World Editor & Multiplayer Progress - Dev Blog #75
So, for a while now we’ve been releasing various blocks related to building all manner of different types of wheeled vehicles. Whilst we’ve been creating that content (which mostly involves artists and designers creating 3D artwork and setting up physics data) the programmers have been working on a ton of other stuff, so we wanted to start to share some information about all of that.
A large part of the code team is focused on multiplayer. A quick update on multiplayer before we start getting into the other bits:
We’re starting to test Techblox game servers on final hardware, we’ve chosen Amazon Gamelift for this.
We have a matchmaking system in place, so when you choose a game mode the game can point you to a game server that has free spaces on it.
Game servers can run persistently, allowing players to join and leave as they want, so you won’t need to queue for a “round”, you can jump in and join a server without waiting.
All the functional parts we have work in a multiplayer scenario, i.e. cars, joints, controls, wiring, etc.
The physics simulation between players machines is robust, so if you create a machine that can pick up another machine, then you’ll be able to do that in multiplayer just as well as you can in your local test scenario.
The biggest issue is performance. We always knew this would be the case. The name of the game is to optimise CPU and Bandwidth so that we can support complex builds and many players at once. So, now the majority of the team is focused on profiling and optimising to get it to a state where we can let you guys begin to play on servers for the first time - there are also quite a lot of bugs to clean up.
Built from Blocks
A big shift that has been happening is the World Editor. Everything in Techblox will be built from blocks. Up until now the Workshop and the Racetrack in the live demo has been built in Maya and exported into Unity to be used in the game. In the next release of Techblox (which will include an early version of the World Editor) we’ll have 3 game modes; one road racetrack, one offroad racetrack, and the World Editor. All of these, including the Workshops that you will build your machines in, will be built from blocks by us in the World Editor. Once the World Editor is in your hands you’ll be able to build your own content like this, and whilst we won’t have the tools for you to be able to publish your own content initially (the plan is to add self-publishing longer-term) we’d be happy to feature the best content from the community in the game by adding it manually as you create it. New tracks, maps, games, will be added to the ‘Game Portal UI Screen’ which is another thing we’ve been working on. We’ll talk more about the World Editor, the new content that is coming and the Game Portal in the coming days but for now, here are some screenshots of a new Workshop that we built in the World Editor: