Impatient for stats

A long time ago, NS2 had an awesome project called NS2Stats that gathered round stats for the servers running this mod, you could go on their website and look at the stats for the rounds you had played. One of those stats was accuracy. In the competitive scene, this has always been a number every player has obsessed with, of course, since otherwise they wouldn’t be competing.

I remember playing and wondering during certain periods of the game what my final accuracy would be, especially if I was having a good round. So because I was impatient and wanted that data before the round ended, I thought about incorporating something like that to my mod, at the time still called Custom HUD.

The first iteration was fully client-based, so all the information was from what the client believed it hit, instead of what the server was seeing, but it was still good enough for the impatients like me at the time. When you died, you’d get a message in console like this:

Client-side stats

Because I was hooking into the damage function, and because of the way it works, some of the “weapons” weren’t being tracked, basically, any melee weapons wouldn’t count misses towards the stats, so most aliens would get 100% accuracy all the time. I wanted to address this, so while fixing this issue, I went for an extra step, the server-side.

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Modding origins – The spawns issue

A long, long time ago, I was writing for a (now defunct) spanish Half-Life & mods news site. One of the people in that community, blueman, pointed me towards a new mod that looked very interesting, as it was mixing RTS and FPS elements, that mod was Natural Selection.

At the time, I was just starting mapping and I had done a small and not very good looking Counter-Strike level, as I was still learning. So since this unreleased mod offered a small pre-release version for mappers to get started with all the textures, I jumped straight into it. The mapping forums were very active and some very nice looking maps were being shown there.

The kind of expectations that this mapping community had, pushed me to get better and better at mapping, and, after some time, I ended up contributing in official capacity for the mod in the form of the Bast remake and Sava. It was during this period that I learned to look more into negative feedback to see what I could improve. This would later apply to my Natural Selection 2 modding.

When Natural Selection 2 got announced, I naturally got excited about it. The curious thing about it was that the game logic was using lua, and any player could take a look at it and modify it. I had learned how to program as part of my studies, and it had been useful at work for doing some very small tools, but I never considered doing any game programming.

I had been part of the playtesting team since the very beginning, and since the game was in a sort of early access model, you could play the game as it was being developed.

People’s expectations didn’t line up with what the developer had in mind, so that prompted a number of people to stop playing out of frustration during the alpha and beta periods.

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