Holidays and Conventions

Happy belated Holidays to everyone.  While I wish I had more to show, between holidays killing a lot of progress, and going and preparing for MAGfest, I don't have screen shots to show.  However, there has been a lot of background updates.  Screen Maker, which is the tool we created to more easily design UI screens, got several upgrades to preserve other sections of data that would normally be in the created text file.  Meaning, controls with lists, need a list to fill it, and that would be stored in the text file screen maker creates, but before screen maker wouldn't preserve that data, so one would have to manually copy that information back in each time to test.  So basically a lot of quality of life updates to make the process chain as smooth as possible.  Even something as simple as Copy/Paste was added to make things cleaner.  Other updates that are in the works are to migrate all the screens to the screen maker format, rather than the "by hand" format some (most) are currently in.  Even screen maker was "by hand", so it's been transformed.  What this is now allowing is easily made custom pop ups on other screens, to greatly improve the UX.  So as time goes on, this will become the normal rather than only in screen maker having pop up controls and windows.  This is already happening in the Asset screen.  Obviously, there were some bugs to be fixed with the UI layouts, and some of them have already been fixed.

Currently, I am making the multiplayer able to have "drop-in" joins.  Meaning, right now, one can only join during the lobby phase.  If something happens with the connection or the client crashes, that player would have to stay out until the host resets and goes back to the lobby screen (which means everyone else would have to exit too).  Obviously, this isn't ideal.  Currently, I'm working on a way so that if a client crashes or is disconnected, and then restarts and rejoins a game in progress (or even at the lobby screen), that the server recognizes them, and just puts them back into place, as well as sending the current game state to the reconnecting client.  This makes recovering from disconnects a lot easier.  But also, I hope to allow new players to join an existing game, so they don't have to wait until the lobby screen again to join.  This is more difficult because not only does the new player need the game state, but the other already connected players need to have their data updated to know about the new player and their assets (which would have to be created and structurally linked in correctly).  In anycase, this will greatly improve the playability of the muliplayer, since while crashes or problems dont happen often, they do happen, and this would allow a player to more easily reconnect and not miss much of the action!

And as an annoucement, we will be at Game Connection (and have a booth there!), and GDC in March.  So if you want to see everything in person, there is a good place to see us!  Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Join our Discord, or Follow us on Twitter!

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