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Author Topic: 05/22/2010 8 Player Mode, Game Rejoin, and Bots!  (Read 6036 times)
Ross Przybylski
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« on: May 21, 2010, 11:39:43 PM MT »

Dear Hero Mages Fans,

I thought it would be fun to share with everyone some of my latest technical achievements for the upcoming 1.4 release of Hero Mages.  As if the title didnít give anything wayÖ

The past couple weeks Iíve been rewriting the entire command system to use a custom raw string protocol vs. XML based objects.  For the nontechnical crowd, this boils down to eliminating large bandwidth data objects in favor of very efficiently coded text strings to represent everything that is happening in a game of Hero Mages.  So how does this benefit you, the player?

For starters, a game of Hero Mages can now be recorded as a very small text file (weíre talking only 15kb for a massive game with over 700 log entries).  This command log can then be sent by the game host to any new spectators that wish to watch a game in progress OR to any player that was disconnected from a game and wishes to rejoin.  And, in my working version prototype, this feature is already working!  Later, I plan to expand upon it, allowing game records to be stored in the database so you can go back and watch replays of any Hero Mages match thatís been played on our servers.  Howís that for record keeping?!

Also, Iíve had several requests for 8 player support, and, being that I run 6+ gamers at my weekly game night, I too felt it was time to implement this feature so we could all play together.  There was never any technical reason the game couldnít support that many players; rather, it was a design decision to go with 4 players max and an interface problem to add the additional 4.  With a little retooling, though, I think the new game options screen and in-game player status turn out pretty good, what do you think?

So, tonight was the first alpha test of the new features.  There were 5 of us at game night, so we had to throw in a bot (computer opponent) to sub for a human teammate. The bots donít use spells or special abilities yet, and their behavior is a bit chaotic, but theyíre nonetheless smart enough to find their way through the maze and hack you to pieces, like this Barbarian who chopped my poor Soul Reaver in two.

It was an interesting experience; there were some game ending glitches and a few odd occurrences (like the computer randomly deciding to take over one of my friendsí turns), but it was an overall good sign of things soon to come in the world of Hero Mages.  Enjoy the teaser screens Iíve attached below.

Sincerely,
Ross Przybylski, Game Creator
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diesbudt

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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2010, 06:27:42 AM MT »

This could make our skittles/circle of death games a madhouse...

With 8 players though, any intention of maybe increasing the map size a bit? It seems it might get a bit crowded there.
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andodel

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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2010, 12:22:01 PM MT »

Bots are definetly needed, I hope you work out the bugs soon.
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Ross Przybylski
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D20Studios, LLC


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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2010, 08:05:14 AM MT »

With 8 players though, any intention of maybe increasing the map size a bit? It seems it might get a bit crowded there.

Certainly, but much later down the road after other essential features are completed (computer players, tutorial/single player scenarios, and probably achievements/tournaments system as well).  Given the that Hero Mages is turn based, the more likely enhancements to 8 player mode will be new game types vs. larger maps (few people will be willing to wait 4+ minutes between turns).  These new gametypes might include "Mage War" where each player only starts with Hero Mage or "Guardian Brawl" where you slug it out with guardians.  Additionally, we might find a need for more realtime based gameplay with this many players and develop support for simultaneous turn taking for players on the same team or consider a cooldown system instead of a turn based system for other new gametypes.
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fengo

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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2010, 09:50:24 AM MT »

u know this is going to be AWESOME Grin
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