Alpha 0.3: Netplay Prototype
MAR 4, 2019
First release of the netplay prototype: a lot of features are missing, problems are going to happen. But at a basic level, it works.
There are two netplay buttons on the Versus Select screen: host, and join from clipboard.
Either player can host, and doing so will copy the lobby code to the clipboard. Share the code with another player, who only needs to use the Join From Clipboard button to join the lobby.
More information about the patch is available in the Trello card:
Just getting to this point was a large task. Antistatic's game engine, being built from the ground up starting over 7 years ago, was not originally designed for online play to ever happen.
Over the last years, the code has been reorganized several times to build more consistency to lead up to online play.
For the final push for alpha 0.3, getting generally-stable netplay took about one month of work, and a lot of help from testers. My professional programming background is in offline game development,
HTTP server code, and interactive web applications, so creating a system for real-time communication with UDP took a lot of learning, trial, and error. I'm expecting bugs,
so please report any on the Discord. A bug tracker will be set up later.
The server component, although very limited in scope right now and insufficiently organized, has been open-sourced, available on GitHub.
Netplay has been a learning process for me. I suspect there are many things I can do better, and having the source code available allows anyone interested to sanity check everything.
Another benefit is giving the community the freedom to run private lobby servers, an option I find lacking in many modern games. Note that I provide no warranty or support for this code or its reuse.
Over time I plan to license more of the networking code as open source, and potentially other parts of the game.
The open source ecosystem helped to get me where I am today, and this is my small way of giving back.
I look forward to seeing everyone online!
Join us on Discord at https://discord.gg/ZGJvA8P
Early Access Launch
JAN 24, 2019
After 7 years of on-and-off work, Antistatic is now available on Early Access.
So, where are we at right now?
Short list: local multiplayer, four characters plus one prototype, five starter stages, four counterpick stages. Game mechanics are feature-complete.
Keyboard is supported, but I strongly recommend against using it. Since there aren't in-game prompts: WASD moves, Space/I jumps, J is attack, M is special, OKL; is right stick, L/Rshift shield, Q/apostrophe light shield, E/H grab, RFCG are tilt inputs, Backspace is start.
Antistatic imposes no controller number limits of its own, but currently supports only one GCN USB adapter, and uses XInput which may restrict to four XInput controllers. DirectInput toggle option will be added later, but it causes issues with Xbox controller triggers because that's what Microsoft decided made sense at the time.
Demo mode is a good place to learn the game: it supports hotplugging controllers and arbitrarily swapping stages and characters. Press the Start button to enter or leave the top menu.
Fullscreen can be toggled using F11 or Alt+Enter on the keyboard. The next patch will include an on-screen button for this.
While it isn't very visible yet, the game bundles a readme file inside of the installation. That provides a list of tips for the different characters, and overall mechanics information.
Where are we going from here?
Don't consider anything in this section, or the Trello Roadmap for that matter, as a promise or set in stone. This is some of what I want to accomplish with the game within the next year.
Online play is the highest priority, and other things (making a good user interface, adding new characters, etc) are going to be worked on at a slower pace until it's available. While local multiplayer will always be the best way to play any fighting game, online is what lets people connect with the most friends, and is going to be vital.
Controller customization comes next: players shouldn't be expected to use the default layouts. Steam Input might be great, but it doesn't cover keyboard and GCN controllers and has limitations of its own.
The eventual goal is to have 12 unique characters with 14 stages.
Given time, I hope to have a full single player campaign that isn't just a simple arcade or linear story mode, but the versus mode needs to be rock solid first. Some single player mini-games may be added in the interim.
Patches come most Fridays, and sometimes there will be mid-week patches on the Canary beta channel with smaller updates.
Thanks for being a part of this journey with me.