Battlelance 0.03

Posted: 2013/07/24 in Battlelance
Tags: , , ,

It´s been a while, but I´m still working on my Java projects. I had some concurrency issues on collections, which should be solved now (I hope), damn you multi-threading! I’ve added a new spawn for the dungeon master, the Kobold. A sly creature that lurkes in the shadows, good for ambushing pesky adventurers that are entering his lair. He’s also better at disabling traps then the skeleton, it takes a thief to catch a thief, right?

The changelog:

  • Fixed: Some concurency issues with multi-threading
  • Fixed: As DM selecting unit abilities could cause screen flashing
  •  ADD: Kobolts, spawn for DM for stealth and disabling player traps

I’m also working on a few bigger projects within Battlelance in the background:

  • AI for adventurers and DM
  • Inventory system
  • Character creation system

But those will probably take a very long time to finish and I’m in no hurry, so we’ll see how far I get with those 🙂


Temporarily took a break from Java to play around with some 3D game engines. Where is a small prototype I worked on in the UDK game engine, using the same sword as in the Unity 3D screenshot. Sorry for the poor quality, Windows movie maker though that was enough for Youtube -.-

Video  —  Posted: 2013/07/09 in Uncategorized

Playing around with Unity 3D

Just having some fun in Unity3D. Wouldn’t it be fun to ride a dragon?

Image  —  Posted: 2013/06/18 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

While testing I found some nasty bugs, most of these are addressed in this release. Please let me know if you find others, this is after all just an alpha version, if you can even call it that 🙂 And with help I can find and fix them.

  • Fixed: End turn bug, end turn didn’t register with all the clients
  • Fixed: Selection/action when somebody was standing on a trap
  • Fixed: Update vision when opening a door
  • Change: Movement/Actions have different labels
  • Fixed: Disable device label didn’t vanish after end turn
  • Fixed: Can’t run into a trap if somebody is already standing on it

After a few months of work I’m releasing an alpha version of the game for people to play.  It’s the core of the gameplay for you to check out. This is an early version so here are a few things that aren’t in yet:

  • Animations on characters
  • Sounds or music
  • Lots of dungeon master tools
  • And there might still be some bugs here and there

So what is in this version you ask?

  • Become a wizard and choose between a white, red and black wizard. Or become a thief, fighter or cleric
  • Play an entire party of 4 characters and control them all, or if you’re with more people you can split control between players
  • Play online, over LAN or PBEM
  • Play as a dungeon master and summon monsters out of the line of sight of the party
  • Play deathmatch games and take on other characters
  • There are currently 26 different player abilities (spells, weapons and skills) and this will increase in future version, perhaps with input from you
  • Particle effects for most abilities
  • Build on Java and opengl, so it should work on Windows, Linux and Mac (you might need to copy the native libraries from Battlelance\native\<platform> to Battlelance\native. On default Windows libraries will be loaded.

  1. Make sure you have Java 1.7 installed. Or download it here.
  2. Extract the Zip file anywhere.
  3. If you want to set your resolution other then default edit this in etc/ (open with any texteditor)
  4. If you want to do a PBEM, you can set your SMTP server settings in the same file, so Battelance can automatically send your turn files.
  5. For Windows users, just run the Battlelance.bat file
  6. For Linux users run: java -Djava.library.path=”native/linux” -jar BattleLance.jar etc/
  7. Mac users run: java -Djava.library.path=”native/macosx” -jar BattleLance.jar etc/

And play! Do mind, this is a multiplayer game, there is no AI build in at this moment (this might be something for the future).

Have fun!

Burning skeletons alive! Or something...

Burning skeletons alive! Or something…

In this blog I don’t want to just ‘praise’ my games, but I would like to give some technical insights in how they technically work. Mind you, the solutions that I’m using are not in any way the perfect solution to certain problems. They work for my situation and if you’re looking to copying it, that’s fine but a different context might require a different solution.

Another warning, I’m neither a great writer nor is my first language English. So I might become a bit incoherent as I jump from one subject to another.

Today I want to talk about save games. There are different ways to implement saving/loading in your game. One way to do it is to save all the current agents (characters and other ingame objects), but this means you’ll have to save all the effects and the current state of them as well. Like an invisibility spell that wears off in one more turn.

Battlelance saves its games by first of all saving the initial setup, which is just an object with a few arrays to record per playable character the player ID, player name, class, team number and some game master attributes like spawns, traps and abilities. With this information and the map the game can be set to its start position.

Once the players start the game all kind of data is being transferred over the network, to make sure this all happens in the right order and no threads access the same resources at once, each event that the game receives (movement, damage, summons, end turn, etc. etc.) is being push into a queue and afterwards processed. I’ll go more into this in another blog about the multiplayer aspect of the game. Sufficient to say is that these events constitute the consequences off all the actions that have taken place. So if somebody attacks, only the damage (if any) that’s done is enough to reconstruct the events that have happened.

Once the event is processed it’s stored in a savegame queue and once the game is saved this entire queue with the initial setup, and by replaying each event in turn the game is progressed to the same state as before.

Here is a snipplet of code of how the Save game object is written to a file and how it’s retrieved.

public static void SaveGame(GameContainer container, ConcurrentLinkedQueue<Object> saveGame)
    ByteArrayOutputStream baos = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
    ObjectOutputStream oos = new ObjectOutputStream(baos);
    SaveGame game = new SaveGame(saveGame, container.getInitialState(), container.getMap2(), container.getGameName());
    byte[] binary = baos.toByteArray();
    String text = Base64.encodeBase64String(binary);
    PrintWriter out = new PrintWriter("save/" + container.getGameName() + ".btl");
  catch (Exception e)

public static SaveGame LoadGame(String file)
    String text = readFile(file);
    byte[] binary = Base64.decodeBase64(text);
    ByteArrayInputStream baos = new ByteArrayInputStream(binary);
    ObjectInputStream oos = new ObjectInputStream(baos);
    return (SaveGame)oos.readObject();
  catch (Exception e)
  return null;

This new site has been up for a few days now, and I’ll try to update it with more info on Battlelance in the days to come. Progress on the game has been a bit slow this weekend as I wasn’t home that much, but I did do some interesting stuff on the game master’s side of the game.

The game master will have 3 type of abilities, at the start of the game points can be distributed how much he can spend on these during the game.

Spawn points, these points are per turn and determine how much monsters the game master can place per turn. At the moment there are only 2 types of summons:

  • Skeletons, your standard fighting unit.
  • Wizards eye, a summoned eye who’s quite frail but has a high perception skill and who has the ability to see through invisibility spells.

Trap points, these points are per game and determine how many traps you can place during the game. You can spend them all at once in the first turn or you can wait to see what path in the dungeon the characters will take and focus them around there.

Ability points, these points determine how many general nasty abilities you can perform per turn. One such ability is to put a lock on doors the characters will have to pass, thereby slowing them down and giving you time to prepare an ambush in one of the rooms beyond.

All game master abilities must be used outside the line of sight of the characters so you can’t spawn a skeleton right in front of an enemy party, but you can put one right around the corner. In the current version the number of abilities is limited, but the system I’ve build should allow me to quickly add new creatures, traps and general abilities.

Play by email setup

Play by email setup

Dungeon master abilities

Dungeon master abilities