Author Topic: No Multiplayer For Stars Beyond Reach.  (Read 18703 times)

Offline Endymion

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Re: No Multiplayer For Stars Beyond Reach.
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2015, 03:31:02 AM »
I enjoy playing Civ multiplayer with friends quite a bit but that's probably thanks to being able to spend most of the waiting time talking about stuff.

Hmm, if several players controlling 1 faction might work, how about controlling multiple factions the same way?
Regardless about waiting for other people, since it's co-op, stuff like showing what the person(s) you're waiting for are doing and maybe having some way to indicate what option you'd suggest doing might help a lot(I kind of do this through voice chat in Civ but it's a bit limiting).
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Offline Captain Jack

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Re: No Multiplayer For Stars Beyond Reach.
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2015, 06:18:25 AM »
There was a postmortem I wrote about TLF back last June, which included a lot of things from across other games between there, too: http://arcengames.com/followup-to-last-years-ai-war-postmortem-now-discussing-bionic-tlf-etc/

Basically it was getting to be super dark days, and then bam TLF was suddenly our hugest hit ever in terms of bulk and speed of sales, even though AI War has sold more over a 6x larger timespan.  But TLF is already 1/3 of the way caught up to AI War after just 1 year instead of 6, so it's doing OK. :)

Still, it was very dark right before that.

And yep, please do make suggestions in the cooling thread, and in the other tech suggestions thread!  I am not being super active in them, sorry about that, but I kind of come and go with unfortunately huge gaps because it requires a lot of mental energy on my part to process them.
That's quite the story. Sorry to hear you had trouble but it's good to hear you have a plan going forward. I've got a bit more research to do on the science stuff but I'll throw my collected thoughts up in a day or two.

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: No Multiplayer For Stars Beyond Reach.
« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2015, 09:13:50 AM »
Mhhh.. I rather play a game designed for SP than for MP ;) Coop in a game that only attaches it on the back with mechanics that are boring is no win whatsoever. And since D:OS I learned my lesson and never Kickstart a game again that has COOP integrated further into gameplay and thus damaging the SP gameplay by design.

Imo the absolute top focus should be to make a SP game that is emergent, that has many things that can happen and shape gameplay and special systems that extend or even create new gameplay possibilities, or that abstract systems in the game to create a proper "end-game" or maybe even a game that has many emergent victory conditions that aren't always the same, but random to some extend. To create interesting story elements that emerge based on player decisions. etc....

My greatest worry for SBR:TWIM is that it has no end-game, and instead is just a "paint the area your color" 4x like CIV:BE (the worst CIV game imo)

The closer SBR:TWIM is to Alpha Centauri and the further away it is from CIV:BE the better. :)
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: No Multiplayer For Stars Beyond Reach.
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2015, 01:23:08 PM »
Beyond Earth has multiple victory conditions. I don't feel like it's a "painting" game. I enjoy it. One of the things about civilization is moving beyond the domination victory condition and trying for the others.
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Offline Tridus

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Re: No Multiplayer For Stars Beyond Reach.
« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2015, 06:34:26 PM »
Not gonna lie - I'm disappointed in this news. I understand it, but that doesn't change much. I'm always on the lookout for games to play with my best friend, but this news means Endless Legend probably won't be dislodged for a while (that one replaced Beyond Earth, which just didn't seem to take as many risks to me as EL did).

On a more general note, I play lots of these kind of games coop, and I'm not really sure where so much negativity is coming from in this thread on it. Yes, you do wind up waiting around sometimes. I'm a parent, getting up during multiplayer is a thing. If the game lets my slower playing partner keep going while I have to get up, that's a *feature*. I've got no problem finding fun in it eve with the issues the genre has in MP. Early game is especially lame with all the "next turn because I have nothing to do" nonsense, which is why I'm not sure why more games didn't copy advanced start from Civ IV. That feature was awesome.

Anyway... I'd suggest you not muse too much on the forums about how it might come back later. If the game sells well as single player only, it's going to be pretty difficult to resist forum pressure from that SP only audience (some of which is vocally and militantly anti-multiplayer existing in their games) to add MP back instead of doing more SP only content, and nobody wants someone to buy thinking that MP was "promised" at a later date and then never delivered.

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: No Multiplayer For Stars Beyond Reach.
« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2015, 07:50:52 PM »
Beyond Earth has multiple victory conditions. I don't feel like it's a "painting" game. I enjoy it. One of the things about civilization is moving beyond the domination victory condition and trying for the others.

Well while you merely have the option to paint the world your color, the AI is doing that as a reason of existence. Forcing you always down the same route. You will always need military superiority to survive the AI on higher levels, because it doesn't like your color once there is no canvas left to paint ;P

That said, I realize Alpha Centauri had the same problems. The AI literally colonizes everything if you let it. To me many 4X games never really got out of that hole, the "Van Gogh" hole, that is. ;) It's come to the point where I don't even look at 4x games anymore, unless the ideas contained within somehow counter the "Van Gogh" effect of gameplay.
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Offline Zebeast46

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Re: No Multiplayer For Stars Beyond Reach
« Reply #36 on: February 08, 2015, 09:39:07 PM »
I found that Civ:BE had a better launch than civ 5, despite the new features in civ 5 like the hex grid and the city states it was buggy at launch with issues like the a.I refusing free stuff (this bug was shown in angry joe's review) and having fewer features than it's previous game (missing religion and decent social and technological victory conditions). Whereas Civ:BE was not buggy at launch and had a few things added to the game from civ 5 and nothing taken away. However, civ 5 with expansions is significantly better than civ beyond earth.
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Offline x4000

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Re: No Multiplayer For Stars Beyond Reach.
« Reply #37 on: February 09, 2015, 09:10:20 AM »
Hmm, if several players controlling 1 faction might work, how about controlling multiple factions the same way?

Could be interesting!  Though then the issues with the interface start creeping in, because if resources are not shared you have to switch huds for each empire, etc.

That's quite the story. Sorry to hear you had trouble but it's good to hear you have a plan going forward. I've got a bit more research to do on the science stuff but I'll throw my collected thoughts up in a day or two.

I appreciate it. :)

And since D:OS I learned my lesson and never Kickstart a game again that has COOP integrated further into gameplay and thus damaging the SP gameplay by design.

Sorry, don't recognize the acronym.  Which game is that?

Imo the absolute top focus should be to make a SP game that is emergent, that has many things that can happen and shape gameplay and special systems that extend or even create new gameplay possibilities, or that abstract systems in the game to create a proper "end-game" or maybe even a game that has many emergent victory conditions that aren't always the same, but random to some extend. To create interesting story elements that emerge based on player decisions. etc....

Yep, I'm very much in agreement in terms of what the primary focus of a game like this should be, regardless of how many players. :)

My greatest worry for SBR:TWIM is that it has no end-game, and instead is just a "paint the area your color" 4x like CIV:BE (the worst CIV game imo)

The closer SBR:TWIM is to Alpha Centauri and the further away it is from CIV:BE the better. :)

I haven't played Civ:BE, so I can't comment.  Honestly it didn't have much appeal.  I've played Civs 1, 4, and 5 extensively, though, and Alpha Centauri a fair bit.

I honestly don't think that you'll have that problem with SBR, heh.  The odds of you militarily conquering everyone are... extremely low.  As the endgame for SBR has been evolving, the interesting thing that has been so far emerging (it needs more testing, though, before I'm sure) is that there are basically "hybrid" victory conditions.  Basically where you're safe from Race A because you have them locked up in economic agreements.  You're safe from Race B because you subjugated them militarily but let them live.  You're safe from C, D, and E because they died from whatever causes (you and others, etc).  And so forth.

There are of course some endgame scenarios that are very singular, like blowing up the planet or escaping the planet, but the others are really coming to feel more mix-and-match at the moment.  There may be some problem with that that isn't yet evident, but it seems like it's a solid thing thus far.  You win not by becoming the world leader per se, but by creating semi-perfect safety from every other race.  Which doesn't just mean turtling like a boss, it doesn't work that way.  You'd still be at risk of all sorts of things then.

Anyway, military is definitely a part of this game, but it's maybe 10% of what is going on, whereas in the Civ games it seems like it is closer to 80%.  I have trouble comparing this to other games because I can't really think of any.

Not gonna lie - I'm disappointed in this news. I understand it, but that doesn't change much. I'm always on the lookout for games to play with my best friend, but this news means Endless Legend probably won't be dislodged for a while (that one replaced Beyond Earth, which just didn't seem to take as many risks to me as EL did).

Yep, sorry about that. :(

Anyway... I'd suggest you not muse too much on the forums about how it might come back later. If the game sells well as single player only, it's going to be pretty difficult to resist forum pressure from that SP only audience (some of which is vocally and militantly anti-multiplayer existing in their games) to add MP back instead of doing more SP only content, and nobody wants someone to buy thinking that MP was "promised" at a later date and then never delivered.

Yeah, you're right on not setting expectations wrongly.  We'll just see how things develop as time passes, I suppose.
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: No Multiplayer For Stars Beyond Reach.
« Reply #38 on: February 09, 2015, 09:32:14 AM »
And since D:OS I learned my lesson and never Kickstart a game again that has COOP integrated further into gameplay and thus damaging the SP gameplay by design.

Sorry, don't recognize the acronym.  Which game is that?

Divinity: Original Sin ;) 2 player controlled/created characters and half-assed AI personality for them vs companions that were lovingly written. Never before in an RPG have I noticed such a distinct rift between 2 game elements. Imagine you play Mass Effect and you have a 2nd Commander Shephard with no personality whatsoever, and in Dialog you get to talk to yourself (both player controlled characters talk in dialog with dialog choices for BOTH (by default, there are also said mentioned AI personalities for them that basically have pre-selected answers in those COOP specific dialogs). A puppet that you control yourself, devoid of personality or emotional impact. The imo worst way to integrate coop into an RPG ;) Imo it squandered so much potential with that game...


I am really curious about SBR:TWIM though, when you say the game isn't designed around spamming cities/colonies (ie, painting the world/stars/islands your color) then that would be already many times better than any (strategic) 4x that came out recently.

Endless Legends tried to fix it, that I admit, but it also epicly failed to fix the other problem that inevitably crops up when you try to counter colony spam. It made everything a giant chore in end-game.... like most of these games, they have nice concepts early (exploration) and mid game (diplomacy/combat) but when you reach the turning point and you look at the world and it's half the enemy color and half yours with equal military.. well that isn't exactly motivating... just a giant mess to sludge through...
« Last Edit: February 09, 2015, 09:34:51 AM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline Mick

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Re: No Multiplayer For Stars Beyond Reach.
« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2015, 10:01:46 AM »
when you reach the turning point and you look at the world and it's half the enemy color and half yours with equal military.. well that isn't exactly motivating... just a giant mess to sludge through...

Usually that's how I wish things would end up. In that particular game I've found that I've taken half the world and the AI has barely gotten started. I end up going conquest victory simply because it's more efficient at that point. If the other side was as big, the other victory paths would feel more appealing. When I do alternate victories, I feel like I'm wasting time because I'm just watching a countdown. "OK, I've worked out that I have to press END TURN 25 more times to win.. here we go.."

Offline x4000

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Re: No Multiplayer For Stars Beyond Reach.
« Reply #40 on: February 09, 2015, 01:37:18 PM »
Divinity: Original Sin ;) 2 player controlled/created characters and half-assed AI personality for them vs companions that were lovingly written.

Oh, my.  That... does not sound like a good description, anyhow.  Thanks for the explanation of what it is.


I am really curious about SBR:TWIM though, when you say the game isn't designed around spamming cities/colonies (ie, painting the world/stars/islands your color) then that would be already many times better than any (strategic) 4x that came out recently.

Cheers, thanks.  I really need to get to the point of putting out some gameplay videos, and will by the end of the month for sure.  There are a lot of things here that make for quality over quantity being encouraged.

Endless Legends tried to fix it, that I admit, but it also epicly failed to fix the other problem that inevitably crops up when you try to counter colony spam. It made everything a giant chore in end-game.... like most of these games, they have nice concepts early (exploration) and mid game (diplomacy/combat) but when you reach the turning point and you look at the world and it's half the enemy color and half yours with equal military.. well that isn't exactly motivating... just a giant mess to sludge through...

Hmm.  Yeah, Keith got me to try that one out just to have another contemporary 4x to compare things to.  I can see why a lot of people love the game, but it didn't get much playtime from me.  I just... well, it felt like a lot of other 4x games to me.  Not derivative or anything, there just wasn't anything to hook me personally.  I'm an odd duck, and a picky guy, as one might presume. ;)
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: No Multiplayer For Stars Beyond Reach.
« Reply #41 on: February 10, 2015, 02:04:35 AM »
when you reach the turning point and you look at the world and it's half the enemy color and half yours with equal military.. well that isn't exactly motivating... just a giant mess to sludge through...

Usually that's how I wish things would end up. In that particular game I've found that I've taken half the world and the AI has barely gotten started. I end up going conquest victory simply because it's more efficient at that point. If the other side was as big, the other victory paths would feel more appealing. When I do alternate victories, I feel like I'm wasting time because I'm just watching a countdown. "OK, I've worked out that I have to press END TURN 25 more times to win.. here we go.."

Yeah Endless Legends can play out very differently depending on what race the AI has. 5 out of 6 tries the AI will do absolutely STUPID things with city upgrades instead of expanding territory first. And then fail to defend capital properly... AI is always a big problem with 4X games, and I admit the situation I mentioned happened only once to me in Endless Legend. But tons of times in CIV5/CIV4 and especially in Alpha Centauri, where basically had a huge micromanagement war with probe teams and the planet buster on your hands in the end-game.

Either way, I don't mean to say MP is the anti-thesis of a good 4X.. far from it. I mean to say that so far all 4X games were kinda MEH because they had MP and thus cannibalized SP gameplay in order to accommodate "balanced" multiplayer VS gameplay or balanced COOP gameplay. Only way to really explain what I mean is FPS games, where the SP is often absolutely completely utterly different to the MP. Sometimes 2 entirely different games, even. And COOP again, a different game. For each specific gameplay made, specific maps adapted etc. For 4X games I literally never saw such an comparable attempt.

But all that said, to me the worst 4x ever made is still SOTS2.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2015, 02:06:34 AM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline Sounds

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Re: No Multiplayer For Stars Beyond Reach.
« Reply #42 on: February 10, 2015, 02:37:54 AM »
No Multiplayer? Ah I'm having so many flashbacks to other developers pondering whether to include it. :)

One example; I recall many threads in Stardock's Galactic Civilisation II forums bemoaning the lack of multiplayer. The general response from the developers back then was that adding multiplayer didn't work as a fun game mechanic. As GalCiv II became more popular, and several expansion packs were added, the question was asked many times whether multiplayer should be added. The general response being no. However that's not say that the forums weren't filled with requests for it's inclusion, just that many posts came from a very vocal minority who didn't really represent the core base of players.

What I took from that is you either include it as part of the base release or not at all. The reasoning being that once your core player base is established and the game is released (without multiplayer) my observation is that entrenched thinking starts to set in. If at a later time multiplayer is included in the game, it is generally thought of in the context of "a single player experience game"; unless the multiplayer mechanics are stella and add real fun - otherwise it would rarely be played.

For me I love both types of play experiences. However it really depends on the game and how long I have to play. Multiplay for me is only fun when there's minimal downtime, so if a game has a mix of players some suffering analysis paralysis, etc. the game drags on to long.

AI War is awesome for both play types. The question is whether this would be the case for SBR. AI War being realtime and SBR being turn-based probably don't compare well, but my own gaming time suggests that TBS games are generally a single player experience for me - regardless of whether I could convince a few friends to spend 4hours+ playing multiplayer.



Offline x4000

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Re: No Multiplayer For Stars Beyond Reach.
« Reply #43 on: February 10, 2015, 08:29:44 AM »
AI in 4x games is definitely a contentious thing and something that's hard to get right.  In our case here, it's more a matter of making the AI part of the simulation, per se.  The AIs have their own buildings and to some extent their own rules, and some of them don't have to worry about X mechanic that you do, while others have Y new mechanic to worry about that you don't, etc. 

Generally the idea is designing the AI-side mechanics to be inherently AI-friendly, while at the same time as varied as possible so it isn't just a cheapened-down version of the player mechanics.  Instead it's a lot more interesting than if they played the same as you anyway.

@Sounds: Yeah, that all makes a lot of sense.  I know that Civ III did ad multiplayer in one of its later expansions, and I almost bought the game for that reason.  But then I had read some questionable reviews about that aspect, so I just waited and a year or few later Civ IV came out with that feature in from the start.

For me, if I was to include multiplayer as a post-release feature it would be partly for selfish reasons of wanting to play it. ;)  That way even if it didn't drive sales, it would let me play with my dad and my wife.  If I can't have some sort of experience where it is actually FUN to play with them, then I don't see adding multiplayer at all.  Because you're right, at that point the ship has sailed if it's just going to be added for the sake of being a tick-mark on the back of a box.  (I'm not a fan of those tick-marks in general, as you might imagine.)
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Offline Darloth

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Re: No Multiplayer For Stars Beyond Reach.
« Reply #44 on: February 10, 2015, 04:30:43 PM »
While I completely understand the technical and business-case reasoning behind these decisions, I'm still a bit disappointed.  I was hoping for another more cooperatively slanted 4X game, especially one that was turn based precisely because of the timing issues inherent with real-time gaming.   

If you can add multiplayer, even as an add on later or restricted to single-empire coop, please do so.  If not, then that's fine and you've got good reasons for it at least.

Offtopic: eRe4s3r, I think your views on D:OS's coop implementation may just be a difference of tastes and opinion compared to mine, but I just wanted to say I actually really liked what they did.  The premise was you're roleplaying both characters, and they actually LET you roleplay both characters if you wanted to - you can have an arguing couple, or a meek follower who only has their own opinion in conversations without the other one, or all sorts.  The main issue is probably the bad initial implementation of the AI personality - if they had actually made some personalities, recorded different responses for every conversation in the game (ideally with some justification for those and not the really basic ones it originally shipped with) and then documented that, it would have been fine.  I was also disappointed with the initial pair of options, but they did add some later.   Plus... it's the only RPG that does support co-op multiplayer truly properly. Ever!


 

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