• Freejam Chris

Persistent Game Servers - Dev Blog #37

Updated: Apr 14, 2021

Hi everyone,

Today we have some ideas that we wanted to share with you regarding how servers will work in Techblox. The plan is to make servers really special, unique and incomparable to other building games. We want them to be persistent and allow players to join and leave at any point while that server is running.

This is how we expect it to work; Players will choose a game from the main menu and then connect to a server. You’ll find yourself inside a huge workshop with bays, one for each player. Players who were currently in Build Mode would be seen in this workshop area moving around, building, painting and adding decals etc. You’ll be able to freely wander around to see what other players are doing, perhaps to get some inspiration for your own build. You won’t be able to troll people whilst they are building, we’d make sure that isn’t possible.

At any time you can transition to the simulation server with your machine and you’d find others on that server already playing the game, hanging out, driving around and blowing each other up! In many games, all players will be able to freely switch between Build and Sim whenever they wished independently. The diagram below shows the core loop when joining a game, entering build, transitioning into simulation and leaving.

When you switched to simulation, the game would first check that your machine complied with the rules of the game you have joined. For example, one game mode could include the following game rules:

  • Your build must cost less than $1,000 (virtual cost)

  • Your build must not contain any engines more than 500hp.

If your vehicle fails to adhere to these rules, you will not be able to enter the simulation. You would have to edit your machine so that it complied with the rules, or load in a blueprint which does.

It’s important to note that the servers for “build” and “simulation” are linked. This means that you’ll see the same people when transitioning between the two.

Some games may operate in rounds and would wait for players to ready up in the workshop in order to transition everyone at the same time. Players who would be eliminated would then return to the workshop and would be able to build until the next round. Others may be simple hubs for messing around with people jumping into sim and build whenever they want to show off art-builds or do random sandbox stuff.

You could even have persistent games which include multiple races in a single map where a race could start automatically when there are enough cars on the grid with a countdown timer. Or even a perpetual tank battle (something we had back in 2013 on Robocraft before it was on steam! And it was fun!)

We are also thinking of adding a creative mode which will create a server just for you. If your friends then join you in a party then they will be on that server in your own creative mode.

We want Techblox to feel unique and would like to provide a building experience that is heavily online and is all about a large thriving community playing an incredible variety of games and building a great number of different things to play those games. A builders paradise.

A playable Pre-Pre-Pre-Pre-Pre-Alpha is now available! Make sure to visit our home page at http://www.techblox.com/ to sign up to play it!

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