Multiplayer - how to with these constraints

Community Forums/Technical Discourse/Multiplayer - how to with these constraints

Matty(Posted May) [#1]
Hi folks,

Let us say you wanted to build a multiplayer game for mobile but had the following constraints:

1. 95% of users play two or three sessions and that is it.

2. You have less than 50 players in a 3 month period.

3. None of your players are ever on at the same time.

Does that suggest a multiplayer game with such constraints is completely unworkable...or is it possible with some kind of turn based asynchronous system to do it?

Can you with those limitations make a persistent online world of sorts?

Think outside the box for a minute....

MikeHart(Posted May) [#2]
3. None of your players are ever on at the same time.

USUALLY a multiplayer game is about players to compete/collaborate with each other. If they are never online at the same time, I can only see an asynchronous turn based game to one that could be played like that.
OR you create a server that runs your game world independently and the players jump into this world at will and will have enough to do there without the need of other players. But then, is it still a multiplayer game?

Pakz(Posted May) [#3]
Maybe some kind of level maker like the Mario editor. Maybe set up domino's and let other players see them fall down? (minecrafty)

Rooster(Posted May) [#4]
I've never played the game, but I think Clash of clans does something like this.
So maybe a base defense game is what your looking for?

My other thought is you could make a deep space exploration\colonization game, where the players could could communicate or send help; but it would take time (maybe not for the communications), and negate not having players on at the same time.

RemiD(Posted May) [#5]
You could definitely create some kind of persistent world with different environments, npcs, items, and a program (server side, a php script run by cron job or similar) could regularly change the states of the environments, npcs, items, and each player, even if he plays alone, could change the states of the environments, npcs, items, and when several players are connected they could also interact/fight again each other (if they meet in the same environment/scene), even if the game could be functional as a single player game (but multi-players in the sense that the world could be modified by different players).

Matty, i recommend that you try to play a lone wolf gamebook (i suggest to use the simple edition you can read it on your smartphone/tablet), here :
if you don't already know this kind of game, i think this could expand your imagination about a new kind of game, especially since you seem to like turn based game and rpg, and since you are interested in drawings/2d graphics

I started a project based on these gamebooks gameplay and 2d graphics/texts and the idea was to create a kind of open world game (single player) with different environments/npcs/items which were images assembled proceduraly to form a scene, with a gameplay similar to the lone wolf gamebook... Maybe this will give you some ideas...

Derron(Posted May) [#6]
@ asynchronous

You could add competition by eg. dungeons needing multiple "runs" to get finished.
So it has "50 steps" to get solved - your run will add "4-8 steps" (depending on difficulty).

You then could have multiple ways of gameplay:

- competition
The one who finishes the 50th step (or more) gets some rewards. To avoid "nobody starting at all" you either have all dungeons get deadlines or auto-increasing steps ("AI heroes")

- social
All players who took part in a dungeon solvement will get rewards according to their share on the 50 steps. Maybe add some bonus if you entered the first time or if you were the last one.

PVP is not possible asynchronously for "fantasy games" except you do some "turn based" thing with very long turn-intervals (like "play by mail" in the early internet ages).

So if you really have so less players online I assume you need to invent things which could be done asynchronously - together or alone.
- dungeons with "steps" or "progression"
- spell trainers which only train X apprenticeships/players per day (adjust by "avg online players"-amount)
- trade in this multiplayer should be done via vendors - people sell or buy and of course for others they are made available then too.
- persistence: certain quests could be solved by only one at a time but afterwards the next could do it too. Mobs slain could also be dead "forever" but to avoid an empty world the story could be containing some breed-caves where ugly mobs create new beings and these then use some dark magic ways to reach outer territories. Think a respawn is easier to implement ;-)


Matty(Posted May) [#7]
Yeah thanks folks...RemiD I used to play those books as a kid as pen and paper - I can see how they'd work with drawings/computerisation quite well.....

I have some ideas of my own too...similar to yours...they involve people interacting with a persistent world that changes over time according to server updates with a cron job (like what RemiD suggested) - although I'd like it if I could do some kind of strategy game perhaps...something like that......maybe faction based rather than user based and aibots fight over the world at the same time to prevent a single user from just playing and taking everyone's land/territory...