4/6/2021 in devlog
In this week's devlog Fabian talks about upcoming changes in infrastructure, Michi shares insight about the development of the UI tutorial and Martin grants a glimpse in the direction of the mobile version of Prosperous Universe.
Among other things I finally finished the UI tutorial that will be shown new players as soon as they finished setting up their company and getting in touch with APEX for the first time. Here is what the first few screens look like:
One of the major changes to last week's version is that I switched from a local state management to the usual server state management. That means that instead of storing the progress in the player's browser it is persisted on the server just like regular game data. While being more complex that way there is a major benefit that prevents a lot of problems elsewhere:
When the players create their companies three screens are created: the default screen, the finances screen and (new!) a copy of the default screen that is being used for the UI tutorial. Although we prevent changes to the UI in most of the steps we want the players to learn how the UI works (obviously) so they will have to make changes to the layout. If we'd store the progress of the tutorial locally in the browser and a player would reload the site during the tutorial, effectively losing the tutorial progress, we would run into the problem that the layout of the UI and the tutorial progress would not be in sync anymore. This could result in players getting stuck in the tutorial, a situation that we want to prevent! Using our trusted old server state management we won't get into the situation as the progress of the tutorial matches the layout of the UI at all times.
With the specifications of the UI and gameplay tutorials done, I'm now focusing on the further-future features that we touched on in our recent live stream. This involves an expansion and partial rework of the politics system, moving towards government entities that can potentially be shared among multiple players (a "parliament" if you will).
One of the major reasons we want to go that direction is that we want to change some things about the way infrastructure is handled in the future. We want there to be clearer responsibilities, whether it's a government running a certain piece of planetary (or even universal) infrastructure or a private player company (that might in turn be influenced by the local rules set by the government). There will be, clearly defined, ways to transfer said responsibilities of course, but generally we'll move away from the free-form "donation" approach that planetary projects usually revolved around in the past.
This week, we kicked off the next phase in our mobile UI project. As a reminder: We have received public funding last year to develop a mobile-friendly UI for Prosperous Universe. So far, the vast majority of the work that went into this project was about static UX and visual designs to figure out what the result should look and feel like, but very few lines of code have been written so far. Over the coming months, this is finally going to change, with myself focusing on the technical aspect of the mobile UI (like how we deal with flaky connections) and our freelancer Melanie - who has been responsible for translating Manoj's designs for the new website into code before - taking care of the foundation of the UI code. Once the basics are in place, both Michi and myself will contribute to the "mobile conversion" as well. But more on that once it gets going.