War of the Voxels
March 2012 - Present
War of the Voxels is an experimental, proof-of-concept first person shooter built off of the Bloxel engine that combines the dynamic terrain of a voxel game with the fast-paced action of a shooter. As such, the game allows for real-time terrain modifications, resulting in a much richer gameplay experience than games with static terrain.
Many challenges were faced in the development of War of the Voxels. Perhaps the most challenging and the one with the most impact was the networking code. Two major objectives had to be reached with the networking code:
·Smooth and seamless gameplay
·Secure against cheaters and hackers
In order to meet the second goal, War of the Voxels had to go with an authoritative sever model in which the sever has the final say over object states in the game world. One of the most significant impacts this decision caused was that player positions were no longer reported by the client; instead, clients only sent their input state for the server to process. However, only doing this would result in input lag proportional to the player's ping time to the server, and so for pings upwards of 100 ms would be almost unplayable given the fast-paced FPS action in War of the Voxels. The next logical step, then, was to simulate physics on the client while waiting for the server reply. Since War of the Voxels' physics is deterministic, the client and server rarely disagree on computed outputs unless the client has incorrect or late knowledge on other objects in the game (e.g. player collides into another player). To avoid sudden jumps when the client position needs to be corrected, War of the Voxels linearly interpolates over time to correct the position. The result is almost seamless gameplay that works on pings up to 1000ms.
War of the Voxels has consistently been able to remain in the Top 100 Most Popular list on IndieDB for weeks at a time.