‘malone? post mortem

Posted by (twitter: @Norgg)
December 19th, 2011 12:37 pm

This has been my first Ludum Dare entry (and probably the first game I’ve actually “released” beyond just having the code available).  I decided to make something multiplayer,with the tie to the theme being that it wouldn’t be apparent whether or not anyone else is actually playing, or even that the game is multiplayer at all.  Beyond that I’m a fan of the Box2D physics engine and know it reasonably well now, so I decided to work with that to create an online multiplayer arcadey shooter.

I’ve been interested in making realtime multiplayer games in “html5” for a while now, and have tried a couple times in the past.  Previously the implementations of websockets and other newer web standards hadn’t been mature enough.  Websockets are now in an RFC (supported in Chrome, not quite in Firefox), there’s some preliminary support for sound effects and there’s support for encoding and decoding of binary data packets.

I have been very much treating this competition as a chance to try out some new technologies as well as trying to produce a working game.  A large part of the first day was taken up setting up a cherrypy/ws4py server which would work with Chrome, most of the rest of the day was spent figuring out javascript websocket handling and binary data decoding.  The actual gameplay elements didn’t take up that much time in total.   By the end of the day I’d got most of what’s ended up as the game done with it being a simple multi-player shooter.

The second day I didn’t have as much time as the first and things seemed to go a bit slower.  A lot of the time was spent on various bug fixes.   I made some graphical improvements like adding the background, added a some sounds (which took a while digging up useful information on the webkit audio api) and added NPC dots.

I think what I’ve ended up with is more of a tech demo for features of HTML5 than an excellent game, though it has some features I like.  There’s a few larger bugs in there which I’ll probably leave in for now.  I don’t think I’ll carry on work with this beyond the competition, though I’ll probably extract some of the code from it into a library that I can use for other games down the line.

‘malone? is submitted here, please rate and drop me some feedback.

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