Race Wars: Battle online for supremacy of our nation in this political game of destruction!

Race Wars: Trump vs. Clinton is a team-based multiplayer online game of destruction – inspired by the classic Rampage™ games – and political satire (from a Canadian studio nonetheless) for iOS and Android devices.

The following post-mortem below was written by the project’s lead developer, Michael Costa, and shares his views on the development process of Race Wars: Trump vs. Clinton. And while we are still seeking funds to continue to improve the game and add new features (check out our Kickstarter!), we hope this blog will help shed some light on our development experience.

So, without further ado…

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When I started on Race Wars: Trump vs. Clinton, my first thought was, “This should be a simple enough project. We only have about 3 months to develop it, but the gameplay is all about tapping buildings and getting power-ups. Pretty standard stuff, right?” Wrong.

Online multiplayer functionality you say? Clan-based gameplay with custom leaderboards integrated? And made in Unity?! Well, that’s going to be a first.

Race Wars Gameplay
Just tapping buildings and getting power-ups, simple enough?

Feeling in over-my-head after establishing our workflow schedule with our project coordinator and lead designer, I decided to do some research on the multiplayer plugins available for Unity and discovered that Unity itself had their very own plugin. Great! That should be fairly easy to figure out.

Well, what I thought would take about a week, maybe two, ended up taking nearly a month. It took a lot of poking around the Network Lobby example that Unity provided to figure out how it all connected. It took many, many hours of research using my Google-fu skills to decipher how every little piece of it worked and to get matchmaking working as we intended it to.

And of course, solving our matchmaking issues only lead to more matchmaking issues. Because game development!

Race Wars Waiting for Players to Join
Matchmaking was simple enough, but there was still a lot of testing to do…

Bug testing software that requires networking is a whole different ballpark from regular bug testing due to it’s online and multiplayer requirements. Constantly changing the process to make the bug testing faster and less of a headache, it became a very tedious process that often kept me up very late into the night –  it also didn’t help that I needed to create a new Android build every time I made a tiny change.

There are many checks in place to make sure everyone’s connected and in the right place, and learning the different server commands to make sure everyone not only stays connected but also so that the host knows exactly where every player is. Like I said, tedious.

After about three weeks of researching, testing, and changing things little by little to get everything in sync better, the online multiplayer finally got to a point where I was happy with it. After that was about another week of QA testing with the team to check its stability. I let out a sigh of relief when we all connected and the match ran flawlessly!

We even managed to get 10 devices playing a single game, which was a mix of iOS and Android devices (as well as the one instance I was running from within the editor).

I was very happy to see everything working without a hitch! All the late nights I did ended up working out. Just a little bit of tweaking and bug fixing here and there, and the online multiplayer was, as we say, ready to ship.

Besides our free version, we put out a premium/paid version of Race Wars on both the App Store and Play Store for our Kickstarter backers and ad-free fans.

After all that I certainly have a better understanding of the Unity networking plugin. There’s a few different things I would’ve done differently if I could go back in time but, c’est la vie. At the end of the day, I’m pretty satisfied and proud with how well it all works!

Race Wars Matchmaking
Now with visual cues to the player lobbies!

I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I think I made the gameplay pretty satisfying with building squishing, especially when a power-up pops up! Then, with the skills you’ve amassed from single player mode, you can take them online with clan battle!

With the 2016 US Election date looming, I’m excited to see how players interact with the game and give support to their candidate, err ahem, Clan leader.

Race Wars Title Card
As a totally unbiased source, you should definitely check it out!

Come support Race Wars: Trump vs. Clinton downloading the game on your iOS (Free | Paid) and Android (Free | Paid) devices, and by donating to our Kickstarter campaign! We appreciate all your support.