And Multiplayer Continues…

I realize I’ve not posted here in a while. The main reason for this is that I didn’t want to throw up a dozen or so “Well, I’m still working on it…” updates with regards to getting multiplayer functionality implemented in my mini golf games.

And, well, yeah. I’m still working on it. But I’m 50% of the way there, having completed the necessary coding and functionality for the Autumn Park Mini Golf multiplayer to be in a Beta state.

Honestly, it’s been a long road. It’s now been three months since I released Pirate Island Mini Golf – VR, and with me being so focused on adding the multiplayer capability to these games, I haven’t had time for much else.

This aspect of programming is where there’s a lot of “I wish I knew that three weeks ago” kind of scenarios. Simple things that, unless you happen to watch the tutorial video or read the informational page at the right time, drive you buggy as you implement wholly unnecessary workaround processes. Still, after writing, rewriting, rewriting, and rewriting all of the multiplayer code from scratch (and making no small number of adjustments to the base logic), it looks like Autumn Park is ready to go. Ish. I mean, there are still a couple of really strange hiccups that I’m encountering. The good news is absolutely none of it relates to network play, and if I had the patience and desire to go through each line of code, I could narrow down and eliminate these last little issues.

The thing is, I don’t want to. It’s reaching the point where I feel like I’m side-lining myself with the Autumn Park game and ignoring the Pirate Island one. So, this Labor Day weekend, I uploaded several changes and code updates for Autumn Park, completed several tests. So far, everything looks good or at least nothing game-breaking to the point a group of players could not complete the game.

I’m planning on shooting a video for gameplay reasonably soon, to show the actual work accomplished for Autumn Park. Because, honestly, I’d like to offer some tangible evidence that proves for the last three months solid, I’ve been hammering away on this. I’m working out times with colleagues to have play sessions together to record actual time on the putting greens.

I’ve already started to update and implement the networking scripts into Pirate Island, but it’s slow going. I’m not able to test ‘just one component’ of the code, as it’s an all-or-nothing scenario, just like putting in the Treasure Chests the weekend of Release Day.

Fortunately, I’ve got an excellent road map for success. My code for the networking in Autumn Park is tight and concise, thanks to the numerous revisions. I’m now going through every line of every script in Pirate Island and determining if it’s client-side/cosmetic or something that has to be handled server-side or a bridge between them.

I don’t anticipate this being done in a week, possibly a month, but it -will- get done. I’ve got all the necessary tools now, the understanding and example code that I know works (by virtue of Autumn Park working correctly), so now it’s just translating it to a larger-scale virtual reality.

I’ve been dabbling in a couple of other projects as well. Pesky Humans has seen many additional improvements, and I have to decide between letting it remain in Unity 4 or if I want to revise EVERYTHING and import it to Unity 2019. I’m thinking of just leaving it Unity 4, honestly, even with some of the handicaps of that compiler. It’s just too much work to get it upgraded to Unity 5.6, let alone 2019. Still, I’ve accomplished a great deal and am on the final steps of that project, getting it ready for submission.

I have had a recent opportunity to get one of my novels edited with a fine-tooth comb, and am working to get this ready for publication. Super excited about the idea of the book finally seeing the light of day.

I’ve also been brainstorming out and dabbling on paper an idea for a steampunk-style airship racing/resource collecting game and mentally planning out how to design it from the ground up as a multiplayer game instead of tacking it on as an after-thought. With the lessons learned with the golf projects, I think I now understand the architecture enough to make a reasonable attempt at it. Again, we will see how it goes.

I am signing off for now, with the plan to post again when I have something better to report than “Well…. still working on it….” because that’s boring, and it’s better to see concrete results and progress.

Hope you’re all having a good week!