s a host of goodness packed into this update. In particular, the AI has once again undergone brain surgery to improve the way it evaluates battles, making it smarter about when to fight and when to ru… execute a tactical withdrawal.

    Modders should make sure to hop onto this PTE to take advantage of the new audio modding capabilities and get their sweet audio goodness ready to launch alongside this update when it hits stable.

    We also nipped in the bud most of the major crash sources we’ve identified. You can help us find more by running the modern build. We salute your sacrifice, Commander.

    tl;dr
    • two clients available (stable legacy-pte and cutting-edge modern-pte for testing)
    • official PTE servers using modern toolchain builds
    • 1v1 ranked maps expanded with four community maps from WPMarshall and GrandHomie for a total of 15 maps
    • 1v1 ranked lobby is now anonymous showing Player 1 and Player 2
    • 1v1 ranked lobby leave option has been removed
    • AI improvements with reworked and retrained neural networks
    • AI commander selection (as promised)
    • Server crash fixes
    • NEW audio modding
    TITANS Balance Changes
    • Pelican cost increased to 160 and health decreased to 150
    • Locust cost increased to 260
    • Spinner range increased to 120
    Technical Notes

    Next year we will be moving to PAnet, which will replace the legacy UberNet infrastructure with modern server environments. Eventually all the legacy Windows servers will be replaced with faster modern Linux servers.

    Toolchains

    Software development toolchain: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toolchain

    Legacy toolchain
    • Visual Studio 2012 / Windows 8 SDK
    • Xcode 5.0.1 / macOS Mountain Lion for macOS Lion 10.7+
    • Legacy steam linux runtime / GCC 4.8.4
    Modern toolchain
    • Visual Studio 2017 latest / Windows 10 SDK latest
    • Xcode 10.1 / macOS 10.14.1 latest for macOS Mavericks 10.9+
    • Modern steam linux runtime / GCC 5.4.1 (currently limited by steam linux runtime)
    Community Maps
    Server Improvements
    • Faster modern toolchain build
    AI Improvements
    • Completely reworked the AI’s neural network fitness function to improve how the AI evaluates the outcome of a battle
      • Instead of being based on the difference between each and every input before and after the encounter, the fitness function now primarily looks at which side lost more metal value. Not every encounter results in a metal loss, so the fitness function also compares unit count losses as well as health losses, but they don’t count nearly as much as metal losses
    • AI commander selection in new game lobby
    Server Fixes
    • Fix for crash if the AI was trying to teleport a fabber or commander to a planet as the planet was destroyed
    • Fix for multiple cases where a unit could be removed from a platoon (dropping the reference) before being added to a new platoon, causing a crash later on in the game
    • Fix for crash if the commander did not have an Uber cannon spec
    • Fix for build arms not ticking in multi-threading enabled servers causing fabbers/commanders to not face their build targets
    • Fix for crash if a fabber/commander was assisting in the construction of a projectile that died
    • Fix for a crash if a projectile target died and was cleaned up by the sim
    • Improved fix for players disconnecting from new game lobby not being removed from game
    Client Improvements
    • Reorganised start menu is now scrollable with more space for menu items
    • Improved commander and colour selection in new game lobby
    Client Fixes
    • Fix for ESC key locking up the start menu if no video was playing
    • Fix for community videos not showing if community mods not enabled
    Modding
    • NEW audio modding:
      • api.sound.playSoundFromFile(path)
      • api.sound.playSoundFromFileAtLocation(path, x, y, z)
      • api.sound.registerCueMod(cue, path)
      • api.sound.unregisterCueMod(cue)
    • NEW build.txt with original build number (will differ from version.txt for legacy clients)
    • NEW gBuild global with original build number from build.txt accessible in all scenes
    • NEW --version command line option to override version.txt for targeting a different server build
    Last edited: June 28, 2019
  2. felipec

    felipec Active Member

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    That is awesome.. will test it once I am back from my trip...
  3. Remy561

    Remy561 Post Master General

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    Sounds great! Looking forward to seeing what the toolchain optimizations can bring to the game!
  4. MrTBSC

    MrTBSC Post Master General

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    new audiomodding? ... meaning we can put TA sounds into the game? AWESOME!
  5. emarkus

    emarkus Active Member

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    As I already told in chat, it worked fine for me under linux, increasing simulation-speed, fps, and texture-quality (less blurry while textures being reoganized at scrolling)

    And i love that finally the fabricators put their arms to the right direction <3

    Thank you for the update.
  6. tripper

    tripper Active Member

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    I have a question:

    Is it possible to run a second copy of PA with the "--localstorageurl" command line option with a steam copy?
    and if so how?
  7. panews

    panews Planetary News Official PA

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  8. tripper

    tripper Active Member

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    After having no success with this, as I indicated, my question is was it possible in Steam? How does it work? Is there specific syntax I've failed to grasp? Does the instruction after the = sign need a file folder URL, or does it not? If it does do I need to point it to another copy, or is one made for me? and if so where the hell does it go? (hint: it's not the primary game folder) how do I (in steam) update the second version but leave my primary untouched? Or have I got this all so very very wrong somehow?

    That page covers none of these things and I'm a bit lost tbqh.
  9. admorgan

    admorgan New Member

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    Unfortunately I still get lots of opengl artifacts and just plain scramble under Linux still even with the modern toolchain.
    emarkus likes this.
  10. exterminans

    exterminans Post Master General

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    You don't copy the game, you only specify a new settings folder with that option.

    And the game shipped via Steam is identical to the standalone copy. Only difference is when it is started by steam, that it can use your steam account for login.

    If you mean to have a modern and a legacy build installed (not running) in parallel, both with active Steam integration, that is not so easy. You would need to manually copy the game, and add it as 3rd party game to Steam, and let Steam start it, so the integration works. Both copies may share the same settings folder if not running in parallel.
    Last edited: January 5, 2019
    tripper likes this.
  11. emarkus

    emarkus Active Member

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    Step 1: Performance is bad!
    Step 2: Developers increase performance!
    Step 3: People start playing 32 player FFA on Radius 1100 planets!
    Step 4: Performance is bad again!
    Remy561, river39 and cdrkf like this.
  12. emarkus

    emarkus Active Member

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    me too
  13. tripper

    tripper Active Member

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    Thanks!
  14. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    True, but then the point of PA is to be as over the top as possible... more performance = bigger battles :D
  15. emarkus

    emarkus Active Member

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    Audiomodding:
    Is it mossible to modify the background music into Total Annihilation music? :p
  16. ragnarok89

    ragnarok89 New Member

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    Hi all, I have been waiting since the original release of Planetary Annihilation to be able to mod audio effects. Is there some kind of a guide as to how we go about doing this? I admit, I'm at a complete loss as to where to even begin. Any help appreciated. Thanks.
  17. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    Have a look at the Audio Modding Test Client mod.
  18. ragnarok89

    ragnarok89 New Member

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    Thanks Quitch, I'll take a look at that tonight!

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