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