This report will be a little different to the past ones as I’ve done in the past. Being that I’m 3/4s of the way through the year of trying to making this game I’ve been doing. For the most part, I’ve been focused on trying to make the core game and combat work to a reasonable degree. While this is important, I feel that I’ve lost focus of my main task of “making a game” and have instead been chipping away at all the features that were needed for the combat work. I had an inkling at the beginning that I wouldn’t finish this game within a year, and it’s plain to me now that this definitely won’t happen. But what I wanted to happen within that year was have the core framework of the game set up. Instead I just have a fairly basic turn based combat mode. This wouldn’t be so bad, but I’ve spent the last 2 months trying to get the basics of online multiplayer to work, and while it works ok so far, it’s a long way from being done.
Considering the relatively small number of people that might actually play this game when it’s done, I’m not sure it’s worth spending any additional time trying to make the multiplayer work. None of the time I’ve spent on this has been wasted, as I’ve learnt a lot about how Unity’s UNET system works, and also refactored a lot of my code that needed some serious tidying up. The way my game’s set up now it’s fairly easy to get it working in either single player or multiplayer mode. Instead of them, I’m going to spend the last quarter of the year making the basic framework needed for the rest of that game. I still expect the combat to be the more complicated part of the game, but the rest is still essential to make it a more complete package. Now, on with my usual report.
What I did
Despite my moving away from multiplayer, I finished off 2 features that were causing me some annoyance, but didn’t take too long to fix. When it was the other player’s turn you could still see the movement circle and create waypoints around their current character. Neither of these served any purpose and didn’t matter a great deal as you couldn’t actual move them, but it looked untidy and could cause some confusion. When play moves away from you, both these features are disabled.
At some point when I was refactoring my movement code to work with multiplayer, I’d messed up how it calculates the remaining movement after you confirm where a character should go. Instead of using the correct value, it was reset back to the original value, letting them move around forever. I had to change where the calculations take place, but this is no longer a problem.
The biggest task this sprint was refactoring the game to work in offline mode again. Thankfully it wasn’t as big a task as making it work with online multiplayer originally, and the code’s considerably neater as a result. All of the original online code is there and the game should still work in online mode when I come back to it later, although I haven’t tested it and probably won’t for some time. There’s still a few issues left which I’d like to finish up, both of which were introduced from my original multiplayer refactor.
What I didn’t do
Every other networking task that wasn’t listed above. As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I’ve stepped away from working on the online multiplayer for now and won’t be doing any more tasks until I need to.
What I will do next time
Over the next couple of sprints I’d like to get the strategic overview of the game world working. That means being able to look at your territories, as well as those of your opponents, viewing your team status and being able to select a territory to attack. Some of these features might end up in later sprints, but here’s what I want to accomplish for this one.
When you start a new game you should be taken to the strategic overview rather than jumping into combat. From here you will see the enemy territories and can select one to attack. This means you will encounter different enemies with different equipment when when entering combat.
I need a UI for the strategic mode too. Most of it will be placeholder buttons and fields for features to come, but I’m going to set up what I can now so that I can at least make it obvious what will be coming in the near future.
When you finish a battle you should come back to the strategic overview screen. Later on I’ll put in a battle report view, and have the game overview update to show territory gained/lost, but for now this will do.
Finally I’ve got 2 areas that still need fixing after my move to multiplayer. First of all the health bars in the team roster have stopped updating. I’m not sure what I’ve broken there, but it shouldn’t take a great deal to fix. Slightly more of an issue is that the character names and health bars aren’t pointing towards the camera anymore. That’s going to take a bit more thinking about to get working correctly, but also shouldn’t be too difficult.
As always, you can see my current Trello board here.