v0.3.5 Released

After several months of heavy development, the large client / server conversion of Emergence is completed and now online.

While the majority of this release is architectural, it does add one significant new feature:

The character selection screen is now gone, replaced by a small tutorial level with character selection baked into it. This was actually easier to do than to adapt the old screen to talk to a new platform, and has the benefit of being nice and immersive inside of the game engine.

For the architectural stuff, In a nutshell, I took a lot of the logic that lived in TypeScript and moved it to C#, running on an Azure API App. Essentially, this was a complete rewrite of the back-end of the game engine, so this was no minor endeavor.

This move probably cost 2 - 3 months of development time, but it's finally complete and my attention is ready to move on to building out the game logic, maturing this into a fully functioning game, and adding interesting new features.

So, why do it? Well, I want to eventually use Unity as the game's front-end and in order to do that in the way I want to do it, I need my logic to be  running in C# and not in TypeScript. Additionally, this approach is far more effective for the heavy lifting I'll need to do for artificial intelligence and world generation.

The downside is  that at the moment the application is sending the entire world state with every request and every response, leading to slow times between game moves. I have a number of ways in mind to make this less of a factor (and it will be a complete non-issue once I hit Unity).

Going forward, I'm making some changes to my cadence. I want to adopt weekly sprints where I release every weekend (if not more frequently). I used this development cycle as a trial for two week sprints, and feel that one-week sprints will help me build good cadences and focus on one major feature or theme per release.

With that said, the next week's sprint will focus on application performance and trying to reduce the pain of slower turns.

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