Game Update ConveniencePosted by hermitC
A few days ago I’ve finished reading 37signals‘ e-book Get Real. It’s a manifesto how to write better software faster. Most of the content reminds me of the mantra-like agile knowledge infiltration in software management during the last decade. You know, Scrum and the like. This may sound a little pejorative but it isn’t. Get Real is an easy read, no pointless chit-chat and full of useful hints to make your programming life easier. The word “agile” just became a little outworn and buzzy these days.
Anyway, this book made me thinking how to translate the “new feature deploy” points from web development to desktop games. When you’re making a website updating is no problem. Changes to the server side immediately change the client side. Installed software OTOH needs the user’s permission for updates. How to implement this as painless as possible?
In the year 2012 updates should no longer have to be explicitly downloaded and reinstalled. Auto-update is the word. So I’ve added a new update system to Nordenfelt‘s work agenda. Basically it should inform players at game startup that there is a new version available. An optional click on an update button should download the new stuff in the background while the player is blasting his/her way through the levels. The next time the game gets fired up the new version is available. No installing, no additionally running update programs in the background and no annoying pop-ups “you wanna update?”. Hopefully I’m able to write such a slick update system.