December Development Update

It has been a while since our last development update! It has been a very busy year for the Nestables team and we are excited to head in 2021 with a very successful year behind us.

Development Progress

In our post last month, “Where next for Nestables?”, we took a very brief look at the upcoming development for the game. For those of you who have been following this project, you will know that we like to keep things under wraps until they have been completed. We can say though, there are some really cool things happening…

The refactoring of the code has continued! In particular, the focus has now been on some of the large bugs that were encountered during the pre-alpha which could be fixed without a substantial amount of work due to how the underlying systems were created. One of the larger bugs encountered during the pre-alpha was the inability for your Nestable to do other tasks (such as enter the building editor) unless it was idle. This has been patched and Nestables will now continue on with research, exploration and resource collection while you are doing other things.

Once this is complete, development work on the new features will be much quicker.

Many of you will have noticed during the pre-alpha our transition to the new UI for Nestables. This is an ongoing project with work continuing this month and the finishing touches for the wearable UI being completed.

One of the many features that the community has been looking forward to in Nestables is the ability to be able to visit other player’s nests. There has been quite a bit of time put into working out how this aspect of gameplay will work, what is feasible for us to do from a technical side, what we can afford and also what the community will expect. It has not been easy to manage all of these expectations. In many respects this aspect of gameplay is ‘multiplayer’ and therefore, there are two potential ways to do this.

  1. Access Nest Snapshot
  • When requesting to visit another player’s nest, the client will download the most recent nest save of the requested player. This should be accurate to within 5–10 minutes due to auto save.
  • The player will be able to walk around the other user’s nest. The nest owner’s Nestables will still appear with some AI, but there is no real-time communication. Players will be informed they have had a visitor through the notification panel and visitors can leave a message or give a gift.

This option is the easiest solution to implement, maintain and support long term. There are very minimal server requirements and players can visit a friend’s island even when they are offline. Implementation would be quick.

We have decided at this point in time to build a system that is scalable, allows for basic interactions with good potential to be significantly more advanced in the future.

2. Allow real time interaction

  • Requires a constant connection either (Player — Player) or (Player — Server — Player). Would allow for real-time communication between players and Nestables

This option would be time consuming and expensive to code from scratch. Most of the existing game systems would need modification to work with a real-time system.

In the end, we decided not to choose option 1 or 2. Instead, we went for option 3 which is a hybrid mix of both options, allowing for more future flexibility while also reducing the costs and time required to create such a system. This is like many aspects of Nestables, the base of the gameplay is built and more content can be added over time and when needed, responding to the demands of the community. The intention is to save considerable development time with this option, allowing us to get something into the hands of the community sooner rather than later.

At this stage we intend to utilise the existing website account system for Nestables. This allows for quick and easy linking with an Enjin Wallet, creation of a username etc. This can then link in directly with the marketplace and allow users who might not start off on a blockchain version of the game to move their items on-chain later. The username of the website accounts will be used for the ingame friend system, allowing people to find other players easily.

We quickly realised during the pre-alpha that some sort of ingame notification system will be required, not only for the multiplayer aspect (which we had always intended) but also for the managing of your Nestables. It can get hard to track what has happened when there are multiple Nestables in one nest.

Development work started this month on the notification panel. This will hopefully give players a much better overview of the activity in their Nest.

Enjin has released their new API for the marketplace along with a revamped EnjinX. If you haven’t checked it out already, make sure to do so! It is much easier to browse items for Nestables that are for sale. Now that the first version of the marketplace API has been released, coding work will begin on the Nestables Marketplace later this month.

The team will be taking a small break over Christmas. We wish everyone a very merry festive season and a good New Year! We are excited to keep you as a community informed of our development progress. Until the next post, you can stay tuned with our progress via our Telegram & Twitter and don’t forget to clap if you have liked what you have read above!

~ Tribal Gaming

Developers of Nestables.