If you’re a player, this is going to be a bit tech-boring post, be warned 🙂
I wanted to share what I’ve learnt so far from the release of my first Public Alpha of my game Planet Stronghold. Was a good choice to make it a downloadable? What if was a webgame coded in Flash /JS /Unity ? This is what I think are pro and con of each:
- the problem of updating: I coded an autoupdater in python. It SHOULD be cross-platform and work everywhere. The first version was a bit bugged and missed some error messages. I don’t have any real statistics but from what I gathered from testers, my guess is that only 10-15% of people couldn’t use it for one reason or another. Still, it’s a good percentage of people!
- With a webgame, the full asset/code gets updated on SERVER, so there’s no possibility that it fails: that’s a BIG advantage if you’re interested in making a online/MMO game. However be warned, the bandwidth use is going to be HUGE, since most browser have a very small cache of 50mb which means players are probably going to redownload the whole thing everytime.
- Unless you use JS, you can have pretty much all effect you have with Renpy (with Flash), or a 3d engine (with Unity3d), online. The problem is that python is really one of the best RAD languages, that is most top games like Civilization, The Sims 3 or even Google uses it internally. Damn it, if only there was a working python to SWF compiler…!!! Any coder who’ll make that will be covered by gold, mark my words 🙂
Also, it’s SUPER EASY to make mistakes with online games. A first thing to do is NEVER mix your test server with the live server. For example I uploaded a wrong file last night, and the autoupdater would keep looping, thinking it’s always 1 version below the latest one 😐 Luckily for me Ayu was testing the game and reported the bug, which was only a wrongly uploaded file on server…!!
So for now I’ve learned lession number one. Always do your test in local, and if you really must, have a BACKUP SERVER to do your own tests. Never test anything on the “live” server!!! 😀