ZED Online - a fork of the Zod Engine

Post here about the Z remake "Zed Online" by DaMarkov

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Re: ZED Online - a fork of the Zod Engine

Post by DaMarkov » 2019-01-06, 20:44

Did some experiments, here is the result:

(Warning: file size is 8MB!)
https://zedonline.sourceforge.io/new_colors.png

Which colors do you think are the best? We need two replacements for white and black.
Popular vote decides :-)

EDIT: Should I try some other colors?
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Re: ZED Online - a fork of the Zod Engine

Post by APC » 2019-01-07, 17:53

Why do you need more colours? I would consider gameplay where used more colours as red, blue, green and yellow as completely confusing.
The ZED Online is aimed for battles of 10 different teams in one huge online battle?

From your picture the pink is the most distinguishable, but I wouln't like to command pink heavy tank.
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Re: ZED Online - a fork of the Zod Engine

Post by DaMarkov » 2019-01-07, 22:23

APC wrote:
2019-01-07, 17:53
Why do you need more colours? I would consider gameplay where used more colours as red, blue, green and yellow as completely confusing.
The ZED Online is aimed for battles of 10 different teams in one huge online battle?
The Zod engine support up to 8 players and I want to keep it that way.
KISSMAD rightfully pointed out that the white and black players are hard to see, hence I am looking for a replacement for black&white. That's all.
APC wrote:
2019-01-07, 17:53
From your picture the pink is the most distinguishable, but I wouln't like to command pink heavy tank.
I will have an option so you can change the color locally. I.e. you can always change your color to red (or whatever you prefer), but the other players would still see you as pink.
You will also be able to recolor the enemy players. So you never have to see something pink unless you play with 8 players ^^

I would like to clarify, ZED Online is definitively not aimed for to have one giant battlefield.
The aim is for lovers of the game to easily connect online with their friends and play one or two rounds of simple 2, 3, 4 player maps.
I eventually want this to be as accessible a possible. This means no registration, no port forwarding (I will work on uPnP support), no entering of IP addresses/ports, just pure gameplay.
That's my vision.

EDIT: I would like to add that although the name is "ZED Online" I will also focus on single player and local network play. I in fact spent the last few days working on network discovery via LAN / WLAN and even Bluetooth, so that players hopefully don't have to enter IP addresses and can "just play".
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Re: ZED Online - a fork of the Zod Engine

Post by KISSMAD » 2019-01-08, 09:06

DaMarkov wrote:
2019-01-06, 20:44
Did some experiments, here is the result:

(Warning: file size is 8MB!)
https://zedonline.sourceforge.io/new_colors.png

Which colors do you think are the best? We need two replacements for white and black.
Popular vote decides :-)

EDIT: Should I try some other colors?
How does a bright orange look?
There is always cyan or lime.
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Re: ZED Online - a fork of the Zod Engine

Post by DaMarkov » 2019-01-08, 23:39

KISSMAD wrote:
2019-01-08, 09:06
How does a bright orange look?
There is always cyan or lime.
Here is the result: https://zedonline.sourceforge.io/new_colors2.png
Really bright Orange might look to similar to Yellow. I tested bright brown or "chocolate".
Cyan is I think to close to Teal which the Zod Engine already provides. Isn't Lime just the same as Green??
I'm sorry but as you can see I am obviously not a color expert ^^
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Re: ZED Online - a fork of the Zod Engine

Post by APC » 2019-01-08, 23:41

OK, I am bit more familiar with ZOD Engine now and I see there are 8 colours and 8 teams avaliable. But common gameplay for 2-4 players. On this ground I would accept also pink colour in 8 teams game. It wouldn't be issue for me and worth of effort to make optional or local colours.
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Re: ZED Online - a fork of the Zod Engine

Post by KISSMAD » 2019-01-09, 09:02

DaMarkov wrote:
2019-01-08, 23:39
KISSMAD wrote:
2019-01-08, 09:06
How does a bright orange look?
There is always cyan or lime.
Here is the result: https://zedonline.sourceforge.io/new_colors2.png
Really bright Orange might look to similar to Yellow. I tested bright brown or "chocolate".
Cyan is I think to close to Teal which the Zod Engine already provides. Isn't Lime just the same as Green??
I'm sorry but as you can see I am obviously not a color expert ^^
Cyan is a bright blue. You have made it look like teal with 35% Cyan.
I beg to differ that Orange is the same as Yellow.
Lime is bright Green. You have a dark Green
Why do you keep adjusting the colours, percentage wise? You didn't adjust the percentage of Pink


Can you try these without adjusting the colours?
red #FF0000
orange #FFA500
yellow #FFFF00
lime #00FF00
green #008000
cyan #00FFFF
blue #0000FF
magenta #FF00FF
purple #800080
silver #C0C0C0
sienna #A0522D

I'm not a colour expert either.
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Re: ZED Online - a fork of the Zod Engine

Post by APC » 2019-01-09, 16:13

I don't want to offend somebody - I want just reach answers for few questions.
I used ZZONE forum 10 years ago because of Z_Expansion and I thought it is >90% Russians forum. (And I know only latin letters.) But now I see the FreakNigh - creator of ZOD Engine is an American, KISSMAD - veteran member or kind of administrator - Australian, ...
How is it possible this forum survived till 2019??
Why Z_Expansion and Z_open source parts seems to be alive and Z Steel Soldiers seems dead?? There was 2014 remake of it and it is also on Steam. (Despite I have never installed STEAM).
I bought pre2014 version of Z Steels Soldiers and played it and I liked it. Maybe not as much as DOS_Z, but I liked it and played for hours.
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Re: ZED Online - a fork of the Zod Engine

Post by DaMarkov » 2019-01-09, 20:31

KISSMAD wrote:
2019-01-09, 09:02
DaMarkov wrote:
2019-01-08, 23:39
KISSMAD wrote:
2019-01-08, 09:06
How does a bright orange look?
There is always cyan or lime.
Here is the result: https://zedonline.sourceforge.io/new_colors2.png
Really bright Orange might look to similar to Yellow. I tested bright brown or "chocolate".
Cyan is I think to close to Teal which the Zod Engine already provides. Isn't Lime just the same as Green??
I'm sorry but as you can see I am obviously not a color expert ^^
Why do you keep adjusting the colours, percentage wise? You didn't adjust the percentage of Pink
The problem is that a team color doesn't consist of one color but has 16 colors (different nuances).
So what I tried to do is to take the base colors in grayscale and interpolate between that and another color. That why I can't take 100%, because then all 16 colors would be the same exact colour and that just looks awful.

These are the 16 colors in grayscale that I am using:

Code: Select all

SET_COLOR(team_palette[color].replace_color[0], 84, 84, 84)
SET_COLOR(team_palette[color].replace_color[1], 154, 154, 154)
SET_COLOR(team_palette[color].replace_color[2], 190, 190, 190)
SET_COLOR(team_palette[color].replace_color[3], 211, 211, 211)
SET_COLOR(team_palette[color].replace_color[4], 171, 171, 171)
SET_COLOR(team_palette[color].replace_color[5], 100, 100, 100)
SET_COLOR(team_palette[color].replace_color[6], 66, 66, 66)
SET_COLOR(team_palette[color].replace_color[7], 118, 118, 118)
SET_COLOR(team_palette[color].replace_color[8], 255, 255, 255)
SET_COLOR(team_palette[color].replace_color[9], 236, 236, 236)
SET_COLOR(team_palette[color].replace_color[10], 255, 255, 255)
SET_COLOR(team_palette[color].replace_color[11], 31, 31, 31)
SET_COLOR(team_palette[color].replace_color[12], 48, 48, 48)
SET_COLOR(team_palette[color].replace_color[13], 0, 0, 0)
SET_COLOR(team_palette[color].replace_color[14], 14, 14, 14)
SET_COLOR(team_palette[color].replace_color[15], 134, 134, 134)
And that's how I interpolate:

Code: Select all

team_palette[color].replace_color[i] = alpha * team_palette[color].replace_color[i]+ (1.0 - alpha) * c;
where c is the new color I interpolate with (for example pink) and alpha is between 0 and 1 controlling how much of the original colour will be visible.
Not that best approach, but much easier for me than fine-tuning all 16 colours.


APC wrote:
2019-01-09, 16:13
I don't want to offend somebody - I want just reach answers for few questions.
I used ZZONE forum 10 years ago because of Z_Expansion and I thought it is >90% Russians forum. (And I know only latin letters.) But now I see the FreakNigh - creator of ZOD Engine is an American, KISSMAD - veteran member or kind of administrator - Australian, ...
How is it possible this forum survived till 2019??
Why Z_Expansion and Z_open source parts seems to be alive and Z Steel Soldiers seems dead?? There was 2014 remake of it and it is also on Steam. (Despite I have never installed STEAM).
I bought pre2014 version of Z Steels Soldiers and played it and I liked it. Maybe not as much as DOS_Z, but I liked it and played for hours.
I agree it's quite a miracle. When I posted here I expected it would take months for someone to reply (which was the reason I published ZED Online so early when it is still full of bugs).
I think Z Steel Soldiers was never that popular. I never played it, so I can't comment on how good the game is.
I bought the 2014 Steam and Android version as part for my ZED Online project. I my opinion it's a broken mess. It's a lazy port of the original game with a new UI, which has it's merits on mobile, but on PC it's inferior to the DOS version.
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Re: ZED Online - a fork of the Zod Engine

Post by APC » 2019-01-10, 07:36

Z Steel Soldiers is completely different gameplay. You can build factories and defensive structures. You can put robots to bunkers and towers like to APCs. There is added air-force element and naval-warfare element. The waypoints from factory and SHIFT-key waypoints are avaliable like in Zod Engine. The working guard command for units is there. Single player maps are interesting. Characteristics of major part of units are balanced.
I didn't played 2014 enhanced version, there were some complains about it, but I am not in position to judge. My version was working fast and well also on low-end hardware.
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Re: ZED Online - a fork of the Zod Engine

Post by KISSMAD » 2019-01-10, 08:46

APC wrote:
2019-01-09, 16:13
I don't want to offend somebody - I want just reach answers for few questions.
I used ZZONE forum 10 years ago because of Z_Expansion and I thought it is >90% Russians forum. (And I know only latin letters.) But now I see the FreakNigh - creator of ZOD Engine is an American, KISSMAD - veteran member or kind of administrator - Australian, ...
How is it possible this forum survived till 2019??
Why Z_Expansion and Z_open source parts seems to be alive and Z Steel Soldiers seems dead?? There was 2014 remake of it and it is also on Steam. (Despite I have never installed STEAM).
I bought pre2014 version of Z Steels Soldiers and played it and I liked it. Maybe not as much as DOS_Z, but I liked it and played for hours.
I'm just a regular member who has been here since the beginning.
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Re: ZED Online - a fork of the Zod Engine

Post by APC » 2019-01-10, 10:38

OK. I have just digged more in this forum and now I understand the structure and members composition of the forum better. Greeting to the opposite side of the globe. (As a child I thought people must fall away somewhere down from there.)

I tried to log into nighsoft server (hestia.nighsoft.net ... I guess IP 45.33.9.224) from a place where I didn't used to it before - and it doesn't work. Now I don't know if the problem is firewall of this internet provider or the nighsoft server crashed.

I am curious also about the "dedicated server" option in ZOD Engine launcher. Is it intentionet only on my LAN (eg. one computer sacrified as dedicated server and 3 computers playing game as clients to it?). Or can I create in such way ZOD Engine server on internet? The other players need just to know the actual IP adress of that server in WAN? Or do I need fixed IP adress in WAN for that puropse, otherwise it will not work?
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Re: ZED Online - a fork of the Zod Engine

Post by DaMarkov » 2019-01-10, 16:38

APC wrote:
2019-01-10, 10:38
I am curious also about the "dedicated server" option in ZOD Engine launcher. Is it intentionet only on my LAN (eg. one computer sacrified as dedicated server and 3 computers playing game as clients to it?). Or can I create in such way ZOD Engine server on internet? The other players need just to know the actual IP adress of that server in WAN? Or do I need fixed IP adress in WAN for that puropse, otherwise it will not work?
There is no difference between an internet only or LAN only server. If you want your server to be reachable from outside you need to forward that specific port in your router/NAT.
For example, if your server is running at IP 192.168.1.100 then you need to tell your router that port 8000 TCP should be forwarded to 192.168.1.100 port 8000 TCP.
If port forwarding is enabled your server will be reachable from outside via your WAN IP.
If you have a dynamic IP address (i.e. your WAN IP changes every 24h or so) then you might wanna have a dynamic DNS (dynDNS) address.
These are available for free. You would then also have a DynDNS service running on your dedicated server (or router) that tells your DynDNS provider under which WAN IP address you are currentley reachable.

By the way, make sure that your server always has the same network IP address! (Usually in the DHCP settings of your router/network switch). Otherwise the port will be forwarded to the wrong machine.
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Re: ZED Online - a fork of the Zod Engine

Post by APC » 2019-01-10, 20:53

Thank you for explanation. I know where to set in my router range of ports to one internal IP adress. My internal laptops are connected by wifi, so internal adresses are 10.0.0.1, 10.0.0.2, 10.0.0.3. Let say I will forward port 8000 to internal IP 10.0.0.1 and operate that computer as server. Then somebody from outside needs to write into Zod Engine launcher my WAN IP adress:8000? Or everybody who pings my WAN adress (without specification of port) is automatically routed to a computer coupled with port 8000??
When 3 people are simultaneously browsing internet on the three laptops (internal adresses 10.0.0.1, 10.0.0.2, 10.0.0.3), how do the outside computer see and responds to 10.0.0.2 computer and how to the 10.0.0.3??

______________________________

When three distant players like to play together, but without participation of foreign people, isn't better for them to set the Zod Engine like you described and play a game in agreed time? Or use LogMeIn Hamachi or something similar to create virtual LAN via internet and play "LAN game" in agreed time?
In such a case wouldn't be more efficient just to help match players with similar skills and similar daily routine? (Time zone is factor here.)
ZED Online can help to newcomers easily find avaliable human opponent, set the game and start the game. But often brand new opponent with completely unknown skills, preferences and so on. In battle against AI you know at least it's skill level and the AI "likes" whatever parameters of the match.
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Re: ZED Online - a fork of the Zod Engine

Post by DaMarkov » 2019-01-10, 23:40

APC wrote:
2019-01-10, 20:53
Thank you for explanation. I know where to set in my router range of ports to one internal IP adress. My internal laptops are connected by wifi, so internal adresses are 10.0.0.1, 10.0.0.2, 10.0.0.3. Let say I will forward port 8000 to internal IP 10.0.0.1 and operate that computer as server. Then somebody from outside needs to write into Zod Engine launcher my WAN IP adress:8000? Or everybody who pings my WAN adress (without specification of port) is automatically routed to a computer coupled with port 8000??
When 3 people are simultaneously browsing internet on the three laptops (internal adresses 10.0.0.1, 10.0.0.2, 10.0.0.3), how do the outside computer see and responds to 10.0.0.2 computer and how to the 10.0.0.3??
Yes, someone from outside who wants to connect to your server needs your WAN IP and port (8000). If someone pings you from outside he is not automatically connected to port 8000. A ping is just a normal data packet. I'm not sure which port the ping protocol uses. Usually your router would answer a ping and not forward it to your internal network.

How it works: The router does something called NAT (Network address translation).
For example if your computer 10.0.0.1 would go to google.com. It would send a packet to google's IP address and port 80 (for http) and write into the packet as the recipient address IP 10.0.0.1 and some port (usually something in the range 40000 to 50000). Let's say 45678, the port only is unique for your machine. Your router sees the packet and changes the recipient address to your WAN IP and it might also change the port.

The router keeps a table of the changes. Something like:
10.0.0.1:45678 <-> Google's IP : 80 + more information if the port changed

When google's response arrives the router looks into it's table and figures out for which machine (IP) and for which port the packet is destined, changes the receiver's address & port and forwards the packet to the local network.

That's how it is possible to have 3 computers accessing the same IP & port with the same WAN IP without conflicts. At least for outgoing connections.
For incoming connections the router has no idea what to do, so one basically needs to tell it ahead of time how to forward the packets.

That's the explanation in a nutshell. I skipped some parts and the precise details how it works are also unknown to me.


APC wrote:
2019-01-10, 20:53
When three distant players like to play together, but without participation of foreign people, isn't better for them to set the Zod Engine like you described and play a game in agreed time? Or use LogMeIn Hamachi or something similar to create virtual LAN via internet and play "LAN game" in agreed time?
In such a case wouldn't be more efficient just to help match players with similar skills and similar daily routine? (Time zone is factor here.)
ZED Online can help to newcomers easily find avaliable human opponent, set the game and start the game. But often brand new opponent with completely unknown skills, preferences and so on. In battle against AI you know at least it's skill level and the AI "likes" whatever parameters of the match.
Yes, that's the biggest problem. I think everything that requires setting up Hamachi or exchanging IP addresses is to complicated for the average person.
Also ZED Online won't solve the problem in the foreseeable future. New people will connect, see that no one is online and disconnect again.
I will try to mitigate that by having a chat, so newcomers can at least see when people last played/chatted.

I would also suggest that we start something like a discord server or something similar and have a regular time for people to play.
Maybe something like every Saturday/Sunday at a specific time.

But that depends how many people are interested in playing online and whether I get ZED Online more stable ^^
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