Senior Project Questions (Unity)

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I’m considering making my senior project a multiplayer online game using the Unity webplayer. Through my game classes; I’m experienced in 3D mesh modelling, editing and animation; general use and scripting in the Unity engine; voice acting and sound effect editing, etc. In short, almost everything I need for the project; the only portion I really do not have experience with is online network programming and API integration. Assignment is simply a completed game in fifteen weeks and is the only/primary grade in a six credit college class. Can recruit as many outsiders as I need as long as I remain the design and/or art lead of the project. If there’s someone willing to handle that portion of the coding should the rest of the project be handled by myself or others; please contact me and I’ll fill in details on the project. Otherwise, I’m doing to need assistance learning enough to get it up.

Basically looking for multiplayer; probably up to eight players in an RTS or similar environment per game, plus the Lobby to set up games. This is feasible here in Unity? What resources would I need to allocate to it versus what the site provides?

If the costs and difficulty of multiplayer integration proves too high, I may default to an AI campaign to start and consider multiplayer later. Regardless, I’d like at least to include score API for my official build for the class (by the end of April) and would also consider including some premium content integration, depending on time available and the popularity of the build being high enough for me to feel that I’d make money for my trouble.

Suppose at this time, I’m looking primarily for advice as I consider this possibility. Though, if people want in; I’ll consider it. However; I do not wish to post details of this project publicly, in order to protect my IP.

 
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You’re probably in over your head.

15 weeks is enough for a single player game, tops.

 
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Try making a singleplayer version of the game you have in mind. Multiplayer will be far too much for only 15 weeks.

 
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Was assuming either AI or networking would be the major hurdle of the design. Unless I get someone experienced in network programming on my side; suppose I’m looking at figuring out AI for a single player campaign; since experienced people don’t think multiplayer is plausible in time frame. Thanks for advice so far. Probably doing AI via making a local multiplayer version (two sets of controls on one keyboard or similar) and recording gameplay as a basis; it’s the best strategy I know of for this kind of game.

 
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Conversation with professor lead to him teaching me a free webhost that was easy enough to set up for most the testing of the game. SO I’m going back to having it multiplayer and will be running the beta through those systems. Specifically referring to the Photon shell by Exit Games. Still would prefer final game to be here eventually; though I’m not quite certain how to work that out at this time and still would like to ask about that. Like how the multiplayer servers for Unity work specific to this site. No rush to answers though, because that will be late in the design process.

 
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You looked up pricing on Photon Server right? And what hardware it requires right? You’ll probably be hitting upwards of $200-300 just to get it running for a short period of time. I’m not super familiar with the structure/setup/etc of Photon Server, but I think you’ll need a dedicated machine to run a server. (or a VPS I guess, but something with low ping times and fast processing)

It might be worth taking a look at software that runs on the cloud as a 2-in-one package, such as Playerio or Gamooga or Artillery.

 
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To bounce of UG here, I don’t think hardware is really that much of an issue. I use VPSes for servers (granted, not flash player servers, but things like TF2 and Minecraft), and if you shop around well, you can get quite powerful servers for less than $10 a month. I can’t speak to software, but hardware could be an issue.

The only real issue here is that Photon server appears only to run on windows, which really limits your options, as windows licenses can be expensive and will come close to doubling the price of a low cost server just for the license. Finally, you could try a free Windows Azure instance, but I’m not sure that will be powerful enough.

 
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Originally posted by Draco18s:

You’re probably in over your head.

15 weeks is enough for a single player game, tops.

Originally posted by SWATLLAMA:

Multiplayer will be far too much for only 15 weeks.

For what it’s worth, I did a multiplayer game as part of a group in a little under 15 weeks. It wasn’t a great game, but it had working gameplay.