Playing Supreme Ruler Ultimate Multiplayer Games

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Hullu Hevonen
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Re: Playing Supreme Ruler Ultimate Multiplayer Games

#16 Post by Hullu Hevonen » Jun 20 2015

George Geczy wrote:There has been some investigation into using Steam multiplayer and matchmaking. One reason that this hasn't had a high profile is that most games are single player mode, and multiplayer is small segment of time played.

The big issue, however, is that a switch to Steam Multiplayer would need to be "complete". It does not look like it would be possible to support multiple systems (the current DirectPlay and the new Steam MP) at the same time. So switching to Steam MP would mean that we would no longer be multiplayer playable on Gameranger, Hamachi, or non-steam launched games.

On the other hand, we'd gain Steam matchmaking, the larger steam user base (versus gameranger), and possibly improved connectivity.

Thoughts?

-- George / BattleGoat.

(Note: This message was also cross-posted to the Steam Forums)
To be honest, the reason why most play single player is because multiplayer doesn’t work as it should in it's current form. This CANNOT be understated, the fact that multiplayer games don't work, with a working mp game of 4 people being considered lucky (anything above that a small-big miracle). 16 player multiplayer sessions are a wet dream. Stuff like, types of internet connection, firewalls, geography, PC hardware etc. affect the performance of this game in MP. If the MP game crawls, it is not playable. Hamachi for example fixes much of this by providing an VPN though is slow-ens the game speed, while GR is faster but more unstable causing much more crashes (which increase the more players is involved, 2-3 players is still relatively stable). I'm not going to go into detail about these problems since they have been multiply times posted on this forum.
In essence the reason why today many people don't play this game in MP is because it isn't working. Don't know how more clear I can be ;) .

Compare your own titles to your competitors like Paradox, where you have youtubers streaming the games in big multiplayer sessions that potential customers can se. If people have fun and laugh they give a good impression of the game. One of the first thing I do when I want to buy a new game is to look it up on youtube to look at it's graphics, game functions, different ways to play it and what does it's players think of it. The experience in multiplayer is different from singleplayer and could thus be viewed as a different product. The more players the richer the experience. 3 players tends to end up with 1 vs 2 at some point, not always fun if the same players band to gether allways, thus bigger games is a plus more options to ally with, more dynamic.

The reason I've personally been so inactive recently have been because I am fed-up of playing singleplayer and multiplayer is just causing too much frustration, thus not an option anymore. This issue has led me not to play this game anymore, this game was even the last hold-out title on windows that kept me on that platform (thus why I'm unable to continue modding). One large multiplayer game back in the day was successful, the "great powers" game if I remember correctly, it gave me the taste for the value of a large multiplayer game that never subsided and never could be replaced. These kinds of games are practically impossible to achieve due to previous problems highlighted. Sure in theory it should work... but.

I don't personally care what the solution is, if it is Steam MP or not, but that is the only solution that I see since Gameranger, Hamachi, Direct IP etc is a nogo. Either you tackle all the individual problems plaguing the ruined MP experience or you find a way to push through them all at once. Thats my opinion :).
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Re: Playing Supreme Ruler Ultimate Multiplayer Games

#17 Post by GordonGekko » Jun 20 2015

Only reason i stopped playing supreme ruler was because setting up mp games was a hassle, please implement it.

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Re: Playing Supreme Ruler Ultimate Multiplayer Games

#18 Post by GIJoe597 » Jun 20 2015

Hullu Hevonen wrote: To be honest, the reason why most play single player is because multiplayer doesn’t work as it should in it's current form.

I posted this same thing 5 years ago and here we are still having the same issue :(

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Re: Playing Supreme Ruler Ultimate Multiplayer Games

#19 Post by ZEvans96 » Jun 20 2015

PLEASE give us steam matchmaking! lol, then I might actually start playing more again. I love this game but I love playing MP much more than SP but its never been easy enough to do. I have had to sit at my computer for hours with a group of people trying to get every kink out so we could all play and then when we can play its too late and everyone's going to bed...

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Re: Playing Supreme Ruler Ultimate Multiplayer Games

#20 Post by Kristijonas » Jun 20 2015

Have you guys really tried Gameranger? It requires no messing with routers, it even launches the game and enters multiplayer mode by itself.

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Re: Playing Supreme Ruler Ultimate Multiplayer Games

#21 Post by Ater » Jun 20 2015

I'll redownload the game if MP becomes easier :D
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Re: Playing Supreme Ruler Ultimate Multiplayer Games

#22 Post by George Geczy » Jun 20 2015

Thank you everyone for the comments and opinions in this thread - both newer players and of course our revered veterans like Hullu.

It is quite true that Multiplayer has been given the ugly stepchild treatment, for many reasons, including the fact that even if MP worked perfectly it would still be a minority segment of our players. That being said, now that the content side of Supreme Ruler has matured, it's more important to address some of the issues like MP that haven't been given much love.

We've had a good relationship with Gameranger over the years (although they took a bit long to get SRU up on the site), but of course only a minority of steam players would be familiar with that service. But moving to Steam MP would mean that Steam would be the only connection solution - not only would Gameranger and direct IP connect be gone, but so would "4 computers in my basement lan party" - SR, like many other games, has always been generally permissive of people connecting on a local LAN using a single CD Key, but with Steam MP each player would need a Steam account with SRU in the library.

On the other hand, Steam MP is the key to improvements in Multiplayer issues that we've been stuck with - better router compatibility, save-game automatic file transfer, quit/rejoin, Mac compatibility, etc.

Based on the comments in this thread so far, it seems that there is certainly player support to put development effort into improving MP. No promises on an exact timeline right at this time, but your feedback has been heard.

-- George / BattleGoat.

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Re: Playing Supreme Ruler Ultimate Multiplayer Games

#23 Post by George Geczy » Jun 20 2015

By the way, the Multiplayer Sync issues are generally not related to Gameranger or Hamachi, although I'm not sure what the exact cause would be. In the next update, about to go live, we've added better sync-checking to the game (something that was generally optimized out to improve mp communication speed), so you should see a chat-box warning on sync errors when they first occur (versus "ghost map"). This might help us better track down the situations that are causing sync errors.

-- George.


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Re: Playing Supreme Ruler Ultimate Multiplayer Games

#25 Post by Kristijonas » Jun 20 2015

Thanks, George!

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Re: Playing Supreme Ruler Ultimate Multiplayer Games

#26 Post by GreenGoblin » Jun 21 2015

Kristijonas wrote:Have you guys really tried Gameranger? It requires no messing with routers, it even launches the game and enters multiplayer mode by itself.
Yeah, five of the people here along with myself spent the better part of seven hours trying to get GameRanger to work with all the players. In the end it came down to the order in which people were joining the game :-? but as it turn out we were averaging about two hours of playtime per month of game time. It really was that slow. :-(

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Re: Playing Supreme Ruler Ultimate Multiplayer Games

#27 Post by Hullu Hevonen » Jun 21 2015

George Geczy wrote:By the way, the Multiplayer Sync issues are generally not related to Gameranger or Hamachi, although I'm not sure what the exact cause would be. In the next update, about to go live, we've added better sync-checking to the game (something that was generally optimized out to improve mp communication speed), so you should see a chat-box warning on sync errors when they first occur (versus "ghost map"). This might help us better track down the situations that are causing sync errors.

-- George.
My experience is that gameranger is more unstable than Hamachi or Tunngle. Leading me to believe it can have something to do with Hamachi & Tunngle being VPN based, meaning they go through peoples hardware and software barriers such as firewalls, security settings. The players of this game are from all walks of life, so there can be students that are behind a fast but heavily firewalled campus internet (that have to use a private VPN to access certain features, thus using Hamachi creates a VPN within a VPN) or have an router pre-configured and partially steered by your ISP (which used to be my problem), imagine running to your ISP requesting them to open port 16000 for GameRanger :lol: . Certain players can use Hamachi certain GameRanger, some all options.
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Re: Playing Supreme Ruler Ultimate Multiplayer Games

#28 Post by GreenGoblin » Jun 21 2015

Hullu Hevonen wrote:
George Geczy wrote:...
My experience is that gameranger is more unstable than Hamachi or Tunngle. Leading me to believe it can have something to do with Hamachi & Tunngle being VPN based, meaning they go through peoples hardware and software barriers such as firewalls, security settings. The players of this game are from all walks of life, so there can be students that are behind a fast but heavily firewalled campus internet (that have to use a private VPN to access certain features, thus using Hamachi creates a VPN within a VPN) or have an router pre-configured and partially steered by your ISP (which used to be my problem), imagine running to your ISP requesting them to open port 16000 for GameRanger :lol: . Certain players can use Hamachi certain GameRanger, some all options.
Many universities now unblock the ports required for steam matchmaking and multiplayer so there is real potential for a wider audience to play multiplayer games. Not to mention that a large proportion of your players are in fact students. :wink:

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Re: Playing Supreme Ruler Ultimate Multiplayer Games

#29 Post by Fistalis » Jun 21 2015

George Geczy wrote:
-- George / BattleGoat.
LAN support in this day and age is still awesome.. if i ever actually used it then it would weigh in on my vote. However the days of me and a few buddies gathering our PCs/laptops etc into one physical space died when they all got married and/or had kids :wink:

IMO SR needs 3 major things to its MP to make it optimal.
  • 1 Better Unified matchmaking - Steam Matchmaking will provide this.

    2 Reduce Desyncs. I still am of the opinion that major differences in the speed of players machines + playing on a fast speed is the major cause but feel free to find it and fix it whatever the issue is.

    3 If at all possible. Join in progress. (would likely need to be able to password protect or in someway block players from picking someones nation who isn't online at the time for this to work without greifing etc) Part of the issue is in order to have a long enough MP game you gotta set up weekly times.. if someones late you gotta save restart etc. Can't start the game until everyone shows up or whatever. The ability for someone to join a game in progress would improve the MP greatly.

    4. I know I said 3 but thats because I know this one isn't possible. MP support for the many SP only options (liberate etc)
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Re: Playing Supreme Ruler Ultimate Multiplayer Games

#30 Post by Hullu Hevonen » Jun 23 2015

Number 3 would help alot, though it would have to be bundled with host switching in-game, in-case the host crashes. This would lessen the frustration players feel from mp games.

Another option is for BG to have some sort of checksums on the data that the clients send to each-other. That way you avoid the situation where one client is "wtf is this data that client 2 sent me" and crashes. Then client 1 could just ask client 2 to resend that data and tell all other clients in the game to wait. Though this could potentially slow things down considerably if there is alot of errors happening.
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