General Category > AI War II - Multiplayer & Variants

In-game chat, match making, and similar social functions

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Here we want to think about how the community would go about engaging in social aspects of AI War 2.

One of the original suggestions in the design doc is some form of a matchmaking system, so that players do not need an external source like Steam or the forums. This was critiqued by a couple of us as not being a good fit - with the game length being many hours, most players will actually be playing at any one point in time, and won't be available for a game.
Note that Chaos Reborn does resolve this in a limited manner by allowing players in single player games to still flag themselves as being available. Although adopting this in AIW2 will need players to pack up whatever they are doing, which is not always in a good time.

One alternative put forward is to create a global channel system that all players can connect to, so like Star Ruler 2 or ARPG games. This way, players can chat directly in game, with implicit matchmaking done by the community. Chris suggested that the ongoing maintenance costs for such services can be a concern, so it needs to be looked into.

Now, classic had done okay without either of the above. It's not obvious that in 201X we must adopt since form of multiplayer matchmaking, IRC, etc.  What are people's thoughts? Desiring input especially if they are more experienced in online social engagement for long-play games (unlike monas and fps).

EDIT: I'd like to also ask people whether they would consider completely third party options like Discord. Having to install it is a minus, but then Arcen can give it's official blessings.

I think each AI War game requires way too much time investment to be able to benefit from matchmaking.

Yeah, I think something like a chat room or a noticeboard where people look for people or groups (i.e. LF 2 players for AI 7/7 Mad Bomber/Zenith Descendant game) would probably be the best way to do this without needing significant investment.  Maybe even having something like an AI War Discord channel could be sufficient.  That would be also not consume many resources, too.

The ingame IRC client was something we wanted a long time ago. I think we still want it, in part because to be able to ask questions, chat about your current game, and build community is something that we want in addition to matchmaking. I'm not saying we need it version 1.0, but this isn't a bad idea at all. It's one of those features that can only help.

Personally I think a matchmaking system for a game like this is a little...ambitious. We're talking about the sort of game which lasts for 12+ hours at a time, and doesn't often have the concurrent playerbase to even get one started (who wants to sit in a lobby for hours waiting for it to fill up when they could just be playing). I think it's a lot of work for something that would never get used.

Now the built-in IRC client might be worthwhile because there's always players in there, and they could perhaps organize their own games, but in terms of going through the trouble to implement something like that yourself? Probably a waste of time.

One thing that might be cool is an in-game kind of bulletin posting board system. A person (the host) would create a future game, including all the settings he or she was planning to use, and the number of players they were seeking, and also put the time and date within the bulletin. Players within the game could view these bulletins and decide whether or not they wanted to join the game at the given time. Once they had signed up, it would let the host (and anyone else who had chosen to participate) know that those players would be meeting at that time for a game with those specific settings.

It would of course be a much more informal way of doing things, but it would at least give players an outline of when game's were happening, and would allow them to host or choose games with the settings they liked within the timeframes that worked for them.

Even still, I'm not sure it would be worth the effort.

I do not think true matchmaking will work, I can imagine it being a ghost town.

However, if it were possible to have drop in co-op that would be great. A player could drop in mid game and help a player for a few hours. The how part can be worked out later. Sometimes I just don't want to do the labor of setting up a new game, but would love to jump into someone else's so I can help out for a bit.


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