How do WE want StoneHearth multi-player to work?

After looking at my good friend @Alfie’s post on “How MultiPlayer will work” that can be found here. I got thinking about how everything would work again. But this particular thread has it’s own twist.

I have seen a good deal of posts that focus on the question of “How will SH multi-player work?”. But I have seen no posts on how WE as the community want multi-player to work. As things are still very early in development, and there has been little word on multi-player’s functionality, it is the perfect time for us to influence the final product.

So, how do we want it to work?

As usual with my threads, I will get the ball rolling, by explaining how I personally would like to see things work. I will do this by hitting the two versions of multi-player that are most likely going to be produced. Those being Co-Op and PVP.

Cooperative Play (Co-Op)

Before I get into the good stuff, I will quickly explain what I think Co-Op is. Co-Op is a online game mode that allows multiple players to work together in order to accomplish a designated goal. Now, how would this tie into SH? Well, as we have been informed, the game will respond to your play style. So, by building more knights, more enemies will spawn in. By farming more, less enemies will spawn in, and more challenges will appear on the farming front.

So, in my opinion. The way Co-Op should work is this; players will enter a game and will choose the location in which they want to spawn into. They will spawn in the same world. The area that Player A chooses to spawn in, will have to be a certain distance from where Player B chooses to spawn in. This would make the players focus more on their own cities. As it is Co-Op, Player A and Player B’s factions will be allies of each other, meaning that they will not be able to kill each other, and will be able to see through the fog of war (If there is any) wherever their allies unit’s are. The players will be able to trade with each other, and will be able to exchange services (Nights, farmers, builders, etc). The game will respond in the same way as it would in single player (Meaning that if you build military units, you will be attacked more, as I previously explained). After that, it’s just StoneHearth. If there are more than 2 players, the same rules apply.

Player vs Player (PVP)

This would be very similar to my idea of how Co-Op would work. The only difference being that the two cities would be able to attack each other and would not share the ability to trade or see each others units. Now, you might be thinking that there could be a couple of conflicts with this and there are.

  • If one player is offline and the other is online, the online player could make quick work of the AI’s defending the offline players city.
  • Players would focus more on killing the opposing faction, and less on their city management.

So, how do we fix this? There are a couple of ideas in my head. Those being:

  • If the one player is offline, all of their units and the areas that those units can influence on their own are “Off limits” and cannot be seen or attacked by the online player.
  • We completely ditch my idea for PVP and go with something else.
  • PVP matches are limited by a timer. So for example, a match can only last for 40 minutes. Whoever is more successful at the end wins. Or, whoever is left standing wins.

If we went with the plan of ditching my idea, what is left? Well, we would probably have some system that allows Player A open his/her single player world up to the public. Once in this open mode, Player B can select a number of his units from his single player world, and then warp them into Player A’s world. Then Player B tries to kill player A, and Player A tried to defend. Whoever wins gets the spoils of war (Player B’s attacking forces damaged gear (Swords, armor, food, etc) (Player A’s city or a chunk of resources). This would be a very effective system in my opinion. But I am not done yet.

I believe that the timed match idea of mine would also be a very effective system. Two players would be injected into a world with limited size, a clock would be displayed. If one player left or disconnected, the other would win. Then, the two players would duel it out until one was completely wiped out. If both factions were still alive at the end of the time limit, then whichever one had the most points (Points would be determined by the population number, food, minerals, etc).

So, what about you guys? Do you think my ideas are sound, or do you have some of your own? This is a topic of great interest, and is very popular. I look forward to seeing what kind of feedback we get.

Well first… thanks, @LordNevs!


My post on how multiplayer would be hosted between users. I believe this is on how it’d work, in a gameplay point of view.

And, with your question at the end:

I have a few things to say:

Well first, I think that the Cooperative Play could be improved with one thing; all players work together when one player has attracted the boss monster. This would add a new level of teamwork, and also would improve co-op over all, in my opinion.

Plus, with the PvP aspect… how about a ‘Clash of Clans’ style for dealing with offline players? This means that when another player decided to raid an offline player, they would be raiding (somewhat of) a clone of the offline player’s city, and then the damages would be applied to the real city, but only as minimal damage. Also, the raider wouldn’t gain as much loot as they would from raiding online players. This would sort of teach players to only raid online players.
It could either be that, or offline players cannot be raided what-so-ever.

That’s all from me on how multiplayer should work gameplay-wise. :smile:

For PvP & Co-op I think a fun part would be making you find the other players, so I think we shouldn’t be able to see through fog of war. This could also add things like flanking, tracking (if there is any, and I really hope there is), and scouting actually useful. This means you have to find your buddy.

That’s basically the point of fog of war, no?

Haha, I meant to put it for Co-op. :smile:

I believe that would be a better suggestion for PvP… but seeing that was your original intention, I won’t complain. :tongue:

Well now it’s for both.

All of the edits! :tongue:

I have full confidence that MultiPlayer will work fine. Why? Well, because Tony Cannon (yep out Tony) made GGPO.

What is it?

GGPO is a networking library that game developers can use to add networked gameplay support to arcade style games. GGPO’s latency hiding techniques give each player a gameplay experience that is nearly indistinguishable from playing with their friends locally, even against players around the world.

How does it work?

GGPO uses a peer-to-peer topology to run a complete copy of your game for each player, transmitting controller inputs over the network to keep these copies in sync. Each player’s inputs are sent to their copy of the game without having to wait for their opponent’s to arrive over the network.

It’s been in use for years and works really well. People use most for Street Fighter. I’m guessing StoneHearth well work the same way.

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If there was no fog of war in Co-Op, I think it would make the players Vs environment thing a little bit more boring. You would have plenty of warning before a group of enemies attacked your allies. It would be much more interesting if you were to glance at your allies village, see nothing going on. Go back to your village and maybe build a house. Then look back and see a band of goblins attacking and react accordingly. If you saw that band of goblins approaching way before they arrived, you would already have posted units. Also, it sounds like the world is going to generate as it is needed (If you tell someone to walk north till they die, they will, you will never hit a border). So if there was no fog of war, your computer would have to render an infinite landscape.

at this point, given what we know about the feature, its really one and the same… as multiplayer is such a distant objective, and given that what we want is what will be discussed (and what will likely help shape the direction of this topic), this should probably be merged here:

Well, the thread is more aimed towards the question of “How we want SH multi-player to work in-game” rather than how it will work on the technical side of things.

As for GGPO, I am not a fan. Why? Well, this line in particular.

[quote]Step 3:
Open UDP ports 6000-6009 (inbound/outbound) and TCP port 7000 (outbound) in your home network. GGPO uses these ports to communicate with the matchmaking server and with other players on the internet.

As I stated in another thread that can be found here. Opening ports or port forwarding is generally a very dangerous thing to do. I will not be doing it anytime soon myself, and usually those who are educated on it won’t either.

Well, this is like a sub-category of multiplayer, but oh well.


Well, we all know how servers work. So, if we could run co-op and PvP, why can’t we do servers?

I don’t see co-op as two villages. I see it as one village with two people building plans co-operatively. Very much like team play in Planetary Annihilation. Any player in PA can control any unit, there is no “mine” and “yours”.

The co-op of two villages (as described here and during the kickstarter) is allied PvP play, not co-op, IMO.

The main thing I want out of PvP, is competitive games. King of the Hill, Rabbit, Domination, and other FPS modes played with RTS villages. Another aspect of that are “Race” games, where the first person to build 20 10x10 houses wins (player controlled race goals, selected during setup).

So, in short, I want true co-op (no mine and yours) and competitive PvP.

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You have to understand that thing will work different for this game. Because GGPO was written at a time for more basic forms of communication and slower bandwidth. I’m sure SH will be more secure.

They will have to make SH server software. I guess it would be similar to Minecraft. This explains what Game servers are.

It’s not a matter of whether or not SH or Minecraft is secure. The only way that the game developers can solve the modem breach issue is by not forcing users to host their servers on a network via methods that require port forwarding, period.

Are their any game that don’t port forwarding during online gaming?

I’ve just woken up, am on mobile, and need to get ready for work - @lordnevs just to be clear, Stonehearth will not use GGPO.

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On the co-op side (or survival, as not everyone might not want to work together), I think the ability to either be invited to a village or create your own would be nice. Of do both, and help your friends village while you create your empire. I’d personally like to see something Mimecraft-server like, maybe just because of my background. But I think it’s difficult to avoid having to not open ports on the host machine.

They pretty much already confirmed that there will be coop both:

  1. players having each their own villagers to control.
  2. players sharing villagers.
    As both has many supporters.
    It was in one of the early livestreams. Dont remember which one.