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SV update 0.9.4 (and what's different about it)

Two days ago I published a new version of Stick Veterans. Version 0.9.4 marks the 4th update released for this game, and also the one that has taken the longest.



Quick mention of the most important additions:
  • New weapons AK Rifle and Striker shotgun,
  • Main-menu notification when a new version is available,
  • Dynamic adding/removing of bots during a match,
  • Various UI improvements and bug fixes.
My focus in this post is what was different about the release of this update.


Since I first published Stick Veterans, there have been 3 updates, all of which took about a month to be made and released. So, why 4 months for this one?

One of the main reasons is my daily schedule. My free time has been noticeably shorter, but I won't dwell on this.

Another reason was the time required for moderating the user-uploaded maps. Since the release of the map editor, there is a slow but steady flow of submitted maps. Some of them are rejected for being poorly made, some are accepted immediately, but the majority of them are an in-between case: they are mostly fine, but need edits in order to be good enough. This takes time.


Finally, a very important reason is the goals I had set for this update: I intended to implement networked multiplayer, and that's where the majority of my efforts went.

This was the main goal, yet still there's no multiplayer in this update. So, what went wrong?
  • Not enough knowledge on Unity3D networking. I 've made networked games before, but only on Game Maker.
  • Need to design a custom matchmaking solution, since Unity's Matchmaker is a proprietary and costly feature.
  • A lof time went into research and experimentation on techniques such as UPnP and NAT Punch-through, to be able to connect users without requiring manual port forwarding.
All in all, 4 months went by and multiplayer is still in the making. In the meanwhile, I had implemented various other improvements and bugfixes that had to be published, and also users were asking what was taking so long with the update.

To say things plainly, 0.9.4 was an impromptu update. It was published to bring long-awaited fixes and improvements to the users, and to show that development of Stick Veterans is still ongoing.


Work on networking multiplayer will continue. Hopefully it won't be long before it is finally ready.

Thanks for your support, and stick around for the next updates.

-Kostas

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