Poll: My feeling on the multiplayer (in it's current state) is....
It's extremely important to me
It's very important to me - please leave it alone
I'm happy either way
I'd be happy to see it traded for single player content and polish
I don't use it or very seldom use it
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Multiplayer
2017-01-04, 09:09 PM
Post: #1
Multiplayer
Hey guys

Bit of a difficult subject here but long story short I believe that FtD is being held back by trying (and in a lot of respects failing) to be a multiplayer game.

The issues take a number of forms
1) A lot of code is approximately 3 times more complex than I'd like it to be in order to maintain multiplayer syncronisation- this makes the code hard to maintain, hard to change (i.e. improve, add new features), and increases the number of bugs.

2) New features that would be fine in single player often have to be disregarded because they'd be hard to do in multiplayer

3) Achieving a level of polish over the whole game is hard because there's so much to polish when you add in the multiplayer


I stripped out the multiplayer from FtD in the process of making "Forgotten Shores" (see the new forum at the bottom of the forum list) and everything is so much easier to develop without the constraints of multiplayer.

If I'm honest with myself I can't imagine making FtD everything I want it to be whilst trying to maintain its multiplayer- but I am equally open to the concept that the game as it is would be preferential to some than a more polished single player with no multiplayer.

So I am making a poll to better understand how you guys feel about the importance of multiplayer to FtD.

If a sizeable proportion of the community states that multiplayer is important I will respect that opinion.

Please note that we are talking about the multiplayer as it is, not as it could be.. so assume there will never be dedicated servers, join in progress, PVP campaigns, perfect syncronisation

I'm also interested in knowing what you use the multiplayer for and whether there is a passible way of keeping some of the same functionality without needing the syncronisation... for example keeping the lobby system for setting up AI fights but then not bothering to syncronise the actual combat (so that every player sees a different battle play out on their machine and can just chat). Something like this could be used for hosting tournaments.

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2017-01-04, 09:28 PM
Post: #2
RE: Multiplayer
I ll leave my opinion here

First of all

Multiplayer isnt really a good idea to have in 1) Building game 2) Indie game

Theres a reason why only AAA publishers does multiplayer (Or even make multiplayer only games iek Overwatch) heavy games. With custom made engines, +100 people working daily, and lots of money to back it up

My experience with FTD MP:

1) PVP is broken
Back when i was the one in charge with WW2 editor, i was play testing a PVP manual driving instance with Anister, Mech and Knoox

The experience was hideously bad, minigun kills on six bullets... six bullets from minigun, rambot has obscene hitbox, i managed to insta kill Anister while he was inside of a ship... yea the hitbox was reaching out of the walls

Damage takes seems to be tottaly random, grenade launcher sometimes doesnt do any damage to anyone, except the user

2) Poor performance on barely few people
The "Otra Duel" instance was stuttery, with four guys, NO AI, only manual driving of 2 ships

20-15 FPS

3) Certain features doesnt work for it
Like NPC's

4) Randomly malfunctions for no reason

I am all for ditching it, but Nick... i sense a shitstorm in the air...

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2017-01-04, 09:29 PM
Post: #3
RE: Multiplayer
For me multiplayer in any sandbox building game is crucial.
Building things and surviving together is way more fun than alone.
Imagine Space Engineers (survival) without multiplayer!

The multiplayer mode for FtD should be stable enough so that you can play the campaign together without having to worry about desynchronizations or crashes. Pvp campaigns would be awesome, but not necessary.

I can't understand why its so difficult to make it work?
Is Unity really that bad that it hasn't sufficient tools to make a simple multiplayer game?

And what are things that get more complex when designing it for multiplayer?

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2017-01-04, 09:35 PM
Post: #4
RE: Multiplayer
(2017-01-04 09:29 PM)Le Sir Wrote:  For me multiplayer in any sandbox building game is crucial.
Building things and surviving together is way more fun than alone.
Imagine Space Engineers (survival) without multiplayer!

The multiplayer mode for FtD should be stable enough so that you can play the campaign together without having to worry about desynchronizations or crashes. Pvp campaigns would be awesome, but not necessary.

I can't understand why its so difficult to make it work?
Is Unity really that bad that it hasn't sufficient tools to make a simple multiplayer game?

And what are things that get more complex when designing it for multiplayer?


So you play a lot of FtD multiplayer I presume?

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2017-01-04, 09:35 PM (This post was last modified: 2017-01-04 09:36 PM by A Lemming.)
Post: #5
RE: Multiplayer
I would love to have multiplayer added in once development is polished, but as it usually breaks every couple of updates it might be a hassle to currently have in.
However I really do believe the finished version of FTD needs multiplayer, as playing with friends is fun and allows a slew of creative builds.

There are also several youtubers like redstoneradio who would probably lose interest if multiplayer is removed, as they base their gameplays on multiplayer

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2017-01-04, 09:50 PM
Post: #6
RE: Multiplayer
I agree with Le Sir that sandbox games benefit from multiplayer but I also want those features, maybe you could give us some examples?
At the moment I wouldn't mind if you removed it and put it back in later in development

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2017-01-04, 09:58 PM
Post: #7
RE: Multiplayer
(2017-01-04 09:29 PM)Le Sir Wrote:  I can't understand why its so difficult to make it work?
Is Unity really that bad that it hasn't sufficient tools to make a simple multiplayer game?

And what are things that get more complex when designing it for multiplayer?

There's no 'tool' to make a multiplayer game. What Unity provides is just a set of instruction to communicate between computers.

There are 2 standard ways of implementing multiplayer:
1. transfer all the information each frame from one 'master' to the 'slaves'
2. exchange the inputs over all the computers

The first possibility is out of question in FtD (and most games) because of the sheer volume of data.


The second possibility is very hard to implement, but as far as I know, there's no other way of doing multiplayer.
When there's an input on a computer, that input must be transferred to the other computers so they all have the same information.
That means that every time a value is manually changed (on the GUI or an input key), some code must be added to send the information to other computers, and some code must also be added to receive it.
Any missing data will break down the synchronization.

Doing that isn't enough, you also need to synchronize the executions.
For example, if a key is pressed in frame 10, that information must be sent to all computers, and when all computers have received the information, then they can process the calculation of frame 11.
That type of synchronization is very complex, and yet it's the easiest one to develop. And it has the problem of synchronizing on the speed of the slowest computer...

And finally, you also need to have a deterministic execution.
That part isn't easy. It means that with the exact same inputs, the game will produce the exact same results, whatever the computer speed or memory.
And if there's just one little thing that goes wrong, it's a desynchronisation.

And on top of that, you have to manage the occasional network slowdown, lost frame, or disconnection...


Well, put simply, it's hard, very hard.
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2017-01-04, 10:00 PM
Post: #8
RE: Multiplayer
Well it's stuff like complex diplomacy for single player campaigns...

the two layer (foreground blocks and internal blocks) building system from Forgotten Shores would work great in FtD but the mutliplayer syncing and building code would be a nightmare to work though

Fire would be a nightmare to syncronise to clients

Simple weapons are a nice idea and would be easy to make if it was not for the multiplayer syncronisation of them and their projectiles

Systems like propulsion would benefit from a rework but there is a lot of extra work to be done in reworking the way the multiplayer works for them as well.

It's just all a bit unwieldy at present.

In any case it seems from the poll that there is not an appetite for this change so it's a bit immaterial.

These changes can be done anyway it's just a matter of them taking more time and being less enjoyable to change

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2017-01-04, 10:05 PM
Post: #9
RE: Multiplayer
(2017-01-04 09:35 PM)A Lemming Wrote:  I would love to have multiplayer added in once development is polished, but as it usually breaks every couple of updates it might be a hassle to currently have in.
However I really do believe the finished version of FTD needs multiplayer, as playing with friends is fun and allows a slew of creative builds.

There are also several youtubers like redstoneradio who would probably lose interest if multiplayer is removed, as they base their gameplays on multiplayer

I agree.
Even if I don't play multiplayer, I understand that it can be quite fun and interesting to do so in FtD.
But I have a problem with the concept of polishing and then add multiplayer.

For every data that can be modified by the user, 2 pieces of code (one that send the data, and one that receive it) must be added.
If any data is missed, you will have occasional desynchronizations which will be very hard to spot.
And that assume that FtD is a totally deterministic software that will produce the exact same results if given the exact same inputs, whatever the speed of the computer.


So, I totally agree that multiplayer would be awesome, but I also understand the difficulties that are in front of Nick regarding the multiplayer developpement.
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2017-01-04, 10:08 PM
Post: #10
RE: Multiplayer
I would just hate to see le sir and redstone radio go if multiplayer is removed because I think they do like youtube collabs and redstoneradio is one of the only youtubers who does FTD near exclusively

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