Saturday, August 3, 2013

Game Time

One of the issues I've been working on is the communication between the primary server and the game client. At regular intervals the client gets information from the server, including the game time. Time is a critical factor in much of the game, so using the server time makes this simpler.

But the problem I am working on now is determining how much time is given for each move. Keeping in the mind that the game is real time, turn based. This means that in combat there has to be a minimum amount of time in which a turn can take place.

I started with turns taking 1 second. This doesn't make a lot of sense. I see combat as a slightly slower operation. Simply put, the ships in this game are very large. In most cases they would be on the same level as a star destroyer in Star Wars.

So the gameplay would require some work to setup your next set of moves. So I've backed it off so that the fastest moves take place in 5 second intervals. Just starting out in the game, your speed won't be that quick. Some of the early ships will operate in 20-30 second intervals between moves. This doesn't mean travel ticks by in 30 second intervals. Travel is non-stop. But the real time updates from the game server will only come in every 5 seconds.

There's always a few sides to why something like this is done. I can try and cite game play and also factor in the need for some forms of time sinks. But I'm really on the side of server performance. These pings the client makes to the server could be costly in terms of server processing and network bandwidth.

I tend to think that the full release of the game will move this down to 1-2 second intervals as the game play speeds up.

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