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HI, Chris, and Shawn, thanks for the comments.
There is a few lines of script that ship with Smartfox that deal with interpolation. I'm hoping (probably wrongly) that it won't be a big deal for my game, since there is not much data being passed back and forth, but we all know what a headache lag can be. There are built in functions for interpolation and extrapolation, but it's difficult to experiment with this stuff before I've seen it in action. From what I can tell, lag will be a real issue for players in other countries, which is actually a pretty good possibility here. I guess we'll just have to cross that bridge if and when we get to it.
I'm also wondering about the best setup for the actual game. I'm running the server myself, so obviously there will be severe limits on the number of rooms (concurrent games) and players. It has to be light enough on my end that it's not going to kill my PC or network performance. If it does get really popular, though, I'll start looking into other solutions. I'm sure there must be outfits out there who host this stuff for a fee.
For the first iteration, I'm going for "dead simple" multiplayer. I have one zone and one room, basically. You connect to the server, and then it tries to put you into the room, which I'm limiting to 2 people for the time being. The game only starts once two people are in there. After the game, I'll boot everyone out and start it over.
At this point, a number of design decisions pop up...Just a matter of figuring out what is the most fun and realistic.
How many players do you want in a room? It might be more fun if there are four simultaneous players rather than just two. I could, perhaps, have a minimum number of players (2) and once they're available, start a little timer to see if anyone else jumps in. Or I could give people the option to join games in progress...Or just add a few more rooms so you'd have more matches to choose from. I could also allow players to "host" matches, setting the min. and max number of players and so on. Lots of possibilities. Should the match be over when you die, or should you be able to respawn after a given period? Obviously there's no right and wrong answers here; just whatever makes for the most fun.
I also notice some documentation for interfacing with databases...Running a database is probably too big of a pain just for this, but I might look into it anyway if the game takes off. That'd give me a way to record and display data on people's careers or achievements or whatever. I'd even toyed with the idea of using AA's database for logging in to the game. The only real downside to that is of course not everyone is registered here. I'm not sure it's right for this game.
In any case, I think it's probably best to KISS at this point. Focus on getting a multiplayer prototype built that works, and expand from there.
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