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April 3, 2023

Category: Posts

Author: Charles

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Last month split into 4 parts. First the 1.1 version of Space Hex Duel was completed and released. Next I worked on testing out new tools and setting up the Ci2D dev environment. Then I gave up on that in annoyance and just did some fun coding before finishing with a holiday to Adelaide.

What annoyed me? Unity. In particular Unity 5.6, and the lack of support in modern libraries and technologies. Admittedly that version is about 6 years old, but it is the version I own (forever) and the prices have risen significantly for the current version. Do I really want to spend the money for an update? I don’t need any of the big new features, but there will come a time that I just won’t be able to build and run with the old version anymore. Already VS Code (my IDE) no longer supports the version of .Net required by 5.6 (I had to trick it to work productively). I don’t want to end up trapped. So it is time to investigate my options:

  • Stay on Unity 5.6 and suck it up
  • Move to the current free version of Unity
  • Move to the current paid version of Unity
  • Move to a similar open source engine like Godot
  • Move to another big (but quite different) engine like Unreal
  • Move to a Javascript engine (like Tyrian or Babylon) and release to the web

They all have their pros & cons (maybe I’ll write a post about them). For now I am going to check out some Javascript options, largely because those are the ones I know least about.

Also I learnt that I should restrict the ordering of actions in turn-based games to reduce the space of possible actions. This will make the search space for AI much smaller. For example, in SHD it is possible to shoot or place your piece in any order. Just changing this (eg forcing the player to place before shooting) would reduce the possible moves in a turn by orders of magnitude in the worst case (when there are lots of bases). I must remember this in future.

Done last month:

  • Finished and released SHD 1.1 (and did a little marketing)
  • Setup Ci2D in Unity 5.6
  • Investigated AI, Rewired, and updated libraries - none would work for SHD
  • Added steam manager to common Unity utilities
  • Hex library

Tasks for this month:

  • Finish the hex library
  • Investigate other game engines (starting with Javascript ones)