Author Topic: Internet games not showing  (Read 3739 times)

Offline Somenetguy

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Internet games not showing
« on: July 20, 2010, 03:20:36 PM »
Why are there no internet games showing?

Under network settings I have it set to 32321 UDP.

I also added that to be allowed by windows firewall.

My router is set for UpnP.


Offline x4000

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Re: Internet games not showing
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2010, 03:27:18 PM »
We're topping out the casual charts on Steam in the top slots, and the family games and indie games in the top 4, and in mac games in the top 10 overall, but that said it's still early days for folks picking up the game.  In a lot of respects this game came out of nowhere in the last four days, and sales are trending steadily upwards, but this isn't yet at the stage where there are hundreds of people playing online yet.

Also, one thing I found with AI War was that only about 10% of the players actually wanted to play multiplayer at all, and most wanted to play with friends rather than looking for games on the internet.  Out of 25,000+ players for AI War, only ever a hundred or fewer have ever been asking for other folks to play with on the Arcen forums or other forums that I've seen.  With a puzzle game, the casual players buying this are even less likely to go looking for internet games, so I expect we may see that skew even more to the lower end.

That is disappointing, but I think that as the game picks up momentum over the next weeks and months, we'll see more people being around online.

Oh, and by the way, on the subject of the multiplayer listings specifically: one challenge with a system like this is that it's exactly two player, right?  So if there is one person there hosting a game waiting for someone else, and then a second player comes on and connects to them, then both of them disappear and are in game.  Person three comes and sees no one.  Person four comes and connects to person three, and then person five sees no one, etc.  So the only way to have a lot of people on the list is if there are a lot of poor matches that people don't want to connect to (as can happen), or if there's just a lot of people posting games at the same time.  I still think that the main problem right now is that there are too few players at this early stage, but even once there are more players I think the number of concurrent games waiting for players would be vastly less than the number of games actually in progress, and the latter are invisible.  Thinking about a lot of the DS games that do auto-matching (Planet Puzzle League and Mario Kart DS), it strikes me that they might be prey to much the same mechanic, which would be why they do that auto-matching (that I detest, and which takes forever).  They might have been trying to dodge the inherent empty-seeming nature of server listings in games that are 2p-only.

So even if there are hundreds of players playing online, the server listings might still look pretty empty because of that above phenomenon.  Right now it's mainly that it's early days, but that's something to bear in mind.
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Offline Somenetguy

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Re: Internet games not showing
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2010, 03:32:27 PM »
I haven't even seen one game listed and noone has connected to mine.  I don't expect it to busy for the type of game it is, but as it's new on steam then I would have thought there would be at least 1 game listed.  I am currently hosting(20:36), if it's not showing in the list then something is wrong.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 03:36:20 PM by Somenetguy »

Offline Spikey00

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Re: Internet games not showing
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2010, 04:14:35 PM »
Would it be possible then to show many people are playing the game at the time, or another sort of UI indicating player activity?  It would be of good insurance to those who may be interested at some internet play, especially new players who suddenly think it's desolate.

EDIT:  Actually, having a lobby with message capability would be nice, especially if past messages (timestamp, x minutes ago) could be shown.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 04:20:53 PM by Spikey00 »
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Offline Spikey00

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Re: Internet games not showing
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2010, 04:24:11 PM »
I haven't even seen one game listed and noone has connected to mine.  I don't expect it to busy for the type of game it is, but as it's new on steam then I would have thought there would be at least 1 game listed.  I am currently hosting(20:36), if it's not showing in the list then something is wrong.

Say, you aren't "Dave" hosting a game right now, are you?  Heh, I've tried to connect (as a test unfortunately), but received a "no ping response". 
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Offline Somenetguy

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Re: Internet games not showing
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2010, 04:26:38 PM »
I am, I did notice a message in game about something saying  network outage. 

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Internet games not showing
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2010, 06:04:20 PM »
Well lotsa peeps playing Alien Swarm atm -

Not sure Tidalis is reporting my public IP correctly though waited for 30m but nobody wants to play ;/
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 06:56:27 PM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Internet games not showing
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2010, 07:05:29 PM »
Since Tidalis cannot know your public IP in the general case, when you self-advertise it submits a normal HTTP post message to the central server which reads the public IP from the CGI variables in the post.  If for some reason your computer or router is "scrubbing" that outgoing announcement of your public IP, it ain't gonna work so well ;)

And yes, the listings are pretty thin-to-nonexistent right now as there's only so many people with the game and a fairly small percentage wanting multiplayer and only some part of that wanting internet/anonymous multiplayer.  It's also possible that there's some confusion on the actual function, or perhaps a bug (we tested the listings to make sure folks showed up, and people are seeing some records even now, just not often, but never know).

When you look for a game, are you doing post & search and waiting on the displaying-other-hosts screen, or do you get there and then go to another screen?  It only sustains the re-advertisement if you stay on that screen (not that it has to be that way, but seemed the best at the time).

I'd hop on to see if I could find anyone but I'm on really-high-latency satellite internet and would just frustrate anyone trying to play with me ;)
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Offline x4000

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Re: Internet games not showing
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2010, 07:30:01 PM »
Spikey -- we don't keep tabs on how many players are actively in game at any given time, as a lot of those are direct connections and we're pretty against that level of tracking of player activity in the first place; a lot of folks see that as an invasion of privacy.  The only time we track any information from folks is when they specifically advertise a game they are interested in, and then when they start a game with someone that advertisement gets taken down and that's the extent of our knowledge on what they do.  We don't know if they play for five minutes or five days, we just don't feel we should be tracking that sort of thing.
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Internet games not showing
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2010, 07:33:11 PM »
(This was a reply to keiths post ,p)
If its the same method this forum sees my IP it should work.. i guess you are right and nobody wants to play kind of game like Tidalis with random dude in public game via the Internet.

A Lobby would be nice to have but seeing as how that requires at least a basic IRC client and irc channel (at the least) that might be out of scope... ah well hopefully someone is going to come up and play Tidalis with me at some point ;p
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