As a text based game, actions like checking the markets, buying/selling, going to the tavern, etc. were separate commands. With the new client we are combining these common elements to make the experience richer. For example, when visiting the tavern you have a variety of actions you can perform: hear gossip, see the top 25 players, set/view bounties on other players, etc. On the back-end these actions are still separate commands but the client masks this from the player. Here is the new city overview screen:
The markets look like this:
The magic shop looks like the Royal Vault screen, with the items laid out in a grid. Clicking on an item reveals the cost, quantity available, and a description of the item. Not all magical items can be sold, which is why there are only 3 pages instead of 4.
Now that I have done several of these scenes, replicating them is a matter of cut/paste in Unity. While I'm still a novice Unity developer I'm confident that I'll make improvements to the client over time (same thing happened with the game server earlier this year). I have also been able to leverage the work I did on the WIndows reference client earlier in the year (written in VB). While the code is not 100% portable many of the problems I solved in that client can be transferred to the Unity client.
There is still much work to be done on the Conquest! client; I'd estimate we are 30% complete at this stage. And right now the game isn't playable: players cannot travel, spy, or attack and none of the class commands have been implemented. But we are slowly chipping away and hope to make good progress over the next month.
On the server side, I modified several commands to send the client information it needs to support the design. These changes included adding the class name of the troop for a market and adding a keyword for each artifact (this determines which image to load). An area of concern I have now is the amount of raw data I'm sending to the client. Conquest! already uses a numbering system to send data (which results in smaller messages). But adding additional bytes going to a mobile client (with limited bandwidth) will have to be monitored.
Unfortunately, our Kickstater campaign failed to reach it's goal. Despite this, work on Conquest! will continue but it will take longer to complete without the funding we were seeking.
Follow the journey on Facebook or Twitter. Until next time, I hope to see you in the game.