• images
  • 9:09 am
  • images
  • No Comments.

Universe: updates from the alphasphere

Orbsphere Universe recently got a weird update.  An alpha-stream, beta client (think second generation pre-alpha test) on a test user’s system kicked back into life when the user accidentally ran it.  What’s unique about this is that the code is meant to call home to a server which no longer exists.  Instead of simply failing, the different response from the new test server resulted in the client doing something odd, and it mutated some of the instructions (rather horribly) based on early (horrible) parsing of the response (which was to say a version mismatch, coded for the third generation pre-alpha test build).  What followed was memory corruption in the C++ coded data, and the Python VM doing all sorts of weird things (fortunately I’d had the forethought back then to make Python responsible for file I/O, which meant that it crashed out prior to attempting to write to places it really shouldn’t).

But the logs of this has brought back the interest in universe, in that universe was never truly graphical (the graphical client really just used a TCP link to the local ‘server’, which in turn relayed data to the core server for updates and information).  While FTA has hit some issues (various people point out the market is full of bad tower defence games) and FC has its own issues (namely that the engines I’ve looked at are horrible, have weird requirements, and are generally limiting in ways I don’t like), Universe has always remained this sort of ethereal beast and the ultimate aim.  To that end FTA and FC posts are masked in favour of universe for now, while I look into Universe’s resurrection as the one and true game.