Making an Asynchronous Turn-based Game in Unity, Part II

Now that I have a basic prototype that adheres to the plan outlined in Part I-A, it’s time to build a server to support this game.

A longstanding (and totally hilarious) joke of mine is that I’ll play any game with a “Next Turn” button. As such, I plan to build a server that can support not just Clans but any future turn-based strategy games I build. Ideally I’d even love to open-source the server portion and allow other, less technical developers to start making this kind of game so that I can start playing them. =)

As such, here are my design goals for this:

  1. Support multiple different “Games”
  2. Support multiple users
  3. Support users having multiple “sessions” in multiple “games” (a session is basically an instance of a game. In other words, “Clans” would be the game while my 1v1 game against Gourmand would be a “session”)
  4. Support asynchronous chat within a session

So then, architecture: I initially plan to build this out as a rails-api application that primarily exists to persist game and chat state. The server will authenticate users and apps via OAuth2 password grants with each game as a different client.

While I’d be tempted to store game states on disk, serializing them to Postgres is the easiest solution for now since I plan to deploy to Heroku. I reserve the right to introduce a more sensible document store down the road however.

I haven’t found a way to incorporate Redis into this solution yet so let’s fix that. I’ll probably use it to store in-game chats as sorted sets per-user. Initially chat will only be global within a session so chats per-user is overkill. Eventually I’d love to support user-to-user chat as well though. Even if this turns out to be YAGNI1, it will be YAGNIBIIF?2

Next Time on the Making of “Clans”

This wraps up most of my planning materials. Once I have a Trello board for Clans, I’ll add a link to it here. (edit: here is that Trello board)

Next up, I’ll share what are becoming my current “best practices” for code organization in Unity. This has long been a sticking point for me as projects grow, but I’ve come across a style that seems to be the least painful.

  1. You Ain’t Gonna Need It, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_aren’t_gonna_need_it (ignore anyone who says that stands for aren’t, by the way) 

  2. You Ain’t Gonna Need It, But Isn’t It Fun? (citation needed) 

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