With the completing of class abilities and skills, Krees and I turned our attention to Alliances. In the original version of Conquest!, a player could only ally with one other person (some classes couldn't form alliances at all). While this was fine I recently expanded the concept of alliances to include multiple players and members receive troops each battle (the percentage is based on the size of the alliance). I thought this would only take us 3-4 days; it ended up consuming over a week! There were lots of subtleties, including a list of alliances, searching for an alliance, member rosters, and leader administration. Krees also suggested a new feature, alliance events, which display a running list of events affected the members. We used a similar background for class commands and divided it into two halves:
Members and alliance maintenance are similar. Clicking on an alliance (or member) reveals more information:
We also started some UX cleanup, based on feedback from users. Notably, we increased the font sizes throughout the UI, fixed some scroll issues when opening pop-ups, and centered the map on your location (more on that below). Since I use my PC for testing and an Android tablet for verification, it is sometimes difficult to remember that on smaller devices the font size might be incredibly tiny (and illegible).
Not completely understanding some core Unity concepts, such as world position, I used a "magic number" to approximate the position. I tested it using a variety of screen resolutions and it works out OK but naturally it isn't good to use something without fully comprehending how it is working. If there are any Unity gurus out there who have time to explain to me what is happening I would really appreciate it! My usual source of help, Google, was surprisingly silent on the matter...
On the server side I spent 2 days rewriting major sections of the battle code. Originally I had used some global pointers and static variables and I wanted to remove those constructs. There is no net effect on the outcomes of battles but the old code was "bugging" me and had to be replaced. Just one of those things.
Krees and I are coming to the end of the development cycle. We have just one section remaining, Town Ownership, before moving fully to UX cleanup/prep for launch.
I missed the Core Labs session last week due to a conflict and I have yet to watch the video. It covers building a budget, something I do need help with (although with just a team of two its easy to manage!). Two weeks ago we heard from Oscar Clark from Unity, who gave a really good session on scope creep.
Follow the journey on Facebook or Twitter. Until next time, I hope to see you in the game.
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James has been working on Conquest! since 1993.