GSoC project: Hedgeroid Netplay - Demo and wrapup
Hello everyone. Now that the Summer of Code has been over for a while, it's time to finally give you the promised demo of my Android netplay project.
The demo allows you to play Hedgewars online on your Android phone/tablet, both with people running the same demo or a current Win/Linux/Mac nightly build. Please keep in mind that new nightlies may not be compatible with this demo, so I have put the current Windows and Mac builds up for download as well. This allows you to test Hedgeroid cross-platform play against a compatible version.
The size is way up from the alpha release on the market, because this demo includes all the game data needed for online games. I only left out the music, because that would have blown it up to twice that size. When you first start the game, it will copy all the assets to SD card as well, which can take a while. This is not an ideal state of affairs, but it should be good enough for the purpose of this demo.
As with the last demo, you will have to uninstall the market version before installing this one, because it is not signed with Xeli's key. Also as last time, this demo comes with no warranty, so if your phone melts as a result of running it, please don't blame me - it's my first Android project. That said, my tablet and phone are still very much working, and the app doesn't ask for the DEVICE_MELTDOWN permission anyway.
For building your own Linux version and for reference purposes, these builds are based on revision 6ef121a80cb0 in the repository.
Beside the added netplay support, the singleplayer game configuration screen has been rewritten to use the same components as the online game room, which includes a preview for all map types. You can also add/modify teams now by starting the team editor from the main menu screen.
So, try it out, play around, and please leave your impressions below.
This demo shows the current state of development, but there have only been some minor tweaks since the GSoC deadline. The days, hours and minutes before the deadline were incredibly busy though, which is just how things are supposed to work. However, I have not been idle the rest of the time - in fact, almost the entire Java code of Hedgeroid (with the exception of the downloader) has been rewritten or substantially changed over the summer, either to make improvements or to make it work together with the frontend library. And as you might remember, that library itself already took me almost half the summer to write.
So, if there is one bit of advice I can pass on to you if you are considering to become a GSoC student yourself next year, it would be this: Don't underestimate the effort of your proposed project, and plan plenty of buffer time.
Actually, my one bit of advice should be "Do it!" It is a great experience that allows you to meet new people, learn new skills and work on something you enjoy. At times it can be very frustrating to run into an unexpected problem, and you need to work out some silly buerocratic issues (taxes, insurance, payment), but I am very happy that I participated.
In closing, I'd like to thank Xeli for being my mentor, the other developers and students for their work and support, and congratulate all GSoC students who made it this year. You made this a great summer, and even though I can no longer participate as a student, I hope there will be more like it.