Party Panic

Party Panic

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DMeville  [developer] Sep 3, 2016 @ 11:36pm
September 2016 Developer Update - Online is coming!
I've been pretty quiet the last few weeks and I want to share what's going on for those who are curious.

The game has been available on Steam now for just over one month, during that time there's been a lot more players than I expected, and also a much better response than I expected. It seems pretty unanimous that people are enjoying Party Panic. If you do a search for Party Panic on Youtube, the first page is 95% the game, with some videos getting more than 1,000,000 views. This is absolutely incredible and it blows my mind. Thank you everyone who has checked out the game, left feedback or reviews. You are all awesome.

After the initial excitement of entering Early Access had died down I took a step back from the game to try and take a fresh look at the game, to try and figure out the best direction to move forward. The original plan was to slowly add more minigames (up to 25ish) and then start porting to consoles. This will still happen, but has been pushed back until Later™

I think Party Panic is an awesome game, and it's loads of fun when playing with your friends, but not everyone has 4 controllers sitting around, and sometimes it's not easy to get together with your friends. This is currently the biggest issue with the game, and has been brought up numerous times by players. I want Party Panic to be enjoyed by as many people as possible. After hiding away for the last 3 weeks working, I'm excited to announce online play will be coming to Party Panic!

Online is a tricky beast to tackle, and comes with a whole bunch of issues. Being on the only developer on Party Panic (and with very little previous networking experience) I don't expect this to be a quick process, but it's in the works. Networking isn't something you can really shoehorn in after a game is complete, so the majority of the game code will require major changes (with most of it just being rewritten from scratch). It's a big task, but I'm up for the challenge. Over the last three weeks I've been working away on this and I've already made some great progress. The characters are working nicely online, ragdolls are syncing nice and the main game loop is already working online. You can start a game, setup your characters, play one minigame until one person is crowned the winner, ad infinitum, all online! Things are already integrated with Steam's networking backend and a nice interactive lobby/room browser. Now I just need to go through each existing minigame and redo it for online play. There are some issues I foresee (like the games where you're in balls, because physics/collision responses don't really work over the network right now, which might be a limitation of the Unity engine), but I'm going to try my absolute hardest to make this work as well as I can. I don't really have a time estimate for how long this might take, ideally no longer than 2-3 months to have everything that is in the game now working online. But it could be longer, or shorter. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The plan is to only be able to play with people you are friends with on Steam. If you're playing against random people you don't know, you ought to just play against the AI, which will give you a 100% responsive and lag free experience. The reasoning behind this is online gameplay will never be perfect - data transmission isn't instant - and when playing online your internet speed is the biggest variable to how well the game will play. Party Panic has a lot of tight interaction between players, and fast action. While in most cases this shouldn't be an issue, sometimes extreme cases arise, and lag can get pretty bad. It's up to the players to coordinate when they all want to hop into a game, and be aware that a lag free game is not guaranteed. With that being said, I think having the ability to play with your friends will be a great thing, even if there is a little bit of lag. This will open up a lot of doors for people who might be interested in Party Panic, who previously were turned away from the game because lack of online play.

I've also made it so it's not limited to one player per computer. You can mix and match any combination of up to 4 players. Got one friend that couldn't make it to your gathering? Play with 3 players locally, and one player online!

Because of the major changes needed for online, all the minigames are undergoing a rewrite. This will not affect how local play works in the long run though. After the rewrite is complete all the minigames should play nearly identical, but will work both online and locally using the same codebase!

All this online stuff has been taking up all my time, so I apologize if there are some lingering issues/bugs I haven't sorted out yet. Unfortunately it doesn't make sense to fix these now, and then have to do it again post-rewrite, but in the future they will be addressed!

Here's a video from today of the room browser and 4 player online playing the one minigame that is working online so far. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEZBLb7o8QY

Anyways, that's what's been going on. I feel like I haven't slept in 3 weeks, but it's all for the greater good. ONLINE GOOBERS. HOPE YOU GUYS ARE AS EXCITED AS I AM! SOON YOU'LL BE ABLE TO PUNCH YOUR FRIENDS FROM ACROSS THE WORLD!

//Dylan


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Showing 1-3 of 3 comments
Joeyy Sep 4, 2016 @ 4:31am 
Awesome! looking forward to it.
Joey Slamhoes Sep 23, 2016 @ 8:53pm 
Wow man keep up the good work!
DMeville  [developer] Oct 14, 2016 @ 8:55am 
ONLINE IS DONE!!!

I'm just going through final adjustments and making sure it's as bug free as possible. It will be available TONIGHT! (~12 hours from the time of this post)

I will be updating the store page to reflect these changes, updating the video and making an announcement outlining all of the changes over the next few hours. EXCITING TIMES!!

EDIT: http://steamcommunity.com/app/506500/discussions/0/341537671983457184/
Last edited by DMeville; Oct 15, 2016 @ 1:15am
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