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Multiplayer Starscape!
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Konedima
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:42 am    Post subject: Multiplayer Starscape! Reply with quote

I got a great idea: multiplayer Starscape over the network, or maybe in turns on the same computer. It could be like most kills acheived or something, or maybe like survival and battle, you upgrade like survival mode but you can also fight when you want to. I personally think this is a great idea, others might not share my state of mind, but hey Smile. By the way, there is a cut down version of survival in the demo, I think there should be a cut down multiplayer mode in the demo.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Multiplayer has been mentioned a couple of times but a think you need to quantify the idea with regards to Starscape.

Simple deathmatch might sound like another box ticked in a potential list of features. However I suspect it would be pretty dull (spin round the other player shooting whilst they do the same)

Something which makes use of the mining, R&D and motherships (like the Aegis) for a more strategic multiplayer game, or a massively online game (something like Armada ?) would probably be more interesting.
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Heebie-Jeebies



Joined: 23 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about a two-player Co-Op? Wouldn't require any new storyline or levels, just make it TCP/IP. I'm a programmer (not c++, but i'm big on theory), so it seems to me that it would require a few more h files, another hunk of code in your update section, and some more variables so the 2p ship is unique.

If you REALLY wanted to speed it along, you could even make it so p1 controls the Aegis and p2 is just a second ship launched from it.

Co-Op always makes a game more fun, IMHO.
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Konedima
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great idea Heebie-Jeebies
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Darth Dallas



Joined: 18 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a 2 player co-op mode would be great for starters (then maybe a head-to-head kind of thing), then you could conceivably make the enemies a little stronger, including the enemy mother ships as well as adding more zones to explore. Also if you wanted, you could make every zone able to be traveled to separately. One player could be taking on zone 2 while the other is making a foothold in the 3rd etc. or they help one another take out one zone at a time. Then if you wound up with techs the other didn't have, you could trade them when you meet back up.

Also perhaps instead of the plot of finding and rebuilding your drive engine, it could be about something else, something that made the Earth forces go there willingly on an offensive (perhaps to bolster and rekindle the Xenarch race that was so instrumental helping you in the first story i.e. maybe it would be to Earth's benefit to have an ally there in case other accidents like the one that befell Aegis happened to someone else...one of the characters could be headstrong about repaying that debt when it meant so much to them at the time).

But like Heebie said, you probably don't need an entirely new plot to explain the new mode of play like that, just have the functionality different from single player.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heebie-Jeebies wrote:
just make it TCP/IP. I'm a programmer (not c++, but i'm big on theory), so it seems to me that it would require a few more h files, another hunk of code in your update section, and some more variables so the 2p ship is unique.


Sorry, but I have to make fun of you here Very Happy I am guessing you are not a programmer in the games industry? Since you have just committed a 'games industry crime against programmers' Shocked

This sounds like something I (being Moonpod's artist Very Happy ) would say to either Goober or Poo Bear. It happens all the time in the games industry, but it's the first time I've ever heard a programmer make this mistake Very Happy

Typical conversations go like this:

Scene: 2 weeks left on a project that had network modes canned at the start to speed up production.

Artist|Producer|Management Idiot: Can we implement multiplayer?

Programmer: Not in the current timeframe, since it was canned at the start and none of the code supports it.

Artist|Producer|Management Idiot: (read an article on gamasutra and now think they understand what they are saying) Surely it's just a case of implementing networking and allowing the second machine to control something on the first and storing extra data on the other players, and... ..errr... ...sticking it together with... programming glue?

Programmer: (Grinning quietly to himself)
No,
it would require: (deep intake of breath)
All the AI to be network aware,
All objects to send network data about themselves to all the other machines which must be kept in sync,
new front end code to support choosing multiplayer options,
detection of other players or servers across a network...


...minutes pass...


...implementation of several hyperspanners,
a new crossbeam to replace the offskew one on the treadle...


...hours pass...


...a holiday to Barbados,
and a fondue set.


You get the picture Very Happy Games programmers start crying any time they hear the phrase 'Can't you just...' coming from non programmers. It is for this reason I now choose my words carefully Very Happy

Multiplayer is (I am 99% certain, but never say never) something that would have to go into a sequel, and be designed into the code from the start. I think games players are savvy enough to realise when multiplayer has been tacked on. We've all seen half hearted afterthought attempts at it, and we think people deserve better.

Anyway, it's certainly a very intriguing prospect from a game design point of view, but I'd think big if you are thinking about Starscape. We wouldn't want to make a poor addon to Starscape to do multiplayer, but instead would probably make an entirely rewritten sequel where multiplayer featured prominently.

So, if the sky was the limit what multiplayer mode would you have in Starscape?
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Konedima
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2003 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're making an RTS game, then I would say it would have to have multiplayer or it wouldn't do well at all Smile.

If the sky was the limit for multiplayer in Starscape, I'd like to see co-operative gameplay and also multiplayer survival - do you mine to get resources to repair and upgrade your ship or do you just go straight into a dogfight?
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Heebie-Jeebies



Joined: 23 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2003 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't program for industry, but I am well-aware for that fact that, to programmers, EVERYTHING is an understatement. But I was simplifying it to about as small a task as possible in the pre-coding stage of programming. two-player client/server TCP/IP co-op is a lot more feasible then central-server-based MMO gaming with internet-exclusive maps and support for 65535 players in a single game. Well, that's a bit of an exadgeration, but you get what I mean.
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callmeminyme



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
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Location: Kamloops



PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2003 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if u guys are even gonna thing about making multiplayer mode then theres gonna have to be a WHOLE buncha stuff done...

first im guessing a permanent network (actuly u can do what uniball did and get some other place to host a network thing and set up there adds allover ur website...

next i cannot disagrey that deathmatch would not be that fun.... unless of course there was more then two players player.. that would make things intresting....

capture the flag is so populer (i personaly dont like it but thems the brakes) that its practicly madetory... co-op play is pretty much the same deal

if you wanted to make use of mining... then why not set up a style of action multiplayer not used very much.. (but a personal fav of mine)

a war style (that sounds ovious but here me out cause this IS a class)

pls note i have modified this for starscape

as players mine it would go towards a resorce point on there team... then the players chose which ship to build (i sapose you could use the anarch ships) and the ship would cost part of there resorceses (like a level 1 drone would cost mabey 1-2 resorces and a level 3 fighter would cost 30-50)

of course this would be in team mode....

this type of multiplayer mode has been done on a dreamcast game. (robotic cops or something)

also if u wanted to do multiplayer yo would need a book of code to handle lag problems that might happen...

a nother thing (not really madetory but it make it worth while) is more obsticals... like making a complex for everyone to go through... like making arenas... of course u prolly would have to take up a whole level... and i think that might just kill frost Wink


im also seeing a race mode....


course this is me just leting lose some of my ideas if i dont i get grumpy

P.S.
theres no way that thele actuly implement it... at least not now Cool

*Cracks the wip*
get to work on your next game Laughing

Quote:

Programmer: (Grinning quietly to himself)
No,
it would require: (deep intake of breath)
All the AI to be network aware,
All objects to send network data about themselves to all the other machines which must be kept in sync,
new front end code to support choosing multiplayer options,
detection of other players or servers across a network...

i dident know some of these things... i thought the ai would just be contoled by the host computer the host would send out updates to each and every ai unit and object (including himself but not other players). then all the guests would send out updates on there ships data

many games do it like this i belive, mabey i should just shut up, this post has to many paragraph breaks in it and its geting excedingly long Rolling Eyes
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Goober
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2003 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fundamentally, it's not particularly difficult to write a networked app (including a game). The problem with Starscape is that it would mean a large chunk of code being crowbarred into the existing code. This inevitably leads to bugs, some of which you can't track down because, for example, they only happen when two messages come in from the network, for the same object, for different time updates. It's a nightmare to iron the problems out.

Far better to start from a clean code base and a good design. Networking can go in early. Minor bugs get sorted out along the way and don't escalate into huge bugs. Generally, walking before running Wink
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Heebie-Jeebies



Joined: 23 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, multiplayer is NOT something you want to retrofit a game in. Even a simple game typically has workarounds that increase efficiency but makes multi harder. Essentially, if you don't start with LAN, you won't end with LAN.
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Konedima
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about competitive survival, that wouldn't require fast connection or anything. I mean, you play survival on different fields, and it could be like highest score after 10 minutes, or first to destroy 10 mining barges. I don't think it would require much bandwidth because only the scores would have to update, as the enemy is playing on a different field which doesn't need to be updated on your computer, only theirs Smile
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Norfleet



Joined: 06 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2003 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a programmer, I can't imagine HOW one would implement multiplayer into this game with anything short of nearly a total rewrite. I'd imagine it have to be nearly entirely redesigned from the ground up.

And competitive survival multiplayer? That exists already. How it works:
You play the game. Note your score.
He plays the game. He notes his score.
Player with highest score is deemed the winner.

Enough with the multiplayer! This isn't something which is going to happen in a patch. I swear, I am so sick and tired of listening to people plead and whine for multiplayer options in a game in which even ADDING them would require rewriting most of the entire game!
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hassle



Joined: 22 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

multiplayer sounds great but it should be done right.


Player 1: Human
Player 2: Robots
Other Players 3-10: Other Races In The Node.


All over a Main Server System. MoonPod Should Host Say 20 Of the Games They Could be Ran all On 4 Servers, And let People make there own public and password games.


It would also help you guys out for you can monitor server and see cheating and still have user feedback on it as well for patchs and updates of the game.
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callmeminyme



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
Posts: 150
Location: Kamloops



PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

konedima had the right idea... why not do an astroids style multiplayer... get a multiplayer survivale. CRANK UP DIFICULTY so that people die often... then when 1 person dies its the other players turn

dont ACTULY make a real networked game... just make a multiplayer game on the same comp... should take a few modifacatiosn but it shouldent rwquier code to be "crowbared" in!
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