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A terrible playtest

A project log for Halo inspired laser tag (LTTO hack)

Bringing Halo style game play to Laser Tag Team Ops

dave.verleedave.verlee 08/11/2022 at 03:361 Comment

Sometimes, everything works, everything is great, you feel like you're almost there, and then other times nothing works, everything is broken, and you feel like you need to start over. 
I had a terrible playtest after two awesome playtests that made me feel I needed to rethink my radio messaging scheme from the ground up. Right now, it's basically a shouting match. I got to this point by just barely getting things to work - if a critical message wasn't getting through, just send it 4 times instead of one, there are tons of delays based on arbitrary values (note: they're actually "delayAndRead()" functions that read the radio while waiting). There are a bunch of retries, there's no real sense of priority in the messaging system, and there is no coordination. 
I think what I need to do is attempt to coordinate all radio nodes to time slices. There's a fixed number of radio nodes, 10 bases and up to 32 players. So I think I can get away with 42 time slots spaced at 10ms. Need to do a lot of testing to see if that window is big enough, but I feel like it's more than enough. My hope is that this new method brings about stability into the system and I can reduce the retries and the redundant messaging. 

R&D can have big setbacks like this, but it's important to remember lessons learned. Have no fear of doing something wrong the first time - even if it means having to redo it later. 

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dave.verlee wrote 08/13/2022 at 03:50 point

turns out, it wasn't as broken as I thought it was. Just a simple bug with complex consequences (still probably a result of poor design, but at least it's back to working as before). 

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