Since my last update, Conquest! has seen several major enhancements to both the Unity client and the game server. The week culminated with an exciting opportunity for Conquest!. Read on!
The first major piece of new functionality was the completion of the artwork for all 50 badges. Earning badges is a new feature in Conquest! (added just last year) and allows players to track their journey in the game. There are easy, medium, and difficult classes of badges to earn and they are transferred from Age to Age (if your player survives!).
I also added 20+ sound effects to the game client and changed the music from one single track to six one minute tracks. These changes have greatly enhanced the user experience, something we will be focusing on more as we get closer to completing all the art and design. The effects and music can be toggled on/off individually.
Next simple animations were added: one to show when a player's movement points or gold have been adjusted and another for alerts (such as being attacked or robbed). As with the chances to audio, these enhancements specifically target the user experience by drawing the player's eye to important events.
I'm using the newer Animator class in Unity, which supersedes the Animation class and allows for the definition of state machines. I was beating my head against the desk to get it to work properly until I found this amazing post, which was well written and included screenshots. Definitely a must read for anyone starting out with Animator in Unity!
On the server side, I reduced the size and woriness of player log files by combining similar events into one entry (i.e. instead of separate events for the Campaign and Defense army consuming food, there is now one). I also moved descriptions of most items from the server to the client. Prior to this change, the server would send these (mostly static) pieces of information when a related command was invoked. This reduces the load for both client and server as text, which rarely changes, no longer needs to be sent around. In addition to several bug fixes I continued removing or reducing the wordiness of messages.
Finally, Conquest! was selected by Core Labs for the Accelerator program. The program is a 6 month course designed to help demystify the business side of releasing a game to the market. This was my second application and I'm excited to be a participant. More information can be found here.
Follow the journey on Facebook or Twitter. Until next time, I hope to see you in the game.
James has been working on Conquest! since 1993.