Carbon Online

A futuristic free-to-play 2D MMO RPG!

Carbon is currently down for a large patch, thanks for testing!

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Latest News

Patching, Inventory and Dynamic Projectiles
by Mack on 27-Sep-2014 8:24am UTC

Patching is complete! Carbon can now update itself when there's new content! It's fairly automated and can easily be skipped/ignored if you don't want to immediately update (useful perhaps for limited bandwidth?). The patching code now also allows installation of Carbon from a single launcher exe, which is great for maintaining a clean and compact download of the game.

Inventory is also coming along well, it's now possible to really go ham on adding things to the game. Several new weapons are being prototyped, one of which that works really well is the rail gun! Rail guns are unlike the other projectile weapons in that their bullet travel time is instantaneous and does high damage with precision. It takes skill to aim such a weapon! Also, if a rail gun were to explode, it'd look cool, right?

Dynamic projectiles are a subject I keep coming back to. The way that projectiles are implemented in Carbon allows them to be precalculated or evaluated on a somewhat frame-by-frame basis. What this means is that projectiles don't have to travel in straight and linear paths. They can change speed, direction or even do something unique at random points along their trajectory. This is why rail guns were easy to implement on top of the existing code but it got me thinking about what other kind of projectiles could be implemented.

I'd like to share some ideas to hopefully stir your imagination of some of the things players could encounter or perhaps even make themselves down the line on Carbon:

  • Beam based weapons are very much like the rail gun implementation, except that they can be sustained and redirected. They also don't have to be instantaneous and can be dragged like a stream of water/plasma instead of travelling near instantaneously like light.
  • Weaving projectiles that rotate and spin or sway along their trajectory are very easy to implement, such as propelled rockets that spin around each other to maintain their accuracy across longer distances. This also covers tracking and allows rockets to lock and home in on targets.
  • Propelled objects are also similar to the existing implementation. Though instead of bullets or energy, dynamic objects can instead move along the path of the projectile. This covers all kinds of simple grenades and more exotic ideas such as reactive projectiles that do things after impact, such as ignite a location or release toxic goo.
  • Bouncing/reflecting projectiles is also another possibility. Projectiles that skim off the side of a wall at shallow angles can perhaps bounce and continue travelling along their path. More rubbery and solid projectiles could even bounce at wild angles and be unpredictable when they strike walls and objects.

These are just some ideas covering projectiles I wanted to type up. It's too easy to forget when making a game that variety in not only weapons but in how they operate is more fun than having only a few predictable and otherwise same-y variants that only really change in spray pattern or damage. I really want to push Carbon in the direction of more variety!

Thanks for reading!


Lighting engine, gore, playerlist and VoIP
by Mack on 19-Sep-2014 1:48am UTC

So much has changed since the last update! Argh! Why do I keep putting updates off?!

Some of the biggest changes include a revamp to the lighting engine and the start of a day/night cycle. One of the most impressive uses of the lighting engine is now gunplay! Bullets streak across the map, lighting it up during night time and have very satisfying impact blasts. It's really hard to take a picture of; but in motion it looks great. You'll have to believe me!

Another big change is the introduction of gore and the health bar! Taking damage results in some over the top blood squirts with a chance of bleeding over time to make that epic chase scene look the part.

The playerlist has also been implemented! It keeps track of who's online and where your buddies are at. It will hopefully also allow instant messaging very soon, it just needs some more work. Further plans include the addition of IRC-like chat rooms for things such as your guild, global trade or even just group chat.

And finally the next biggest addition to Carbon is VoIP! What is VoIP? Voice over IP allows players to chat with a microphone to other players on the same level and say a real hello to their fellow players. VoIP will allow for quick communication when you're raiding with your buddies.

What do you think? Carbon is really coming along! Bring on October!

Back to work for me though... I have to get Carbon to automatically patch now...

World Building, Combat Mechanics and Prototyping
by Mack on 22-Aug-2014 6:05am UTC

World Building

I've spent the last few days working on the engine support for large joined maps and made great progress and squashed many bugs. Currently there's a 5x5 world planned for the pre-alpha and here's what it looks like so far:

I plan to add at least one more outpost, using a different more frontier-sy building style, and at least another few enterable areas. Perhaps a cave system? I would also like to fix the sharp, jaggy cliffs. I'll need to add a few more tiles to do that but progress so far is good!

Combat Mechanics

The most common method of fighting other players will probably be at range and that's what I've been smoothing out and testing today. Projectiles can be fired and targeted using the mouse and movement is WASD-based. I'm really enjoying how it feels and I think it can only improve with better and more polished sound and animation assets. It's fun to spam! Pew pew! I'd really love to get beam-based weapons in for the pre-alpha...

Tarquin and I tested PvP combat earlier and it was great fun, with these changes perhaps we should spar again... :D


I've also been tinkering with how I want the world to behave. The world shouldn't be simple, flat and static! It's alive too! And with that I've been playing with weather mock ups, specifically sandstorms!

Weather like this can really change how an engagement plays out, perhaps it's the ultimate getaway or instead the equalizer between both parties and causes everyone problems!

Anyway... there's lots more to do, so I better get back to it!

Carbon Online Pre-Alpha Launch Plans
by Mack on 19-Aug-2014 12:19pm UTC

Carbon will be aiming to launch mid-October with planned content to include:

  • A small and dangerous world to explore and conquer (~400,000 sq ft.)
  • Player-vs-player combat with permadeath features such as dropping some gear/consumables when killed
  • Capture points that contain loot and generate points
  • Rewards and bonuses for PvP combat
  • Weekly/monthly highscores and rewards for players and guilds
  • A simple guild system to allow you to play with friends and capture locations

As with most games in pre-alpha, alpha or even beta this list of features is in no way final and may change at any point without notice! However, we'll try! Any content that doesn't make it for the launch will most likely be added over time. The beauty of Carbon is that it will be constantly evolving, changing and growing!

Why would we launch so early and in such an unpredictable state you ask?! Because the community that forms around this game will be very important and have a direct impact on shaping the game! Come chat!

Here's some screenshots so far...

The website has launched!
by Mack on 19-Aug-2014 12:19pm UTC

Welcome to the launch of the website!

Things might be a little rough around here but hopefully it'll all liven up soon... soon enough for the launch of Carbon at least! Stay tuned for more details coming shortly.

What is Carbon?

Well it's two things:

  1. an engine for running 2.5D top-down style MMOs that is both simple and very flexible and
  2. it's also a game built using that engine. Carbon Online tells the story of a colony ship sent out into the stars from a dying Earth in the late 23rd century.

Players play the role of the various colonists that traveled aboard the ship. However the world the colonists find themselves on isn't as habitable as they hoped nor as utopian!

| The UES Diamond; a technological marvel constructed in the late 23rd century. A carbon time-capsule designed to travel the void between the stars. A starship built to transport millions of human colonists from a dying Earth to a distant habitable world, a place for humanity to start over. | | The Diamond's intended voyage was to last one hundred and twenty years, travelling to the distant world of Alpha Majoris V, an idyllic eden where humanity could flourish again. Instead we have awoken to find ourselves under foreign stars in an unknown region of space. We do not know how long we have slept nor how far we have traveled. | | The UES Diamond is trapped in a unique anomaly in orbit of a world we now call Io Vulcanis. The ship is uninhabitable and must be abandoned. With Earth so far behind us and an uncertain and difficult future ahead we must now band together and tame this world. | | Humanity must survive.

In Carbon Online players fight for control over the planet and it's limited resources as they try to recreate civilization and make a name for themselves. Players can capture bases and resources and set up guilds to protect those interests. The world of Carbon isn't safe nor easy!

Come hang out!

Come chat with us on the forums! Or follow my twitter @Macksaur or this news page's RSS feed for updates!

I'll be updating this page and site regularly as things progress so make sure to stay tuned!

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