ULTRAKILLZ = New generation of flash 3D network gaming!

January 22nd, 2008 by Slav

UltraKillz ScreenshotUltraKillz is a 3D FPS “Quake Arena like” flash game build by my friends and ex-colleagues Mike Barrax and Malcom Bailey. Mike was responsible for the flash end of development (coding of game engine, characters, gameplay etc..)  and Malcom (Malcx) for the it’s back end. The result is killing spree joyride . And all needed is to have a flash 9 plugin.

Well done Mike and Mal!
After the BETA stage, game will be released to the general public, till then you can pre-register for the invites on the game project page www.ultrakillz.com.

The video of the gameplay is available on : YouTube.

Bellow is a little interview with the creators of the game that explains a technical side of the game and some development background details.
UltraKillz Screenshot 2Slav: how long did it take you to get into the state it is now?

Barrax: The basic 3D engine was developed in AS2 in June. This was more of a procedural code structure while i hacked and tested whether or not it was feasible to create such a game in Flash that would also play well on low-end hardware. Mal created a basic Java socket for a multiplayer proof-of-concept test.

Malcx: For anyone looking to start down the same path, this basic socket
test was adapted, with hardcoded conditions, from Sun’s manual pages.

Barrax: I then used this project to learn AS3 – so things were slow to begin with. Mal started with me on the multiplayer version of the game in August 2007 working on the Network/server, a few 3D and movement algorithms and the website.

We were initially hoping to launch in September 07. We’ve overrun a “little” and this is month number 6 (January 2008). So in total its taken 7-8 months.

 We’re our own worst clients in terms of ’scope-creep’ and any ideas we have are generally added as soon as we think of them. But that’s the great advantage of having such a small team.

Slav: how would you describe the 3D engine?

Barrax: Its 2d sprite plotting maths with a few walls projected to give the illusion of depth. I’m from a creative background so my aim is to make things look and play well. I wouldn’t say I’ve produced “correct” 3D for flash. Most of the existing 3D demos i’ve seen are great. But if you tried to combine the required elements into a playable FPS game i think you would need a high-end computer to play and enjoy the experience. The core aim has been to allow users on school/work/college/library equipment to have a blast during their break.

Slav : how would you describe the network / backend functionality?

Malcx:Flash restricted us to using TCP sockets rather than UDP (which is normally used for major multiplayer titles). We both read as many articles forums and posts on networked gameplay as we could but found that hardly any of them answered our questions directly.

The server now uses a custom built language, sent over TCP, that pretty much passes everything though without touching it – it only has to process about 1 in 500 instructions, kills and disconnected users etc.

To overcome lag issues, and bunching of TCP packets, I needed to create movement smoothing and prediction algorithms, these are loosely based on Cubic beziers with a few tweaks for smoother gameplay.

An API in PHP was written so no matter where the game server is running, we store all the results of each match in our master database. Soon this will allow for data mining to give awesome user/world stats, player medals etc.

The API will be expanded and made public at some point, so our users can mine the data themselves.

Slav: Thank you , congrats on the game and good luck  !

Posted in AS2, Games, Personal

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