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JoeW

Don't Starve Together Progress Report

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JoeW    26,378

Hey Guys,

I know many of you have been anxiously waiting for more information about Don't Starve Together; so while I still can't provide much in the way of specific details on the game just yet, I can provide you guys some information that I think will answer some questions as well as giving you some more interesting things to discuss.

First of all, the response to Don't Starve Together has been amazing. For the most part we saw an outstanding amount of support and excitement for DST. Not everybody was super excited of course, and we are sorry for that, but hopefully everybody can understand that we just want to put together something that people will enjoy; unfortunately that's not always going to be what everybody wants but we will certainly try to keep in mind these concerns and they do help to influence and affect how we approach things.

While we can’t answer much right now, even just discussing your thoughts on how certain aspects of gameplay might work is very useful in letting us know your expectations and helps provide us a picture of what it is you guys would like to see.

Let me quickly run down where we are at. This is all going to be pretty loose in regards to info, and all of it is subject to change at any time, but for the most part, this should give you guys a good understanding of what is going on.

Where we were, and where we are now. 

When we first made the announcement we had a proof of concept, and that's pretty much it. A few people here at the office jumped into a game together and and poked around in a very simple version of Don't Starve. Most things weren't hooked up and only the most very basic functionality of the game existed. However, there was enough to see that multiplayer Don't Starve had a lot of potential and proved to be something we wanted to explore.

Since then we have been working on actually making things... work. As we have mentioned before, pretty much every single part of Don't Starve needs to be changed in one way or the other to support multiplayer gameplay. Simply put, every little piece of the game has to be made to so that game client works with it in a different way than than it would with single player. When one player picks up some berries, everybody else playing needs to be updated with this information as well.

I don't know all the details there because that's for the programming wizards, but suffice it to say that it's a ton of work. And it's coming along really well. They ran their first successful test across the internet (not just through the local network) last night, and things seem to be looking even better than they had hoped.

So this means the actual engine behind the game communication across the internet is moving along quite well, but it still has a little while to go. Next week, we are going to be cracking into the actual gameplay and beginning to address how the game would actually work as a multiplayer experience. While we have plenty of ideas, like anything with Don’t Starve, it’s all really going to come down to how it plays.

What we have to do.

Let me take a little step off to the side here for a minute and explain what it is that we have to do.

Essentially, we have a few parts to this project that I am guessing many of you would be interested in understanding a bit better.

First, we have the engine. This is the core of the game; all the systems and everything that makes the game possible to be played across a network. All the stuff I was talking about above, this is what we have been focused on since the announcement. We need this to be done before we can really see how the game functions as a multiplayer experience.

Then we have the gameplay itself. How do tents work? What happens when a player dies? How would sanity work? Moggles? All the stuff you guys really want to know. This is the stuff that is really going to need to be investigated, tested and addressed to work in multiplayer, but still remain a distinctively "Don't Starve" experience. I will go into more detail about where we are going here later.

Then we have operations. One of the biggest challenges we face with Don't Starve is how it will function operationally. How can we make sure people have positive experiences with other players? How will players find each other? How many people should play together? Can we keep the game "safe" for younger players? We don't have answers to these questions; we have some ideas, but we aren't quite ready to look into answering these questions yet.

What we know. 

So, now that we got that out of the way, here is what we know. Again, much of this is pretty light on the detail, but this is really to give you more of a sense of how we are approaching answering all the same questions that you have.

We know you guys have a lot of ideas and opinions on what you would like to see in Don't Starve Together. Thanks for all the awesome feedback and suggestions, they really have gone a long way to let us know your concerns and it really gives us some great things to think about as we move toward giving you guys something to check out for yourselves.

We know you guys need choices. This means that many things in Don't Starve Together will be optional. We will provide you many choices for how DST will be played. This means, similar to the world generation options in single player Don't Starve, DST will include several toggles and options for you to choose how your game will be played. Persistence/Session, PvP/Co-op/, World Size, possible alternate game modes and Chat will all be optional in your game.

 

How you'll play.

So how will your games be played? Well we aren't all the way there yet, but we are working toward a few things here. This is pretty straightforward stuff.

First, dedicated servers. We will provide a standalone server that will allow you to set up your own dedicated servers on whatever host you want whether it be from home or from a 3rd party host.

In addition, you will also be able to play local games that you will not need to run a dedicated server to play. So, all you couples and families can not starve together

Next, we have matchmaking.

This one is pretty simple. There are not many questions here. You will be able to choose to play with friends or strangers. There will be a server list in the game that you can jump into public games at any time. This is of course optional for the server operator to appear on this list. Servers may also show up on this list but require a password. How this all appears is still TBD, but we want it to be as easy as possible for you to find a game at any time. However, what is most important is that this remains as much a positive experience as possible. We definitely intend to do everything we can to avoid chaos here. There will likely be a sort of reputation system that will all people to choose "official community" servers and "off the grid" servers. That means, if you want to play with others in completely off the rails experiences, go for it. But, for everybody else, they should know what to expect.

Now that we have covered the operation and functional end of things, how about gameplay?

Items need to be balanced, mechanics need to be addressed and potentially even new interesting features and mechanics will be introduced. But we don't have a heck of a lot of information here yet.

We do know that much of this might come down to optional choices. For example, permadeath; one of the hotter topics. It's pretty safe to say that this will be a choice for the server operator here. How exactly it works is still unknown, but we do feel that in order to have the best experience for everybody, we need to provide this as an optional aspect of Don't Starve Together.

More about gameplay

To reiterate, we have a lot to do here and we are aware that we don’t know exactly what we are up against. However, once we get into the thick of it, we are going to be checking in with you guys pretty often to let you know where we are at and what kinds of things you have to look forward too.

 

Mod support

 

Mods will be supported. How exactly they will be worked out is still being worked on, for all the reasons stated above. But it should be noted that we consider it a high priority item and our aim is to make mods as easy as possible to access and use in multiplayer.  

TL;DR is that we are about half-way to really having something ready for people to play.

 

Please keep up all the great suggestions and feedback!

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jbeetle    1,872

Have you guys discussed if mods are likely? I want to assume so.

 

Also, making everything optional seems ambitious, but I guess since you already have a complete game, there's no point in redoing what you already did (not referring to programming). There's no reason for me to think of it as a focused single-player experience. It'll certainly keep me from discussing opposing ideas since it seems like if one is added, the opposite will be.

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JoeW    26,378

Have you guys discussed if mods are likely? I want to assume so.

 

Also, making everything optional seems ambitious, but I guess since you already have a complete game, there's no point in redoing what you already did (not referring to programming). There's no reason for me to think of it as a focused single-player experience. It'll certainly keep me from discussing opposing ideas since it seems like if one is added, the opposite will be.

 

Bah, that was, my big thing; and I totally forgot to write it. Yeah, updated. Mod support is a thing.

 

And, I we aren't going to be making everything optional, but certainly as much as we think would be useful and interesting. 

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Hugo M.    843

If you send us a pic of one of the coders, in front of a computer showing the early DST, and looking at the camera with a smile on his face I will be a happy fan.

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Pyromailmann    2,991

Bah, that was, my big thing; and I totally forgot to write it. Yeah, updated. Mod support is a thing.

 

And, I we aren't going to be making everything optional, but certainly as much as we think would be useful and interesting. 

And now, here's my reaction to hearing that:

Thank you Klei!

P.S JoeW, I like your new title XD

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Spazmatic    1,033

Yay, finally a bit more news regarding DST. It seems that you guys have chosen to include some options that will appeal to a lot of people (you tend to do that a lot, you crafty buggers you), permadeath being optional and mod support, so good on you for that ;)

 

Still, is there any news regarding PvP? I remember a tweet stating the early DST prototype had it by default, did anything change?

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JoeW    26,378

Yay, finally a bit more news regarding DST. It seems that you guys have chosen to include some options that will appeal to a lot of people (you tend to do that a lot, you crafty buggers you), permadeath being optional and mod support, so good on you for that ;)

 

Still, is there any news regarding PvP? I remember a tweet stating the early DST prototype had it by default, did anything change?

 

PvP will be optional.

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Spazmatic    1,033

PvP will be optional.

Again, the best choice since the community seems to be divided a lot by it (though optional PvP was the winner in the J20 thread about the matter), despite wanting PvP to always be a thing I am glad it is at least optional. :)

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debugman18    1,113

PvP will be optional.

 

So, do you guys know how you will handle things like fire, containers, and similar issues when disabling PVP?

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jbeetle    1,872

I know this is bad of me, but I can't wait to see what kind of griefing bugs pop up. I myself don't grief but it's entertaining to see people uncover unintentional ones.

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Kimah    11

i still think you should implement an option to make enemies hit harder or last longer, that should help both experienced players and inexperienced ones.
that should help on the balances of some items and monsters.

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debugman18    1,113

Sounds like everything's going well

he's not the title fairy anymore though...

I assume the Dlc will work on multiplayer as well?

 

More importantly, he's not Kevin. :p

 

I'm going to assume if player mods are supported, so will the DLC.

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Zethariel    9

Wow, you really surprised me with that dedicated server information right there. I'm super curious how it will work - unless I misunderstand the term, that will imply that a server running the game simulation will be possible. But gameplay wise, that doesn't seem such a hot idea, for the reasons I stated in http://forums.kleientertainment.com/topic/37429-dedicated-servers-and-why-they-wont-happen/

 

Don't get me wrong, ever since I bought a dedicated server and heard these news I've been extatic, but after cooling off I am more puzzled than excited.

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jbeetle    1,872

OK, so you mentioned chat being optional, presumably for making it "safe" for kids. I say if you do that, you should have some visual clue to let others know that you can't see what they're typing. I suggest duct tape over the mouth or a big "x" for a mouth.

 

 

 

Wow, you really surprised me with that dedicated server information right there. I'm super curious how it will work - unless I misunderstand the term, that will imply that a server running the game simulation will be possible. But gameplay wise, that doesn't seem such a hot idea, for the reasons I stated in http://forums.kleientertainment.com/topic/37429-dedicated-servers-and-why-they-wont-happen/

 

Don't get me wrong, ever since I bought a dedicated server and heard these news I've been extatic, but after cooling off I am more puzzled than excited.

probably has to do with the rebuilding the game comment he made

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Snob    1,272

Are you going to be a playable character?

 

W, JOE

"the not Kevin" 

This will never grow old.

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J20hawkz    768

Thanks for putting this up JoeW.

Do you have any information on whether the Console Command will be available in Don't Starve Together? How do Klei intend on preventing people Debugspawning items, just for the sake of it, when playing with others that would rather "play" the game.

Edit:

possible alternate game modes

Adventure mode V.2!?!?!

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Tamazacat    130

Thanks for putting this up JoeW.

Do you have any information on whether the Console Command will be available in Don't Starve Together? How does Klei intend on preventing people Debugspawning items, just for the sake of it, when playing with others that would rather "play" the game.

I'd assume that, since we have to actively change the contents of a file to merely access console, that it simply won't be available - unless they plan to add an option for that, too?

Too much cheaty Petey malarky for multiplayer, in my opinion.

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XirmiX    754

Well after this there is just one thing I must say: the way 2nd+ players should enter the world should be through the Wilson's door, which is what we saw in the cartoon. I'm thinking may be you could always create Wilson's door in single player and if you do so and activate it one way, people can enter your world (once you make the door the world will be shown in the list of maps unless you set your world to be private in which case only the invited people could join your world)or if you activate it another way you can leave your SP world and join other peoples' worlds (which are not private unless you're invited) and if you hammer the door while someone is joining they'll get back to the world list and be informed that the entrance to that world was removed.

The reason why I think this way of multiplayer working is because:

1) it would be the only way the story at the end of the RoG puzzle would be accurate enough to not make the image show false information, so the image shows Wilson making the door, activating it and letting more people join his world. Also if you have a big SP world started you would probably want people to check it out.

2) this is the most important reason why this way of multiplayer should be implemented - single player will get unfamous unless people have to play like a few days in SP to get into a MP world or bring people to your world (which would then make it MP).

I hope you read this, JoeW, because for me it is really important. It is always good to refer things to what you have already shown you know!

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J20hawkz    768

Well after this there is just one thing I must say: the way 2nd+ players should enter the world should be through the Wilson's door, which is what we saw in the cartoon.

You could be completely right about this so I'm not going to say something that gets me the "I told you so" comment. But what if that poster was just for advertising purposes. My gran once bought a remote controlled tank for me on my 8th Birthday. On the box it illustrated the tank shooting lasers and rockets from it. Do you really think my dear Gran would have gifted this tank knowing the potential destructive risks if she believed the illustrations to be real or meant something? Personally we did the "building" aspect, through all those puzzles. The portal is built and we are waiting to go through it this Summer.

I'm thinking may be you could always create Wilson's door in single player and if you do so and activate it one way, people can enter your world (once you make the door the world will be shown in the list of maps unless you set your world to be private in which case only the invited people could join your world)or if you activate it another way you can leave your SP world and join other peoples' worlds (which are not private unless you're invited) and if you hammer the door while someone is joining they'll get back to the world list and be informed that the entrance to that world was removed.

So we have to wait for a friend to be bothered to make the portal so we can join their game, only to the be kicked from the game when they decide to accidentally/intentionally hammer it? Don't get me wrong but the whole process seems long and boring to me. I want to jump straight into Multiplayer the second it is released. I also don't want to wait and join a friends world, which they have already influenced. Don't Starve Together is a separate world where both players start from Day 1, Together.

Also if you have a big SP world started you would probably want people to check it out.

Again Don't Starve Together is a separate game to Don't Starve. The only way I would want someone in my Singleplayer world (if that is possible, it shouldn't be though) is through spectator mode. Ain't no one touching my stuff!!

2) this is the most important reason why this way of multiplayer should be implemented - single player will get unfamous unless people have to play like a few days in SP to get into a MP world or bring people to your world (which would then make it MP).

I see it oppositely. You're not guaranteed to be playing with your friend all the time when ever you want to play. He/she may have plans to do something else, they may not feel like playing when you want to play, they may be away from the computer or not at home. So do you expect everyone to wait around? I'll be playing Don't Starve RoG if I can't play with the people I want to play with.

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MrKoopa    1,131

About 2)

I don't think it will be unfamous. As J20Hawkz says. Your friends could have plans. They might even live in another country(I have many friends on steam that lives in another country then me). Maybe something have happend that they have not planned at all(child birth, funeral, meets a doctor, they have to move etc etc)

 

I am sure that I will still play single player.   :razz:

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