Post Mortem: Chariot Arena Battle

Posted by (twitter: @KayZGames)
August 29th, 2016 11:11 am

First, my current game: Chariot Arena Battle

ChariotBattleArena

With every game I submit to a Ludum Dare competition I try to learn something new. This time I wanted to create a multiplayer game. In retrospective, I’ve learned the following things so far:

  • LD25 – Lasershark – Never made a game in 48 hours before. It’s not easy to finish a game in 48 hours. I did not succeed.
  • LD26 – 20 Seconds – Finish my first game in 48 hours. Success!! Simple graphics and simple mechanics. Simple collisions between rectangles and circles.
  • LD27 – Alien Attack – Collision detection with polygons
  • LD28 – Granny Loosethooth – Path finding. Not implemented correctly, but still working surprisingly good.
  • LD29 – Castle Engineer – Stupid “AI”. Not an AI at all.
  • LD30 – Opposing Worlds – A bit more intelligent computer enemies. Not what you’d call an AI, but can be challenging. Also: first turn based strategy game for me.
  • LD31/LD32 – skipped. Participated in some other Game Jams, created my first game using WebGL
  • LD33 – (Idle?) Monster – took my newly learned WebGL-Skillz, threw them away and created a clicker/idle game only using some HTML div-elements.
  • LD34 – Damacreat – created the most relaxing game using the worst controls ever. Added procedural generated background in a post compo version.
  • LD35 – failed – created some epilepsy inducing game. Did not want to publish. Didn’t even have good/working/any game mechanics when the jam ended.
  • LD36 – Chariot Arena Battle – My current game. The pinnacle of evolution. A multiplayer game. My graphical skills never improved noticeably.

I started this game jam with the goal to create my first multiplayer game. In preparation I created a simple server that I could use to pass messages between the clients (and posted the source in my “I’m in post”). It was also the first Ludum Dare I did not start alone but joined some other jammers in their quest for fame and glory. I still did my game on my own and they created theirs (runvs with Raiders of the Ancient Technology).

The jam starts Saturday at 3 AM at my location. I have some weird inner clock, that always wakes me at this time whenever a Ludum Dare starts. So I knew the theme, and combining it with my target of some multiplayer game I immediately thought about creating some game with catapults. I went to sleep again and when I woke up, I didn’t like the idea anymore. Catapults are too slow.. that would be to boring. Then I thought about creating a game that’s a mashup between Mario Cart and Trackmania using chariots. So that was what I was trying to do. At the end of the first day I didn’t like that idea anymore, and turned it into what you can play now.

The bad things

  • I got lazy on my second day. I actually wanted to add some other enemies, so there would be something to do even if no other player connected.
  • no sound
  • no juice
  • I tried to test my game online on the first day. It did not work, because the places where I usually publish my games all use HTTPS. If you use HTTPS, you also have to use a secure connection to other hosts. My websocket-server did not have any SSL certificates at all. Thank to Let’s Encrypt and a great dartdoc I was able to set it up Sunday morning.
  • I knew I’d do this beforehand but still: I created a multiplayer game in a way you are not supposed to ever create a multiplayer game. All game logic is on the client, the server has no authority at all. Data is transmitted as strings (JSON) instead of binary data.

The good things

  • I actually finished a playable multiplayer game in less than 48 hours. (I worked on the game for approximately 20 hours).
  • I’ve got a server that supports HTTPS.
  • I’ve got a basic idea about how to synchronize player/game state between multiple clients. It shouldn’t be too hard to move the logic to the server. – This will be my next goal.
  • A comment on my game gave me an idea for a post compo version. It might not be chariots anymore :).
  • Last but not least: great self-made falafel wraps on my first day at runvs.

And now I’ll be online for approx. 2 hours in my game, so no player has to play alone.

Join Chariot Arena Battle

Come and join the fun. The more the merrier (I wanna see at what point my game can’t handle any more players).

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