From Stardock: Demigod Day 0 Status Report!

By on April 14, 2009 6:21:27 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1117

Hi gang!

What an exciting day! I've spent literally the last 40 or so hours playing Demigod on-line or working with people on the Demigod in game chat to show them how to debug some issue or other with either their PC, their router, or some flaw in Demigod.

For those of you having trouble getting multiplayer games going, I apologize.  

You know, funny thing about running a game developer/publisher.  You look at every game that launches with some multiplayer connectivity problem or some server overload problem or whatever and think "Good grief, didn't they see this coming!?"  Well, it turns out apparently that no, no matter how well prepared you think you are, there are always going to be issues.

While I can say that there are, even as I type, many hundreds of people playing online together, mostly in Skirmish and Pantheon games, there are many hundreds of others having trouble connecting to people in custom games or having skirmish or pantheon doing something odd due to the server overload.

We are working to address it and what I mean by that is that we intend to release another update this week to deal with as much of what we've found as possible.

It's too early to tell whether Demigod is going to match the success Sins of a Solar Empire has enjoyed. But we're pretty happy with early sales even if we're not totally satisfied with the game's network performance (which is not developed by GPG but by Stardock so don't blame GPG).

With the first official day of the game's availability almost over, I'd like to give you a status report on 4 critical issues we're working on addressing:

#1 Custom Games.  The lobby and the NAT connection are seperate which, in hindsight, wasn't an ideal design decision. It's something that can be addressed but it'll take some days to do it.  Basically, the connection system needs to be more like a lobby where the host can eject users who have problematic setups, slow ping times, etc.  In any other game, if you create a game and you see a user who's got a slow ping, you'd eject them probably.  But here, they have to first connect to everyone else.  And that assumes their router isn't set up like fort knox whicha lot of users clearly have.

#2 You're connected but not in the game. This appears to be a genuine bug on our part. We're looking to address this and with any luck we'll be able to provide an updated build today or tomorrow. This is a very frustrating problem for users.

#3 The Pantheon / Skirmish games create uneven teams and such.  This is mostly due to a lack of data for the system to work off of. When it was developed, it had a ton of beta tester win loss data to create balanced teams. Plus, from a "fun" point of view it was designed to try to get a skilled player versus 2 or 3 unski-er less experienced players as we found that pretty fun during the beta but the problem is, with everyone starting out with the same rating, it ends up with some bad results.  This situation will iron itself out in the next couple of days on its own but now you know why it's happening.

#4 Server Load.  We can't complete this list without talking about the overall server load Demigod's Pantheon and community features are using. A lot of this is simply volume but part of this is just finding areas where certain calls were being made too often. This will take a bit of time to address but I expect by the end of the week it'll be pretty responsive if not sooner.

As some of you know, we're all over the forums and on the chat channels hanging out. 

So how can we make any of this up to you? Well, we've decided one way is to expand on something that our partners at Ironclad (developers of Sins of a Solar Empire) really got going when Sins came out and that is put a lot of "Stardockians" online to play multiplayer games with people later this week.

These Stardockians will be on to help show people how to play the game, give them tips and provide just a good online experience. For people who found themselves trying to get a game going today and couldn't due to server overloads or network connectivity, you'll be able to get a good game going with us.

Thanks for your patience. We'll keep you up to date! 

Cheers

 

Brad "Frogboy" Wardell
President / CEO of Stardock

p.s. I'm on the chat channels if anyone needs me. Though I do plan to get some sleep in the next few hours once we have made some progress on an updated DLL for improving network connectivity.

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April 14, 2009 6:26:48 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Thanks for the Update, I have no doubt Stardock will address these issues.

 

Cheers; Snarl

 

 almost forgot.. great game having lot's of fun

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April 14, 2009 6:28:53 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Just wanted to say thank you. Been on all day with ya, and you have been making great strides in solving problems and dealing with people. The situation sucks, but you guys are making the best of it. I'd be angry if the game wasn't so damn good.

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April 14, 2009 6:29:58 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I love that the CEO not only plays the game, but post status updates and codes it.

On one hand I hate it that I have to work so many long days around the release but on the other hand there should be some nice fixes when my weekend starts.

 

Thanks again Frogboy and Stardock.

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April 14, 2009 6:35:01 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

glad to see ur takin care of the issues

 

when i ahve been able to play its been a blast

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April 14, 2009 6:38:16 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Great post. Demigod has issues, but it's so refreshing to hear directly from the developers that the issues are being acknowledged, and that they're looking into fixing them as soon as possible! Consider this customer's confidence boosted!

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April 14, 2009 6:40:46 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

great game

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April 14, 2009 6:41:58 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

VERY glad to get some information.  One suggestion which I think would make things a lot more bearable though, should be very minimal codinng work.  Include more information in game via loading bars, flashing icons etc.  Have the "connection info" window pop up by default EVERY time you join a game.  Have window boxes pop up and say "connecting" with some sort of flashing iicon, dots, something, to indicate to the player that the game has NOT crashed, but that it is trying to connect online.

Not a big change and not a lot of work but simply knowing that the game itself did not hang and its a network issue will make it a LOT more bearable for many players.

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April 14, 2009 6:42:33 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Thanks a lot for giving us all the info on what's going, and what's going no so well...

 

hope everything will turn out smooth soon

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April 14, 2009 6:47:53 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Make everything asynchronous. The game sometimes hangs when it does something network related (can't think of an example off the top of my head)... if only you had a progress window and the clouds in the background kept moving, it would be much more manageable

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April 14, 2009 6:54:30 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Appreciate the update and hard work you guys are still putting into the game. I can only see the game getting better with you guys at the helm.

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April 14, 2009 6:56:02 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Exactly.  Please, every time there is a network call that could appear to “hang”, have SOME sort of window with blinking dots and a cancel button you can click at any time.

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April 14, 2009 7:03:07 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Awesome.  FOR JUSTICE!, even.

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April 14, 2009 7:34:32 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Thanks for an update. Good luck working out the errors.

 

I do hope "bad people with bad routers" doesn't turn into too much a scapegoat though. Practically, allowing people to be kicked if they're holding up the connectivity is an alright stop gap solution and will see more games getting going, but if all these games right now are being held up by people with setups that impulse reactor can't work with then there really are a lot of them.

 

Lord knows it's easy for everyone to the bad eggs for their woes, but as you said yourself there's a lot of people that impulse reactor treats like fort knox and if the whole solution just relies on people with good connectivity filtering out those with poor connectivity then there's still going to be a lot of unhappy customers left over.

 

It's been mentioned before that routers/firewalls might not be the only cause of problems, here in europe alot of ISPs can be quite agressive with their efforts to keep high bandwidth usage under control and tend to cause a lot of collateral problems while they're at it. There's no amount of router tweaking someone can do to make demigod playable if their ISP happens to see demigod traffic as low priority because it has something in common with other p2p applications.

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April 14, 2009 7:43:41 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Thanks for the update, Brad. Appreciate the time you all are putting into it!

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April 14, 2009 7:45:06 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Keep the work up

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April 14, 2009 7:54:33 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Thanks for the updates, will continue to try and play online, hehe.

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April 14, 2009 7:57:31 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Thanks for the update Frogboy.  Nice to know everyone's working on the issues.  I'm excited to see how smooth online multi will be later this week. 

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April 14, 2009 7:59:16 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Every thread started tonight with someone yelling about the multiplayer not working needs to be directed to this thread.

Thanks for the update and the great game. Looking forward to the updates to multiplayer.

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April 14, 2009 8:06:30 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Tekkor,
Every thread started tonight with someone yelling about the multiplayer not working needs to be directed to this thread.

Now there's an idea. 

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April 14, 2009 8:11:45 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Actually, I have a suggestion with the networking(but I don't know how code and stuff works, so forgive me If I'm being stupid)

 

A problem I and a lot of other players have is being able to connect to some, but not all of the other players. If every player is acting as a host, why not rout the signals of people you can't connect to through people you can? literally treat them as a host in a client server setup , but just for the computers you can't connect to. Everyone else would still be peer ro peer.

 

Just a thought.

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April 14, 2009 8:11:48 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I found a solution to all the issues, if you'd like to pass it along Frogboy: Ritual Sacrifice

 

With enough blood and chanting, all problems go away. > . >

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April 14, 2009 8:20:56 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

^ correct option

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April 14, 2009 8:54:20 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting LittleOz,
Thanks for the update Frogboy.  Nice to know everyone's working on the issues.  I'm excited to see how smooth online multi will be later this week. 

 

 

So they can see an official acceptance of it not working and that they're working on it? Thats exactly what someone would think anyway, most companies don't toss out a big game and not try to work on some of the exposed problems on day 1. What most people want are solutions to their problems not, "wait a couple days and we'll totally have everything working". While I believe Stardock will have it working someone who doesn't know them would just scoff at that answer.

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April 14, 2009 10:20:29 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Thanks for the update Frogboy, I've been in and out of the chat most of the day and I must say I find it refreshing to see people from the company conversing with all us gamers and helping address issues, be it our side or yours. I'd love to join in playing some games with the "Stardockians", seeing as they made the game maybe they can give me a few pointers considering there's no tutorials or anything

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April 14, 2009 10:36:50 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I don't suppose there is a publisher and developers anywhere on the planet as cool as these guys, eh?

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