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Game Analytics API Plugin

Josh

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Analytics is a feature I have long thought was a good candidate to be moved into a plugin.

  • It is an optional features that only some users care about.
  • It imports some pretty big third-party libraries into the engine.
  • It requires an extra DLL be distributed with your game.
  • It's a totally self-contained features that is easy to separate out from the rest of the engine.

I have uploaded my code for Analytics in Leadwerks here as a new empty Visual Studio project:
https://github.com/Leadwerks/PluginSDK/tree/master/Game Analytics

This will be a good test case to see how we can implement API plugins. An API plugin is an optional module that adds new commands to the engine. It should work with C++, Lua, and C#.

How do we do this? I'm not sure what the best way is. Do we want to try to make an object-oriented API like the rest of the engine, or should we just stick to a simpler procedural API? I putting this out now so we can discuss and determine the best way to handle this.

Here is some info on using sol to expose an API from a DLL:
https://github.com/ThePhD/sol2/tree/develop/examples/require_dll_example

If we can make this plugin work then it will serve as an example for how all API plugins should be integrated. Please take a look at tell me how you would like this to work.

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Steamworks is another feature I would like to turn into a plugin.

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These are two very important parts of the engine for me, for what that's worth.  Everything I do now is in pursuit of coop multiplayer and I think it's important for developers to get free feedback in their game about what is too simple/boring or too difficult to aid with developer blindness.

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Yeah, I am just wondering how this should be exposed to the programmer. I can think of three different ways to interface with C++:

  • Procedural DLL commands.
  • Procedural DLL commands with OO wrapper classes.
  • OO Static library.

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I admittedly don't know how that would differ from what seems to work for me now.  I would love to continue to just be able to call:

bool SendP2PPacket( CSteamID steamIDRemote, const void *pubData, uint32 cubData, EP2PSend eP2PSendType, int nChannel = 0 );

 

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Well in this case you can just include the lib in your project and you don’t really need a middle layer for any reason.

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Right, for Steam it's easier.  I'd love to continue doing the same for Game Analytics as well.  I think that one is more complicated to set up.

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The whole concept of “plugins” in C++ is probably erroneous. There’s just libraries you can import. In the case of GA you would prefer to use my nice commands over the ugly raw CURL calls.so a couple of C++ files or a lib you import is probably the right approach there.

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  • Blog Entries

    • By jen in jen's Blog 0
      My small project will be called Foregate, it will be a dark medieval Diablo style single player action RPG.
      The graphics will be simple, no PBR, 256x256 map, reasonably low-res models.
      Camera style? Top-down-ish I think? Like in Diablo exactly - and because the camera is not directly in-front of the 3 models, I can get away with low-resolution assets - bonus. Also, with top-down view, I won't have to worry about high resolution sky-boxes. 
      What's my plan for this project?
      I plan to make this project as small and as simple as possible, possibly release it as open-source, and have fun with it of course.
      My previous experience with game development (1-2 years ago?) was amateurish I think, still is now. I want to give it a go again, this time with experience although my skill in C++ is not really that good? Maybe I can improve it in this project.
      More about the game
      The content is not set in stone yet but I have a general idea of how the mechanics is going to look and feel - Diablo-ish obviously. It'll have monsters (ancient & mythical probably), loot when killing a monster, gold as in-game currency, visual grid inventory, player stats (level, strength, agility, vitality, energy, &c.). 
      The game will be single-player. Possibly a coop multiplayer also? I don't have any interest in making massive multi-player. 
      I started my development yesterday with the basic preparations (setting up project environment, &c.), today I made my first step in developing the core components; worker class, game state, task class.
      I have a game state that keeps a single source of truth for the entire application; all game data will be stored in this class as "states". 
      I also have a "Worker" which will do the processing of tasks in the game.
      I also have "object" class, this can be a monster, the player, a weapon, a prop, or an NPC.
      So the idea is to have a CQRS type of interaction between the classes and the data. Any action in the game will be interpreted as "Task" for the Worker class. The worker class iterates through the Task. Tasks can be created by any class interfaced with the Worker class trough "addNewTask" and the new tasks can be of a certain type i.e.: ATTACK, IDLE, SAVE_GAME, EXIT_GAME, the new task will also have a payload data and it's processed according to its task type e.g. an ATTACK with payload "{ Damage: 10, Target: MonsterA }" will reduce the health of MonsterA by 10 - the worker class will change the game state; find MonsterA in MonsterState and reduce its health by 10. 
      I think it's advantageous to have this type of centralized module where all actions are processed; I can do all sorts of procedures during the processes, maybe debug data, filter actions, mutate payloads, and such.
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      A couple of hours a day for 3 days a week maybe.
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    • By jen in jen's Blog 4
      I've got a bit of free time on my hands for a while. I plan to take up Leadwerks again and come up with a simple project to have fun with.
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      By the way, VSCode website is here: https://code.visualstudio.com/
      Have fun.
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      Updated: 26/02/2020
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    • By Josh in Josh's Dev Blog 0
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      Terrain in LE4 uses a system of tiles. The tiles are rendered at a different resolution based on distance. This works great for medium sized terrains, but problems arise when we have very large view distances. This is why it is okay to use a 4096x4096 terrain in LE4, but your camera range should only show a portion of the terrain at once. A terrain that size will use 1024 separate tiles, and having them all onscreen at once can cause slowdown just because of the number of objects. That have to be culled and drawn.

      Another approach is to progressively divide the terrain up into quadrants starting from the top and working down to the lowest level. When a box is created that is a certain distance from the camera, the algorithm stops subdividing it and draws a tile. The same resolution tile is drawn over and over, but it is stretched to cover different sized areas.

      This approach is much better suited to cover very large areas. At the furthest distance, the entire terrain will be drawn with just one single 32x32 patch. Here it is in action with a 2048x2048 terrain, the same size as The Zone:
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