The game play is the most important part of the whole project. It also creates the most issues in programming and designing. I feel like we still have a ways to go on the game play even with the great progress we have already made.
So let me discuss a few of the technical issues we have faced
Mirroring – This is when one user’s screen is shown on another user’s device. So if one user changes their player position on their device, it will be repeated on the other user’s screen in exactly the same way.
If two players are playing on the same device, this is much easier as the screen size is the same, however, different screen sizes and devices exist. The iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 Plus are two different sizes. The iPhone 6 Plus is longer than the iPhone 5, so we have to match it up.
Servers – We are using Amazon AWS and it has some limitations which we are working through. Keeping up to date on latest updates and patches from Amazon is critical to avoiding issues. This project has been running for almost 2 years and in that time, things change, they change a lot. So we need to make sure we are keeping up with what is happening with the server resources.
Real Time – The game includes real-time chat. The users can chat with each other in pre-set chat boxes. This seems simple, right? Well, the conversation is in real time, so it needs to appear on the other user’s device so they can respond back. We need to decide how long will it show for, make sure it shows immediately and connect the devices.
Updated Stats – The team worked on making sure the stats are up to date. Like a real hockey game experience, we keep track of users’ shots, goals, shutouts and, of course, Goals Against Average. f a user quits half way through a game OR loses their internet connection, we need to make sure these stats are accurate, therefore it needs to be updated in real time. If a user quits, the goals, shots and other stats are counted towards the stats of the game Keeping stats is an important part of the hockey experience.
Player Movement – We are still working on the game play so this is work in progress, however we have changed the way the game play will work. How the player moves? How will they pass? How to control the goalie? This is all interactive with each other to create the game play experience. It has to balance being easy enough that it is understandable by the player and still replicate the hockey game experience.
These are a few of the technical issues that we have faced in creating the game play experience for this game. We are getting through the most critical part of this project and slowly making good progress.