Gratuitous Space Battles had a fairly straightforward challenge system. You uploaded your challenge, which was a combination of unit designs + deployment + orders, with maybe a few map variable, and others downloaded and played them.
As I start proper work on uploaded stuff for GTB, I realise it’s a bit more complex and tricky. My two aims are for you to be able to:
- Upload or play against someone else’s unit designs + attacking ‘recording’ of their units, when you are playing in normal tower defense mode.
- Upload or play with someone else’s custom designed map, including whatever graphic resources they have included within it
Of course, there is immediate scope for overlap, where someone designs a new map, plays as the attacker against adaptive AI, and then wants to upload both the map, and their recording of their attacks, and units, so you get to play against new units on new maps. I want to support this (obviously) whilst not letting the UI design of it get too clunky. I’m only starting to consider the real implications now.
Another major consideration is encouragement and ease of use. I need uploading your forces to be absolutely trivial to do, and encourage everyone to do it. I also want to minimize the traffic going to and from my server…
Currently, I have an edit button for every map. You can edit the map from there, and save it out as a ‘custom’ scenario. Once you play that scenario, like any scenario, you have the option to upload it as a challenge. This feels horribly clunky.
I guess ideally, that at the end of a battle, you should be prompted to upload a challenge, and if you select yes, you can choose (where applicable) if this is a ‘map-only’ upload, or whether it also contains your unit designs and deployment timings (assuming you were the attacker).
And given the way my system currently works, with zipped uop folders, it wouldn’t make any difference anyway, People would download a map, and if it had player recordings included, they could be used, or not, entirely up to them. If no ai designs are present then the adaptive AI automatically chooses from any design (by default they are restricted to that scenarios AI designs).
I think that sounds ok.