Friday, September 4, 2009

Solar Vengeance 6 Released

It took a few months of part time effort to port SV5 to Silverlight, and now we have SV6. There are some decided advantages to the browser based version:

1) You don't need to to download the latest build, that's taken care of automatically.
2) The graphics performance of the Silverlight sprites outperforms the GDI+ based graphics of SV5.

A Silverlight version also poses some challenges that I still need to overcome. Biggest of these is providing a way for people to run a debug version of the app so they can develop and debug their Scenarios and Brains. Once I crack this I will publish the updated Scenario and Brain API's and promote these to developers.

One of the hallmarks of Silicon Commander Games was the extensibility, and I think we've pushed the envelope by providing robust API's so developers can build their own Scenarios (levels) and Brains (computer AI's) that integrate seamlessly into the game. This will continue with SV6!

Another challenge is to try and rebuild the SCG community and get some active players again. I'm hoping this will come naturally when I continue to build up the supporting documentation of the game with strategy guides, examples, etc. If you're reading this now you can help too by logging in and waiting a little bit in the lobby for other people to show up! I look at the logs and see someone like "Z" for example log in, and then 1 minute later log out. Then 5 minutes later someone else does the same thing. I'm guilty of this too some time, but I will try and hang out in the lobby more to catch other players and hopefully get some games logged!!

I've also begun work on converting some of the class libraries for WinWar II over to Silverlight. This includes my tile-based map logical components, and a new Silverlight based TileBasedGameBoard component that can use my MapSet class to render tiles on the map. I'm hoping to port the WinWarII logic engine I created for V5 pretty easily to Silverlight, then build a new UI, much like I did for SV6.