Overload

Overload

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Overload > General Discussions > Topic Details
Vizor  [developer] Mar 14 @ 3:20pm
Multiplayer Update (March 14th)
Hi Everyone,

It will still be a little while before the MP build is ready for outside testing, but I wanted to give you guys a bit of info about what we've been up to and what we're excited about on the multiplayer side of Overload. In case you missed it, the singleplayer campaign and Challenge Mode are pretty much done, aside from bug fixes and little polish items like final lighting and achievements.

I switched over to work on multiplayer a few weeks ago (Alan Lawrence from Red Faction/The Long Dark and another programmer have been working on it for much longer), and I'm happy to report that things are going pretty well. We've got a lot of the UI/gameplay elements in, and the basic gameplay has really turned a corner in the last few days. Before we get into the recent changes, let's cover how we expect MP will work:

ARCHITECTURE

Overall, we're aiming for a Rocket League-quality multiplayer experience, though at a smaller scale in terms of features. I'm sure plenty of you will have opinions about the direction of the MP architecture, but until you can test it in real-world situations, I urge you to reserve judgement.

The basic architecture for Overload will be client-server, with dedicated servers being required (running your own dedicated servers will be supported on PC/Win/Linux, though possibly not at launch). We're currently working on the final architecture for multiplayer, which will be client-side prediction and control over movement/firing, but the movement/input is also simulated on the server and will be corrected on the client if it diverges. We feel like this provides the best overall experience, with minimal chance of cheating, and the lowest overall latency and bandwidth requirements.

Playlist-based matchmaking and private matches (with a password) will be supported on all platforms, with cross-platform play also available (except Xbox One vs. PS4, unfortunately). There will be a maximum of 8 players in a game regardless of platform.

PLAYER COMMUNICATION

Like many modern games, we'll be using pre-made quick-chat macros instead of text chat as the default communication option. This prevent player toxicity from becoming a major problem, and keeps the games more friendly and enjoyable for everyone. Right now there are 20+ sayings you can assign to 8 slots. We'll probably have to support voice chat on XB1 and PS4, though I'm not sure if it has to be enabled by default or not.

WEAPONS AND LOADOUTS

We've been doing preliminary work on weapon balance in multiplayer, but there's still more to be done. Damage for each weapon is tuned specifically for multiplayer, and is only roughly based on SP damage amounts. Currently, all weapons remain at the Level 1 (or "+") upgrade level at all times in MP. We're considering ways to incorporate Level 2 upgrades, but they are currently not used in MP.

One big feature that's currently working is letting the player choose their starting weapons and missiles (with some restrictions). Before the game starts, you select from 2 of 8 loadout slots (sets of 2 weapons and 1 missile, or 1 weapon and 2 missiles), with 2 of them being customizable. We're making sure the primary weapons and 4 available starting missiles (falcons, missile pods, hunters, and creepers) are relatively balanced and the choices between them will come down to preference/play style, not power level.

Every time you spawn, you choose from 1 of the 2 selected loadouts to spawn with. This system is still a work in progress, so its possible the number of weapons/missiles will change, or the number of available loadouts. We're also currently using a Challenge Mode-like random powerup spawning system, rather than placing specific items in specific locations. We think this encourages more movement and exploration, but we may make super missile and temporary powerups have different rules for spawning.

MODIFIERS

The other gameplay-related customization is something we call Modifiers. These are essentially mini-upgrades that you always have 2 of (1 from each category). The 1st category includes minor adjustments to speed, boost duration, boost speed, or armor. The 2nd category includes max ammo, energy consumption, and a couple others. All these modifiers will be roughly equal in power level, with your preference being the deciding factor. You can change these between matches, but not during one.

SHIP VISUALS

The thing we're working on most recently is being able to customize your ship visually. We don't know exactly why, but we're irrationally excited about being able to make our ships look more distinct. Though everyone will have the same base ship, there are multiple ways of changing the appearance. We'll post some pics of customized ships in the next week or three...

RECENT IMPROVEMENTS

Getting back to the most recent work, the big gameplay improvements of the week include weapon firing finally being solid on client machines. Previously, clients couldn't fire at the same speed as the server, but Alan recently got the weapon firing synced on all machines. The other great change was switching to use a physics collider (instead of trigger) for weapon collisions vs. the player ship, so that weapon-hit explosions appear at the correct location (instead of inside the ship). The scoreboard got some UI love this week and is now available at any time, instead of just at the end of a match.

We've also got a bunch fully-playable MP levels. These are almost all CM levels with slight modifications, but they work surprisingly well already. Once we decide on the third mode for the launch of MP (Anarchy and Team Anarchy are definitely in), that will influence the final MP level needs and tweaks (level design time is not a big constraint in MP).

Luke
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Showing 1-15 of 27 comments
be wary. Soo many games have good multiplayer. Only for it to be overbalanced later. It happened to Evolve. It happened to bf3. The elite dangerous community even twisted that game into oblivion. It's a good idea to be extremely hesitant with the feedback you get from multiplayer. People don't like losing so if a weapon is easy to use and easy to master. The community will want it nerfed. And if a weapon is hard to use but good when mastered the community will want it buffed. This game is absolutely phenomenal. I hope it doesn't fall prey to overbalancing.
Maxx Mar 14 @ 4:34pm 
Hey Luke, you guys are doing an awesome job with all of this! I, for one, am very excited at the prospect of getting MP up and running, hopefully soon. hopefully sooner for backers. I would volunteer my server to run MP on, if that would help.
lustuccc Mar 14 @ 5:13pm 
I can't keep up playing multiplayer. I'm not a competitive guy. I suck. I tried in Descent 3 only to get killed in a few seconds... even at supposedly low rank affrontments. I must be too old for this...

So I wish there will be cooperative modes or other not so agressive modes.

But hey! I wish the best MP for all of you hard core gamers!
Last edited by lustuccc; Mar 15 @ 2:21pm
Thanks for the update, Vizor!
Perhaps co-op challenge modes should be a thing
MikeK  [developer] Mar 14 @ 7:45pm 
Adios -- Yes, we talked about co-op CM. Near the top of our wishlist, but won't be in the initial release. I hope to see it happen.
Slyli Mar 15 @ 12:56pm 
Thanks for the update! Can you explain how cross platform play may work? You mentioned that XB1 VS PS4 is not possible, but what about e.g. PC VS PS4? And how about input devices, are there any specific plans to level the playing field between mouse VS gamepad VS joystick users?

Keep up the great work, I really hope you manage to create an enjoyable / lag free / fair MP experience!
OMG YAASSS !
HeadwarP Mar 15 @ 7:42pm 
Sooo this is exciting. 8 player maximum raises concerns about mission editing. But I'm happy to hear about the client/server architecture while also allowing matchmaking for those who prefer it.

It will be interesting to learn what kind of resources the server executable requires and whether or not my i5 2500k sitting around with nothing to do at the moment will be able to handle hosting more than one server.

Last edited by HeadwarP; Mar 15 @ 7:44pm
Good luck with the final mp adjusments, hyped to try this. :ReallyBigSmile:
Mark Mar 20 @ 4:40am 
Please don't add too many multiplayer achievements if any
Thudd Mar 20 @ 5:12am 
Great job with this game. Love it so far
thank god mp wepon tweeks wont effect singleplayer, or the other way round for that matter.
sounds good so far, looking foward to getting my♥♥♥♥♥handed to me!
stratvox Mar 24 @ 3:00pm 
For third mode I'd really like to suggest CTF, with levels designed for it (i.e. team spawns in goal rooms, overall good balanced layour for approaches to and from... probably a choice of two, three, or four entrances and exits from each goal room and a good balance on the way through the level to the other goal room). When a player carrying a flag gets killed, the flag is part of the ship's spew, and must be picked up to return to the goal room. Only by touching the flag in its location in the goal room can a point be scored.

This would allow for the possibility of large complex levels offering stealth, tactical team play, and good strategy for making the run to the other team's goal room, which would be a good way to bring back multi-player to the way it could be on some of the old large levels in D1 & D2. Do you leave one player as goalie, one to ghost the neutral zone to disrupt attackers, and two to attack the other goal room, or do you cover the choke points on the way to your goal room? How many choke points are there on this particular map? and so on. Being able to create a multiplayer game where a team that's good with squad level tactics would have a definite advantage would be truly awesome.... imho.
stratvox Mar 24 @ 3:02pm 
ETA ;) To add one last thing... over time as development continues after full launch, the ability to create MP games with up to say sixteen or thirty-two players with large CTF maps could really make for a truly spectacular MP experience.
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Overload > General Discussions > Topic Details
Date Posted: Mar 14 @ 3:20pm
Posts: 27