My immediate work for the next several weeks is going to be focused on improving the networking code. Nothing else I do will really matter much if the game experience is awful. There are three things I know I need to do for this:
- Implement server reconciliation
- Implement interpolation
- Reduce the size of the message traffic by compressing the message contents
I’m hoping these three improvements will make the game experience smooth for a much larger number of players. I’m thinking it will take about a week each.
But it is always fun to look ahead and think about the game play features that will make the game more exiting to play.
- Shields – I’ve had lots of feedback that adding shields to the game would be a major upgrade.
- Energy – This kind of goes along with shields in my mind because you don’t want to just have infinite shields. So adding energy will force players to manage their resources a bit. I’m planning for the ship’s energy to increase at some constant rate to a maximum capacity and decrease as various features of the ship are used.
- Hull Damage – At this point if you get shot or collide with anything your precious ship explodes. But I would like to add the concept of hull damage so that your ship can take a bit of punishment first. I think that will add a little more tension.
- Player Initials – Give the players a chance to type in their initials to appear below their ship so you have a better idea of who your opponents are.
- Kills – Keep track of the current number of kills a players has.
- Leader Board – Keep a top ten of the current players with the most kills.
- Warp In – Right now when a new ship is launched it just appears out of nowhere and occasionally dies immediately. Which is actually kind of funny sometimes but maybe not the best approach. I want to have the ship blink for a few seconds before it can actually fire or be hit by anything.
Well, there are about a million more features on my list but these are current at the top.
Agree or did I miss something totally obvious? Let me know in the comments!