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Stardew Valley
DarrellLeon Mar 12, 2013 @ 3:05pm
Multiplayer, Dungeons and Modding
It is relatively evident already that a majority of fans of Stardew Valley are fans or previous fans of the Harvest Moon series for its similarities. For the longest time a chance for me and my Mrs to play a game such has Harvest Moon together was but a pipe dream and for the first time this has become a reality. For that I already want to thank ConcernedApe, he's been doing a fantastic job not only making progress on the game but also responding to the questions fans have been asking.

So far some of the things we have established are that Multiplayer would be sort of a drop in and out style thing to play with friends but they can also move into your town as sort of a co-owner. I'm curious if this would still retain to the drop in and out gameplay and if not then how will the actions of one player in the town register for the other player in the same town if they are not currently connected together and one made an alteration earlier in the day.

For players who move into the town also, would they have a separate house upon moving in or would they share a house with you, if so do you get an extension, or even does it give you an option of what you would like to do.

We have also had confirmed that relationships are paramount to the gameplay features but player to player relationships would be a key feature too. Will player to player relationships have all the features that player to NPC relationships would have, eg, if the houses were separate like detailed before, would they then give up their house and move in with you if married, will it just be a relationship or may you marry and eventually have children if the feature for children is added like planned.

I also noticed there has not been much chatter about the Dungeons and Caves from anyone yet which sets this game a little closer to a cross of RuneFactory and Harvest Moon. There was mention that items within the caves can be found elsewhere, does this mean that you could find every item in the game without ever stepping foot in the caves? Are the caves essential to progress or get certain things for players who are less combat inclined.

In multiplayer, though you have your own screens will you be forced to share a map, so if one player wishes to go into the caves/dungeons but another player (my Mrs) wishes never to enter them. Is she able to continue the growing of our crops and tending of our animals while I go in search of items in the caves and mining on another map without her having to enter the area for me to progress there.

Modding will likely be easy and progressive like Minecraft. Do you intend to release a modding API at a later date or allow others to just continue their own modding way? Will there be official mods released periodically with optional extras but non essential? Will there be continual updates and support in the way of new things occasionally updated and patched directly into the game and will that affect old save files at all? What is the affect of using a mod on your world and will it affect the save file if you attempt to reload it without the mod installed or will it load the vanilla settings and merely remove the modded data?

I know I've written a lot and almost nobody will be able to answer this, probably not even ConcernedApe at this moment as it is still in development but they were all things I was very curious and interested in and wanted to express my curiosity with the people of Steam.

Can't wait for this game, think I'm actually more excited than my Mrs. Looking forward to the hopeful release in Summer if not whenever it is released.
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DigitalFowl Apr 4, 2013 @ 8:24pm 
I'd just like to add this:

Ease of set up for multiplayer is a necessity. If I have to 'set up a server' or do ANYTHING involving a manipulation of my network and wifi system, I will flat out pass on this. It's a problem I have with the PC version of Terraria and would be a problem here.

So yeah, drop in and drop out co-op with next to no complications as to set up for multiplayer is a must for me, otherwise... I just won't bother. I know I'm only one potential customer speaking out on this, but I wanna get this and play it with my friends, I don't wanna be stuck playing by myself forever and forcing me to 'work' for my multiplayer would just infuriate me.
The Ramen GOD Apr 4, 2013 @ 9:59pm 
Originally posted by WhoDatFool:
I'd just like to add this:

Ease of set up for multiplayer is a necessity. If I have to 'set up a server' or do ANYTHING involving a manipulation of my network and wifi system, I will flat out pass on this. It's a problem I have with the PC version of Terraria and would be a problem here.

So yeah, drop in and drop out co-op with next to no complications as to set up for multiplayer is a must for me, otherwise... I just won't bother. I know I'm only one potential customer speaking out on this, but I wanna get this and play it with my friends, I don't wanna be stuck playing by myself forever and forcing me to 'work' for my multiplayer would just infuriate me.

Well there is a lot of people whoi don't like to port-forward but you could also use Hamachi. That worked for terraria so I'm guessing it would work with this too.
DigitalFowl Apr 5, 2013 @ 1:09am 
Originally posted by The Ramen GOD:
Originally posted by WhoDatFool:
I'd just like to add this:

Ease of set up for multiplayer is a necessity. If I have to 'set up a server' or do ANYTHING involving a manipulation of my network and wifi system, I will flat out pass on this. It's a problem I have with the PC version of Terraria and would be a problem here.

So yeah, drop in and drop out co-op with next to no complications as to set up for multiplayer is a must for me, otherwise... I just won't bother. I know I'm only one potential customer speaking out on this, but I wanna get this and play it with my friends, I don't wanna be stuck playing by myself forever and forcing me to 'work' for my multiplayer would just infuriate me.

Well there is a lot of people whoi don't like to port-forward but you could also use Hamachi. That worked for terraria so I'm guessing it would work with this too.

Any outside program being required to run multiplayer is an inconvenience and cuts down on the willingness of other participants in multiplayer.

I'm saying that a lack of Peer to Peer or some similar kind of set up for multiplayer is a real necessity for people like me. I don't know how hard it is to code in this kind of stuff, but I'd really like this option as a planned buyer of this title.

Hamachi's just a pain in the ♥♥♥ for me. My friends are a bit on the 'doesn't get instructions well' side. Apologies to those friends, I'm sure they're going to see this but I hope they don't take offense.
DarrellLeon Apr 5, 2013 @ 7:10am 
I am actually a programmer myself and though I can not answer the programmers intentions themselves I could explain the system to you and provide theory on what will likely be the case.

There are different multiplayer mechanics in order to set up network gaming and some of them are follows:

Minecraft allows individuals to host their own external servers in order for users to then join to them. This makes it highly practical for modding and online server hosting as it means anyone can store server files online and allow players to connect to their server IP.

Pros of this:
- Highly Moddable Usually
- Easy to Host Online Server

Cons of this:
- Will require port forwarding
- Requires a little more time programming seperation of both server and client

Terraria works on a system of inbuilt server hosting integrated into the client. Though Terraria is actually an exception to the rule and it is also highly moddable and able to be hosted online, in most cases there would not be an additional external server.

Pros of this:
- No knowledge needed of server hosting
- Can jump in and out at click of button

Cons of this:
- Usually harder to mod actual server (Terraria being the exception)
- Will still require port forwarding to work

Terraria and Minecraft both feature LAN gameplay which is the quicker and more easy method of connecting multiple players however this is designed simply for players on the same network.

Pros of this:
- Allows players in the same house / on same network to quickly and easily join
- External software such as Hamachi can simulate Lan and allow players to play together across the web

Cons of this:
- Without external software you cannot play with others across the web
- With external software you are often exposing holes in your security system without knowing it

Games like World of Warcraft operate off their own servers allowing users to connect directly to it with relative ease.

Pros of this:
- Players can always connect to others around the world without any need to port forward
- Players can instantly play with anyone, not just those they know

Cons of this:
- Very expensive and would be impractical from a design point of view (unless he was a millionaire who wanted to throw his money away)
- Players have no control over servers and there would be limited spaces that would likely fill up fast

Games such as Call of Duty operate their own servers but allow player hosting through matchmaking, similar games such as Team Fortress 2 operate the same system but also allow players to choose a game from a list.

Pros of this:
- Players can instantly play with anyone, not just those they know
- Players can easily drop in and out of games freely

Cons of this:
- Though playable without, your connection to others may be limited without port forwarding
- Still relatively expensive though less so than the previous

Direct connect peer-peer is a feature that is dying out in alot of games but can still be featured in many. There is a few main methods that can be deployed to allow it. These are methods such as Terraria deploys hosting server directly in the game, playing via LAN or hosting the same way games such as Call of Duty, Team Fortress 2 and Torchlight 2 use. Due to this they all require some form of server it's just in the past it was often hidden to our eyes under layers of prettyness, they are just becoming more apparent and in our faces about it through game design.

The bottom line I'm afraid is, Games require a port or more than one port depending on their connection times and what data needs to be transferred via them in order to allow players to connect to the host player. In some rare cases both players might need to port if there is a 3rd unported player but provided the host player has ported it should allow connection.

This is not something they could get arround and the only reason some games allow instant connection without porting is simply because you're not the one hosting the server. Someone else is or someone is spending alot of money to keep a server up and have already opened those ports access to it.

A question many ask is (why not use an already open port) but that isn't possible, due to the way frameworks operate on a computer. If a port is already open it is because something accesses it already and if you try to cram something through a hole that is already filled, it's gonna break. That's the simple answer.

If it's the case of only one of you will be hosting (such as you) it is worth looking into port forwarding tutorials (there are literally thousands on the web) as if you can complete the task with the ports necessary for each of the games you play, you can freely host games on behalf of all your friends and they need no knowledge of how it works other than the ip and port in order to connect to your game.

I hope this helps and you consider the options given to you and may make an educated decision following. Best of luck to you in your multiplayer endeavours.
The Ramen GOD Apr 5, 2013 @ 8:46am 
DerrellLeon^^^^
Thankyou for that explanation. I read all of it and I now understand a lot more about this stuff, so Thank you.
DarrellLeon Apr 5, 2013 @ 7:27pm 
My pleasure.
DigitalFowl Apr 9, 2013 @ 9:23pm 
I'm just wanting either instructions for set up of multiplayer that comes from a developer and not some internet forum user who basically will give the response of either A: 'Well I figured out how to do it, it can't be that hard' or B: 'if you can't figure out how to set up multiplayer, you don't deserve to play it'.

That's all. I do understand the problems of the developers hosting multiplayer server and content, but I am just hoping there will be as many options for hosting multiplayer and that there will be varying levels of them in the case of how quick and easy set up will be. I.E. a 'quickplay' option involving a server being set up in a session created by the user/host wanting to run the game. There's no qualms from my end of having 'my' system running things, but if the game can have something programmed into it that sets up and/or installs the server and instructs me on what to do to get it running, that will likely make the game more accessible multiplayer wise for customers such as myself.

I hope I make sense here and don't come off angry or disgruntled, I just want to be able to enjoy everything this game has to offer, multiplayer especially included.
DarrellLeon Apr 10, 2013 @ 8:00am 
I appreciate your points. I may not be a developer for specifically this game but as a developer myself I can assure you I'm not simply saying "I know how to do it, you should too" or that "if you can't figure it out, you don't deserve to play it". Everyone deserves to take part in the features that they have paid for and everyone needs a little help from time to time, unfortunately this is where the grey lines begin to cross.

As a developer they can provide as much help for the actual connection of the game itself, all good game developers will assign a specific port and/or give you the ability to assign your own port and then they will give you these exact details in order for you to connect to each other via this.

Unfortunately, as there is such a wide variety of routers and firmwares for routers out there, no two are the same and that is where the developers responsibility ends as they know nothing nor can they know anything about every users router, nor is there any script out there that could be added into a game that can. uPnP (universal Plug and Play) is the closest thing that comes to this and simply requires you to set the router as such and it attempts to open ports as they are triggered itself, the problem with this is it doesn't work alot of the time and it is still located differently on every router.

The furthest that is actually physically possible for a game company to go is provide you with the port and the server built into it. They've provided you with everything they can and most games including minecraft, terraria and probably this game too do. The problem is not with the games it is with the routers themselves and thus is out of developers hands.

My only advice if you truly care for this is to look up tutorials online specific to your router, http://portforward.com/ has an extensive list of guides specific to each router with information and images to follow step by step. Sadly it's up to you as the user to follow these guides or get an expert knowledgable in router operations to set it up for you which can only be done if physically sat at your computer next to you.

I hope you appreciate that what you are asking is only actually physically possible in one way which is far out of the budget of a small indie game and only huge publishers like activision are able to achieve. I'm not saying "don't deserve to play it" nor am I saying "figure it out" I'm saying I've laid the materials out in front of you to follow step by step, please use them as this is as much as anyone can physically do for you.

If you however do have further questions, I am always happy to answer them and aid you where possible.
DigitalFowl May 17, 2013 @ 1:21pm 
Bumping this old topic in hopes that we can get some answers soon as to how the multiplayer is gonna function for this game.

Really hoping it's as straight forward and user friendly as possible, as I am quite estatic to see this having finally gotten Greenlit.
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