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Project Structure & Network Considerations

Posted on 2 Feb

Like any old programming project, we have to start from actually…making a project! Now, because Unnamed will be an online game, we'll need more than one project. There are three projects in total:

  1. The client: effectively a view for taking data from the server and passing input back.
  2. The server: the thing that the game logic will actually run on, alongside storing player data and islands.
  3. The core: functionality that is shared between the client/server and can function interoperably so a client with different specifications could possibly be made at any time.

You can see that some stuff is done already: I write these things at the end of the day, you know!

The server is just a standard console application and the core will just be a library. The client itself is a DirectX MonoGame project for Windows. Both the client and server reference the core.

I've made it pretty clear in the past that I like using NodeJS, however, there are two reasons on why I've decided to not make both the client/server in NodeJS:

  1. I didn't want to spend too much time on database implementation; C# lets me just serialise an object and store it as a file.
  2. I needed both speed and abstraction as the server will potentially handle a lot of separate island instances and C# provided a good middle ground.

For networking, I've opted to use Fleck: a Websocket server library. The main reasoning was to keep it open-ended so I could potentially make a client with Javascript/WebGL at some point. For my first task, I spent about 20 minutes just abstracting some features that I appreciate from socket.io; rooms. Because there will be multiple independant islands, keeping it as manageable as possible to separate data is a worthwhile time investment.

The rooms hold a reference list to all sockets and provide an event for sockets joining/leaving. This also allows me to easily implement chatrooms or additional instanced functionality later on.

With the socket connection and handling pretty quickly taken care of, I started off with the server gameloop. This is where I thought about how I wanted to implement the actual interaction between the client and server. There are three ways I could go about doing this:

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