• Andrew Jonhardt

Unity's online is a mess right now, please try again later

So, my objective this weekend was to research and find a tutorial for simple online multiplayer in Unity. Specifically, I wanted to find a p2p (peer-to-peer) or client-server tutorial that would allow for 1 client to be a server or otherwise not require me to actually set up a physical/logical server in the cloud somewhere. The scope would be limited to 1v1, and I figured there had to be an easy way to accomplish this given all the indie games in the world with online.

The 1st problem I noted was that Unity is depreciating it's existing multiplayer solution, and doesn't currently possess a replacement. I could invest time into learning all or some of the existing system but, for all I know, the form of Unity's new multiplayer solution may end up completely different from what exists now. The timeline for Unity's new multiplayer, reportedly about 6 months, also happens to be both long enough and short enough to encourage me to wait and work on other things.

The 2nd problem I encountered was a lack of information for the kind of multiplayer I want to make. The Unity tutorials that I found fell into 2 camps: they either relied on the soon-to-be-outmoded existing multiplayer infrastructure, or they're targeting projects that would require large groups to connect to a server. Even worse, the alternatives to Unity's multiplayer that I could find (DarkRift 2, Forge, Photon and its various versions) don't appear to offer what I'm looking for or require heavy study-investment.

I chose Unity for my first major game project because I thought it would be the easiest program for me to work with. I'm still going to finish a version of Psychic Scrap Racers in Unity, but the multiplayer problems and my existing issues with Unity's text solutions have me highly dissatisfied.

So, it's probably no surprise that, in the midst of my searching 3rd party multiplayer solutions, I bumped into a video about an entirely different game engine:

I previously encountered Godot in college, and I failed to see anything interesting at that time. However, I was intrigued by the above video, and decided to I check out other Thoughtquake videos to see if he had anything else interesting to show or say regarding Godot. The more I watched, the more intrigued I became.

Godot has a simple multiplayer solution built in. It, reportedly, handles pixel and sprite art better than Unity. And, it's open source, which is a boon for anyone who hates waiting on a fickle company for bug-fixes, or who wants to tinker with code.

I previously stated my next project would be a 1v1 fighting game. However, I may have to put that fighting game plan on hold while I learn Godot. It all depends on whether learning Godot is as easy as Thoughtquake claims.

I will return to working on PsyScrapRace in Unity this weekend. Expect another update next week.

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