Author Topic: Details on multiplayer  (Read 6291 times)

Offline x4000

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Details on multiplayer
« on: April 12, 2013, 10:43:18 AM »
Cheers!

In terms of PVP, I'm still not really sure how that would work.  I guess that each player could have a specific Edict that they are trying to accomplish, and they are also trying to thwart the other players from meeting their edicts.  That would be interesting, heh.  And not hard to implement, now that I think about it.

As for co-op, here's the way that will actually work:
- There is a score divisor that is the max number of players that were ever part of it.
- Each player’s profile individually goes through the phases of a given turn.
- Then once all players are done with all their phases, the game does the simulation phase and it moves to the next turn.

So each player that is part of the game controls both factions, and gets to place their own tiles and take their own actions.  This means the maps will turn out to be correspondingly larger, and the conflicts as well, but that's cool.  It is inherently self-balancing since you have the correspondingly higher number of actions that each player can take, and so they can make more resources without having the opportunity costs that a single player alone would have.
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Offline Wingflier

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Re: Details on multiplayer
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2013, 10:50:56 AM »
Oh wow, that sounds awesome!

So how many players could the game theoretically hold?
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Offline x4000

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Re: Details on multiplayer
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2013, 11:00:31 AM »
In theory, we could do something insane like 256 players or even more.  Since this is turn-based, there is no ongoing data-transfer between players except for once-per-second heartbeat messages.  The only main messages happen when players actually take some action, or when the AI on the host gives orders for what the people on the map are going to do, and what resources are produced, etc.  And those messages are pretty reasonably small; compared to something like AI War or the Valley games, the amount of bandwidth required is pretty slight.

In reality, I think a game with 256 players would be utter pandemonium and not fun at all.  The worlds would also get untenably large to where you couldn't keep track of anything, and doing the initial transfer to clients of such a large world (and doing savegames of it) would be a much higher load.  Still probably better than AI War or Valley 2, come to think, but I've not calculated it out for sure.  Compression makes a big difference.  Anyway, I don't think that would be very fun.

Most likely we'd restrict it to something like 8 players so that we're not trying to balance super-edge-cases out there, but I'm not positive on that number.  That's just what I'm thinking at the moment.  I should also stress that we've not yet tested the co-op at all, though we're obviously designing around it and the multiplayer model from Valley 2 is in-place under the hood.  But after private alpha starts, one of my things to do is going to be getting all the bugs cleaned out of the multiplayer; that's quicker to do all at once at the end with a game like this.  There's a pretty limited number of types of messages to pass around (like AI War or Tidalis), unlike the Valley games.
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: Details on multiplayer
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2013, 11:53:15 AM »
As a contrast, you could always say "after X players, we promise NOTHING!!! TM "

Meaning if someone really, really wanted that 126 party, they COULD, just don't get upset after the fact of what happens?
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Offline x4000

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Re: Details on multiplayer
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2013, 11:56:25 AM »
That's true, we could do that.  That's sort of what we do with Valley 1 and 2, actually.
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Offline Wingflier

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Re: Details on multiplayer
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2013, 12:00:07 PM »
Please tell me you're planning to structure the multiplayer aspect of the game into "simultaneous turns" instead of each player taking a turn individually. I can't imagine how utterly painstaking it would be to have to wait for 7 other people to each take their own turn in a game that has hundreds of turns to go through.
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Offline tigersfan

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Re: Details on multiplayer
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2013, 12:02:29 PM »
Please tell me you're planning to structure the multiplayer aspect of the game into "simultaneous turns" instead of each player taking a turn individually. I can't imagine how utterly painstaking it would be to have to wait for 7 other people to each take their own turn in a game that has hundreds of turns to go through.

Yes, actually. Chris and I were talking about that earlier this morning. :)

Offline x4000

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Re: Details on multiplayer
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2013, 12:03:11 PM »
Yes, precisely -- all in parallel.  If someone is super slow for some reason then you'd still get held up at the end of your turn.  But if they're being that slow, odds are you have something to talk about with them.  And in general I expect the variance to be pretty low since you get a fixed number of actions per turn.

I vividly remember in Civilization 4 how bad it could get with 4 players, even though the turns were simultaneous.  My uncle tended to have lots of low-level military units and always be on the warpath, while the other three of us were focusing on more powerful military and other aspects.  He played with attack animations on, and typically had dozens of things to attack per turn, plus his city management, etc.  The rest of us literally brought books to the games to read at the end of our turns.

I don't think that sort of thing will happen here thanks to there not being such a disparity in how many things each player can do in a given turn.
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: Details on multiplayer
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2013, 12:08:17 PM »
Yes, precisely -- all in parallel.  If someone is super slow for some reason then you'd still get held up at the end of your turn.  But if they're being that slow, odds are you have something to talk about with them.  And in general I expect the variance to be pretty low since you get a fixed number of actions per turn.

I vividly remember in Civilization 4 how bad it could get with 4 players, even though the turns were simultaneous.  My uncle tended to have lots of low-level military units and always be on the warpath, while the other three of us were focusing on more powerful military and other aspects.  He played with attack animations on, and typically had dozens of things to attack per turn, plus his city management, etc.  The rest of us literally brought books to the games to read at the end of our turns.

I don't think that sort of thing will happen here thanks to there not being such a disparity in how many things each player can do in a given turn.

As much as I can bash Heroes of Might and Magic, they include two things I like:

Animation speed

Total time per turn.


These two things can provide parameters for the limits of times players spend.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Details on multiplayer
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2013, 12:13:10 PM »
I missed that one, but have heard good things.

In our case, it's laid out more like a boardgame, and the pieces just slide around as you would with a boardgame.  I can't recall if that's what the latest civ games did or if they had unit animations.  Anyhow, we're still working on figuring out the ideal flow and speeds for those; that's one of those things we should have well polished by the time beta starts, though.
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Details on multiplayer
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2013, 12:23:13 PM »
Two words: "Ingame chat"?
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Offline x4000

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Re: Details on multiplayer
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2013, 12:24:51 PM »
Text chat? Of course -- all our games have that, and it's part of the basic underlying engine we've got.

Voice chat is something you'll want to use trello or skype or whatever for, as with AI War and similar.
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Details on multiplayer
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2013, 01:14:38 PM »
It was text chat I was after. Good! ^^ All the fun banter that has been had in chat in Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic lead me to believe all turn based multiplayer games needs a banter-chat :)
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Offline x4000

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Re: Details on multiplayer
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2013, 01:25:04 PM »
Oh yes, quite agreed. :)
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Offline madcow

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Re: Details on multiplayer
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2013, 09:03:40 PM »
Would it be possible (since its a turn based game) to play as multiple "players."  As in AI war you can pick multiple starting planets.  It might be something people would enjoy doing to get a bigger map.

Also your description of the game board changing as you play kind of makes me think of Carcassonne.