Arcen Games

General Category => AI War II => AI War II - Multiplayer & Variants => : TheVampire100 September 02, 2016, 08:14:48 AM

: Multiplayer
: TheVampire100 September 02, 2016, 08:14:48 AM
One of the big points of AI War is the Multiplayer.
However, the entry barrier for playing multiplayer is very big. Connecnting to another player is very hard to manage, creating a multiplayer game is a burden for many players. For a modern game this is not good, players are used to quick multiplayer setups, so they can play quickly with their firends.

Do you have any plans to make multiplayer setup easier than before? And i don't mean matchmaking, matchmaking wouldn't work in this kind of game (except you want to have smaller sessions for AI War 2).
: Re: Multiplayer
: Tridus September 02, 2016, 09:00:59 AM
This is a case where Steamworks could help, because sending an invite in Steam is a lot easier than finding IPs and such.
: Re: Multiplayer
: Draco18s September 02, 2016, 09:40:05 AM
This is a case where Steamworks could help, because sending an invite in Steam is a lot easier than finding IPs and such.


On top of that, if there could be some kind of "centralized" IRC chat in the corner when you start the game and are in the lobby would be awesome. I think this was discussed ages ago, but I'll bring it up again. A lot of mobile multiplayer games have this, like Dominion.  It lets you see who else is in the lobby and go "anyone for a game?" and quickly invite/join them.

Obviously IP connection still needs to be possible (as to not tie the game to Steam) and aiding that, putting up a internet-based "what is my IP" somewhere in the UI would go a long way.  I suggested a particular service several years ago, because it's entire page content was just your IP address.  It wasn't even wrapped in an <html> tag, much less any other garbage.  Sadly, that site is gone.
: Re: Multiplayer
: x4000 September 02, 2016, 09:44:41 AM
We actually could easily create a "what is my IP" page directly on our site, potentially.  So long as it doesn't accidentally get routed through cloudflare, I guess.

Anyhow, yes, there are a variety of plans here.  It's in the "investigation/theoretical" status right now, but there are a number of routes we're looking into with this.
: Re: Multiplayer
: Nuc_Temeron September 17, 2016, 07:22:25 PM
Being able to connect via Steam would be my highest priority for multiplayer (because Steam is wonderful). Right click in my friends list, invite to game. So easy.

I think the IP connect thing is a bummer. I don't really understand networking, port forwarding is not in my vocabulary, and I don't want to give my IP address to random people on the internet. I don't even want to learn how to do these things. Having to use external software like Hamachi is a bummer too. More ports and IP addresses.
: Re: Multiplayer
: Draco18s September 17, 2016, 07:53:45 PM
Ideally you'd only use the IP address for people you know.
The way I imagine handling an IRC-type "hub" would be that clicking on someone's name would fire off the "direct connect to IP" automatically and not show the user's IP address.

Still, having the IP address shown on the game's UI would be a boon due to the number of times I've had to look up my own even when playing with friends (because it changes regularly).  And of course, means that the game isn't reliant on Steamworks.
: Re: Multiplayer
: NickAragua September 19, 2016, 07:28:10 PM
As I recall, NAT punch-through was listed in the design doc as a "maybe". That's pretty much the main barrier to entry when people try to connect to each other. As I (and many others) have said before, most people are not going to be going out to IRC or whatever, typing LFG AIW to get a pick up group to play a sixteen hour game.
: Re: Multiplayer
: x4000 September 19, 2016, 07:46:19 PM
It's a maybe, but a strong one.  It's only a maybe because I don't want to commit to a new technology until I actually fully vet it.  Personally I feel 99.9% that will be an okay thing, but from a professional standpoint I am in no way going to guarantee that, and I've been wrong before (many times).  I won't fully trust it is possible from a professional sense until I see it working. ;)
: Re: Multiplayer
: Doomsday101 October 11, 2016, 12:03:05 PM
As a counter point here - the old fashioned IP connecting multi-player was something of a selling point to me. Mainly as I have had bad experiences of more advanced systems not working for me at all. This is not to say I do not support more ways for people to connect and play the game. However please do leave the dumb old system in, if you can.
: Re: Multiplayer
: rkfg March 02, 2017, 05:18:39 PM
I know, this topic is kinda old but there's no point in creating a new one. From my experience, there's a nice and standardized way to establish a P2P multiplayer session via STUN. It could be done wrong though. Dying Light implemented it so bad that we had to connect to the game in a specific order to be able to play or a player was kicked instantly. It has nothing to do with STUN itself though, just a bad game protocol implementation, reported lots of time, no answer.

In PAYDAY 2 they used the same scheme and it works flawlessly as long as we played. It's not hard to implement, really, there are tons of libraries out there and you can rely on existing servers across the Internet + setup your own. You'd also not be locked to specific ports, they could and should be chosen randomly. Players won't need to forward ports on their routers. Even two (or more) players each behind an ISP NAT could connect to each other! Only if both are not behind a symmetrical NAT though...

So, if everyone in the party uses Steam, send an external IP:port (obtained via STUN) to the others, they send their address back to the host (if it's possible, I have no experience in Steamworks; if it's not you'd need a master server for that exchange purpose) and you're all set. If some use the DRM-free version, you'll need a master server that just provides the list of hosted games with IP:port altogether. And if none of this works, you could display the user's own external IP:port  so they announce it via any channel be it messenger or a social network or an SMS.

The CPU load and consumed bandwidth on the master server would be negligible anyway.
: Re: Multiplayer
: BadgerBadger March 02, 2017, 05:29:27 PM
I for one would be totally happy with NAT punchthrough. I don't use Steam (I had to download it for the alpha), and if we can just avoid port forwarding I would be happy with just using an IP based solution.
: Re: Multiplayer
: ElOhTeeBee November 02, 2018, 08:57:04 PM
As someone who just tried to play a game of AI War with friends, only to fail entirely because none of us could manage to host-

If AI War 2 requires port forwarding for multiplayer, I'm not going to give multiplayer a second glance.