Times, trials, and turbulence.
Tales of servers and competitions.
Project Skirmish: The Master Server
Minus some minor grievances about the editor, Battleforge looks like it was rather well-received. I’ll be gradually working on tweaking things, fixing bugs, and general sprucing-up over the next while, but my main focus is now on the next big auxiliary component of the game: the master server.
Skirmish will function like many of the popular action games out there, whereas one main server will manage a large list of player-hosted servers, allowing players to search through these hosted games through one central access point. This presents the least bandwidth strain on myself, and doesn’t physically limit how many players could potentially be online at once.
The Master Server will act as a hub, of sorts. When Skirmish loads up, it will present the player with a login screen, which will establish a connection with the master server. After that, the player can create/delete/manage their Characters, refresh the listing of currently active games, customize their controls/settings, or even host games themselves. A chat feature might also be added, depending on the bandwidth load it presents.
The Master Server will be also written in Java, and will use a MySQL back-end to manage accounts, characters, servers, scores, and just about everything else. I’m finally putting the book I received at Christmas, Learning PHP & MySQL, even though I’m using the Java J/Connector MySQL driver rather than PHP. This is my first time delving into relational databases, but it’s been nothing short of an excellent learning experience. I’m very glad I narrowly chose this route instead of resorting to flat-files.
24-Hour GameDev Competition @ Waterloo
After a couple of weeks of planning, myself and one of the other UW GameDev Club executives have organized and launched a 24-hour gamedev competition at our university. It will be taking place this Friday at 8PM and run until Saturday at, you guessed it, 8PM. A theme will be announced before we begin, and judging will take place in the days thereafter.
I am supremely excited for what events unfold this Friday, and eager to see what games see completion by the end of the competition. I haven’t added a new finished game to my portfolio in nearly a year (gah, has it been that long?), so this is a golden opportunity.
We’ll be taking pictures of the entrants’ games as they are developed, as well as pictures of the entrants themselves as they grow more and more sleep deprived. I’m bringing a pillow just in case. We’ll be ordering pizza sometime part-way through, and generally be having a great ‘ol fun time like any crowd of gamedev-loving developers should. 🙂
Don’t forget your pillow!