So, if you are like me, you are probably incredibly annoyed by Steam’s new feature, the Link Filter.

I mean, sure, I can install some browser plugin to ‘bypass’ Steam’s landing page, but I still have to wait for like 5 seconds for Steam to perform it’s own checks.
That’s why I decided to make a tool to completely disable link filtering, and make Steam work in the way it used to.

So here it is folks!

This little tool will patch Steam (in-memory) in order to disable the link filter (this also means that you have to run it every time you run Steam).
It’s pretty easy to use. Simply launch it, read through the disclaimer, and let it patch Steam.
It shouldn’t take more than 10 seconds.

This should be completely safe (banning-wise), however until someone from Valve can confirm it, use at your own risk.

Full source code and documentation  is included for the curious folk (or if you don’t trust binary releases)!

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

What you see in this video is the vanilla BF3 client (with our modules loaded of course) functioning as a Dedicated Server, and being joined by another client.

You might notice that as opposed to the normal dedicated server, this one has no log output in its window. That’s because the retail BF3 builds have all debug logging stripped from them.

Finally, not everything is fully functional yet.
Features like RCON are missing, squad management is buggy, and control points don’t actually work.

We are currently in the process of fixing all those issues in order to be able to provide this feature to our players when we enter the Closed Beta stage.

If you wish to see a video of two people connecting to that server, click here.

This is basically a Proof of Concept of a BF3 client connecting to a local dedicated server without any support from a backend (be it Blaze or our custom backend).

This is currently buggy and missing a lot of features, however we know it can be done and we will be looking into it in the near future.

So NFS: Rivals is locked to 30 ticks per second.
This also limits the FPS to 30, even if your machine is capable of outperforming that.

Some people have discovered that you can remove the FPS limit, however that will result in speeding up your game by a severe margin (depending on the FPS you get).

I’ve been looking into a workaround, and even though I’ve managed to unlock visual FPS, there are still a few bugs.

If you notice, when I start driving in third person, my driver model starts clipping out of the car. That’s because physics simulation is still lagging behind at 30 ticks per second.

This is also visible when I collide with various items, as there is a slight delay between my collision and their reaction.

Moreover, there seem to be a few sound bugs when in first-person view (didn’t encounter them in 3rd person), as well as jittering on the UI.

If you want to try this out for yourself, you can launch your game with the following parameters:

-Client.VisualFrameInterpolation true -GameTime.MaxVariableFps 200 -GameTime.ClampTicks 2
-GameTime.MaxInactiveVariableFps 10 -GameTime.ForceSimRate 30 -GameTime.ForceDeltaTickCount 1 
-Ant.AllowVariableTickLength true -Ant.MaxInterpolationTicks 200

I’m still looking into a way to fix physics simulation issues, but from what it seems it might be hardcoded.

November 25, 2013 Randomness, Research

So apparently DICE is very interested in eSports support for the upcoming Battlefield 4 game.

However, what they’ve forgotten to mention is that Battlefield 3 has an eSports feature dubbed “Matches” (eSports is the internal name).

Now, you may say that the “Matches” feature is just for organizing multiplayer games at a given time with specific options/settings.

Well, I say that there’s more to it than meets the eye.

The eSports system has full support for specifying specific rosters for both teams, has other variable settings (like equipment limitations) and has full spectation support.

To be a bit more specific, when it comes to hosting a “match”, there are two types of players that are allowed to join (since the game becomes private):

  • Rosters (Competitive team players), and
  • Spectators

I should also note that these spectators are not exactly like the regular spectators I mentioned in a previous post.

They’re being handled specifically by the eSports system.

Now, I don’t want to make any promises, but the full featured eSports system might be included in the project code-named Venice at a later time.

So yeah, that’s about it for now.

Yet again, I fail to realize why DICE decided to remove such features from the retail game.
Makes me sad. :(

All their darkest secrets…

February 28, 2013 EA, Research, Reverse Engineering

Here’s a demonstration of the otherwise hidden spectator mode in Battlefield 3.
I have yet to test player-specific spectating, but when I do I’ll make sure to upload another video.

February 27, 2013 EA, Research, Reverse Engineering

Here’s a list of games that are using the Blaze backend for their networking operations (such as stat management, invites, lobbies, matchmaking, etc.).

  • Battlefield 3
  • Medal of Honor 2010
  • Medal of Honor: Warfighter
  • Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed
  • Need for Speed: The Run
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted
  • Crysis 3
  • Dead Space 3
  • FIFA 11
  • FIFA 12
  • FIFA 13
  • Syndicate
  • Dragon Age 2

Note: This list might be incomplete, since I collected those games by hand.
Also, thanks to NTAuthority and Timse for checking a couple of games for me.

February 6, 2013 Blaze, EA, Research