Forge War - Coding a Monster

April 18, 2013

Well, this last week has certainly been harrowing. You think you know a lot about coding in Flash, and then you realize you don't...

I'm attempting to work up a code for the online version of Forge War, and, well, I think I've gotten over at least one of the many humps that involves. Humps I only moderately anticipated. I know, you think about doing a multiplayer game, even just something turn-based, and you've gotta worry about a server and communicating with that server, and things get complicated very quickly. I found some great templates and tutorials over at playerio.com, but even then, in order to use the templates effectively, you've gotta understand what the templates are saying. Plus the server code has to be written in C, and I only have a passing familiarity with that.

I could recount my various trials and tribulations, yelling at my computer about why that object is undefined when it is defined right there, but that might prove tedious. Suffice it to say that I now fully understand connecting to a server and sending messages back and forth and the powers and limitations of doing so. I'm modelling the interface a bit after BrettSpielWelt, so from a lobby, you can enter a game into a sub-lobby, from which you can sit at the game table and start a game. So I've handled the basics of the sub-lobby and sitting down at the table and then relaying all this information to others sitting in the sub-lobby. And I've worked up to a point where, if there are at least two players sitting at the table, one of those players can start a game.

Of course, you click "Start Game" and all the market cards get shuffled and dealt, all the quest cards get shuffled and dealt, mine resources are randomized and placed, player order is randomized, and everybody gets their starting set of stuff (2 weapon plans, 5 quest tokens, $7-8, 6 adventurers, etc.). And, well, I'm working on that. That's a lot of art to import and a lot of organization to handle. Plus I'm sure I'm going to run into problems with children and access children effectively. Stupid children...

And then once the game is actually initialized, then there's the horrific process of actually coding the gameplay...and I'm beginning to see that I might be a little crazy thinking I could take this monster on. On paper it seems so simple. Well, I mean, the game's not simple, of course, but I came up with the mechanics in a single afternoon and it's a little depressing that translating those mechanics into code will take many months.


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