Poking around Unity
However instead of planning it with any real degree, I just picked some tech and started throwing it together.
I'm relatively pleased with the result so far. A simple server running in Windows Azure and a simple text console "client" which I can perform the various actions for the game. I've got a few of the core features in place already, which is satisfying:
- Simple tech-tree of buildings and upgrades which is data-driven (defined in a JSON doc)
- Basic resource generation and harvesting mechanic
- Server-side action validation and state persistence
I'm getting to the point where my text-based front end isn't satisfying and am looking to put it together in a form that more resembles a game. A couple of issues here already; my intended target platform is Windows Phone 8/Windows 8. This seems to limit the options I have for out-of-the-box engines and SDKs from the get-go.
Initially I was planning on using MonoGame. This is basically an open-source XNA and would let me target WinPhone8 from day 1 and migrate to other platforms as I needed. However, the downside of MonoGame is that you have to build lots of things you get as part of a full engine, or things you can add-on simply from third party libraries. This is a bit of a bummer from a productivity standpoint.
I've decided to work in Unity 4 "free" for the time being. At the moment this will be prototype-work mostly - trying to get the game as I want in an environment that allows rapid iteration. The downside is that if I end up loving Unity, I'll have to fork out a load of cash and will have to wait on the hope they provide WinPhone 8 support. But right now, the benefits of using it as a prototyping ground are strong, so it feels like a simple option.
Now, to figure out how to actually use Unity