Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.
Published on March 13, 2010 By Frogboy In Demigod Journals

I’m on the plane on my way back from GDC and was thinking I hadn’t made a Demigod journal in awhile.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Brad Wardell, President & CEO of Stardock and the publisher of Gas Powered Games’ Demigod.

One of the big questions I get from Demigod players is – what’s next? 

Right now, there is no definitive answer to this. But what I can tell you is what we hope to do on Stardock’s side of things to help Demigod in the future. 

So what I am putting forth here is a vision of what we would like to see happen with Demigod.

Let me break this down into 2 parts:

1. Improving the game itself

2. Improving the Multiplayer experience

Improving the game itself

As modders are aware, Demigod can be heavily modded using LUA.  I have talked about the idea of letting the community have more input into Demigod’s “unofficial” evolution in the future with Chris Taylor (CEO of GPG) at various times and he has been enthusiastic to the idea. 

It is our intention to work with the modding community to incorporate many of the community improvements into the game.

I would like to see it where a future demo of Demigod allows people to play with users who have the full version (demo players would have fewer Demigods and fewer maps) so that the MP community could be greatly expanded.  However, to make that worthwhile IMO item #2 needs to be addressed.

Improving the multiplayer experience

It is no secret that I’ve been somewhat of a critic of Demigod’s online experience.  The sausage factory of game development sometimes results with non-ideal solutions.

However, in my opinion, Demigod represents a fundamental opportunity to demonstrate the upcoming Impulse::Reactor features that are making their showing in Elemental.

In Demigod, Impulse::Reactor is only used to display available games and accepts XML data uploaded from Demigod.  The actual connectivity (getting players connected in the lobby) is a custom solution we developed AFTER Demigod shipped to replace the licensed system that originally came with the game.  The lobby itself and such is provided via LUA scripts.

By contrast, Impulse::Reactor’s upcoming MP solution is designed to provide a lot more MP functionality for developers.  For instance, tournaments, match making, ladders, scoring, etc. are all handled by Impulse::Reactor itself instead of being implemented by the developer (the developer simply includes the DLL.

Now, Impulse::Reactor can’t magically address everything.  It still requires the developer to submit the stats to the server (an ongoing issue for hard core Demigod players)  but what it can do is greatly ease the implementation of a given game by eliminating the current lobby and allowing for a lot more MP options that are currently in the game.

When would all this happen? Honestly, not for awhile because right now, everyone is just tapped.  GPG is working on Kings and Castles and Stardock is working on Elemental.  But there’s a lot of things that can be done between now and this time with the first item.

 

image

Impulse::Reactor is designed to allow developers to implement advanced multiplayer features into their games with minimal effort.


Comments (Page 1)
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on Mar 13, 2010

I'm guessing that Reactor would be much more stable and reliable than the current implementation? Fixing stat bugs would go a long way to helping things (even if it really needed to be done 9 months from now)... however, at the same time, if I know that things work AWESOME with Reactor, then any other games Stardock publishes/makes (Elemental) will work correctly the first time and that sounds great.

And thanks for the update, as a player I really appreciate your honesty.

I did notice that you posted in Uberfix you would like to incorporate that mod into the game. Do we know if that'll be possible anytime "soon" ("soon" meaning Valve/Blizzard time )

on Mar 13, 2010

I'm glad to hear that Demigod hasn't fallen under the table.

I have faith in your Frogboy. I have a feeling you'll take care of it how it has to be taken care of.

Thanks for informing us, just knowing helps.

on Mar 13, 2010

Awesome can't wait ^.^

on Mar 13, 2010

Sooo.... we gonna get changed lobby huh? Because if Impulse reactor (cough*steam rip off*cough) will still use P2P technology nothing  really gonna change (Same old exploits will still be possible, if someones net is slow whole game will lag for eveyone).

Now using comunity mods and adding demo players to the game thats very exciting news. Cant wait for that to happend as it will pull back many people to play again.

As always thank you  for info.

"The lobby itself and such is provided via LUA scripts"

This must be anserw why game eats more resources in lobby then when its actually being played ROTFL

PS.

Using 3rd party software to start a game with prearanged group of people via friens list or lobby like channels reminds me soo much of GAMERANGER. Hope you guys learn from its mistakes and make it so that it will show everyones ping and last game sim speed, so we wont have to re launch the game 6 or 10 times because someones pc cant handle it and there is no way of knowing who he was.

PPS.

Not happy to hear that GPG jumped into new game 'again' right after SC 2 was released. That game could use some love coz right now its below average. But i guess they wont have time now...

on Mar 13, 2010

I'm guessing that Reactor would be much more stable and reliable than the current implementation? Fixing stat bugs would go a long way to helping things (even if it really needed to be done 9 months from now)... however, at the same time, if I know that things work AWESOME with Reactor, then any other games Stardock publishes/makes (Elemental) will work correctly the first time and that sounds great.

And thanks for the update, as a player I really appreciate your honesty.

Impulse::Reactor can't fix things like stat bugs. Games still have to submit their data to the server.

But we will keep an eye out to find ways to make things more robust with the data we do get.

on Mar 13, 2010

Thanks for the post brad.

on Mar 13, 2010

Bit off topic
I am reading Impulse reactor white paper and I would like to ask some questions:

- Goo streaming sound almost as scary as Ubisoft drm in Assasin Creed 2. You guys also will use it for singleplayer modes in game if developers would require it?

- How impulse reactor will support modding? Is possible to download and install modds straight from reactor or wil you still have to search forums, download files from rapidshare or other sides and then restart the game?

- Will it possible to alocate some space on your servers for active users who can host their mods or replays there (say 20 mb per every user who would request it). So we wont have to use file sharing sites and we would have all mods in one place

- How much resources would impulse and impulse reactor use (cpu, ram etc) after all these changes?

Thanks hope to hear from you

on Mar 14, 2010

- Will it possible to alocate some space on your servers for active users who can host their mods or replays there (say 20 mb per every user who would request it). So we wont have to use file sharing sites and we would have all mods in one place

I know they are planning on keeping saved games for Elemental on their servers for multiplayer games (AUTOSAVES ONLY AND NOT MANDATORY. THIS IS A CONVIENCE FEATURE GUYS, NOT DRM). So I imagine they might be up for that kinda stuff, which would be awesome.

Actually, the lobby thing is right... the game actually runs my blazing-fast 2.4 GHz Dual-Core notebook CPU to the ground in the lobby but runs fine when the game starts...

on Mar 14, 2010

Demigods preloads files when in the lobby, so you can't blame the lobby resource use on the LUA Lobby code being inefficient.

on Mar 14, 2010

It's nice to here that there is still something going on with the game:)

I really like the idea with the Demo players playing with everyone else

 

Thanks Frogboy!

on Mar 14, 2010

thank you for keeping us informed!

on Mar 14, 2010

Nice to see a journal, its been to long. Thanks Brad!

on Mar 14, 2010

Sooo.... we gonna get changed lobby huh? Because if Impulse reactor (cough*steam rip off*cough)

LOL. By that argument, Steam is a Gamespy rip off. 

on Mar 15, 2010

I am really looking forward to the possibility to mod our own Demis into the game. I have so many diffrent concepts posted, but they rarley ever see to much light. I don't get much attention, and I would like to get more. My King Arachne post has not even really been notices at all. I put  a lot of my time into creating my Demigod concepts, but for what? I am simply asking that I can somehow do something with my ideas.

on Mar 15, 2010

Looking forward to a future update at some time.  Hoping to see some sort of successful implementation of your ideas in Demigod.  Thanks.

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