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Author Topic: plans for net melee?  (Read 2535 times)
SCFan
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plans for net melee?
« on: December 06, 2005, 04:16:58 am »

As a long-term gamer who enjoyed Star Control on the genesis and PC and who as a teenager spent many memorable hours in SC2 melee on the 3D0, I have long craved the chance to melee online.
 
But, aside from the long-unfinished "timewarp" project, I don't see it anywhere.
 
Since you guys have the best version of the game, I think it's really up to you to develop some kind of client/server melee port.
 
Do you guys have any plans in that direction?
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Re: plans for net melee?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2005, 03:59:14 pm »

This was discussed quite extensively a year or so ago. The major problem here is that UQM was never designed for network multiplayer, so the combat system has no way to handle the lag introduced by the Internet. Writing some sort of predictive input system and adding the ability to resynchronise game states would require quite a lot of modifications.

For low-latency connections (such as a LAN or very fast Internet), a more straight-forward system could suffice that simply transmits information about which keys have been pressed (or the equivalent for joystick control). However, even in this case, the combat system would have to be modified to ensure that all random events occur in exactly the same way on all machines and that all calculations yield exactly the same results. Luckily, UQM doesn't seem to use much floating point arithmetic.

Considering that the current development priorities are improving configuration and modifiability, adding the last missing features and stabilising the code, no one seems to be currently interested in implementing network multiplayer.
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Re: plans for net melee?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2005, 06:42:31 pm »

There was an interenet based game some time ago... wish I could remember the name of it -- it was pretty cool though.  It was a 2D game with asteroids/sc2 style action.  You could start with a ship having some basic features and build them up and kill lots of other people.  Sure wish I could remember what that was called... oh yeah!  Subspace!  I guess that thing is still around (I googled it while writing this) too.  I think it would be fairly simple work to get online with subspace and play with the controls while doing a packet capture on the network.  From there you can determine their method of information exchange.

In any case, a "Risk-like" game that has Star Control melee would be great fun against the computer or against another person.  I hope it happens, but all I can offer is "testing" and "complaining" to support the effort.
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Re: plans for net melee?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2005, 08:41:13 pm »

Try Timewarp.
At least on LAN-partys it works quite okay. Not the useually stable network program though.
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Re: plans for net melee?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2005, 09:18:20 pm »

I think it would be fairly simple work to get online with subspace and play with the controls while doing a packet capture on the network.  From there you can determine their method of information exchange.
I strongly doubt that reverse engineering the network protocol of another game is going to be much help in adding this sort of functionality to UQM, nor particularly "simple"! The problem is not how to do it per se, it's just that UQM is going to need some heavy modification to do it and that's going to be a lot of work.
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Re: plans for net melee?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2005, 12:52:14 am »

Not exactly what you might be looking for but Star Sonota is pretty close.
Its a free MMO with game play similar to UQM.
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Re: plans for net melee?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2005, 09:47:03 pm »

An interesting sidenote that may or may not be relevent...

ZSNES, a popular emulator for the Super Nintendo Console, is capable of netplay out of the box.

And I assure you, none of these games were ever meant to be played online. ^^

How it basically works is that the game "stutters" when the computers are out of sync, so that they can never be at different periods in time, so to speak.

You can also increase latency (how long it takes for your button presses to take effect) to reduce the stutter.

This was all on a 56k modem...so I assume the stutter would be nonexistent on DSL or cable.
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Re: plans for net melee?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2005, 12:01:55 am »

See here.
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Re: plans for net melee?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2005, 02:18:24 am »

At least I had the right idea. ^^;
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SCfan
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Re: plans for net melee?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2005, 09:46:25 pm »

Thanks for the info.
 
I recently started playing a free MMO called Starport GE. It's an evolved form of the old ANSI game Tradewars, but with SC2-like piloting and exploration.
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