Pixel Tennis Progress

Announcements and updates regarding Pixel Tennis' development
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Pixel Tennis Developer
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Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:07 pm

Pixel Tennis Progress

Post by WongKit » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:14 pm

Although I cannot give you a release date, I want to provide "some" transparency regarding the development of Pixel Tennis.

Below, you can see a very basic progress chart. The blue bars indicate, how far (in %) I am to complete the game. The grey bars indicate the remaining effort required for releasing Milestone 1.

That's right, there will be milestone releases for you to test. Consider them as early alpha versions or technical demos. The reason for that is very simple. Before finalizing the game, a lot of work needs to be done - a lot of work that I am planning to invest in my free time. With Milestone 1 (or even before), I am able to see how many people like and/or support my work. Depending on this, Pixel Tennis's future will be decided.

I hope you understand that there is no motivation if there is nobody that is interested in this project

pixeltennis-progress-20190106.png (4.34 KiB) Viewed 14 times

Btw, the category order of the chart has nothing to do with priority. My LibreOffice just wanted to mix them randomly at a certain time.

Website / Forum
As you can see, there is a website / forum. pixeltennis.de is located on a German paid hoster with SSL support and more than enough capacity.

Ingame progress needs to be saved somewhere. I already have a dedicated SQL database and also did some tests with transferring data between Unity and the database via JSON and php. Implementation-wise, nothing is done here.
//20180209: Verified a way to use the forum account credentials to log into the gameserver.
//20180228: Created SQL database model
//20180715: Interface implementation for main functions like reading character data and item handling by BoneD. Added account verification based on forum login

Networking P2P
Unity's networking system works out of the box for local connections. If you want to connect via internet, they only offer a paid method which costs per connected user which is too expensive for me.
As an alternative, Pixel Tennis currently uses a one-time-fee third party library that tries to establish a peer to peer connection. It greatly reduces server load, but can also fail in 5-10% of certain system configurations.
//20180209: Revised player state synchronization to reduce delays on the local client.
//20180401: More tests on P2P networking - fails on my system when UPnP is disabled. Error handling and fallback connections required.
//20180430: Revised P2P networking to check connectivity before actually loading the match. Makes sure that all clients successfully loaded the match scene before starting it.
//20180910: Better exception handling on connection loss

Network Gameserver
Speaking of server load - the main gameserver will be hosted on a dedicated Linux machine that I also rented at a paid hoster. The current gameserver already can provide character data and control creating and joining rooms.
//20180402: First test with externally hosted gameserver made. Success!
//20180512: Added ingame chat (lobby, room, room team)
//20180827: Rewriting complete server/client logic to make it independant from Unity core for performance and resource usage reasons on server side.
//20181013: Rewriting database validation and replaced engine for better performance

Beside basic animations like rotating a smash circle or giving the ball a nice trailing effect, nothing is done. Things like character animation or certain camera scenes will be done much later.
//20180522: Added basic (really basic) player animations for running and jumping towards ball

Nothing to see here. Btw, there will be no pay to win gatcha coins - never :)

Item System
I know, collecting items is a very motivating part of the game, but Milestone 1 will not have anything like this at first.

Not even started. I only have basic ideas on how to achieve this.

3D Modeling
3D Modeling is a very big topic which will require much time and effort. Luckily, a prototype can also be made of basic shapes.

Character Design
Same as for 3D Modeling. The current player model of Pixel Tennis just looks like Pikachu (without face, ears, arms, legs and tail...)
//20180723 As posted in viewtopic.php?f=2&t=54, Pixel Tennis will most likely get a pixel art style to greatly reduce 3D modeling and animation work.

Leveling System
Important as well, but not on my priority list. Will not be in Milestone 1.

Menu Navigation
Currently, only a very ugly and rudimentary menu exists that looks more like a debugging menu. It works, but it is nothing that I would like to show off.
A general interface is also missing.
//20180327: Menu system for login and character selection added. Lobby and room system is still in progress.
//20180331: Lobby and Room system basics implemented.
//20180506: Added room team chat
//20181028: Return to room after match ends
//20181010: Fixed player states (ready, master) when room changes (player switch slots, room details updated etc)

Running, Charging and hitting a ball (Stroke, Lob) works in network mode. The camera can follow the player.
Btw, the court position logic (which player stays where in 1on1 or 2on2 at which state) was awful to implement...
//20180209: Score system implemented which determines points for the certain player. The score is currently handled internally and not visible as there is no UI. Fixed serve-ball-hit-ground-target-position
//20180228: Added advanced moves and skillshots (see viewtopic.php?f=2&p=162)
Somehow related to an online tennis game.

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