viernes, 28 de agosto de 2015

Multiplayer modes in CaboTrafalgar

Multiplayer modes in CaboTrafalgar

Commands and Generators

Some common vocabulary needed for understanding following text.

Commands are the smaller representation of an action that a user can do, and it´s declared and generated by each Ship individually. Some ships will offer "rudder left", "right", "mainsail in", "out", while other can offer the same four plus "move weight right", "left". Commands are, therefore, up to the Ship creator and this game takes them and tries to find who can implement them.

Generators come into play then, once we have some commands, we ask the Generator Manager (or similar) how many generators we have available for each one.
There are some generic Generators like Keyboard, able to map all Commands, also Remote is able to map everything, but we might find other Generators restricted about the type of commands able to deal with.

Once we have Commands and the possible Generators, it´s up to the user map each command with the desired generator (they could be keyboard, remote, and also wiifit, joystick, or mouse, just as example).

Finally, each Command is mapped to the chosen generator through a finest specification, in case of keyboard, associating a key.

Multiplayer Mode 0, Offline competition (DONE)

This was the first multiplayer mode done in CaboTrafalgar, for which I have "recordserver". It stores all verified user´s games and best are shared so other users can see, learn and compete against them.

It offers a ranking with times and users to enhance competition.
Information uploaded comprises position, rotation and commands executed per frame, this would be later (not yet) validated by recordserver, who shares back positions per frame, but erases commands.

This way, another player can´t simply take other person´s record as his, commands are needed and game reexecuted to validate authenticity (not yet again).

In order to make this mode, I needed to introduce a Ghost class able to reposition a Ship every frame, which gave me the idea of the current class atlas (to be explained in other post).

Multiplayer Mode 1, Shared controls on a local game (DONE)

We now offer the option of sharing an arbitrary number of Commands to another player, but all calculations are still made locally (your computer, not any of CaboTrafalgar servers) and the rendering is also local to your sole screen. This is, you must be sharing with somebody in your room.

The transfer is made through a barcode able to be read by any SmartPhone that can open a web application with those shared controls on it (this uses our servers), or you could use our app for that (in progress).

As a result, commands travel from your guest´s device to our servers, only to be transfered back with no alteration to your computer, where they´re interpreted just like your own input. As much this is a local collaboration that these results would be uploadable to RecordServer as they were yours alone.


Multiplayer Mode 2, Multiplayer game

Little explanation here, who doesn´t know what´s this about? Game doesn´t happen in your computer anymore, you´re just rendering the movements our server will tell you, like they were Mode0 ghosts, and your input will travel far from your computer like it was a Mode1 SmartPhone.

Of course, not everything is always so simple, and some calculation could be done at your computer for fluidity´s and optimization´s sake, but the principles are the same, we need a server online where the calculations are done, and new speeds and positions are redistributed for clients to render.


Multiplayer Mode 3, Shared multiplayer game

This is the goal I aim from the first day, this game was always defined as a collaborative multiplayer naval battle simulator. A captain that delegates functions in other players inside the ship, and with help of other ships, fights another number of players collaborating in other ships.

Game again happens remotely, but controls can be shared remotelly as roles, or locally as controls, as a mix of Mode 1 and 2.

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