Dussel-3 : an Empty-Epsilon Sci-fi LARP

edited June 2016 in EmptyEpsilon
image

Hi everyone,

As I first mentioned in march when I discovered the game, we will have a sci-fi larp using Empty-Epsilon as a game platform.

The first event of Dussel-3 will be on June 25th, in the province of Quebec, Canada. The game will be in French.
It'll be a "beta" to test the technical stability of the game and our server, but also to test the first element of our activity, its scenarios and other related elements. If by any chance you are nearby, you are more than welcome to pass by !

We will be limiting the game to 6 ships and have already over 30 attending players. The activity should last 5h.

Webpage
Event page
Game document
Inscription form
Spaceship Upgrades
How to play EE (french)

----------

Our major concern right now is about the server and game stability. We'll most likely have around 35 computers connected on the server, disposed in different rooms for each ship.

As of now, we will have the server on our most potent computer, and everything on wifi on a 1750Mbs router not connected to internet, plus signal booster. We may use wire if a room has a bad signal.


I wondered if you had any tips, advice or warnings regarding our setting or any information you think we should have.

Many thanks
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Comments

  • Our major concern right now is about the server and game stability. We'll most likely have around 35 computers connected on the server, disposed in different rooms for each ship.
    I'm not concerned for this bit. The game held up fine with a 13 client game over the internet.

    I can tell you we had a rock solid and stable run on our event (last Saturday) but this was only a 6 machine setup. However, due to technical problems, we had less "powerful" machines then we hoped. And it still ran fine. The server ran for 1 long session, with restarting the scenario, from 12 to 5. So that's the same amount of game time you are planning for. We ran the latest code that was available on that day.


    On a LAN, I see no reason the game won't scale to 500 clients right now, as a single connection takes 20kb/s in heavy scenarios. (So that's about 10mb/s for 500 players. Which should saturate a 100mbit connection. But we have gigabit these days)
    The server also seems to handle 100 ships quite well.

    So on the performance side, I expect no problem. On the organization side. You'll have 30+ machines to connect to the server. In my experience, the biggest hurdle was updating all the machines. So we switched to a network boot (PXE) environment.
    I'm planning on re-producing this environment tonight and documenting it.
    (Note, we had this setup failing on some computers, due to security features in UEFI. We haven't investigated yet. As we are mainly using old machines, this isn't an issue for us right now)

    You also have the hurdle of having each station hook up to the right ship and crew position. Sounds easy, but in the stress of running an event this can be quite annoying. (I wished I had arranged this better with the auto connect function on our event)
  • edited June 2016
    I'd be prepared to fall back to a wired network. At least for some machines. WiFi is great for surfing the web, but, sometimes when you need it most is where it usually falls on its face. While I haven't had problems with EE itself on WiFi yet, there's usually problems with just finding a clear channel that you're not competing with. It's especially true in a commercial environment.

    I've been planning an event similar to this myself. Right now it's just getting time to work on scenarios to prepare.
  • On the WiFi, as documented in the event topic I made. We ran 1 machine trough WiFi. But the router was sitting next to the laptop. And this was only because of the Apple stupidity of not having a network port on Macbooks.

    First versions of EE we ran trough WiFi it did give quite some problems. But we also had some bugs in the network code back then, where congested networks caused errors in the data. This is no longer the case, and delays on 1 client should not effect overall performance. However, short interruptions in the network connection will cause jittery results for the clients, as no advanced network synchronization on positions is done. (There are all kinds of possible tricks that some games pull to make network synchronization look smoother then it actually is. EE does none of that)
  • Thanks for your infos !

    We announced the event tuesday and today we had to close the insciptions, having already over 50 players. That will be a lot for a beta!

    Everyone is well aware that this is a beta and we may experience difficulties. I suppose we'll have the chance to stress the game and server quite enough.
    In case the wifi do not work properly, we'll have the wires for almost everybody. If the server gets too slow, we'll divide the game in 2 groups (or more) and have distincts scenarios.
    You also have the hurdle of having each station hook up to the right ship and crew position. Sounds easy, but in the stress of running an event this can be quite annoying. (I wished I had arranged this better with the auto connect function on our event)
    Indeed this may become quite a mess ! Thanks for pointing it out. I think we'll put some responsibility to the captains of each ships to organize their crew and we'll have to be very specific on how to make everything work well without loosing too much time. We already have shceduled break times between each scenarios to ready things up.


    If you had any perks you wanted to test (ship to ship docking maybe :P ) I guess it would be a good moment. I'll try to catch the review of every crew on the game also.
  • edited June 2016
    For my LARP, I plan on having a few hours for the "Academy". It is where players get familar with the game before hand. That way the day of the games most of everyone knows what's going on with their station and are familar with others. This will probably a seperate day from the actual game day. The ones who pick things up the best would be given the role of the captains.
  • Nice project, badly I'm come from Brussels and Quebec is a little far away...

    About the tutorial :
    I am working for enhance the tutorial : each player can now choose his role, and their is a little real mission to do at the end of the tutorial.
    I wrote it in french for now, and expect to translate into english and dutch. It is not finish, but I think it is enough for a first test.

    If you want :
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/h342seo9lmpp7j5/tutorial_fr.lua?dl=0

    PS : there is a command tutorial:hideMessage() wrote to hide the global message during mission. If you want, I can paste here the code to implement it in the source code. Or you can delete it.
  • For my LARP, I plan on having a few hours for the "Academy". It is where players get familar with the game before hand. That way the day of the games most of everyone knows what's going on with their station and are familar with others
    Yup we thought of that also. Players are welcome to come by 12 o'clock to setup their ships and comupteurs, 15 o'clock to practice and try the game, and the actual event starts only around 6pm.
    About the tutorial :
    I am working for enhance the tutorial : each player can now choose his role, and their is a little real mission to do at the end of the tutorial.
    I'll look this up tonight thanks !

    ---
    Help needed on coding

    As I said earlier, this is mostly my first time trying to code something and I learn with a lot of tries and errors.

    For our event, I made new factions, new player ships, translated the comms and created multiple scenarios. I wanted to put everything related to the event in a folder "dussel" into the "scripts" directory (scripts/dussel), so I would not have to change the game script... but I got some issues with the code. Maybe one of you could help me a bit ? :)

    For exemple I'll have a the begining of the scenario "scenario_11_dussel" a few lines to call for other scripts, like: require("dussel/map_dussel.lua") to import other scenario or "maps" in the game. It does work correctly.

    I could also import factions : require("dussel/factioninfo_dussel.lua")

    but it wont work with ship templates (for now, I add in the script "shipTemplates.lua" the line require("shipTemplates_Dussel.lua").

    1. Could there be a way to implement the ship template from the scenario instead ?

    2. The other thing I'm still unable to do... is to "remove" or "pause" other script.
    For exemple, I would like to have at the begining of the scenario a line to prompt the factions I created, and to disable the actual factions of the game for the lenght of the scenario. That way I would not have to remove the actual faction script for the game files to make It work. The same is true for comms.

    Thanks for helping a newbie !
  • edited June 2016
    Creating new ship templates (and science entries) from scenarios is not supported for technical reasons. The ship templates (and science entries) are run on both the server and clients. While the scenario is only ran on the server.

    So if you would create a ship template on the server script, the clients would not know about it and actually crash. (This can also happen if you modified the ship template scripts on the server and are not the same as on the clients)

    You can however, adjust a lot of ships statistics with functions after creating the ship. So as long as you do not need custom models, you can customize the ships after creation. This is supported just fine and does not cause any client/server problems:

    function createMT53()
    ship = CpuShip()
    ship:setTemplate("MT52 Hornet")
    ship:setTypeName("MT53 Hornet")
    ship:setBeamWeapon(0, 60, 0, 1000.0, 4.0, 6)
    ship:setHullMax(60):setHull(60)
    ship:setShieldsMax(50):setShields(50)
    ship:setImpulseMaxSpeed(100)
    ship:setWeaponTubeCount(1)
    ship:setWeaponStorageMax("Homing", 1):setWeaponStorage("Homing", 1)
    return ship
    end
  • el.tito said:


    About the tutorial :
    I am working for enhance the tutorial : each player can now choose his role, and their is a little real mission to do at the end of the tutorial.
    I wrote it in french for now, and expect to translate into english and dutch. It is not finish, but I think it is enough for a first test.

    I tried your tutorial a bit and it got bugs on a few points. for exemple, as the helm, I cannot attack an enemy with lasers as the global message ask. And as weapons, when asked to activate the shields, it simply do not complete the quest and go to the next point. I suppose you'll have to give it some testing. But great work, I look forward to use it to attract new french players :) !
  • UPDATE - 2 days before launch !

    7 crews of 6+, all eager to live the Space adventure Empty-Epsilon has to offer.
    Some of them even have created their own uniforms for the occasion!

    We've had the chance to get a sponsorship for ethernet cables and other electronic devices. Each room will have its projector or TV.

    Players are divided in 3 factions and will have a mix of competitive and cooperative missions. I created 3 scenarios to begin with, here are de birefs :

    S1:
    Each faction has a different starting point. They first have to fight off "pirates (each faction has a special enemy that is neutral to other players)" attacking their convoy. Then fight back the pirates to their base. Players then track a "pirate" leader that has fled in a nearby nebulae, and follow him in a wormhole. They now are far from home, in the Dussel sector. A huge asteroid belt hide strange abandoned stations and a flock of wreckages hiding scavengers and aliens in the debrsi. In the center of this mess, the mighty Dussel-3 station, strangely intact. Players dock with it, then leave the ship for a break at the Cantina.

    S2:
    I've scripted some sort of "capture the flag" where the players can change the stations' faction by spending reputation, explore wrecked stations to get loot (in the larp game) and shoot down scavengers transport for ressources (they drop supplydrop when destroyed).
    - I wondered if there was a way (line of code) for a supplydrop to give reputation ?
    - Also, I would like to determine the setfaction() of the supplydrop relatively to the nearest playership's faction. ... I've tried a few things and couldn't get it working.

    S3:
    Players will have to defend their new stations against alien attacks. Mostly a variation of the "basic" scenario. Then followup to the source of the creatures. Just to realize an invasion is coming their way. -the end.

    Through all the missions, players may be awarded special codes that will be exangable for Space credits during the breaks. They'll use theses credits to buy upgrades for their ships. I'll try later to add theses upgrades in a separated scripts that could be prompted in the game by any scenario. I'm still wondering how to add an amount to the existing value of a ship (something like " :setHull(+50) "...
    Here's a doc with most of the upgrades we'll propose : ship upgrades

    I've created a small guide to understand "how to start a game of EE" in french (skip the first page : How to start a game of EE
    If such document could be welcome, I can make one clean and complete for EE in english and french.

    -------
    (This can also happen if you modified the ship template scripts on the server and are not the same as on the clients)
    Since we have to change a few things to make multiplayer playable and interesting (ships, factions, comms, scenarios, etc.) we'll give to our participant the game files with the aditing of the scripts needed for the game.

    Note: we have made such changes possible on the android easily with APK Editor that allowed us to add lua scripts, sign back the app and tada!.


    Finally, since our game if saturday and I know a lot was added in the last days (the top view overhaul, and new sounds effects for exemple) if possible, it would be great to have a new build before june 25. It'll be the last time I'll be asking for it :blush: .
  • --[[ Return the faction name of the ship that was clostest to the given position. With a maximum range of 20U. --]]
    function getClostestFaction(x, y)
    local best_distance = 20000
    local best_faction = nil
    for _, obj in ipairs(getObjectsInRadius(x, y, 20000)) do
    if obj:typeName() == "CpuShip" or obj:typeName() == "PlayerSpaceship" then
    local o_x, o_y = obj:getPosition()
    if distance(x, y, o_x, o_y) < best_distance then
    best_distance = distance(x, y, o_x, o_y)
    best_faction = obj:getFaction()
    end
    end
    end
    return best_faction
    end
    Should help.

    Beamweapons, impulse engines, rotation speed all can be modified on active ships from scripts. Check the "script_reference.html" for all functions. And the "scenario_03_edgeofspace.lua" scenario for an example.
  • Thanks ! I'll try this tonight :) After dozens of hours of trial and error coding, I slowly begin to understand it. After the event, I plan to wrap up the scenario with the EE templates (factions & else) to add a new scenario choice for PVP.
  • edited June 2016
    So...! A little review from last saturday. Full review and comments about the game to come later.

    The event took place saturday as supposed. We had 40 participants (a whole team of 9 choked without any sign....) divided in 7 ships (one was manned only by 2) and were divided in 3 factions. The look of the place was amazing. We had LED light all over the place, a "space" cantina and 7 separated ships with special comfy chairs for the captains. Most of the crews had their own costume made to express the taste of their faction. I'll show you pictures as soon as our photograph finish editing em'.

    Each scenario was designed to incorporate all ships in some somewhat competitive objectives. It went amazingly... until it crashed, again and again.. All 3 scenarios crashed at around 15-20min. of play. Usually when lot of fighting was happening all over the map, or when the GM would click on something. All those scenarios were custom made and I'll explain to you later in another post how they were made. As I already stated, it's the first time I'm coding something in my life... and yeah I may have fucked up here and there. Still, all scenarios worked well with 1 to 3 ships without a single bug.

    At least, for the first scenario, I designed a variation that allowed me to run the scenario with only 1 faction at a time (2 to 3 ships) and It worked flawlessly. It was amazing and everybody was delighted. We offered "space" drinks to the crew that finished first and snacks of strange "space" color (thanks to the black lights) to everybody.

    During the scenarios, multiple comms would offer "loot codes" when completing objectives. Those would later be traded for space credits, that would allow crews to upgrade their ships. All crews were excited by this and could complete the design of their ship in the way that suited their play style.

    During the scenarios, we watched the players struggling to survive on the new Dynamic View. I don't know who added this feature but damn, it's amazing !

    --

    Before the game I gave a little crash course on how to play each stations. In 15min or so, everybody was ready to go. We had android tablets, laptop, tower pcs and a linux laptop. The server didn't seem to have a problem, and everything was linked by either wifi or wires across a huge building divided in many rooms of concrete walls.

    Thanks also for the feature showing the [occupied] stations and the number of players in each ship. It helped a lot to fill the ships and know when everybody was ready to start without having to run to every ship to check.

    On this forum, we often said that the relay station was probably the most boring station... in multiplayer it is definitely not. Ships in the same faction had to keep communications with each other with relay all the time. Relay was as important, and active, as engineering. Waypoint per faction was asked for a few times tho.

    We had some issues with science that went crazily laggy, except when in the middle of nebulaes, clouded in their "fog of war". I wondered if maybe, the amount of elements in the game may affect too much science. Could it be the 3waves channel recording every element around ? of maybe the fog of war from nebulae ?

    Also we had complaints about the missile targeting that would sometime not work properly and not follow targeted ennemies correctly (staying in a straight line instead). Hoaming were loaded, not HVLI, and the "lock" button was placed correctly.

    I'll make a complete report later of all issues or suggestions the players and us had for the game.

    --

    We are already looking to make another event somewhere near novembre. Looking back on our experience, we decided the next event would be a succession of smaller scenarios for 2 to 4 ships. Where players will have to choose which quest to start and at what risk (mostly as in a MMORPG when you get to chose your assignments for the day). It'll be more dynamic, give more time for larp between each game, and we hope it'll be more stable. We also will open for up to 12 ships. Still, we'll try a complete multiplayer game at the end of the scenario, for testing (and fun) purpose.

    I'll soon start a new topic regarding the multiplayer experience to see how we can all look to improve this part of the game. I have the feel that the game is currently mostly designed for 1 ship scenario...

    --

    Once again, thank you for the last build. All participants had a lot of fun and were very thankful to the developers of the game !

  • edited June 2016
    A few pictures of the event. It was really dark so quite difficult to take good pictures. But still :)

    image
    - All the participants under the EE flag

    image
    - Part of my playtest team

    image
    - Costumes with blue light wires !

    image
    - Space smugglers

    image
    - All this ship was lighted with blue LED !

    image
    - Alex (the guy that added a few sound design for the game) and it's console. They had a bunch of ambiant sounds during the game that felt incredible for the immersion of the ship atmosphere.

    image
    - The captain addressing it's crew

    image
    - Relay at work
  • For the crashes? Did you run the windows release? The crash report files can help here. I have had some odd crashes in keyboard input on the server during the GM screen. But I have not found the cause of that one yet, as the crash reports have been useless in this one.

    Did you run the 2016-06-24 or the 2016-06-23 version? The 2016-06-23 caused crashes due to a few uninitialized variables.
  • edited June 2016
    @Capt_Lapadite Nice pictures. Any chance there's video?

    On this forum, we often said that the relay station was probably the most boring station... in multiplayer it is definitely not. Ships in the same faction had to keep communications with each other with relay all the time. Relay was as important, and active, as engineering.

    I've seen the same thing in EE and Artemis. It becomes one of the busiest. Usually we run a Mumble server to connect all of the Relay/Comms stations via Voice Chat.

    We had some issues with science that went crazily laggy, except when in the middle of nebulaes, clouded in their "fog of war". I wondered if maybe, the amount of elements in the game may affect too much science. Could it be the 3waves channel recording every element around ? of maybe the fog of war from nebulae ?

    I've had luck with better performance on some machines for Science when setting disable_shaders=1 in options.ini.

    I'll soon start a new topic regarding the multiplayer experience to see how we can all look to improve this part of the game. I have the feel that the game is currently mostly designed for 1 ship scenario...

    One ship scenarios are the most tested. It's the easiest to do so & the most played.
  • Very nice that other people are using this for their LARPS!
    We are in the Netherlands (Enschede) organizing a Empty-Epsilon based larp. However we made some modifications on our own with a gateway (In which Lights are controlled, external devices and minigames, like oxygen and navigation labview applications, interacting with the game), if you are interested I could tell you more.
  • Jhovall said:

    Very nice that other people are using this for their LARPS!
    We are in the Netherlands (Enschede) organizing a Empty-Epsilon based larp. However we made some modifications on our own with a gateway (In which Lights are controlled, external devices and minigames, like oxygen and navigation labview applications, interacting with the game), if you are interested I could tell you more.

    Nice ! yes I'd like to see what you've done !

    Also, I'm planning a trip in europe this august an maybe going in the netherlands or denmark if by any chance I could meet one of you and see how you work this !
  • In Belgium, we plan to organize a EE based LARP too, so I'm am interested !
  • I am interested as well. Please share!
  • It's nice to see several of the sims getting LARP activity. We have several groups doing this kind of thing with Starship Horizons. More are waiting for our Laser Tag enhancements to kick in, but that will be some time.

    Look forward to seeing how this progresses for all.
  • el.tito said:

    In Belgium, we plan to organize a EE based LARP too, so I'm am interested !

    FYI, I live in Eindhoven, so quite some places in Belgium are actually closer then Enschede ;-)
  • Netherlands is so big ? :)
    We don't know where we will make it, maybe not far from Brussels.

    Maybe 3 days / 2 nights without stop, for 4 spaceships.
    Maybe next year.
    But nothing is clear for now.

    I will keep you posted about the project.
  • edited July 2016
    https://github.com/Sevcol/IOgateway

    Hereby the gateway we use and www.sevcol.nl is our website, we play on one ship only, so not everybody is a bridge officer and we have used an old train, and an old factory as a location. There are marines too, a doctor/nurse, several passengers (like a priest and an AI professor), several people play Engineers who actually repair the ship with hull-plating. (And if this is performed the GM's influence to hull).

    Hereby an old trailer (which was still made with artemis):

    And hereby an attack of the marines in a train:


    Daid, you should just come one day, stop making excuses ;).

    @Capt_Lapadite You can meet us, in the first weeks of august, I am in Germany at Conquest, but after that I am back in NL.

    @el.tito Maybe we could work together? you can always mail me.
  • Jhovall said:

    Daid, you should just come one day, stop making excuses ;).

    So far the event times have just been bad for me :-)
  • I'll be in germany from august 20 or 21. and in Netherlands near 25 up to sept 1st.

    If any of you would like to meet a bit around a coffee or beer I can pass by!
  • Is the LAPR aviable in english?
  • Dianss25 said:

    Is the LAPR aviable in english?

    we are not closed to english speakers :) the game is in french but most of people from Quebec speak English without problem. In any case, having another player being your interpret ingame would be quite an experience also!
  • Dianss25 said:

    Is the LAPR aviable in english?

    we are not closed to english speakers :) the game is in french but most of people from Quebec speak English without problem. In any case, having another player being your interpret ingame would be quite an experience also!
    I am actually from Europe, Czech Republic and I would love to play the larp with my friends here. And since I speak only English, I was wondering, if its translated somewhere, but never mind :)
  • Last satruday, we had a new test with Dussel-3. The small beta event gathered 9 players and allowed us to try a few new mechanics and scenarios in the game.

    Most interesting, we played the "basic" scenario but instead of the usual altlantis, we had a slow mothership with jump drive and 6 one-man figther (that didn't have a jump)

    The experience was more than successful and fun for all players. Communication was quite difficult tho and we'll have to add a custom button to the relay officer to send messages through all its figthers or allies.

    Only bug we had was one computer having problem with graphics, freezing completely at some point. It had no effect to the server and other pc.

    Ah... and there was no sound. We could see an audio error in the cmd screen that open when you start the game.

    Overall it was a nice experience and we'll be more than ready for our real event on july 22nd. Hoping to fill 5 ships. When our scenarios will be a little more tested we will be happy to share them to you !

    image

    image

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