Demigod: Beyond

By on March 13, 2010 6:20:24 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1491

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.

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March 13, 2010 6:57:52 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

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 )

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March 13, 2010 7:01:40 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

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.

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March 13, 2010 7:08:04 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Awesome can't wait ^.^

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March 13, 2010 10:17:09 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

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...

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March 13, 2010 10:20:31 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

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.

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March 13, 2010 10:29:04 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Thanks for the post brad.

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March 13, 2010 10:42:42 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

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

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March 14, 2010 3:26:28 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

- 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...

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March 14, 2010 3:42:09 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

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

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March 14, 2010 9:26:11 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

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!

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March 14, 2010 3:22:41 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

thank you for keeping us informed!

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March 14, 2010 6:34:16 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

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

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March 14, 2010 10:37:26 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

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. 

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March 15, 2010 12:18:58 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

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.

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March 15, 2010 12:49:50 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

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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March 15, 2010 11:16:10 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I'm glad to see the vision...

However GPG is only a couple months into Kings and Castles and it's likely going to be a couple years before it ships I would imagine.  If they are fully taxed with that right now, it's hard to imagine them having anyone to spare on DG for some time.  Then again they are probably pushing everyone they have into K&C in hopes of attracting publisher money and maybe once that's secure they can shoot a guy over to DG on weekends for a couple months or something.

In other thoughts, the comparison between Assassin's Creed II DRM and anything Brad owns felt like comparing good and evil, darkness and light or Star Wars and Star Trek... polar opposites.

PS- I notice you mentioned "the plane" rather than "my plane"... I thought all that DG money was going to "your jet fuel"!  Where is it REALLY going HRM!?!??!!?!!!  Mystery.

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March 15, 2010 11:48:10 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

oh, how lovely, so we are stranded in an island you say? and GPG is too busy with a new game to save us, you say? Well, how lovely! Will keep things going ourselves then, after all, there isn't much we can do other than put mods up, nice to know this game is pretty much dead. Demigod shouldn't have come with so many multiplayer issues in the first place. I have spent 40 bucks in better things. The game is a one-of-a-kind, and it seems to be getting less and less attention from its developers. I'm very upset, I'm gonna go modd now... they've given up on us, working on new things, we're tottally forgotten...

Thanks for keeping us updated.

Thanks for pushing GPG into giving us attention.

I know it's not your fault Frogboy!

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March 15, 2010 4:11:31 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Thanks for the update!  It's great to see there is still some interest in fixing/improving Demigod.  It's the best/most fun/most addictive online team game I've ever played, even with the flaws.  Be wonderful to see a little attention paid to Demigod.

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March 16, 2010 10:46:02 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Any update is good news at this point. I think many Demigod players are starting to feeling like they are on little rafts drifing farther and farther away from the wreck until there is no one left to play with. Just sad, empty loneliness. So a post from Frogboy is like a flashing light on the horizon. Hooray! Maybe DG isn't totally dead yet!

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March 16, 2010 5:06:59 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Hope all you guys who seem positive are right... the lobby seems rather lonely the last few times I tried to play.

If Demigod was a victim in an auto collision, then my assessment would be the patient is just about to start heading into decompensated shock... but don't worry, Dr. Frogboy is vaguely talking about some complicated procedure that might help out some day in the future.  Considering the patient's medical insurance Ass Powered Claims wouldn't spring for a few bandages and dressings a few months back to stop the bleeding in the first place... well...

Remember how long it took to get the AI options set up?  Well thanks, but too little too late.  Played a game the other day where we would have won 2v3 but our AI Demon Assassin fed the other teams UB enough to help buy Ashkandor even with the AI option set to low.  Had they just programmed the AI character to go sit next to the crystal when a player DC'd we would have won that game... would have won a lot of games that the AI lost for me and it would have been so much easier to implement and could have been done much much sooner.

Just one example of many... The thing is, I don't think anyone from Stardock or GPG really ever played the game enough to understand how far a few simple bug fixes and balance changes would have gone to help this game out... so now that no one from the two companies currently play the game at all, what chance does it have?

 

 

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March 17, 2010 4:42:42 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Now that I beat Dao I'll be back to gw and dg.... QoTxMorrigan FTW Someone make a morrigan demigod now!!!!

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March 19, 2010 9:03:02 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Thundercles,

If Demigod was a victim in an auto collision, then my assessment would be the patient is just about to start heading into decompensated shock... but don't worry, Dr. Frogboy is vaguely talking about some complicated procedure that might help out some day in the future.  Considering the patient's medical insurance Ass Powered Claims wouldn't spring for a few bandages and dressings a few months back to stop the bleeding in the first place... well...
 

At least he didn't announce a play-by-email-feature...

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March 20, 2010 3:23:39 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

So you are working on Demigod and Elemental at the same time? Isn't that a little overwhelming...?

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March 20, 2010 3:25:49 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

nah they dont.

gpg works on king and castles and sd on elemental.

Comunity works on demigod for last half year...

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March 20, 2010 3:26:20 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting epdmeansme,
So you are working on Demigod and Elemental at the same time? Isn't that a little overwhelming...?

Stardock is a rather large company. They have something like 50+ employees.

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