Sebastian wanted to update Dangle Dash by replacing the old Campaign mode with a new Career mode with way more levels (50+) and features and at the same time expand the in-game shops.
He was finding it difficult to update the game with the system he had in place for level creation/advancement and the rigid custom solution he was using for in-game shops, that’s when he asked for my help to implement more efficient and easier-to-use solutions.
In this article, I’ll discuss the analysis and the approach used to replace the shopping system, the level creation system has been discussed in Part 1.
The request was to improve the shopping system and make it easier to use without altering its logic and making sure previous data are kept and players wouldn’t lose upgrades purchased in previous versions of the game.
The shopping system used wasn’t designed with ease of use in mind so it was pretty difficult to use and very rigid; adding new objects was time-consuming, and expanding its capabilities to support more objects was a nightmare as dozens of scripts had to be updated each time.
So replacing this system looked like the best option but two considerations surfaced: first of all there was the need to preserve data, this could’ve been done by migrating such data at the first launch, a custom script would’ve looked for saved data about previous purchases and migrated such data to the new system, not a big issue. The other consideration was that this system is deeply ingrained into the game so we opted for a mixed approach and a different solution emerged.
The solution was to completely rewrite the two main scripts managing shop items and make them universal, easy to use, and efficient; at the same time the data structure was maintained to keep the implementation backward compatible with the older one; this allowed to keep previously purchased items flawlessly.
The rebuilt shopping system allows Sebastian to manage in-game shops easily, he can now add new items quickly and without touching any script; adding new items is now as easy as duplicating an existing one and setting a few attributes (price, item type, item id), a matter of just a few seconds.
And the affectionate players of Dangle Dash won’t notice the difference as their previously purchased items are still there after they update the game on their device, all’s well that ends well!
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