Chaos Reborn creator Julian Gollop has revealed new multiplayer details for the follow up to his 1985 ZX Spectrum classic. Battles will support up to four players across both synchronous and asynchronous play. The developer has also revealed a work-in-progress shot of the game in action. Check it all out after the cut.
Bear in mind, the above is texture-less and in the earliest stages of development, but still you can get a feel for the games grid-based play.
Gollop writes on his dev blog, “The only thing you can do at the moment is end your turn – so there no game play yet. Before I get onto that I need to figure out how to make both synchronous and asynchronous games work properly. The underlying functionality is basically the same.
“Synchronous games operate under tighter rules – you have a relatively short time limit for your turn. If you fail to respond in time your turn is ended automatically. If you get disconnected your wizard will be taken over by the AI, but I want to allow players a chance to reconnect to the game if they just experiencing internet glitches.
“Asynchronous games are played over a much longer period of time, but still with a time limit. This will most likely be some modified chess clock style of timer, where you have a total time limit for completing all your turns, and the time counter counts down while it is your turn.
“The other thing I need to do with asynchronous games is store and retrieve the game state in a database. Synchronous games are totally ‘live’ and they reside in the servers memory until the game is over.”
The notion of game states being stored on servers until they end is interesting, and should help combat drop-outs and other issues that plague other online titles. Gollop confirmed that this will also let players watch recorded matches back again at a later date.
“The game state is represented by an initial state and a list of game events, which can be anything that happens in the game, such as moving a creature to a hex or an attack. This list of events allows players, or even observers, to view a game from the start – or even to watch completed games.
“I also want this playback feature to operate with rewind controls so you can step backwards or forwards in the game sequence. This requires a little extra data storage because for each event I have to store the state ‘changed from’ as well as state ‘changed to’.
“I also need to pack the data into the smallest possible size for network transmission, which means using the minimum number of bits for a piece of data.”
It’s ambitious, but Gollop knows a thing or two about turn-based strategy titles, having created the original XCOM title UFO: Enemy Unknown.
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