Multiplayer?

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mike1011031
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Multiplayer?

Postby mike1011031 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:44 pm

I've been loving the alpha, and have been wondering if a multiplayer system is planned. I know multiplayer is a pain to implement, but i feel like it could be awesome. If one is planned, is there an ETA on it? If not, has it been considered? Either way, keep up the good work! Looking forward to getting it on steam!
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Greywing
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby Greywing » Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:52 pm

I have a good idea of what multiplayer would be like, and how i'd go about implementing it, but the big problem (compared to the flash versions) is the infrastructure for direct, simultaneous pvp (or multiplayer in general).
With flash i could use the player.io system, who have their own servers to which i'd upload my code for multiplayer stuff. There's no comparable system i've found thus far that can take that role, though i assume it exists. On top of that, even if such a system exists for Java, it also needs to work for both desktops and android devices.
The alternative is to buy a license (expensive) of one of several options to run my own game server, which also means i'd have to rent a proper server, as this doesn't run on small hosting plans, another expense. I have no experience with running a server, so i can't even tell if this is a feasible solution. Even if HD3 gets on Steam, the costs involved with this would be too high for me, so it's not an option i'm considering.

As for implementation, i can actually implement indirect, asynchronous pvp without the need for additional services. The 'events' system in game was actually intended to be a pvp arena, and i came up with the ambush stuff later. Basically players upload their pvp decks to this arena, and participants can challenge each other, but it would be the AI that plays the deck that you upload. You get points for decks that you defeat, as well as when your deck (controlled by the AI) defeats another player. The advantage is that you don't need to be online 24/7 to take part in this, which matters especially when there's only a few active pvp'ers. The drawback is that you don't get to face opponents yourself in real-time. Even so, i think this is an interesting game mode since players will be providing the decks you'll duel, and not the in-game deck generator.

I can't offer an ETA on this indirect arena stuff. Right now i'm working on exploration, which might take two months at least before it's all properly in-game. I have another event game mode in mind, which shouldn't take too long. Then i'm either going to start working out the ideas i have for drafting, or work on another event game mode that involves some form of multiplayer/competition (think raid bosses), though that's still only a rough idea. All these things are important, but might take as much as 6 months to implement. By then i hopefully have a better idea of how well the game is doing (i.e. are more than 5 people playing it or not), and based on that i can start thinking about more multiplayer stuff (indirect co-op, guilds or friendlists, indirect arenas).
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SeekerMissile
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby SeekerMissile » Mon Feb 29, 2016 1:52 am

How about TCP/IP multiplayer? (Same as in, for example, Diablo 2: you give your friend your IP, he connects to you) so that you can pvp with friends real time. (Ofc put a warning not to give your IP to a random stranger).
Could this be possible?.
Also, will there be a chat system? (Outside from games).

Enjoyed the previous HDs. Hyped to see what you do with this one :D.
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby Greywing » Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:32 am

TCP/IP is an option, but it's far more limited. The pvp setup in the previous games had a lobby where you could start a game telling other players you wanted to duel, with TCP/IP something like that isn't possible. So you'd only be able to play against people whose IP you know.

There's unlikely to be a chat system, even if there's direct pvp. If i ever do some form of guild system, i might add some kind of chat or message board. I'm generally not a fan of it though, as it's going to be an unmoderated system.
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mike1011031
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby mike1011031 » Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:45 pm

What about Steam Services (assuming it makes it into Steam, I've heard greenlight is easy enough to get through, they take a bunch of the top games each month). As for arena, i am well aware of the idea, having played Elements on kong as well.
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby Greywing » Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:58 am

I have no idea if Steam offers hardware to put code on. Even so, it would lock out players on android, or those that play the version offered on my website.

I've exhausted the people i could contact and i'm nowhere near getting HD3 greenlit, so i'm not assuming the game will get on Steam anytime soon.
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dark1n
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby dark1n » Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:39 pm

mike1011031 wrote:I've been loving the alpha, and have been wondering if a multiplayer system is planned. I know multiplayer is a pain to implement, but i feel like it could be awesome.

you don't have to wander - it WAS awesome. back in HD-Spectrum days, you could find guys to play against almost every night. golden age in the history of hidden dimensions.

Greywing wrote:... Basically players upload their pvp decks to this arena, and participants can challenge each other, but it would be the AI that plays the deck that you upload. You get points for decks that you defeat, as well as when your deck (controlled by the AI) defeats another player. The advantage is that you don't need to be online 24/7 to take part in this, which matters especially when there's only a few active pvp'ers.
yes - challenge decks or deck gallery, whatever you're going to call them... they are good thing to have and not too difficult for you to implement - we had that in hdx, didn't we?

Greywing wrote:...The drawback is that you don't get to face opponents yourself in real-time.

that is not a drawback, that is a clear difference between yes-a-pvp and not-a-pvp.

i agree - it's a good game mode. not only do we generally make better decks than deck generator and can tweak them over time, we can easily exclude cards that the ai doesn't use well. but it's still a singleplayer mode.

Greywing wrote:...Then i'm either going to start working out the ideas i have for drafting, or work on another event game mode that involves some form of multiplayer/competition (think raid bosses), though that's still only a rough idea. All these things are important, but might take as much as 6 months to implement.
ouch - 6 months... that worries me... you might lose interest in hd3 completely by then. it happened before. then you'll make a small game to charge your batteries and then start coding new hd from scratch instead of maintaining the last one.

maybe it would be best if you didn't make long-term plans. at all. see how the game is doing. if the playerbase is numerous and stable (number of new guys covers the number of guys that drop the game permanently), stick to the game and make occasional events.

if the playerbase drops to 5 guys, drop the whole thing without wasting 6 month on a new gamemode. if it's numerous, maybe the forum will come alive again and then you can ask people what they'd prefer - don't decide on large features right now... if people ask for story, maybe you can consider porting the hdx storymode or you might commission some portraits and make a new storymode. and if the people look like they'd stay, forget those raid things and make a proper 1-on-1 multiplayer. hopefully the game would bring in a few bucks by then.

---- ------ ------- ---

i mentioned possibility of events above (i'm separating this to emphasize)... all games that hold players over long time have events. and i don't mean easy daily ambushes, i mean real events, like the one you did in hds - i got on the train right after that, but i heard the people really pulled the rope to make their side win. that's what i'd like to see for hd3. and not in technical sense, (i'm not talking about those raids you planned) i meant in sense of energy - energy that players exuded while trying to color the crystal in their favorite color (and also in forum in between in-game efforts).
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby Greywing » Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:18 pm

Sure, pvp was fun, but it didn't last long. With a small community, things like that can break down really quickly and can be near impossible to repair.

The HDx challenge system was more complex as it allowed per-card modifications. With the HD3 setup, you'd submit a regular deck at all times, but there will sometimes be deck-wide modifiers present. For instance i could add a modifier that would give all AI cards multistrike 2 - obviously players that build decks for others to play against will focus on ship decks with attack increasing abilities. While the decks players use to fight those AI decks will probably contain plenty of disable and attack-lowering abilities. The possilibities when it comes to boosts and restrictions, are near endless.

I say 6 months since my interest in HD3 has been dropping already. HD3 is past the point where it becomes difficult for me to keep working on it full-time. Don't forget that i've been working on this for 2.5 years now, often 8+ hours a day every day for weeks on end, including weekends. That works out if i'm adding cool new mechanics, but things slow down once the game becomes more and more complete. Every so often, i really need a break from working like that - it's always been like this, and the lure of starting a new game is stronger at such times. I did make a small game some time ago, but didn't bother releasing it, i'm also not planning on working on it again. What i really want to do is make an rpg, that's always been the genre i care about the most, but i'm keeping myself from starting on it for at least another 6 months (perhaps not until 2017), hoping that by then HD3 is properly finished (i.e. exploration, drafting, more events). Because i know as well that once i start on a new game, HD3 will likely no longer get support. That would be a shame for something i put so much work in, and isn't quite finished yet.
Forum participation and site visits are at an all-time low, and without a flash version of HD3, it's not simple to draw in new players. So if i were to look at the number of active players and decide what to do with HD3 based on that, i should drop the project right now (should have dropped it long time ago, actually). Except for a miracle, HD3 isn't going to make money, and i create games with that in mind.
So i said 6 months because i expect that things will continue to be slow from here onwards. Exploration is more than halfway there, mechanically, but difficulty balancing and testing will take some time as well. Once exploration is in, i'm convinced i should add another small event mode, since (like ambush) this is a way of adding in new content every day through random event generators. The raid boss event is another option, but it's more complex than the small event mode i have in mind.

You're right in saying that such large events are good to bind players (at least for a while, and you'd need more than 5 players first). Pvp arenas would do something similar since it's also a ranked system (you gain points for decks that you defeat, as well as points for players that lose against your AI deck). There could be a new pvp arena every week, each time with a different restriction or boost, and such a system can be controlled by a content generator, like the ambush events.
I have some vague ideas for large events, similar to the 'wars' game mode in HDx, but limited to two sides instead 4 simultaneous wars. The complexity of events like these (as well as pvp arenas and even the relatively simple raid boss idea) is that data will be going two ways. With ambush (and similar ideas) the server sends data to the client and that's it. With competitive events, clients send data back, which needs to be validated, stored, processed, and made visible (i.e. leaderboards). Specific to pvp arenas, players create decks and upload them to the server, which adds yet another layer of complexity. Even if i can work full-time on something like that, it would still take months.
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mike1011031
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby mike1011031 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:05 am

the idea of a direct connect for 1v1 duels would be nice, so me and my friends can compete, so if it's not too much to ask, i would love to see that implemented. Furthermore, a way of trading cards between players would be nice. Either way, the game is fun and I appreciate everything you have done with it.
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby Greywing » Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:37 am

Card trading is tricky, though. The only way something like this can be made secure (i.e. no duping) is when all your progress is stored server-side only, which means the game can only be played when you're connected to the internet.
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby fasp3000 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:36 pm

I would love to be able to battle against other players.

And he would wait as long as he needed to.

Perhaps a "premium" area with a cash cost to finance work is feasible. I think a lot of players would pay.

If the game is well publicized, it can be a success ...
... and with a large player base, I believe the work will be well rewarded.
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Greywing
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby Greywing » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:05 am

Further development of HD3 is on hold.

The trouble with multiplayer is that the set-up first of all requires a lot of work. Then there's the ongoing cost of renting a server to handle the connections.
I don't think there's enough players to make multiplayer work, and definately not enough to offset the cost of the server.
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby fasp3000 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:06 pm

A long time ago, I played an old game very similar to Hidden Dimensions...
...I played it for 2 years. "Elements".

http://www.elementsthegame.com/

The PvP system used was very simple...
Image

But we need to wait for an opponent.
Image

The way we found to make the PvP system functional, was with events.
We combined schedules to start matches.
There was a chat, and also a forum that was used for this.

Image

I believe it's possible to do something similar here... If you consider it viable... maybe... :)
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby Greywing » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:36 am

I had multiplayer in a much older version of HD, so i have an idea of how much work is involved. That was still in flash, where i could get a free 3rd-party solution - something similar doesn't exist for java, which is what HD3 uses.

It worked out for a couple weeks while the game was still new, but then player numbers started dropping.
To keep players interested, I'd need to keep the game fresh with monthly updates at the least (but the game is too big to create updates at that rate) or with pvp events (tournaments), which also require continuous management and moderation.

It comes down to this : HD3 is too large for one person to manage and keep updated, unless i do it full-time. Development time was 3 years, full time. I made no money in that time, and haven't made any since the release of the game. That's a situation that can't go on forever. I'd need to work full time just to survive in today's society, so it's not possibly to combine that with game development.
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby Jugurtha » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:35 pm

Hiya, apologies for coming in so late to the thread:

I loved multi, it completely elevated the game to the next dimension (lol) and kept the game fresh. I remain saddened that, for whatever reason, HDS didn't get greater exposure, and thus all the positive things that would have flowed on from there.

I appreciate that an online multi mode is essentially too difficult to implement, but what about a 'hotseat' mode?

That way I could play against friends IRL (and expose them to the game) or properly test decks against myself.

Bluetooth functionality for the hotseat would a major bonus as well, that my my friends could download the game to their phones also.
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Greywing
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby Greywing » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:42 am

Hotseat is technically easier to implement (the game is capable of running AI vs AI, so player vs player is just as easy), but the problem is that only the bottom player will ever show cards in hand. And a proper working hotseat set-up would reveal cards in hand of both players as you're both looking at the same screen.

How does bluetooth function in this? I have very little knowledge of the technology. You'd want one screen with then game, then either two controllers or keyboards?
If the game must run in sync on two different devices we're back at full PvP - it doesn't matter if it's over a local network or across the world where the two players are, the underlying technology and requirements for servers remain the same.
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby Jugurtha » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:33 pm

For same screen hotseat could you implement an interstitial screen between player turns?

With a message, next player's turn, tap here when ready, or something like that?

For a phone it would mean just handing it over, desktop you'd need to look away/ honesty system.

Gameplay example:
Player 1 turn 1, places 3 structures. End turn. Interstitial screen.
Player 2, turn 1, presses ready button, sees 3 structures placed at top. Draws card, places 2 structures, 1 ship. End turn. Interstitial screen.
Player 1 turn 2, presses ready button, sees 2 structures, 1 ship placed at top. Etc

Re Bluetooth, perhaps my enthusiasm carried me away lol.
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Greywing
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby Greywing » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:51 am

Right, that seems like a proper solution.
Ideally, the board then flips so that both players see their own stuff + hand at the bottom of the screen just as if they're playing a regular game.

That said, I don't know when I'll have the time again to get back to coding. Haven't written a line of code in a long while now sadly.
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby Jugurtha » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:48 am

It's taken me a while to parse an answer as I too am extremely busy, which is one reason I value this game - your efforts - so highly: when I have some too few minutes to spare, it's sweet to play a round or two.
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Re: Multiplayer?

Postby Greywing » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:25 am

It's good to hear people still play the game.
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