My name is Andy and this is the DevLog for my game which I currently refer to as Surströmming. This is the first game I’ve ever worked on from scratch (I did make some mods for DOOM and Morrowind that I never released), and I’ve been working on it (together with a Programmer/Systems Designer) for about 2-3 months at this point (though I worked on the Ruleset for longer).
Edit: Here are two screen shots of the game ^_^This is the map editor.
Surströmming is a 2D Role-Playing and Tactical Combat game. It runs on a real-time logic engine, but in the current iteration we make use of counters in order to facilitate a turn-based flow. I made that design decision – to make a real-time rather then turn-based engine – since I wanted to make the most flexible game I could (that is, I could turn it to real-time with very little effort); furthermore, this allows us to have simultaneous turns in networked multiplayer.
I really wanted to explore content flexibility in this game. So we designed an engine where all components are defined externally (through what we call a spec.) and stored in a database (or as a loose file), the engine then interprets the spec during gameplay. This allows me to edit almost every single aspect of the game on the fly. Currently, editable components include Tile properties, Maps, Units, Actions (movement, attacking, etc.), and Equipment. However, event scripting and the game Ruleset are currently hard-coded – though I hope to remedy that soon.
The reason that this flexibility is important to me is because I am not a fluent programmer, yet am the main content designer – this approach allows me to quickly adjust balance and introduce content. More importantly, I think that if I ever release the game, it will allow players to edit aspects of the game with ease.
The engine is cross-platform, it runs on Windows, Mac and Linux – and I’ve just recently tested it on iOS and it ran there too (though at around 5 frames per second, so it needs some serious optimization). Also, networking is implemented and has been tested, but we currently use no compression which means the engine is sending data every frame (I bet this would cause significant lag if the test computers weren’t on a local network).
Since most of development until now was focused on figuring out the tech, and developing the “spec”, the game currently has very little content, and no real graphics to speak of. But I really want to get some feedback on this thing (before I pussy out and bin the whole project) – so I will start by sharing a short gameplay video.
In this video I show the current implementation of the Map Editor, and an implementation of Hot-Seat Multiplayer. Please excuse the many interface oddities – this is very early interface work. Also you may notice that there is a server browser and login screen, the reason is that the current version runs on a local server and has user permissions and an asset database (mainly to test multiplayer) .however, the recorded version is running standalone without access to said server, but since I didn’t want to redo the interface it still retains those screens.
I would really appreciate if someone could point me at some good articles on network traffic compression for multiplayer games, as I have had trouble finding some, and I doubt if my ideas are the most elegant or efficient. And of course any feedback is really appreciated as well. ^_^
One more thing: I still don’t know what the endgame for Surströmming will be, but I do want to release something at some point in the (preferably near) future. As such I am looking for an artist who would like to do some sprite or tile work – if there is anyone out there just email me at [email protected]
If this was too much text for a post I apologize.