Online Multiplayer

All discussion about Shadowgrounds Survivor, spin-off/sequel to Shadowgrounds that was released in late 2007.
Hax
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Online Multiplayer

Postby Hax » Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:46 pm

Will it be possible someway in the expansion ?

( you could still release the source code , allowing community to do it ; like the famous Unreal 2 )
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fb_joel
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Postby fb_joel » Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:20 pm

Good timing with the topic... This can be considered the current official word on this regarding Survivor.

We had a big meeting last week and digged through all the options regarding any kind of multiplayer, and we came up with three solutions that are possible in the long run. However, none of those is suitable for Survivor. There's underlying game engine stuff that just makes it amount to a lot of hardcore programming work that takes many, many months.

I can say that Shadowgrounds sold well but not well enough to give us to ability to invest such a huge amount of resources/money on adding proper multiplayer (+ the change in development time). We know it's a wanted feature and we would love to have it, but it's not possible with the current resources. We can only hope this situation changes in the future (and of course we aim to change it!).

(Source code release is not planned; maybe in 5 years but I doubt it's of much interest then.)
// Joel, Frozenbyte team

rustgirl
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Postby rustgirl » Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:16 pm

I'm gonna try starting the 'argument' here... :)

Is it really that complex? I mean, 2 player on one PC to 2 player across a LAN? I'm not thinking 32 player multiplay here, just a 'simple' communication between one machine and another, allowing 2 players to play/complete the game using (for example) LAN tunneling software like Hamachi? Shadowgrounds was a cracking game only slightly let down by the 'rather cramped gathering around the screen with no space for my nuts and/or beer' lack of LAN support.

.. right... I'll take cover :)

d

Orson
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Postby Orson » Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:03 am

I know you are tight on resources, but will a lan play option be do-able?

Co-op is an awesome feature, it just gets a little crowded on one monitor, and if players desire to they can use 3rd party vlan software and messages boards to find co-op partners.

R3CoR
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Postby R3CoR » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:25 am

Orson wrote:I know you are tight on resources, but will a lan play option be do-able?

Co-op is an awesome feature, it just gets a little crowded on one monitor, and if players desire to they can use 3rd party vlan software and messages boards to find co-op partners.


The problem is, it takes months if your working on something else. Hence why Halo3 have multiplayer coders, just for that very cause.

Even Dark messiah of might & magic had it. Who knows how long it could have been underway if they had to port the single player to multiplayer and make it somewhere flawless.

Making it on lan is still gonna be very tricky, synchronizing all the materials being displayed the exact same way on your screen as on your teammate screen. And with physics that would be impossible (Maybe not impossible but require a hell alot of work) CS:S dosnt even have synchronized connections. You can shoot a guy and he flips over a edge, but on another screen he falls dead to the ground. If they optimized it, sure then it could all be alike on all screens. But so much work for such a little thing? Thats also probaly the reason why you cant be blocked by dead bodies. They wont be the same places on all computers.

mrmultiplay
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Postby mrmultiplay » Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:12 am

hmmmmmm........i see
Online/LAN Multiplayer is impossible with the available resources

there are so little games offering a co-op mode, shadowgrounds is at last that offers one! and i love this bird's eye view gameplay! but 4 people surrounding one PC and sharing the screen (one wants to get here, the others there, it's difficult) is not very confotable to play (we tried the demo w/ some gamepads, another problem, we play PC to make use of the mouse-aiming, aim w/ gamepad is unfamiliar to non-console gamers)

unfortunately the fact that this game do not support Multiplayer prevented me from purchasing the game, and i think it will do so again

and every game is played more/longer over Internet than solo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (except Tetris)

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Ishmael
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Postby Ishmael » Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:20 pm

Living world and physics places the biggest challenge on a multiplayer solution I think.

Maybe a bad example, due to the engine used, but the multiplayer in Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield apparently relies on only synching locations and states of players, terrorists, grenades and interactive objects such doors and shootable barrels. As far as I know everything else is client-side, like debris from breaking objects and the ragdolls of dying bodies. This both reduces server load and produces amusing effects as we compare where a terrorist had ended up after a well placed grenade on everybody's computer.

But all the debris and bodies were nothing but visual detail. For a simple game that wouldn't be hard to do, but as Shadowgrounds has some more complicated elements, such as weapon projectiles, which all need to be perfectly synched for the gameplay to actually work, it'll result in a lot more work. This would put the server and connections under a lot more strain if not optimised, and optimising is a long and difficult task.

I think multiplayer could be doable with a runtime stream hack as a third party dealy, but I myself lack the knowledge how to do this, and how much world info would need to be transferred for either client-side or server-side world. A simple feeding in the controls for a co-op character from the LAN feed instead of a gamepad would be a start, I guess...

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Morrin
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Postby Morrin » Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:49 pm

I remember playing rome: total war in LAN, and all of the players winning (different results for everyone). So internet play... nah, not a easy thing. :)

R3CoR
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Postby R3CoR » Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:51 am

You can also use a projector to play with ;) 50" Projector and 2 friends + shadowgrounds is the bomb for me.

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fb_joel
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Postby fb_joel » Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:49 pm

Basically it's not "hard" to create a hack solution that would probably fulfill many of yours' desires... but it's not something that would be released in the box because it would have lots of small unfixable bugs that could lead to countless customer support requests/complaints from more casual players (this is more of the publishers' worry than ours, really). A hack multiplayer like this would take 3-5 months and there would be two different technical ways of doing it. So in any case not going to happen for the release version of Survivor. If the game sells well then some options are open but I don't wanna create any false illusions at this point and promise that (and this is a catch-22, we know).
Last edited by fb_joel on Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
// Joel, Frozenbyte team

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ZEUS_GB
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Postby ZEUS_GB » Sun Aug 26, 2007 2:28 pm

Thanks Joel for explaining that.
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Suwing
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Postby Suwing » Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:31 am

Hello,

I would like know if Shadowgrounds Survivor can will be played in coop same the first Shadowgrounds.

I was played it with my brother and was very excinting! We haven't got same fun since old game on megadrive :)

Thanks team for created fun and speed action game !

ps: sorry for my bad english

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fb_joel
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Postby fb_joel » Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:13 pm

Shadowgrounds Survivor supports 2-4 player co-op on the same computer, just like Shadowgrounds did.

I guess I can also reveal that we also support multiple keyboards and mice. (I think SGS is the only retail game besides Rag Doll Kung Fu to support this, although I'm not promising it won't have any bugs, heh. There's been some good technical development in this area which made this possible now.)
// Joel, Frozenbyte team

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ZEUS_GB
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Postby ZEUS_GB » Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:26 pm

Cool!

Matti
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Postby Matti » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:17 pm

fb_joel wrote:I guess I can also reveal that we also support multiple keyboards and mice. (I think SGS is the only retail game besides Rag Doll Kung Fu to support this...

Settlers and Serfcity also support at least two mices

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fb_joel
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Postby fb_joel » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:51 pm

Matti wrote:
fb_joel wrote:I guess I can also reveal that we also support multiple keyboards and mice. (I think SGS is the only retail game besides Rag Doll Kung Fu to support this...

Settlers and Serfcity also support at least two mices

Yes but they require COM mice (as far as I remember), same as Serious Sam games. It's not really something a common user wants to do (or even has the possibility to). We support PS2 and USB mice with no extra tweaking (just click "Use multiple input devices" option in the Launcher and you're set, basically). If any programmers are interested in using a similar system in their own games, I can send some links to the related libraries etc. It's pretty cool when everybody is just hacking away at the keyboard. :)
// Joel, Frozenbyte team

dabski
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Postby dabski » Sat Nov 03, 2007 3:34 am

So what you are saying is that each player will be able to connect their own keyboard and mouse? If so could you also add support for dual monitors, so each players view is on a seperate screen thus being able to move around independently and not being crammed around the same monitor. Would be nice especially since most gfx cards come with 2 DVI connections these days.

Also I just recently converted to linux, any chance of a linux release :?:

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fb_joel
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Postby fb_joel » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:41 am

Heh. Keep your eyes open regarding Linux...

Multiple monitors might be interesting, we need to check it out some day and see if it's feasible. Not promising it yet, though.
// Joel, Frozenbyte team


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