Player Interaction and Communication

Arrange meetings with other people to play MP, announce your servers.
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lux
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Player Interaction and Communication

Post by lux »

Well first let me say that multiplayer is awesome, I have been playing on LAN with my two brothers and have a great time with almost 30 hours played. Multiplayer raises some interesting new bottlenecks - you now are not only optimizing the factory, as you would in single player, but now you must optimize your workers! (other people in the game)

Our biggest issue so far is player visibility. Often someone say "hey guys check this out" and I am literally standing next to him in-game but I cannot distinguish his avatar visually. Even if he is running around, with so many belts and moving eye-candy, it is hard to see him.
> My suggestion would be to make the player more visible. That could be done by adding some brighter colors. Or maybe if there were a way to see what the other player was selecting. Maybe some sort of "ping" on the map, which others can see, or to keep it realistic, maybe add new sort of "flare" which is a cheap level research that you throw like a grenade but it just creates temporary light. Or some other visual indicator.

One other big issue is letting others know where you are going to build. The problem usually happens like this: you need to build something and reserve some room. You could be building something big like a train station, or something small but in a confined space - in either case it may take some time. For example, you might need some time to re-arrange the layout, or maybe you don't have all the materials yet, or the research is not quite done yet, or you just need to leave it unfinished to defend the base, or you simply want to leave room for expansion. In all cases, you do not want some annoying person to build in your spot and screw up your plans! So how do you communicate that? Turns out, even on LAN, that is difficult. Usually I gather people up, we all walk over in-game and I try to explain the plan, but it is difficult to communicate because the locations are imprecise, and even if people understand, they will forget in a few hours.
> My recommendation is to add some way for players to mark or designate area on the ground. One idea would be to add a fence because that is usually how you section of property (could be a cheap low level research), but fence might need a door or gate which would be complicated to code, so perhaps just fence posts which you could pass through without a door (post is like a like mini power pole) with colored wire going between them (wire would also be cool to use because wire has color). Another even simpler option is to let people "draw a line in the sand" literally just draw a line on the ground, which, like the fence, would let people know where the boundaries of an area are.

I am very curious, what other problems people have encountered in multiplayer related to communication and player interaction? Are you using text or voice communication? How many people were there, and how did you organize yourselves?

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Phillip_Lynx
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Re: Player Interaction and Communication

Post by Phillip_Lynx »

lux wrote:Well first let me say that multiplayer is awesome,
Big agree here :)
lux wrote:Our biggest issue so far is player visibility. Often someone say "hey guys check this out" and I am literally standing next to him in-game but I cannot distinguish his avatar visually. Even if he is running around, with so many belts and moving eye-candy, it is hard to see him.
> My suggestion would be to make the player more visible. That could be done by adding some brighter colors. Or maybe if there were a way to see what the other player was selecting. Maybe some sort of "ping" on the map, which others can see, or to keep it realistic, maybe add new sort of "flare" which is a cheap level research that you throw like a grenade but it just creates temporary light. Or some other visual indicator.
Or maybe a flashy outline by pressing a particular button. I agree, that sometimes I search for players walking around me :)
lux wrote:One other big issue is letting others know where you are going to build. The problem usually happens like this: you need to build something and reserve some room. You could be building something big like a train station, or something small but in a confined space - in either case it may take some time. For example, you might need some time to re-arrange the layout, or maybe you don't have all the materials yet, or the research is not quite done yet, or you just need to leave it unfinished to defend the base, or you simply want to leave room for expansion. In all cases, you do not want some annoying person to build in your spot and screw up your plans! So how do you communicate that? Turns out, even on LAN, that is difficult. Usually I gather people up, we all walk over in-game and I try to explain the plan, but it is difficult to communicate because the locations are imprecise, and even if people understand, they will forget in a few hours.
> My recommendation is to add some way for players to mark or designate area on the ground. One idea would be to add a fence because that is usually how you section of property (could be a cheap low level research), but fence might need a door or gate which would be complicated to code, so perhaps just fence posts which you could pass through without a door (post is like a like mini power pole) with colored wire going between them (wire would also be cool to use because wire has color). Another even simpler option is to let people "draw a line in the sand" literally just draw a line on the ground, which, like the fence, would let people know where the boundaries of an area are.
Gates should not be very difficult since there are gates already in the game (for walls :)).
But I would like it better when you can mark a aera on the map. Even if this last only a short time
lux wrote:I am very curious, what other problems people have encountered in multiplayer related to communication and player interaction? Are you using text or voice communication? How many people were there, and how did you organize yourselves?
Voice communication via a Teamspeak Server with 4 players in a game over internet. I think voice communication is a absolut must. I do not like to type when I can talk and build at the same time. Typing steals buildtime :).

MF-
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Re: Player Interaction and Communication

Post by MF- »

A keyboard button that would make my avatar wave a flag or something might do :P

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Nova
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Re: Player Interaction and Communication

Post by Nova »

Oh yeah, a flag-waving colonist... Want!


The planning tool should be an overlay, not an ingame item. Being able to make this marks above the buildings is a precious advantage and should not be dropped for a bit more realism.
Greetings, Nova.
Factorio is one of the greatest games I ever played, with one of the best developers I ever heard of.

slpwnd
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Re: Player Interaction and Communication

Post by slpwnd »

We were thinking of some kind of "simple drawing tool" that would be in a layer "above" the map.

The other thing (which has also been brought up multiple times I believe) is a planning tool. That would work in a similar manner to creating ghost buildings but with a difference that the construction robots wouldn't try to actually build them. Prison Architect has something like this for walls and I find it really handy.

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Xecutor
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Re: Player Interaction and Communication

Post by Xecutor »

slpwnd wrote:We were thinking of some kind of "simple drawing tool" that would be in a layer "above" the map.

The other thing (which has also been brought up multiple times I believe) is a planning tool. That would work in a similar manner to creating ghost buildings but with a difference that the construction robots wouldn't try to actually build them. Prison Architect has something like this for walls and I find it really handy.
+1!

Also, in Prison Architect when you build walls and objects on top of planner makers, they are automatically removed.

p.s. It could be nice to be able to temporary switch view to another player's view.
Like when he tells you 'Look!' and you press something like 'alt-2' and you can see what he is seeing. Probably with his selection.

chainedlupine
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Re: Player Interaction and Communication

Post by chainedlupine »

I recommend you add a colored arrows pointing down at all player avatars when ALT key is used to display more detail.

I also agree that the drawing mode for the map would be insanely useful.

I also think we need a beacon system. The ability to drop a marker on the map that flashes for a few seconds at our current location, say. You could recycle the current warning/alert system to be beacons, just make sure there is a distinction between human-created beacons and those placed due to objects being damage/destroyed. These human-created beacons should last for 4x as long, too.

BlueJay
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Re: Player Interaction and Communication

Post by BlueJay »

Why not just use individual wall pieces to outline an area? Like make a big square with four wall pieces, without making it a solid wall. That way the wall pieces let the others know that you plan on building something there. Or you could use the spotlights. Or a combination of the two.

mrharris
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Re: Player Interaction and Communication

Post by mrharris »

I know it's been 6 years when this topic started, but could not find any more details or plans about minimap drawing. I started thinking on creating a mod that provides this functionality but reinventing the wheel does not sound good in case if there is a tool for that already I would be grateful if someone can lead me to the proper place.

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Deliberate Grief
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Re: Player Interaction and Communication

Post by Deliberate Grief »

mrharris wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:31 am
I know it's been 6 years when this topic started, but could not find any more details or plans about minimap drawing. I started thinking on creating a mod that provides this functionality but reinventing the wheel does not sound good in case if there is a tool for that already I would be grateful if someone can lead me to the proper place.

I don't think there will ever be such a thing unfortunately

MassiveDynamic
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Re: Player Interaction and Communication

Post by MassiveDynamic »

Just checking. You know about map ping, right?
Alt right click on the map.

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