Multiplayer Dev Diary, Part II
It is the second week of the multiplayer development phase and I want to inform you about my current progress.
Last week, I created a new view that is used to configure a multiplayer game. I used the first working days to put life into this view. Now, when a client connects to a game host, both see the same view and when one of the players makes any change (like assigning crew members) all players see these changes immediately. I also put additional validations in this view to make sure everything is okay, when the host starts the game.
The second task of this week was to share game information with all players. When the host creates a new game or loads a savegame, the clients do not know anything about it. Therefore, when the game host clicks on the start button, all clients download the current game state.
I also continued to work on the user interface. This week, I put some time into the crew panel on the left side of the screen. As you can see in the image below, the names of the crew members are color-coded so you know which crew members belongs to which player. When playing a singleplayer game, the color-coding is not used.
I also worked on other features that are used in any game (multiplayer and singleplayer). Most of them were requested by players. Please feel free to send me an e-mail if you think something’s missing in the game!
So far, all characters had a green action bar. This is relict from the earliest version of the game. Since the action bar was never used, I replaced it with an experience bar. Now, you can clearly see the levelling process of all your crew members as you can see in the image below.
In one of the first updates of the game, I added status icons to each piece of equipment to make it easier to see which objects are damaged or disabled on your ship. Now, I also added a summary of all pieces of equipment in the ships’ status panels. As you can see below in the upper corners, a new status bar shows you the status of all pieces of equipment. These status bars can also be used to repair or attack items. When you use a repair skill of an engineer or one of your crew members, you can click on one of the symbols in this bar and the crew member starts to run to the proper piece of equipment and repairs it! You can also use your attack skills on the enemy ship’s status bar to attack an item.
I also added more tool-tips to show you additional information like how much threat you need to advance to the next threat level.
Galactic Crew already supports several languages, but starting with the multiplayer update in February, more languages will be added. This week, I hired new translators to translate the game into Chinese, Arabic, Thai and Korean!
You may have noticed that the game updated itself yesterday and last week. When I get a bug report with a game crash, I immediately fix it. As soon as I get the confirmation from the player that a fix works, I put it on Steam to make it available to everyone. When your game runs fine, these updates won’t affect you.
Another major topic is the synchronization of all actions. When a player assigns a task to a crew member, the position, animation and action must be synchronized with all players. I need to adjust the communication and game layers. If everything’s going well, I should be able to do it next week.