Changes in beta 2
User interface improvements:
- We've replaced a lot of the old icons with new ones to make things easier. In the Vehicles list you can easily see the difference between an advanced and intermediate AI by the color of the icon (purple cars are intermediate, blue are advanced).
- Double-clicking an intermediate car will now go to the intermediate vehicle edit menu, instead of an empty (and useless) AI file
- The races view now displays the AI that was entered in each race as well as the time it took to complete the race. If you entered an intermediate AI then the name will be "intermediate AI" however advanced cars will show their names properly.
- Rules and validation - we have added in more user interface improvements to enforce naming rules so you should not be able to enter invalid information.
- Usernames are now in white on the spacetrack as reading black text on a black background was found to be a bit of a challenge.
- We have started to roll out login/logout functionality to the game. Currently you can create an account on infoQ's code rally registration page - this will link your username to your username on our server (no personal information is stored in the code rally server).
- Currently you cannot login/logout from the code rally cloud server - you can enter races with your username entered and not needing a login at this time (for the code rally challenge on infoQ's website you will need to register your username on their website before someone else does).
- We will be enabling the requirement to login/logout from the code rally cloud server as soon as possible (your game client will let you know if you need to login).
- We have added a new server configuration file for those of you who want to run a server locally - this is very basic at the moment however we will be rolling out more configuration changes and writing a post detailing the current changes you can make to a local server in the coming days.
- Existing server databases will be automatically upgraded to the new version when you run with a new client - old race data will not be lost.
- We have added new competition tracks to the game - these are called "Challenge X" tracks. They are identical to to the existing tracks of the same name but have their own leaderboards necessary for the code rally challenge competition. Note - you need to enter races on these tracks to be counted in the code rally challenge competition.
- We have added a new spectator mode to the game - by right-clicking on a server in the servers view you can click on "spectator mode" - this will replay all races run on the server from newest to oldest fullscreen on your machine. To exit spectator mode just close the currently open replay window.
- There are numerous bug fixes and performance tweaks in the game to help it run faster and more stable than ever. If you do fine any bugs please let us know in the forums.
- The Jbox2D library is now automatically added to the classpath of your eclipse environment for new installs (to stop your development screen complaining if you get your vehicles' velocity). People with existing car AIs will need to add the library manually (the jbox 2d library can be found in "<user area>/user/.coderally/lib" once you have run a race locally on your machine).
I'm Thomas Banks - architect for the Code Rally game. Today we are proud to announce the availability of the new Code Rally beta - we have all been working hard over the past few months to fix a lot of the defects and pain points from our original release as well as adding in some new features which we hope you will find useful. We have also created a new install process which will install Eclipse, Java, WebSphere Application Server Liberty Profile, WebSphere Developer Tools and the game files as well automatically - this was an often requested feature and we have been working hard to get it ready for you.
This is a beta release so that means 2 things:
- There may be more bugs/defects than you would expect from a release - we have worked very hard to fix as many bugs as we can but some may have slipped past us.
- Not all of the features are finalised - you may see some slight changes in the UI as well as positioning of buttons between the beta and any future non-beta release
Firstly here are a list of new features in this release:
- Improved reliability when connecting to game servers
- Video replay windows can now be resized - currently the video does not get centred(we are working on it)
- Video replay windows that are bigger than the current screen will be shrunk to fit the screen automatically
- Video play/pause buttons have had new graphics so you can see them more clearly on all tracks (especially the circuit track)
- New leaderboard - we have completely re-made the server leaderboards (see below for more information)
- New installer that removes a significant amount of setup steps and removes the need to download other products separately to be able to play the game
- Ability to get updates to the game from the installer - these will be delta updates that only download files that changed so will save you a lot of time and bandwidth
We have a few issues that we are aware of with this release:
- You will not be able to migrate an existing code rally server database to the new beta - this means existing win/loss records and usernames will not be transferable. This is a priority for us to fix.
New leaderboard is not available on IBM cloud server - you should be able to race on the IBM cloud server but will see the old leaderboard until we are able to migrate the current database to the new beta. This will happen as soon as possible.Update: the IBM Cloud server is now running the beta code.
- Existing installs may cause issues with the new beta - if you have played the non-beta version of the game before on your machine you may see some odd behaviour in rare circumstances. If this happens then stop your code rally server and go to your user folder (in windows it is the folder that contains your "my music", "my documents" etc folders) - you sill see a folder called "user" - delete that folder and all these issues should vanish. By deleting the folder then you will lose all server and car information from the code rally eclipse plugin - this includes server settings like usernames and non-local server information as well as car AI settings. Your car AI Java code will not be removed but you will need to re-create your car with the same name for the old AI to be picked up again.
The beta is available for download from our beta download page - we hope you enjoy the new features we have added!
As part of this release we have made significant improvements to the leaderboard - you can now search for your name (this happens automatically if you select "leaderboard" from the right-click menu on the server in the servers tab on the code rally UI) and it will show you where you stand in the global rankings. You can now rank players by their average race position, fastest lap overall and fastest lap by track. Note if you choose to order by fastest lap on a track that has not been raced on you will see the default usernames - do not worry your data hasn't been lost, it just doesn't appear if no-one has raced on that track yet.
We are eager to hear your feedback on the new beta and ask that any comments/bugs/suggestions you have for us get posted in the new Code Rally beta thread in our forums. We really want to get your feedback on the game and the new beta features so please let us know what you think.
It has been a busy start to the year but this beta only contains some of the new features we have been working on - there is a lot more to come and we hope that you keep giving us suggestions in the forums and via the jazzhub project so we can continue to improve the game in a way that you want.
Tom and the rest of the Code Rally team!