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Author Topic: Async Multiplayer  (Read 23349 times)
Ross Przybylski
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« on: May 12, 2012, 08:40:18 PM MT »

The next major update of Hero Mages will be v1.8.0. Among the included features is the much anticipated asynchronous multiplayer! This will allow you to play against anyone in the world at your leisure regardless of time constraints and whether or not you can sit down at the same time for a session.

Follow my developer blog to learn more about how I'm creating this feature: https://www.indieflashblog.com/
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 10:05:38 PM MT »

Part 2 of the article series now available: https://www.indieflashblog.com/how-to-create-async-part2.html

"How to Create an Asynchronous Multiplayer Game Part 2: Saving the Game State to Online Database"
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2012, 07:54:40 AM MT »

This is awesome news and I was actually coming to the forums to ask that this be done!  Cool

I enjoy a lot of boardgame ports on my iPad but usually only get to enjoy multiplayer via async, due to my scheduling. I can easily hop on the iPad and play a round between tasks at work or at home, but rarely get time to dedicate to a game that won't likely be interrupted.

Any word on how well this is progressing and the ETA to submitting the update?
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2012, 08:34:27 AM MT »

ETA hard to say (My available development time varies between fulltime job and baby at home) but my aim is somewhere in the next 3-4 weeks. I'll be posting Part 3 of the series later this week that will include some video capture of what the feature looks like in game so far. You're going to love it!
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2012, 11:43:44 PM MT »

Part 3 of my article series "How to Create an Asynchronous Multiplayer Game" is now live. It includes a video preview of the feature in-game!

https://www.indieflashblog.com/how-to-create-async-part3.html

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlqvB9R4V_U" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlqvB9R4V_U</a>
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2012, 08:00:33 AM MT »

Hi Ross,

How are things? Hope everything's great.

This week saw the release of Summoner Wars on iOS, a game that very much reminded me of Hero Mages, so I thought I would ask how are things shaping up for the update?

Also, if you have the chance, I can certainly suggest you look into Summoner Wars as well - it might be a kind of game you like.

Cheers mate, hope all is well with the family, and I hope to hear from you and Hero Mages soon!

Paulo
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2012, 04:31:25 PM MT »

Hi Paulo,

I have random 1v1 matchmaking system for Hero Mages up and running (haven't had chance to write the tutorial article yet). I was going to release it like that, but during the past couple days I came up an idea for implementing an invitation system that would allow you to invite offline players to start an async game with up to 8 players. This has proved rather challening- I have it running through my game options screen and just finally got it so invited players can load up and see all of the settings. It will still require some additional work so players can choose their heroes and start the game. Final phase will be implementing notifications for iPhone/Android. This process took a hit when Google suddenly depreciated the cloud messaging service without notice.

I still hope to have the next release available this month. Family is doing well but we've faced a number of challenges the past few weeks including my wife's car needing major repairs and our AC unit failing. As I type, it's a smeltering 90 degrees in here. Planning to pack up baby and head to my brother's house to stay the night.

I appreciate all the support from our community here and I'm very glad to see new players making themselves at home. Thanks everyone!

~Ross
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2012, 02:52:14 AM MT »

Hi Ross,

I'm happy to hear that the game is making progress, though I'm sorry about the latest troubles you ran into, especially with the baby in the mix. :|

By all means, take your time. I do believe that invitations should be the way to go - playing against random opponents is fine, I guess, but playing against friends is where it shines.

As for the Android notifications, I'm sure there must be some other way currently to pull that off - after all, there are many applications that get instant notifications and they work properly. I believe there's a new version of the API, which you can look up here: https://developer.android.com/guide/google/gcm/index.html

It does seem to do what you need. Or are you at a roadblock because you first need Adobe to support that new API out of the box?

Either way, good luck with it - hope all goes well! And congrats on the PAXDev gig Smiley

Cheers,
Paulo
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2012, 11:38:14 AM MT »

Older applications using the cloud messenger service are grandfathered in I guess. Google has discontinued the service for new users. I've been waiting for Milkman Games' AIR Native Extension for Push Notifications. They were all slated to release Android version with their version for Apple, but then Google changed the system last minute without warning.

If the Push Notification ANE's aren't available in time for my release, email notification will be.
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 10:34:38 PM MT »

Arggghhh...

After much painstaking work, I believe I have nailed down the match making system. I'll be working on my tutorial write up and do another video demo, but, for the meantime, here's the scoop:

Random Matchmaking: Creates a new game record with an empty player seat. Next player to request random match takes the available seat and game begins. So, in essence, it's a 1v1 duel like Hero Academy.

Invite Matchmaking: Host customizes game options and can fill player slots with human opponents similar to adding bots to a match. The caveat is that players must be on your friends list so you can't just spam random players with invitations. Once the invitation is sent, all players must accept before the game can begin. If any player declines invite, the entire game is canceled since this would compeltely disrupt teams and what not.

Now I'll need a system to create a friends list. Gah, more work!
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2012, 01:32:05 AM MT »

Hi Ross,

So yes, the way you put it makes perfect sense, and I believe that's the way it should be. I won't give you more comments to get you into more work Smiley

One suggestion I'd make is to allow us to add friends directly in game. I'm not sure if you're using Game Center on iOS, but it'd be as simple as opening Game Center when someone clicks on it.

Where do we set up these friend lists? Are these heromages.com friends? I'm wondering how you'll reconcile iOS, Android and web.

Cheers, and keep up the great work.
Paulo
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2012, 07:35:33 AM MT »

They would need to be Hero Mages friends to reconile across all platforms (PC, Android, iOS, etc.)

Eventually, I would look into adding tie-ins with social networking (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) - this is how Hero Academy allows you to create friends. Though, technically, everyone who plays Hero Academy still has to register a Hero Academy account- the social network plugin is just to make inviting/connecting with your friends easier.

~Ross
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 08:02:43 AM MT »

Having friends on Hero Mages only to start it off would be fine with me.

But you seem to have it all thought out! Smiley
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2012, 09:30:51 PM MT »

At last! I've designed a pretty decent friends system for asynchronous games. While a bit trickier to program, my goal was to make the experience as intuitive as possible for the user:

1) There's an entirely new multiplayer gateway screen that allows you to bypass access to the main chat lobby and go directly into game creation, leaderboards, async games, etc.

2) Game creation offers three options: 1v1 vs Random Opponent, Live Multiplayer (what we all know and love), and Invite Friends (ability to invite offline friends to async match)

3) Inviting Friends utilizes the new "Friends List" feature. It's really simple to use, with several ways to add new friends so the experience is as painless as possible:
     A) Directly from the game options, you can select "Invite Friend". Initially, you won't have any friends until you add them to your list. So, there's a handy option to "Add Friends" directly from this drop down. This will take you to your friend management and allow you to add existing players by username. You can then return directly to the game screen and invite the new player.
     B) Since your new friend won't have had a chance to "Accept" your request yet, I thought it would be helpful to allow (1) free game invite before your friendship is official. So, you can proceed to invite the pending friend directly to game. Even more helpful- if the player accepts your game invite, you automatically become accepted as their friend!
     C) After your invitation is sent, the player can decline your game invite and/or your friend request. This prevents players from "spamming" each other with undesired game challenges. Game challenges can always be declined without affecting rank and without breaking friendships.
     D) Friends can also be added and removed easily using the leaderboard or userlist. On the player prompt, you'll have the option to Add Friend/Accept Request/Decline Request/Remove Friend. I'm also planning to add access to the friend prompt in-game so you can friend up with any player you happen to random-match with.

All-in-all, this should induce a viral spread of friendship within the Hero Mages community. As many of us are divided by oceans and continents, async play will ensure "timezones" are no longer a barrier for enjoying a quality gaming experience!

Long-term, I'm considering integration with social networks so you can connect with even more friends that way.

I'll be writing up my next async development tutorial - Part 4: Matchmaking.

With this complete, the final phase to complete the async experience is Part 5: Notification (both in-app and external notify via push, phone, email, etc.)


Oh- and I apologize in advance that I haven't been able to respond to some of the other forum posts. Real busy trying to finish this update, but don't worry, I'll get to ya Wink
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2012, 07:01:30 PM MT »

And the latest and greatest developer update: How to Create an Asynchronous Multiplayer Game Part 4: Matchmaking

https://www.indieflashblog.com/how-to-create-async-part4-html.html
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