As with all games, actually making it tears the design in all kinds of directions. This is one reason why people who try to get a lead designer job based on lots of paperwork and no actual game often come up against a brick wall… No game design survives contact with the code.
So… I’ve been working on the online challenges for GTB. It all now basically works, in it’s basic form. When a battle ends, you can post that battle as a challenge to the server, for everyone, or a specific user. This is only valid if the map is a new one you designed (or edited) or if you played as attacker.
The other players can now browse a challenge list, select and download your challenge map. They can they play on it as attacker or defender. This is where it gets fidgety..
If you played as attacker, and uploaded your battle as a challenge on a default (pre-built) map, and someone downloads it, it’s pointless them playing as attacker, because effectively, nothing has changed. They are just playing the normal map.
If, however, they play as defender, things happen as expected. they see YOUR units, deployed at YOUR choices of location and times, and it’s like an asynch multiplayer game. Yay!
If they edited the map, changed loads of variables and moved some props etc, and uploaded it, then it makes sense for you to play attacker OR defender, because hey, you just got a free community-based extra map to play with. Yay!
The problem is, making it clear to the player that sometimes they download a challenge and it’s only playable as defense, sometimes as either. I can use tooltips etc, and flags in the challenge database, but I still phear confusion. Plus, in an ideal world, I’d allow a player to bundle in ALL his units with a challenge too (this should be easy), so they can say “here is a normal default map, but here are my unit designs to fight against”.
I want it to all be intuitive, and although it will be awesome, so far it is NOT intuitive :(
In other news, GSB ipad is coming along. Still ironing out performance issues. Or rather, mark is. I’m just blogging about it :D