Author Topic: Multiplayer....  (Read 11062 times)

Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: Multiplayer....
« Reply #30 on: October 01, 2013, 05:07:56 PM »
Hmmm..... I see your point, i didn't see that at all. Well... i guess i have got no answer to that. Hmmm... there must be some way, haha, i think i'm just being stubborn, well... maybe there isn't a way. The last one you said, if everyone could move around how ever many turns and the bots act against that, i wonder how that would be to test?

Haha, lose half my team because i aggro the bots.  :)

Well... back to the drawing board, thanks for listening though, appreciate it.   :)

-Teal

p.s.   I wonder if that isn't the answer right there, i aggro the bots and everyone just fends for themselves, come heck or high water.  :)
It might be crazy wild for the players, but that might be pretty cool, (at least it would be to watch)  :)

« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 05:11:05 PM by Teal_Blue »

Offline Penumbra

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Re: Multiplayer....
« Reply #31 on: October 01, 2013, 05:13:35 PM »
The following is crazy, but maybe it will help someone think of something better.  ;)

For multiplayer, it really can't work in the simplistic way of just sticking two players in the same game. The different players would have to have their own time scale. Each their own turn based system, which means they would need their own turn based enemies.

I am reminded of the original multiplayer synchronization of AVVW. Each player saw their own copy of the monsters, but could see each other.  What if this worked in a similar fashion. Players could be in difference "phases" of reality, or an AI hack, or polarization, or whatever story reason could be come up with.

That "fixes" the timing of enemies, what it needs is how there can be meaningful interactions between the players. Some ideas:  hacking could be shared, assistance in healing or rearming, increased sensor range, "decoy" whistling.


Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Multiplayer....
« Reply #32 on: October 01, 2013, 05:18:56 PM »
I am reminded of the original multiplayer synchronization of AVVW. Each player saw their own copy of the monsters, but could see each other.  What if this worked in a similar fashion. Players could be in difference "phases" of reality, or an AI hack, or polarization, or whatever story reason could be come up with.
The problem with this idea, from my perspective, is that I have never seen as negative a reaction from our community to a particular feature as I did to AVWW's initial multiplayer model.  AIW's CSGs provoked more uproar but opinion was actually much more divided on it.  Bionic's initial multipliayer model got somewhat similar negativity but with less vehemence.

So anything that comes from the "maybe do something like AVWW's first multiplayer model" corner is... well, not likely to fly, I think :)
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Offline Penumbra

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Re: Multiplayer....
« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2013, 05:28:53 PM »
Yeah, but that was real time. And the monsters were the same with double life. I am only thinking of the "phasing" concept.

Two sets of monsters, heck, even two areas. They could be side to side or co-located. But if each player has entirely their own monsters to deal with, all the negatives from AVVW first multiplayer go away.

Remember Gyromite? Two players, one opening doors for the other? Or any subsequent co-op game were players are in different areas with solo challenges, but need to overcome door puzzles/switches/keys/hacks/etc. to allow their partner to proceed.
 

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Multiplayer....
« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2013, 05:35:33 PM »
Just to get this out of the way, I'm noticing a couple of roguelikes have gone multiplayer and the way they've done it is by moving the game to have a kind of real-time turns mechanic. As I understand it, the turns just advance automatically at a certain pace.

I'm presuming this is out of the question?

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Multiplayer....
« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2013, 05:39:47 PM »
Just to get this out of the way, I'm noticing a couple of roguelikes have gone multiplayer and the way they've done it is by moving the game to have a kind of real-time turns mechanic. As I understand it, the turns just advance automatically at a certain pace.

I'm presuming this is out of the question?
Not necessarily.  Actually, one of the optional conducts I was thinking of putting in for the expansion is "Think Fast!", where while on the mission map if you take more than 5 seconds between actions it just automatically picks "wait" for you.

Something like that could work for MP.  But then you wouldn't really be playing Bionic together, so much as "speed Bionic" together.  Though I guess the thresholds could be adjustable.
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Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Multiplayer....
« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2013, 05:50:29 PM »
Quote
Something like that could work for MP.  But then you wouldn't really be playing Bionic together, so much as "speed Bionic" together.  Though I guess the thresholds could be adjustable.

Interesting. Introducing Speed Bionic Mode.... with multiplayer!!! Now that's a DLC I'd pay for. Seems to work well for those games that do use this real time mechanic. The big problem I guess is that you don't want the single player experience to be different to the multiplayer, and having one real time (ish) and the other turn-based is a pretty big difference. If you were to explicitly label the mode Speed Bionic, though, I don't think it'd be a problem -- in fact it'd be an awesome feature.

Oh, regarding the separate planes co-op a al AWWW, I think Wazhack does something similar to this. I was actually disappointed when I bought that game because I thought it had "proper" co-op. It's a good little game, though.

Edit: On the planes idea. Wazhack developer on his solution to the roguelike multiplayer problem. http://www.indiedb.com/games/wazhack/news/wazhack-beta5-multiplayer-roguelike
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 07:14:50 PM by Pepisolo »

Offline Tridus

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Re: Multiplayer....
« Reply #37 on: October 01, 2013, 07:01:43 PM »
Yeah, but that was real time. And the monsters were the same with double life. I am only thinking of the "phasing" concept.

Two sets of monsters, heck, even two areas. They could be side to side or co-located. But if each player has entirely their own monsters to deal with, all the negatives from AVVW first multiplayer go away.

Remember Gyromite? Two players, one opening doors for the other? Or any subsequent co-op game were players are in different areas with solo challenges, but need to overcome door puzzles/switches/keys/hacks/etc. to allow their partner to proceed.

But then you're not really playing with someone. You're doing your own thing and happen to be in the same game.

The problem in Bionic is that a turn is moving one square. If a turn was moving 10 squares, it wouldn't be nearly as bad because you could travel a significant distance and thus you're not going to be spammed with short little waits.

Multiplayer in turn based games works better when you have more to do on a turn, and then a gap. In somtehing like Age of Wonders I'd spend a while (a minute or two) on my turn, then you go. When it's my turn I get to act without waiting, and when it's your turn I can eat popcorn or something. But if turns switched after every single unit move it'd be HUGELY frustrating because I have to always pay attention or slow the game down. I never get enough time when it's not my turn to do anything, but my turns are so short that it's hard to execute anything.

Moving down a hallway in this game right now would take at least fifteen turn switches. I move one, wait, move one, wait, move one, wait...You have to do the same thing. It's painful.

Offline mrhanman

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Re: Multiplayer....
« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2013, 07:53:14 PM »
Actually, one of the optional conducts I was thinking of putting in for the expansion is "Think Fast!", where while on the mission map if you take more than 5 seconds between actions it just automatically picks "wait" for you.

With or without multiplayer, this sounds really interesting to me.  I kind of already play like this, most of the time.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Multiplayer....
« Reply #39 on: October 02, 2013, 09:17:20 AM »
Just been scouting around the rogue-like scene for any perspectives on the multiplayer problem. For anyone interested, one quote from Darkgod, the lead dev of Tales of Maj'Eyal.

"The only solution (and the one in tomenet) is realtime.

The biggest problem is actually implementing multiplayer in T-Engine yes; due to the way the engine works (which allows all the incredible flexibility & malleability we all love) sychronising states between computers would be a terribly huge task"

For anyone interested, some explanation of how time works in Tomenet: http://www.tomenet.net/guide.php?chapter=4.14
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 09:30:19 AM by Pepisolo »

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Multiplayer....
« Reply #40 on: October 02, 2013, 10:32:57 AM »
Alright, how's about a combination of realtime and turn-based, sprinkled with some ideas from what I understand the existing implementation used. This idea is assuming a turn per player.

As I understand it, with the original implementation it was possible for two players to be off on their own and the game would behave as if they were playing solo? If so, this is great! I don't know exactly how you achieved this, but it seems nice to me. The problems arose when playing with two players in the same area.

OK, so let's say that whenever the players are not in their own areas, together, and also not engaged in combat the game would switch to realtime (or free move) -- allowing painless traversal of corridors. Let's then say that whenever a player is engaged in combat (with each player not in their own zone) the game switches back to turn-based mode allowing both players to tactically think about their actions. These players are now in the combat zone. Since both players are in this combat zone (close together and under attack) each player would get a turn. There should be minimal problems with players just chilling around -- why would you when under fire?

If one of the players then decided to retreat, eventually that cowardly player would exit the combat zone (joint turn-based) and would eventually enter their own zone again leaving each player alone as if they were playing solo. If all the enemies are destroyed the game would then enter free move mode again.

To key to this solution is the idea of a combat zone. The players would be notified when they are in a combat zone together and possibly would even be notified of the zone boundary via an overlay. When in this combat zone both players should realize "right, we're in this together now, either man up and let's work together or flee to your own zone".

Actually, that's about it for the basic idea. Feel free to tear it to shreds. I think together we can solve this.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 10:35:50 AM by Pepisolo »

Offline x4000

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Re: Multiplayer....
« Reply #41 on: October 02, 2013, 11:03:12 AM »
That's similar to what we originally did, although somewhat refined.  The tricky thing is deciding upon what a combat zone means.  There are a lot of potential exploits if that is too small, and there is much strangeness if it is too big.  Up until a version or two ago we still did have a combat zone defined, where your actions would not grant actions to enemies.  But that was causing the RazorBot oddities, among other things.  So we just did remove that concept because it was interfering with solo play.

Something in that realm may still manage to work, but it's not blindingly obvious to me just how that would be.  The only really fair rule I can think of is "if there is any enemy that is currently alerted, then all players are considered in the same combat zone," and that's not really what you meant.
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Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Multiplayer....
« Reply #42 on: October 02, 2013, 12:51:32 PM »
Quote
The only really fair rule I can think of is "if there is any enemy that is currently alerted, then all players are considered in the same combat zone," and that's not really what you meant.

Yeah, not really what I was looking for; however, as a simple refinement of a basic one move per player system, that seems pretty good to me. So, as players we would at least be able to walk down the same corridor together painlessly or anywhere on the map as long as one or the other isn't currently engaged in fighting enemies....OK. Whether that'd be good enough on it's own, though, I'm not sure. Maybe it would suffice. Must be a nicer solution out there, though. Hmmmm.....

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Multiplayer....
« Reply #43 on: October 02, 2013, 12:59:39 PM »
Yeah, not really what I was looking for; however, as a simple refinement of a basic one move per player system, that seems pretty good to me. So, as players we would at least be able to walk down the same corridor together painlessly or anywhere on the map as long as one or the other isn't currently engaged in fighting enemies....OK. Whether that'd be good enough on it's own, though, I'm not sure. Maybe it would suffice.
In theory, for players who knew what they were getting into, this would probably be fine.  Peculiar, but fine.

The bigger issue is that if we're going to provide a multiplayer feature, then it can't just work for "players who know what they are getting into".  They're not going to have the patience to figure out some significantly-novel approach to synchronization or whatever.  They want to jump into the game, and play the game together, and have fun.  Not be faced with a bunch of compromises brought on by design/technical challenges.

So with the solution you discuss, while I agree that it's probably the best we could do right now, "the best we can do" does not equal "good enough".

In other words if we buried the feature enough so that just you guys and the truly persistent could find it, it'd probably be fine ;)  But I think it's better to either find an MP design that works for most/all of the game's audience, or just focus on the singleplayer experience.  Because the singleplayer experience appears to be kicking butt and taking names.
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Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Multiplayer....
« Reply #44 on: October 02, 2013, 01:11:41 PM »
I agree 100%. If you were to put in a multiplayer feature that was pretty peculiar, the average player would just go WTF, and come out with a negative reaction. Much like I did when I found out that the Wazhack multiplayer was not multiplayer as I knew it.

I would like to see such a feature buried underneath a console prompt or cheat code or something, if that wasn't too much work. In time more dedicated players could then test and provide feedback. Maybe this could then evolve into a solution more pleasing to all.

If this game were to somehow evolve a multiplayer system that did work pretty well, I think that would be a huge selling point. No other roguelike has really achieved this, not that I've found anyway. You'd probably get design awards and plaudits... but then, you would have definitely earned them if you could accomplish such a non-trivial task.