Afdarts RTS / News: Recent posts

Afdarts RTS: version 1.1.14 alpha released

Afdarts 1.1.14 alpha mainly features a surface-level refactoring of the codebase to do things such as removing my use of Systems Hungarian notation, which apparently fell out of style since the books I learned from were written. I've learned a lot from making Afdarts since I started working on it in 2007, but in the last couple years I've mostly moved on to other projects. As a result, this may end up being one of the last (if not the last) Afdarts releases. Enjoy!... read more

Posted by Andrew Downing 2015-01-01

Afdarts RTS: version 1.1.13 alpha released

In Afdarts 1.1.13 alpha, I fixed some longstanding issues by changing how the movements of individuals are stored, and fixed some (but not all) edge cases in the code that handles wall operations.

- changed individual move structure to store time and location at start and end of move
- improved rotations of individuals
- removed commented out code that made new units sometimes replace existing units
- wall operations can now handle cases where more than 2 walls intersect the same region
- fixed bug in which deleted temporary walls were sometimes visible in compact replays
- wall overlap subtraction can now handle cases where the wall is split into more than 2 pieces
- wall edge tracing no longer copies duplicate adjacent vertices

Posted by Andrew Downing 2013-01-13

Afdarts RTS: version 1.1.12 alpha released

I released Afdarts 1.1.12 alpha to keep the 1.1 branch in sync with the latest changes made in Afdarts 1.0.6.

- fixed crash when Environment.TickCount jumps from positive to negative values
- renamed small replays to compact replays and accurate replays to archive replays
- errors when saving cutscenes or videos are more gracefully handled
- temporary files are no longer made when menu-related files are missing
- loading temporary saved game at program restart works again
- scenarios are now saved correctly if the original file is modified after it is loaded

Posted by Andrew Downing 2012-09-23

Afdarts RTS: version 1.0.6 released

I didn't think I would do this, but after more than a year of not expecting to make any more Afdarts 1.0.x releases, I've released Afdarts 1.0.6! I decided to make this release to fix a few crashes I found and because I found what was frequently causing small replays (now called "compact" replays) to desync from the originally played game. I also backported some improvements to the model editor and slightly improved the collision response while keeping it backward compatible. The VBA port is still based on 1.0.5 code because I don't want to borrow someone else's computer again just to use Microsoft Office.... read more

Posted by Andrew Downing 2012-08-16

Afdarts RTS: version 1.1.11 alpha released

I've released Afdarts 1.1.11 alpha, which features refactored and improved collision handling, fixes for several bugs that caused small replays to desync from the originally played game, and miscellaneous bug fixes. Also, scrolling the mouse wheel now zooms the camera.

- fixed error when pressing shift + alt + f4
- scrolling mouse wheel now zooms camera
- fixed bug in small replays in which individuals check for collisions just before they exist
- improved collision handling
- individuals now move to an unoccupied location after the unit they are following has no health
- fixed bug in which cooldown applied to projectile damage
- built walls no longer overlap with nonmoving individuals
- sprite texture dimensions no longer have to be powers of 2
- fixed bug in small replays in which individuals avoid positions that a future individual will start at
- shadows are no longer drawn off the map before units are made in replays
- user can no longer select or follow units that don't yet exist in replays
- adjusted some unit properties
- individuals' final positions may no longer be inside walls
- last missile release time is now reset correctly in small replays
- fixed crash when dragging invisible scrollbar while displaying a short readme
- fixed crash when displaying empty readme
- unit creation time is now set to 1 millisecond after simulation time
- fixed a bug that broke small replays saved after loading a saved game

Posted by Andrew Downing 2012-07-11

Afdarts RTS: version 1.1.10 alpha released

I released Afdarts 1.1.10 alpha. This version can play back the building and deleting of walls in replays, and adds a basic implementation of paper building walls so that I could test this functionality.

- model editor no longer gets errors every frame after failing to load a model
- taller walls are now always built over shorter walls
- wall resize arrow is deselected when opening menu
- clicking Resume while in wall plan adding mode no longer adds a wall plan
- user can no longer tell units to follow or release projectiles when savescn cheat is on
- paper can build walls
- fixed error when faction AI makes a unit and immediately runs another iteration
- fixed really old bug in UnitSetProperties and removed its workarounds
- added "delwall" cheat
- wall plans are no longer all built when opening a saved game or resizing a unit
- walls now work correctly in replays
- added 100000 paper.scn and minimal.scn
- users can now delete every unit

Posted by Andrew Downing 2012-06-01

Afdarts RTS: version 1.1.9 alpha released

I released Afdarts 1.1.9 alpha, and the main changes in this version are an improved 2D display for the model editor and that drawing and collision response now take into account where walls are connected to each other.

- predefined random is calculated at program start instead of every form load (may fix some replay problems)
- improved model editor 2D display
- unit formations are rectangular again (Mod operator behaves differently in VB 2005)
- replaced Windows API calls with .NET function calls
- wall edges no longer drawn where they are connected to a wall with same or greater height
- fixed regression where pressing yes in error prompt when menu is open exits the program
- collision response now considers wall connections
- including test scenarios in release

Posted by Andrew Downing 2012-05-23

Afdarts RTS: version 1.1.8 alpha released

Recently I had several days to spare, so I figured why not make another release of Afdarts? Afdarts 1.1.8 alpha doesn't have many visible changes, but it also contains internal changes in preparation for planned future features.

- wall overlap subtraction can now handle cases where one wall completely surrounds another wall
- immovable individuals and individuals with no health no longer bounce off from walls
- continuing during error prompt no longer minimizes the game

Posted by Andrew Downing 2012-01-05

Afdarts RTS: version 1.0.5 released

Afdarts 1.0.5 has been released, incorporating various changes that were made in the past year and an updated Microsoft Office VBA port. As Afdarts development progresses, the 1.0 and 1.1 branches share less code so changes to the 1.0 branch are becoming quite rare. Furthermore, the 1.0 branch has reached such a level of stability that I am paranoid about introducing bugs. Therefore, I think Afdarts 1.0.5 will be the last 1.0.x release. Enjoy!... read more

Posted by Andrew Downing 2011-02-20

Afdarts RTS: version 1.1.7 alpha released

I released Afdarts 1.1.7 alpha, which fixes many minor bugs and improves performance. Using "accurate replays" should no longer lag excessively.

- removed dependency on My Project/Application.Designer.vb
- fixed crash while exiting when certain files are missing
- pressing number keys no longer makes units (for real)
- fixed bug when making units with no wall types defined
- individual move array is no longer resized every time a move is added (significantly improves performance)
- System.IO.Directory is now used instead of a FileListBox to list files
- fixed bug in which music only played in the 1st game opened after the program opened
- users can no longer attempt to delete every unit
- removed unneeded variables in saved games
- added input validation for save cutscene filename and save video FPS
- program name can now be set in skin.ini

Posted by Andrew Downing 2010-12-26

Afdarts RTS: version 1.1.6 alpha released

Afdarts 1.1.6 alpha has been released, and it features a completely rewritten wall implementation based on convex polygons. It currently has a number of bugs, but it is already much better than the previous implementation and allows walls to be edited in the editor.

Also, a couple of fairly major bugs related to the Visual Basic 2005 upgrade have been fixed in this version.

- (fixed) Some objects such as scroll bars currently do not support transparency.
- deleted unused code in clsCmd
- rewrote the wall code from scratch using a new implementation based on convex polygons
- pressing number keys no longer makes units
- relative file paths no longer begin with a backslash
- videos are saved much faster
- saved videos always start at 0.bmp
- wall plans can be edited ingame
- moved ground.png and music.mid to scn\rps\ - made readme links clearer
- fixed crash while exiting or changing screen resolutions

Posted by Andrew Downing 2010-08-31

Afdarts RTS: version 1.1.5 alpha released

Afdarts 1.1.5 alpha has been released. It fixes a few annoying bugs in previous versions and fixes the broken projectile implementation, though the new faction AI algorithm does not take advantage of projectiles yet.

- individuals continue cooling down when given a new command
- improved faction AI balance between approaching and retreating
- improved rock texture
- fixed/completed projectile implementation
- removed splash screen

Posted by Andrew Downing 2010-04-24

Afdarts RTS: version 1.1.4 alpha released

Afdarts 1.1.4 alpha features an improved faction AI. To maneuver its units, the faction AI now uses a fuzzy logic algorithm in which each opponent unit has an attraction (or repulsion) force on each faction AI unit.

- improved faction AI unit maneuvering
- improved battle.scn and battle demo.scn
- games now start paused
- fixed bug when pressing delete when the selected unit is cooling down
- renamed t1 directory to rps
- changed license to MIT License
- renamed mdl Edit to Afdarts model editor
- fixed bug in which individuals sometimes kept moving when they had no health
- faction AI units move slower while far away from opponent

Posted by Andrew Downing 2010-01-31

Afdarts RTS: version 1.1.3 alpha released

Afdarts 1.1.3 alpha adds a new feature in which after taking health, individuals cannot move or take health for a set length of time. This makes melee tactics more interesting because units now effectively block opponent units from passing through them easily. You can play the new scenario "battle" to try this out.

- taking health is now followed by a cooldown in which the individual can't take health or move
- decreased distance between individuals
- added battle.scn
- fixed regression in which music continued playing when loading a new scenario or game
- renamed practice.scn to wall test.scn
- fixed a frequent overflow in following code
- clicking an individual with no health no longer can select its unit
- renamed "infinitersc" cheat to "free"
- AI difficulty now hard by default
- rebalanced wood collection rate

Posted by Andrew Downing 2009-12-31

Afdarts RTS: version 1.0.4 released

Afdarts 1.0.4 has been released, mainly to fix a frequent overflow that occurred most often when the difficulty level was set to easy.

- initialization error messages are now more detailed
- shadows now enabled by default
- saving videos now temporarily hides FPS
- fixed a frequent overflow in following code
- fixed a few trivial problems
- added detailed Windows Vista directions in Vista setup.htm

Posted by Andrew Downing 2009-12-29

frequent overflow not just in Afdarts 1.0.3

It looks like the frequent overflow in Afdarts 1.0.3 was actually already in version 1.0.2, so I changed the default download back to version 1.0.3. Hopefully I can make a bugfix release soon. If you run into the error, press yes, wait a couple seconds, then click Afdarts in the taskbar to restore it.

Posted by Andrew Downing 2009-12-28

Afdarts RTS: version 1.1.2 alpha released

The big change in Afdarts 1.1.2 alpha is that it is now written in Visual Basic 2005 and uses DirectX 9, so it will not require a complicated process to work on Windows Vista. However, it now requires at least version 2 of the .NET Framework. There are also a number of bugs introduced in this version; see the known issues section of the readme for more details.

I have plans to eventually port Afdarts to C# 2010.... read more

Posted by Andrew Downing 2009-12-24

frequent overflow in Afdarts 1.0.3

It looks like I introduced a frequent overflow in Afdarts 1.0.3. I knew about the bug for a while, but I didn't know that it happened so often and that it was introduced in version 1.0.3. I changed the default download to version 1.0.2 until I make a bugfix release, which could take a while because I am also working on other projects.

Posted by Andrew Downing 2009-11-17

Afdarts RTS: version 1.1.1 alpha released

Afdarts 1.1.1 alpha mainly adds an early implementation of walls in practice.scn. Like Afdarts 1.1.0 alpha, it does not contain the campaign scenarios from the 1.0.x releases, so it is not fun to play.

With so much else going on, I haven't made much progress on Afdarts lately. I hope this isn't a sign that the project is going to die soon, which would be a shame because I've looked forward to implementing walls for years. In any case, don't expect any new releases until June 2010 unless I am very lucky.... read more

Posted by Andrew Downing 2009-09-02

Afdarts RTS: versions 1.0.3 and 1.1.0 released

Afdarts 1.0.3 fixes a number of bugs and includes some changes made based on my observations of people playing it.

Afdarts 1.1.0 alpha, branched from version 1.0.2, mainly adds hills. It does not contain the campaign scenarios from the 1.0.x releases, so only try it out after playing the latest 1.0.x release.

Just for the fun of it, I ported an Afdarts 1.0.3 prerelease version to VBA and embedded it in a PowerPoint macro. If you don't mind temporarily lowering your PowerPoint security settings, make sure you have a copy of 1.0.x and feel free to try it out.... read more

Posted by Andrew Downing 2009-06-22

Afdarts RTS: version 1.002 released

Afdarts 1.002 most notably fixes several compatibility issues along with other bugs. If any of the following apply to you, you should update to this version.
- You have Windows Vista. (See the "Starting the Game" section of the readme file for directions.)
- The polygons draw out of order. (This is most noticable with buildings.)
- You have a widescreen monitor. (In older versions, everything in 3D stretched horizontally. This version also recognizes several widescreen resolutions.)
- You want more modding options. (Edit "\settings\skin.ini" or make your own skin file and pass it through a command line.)... read more

Posted by Andrew Downing 2009-01-08

Afdarts RTS: version 1.001 released

Version 1.001 has been released. It fixes several bugs, most notably in the "Save Video" feature of the cutscene editor. I made sure that scenarios and saved games from version 1.000 would not break, though scenarios may need some rebalancing. The scenario "One Forest" might be impossible to beat on the hard difficulty level in this release, so please let me know if you manage to beat it, preferably with a link to or email attachment with a replay.... read more

Posted by Andrew Downing 2008-10-06

Afdarts RTS: version 1.0.0 released

Afdarts (Acronym for Downing Andrew Real-Time Strategy) is a 3D real-time strategy (RTS) game/engine that is made in Visual Basic 6 and uses DirectX 8. Instead of units being individual people, units are predefined groups, though they can be predefined to contain only one individual.

Afdarts 1 has been released, and new features include the cutscenes, tutorial, and installer that were promised. You can make your own cutscenes/videos with the cutscene editor, but putting triggers in scenarios requires opening scenarios with a text editor. Other changes include more intuitive editors and several bug fixes. I hope I have fixed the main issues with Afdarts and have not introduced any notable problems.... read more

Posted by Andrew Downing 2008-08-22

Afdarts RTS: version 0.3.6 released

Afdarts 0.3.6 took a long time because I was working on a different project. However, work has resumed on Afdarts. Changes in version 0.3.6 include an easier "easy" option, improved shadows, fixes for some selection quirks (most notably in building selection and choosing whether to follow a unit), and new sounds and music.

Posted by Andrew Downing 2008-08-09

Afdarts RTS: version 0.3.5 released

I am sorry version 0.3.5 took so long for what it is worth. I was having trouble uploading files using the new mechanisms. Afdarts 0.3.5 mainly contains bug fixes, improved campaign scenarios, and an improved scenario format. Afdarts 1 now only needs better sound/music and support for cutscenes and basic triggers.

Posted by Andrew Downing 2008-05-30

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