Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Week 1 Day 3 - Telescope Polish, Abilities and Networking

Not much coding has happened today.  We fixed the telescope camera, by switching it to a perspective camera, rather than orthographic, and toying with its settings a bit.  Originally we though that orthographic would be good for that long-distance view, however perspective is much easier on the eyes in practice.  So we went with that.

We sat down and starting thinking of ideas for abilities and how they would be associated with each player role.  We have (sort of) arrived at this temporary (and not even complete) table:

Light Role Support (Builder) Role Heavy Role
Attack-based Ability Push (coned area) Box Drop (from sky) Push/Slam (area around player)
Defensive-based Ability ??? Create Wall Steal Weight
Movement-based Ability Roll (possibly ignore other abilities while rolling) Grapple (like a grappling hook) Ram (run forward and push other players out of the way)
Ultimate (and probably imbalanced) Ability ??? Destroy Platform ???
Passive Ability Extra Jump ??? ???

This chart still needs a lot of work before it is ready to go.  These abilities will also not start to be implemented until after Alpha 1, according to our project schedule.  We spent a short amount of time talking about how we would handle role abilities, and movement abilities.  There is still a bit of thought that needs to be put into that before we get to the system.

We decided to delay working on the Distance Checker earlier, and decided that the basic player controls are sufficient for day 3 of development.  We want to get started on networking early, as it will be a VERY large factor in how we proceed with development.  Several hours were spent looking into different networking options for Unity.  We both arrived at the same options, their benefits and risks.

  • Built in Unity Networking
    • Player-hosted servers (like we planned, according to our proposal)
    • Questionable documentation and few available tutorials
    • Easy to implement
    • Known to be buggy (according to several forum posts)
  • Photon Unity Networking
    • "Cloud"-hosted central server only (opposite of what we planned)
    • Questionable documentation and some excellent tutorials
    • Easy to implement
    • Known to be reliable (according to tutorials and reviews)

We are playing around with a few small prototypes for each, and will use those to make our decision on which method to go with.  We are both fond of the player-hosted server model, however the benefits (mostly the ease-of-use) of the Photon network are enticing.

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