The traitor game idea I’m prototyping next is technically relatively simple. There’s at maximum a few (technical) elements in the game: player characters (with few traits, location info and some attributes/state info) chatting, some items (objects to pick up and use), level scenery and then perhaps few more things.
Technically this is not so big deal that this couldn’t be done with a fully browser based system. There’s just some things that make me want to use downloadable version:
- I have experience in promoting downloadable (I could imagine getting the game to gaming magazines, but I’d have doubt if a browser game could make it)
- Downloadable games feel “worth more”, thus perhaps making it easier to sell the game. (Of course browser based games are big ones, but at least to me the feeling of “getting the game to my own computer” makes it somewhat more “valuable” to me compared to playing something in browser. Perhaps this is just me.)
- It’s possible to get portals/distributors to promote the game. They are not accepting browser games in Steam you know…
Now there’s just some tiny technical issues that are already solved on the browser games:
- Technically browser based game is very straightforward: just do bit of HTTP calls and throw in some AJAX and things are cool.
- Nobody needs to download anything – sharing the fun gets so easy.
Which leads to my next point. I started imagining that I could simply “port” the browser client into a Blitzmax downloadable version (which would still do http calls). The thing here is that in downloadable game I would (possibly) want something slightly faster than inside a browser. This means that “polling game server every few seconds” is slightly silly, and I’d need a better option for this. I’m wondering if creating one big server (which would handle all games) using for example UDP be a wise move. Or whether I should do UDP server-client systems, and let each player host their own games (here’s the issues with NATs and shite which I really don’t want.)
To me the next thing is to see what kind of technical limitations the downloadable system has, and any tips on this would be most appreciated.