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Supreme Cmdr

BCM multiplayer. To be or not to be?

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OK, this being a touchy subject, I'm setting this poll up as promised so that I can get some feedback before making a final decision.

No Battlecruiser game has ever had multiplayer. This is because the first two were DOS games and I didn't much care to get involved in that can of worms. When BCM was in design stage, right up to the early part of development, like any other feature, multiplayer was planned.

Given this premise and the discussions in this thread, a lot of people (most who don't even own the damn game) have been posting all manner of rubbish on the Net. Its just that. Rubbish.

Nevertheless, rather than write up all that crap again, I'm just going to cut 'n paste what I have written elsewhere and cleaned up a little for clarity and direction.

  1. BCM went into developent in Nov/Dec of 1999
  2. Multiplayer, like so many other features that didn't make the cut, was just that, another feature
  3. Read all the BCM dev diary archives and soapbox archives, you'd get the picture depicted right here in the first paragraph of the 04-16-2001 dev diary.
  4. Given the picture, I opted to not include a less than satisfactory mp component into BCM and shipped it without. The game shipped in November of 2001 - many months after I had posted publicly and on these forums about the lack of multiplayer. Nobody *****ed about it. Nor did they ***** about the plethora of free features which have been implemented into BCM; amidst the continued support, bug fixes etc. This, the BC fan base has become accustomed to.
  5. I finally unveiled my grand scheme for a unified multiplayer component in order to cut down on the work involved, support and stability issues etc etc. Then I unveiled www.battlecruiser.net portal on that day.
  6. With BCM Gold being released, the support issue is still there because once BCG is released later in 2003, we'd have three specific single and multi player games to support and upkeep. While sharing similar kernels, they have different features and those features are primarily what keeps them unique. I decided to make it easy for everyone by not bothering with the free downloadable component for BCM simply because, knowing that the BCM Gold version is more advanced (for obvious reasons), I know that it won't be worth the hassle to make available and support a multiplayer game based on a 1999 kernel and for a game that will not be available for sale once EB's units run out sometime next month.
  7. My decision, while not final by any stretch of the imagination, is still my decision and I don't care who doesn't like it. If I have to release a downloadable mp component for BCM, I will, but its support will lag behind current BC titles such as BCM Gold and BCG, going forward.
  8. And I know my fanbase (and I'm not talking the peripheral flaky fly-by-night stragglers); as such, I know for a fact that they'd rather have the advanced and fully support mp than anything.
  9. Further, there is a $10 rebate (on a $29.99 game) from Dreamcatcher to existing owners of BCM. BCM Gold contains more than a year of revisions, updates and a fully integrated multiplayer component, which, in fact uses the mp kernel from BCG.
  10. Now, if BCM owners don't think BCM Gold is worth $19.99 to them, thats their problem, not mine. They don't have to buy it. It makes NO difference to me whatsoever. Thats why gamers have the power to make choices. I'm not getting involved in any hand holding as I never have. Its the same premise I have adopted all these years. You like my games, buy them. If you don't, then walk on by.
  11. DC didn't have to offer a rebate, but they did. Do you think people would rather make less money for NO reason? DC had NO hand in BCM whatsoever and didn't have to offer a rebate. And if I tell them to retract it, they probably would.
  12. Most of the people making a mountain out of molehill are those who don't even own the damn game. And I decide not to release a free downloadable component and that makes me lose a few fans here there. Well then, in every battle there can and will be collateral damage. Some decisions aren't easy to make - but when I make mine, come what may, I stick to them. Thats who I am.

And btw, has anyone heard the fate of the promised mp component for Mafia (and a bunch of other games)? No? Go check. Last I heard, it had been canned. Did you hear the one about CIVII expansion pack for multiplayer? No? Go read up on it.

This interview which I did last week (I did a bunch of them) and which just got released this evening, also explains my current mp strategy.

If you look at the battlecruiser.net FAQ, you will see the differences between the free downloadable BCM component and that of BCM Gold and BCG.

As you can see, give more time, I had better things planned for BCM Gold and beyond. In fact, until Dreamcatcher decided to do a wider re-release of BCM Gold, I had canned that title (as I did BCTC) because I had run out of time and was focusing on BCG going forward.

I am not particularly thrilled about having to waste time focusing on a BCM multiplayer component thats going to end up being a waste of time because it is my guess that most BC gamers will just get BCM Gold (remember that $10 rebate?) anyway.

If I end up releasing it, I will do the best that I can to fully support it as I do the BCM Gold and BCG titles going forward. It is a free component which nobody paid for and I have no reason to waste my time on it. Nobody has ever bought a BC title for multiplayer and BCM was no exception - hence the reason I had planned to release a free downloadable mp component.

With this poll, you have a chance to voice your opinion. And make no mistake, because any/all player run servers will have to authenticate via our master servers, I will know how many pure BCM servers there are, compared to BCM Gold servers. So regardless of the poll results, if I have to spend time on this BCM mp venture only to see a handfull of BCM servers out there, guess what? Next time something like this comes up, there won't be a poll.

And considering that the requirements alone required to run a BC game (let alone a mp server) are high, I'd like to see just how many BCM servers do show up. As I've always said, I'm not planning on hosting any servers for the public. And I know for a fact that the only public servers which will probably be funded by Dreamcatcher, will be the BCG servers.

There you have it. Go vote.

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While I originally considered BCM MP a good idea, having read your arguments for not implementing it I find myself swayed. I have been, quite frankly, amazed that you have continued improving (not just fixing bugs) BCM as long as you have, you have a rare level of dedication to the game, your fan base, or (as I'm inclined to believe) both. While BCM is definitely a good game and worthy of support, the time has come to move on to the next game. And while I must admit that some people will be vexed by the lack of multiplayer, I would venture that this is most likely because you said that it would be included rather then because they cannot afford BMG:G.

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I guess there's two sides to this coin. Knowing how you develop your games, I understand the reasoning and don't have a problem with it. I feel like everything that we rightfully deserve as a consumer is in the box. So I say scrap it and concentrate on the next one. Your game builds on itself from one to the next, so I'd rather see a bigger leap and more features in the next one rather than you trying to support two or three separate MP games.

That said, there were a lot of promises of multiplayer for BCM, and the manual even references it a few times. A lot of average gamers who don't follow your development and even worse a lot of the press may try to crucify you for not (in their point of view) completing the game.

Your call. Your core fans are fine with it, you just have to decide what you think the external fallout will be like.

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would a rebate count for international users?

probably not. id still buy it at 29.99 just to get bcm multiplayer but then again im not a little kid i can wait until BCG is released for better multiplayer.

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Other games have promissed Multiplayer and never came through. Other's have come through (like Deus Ex) And the multiplayer sucked! The choice is up to you in the end SC, you know better than us ;P

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quote:


Originally posted by Serondal:

Other games have promissed Multiplayer and never came through. Other's have come through (like Deus Ex) And the multiplayer sucked! The choice is up to you in the end SC, you know better than us ;P


Another example : CIVIII: Play The World

Anyway, I welcome any/all arguments and I'm not going to make a decision until the poll expires. I would love nothing better than to just go as I originally planned, but I can just see a can of worms brewing in maintaining and supporting three mp kernels in three different games.

*sigh*

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BCM is amazing, and frankly, any MP released would be unbelievable. $20 is absolutely nothing.

Hell, if I were rich, I'd send you free money just to keep developing. I like BCM and I will keep playing it. If I want multiplayer, I'll get the Gold version or BCG (honestly, I'll buy them both anyway, no matter what).

I say make one final 1.0.0.8 version for BCM and then leave it. Focus on BCM Gold and BCG. Less confusing and headache-ridden, no? Remove the MULTIPLAYER option from the main menu and, like a parent to an aging child, let it go. It's a great complete game, even without MP.

...and if down the road some hardcore player discovers that when drones are mining on a certain planet while the CC shields are down while the AE is in a shuttle that has no power, soldiers heal at a slower rate in the medibay, so be it.

...and yes you did say MP would be included later and now it might not be. The world is a dynamic place, and MP is imminent in the next title. If people can't handle that, they should go back to their cribs.

[ 01-02-2003, 01:05 PM: Message edited by: Blerm ]

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Wasn't the MP for BCM going to be released along with BCM Gold? We would really get MP any sooner either way (Unless it takes you a while to buy a new game which I could see. It takes me a while to download patchs too ;P ) Not to mention BCM Multiplayer won't be as good as BCM Gold multiplayer which will be nothing compared to BCG multiplayer ! Why not spend a few bucks and get something better I always say? Okay I've never said that but now I have.

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As I said previously, I don't mind waiting for the new version and buying it. For me multiplayer should be implimented only if its not as laggy as some games I have on a 1Mb connection (well sorta like Alliance or Tachyon, not like BF1942 which had so much potential).

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Guest rtoolooze

I really don't think you should focus your time on supporting a MP Kernal that would have few if any players using it. While I just love BCM, once the newer versions come out, that what most people will be playing.

Here's an example, I race in Nascar 2002 leagues from Papyrus. In Feb. they will be releasing thier final version of the game. (Salute to the greatest racing series ever created.) Anyway, once its released, you know all servers and leagues will be switching to that version, within a short period of time. Within a few months, (or shorter) you won't find anymore Nascar 2002 servers out there. Not with the serious racers anyway.

I guarantee once BCM:Gold comes out, and then BCG comes out, thats what we all will switch to.

I say focus on the future, it'll be better for us all in the long run.

The poll says it all

my two cents.

[ 01-02-2003, 06:02 PM: Message edited by: rtoolooze ]

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quote:

Other's have come through (like Deus Ex) And the multiplayer sucked

Oh yes ... I don't know why, but they broke the delicate balance of the game so damn hard, it didn't even made sense. Like if they didn't wanted DX:MP to happen.

I have confidence that Derek will release MP as good as he said it would be.

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Personally, I've bought the BC titles to get lost in "my" own universe. This game accomplishes that like no other. MP is not a factor for me at all. I Will buy BCM Gold and cannot wait for BCG.

My wife hates this game beacuse it occupies so much of my time. But once she saw Mars for the first time coming out of hyperspace, she has become consumed by the manual and the appendices. Good grief that's all I need.

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I totaly agree in the above.. Alot of the dedicated people who love the Bcm univers will properbly buy the gold version also, just to see and get even more planets ect...

Im pretty sure that everyone that Got BCM will go out and buy the generations cd..... to play along.

I think it's great that we get, what was it 10$ of one of these titles, if we already own a BC title. ( think I read it somewere )

My sugestion

Focus on the development of the multiplayer world/feature only for BCG

[ 01-02-2003, 10:13 PM: Message edited by: delevero ]

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Guest

I'll go for the gold, thank you very much.

Do it SC, if others complain, well life is that way.

I don't mind you getting a bit more money from me, you have created a universe like no other, I'm willing to pony up the dough!!

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Guest Grayfox

Would i like to see Mp for BCM??? of course. SC has his reasons for trashing it and putting it in with gold, which whether i like it or not, ill have to live with it.

Will i buy gold? yes eventually. $20 bucks is a drop in the bucket so money isnt a concern. I am forced to wait to purchase it after it is released seeing as how the rig has no internet connection (ive been posting on a different PC)

So, whatever decision the SC comes up with, im sure he has nothing but the communities best interest in mind.

Drive on SC

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My thoughs on multiplayer.

I have a lot of time to sit and contemplate this one. What with the release of Star Wars Galaxies coming up and talk of MP here on the forums for BC I have had to give it some serious thought.

Multiplayer for me is a daunting prospect between slow dial up connections and the fact of being stuck in the A**hole of Europe connections to game servers can be a painfull prospect. I have experimented with online games a little and while fun they are little more than a blast o rama(in most cases), however that aside I find games like Everquest, Ultima online and others offer more appeal and I would be more likely to make the "budget" stretch to play one of them regularly instead of what is currently proposed for BC MP.

I am however extremely interested and in fact looking forward to BCO.

This has basically been a long winded way for me to put forward an opinion which agrees with most people here. SC if MP for BCM would be too much of a headache(to devolop and support) then don't and concentrate on the MP for BCMG/BCG your fans will support you in what ever you choose.

We are behind you all the way SC.

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quote:


Originally posted by delevero:

I think it's great that we get, what was it 10$ of one of these titles, if we already own a BC title. ( think I read it somewere )


Yep. You read it in the Dreamcatcher press release. All you need is proof of purchase. Sometime before the game is released in March, we will post the valid POP items.

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I'd say; focus on BCMG and BCG by reasons mentioned above (just posting to let my voice known )

If someone for some reason really really really wants BCM/MP, then maybe make them happy with an unsupported patch. But if that's too much effort, then let them wait for march.

Personally I'll wait for BCMG and BCG.

[ 01-03-2003, 10:57 AM: Message edited by: Riga ]

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Derek,

You do what's right man, if you can get a Battlecruiser title out with Multiplayer faster by bypassing BCM then I am all for it!

I think the REAL future for the Battlecruiser franchise is BCO. Reading throught the recent article I came across this quote by the SC ..

quote:

The only contents which will make it into BCO - and possibly the Xbox title (depending on time and funding) - are the internal levels.

With BCO, being pay-for-play etc, I don't have to do it all at once. We could start small by providing levels for some ships and stations and slowly add others as the game matured. Other games do these in add-on packs. As long as there are gamers making BCO profitable, I will continue to make huge investments in it.


... I am excited now more than ever. Derek BCO is where it's at man. Do what you have to do to get there. You know that we are all with you.

WarpCore

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quote:

Other games do these in add-on packs. As long as there are gamers making BCO profitable, I will continue to make huge investments in it.


as long as we don't need to buy those addons to "unlock" that stuff, I'm all for BCO

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At first, I was dismayed.

I felt sure that you would follow through on your promises of MP play for BCM. The faith I had in your love of your own game led me to believe that it would, in time, have MP support.

However, after further consideration, I do not believe that your players nor fans will feel 'cheated' by the Multi-player componet being abandoned.

This is mostly do to the following points:

A) Any serious fans who have played BCM since it's release, and plan to take advantage of the Multi-Play features will, without a doubt, purchase BCM Gold for the additional improvements to graphics and gameplay. Due to the low cost of the new release (hey, it's not $50 US like everything else) it's merely a minor inconvience to switch to the new game for many added benifits.

B) The $10 rebate from dreamcatcher for prior owners works as one heck of an apology. Frankly, I'm flat out amazed that they would do something like this. It actually sparks hope that there's a publisher out there that's not a complete rat-bastard.

C) There really is no "C". I just thought it was silly to only have two points listed. Just pretend I had some other sweeping argument here.

So, yeah. Just make sure the collision detection in BCM Gold works really, really well.

Thanks for asking for our feedback. Even though it won't really influence your decision, it's nice to be asked.

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