We’ve made plenty of progress this week while focussing on fleshing out the multiplayer arcade prototype. Although there is plenty left to add before the vertical slice is complete, the features implemented since our last post have made testing the online arcade even more fun!

Voice Chat and Sounds of the 80s

Last week during testing we all encountered an almost uncontrollable urge to laugh at mistakes share words of encouragement while watching each other play. Now we can thanks to Layla, who implemented peer-to-peer voice chat this week. While the rest of the team knew that was coming, Layla also surprised us by secretly adding live SHOUTcast radio streaming to the arcade – defaulting to an 80s station of course! Along with that he networked the highscore system I implemented, and made scores persistent between sessions.

The radio isn’t quite finished yet, so we’ve had to make do with Layla streaming music over voice chat as the video below demonstrates (also featuring highscores):

Games Within Games

Ryleigh has finished the arcade port of Mazing (who says we don’t finish games?) by adding highscores using the new system, and also started work on a new arcade game concept. As the API he’s using to develop games for the arcade will eventually be open to everyone, he’s been helping me ensure that it is intuitive to use and supports enough functionality for a wide range of game styles to be feasible.

Here’s another game Ryleigh made for the original Approval prototype we mentioned last week that he’d like to port to the arcade (bonus mission – find the hidden skeletons):

This week I implemented the highscore system on the game API side, and added the ability for games to save their current state to be reloaded later. Currently each game instance runs locally on the client that is controlling it, with information about sounds being played and things happening on-screen streamed to other players in the arcade. This works fine, but we’d like it to be possible for a player to pause a game and pass control to another player. Now that games can save their state, we can send that information to the next player that uses a cabinet so they can carry on from where the previous player left off.

I also improved my Breakout clone with lives and highscores, which you can see here:

Over in the Art Department

Obviously our arcade isn’t the prettiest thing in the world at the moment, which isn’t that surprising since only programmers have laid their hands on it. Not for long! Petur has crafted a beautiful cabinet model, which you’ll hopefully see in the arcade soon:

Finally, Rob has been designing advertisements for some of Craig‘s fictional game studios to add character to the arcade:

See you all next week!