Super Multiplayer Online Card Game

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Update: Super Multiplayer Online Card Game has now been updated for XNA 2.0. Read the update sections below for what's changed.
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So I've decided to upload the current version of Super Multiplayer Online Card Game, my dissertation project for my MSc in Hull. I'm calling this version 1.0 1.1 as 9 weeks of programming isn't really enough time to completely finish a game, but I'm pleased with what has been done.

The game was made using XNA and C#, the first time I've used the C# language, and I like using both. XNA is quite easy to get to grips with and makes some things that would have normally crippled my fingers from typing, pretty quick to implement. Couple that with how much better C# is to work with than C++ and it meant that I was able to develop the game engine from scratch in quite a short period of time.

Some of the features of the game:

  • Can customise your player. Among your choices are more than one type of hair, and more than 8 colour choices.
  • Can start a LAN game with the click of a button. It's that easy.
  • Can join a LAN game with the click of a button. It's that easy. After you've entered the LAN IP address of course.
  • Up to 5 players in a match. Playtests with 6 players showed that it was just too much fun and players literally exploded with excitement.
  • Peer-to-peer architecture means that players can drop in and out, including the server, without loss of play.
  • Super in-game messaging system, in case your opponent can't hear you from across the room.
  • 52 fully 3D realised cards mean that it's almost as if the cards were in your hand. Which they are, figuratively speaking.
  • State-of-the-art picking mechanism means that you can easily select the card you want with...ease...
  • Also state-of-the-art focus mechanism so you know what card is currently under the mouse, even from across the table.
  • Play one of the most fun and strategic games on the market anywhere. A skill that literally (no sarcasm) will keep you in stead in any number of countries.
  • It also looks awesome with custom made graphics developed entirely in-house.

I have plans to further develop the game, and some of the features to be added include:

  • Full online added, so it's over the Internet.
  • Stats and skill tracking.
  • Online website to promote the game and allow players to see how good or otherwise they are.
  • More player customisation models, including unique models for players of a certain skill or standing.
  • Maybe VOIP, but in-game taunts in any case.

If you have any feature requests, or especially, bug reports, then send them on via the contact page.

If you want to play SMOCG, then it would probably be best to take a quick visit to the Rules etc. page, as if you haven't played the game before, it can be a bit confusing. I've uploaded some images for people to peruse, so they can see how awesome the game is before downloading it.

If you want to install SMOCG, then simply download the install exe (5.29Mb). Due to the nature of XNA, and this is probably the biggest point against it, is that you'll need the .Net 2.0 framework, the DirectX framework, and the XNA framework to make the game work. Check in your Add/Remove Programs in your Control Panel if you're not sure you have these. Altogether they come to around 50Mb of installs, but they do let you download and play any other XNA games. If you don't have them, then just follow the links provided to download them.

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Update: After a couple of complaints of the installer not working, I set into investigating why, to discover that for some reason the installer was using and expecting a XNA 2.0 game (go figure). So I decided to take the opportunity to fix this and a few other bugs that were in the program. The game is now updated for XNA 2.0 and I've removed the explicit paths that Max had put in the model files for textures that weren't being used, which stopped the game from compiling (with the help of some guys from Stainless, namely Simon Cope and Paul Jasicki - cheers guys).

With this in mind, the program requirements have changed. To run the game you'll need .Net 2.0 PLUS the C++ 2005 SP1 Redist OR .Net 2.0 SP1. You'll also need DirectX 90.c and XNA runtime 2.0. You'll probably have most of these on your computer anyway, but if you've any problems, then check out the requirements direct from the source. Check out the page anyway if you're running Vista as the .Net files might be different for you. You don't need to worry about the "GamerServicesComponent / use live networking" bit as the networking in the game is bespoke.
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You can of course also download the SMOCG code (updated for XNA 2.0) (3.2Mb), although this again will probably require extra downloads if you haven't programmed in XNA before. To open the solution and compile it, you'll need Visual C# 2005 Express Edition along with the XNA Game Studio Express 1.0 Refresh. Of course, you don't actually need to do any of this to view the code, provided that you don't mind making your own solution and not being able to compile the code.

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Update: The easiest way for me to provide up to date links for developing in XNA is to simply quote the source. If you're new to XNA, head to the XNA Creators Club Online New User page. That has links to Visual Studio Express editions and XNA Game Studio downloads.
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If you decide that coding is best left for nerds etc., then you can also download the SMOCG dissertation report (564Kb) that was submitted.

As always, if you have any problems or comments, you can contact me and air your grievances and/or praise.

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