New Randu is LIVE

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New Randu is LIVE

Post by Jude on Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:04 pm

One of the things that has been sub-optimal about this project from the get go has been the random number generator.  The pseudorandom numbers that Windows is generating for us just aren't cutting it, and I think things somehow got worse when we migrated to the latest version of windows.  

I am planning on implementing a much improved random number generator.  My current plan is to use the website random.org.  They generate random numbers from actual atmospheric disturbances, which is kind of cool.  They will also let you (automatically) download a 1,000,000 bits of randomness a day.  I'm thinking of doing something like this... since Javatar reboots the server application once daily, that's a good opportunity to download a fresh batch of random numbers to use for the day.  The downloaded random numbers go into a file, and a function pushes them to the game throughout the day.  

The first phase of this plan is to figure out how many random numbers we actually use in Javatar on a daily basis.  I'm going to replace our current random number function with an almost identical function that keeps a running tally on how often the code calls for a random number, and tally each daily total for a week or two.  I'm pretty sure we'll be well under the random.org quota, but I want to make sure we aren't going over before I make the effort to replace our randomizer with a totally new piece of code.  

I'm setting up the counting functionality on the test server right now.. I'll push it to the live server soon and report back here with the data.


Last edited by Jude on Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: New Randu is LIVE

Post by Jude on Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:58 pm

Woah, we are using waaaay more random numbers than the daily quota allowed at random.org.  

As an alternative solution, I have purchased a USB random number generator that can generate 400 kilobits of randomness per second. It's the TrueRNG3, 50 bucks from Amazon.  

I will follow up here when it is installed and operating on the server.

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Re: New Randu is LIVE

Post by Jude on Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:41 pm

Our new random number generator is UP on the live server.

You should see a lot less streakiness from the game's randomly generated elements. These include item drops, quests, monsters in rooms, etc.. Some weird behavior related to randomness was fixed too--we may have seen the last of those phantom empty rooms. (i.e. walking into a room to find a chest with no monster..)

I have written a number of utilities to test/analyze the output of our random number generator for all of the randomly generated elements I have mentioned above. Over the past week I have looked at pages upon pages full of thousands of drops, tweaking things here and there.

We will still see streaks from time to time (they are a part of true randomness), but as I said, hopefully much less often.

Game on!

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Re: New Randu is LIVE

Post by dungeonmaster on Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:52 am

This is great news. The randu function has been a thorn in the side of gamers forever. We could be the first system ever to have real random numbers in avatar. Good Job.
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