Non-Subscription Shard Launched

We were all looking forward for shard3 to open. In this post, we are pleased to announce its launch along with some more great news.

First, we’re happy to announce that the free non-subscription CPU limit is raised from 10 to 20. Yay!

And now is the most interesting part. Shard3 becomes our first CPU-limited shard. It limits CPU of all players to 20. Even if you have an active subscription and assigned more CPU to this shard, only 20 CPU will be active there. This means this shard is mostly designed for non-subscription players. They can now compete with all their neighbors on equal terms (CPU-wise), whether they are subscribed or not.

In all other aspects, shard3 is a regular shard with Novice and Respawn Areas and portals from shard2 (temporary closed for 60 days). You can freely travel there, but your CPU will be capped, so having a subscription will force you to learn how to optimize your creeps in the same way as non-subscribed players do.

And the last thing: since you get twice as much CPU now when you buy Screeps on Steam, the free 30-day subscription trial is discontinued. We recommend new players to start on shard3 and buy a subscription if they want to expand to other shards.


Have comments or feedback? You can discuss this post here.

Changelog 2018-09-22

This is a big game update containing many features:


Tunnels

It is now allowed to build roads on top of natural terrain walls. Such “tunnels” open some interesting tactical opportunities in rooms with complex landscape. Construction and maintenance cost is 150x higher than a normal road on plain land (see documentation):

Cost: 45,000
Hits: 750,000
Decay: Loses 15,000 hits every 1,000 ticks

Roads cannot be built on edge tiles, i.e. you cannot create additional room exits using roads. Other usual rules apply: you can build roads in neutral rooms, but any construction in hostile owned rooms is prohibited.

Read More

Open source graphics engine

We’re happy to announce that our graphics engine is now released on GitHub as an open source project! It is based on PixiJS and contains the same renderer code and images we use in our official game client. You can use it in your own projects of two major types: custom graphics for private servers, and third-party GUI utilities.

Custom graphics for private servers

The ptr branch of the private server npm package (starting from 3.1.0-beta.4) contains new functionality which you can use to provide your own graphics for any game object types: both standard game types and new custom types. It allows you to create your own game objects with custom graphics like this:

The library supports vector graphics, raster textures and sprites, animations, transforms, visual effects, etc. We’re going to use its potential in full in the future, and we’re also looking forward to seeing what you can come up with too.

We’ve prepared some mods examples for you to get started with the custom graphics. Use npm install screeps@ptr in order to install the supported server branch.

Third-party GUI utilities

You can integrate the renderer library to your own application which would display Screeps game objects in the same way as in the official game client. For example, you can develop a standalone room history viewer, a third-party game client, etc. You can add samples from real game object data and visualize it exactly as they are shown in the game.

The project repository contains a demo app which is a good reference of how to integrate the renderer on a web page in your own project. Also, please refer to the documentation and the API reference.


Have comments or feedback? You can discuss this post here.

Power Creeps update

The turning point of the Power Creeps development is just around the corner. This post will show how this mechanics will look in the game and also update our design document. A lot of things have already been described in the previous post, but the mechanics sparked hot debate, and we took a time-out to polish the idea and switch to other important tasks. This process gave us fresh ideas on what to change, and now we are confident the final concept can be viable.

TL;DR Brief summary of the adjustments

  • Only one class will be launched initially—Operator.
  • Any power creep can use its powers (skills) only in power-enabled rooms. Activation requires that any power creep approach the room controller and run PowerCreep.enableRoom(controller). This action is performed once by any player (not limiting to the room owner) and can be undone only by unclaim.
  • The operator will use a new resource called ops that it can either generate itself or buy in NPC terminals.
  • See an interactive skills planner below.

    Read More

Changelog 2018-03-05

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from us, but all in good reason. We’ve been working hard on some exciting new features that we’re now happy to announce.

Isolated virtual machine

The chances are that this major improvement will become historical. Nobody did that in the Node.js world before, we’re proud to be pioneers here. Marcel Laverdet, our open-source contributor, has implemented an excellent isolated-vm native module that finally brings full-featured VM isolation to Node.js. With the integration of this library, Screeps can now provide truly separated sandboxes to players that don’t affect each other in any way. It is highly recommended to try now, since it will be our default VM in a few months.

  • You can opt-in for an isolated VM in the new account settings UI called Runtime. This will move the execution of your script to another pool of server nodes with this experimental feature enabled.

  • The isolated VM takes you to your very own JavaScript environment, including heap memory and garbage collector.

  • Since isolated VMs can be transferred between threads within the same Node.js process, it is no longer neccessary to maintain multiple global instances, and you always have one single global. Moreover, your global environment is very stable and can persist for several days without resets (unless you reset it with your own actions).

  • You can use the new API method Game.cpu.getHeapStatistics() to know how much heap memory you’re using in runtime. The maximum effective limit is 256 MB for each player. If you exceed this limit, your VM may be reset.

Although this feature is still considered experimental, it is well tested on our PTR server and shows good results.

Private server support

An isolated VM is also available for private servers in our beta branch that you can install this way:

npm install screeps@beta

It is recommended to set runners_cnt to 1 in your .screepsrc file, since otherwise it will create multiple global environments for each player. There is a new option runner_threads instead which should be set to the number of your CPU cores.

Also, you may want to launch Node.js with --harmony_sharedarraybuffer flag in order to enable some memory optimizations.

Tombstones

Introduced new major feature: creep Tombstones. When your creep dies for any reason, there is now a special object left that contains information about the deceased creep and any resources it carried. Tombstones slowly decay over time, the decay period depends on the creep body size. After it is decayed, all resources contained are dropped on the ground. A tombstone provides room visibility to its owner.

  • New Tombstone global prototype.
  • New constants FIND_TOMBSTONES, LOOK_TOMBSTONES, TOMBSTONE_DECAY_PER_PART.

Thanks to davaned for this idea (see discussion on forum) and ags131 for implementation (PR #74).

Other changes

These changes are supported in private server v2.13.0.


Have comments or feedback? You can discuss this post here.

Auth Tokens

We’re glad to announce that Screeps now has user-generated authentication tokens support. You can use these persistent tokens to authenticate to our undocumented Web API endpoints without using the sign-in process. Use your Account / Auth Tokens section to generate such a token:

Please note that the usual sign-in process will start using Google Invisible reCAPTCHA effective February 1, 2018.

If you have an external tool which uses https://screeps.com/api/auth/signin endpoint automatically, please change it to use Auth Tokens before February 1, 2018! Otherwise it will stop working.

Doing this is trivial: you need to drop using auth/signin endpoint and set X-Token header in all your requests to the persistent token generated from your account settings.

Learn more about this feature in the documentation.


Have comments or feedback? You can discuss this post here.

Changelog 2017-12-14

  • Runtime servers upgraded to Node.js 8.9.3 (LTS). It ships with V8 5.8, a significant update to the JavaScript runtime that includes major improvements in performance. This enables many modern ES6 language features, such as WebAssembly support. Since it’s a major release, it may have different performance profile depending on language features you use.
  • Added binary modules support to the in-game IDE and require mechanics. Learn more in the documentation.

Have comments or feedback? You can discuss this post here.

Wanted: Senior Angular Developer

The Screeps team is looking for a talented Angular developer to work on the game code base. We have a huge number of development plans, and if you want to be a part of their implementation, we’re waiting for your resume by one of the following links:

If you play Screeps, make sure to specify your in-game nickname!

You can find the requirements in the job posting below.

Read More