What's next for C2 Multiplayer Support?

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  • What's been accomplished already is quite impressive, and as far as I can tell is far and away the best multiplayer support available to non-coder hobbyists like myself.

    Are additional features planned in 2015 to flesh out multiplayer support, particularly for people aiming to create multiplayer games that take place in worlds with a degree of permanence?

    What's already done seems like the hardest part; things like querying databases on a dedicated server for player character information, or allowing people to use AWS for dedicated game hosting, are significantly easier than what Ashley's already done.

    And as much as many of us might like to ridicule those who attempt such grandiose projects without knowing what they're getting into, features that allow C2 to pitch itself as a "build your own MMO" option would likely result in a serious influx of cash from people rushing to get into the engine, both for Scirra itself and for the plugin and asset sellers who would rise up to serve that audience via the C2 marketplace.

    So, I'm wondering -- what's the road map for C2 multiplayer going forward into 2015?

  • I agree with you Tele, C2 having the ability to create multiplayer games is a massive selling point. It really should have its own section on the feature page! Its kind of a hidden feature the way it is now. I'm also curious if anything is planned for 2015.

    Sadly, it seems that not that many people are actually using it at the moment so I'm afraid it has slipped down the priority ladder.

    I would love some extensions to the signalling server to incorporate a kind of match-making system (that is if you cant already work around it somehow, I haven't checked).

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  • Yes, that would be a huge selling point but unfortunately I believe the next year will be focused around Construct 3.

  • Ashley has already stated that the take up of multiplayer has been poor considering the work that went into it.

    I for one would hope he's learned not to listen to the vocal minority and continues to develop for the silent majority - at least until multiplayer has a much larger usage base.

  • I for one would hope he's learned not to listen to the vocal minority and continues to develop for the silent majority - at least until multiplayer has a much larger usage base.

    Something tells me that there were plenty of these "How do I make game X" people voting and then when it wasn't like this:


    They went "Oh, but C2 was supposed to be SIMPLE" and promptly forgot about the plugin.

    Listening to the silent majority might be hard as they are... well, silent. How about making a poll either rep-limited or licence-ownership limited and get some sensible ideas?

  • We used to run polls for the most wanted feature, and multiplayer always won by a huge margin even with a warning like "it could be very difficult to use".

    We spent months researching and developing the feature. It was a fun project to work on, but a lot went in to it. After release we've seen it hasn't had much uptake - nowhere near what the original polls suggested. As far as I can guess, it's because it's pretty difficult to get in to (not because the feature is unnecessarily complicated, it does a massive amount of work internally for you, but just the mindset of thinking about the flow of data between the host and peers).

    We can't justify spending even more time working on more advanced features when not many people are using it. All in all I think it was a pretty interesting lesson in how people's imagination of features is more exciting to them than the reality.

  • Ashley , allow me to offer a contrary perspective on why uptake has been slow -- Outside of the people who already use Construct 2, nobody at all knows you offer it.

    I've had a particular game concept in my head for a very long time. The concept is multiplayer by definition, you can't really make it singleplayer and it wouldn't be any fun in that environment. Every few months, I would relentlessly google to see if an engine was available yet to hobbyist non-coders that would allow me to complete the project.

    It was only on a whim, after exhausting virtually all of my googling, asking in relevant forums, etc., that I hopped onto the Construct 2 forums to think about single player projects (after not having paid any attention to you guys for years) and discovered through a random blogpost of yours that you had added multiplayer support several months earlier.

    If you guys want projects to make use of it, there are so many things you could do to actually get the word out. Banner ads on sites: "BUILD MULTIPLAYER GAMES WITH NO CODING -- CONSTRUCT 2!", advertising on places devoted to systems like RPG Maker and MMF that also attract hobbyists that don't attract multiplayer support, buying a clickbait-y site http://www.buildmultiplayergames.com/ and redirecting it to Scirra.com. Press releases sent to Kotaku and Escapist and MMORPG.com and all of the other major gaming news outlets.

    The issue is not that people don't want to build multiplayer games with C2; it's that you built a Killer App and then haven't marketed it in the slightest to the people who might be interested, you've only looked at the people who use C2 already and their adoption of it.

    This is not an attack or even a criticism really, just an explanation. I am the quintessential example of someone who has been *dying* for someone to make what you've made here, for ages now. Your target customer for a feature you spent tons of time on, someone who was relentlessly googling to try and find an engine that does what C2 now does. And I couldn't find it by searching, I only happened upon it randomly on a lark.

  • Televangelist

    There was a flood of users that came in when MP plugin was released. However most of them left. Ashley, myself and others have pointed it out. MP frame of thinking is just so different that everyone who has jumped in with no prior experience just sunk.

    While I agree that C2 needs more advertisement and that would increase users. I suspect most will just sink and then complain. C2 MP Plugin does an amazing amount of work with only a few negative parts. However Plugins can only carry the complicated load. The part that that C2MP presents to users is in fact simple in comparison to what's happening behind the scenes, and most people still find that hard enough.

  • "Most of the people who come in don't end up completing a project" is simply the reality of selling a game development engine, not anything unique to multiplayer games. Most of the people who come to C2 looking to make a single player game don't finish a project, either; game development is simply an onerous task even if art and coding are handled and you're free to design your heart out.

    But more importantly, if the flood only happened when the initial post went up, that's even further indicative of a marketing failure; it's not like there are any fewer people out there thinking about creating an online game, and it's not like more than a tiny fraction of them have tried out C2. There's still a high flow of enthusiastic types checking out Xtremeworlds or Eclipse or whatever other D-list solution every day. I've yet to come across a single complaint on those sorts of forums against C2's multiplayer -- the problem is simply that very few people know you exist in that space.

  • I agree we could do more to highlight the feature. However the amount of the voting for the feature in the polls we ran should have been good evidence that there was a large audience that already existed within our userbase wanting to make multiplayer games. This did not actually translate in to real usage though. We did a bunch of announcements at the time too. And rather than seeing a spike that tailed off, we've seen low adoption which is very slowly ramping up over time, so there wasn't even an initial flood by the looks of things.

  • Fair enough! For my part, I'm going to keep building my game; it's almost certainly a multi-year project, so if I come back a couple of years now with a game that's fully finished and ready to go except C2 is missing a feature required to make it all work, I suppose we can see where we're at then.

    Hopefully some of it are things that even if we get no further additions could be kludged into the current system inartfully but effectively if there's a good reason to (like saving a given player's characters in a permanent database).

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