State of the Game #37: New Level System

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Hey, lots of changes have been happening with M.A.V. this week!

So I am still working on the campaign mode (I may have under estimated the amount of work for this) but it is coming along quite nicely.

I had to make a hard choice today, and that choice was to hold back the build another week. I am doing this so that when the new version comes out, it is a little closer to being final, with less bugs, and in a generally more playable form. I know this is alpha, but I still want it to be fun!

So, here are the changes that I have been working on:

So, just to put into perspective, in the past week I have made 30 major updates to the core game.

So the first major update was getting the single player World server working. This is a background server for single player that tracks the world systems and allows world events to happen, even if you are deployed into battle. By treating single player this way, it will also allow you to easily turn your single player world into a multiplayer game, if you want to.

Another big change from how things used to be, is all the single player BATTLES are handled exclusively by the main game, not the server. This will eliminate any of the lag issues some of the player had with the old system.

Next up, was the fully working inventory system! In the campaign mode you do not start with full access to all the parts. So, there needed to be an inventory to track the parts you have and there also needed to be a full store for buying and selling parts. This whole system is in and working, with the store tab in the garage.

Next up on the list was a method for tracking all the data for the progress you make during the course of a campaign. This encompassed the inventory system above, but also needed to be able to handle all the changes that happen to the levels. This eventually lead to requiring a whole new system for creating and saving the levels, as the old system created levels sizes that where much to large to handle multiple save games.

So, a new level system was created! This also is already setup to track changes to the levels as you play, so every tree you destroy gets tracked and is gone forever.

So, because of the changes to the way levels are created and stored, I needed to adapt the way I handled different game modes. The last major feature is a dynamic game manager, which really is more for me, but helps me create level MUCH faster. What it does is allow me to create multi game mode levels, all within a single level. This removes a lot of duplicate work for me and allows me to quick make a level available in the campaign, the arena mode, and in the siege mode, for both single and multiplayer.

Some of the consequences of these changes means I have had to go back and rework some aspects of the game that I had already ‘finished’, like the siege mode game. This will prove to be beneficial in the long run, as the new system is much more flexible and able to be expanded much easier as well.

Again, I apologize for the lack of updates the past few weeks, but this chunk of work is hard to divide into weekly updates that still make the game playable. I really want to get this as solid as possible before releasing it.

[Reminder: M.A.V. is currently in Alpha funding for $10. If you want to participate in the Alpha program and get access to the weekly builds, you can sign up for an account Here, and upon logging in you will be presented the option to purchase an Alpha membership.]

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