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Saturday, 23 May 2015

Development Blog #0021 - Global Leaderboards

Global Leaderboards

If you haven't already, download WOOL - a Rust simulator for iOS
You will now be ranked globally when you play Wool : Experimental Island.  I re-designed the leaderboard system in the newest update.  This decision came because I was coding a registration system for players to play online with, and because Apple's Game Center was not well suited for the job.  The new system will not require you to register with an email or password, rather it uses your device's unique ID to track your score.  This seemless and considerate implementation will allow you to enjoy unbroken play.  No login screens, no passwords, no emails, just play.

Oh, and it circumvents The Great Firewall too.

The update should be on the App Store by the end of next week.


Moving on

I'm stopping work on this project indefinitely.  I'm starting a software development company, and I'm afraid all of my free time will be devoted to getting off the ground.  I'm doing it for the money, I have to support myself and my girlfriend here in China when I resume school full time in September.  It's possible I'll be able to pick up where I left off when I'm in a better position, but for now, I must cease my game development efforts.  It's been a fun and interesting 6 months working on this project (in its many forms)  and I hope you all have enjoyed reading about, watching, and playing WOOL : Experimental Island.
 

Friday, 1 May 2015

Development Blog #0020 - Multiplayer Backend

If you haven't already,download WOOL - a Rust simulator for iOS

Multiplayer Server
Everyone will connect to a single, persistent, multiplayer server.  Wool is turn based, players will have up to a second to take their turn with everyone else.  It's a bit of an experiment, so we'll see if it's any fun to play when it's up.

Progress
This week I learned how to code a Java based back end server.  This will let me write game servers for any kind of multiplayer game.  I really should have figured out how to do this years ago, it's not very much different from writing iOS and Android applications.  I'm writing a server similar to Rust's servers -- a persistent world that everyone will connect to, and that's going to be a bit complicated for one guy.  I'm mainly concerned with latency and performance of the server.   I should have something functional in a week if all goes well.


The Leaderboard Update Is still in review @ Apple.
I think I'm going to re-code Wool in Javascript & HTML 5.  That way, these updates will not take a week to come out when I've finished them.  Also, it would allow the game to be played in your browser and on any modern smartphone.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Development Blog #0019 - It's lonely at the top

If you haven't already, download WOOL - a Rust simulator for iOS

It's Lonely At The Top

The Leaderboard Update is Awaiting Review at Apple.
It's delays like this that make me certain I'll code the Android version.  It should be out in about a week.  
This update comes with a few big changes.  

-Show your dominance online and fight for rank on the leaderboard.  Sign into Game Center, and your scores are automatically posted as you play.  The highest score will be the player who gathers the most stuff (resources, bases, loot) in the shortest amount of time.  

Efficiency Ranking: 5.16 is decent.


-Resume your game with the auto-save feature.  Each time you quit or go to the home screen, the app will save your game (just don't kill the app right away).  This will allow you to pick up your winning strategy anytime and anywhere.  Or, if you're feeling like a fresh start, quit, and start a new game!



-Fixed a major bug that allowed you to attack other newmans in their own base.  Now you have to destroy their base to attack them. 
-Allowed mass deposit of resources (tap and hold).

Looking Ahead
M-M-M-MULTIPLAYER!That's right! I'm going to start designs and codes for a multiplayer server.  You, your friends and all your enemies can run around on a Wool server and hunt each other down.  I'll even include push notifications to alert you to when your base is being attacked.  It's possible that I'll increase the scale of the viewport, so that you can walk around inside of a base, and actually see individual resources.  Online, each player would have about a second to choose his move (move, attack, craft...) or the move is lost.  That way, the game will progress smoothly, and remain synchronized.  This could end up being a lot of work, so I'll start small and upgrade from where we are now.  

Why
The end goal is to have a fun game that plays very similarly to Rust.  For those of you who have been following these last months, I'm still trying to prove a better raiding system for Rust.  To do that, I need better data, data that is not generated by my very biased A.I. players.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Development Blog #0018 - Leaderboards Part 3

If you haven't already, download WOOL - a Rust simulator for iOS


Slow progress this week, I've been too busy.

But I did upgrade the resource trade system.  You can now hold your finger down on an item to transfer all of it.


The item will fill up with that red colour, then the entire amount gets traded.  Pretty straight forward.

Again, the leaderboards update will include an auto-save feature -- so you can pick up where you left off.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Development Blog #0017 - Leaderboards Part 2

If you haven't already, download WOOL - a Rust simulator for iOS



This week

I’ve been polishing up the Leaderboards update.  It’s going to have two different measures of dominance: Wealth and Efficiency.  Wealth is the sum total of everything you own, broken down into their resource costs.  Wood is worth 1 point, stone is worth 3, and metal is worth 10.  Efficiency is total wealth divided by time spent earning it.  The players with the highest efficiency are the best players — they can gather the most valuable resources in the smallest amount of time.  
I expect the update to be submitted to Apple within a week, and will be available to play a week after that.  Expect to be playing this before the end of April!  Until then, I’m always in need of additional beta testers.  If you’re interested in helping test Wool, send your UDID to thompson.codes@gmail.com.  


Saturday, 4 April 2015

Development Blog #0016 - Leaderboards and the quest for Big Data

Leaderboards
Soon, you'll be able to compete for the top spot on Wool's leaderboards.  The most awesome player will hoard the most resources, own the best stuff, and have the most bases, in the shortest amount of time.  I call this score "Efficiency".  You can join in the competition using your GameCenter login -- your scores are posted automatically.

Save Games
You can now save your progress.  When you leave the app, it automatically saves your game -- so you can continue dominating later.

UI Updates
I updated the inventory / storage screen so that it's easier to transfer resources between you and your bases.

Bugs Fixes
Things like being killed in your own base, base upgrade bugs, and cost issues are resolved.

Big Data Collection
I want to collect data on how you play the simulator.  Theres a popup asking if I can do that when you start the app.  Please let it upload -- I'm trying to collect the data so I can build a mathematical argument for raiding changes in Rust.

Looking Ahead
Having a big mass of data from the players of Wool will let me make mathematical claims about raiding.  In short, I'd like to see some way to pour raw resources into raiding tools at each tier of play, without the need for scare blueprints.  In Rust, raiding tools would look like drills, or catapults, or rams, or explosives.  These are big, expensive items that will grant you the ability to ruin someone's day.

Allow me to explain myself
This update was all about getting more people playing regularly.  I added leaderboards to make it more social, and more competitive.  I added save games so you could feel invested in the time you put in.  And I made the interface more pleasant to use.  This stuff makes the game more fun so that players will keep coming back.  I want more players and frequent players so I can collect the aforementioned data.
In the spirit of getting more data, I'll likely begin the Android version if the iOS version has enough value.


More about me
I started making WOOL back in November 2014, when raiding in Rust was non-existent due to some crazy wall health regeneration.  I'm so passionate about games like Rust that I'm willing to continue to put countless hours into making them more fun for me to play.
But things have changed.

I moved to China at the start of March, 2015 to pursue my lovely girlfriend Ving.  She was an exchange student from China studying at my Canadian university.  We fell in love, so when she had to leave, I went with her.


The only problem with this plan
Is that the closest Rust server is in Hong Kong.  That's 300ms away!  It's unbearable to play Rust with that amount of latency.  Now, in order to get my Rust fix -- I work on or play Wool.  


I hope you'll read my blogs as this story unfolds.
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