we get letters… And so here are some answers to some frequently asked questions:
Q: When is the Demigod demo coming out?
A: Soon. Stardock and GPG are working on it. Probably in the next 3 weeks.
Q: What will the demo have in it?
A: It will be online only (but you will be able to play AI players). It will have 1 map and 4 of the Demigods is what we’re thinking right now. Should be enough to get a taste of the game and make sure the online experience works well for those players.
Q: Speaking of online, so where does that stand?
A: Pretty good. For custom games it’s fine. For pantheon and skirmish less fine. The proxy servers have helped tremendously. We are nearly done with a rather cool (well I think it’s cool) smart proxy server chooser thingy (that’s a technical term) where, based on your IP address it figures out your latitude and longitude and then maps it to the nearest proxy server.
You still have some people who just will not, cannot talk to each other. I’ve personally seen it. They can connect to other people but they can’t connect to each other. Bear in mind, this happens in most RTSs. The difference with Demigod is that we have the connection dialog and we let people in the lobby as soon as they connect to the host. If this were a different RTS, what would happen is you’d be in the lobby just waiting for more people to show up and thinking no one liked your game. Anyone who’s ever played an RTS has certainly seen that. Now you know one of the reasons why. But in Demigod, it was decided that the host should be able to decide who stays or goes if someone can’t connect to someone. There’s pros and cons either way.
Now, in Pantheon and Skirmish, it’s a different story. There isn’t a “host” per se so if someone can’t connect to another for whatever reason, that’s a problem. We’re working on a different way to create skirmish/pantheon games to resolve that.
But overall, at this stage, if you’ve played RTS’s before, you probably won’t have a problem with Demigod. At this point, I would say that (especially for custom games) more people can connect in Demigod than in most RTSs because most RTS’s don’t have proxy servers.
However, that brings me to the next point.
Q: You say Demigod’s online play is fine now but I have a problem.
A: For that I say go to http://www.speedtest.net/ and check your upload speed. Demigod requires a broadband connection defined as at least 256 kilobit upload and download to reliably play a 5 on 5 game. A 3 on 3 game requires about 120 kilobit (about twice what an old phone modem does). v1.01 should reduce this well below the threshold of low end connections. But if you get a speedtest rating of less than 256 kilobit, you should stay with 3 on 3 games max unless you know how to make sure you’ve turned off other sources of uploading.
For example, it seems like everytime I run into someone whose complaining about “high in game ping even though it was fine in the lobby” it turns out to be someone with a DSL line that has 128 kilobit upload who also has a torrent seeder going on. Don’t do that.
Also, we have not given up on “edge” cases. The team at Stardock and GPG keep coming up with clever ideas to help more and more people.
Q: When is Demigod v1.01 coming out?
A: Ideally Thursday but no promises as this week is a shortened week in the United States (Memorial Day was on Monday). There’s a lot of changes in v1.01 so we have to do a lot of testing with it.
Q: When are more Demigods coming out?
A: We are discussing that topic this week with Gas Powered Games. Obviously we would like to see sooner rather than later.
Q: How are sales of Demigod?
A: The coupon we sent out has kind of muddled the stats since obviously sales were off the charts this past week digitally. At retail they’re pretty close to what Sins of a Solar Empire did but the digital market has continued to grow which is making it harder to do apple and apple comparisons.
Q: When will Demigod be released in <insert country here>
A: Atari is handling Demigod outside North America. I’m not sure what the specific country data is. You can visit Atari at www.atari.com for more information for your specific locale.
Q: What about more maps?
A: This is something we’re particularly interested in too. I would personally like to see some duel maps (1 on 1). I’ll have more info on this soon.
Q: <Demigod that beat me> is overpowered.
A: No it isn’t.
Q: <Player who beat me> is cheating.
A: No he isn’t.
Q: What are some things YOU (Brad) think Demigod needs to continue being popular long term?
A: I’m just speaking for myself here but these are some of the things I’ll be pushing for:
- More Demigods, more maps.
- Better community features. Ways to make it a more positive community.
- Ways for pros to play pros and casual players to play casual players
- Networking diagnostics built into the game to improve online experience for non-techies.
- More items that provide strategic depth.