Multiplayer Functionality

A place to ask and talk about Astrobase Command.
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Re: Multiplayer Functionality

Postby MaxShields » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:09 am

PensiveElephant wrote:
having the stations of other people into your game would be far easier (I think) then writing an AI algorithm for constructing random Astrobases.


That's a good idea. Maxis did this quite effectively in Spore. It turned out to be a very popular feature AFAIK. I don't know how much work it would be compared to a base generating algorithm, or simply building a selection of pre-made bases, but it would be entertaining. Until there is a critical mass of users, there may be a requirement to have a pre-generated sample of bases, but afterwards it could take off on its own. Since bases have point values, finding a balanced strike should be straight forward. There would need to be a way to decide whether it would be a sneaky raid or a full scale assault, and I'm not sure how to handle players changing their minds midway, though.

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Re: Multiplayer Functionality

Postby Hornfaust » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:36 am

I like the idea of a universe where anyone can be a partner, enemy or neutral.
"Oh, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal." -Richard Milhouse Nixon-

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Re: Multiplayer Functionality

Postby Asgarus » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:18 pm

I'd love to be able to send a group of people to a friend's station.
You could decice if they are only guests, exploring the station on their own, learning from new technology and so on,
or you could control them yourself to aid your friend in combat, or add a new section to his station.
Or, eventually, you could let him control your people for a set time and use him as needed on his station or on missions.

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Re: Multiplayer Functionality

Postby PensiveElephant » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:10 pm

Asgarus wrote:I'd love to be able to send a group of people to a friend's station.
You could decice if they are only guests, exploring the station on their own, learning from new technology and so on,
or you could control them yourself to aid your friend in combat, or add a new section to his station.
Or, eventually, you could let him control your people for a set time and use him as needed on his station or on missions.


It's be a difficult thing to pull of though. If you send somebody to the base of another player their actions would have repercussions for them too, and that brings in concerns regarding timing, and so on and so fort.

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Re: Multiplayer Functionality

Postby Dave » Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:14 pm

Asgarus wrote:I'd love to be able to send a group of people to a friend's station.
You could decice if they are only guests, exploring the station on their own, learning from new technology and so on,
or you could control them yourself to aid your friend in combat, or add a new section to his station.
Or, eventually, you could let him control your people for a set time and use him as needed on his station or on missions.


We would too! We're hoping to do an optional persistent multiplayer game-mode that would have such features, but we just need to do the single player version first. :) However, rest assured we've designed the game to accommodate these plans.

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Re: Multiplayer Functionality

Postby Asgarus » Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:00 pm

PensiveElephant wrote:
Asgarus wrote:I'd love to be able to send a group of people to a friend's station.
You could decice if they are only guests, exploring the station on their own, learning from new technology and so on,
or you could control them yourself to aid your friend in combat, or add a new section to his station.
Or, eventually, you could let him control your people for a set time and use him as needed on his station or on missions.


It's be a difficult thing to pull of though. If you send somebody to the base of another player their actions would have repercussions for them too, and that brings in concerns regarding timing, and so on and so fort.


Well, there would be different rights to set for such events for both players, easily.
You can decide if one can send a group to you, and who can do it.
You can decide if he is able to control them on your ship, or if they are just on autopilot,
and you can, together with the other one, decide to control them for yourself and let them live as one of your normal citizens on your station.

Also with attacks. You should be able to set if you want to be able to be attacked or not.
And maybe how much more points (or whatever system there will be) than you he may have.

So you can choose for your own if you want to get attacked while being offline, or if you want some friendly guests running around in your station, controlled by someone else, while you are away.

There are so much possibilities... :)


Ilaliya wrote:
Asgarus wrote:I'd love to be able to send a group of people to a friend's station.
You could decice if they are only guests, exploring the station on their own, learning from new technology and so on,
or you could control them yourself to aid your friend in combat, or add a new section to his station.
Or, eventually, you could let him control your people for a set time and use him as needed on his station or on missions.


We would too! We're hoping to do an optional persistent multiplayer game-mode that would have such features, but we just need to do the single player version first. :) However, rest assured we've designed the game to accommodate these plans.


Good to hear ;) You are great!

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Re: Multiplayer Functionality

Postby Mogg » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:10 pm

mmo.... already puts me off from wanting to stay around. I understand multiplayer, but mmo... Hassles of idiots, rude players, lag, trolls... yeah, I will avoid.
Give me a good lan game, one I can cooperatively enjoy with a one or two friends. All cool.
Or just a pure single player experience that is not limited in any way because I don't have more players with me.

"The design logic there is that MMO systems can work for a single player game but the opposite is rarely true. "
No. It can work, but not well in either direction. Try playing ALL content in an mmo on your own, no help from another player. Good luck as you will never see all content.
MMO are, in almost all cases, designed to force you to play with others. That is one of their core mechanics.

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Re: Multiplayer Functionality

Postby MilitantLobster » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:59 pm

Tons of good ideas in this thread! I really like the idea of mimicking Spore and having other people's bases populate your own single player world. My main interest lies in cooperative play but I know that some people will want PvP. PvP should certainly be an opt-in option so that people who don't have countless hours to dedicate to the game aren't overwhelmed by those who do (see MaxShield's earlier comment). You could enter matchmaking with an existing base, or several players could start from scratch and build up bases to attack each other. It sounds like the points system would make balancing the matchmaking process really easy.

I really like the cooperative features people have talked about. Having co-op run similar to Sim City 2013 where players control different entities (cities/bases) but have the opportunity to help each other out with different specializations (defense, tourism, science, exploration, etc), gifting resources and knowledge, and providing emergency aid would be really fun!

Passive choices that can affect your friends:
PensiveElephant wrote:A "gentler" style multiplayer, where you have control over who you play with could work well. Perhaps something akin to Facebook games, where you can add friends as your galactic neighbours, take a look (or stroll?) around their station, send each other resources - that kind of thing.

In this micro version multiplayer could offer players the chance to participate in each other's storylines, e.g.:

a) There is an asteroid headed for your Station. You have a means of deflecting it but it would send it on a collision course with the starbase of your friend. Do you take the hit or deflect it?

b) You are approached by a space pirate gang, offering you money for using your station as a refuelling stop. You know that this will mean that they will use your base to strike against your friends. You also expect, that if you decline their offer, they will go to neighbouring starbases with the same one, which might put you in the pirates' crosshairs instead. Do you trust all your neighbours to be as noble as you?


In both of these cases I feel like you could warn your friend and they would have time to bulk up their shields or other deflection systems. You should also have a chance to discuss what to do about the event before you make your choice.

Active events are more than just a choice to be made. If you decide to help you'll be actively involved with the fate of the mission.

MaxShields wrote:Perhaps multiplayer elements could be introduced in terms of controlling external game play enablers for the primary player. For example if we go back to the example of orbital bombardment, the main player's away team asks for a barrage, it is the supporting player's job to bring in the fire while using an orbital support interface, clicking as best they can to drop the rounds where they are asked for while accounting for issues like orbital procession, wind direction, etc.

Or maybe they can provide drone overflights to provide extra situational awareness? In another optic, they could represent the flow of travelers going to and from the station on starships and aboard, making requests that of the station owner? Successfully completed requests provide a boost to either player's station's performance/acquires loot/funds?


The question here is do you play a minigame that simulates the help you're giving (orbital bombardment example) or do you assign a crew member to the task and let his or her skill checks determine the outcome? Unless these minigames (a new cartridge for your datapad?) are already part of single player I think assigning crew members would be the way to go. The interfaces should be more or less the same for both.

I also really like the idea of crew exchange which several people have touched on. Any crew member could be loaned out to a friend for a certain amount of time or until the completion of a mission or build job. They could even offer training to crew members at the base they visited. Local crew that work under the oversight of the visiting expert would gain experience at a faster rate than if they worked alone. Classroom training could also be an option, possibly only available if certain modules were built (school, conference room, anywhere you could have a meeting for several uninterrupted hours)

Another thread also touched on the possibility of your crew being headhunted or abducted by other astrobases. Your friend could potentially turn on you and kidnap your crew member(s). It would be interesting if your crew member's loyalty affected the quality of information given after being kidnapped. A loyal captive could maybe pull off some sabotage while appearing to cooperate!

Finally an idea all my own: I've always been interested in playing a game cooperatively with a friend where we control the same entity but take on different roles. I'm always interested in base building, tweaking resource chains, filling out tech trees, etc. but my military strategy suffers as a result of domestic nitpicking. I've always thought it would be fun to team up with someone who loves maneuvering troops and fighting battles so that the two of us could co-run a game.

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Re: Multiplayer Functionality

Postby Mogg » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:09 am

Asgarus wrote:I'd love to be able to send a group of people to a friend's station.
You could decice if they are only guests, exploring the station on their own, learning from new technology and so on,
or you could control them yourself to aid your friend in combat, or add a new section to his station.
Or, eventually, you could let him control your people for a set time and use him as needed on his station or on missions.



Would be nice for more than just a cooperative element. One could send in a spy for stealing technology, assassination, sabotage as well as kidnapping and rescuing and as an informant. That could be just for the paranoid, competitive or dominating player. Envoys for politics and trade. Emergency teams for treating sick and injured that another starbase is not capable of doing themselves. Military enforcement, to take in criminals taking refuge in another starbase, or confiscating material possessed by another.
If you ever watched those sci-fi series, you will note that almost none of them enable the starships and starbases to see what is happening to the crew when they are outside. It is all voice, perhaps a very small video of the person making the report. So not being able to watch your crew in action outside of the starbase/ship would be justifiable. Since this game is focusing on being in a starbase or starship there is no need to see anything outside of this. A simple log entry or so as shown in the video is sufficient. Any different, and you have an entirely different game.

From what I have seen, you do not take direct control of any characters, but shape some decisions for their actions by giving them an overall order to accomplish. Their personalities and such shape the end result. So leaving it to the AI would be keeping in line with how the entire game is currently structured (form the limited amount I have been able to see). If you could take control directly of the people, what is the point in having personalities which you can directly ignore?

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Re: Multiplayer Functionality

Postby daselk » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:45 pm

I'm all for some multiplayer modes but definitely not making this an MMO.

Co-op would be great fun and a neat feature but i think you would get more players opting for a competitive matchmaking PVP system like starcraft/LoL - imagine 8 players building bases (mining/construction times altered for ~30m-1hr games) then battling for supremacy.

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