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UniCate – IRC Communication with Unity

Hello everybody

Today I would like to talk about a little side track project I started recently for another project where we were looking into the options for chatting, friend listing and especially the related networking, over the borders of a single Unity server instance.

Our original target was to use Jabber-net for this, but unhappily, jabber-net relies on some C code and p/invoke, which became a deal breaker as thats unavailable in the Unity webplayer.
We have by now another solution that works for our need, but I’ve decided to continue on my own on one of the experiments I did for potential solutions and thats an IRC library.

The IRC protocol (Internet Relay Chat Protocol) is a pretty widely used protocol for chating, is well documented and has various server demons available that the user easily can install on his own server machines to handle the ingame chat. In addition its possible to just use an own room on one of the large IRC networks (freenode, quakenet, …)

The library
At the time, the work is still pretty much at the beginning and I’m on track for refactoring and cleaning up the R&D Experiment, so I’ve nothing to show at the time.
But I intend to get out a first simple chat webplayer within the next weeks should my time allow it and build upon it, building towards a seriously usable library (name unknown at the moment) to enable all Unity games.

One thing that I’m pretty much interested in is research on the possibility to build a modified front end for it to enable it to also work as an editor addon, so developers can chat directly with each other within the editor, but thats something I’ve not invested too much time in for research so far as the library itself first needs to be there before it makes sense to consider a spinoff – alternative technology basing on it.
I’m generally very interested in adding team capabilities to the game editor to enable teams working more efficient with each other, with less loops to jump through and with less frustration when doing so.

I’ll keep you updated on my work 🙂

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