Samurai Beta 21

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Vacation is over and it’s time to get moving with the beta. First out is the iOS version and the Android beta will follow soon.

The big change in this update is the match list as I’ve mentioned before.

All current online games are listed to the right. If there’s an available slot, just tap it to join. Add more slots to do a 4-vs-4, either by invite or an open slot for anyone to join. When you are invited to a match this is indicated with a flashing player icon (tap the slot to accept the invite and join the match). Additionally you can tap the match center button to join as a spectator. The match starts as soon as all players have tapped Ready.

I’ve tried to solve some networking and cheating problems as follows:

  • If you leave a match (by accident or by purpose) you can quickly rejoin by tapping your slot in the match list.
  • In case your ally would leave the match you can take to control of his/her units.
  • If the opponent team abandons the match units start taking a hit in morale and will route after 10 – 15 seconds.

There’re quite some networking stuff going behind the scenes on to keep track of all this, and I expect a lot of testing is needed to get it to run smoothly. So please report any issues you find and I’ll try to fix them as quickly as possibly.

Samurai Wars update 21 progress

Matchmaker2

As I’ve come to realise there’s no quick fix for matchmaking, I’ve decided to take the time to do a proper redesign and reimplementation. The update will feature a complete list of all games in progress. You’ll be able to quickly join a game with a single tap on a free slot in game list. You can reserve slots by inviting players as before (but without the annoying and unreliable notification popups). There’s a single unified lobby so you’ll be able to chat and play matches across both iOS and Android devices. The new design will also be prepared to take on more advanced features in future updates (such as custom maps/armies, more that four participants, and spectators).

All basic functionality is now working, but there’s still some work to do on reliability and performance. I’ll get back as soon as it’s ready for public beta.

Samurai Wars update 20

The update is now live.

Just to clarify, the user interface is new, but the underlying network protocol still uses GameCenter. I intend to make further networking improvements in coming updates. But for the next update, it’s custom maps.

[edit]

I’ve now had a few online games with the new update. Although it’s possible to find games I’m noticing that the matchmaking is far too unstable. It should just work! But it doesn’t, so I need to go to the bottom of this problem and make it top priority to really fix this.

Samurai Beta 20

Time for a new beta build of Samurai Wars.

In this update I’ve reworked the matchmaking user interface. No more modal GameCenter dialog boxes! It should be much easier to setup matches with more than two players, either using invites or auto-matching or even combination (like invite one player then auto-match another).

Please report any issues. It seems GameCenter is sometimes slow when connecting/matching, and can take up to 10 or 20 seconds to find a matching player from the point where both click Ready. Other times GameCenter get confused and won’t match at all. It sometimes help turning your Wifi connection off and on.

If you haven’t signed up for the beta yet, see http://blog.openwar.org/samurai-beta-18/

Note: If you’ve signed up with TestFlight but not registered a device, you have to do so before being able to install the beta. Easiest way to do that is to use Safari on your device and go to the TestFlight web site.

Samurai Wars update 20 progress

For the next update I’ve been working on improving the matchmaking interface. I’ve replaced the GameCenter dialog with a custom non-modal one that gives you better control over the matchmaking process. It’s now possible to assign players to a specific team and send chat messages while waiting for players to join.

Matchmaker

As always, coding takes longer than planned, there are still some adjustments to make, but there should be a beta in the next few days.

Samurai Wars update 19

A new update is on its way and should arrive in the App Store within a couple of days.

This release should address the network problems that has been causing a lot of weird issues, like enemy armies not arriving to the battle field, invincible enemies, and strange combat results. The problem was that when network latency and packet loss got above a certain threshold the game had trouble keeping units in sync, and got confused who was were so to say. If you’ve experienced such issues in update 18, please test again with the new update and report back here if you’re still seeing problems.

And a as a bonus, I’ve also added a new “Current Rating” leaderboard.

Samurai Wars update 18

The update has been out for little more than a week. There’s the issue with games sometimes not starting (you only see your own units). I’m fixing that one now and will also investigate dropped connections.

Any other bugs and issues? Report here and I’ll take a look.

Samurai Beta 18 build 140109.1

This should be the final beta before release. I think I’ve fixed all sync issues and crashes that have been reported so far. If you find any problems, please report here.

I’ve noticed that the GameCenter invite and auto-match functionality sometimes doesn’t work. This could very well be the Sandbox environment that’s unstable (I’ve seen reports about this from other developers). It seems that going to Settings and switching wireless networking off and on again seem to fix this.