Co-Op Mode

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Co-Op Mode

Postby rt » Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:42 pm

In 1.29 we are planning to include experimental support for LAN singleplayer co-op. This will allow multiple players to work together to solve any of the existing puzzles, except Quantum Loop puzzles.
To access this feature the first player would simply load up a singleplayer puzzle from the world map, then the second player would open the the LAN server browser and join. The second player will have some features disabled such as not being able to pause, load checkpoints, or restart the level because the first player will be in control of those things.
At a later date we'd like to more fully implement this feature, but for the time being it will be functional.

Note: This is not the Super Synergy mode previously mentioned. That will be it's own game mode whereas this LAN co-op feature applies to all game modes (except QL).
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Re: Co-Op Mode

Postby Kirp » Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:48 pm

Neat.

will this count towards world records? if so, do both players get seperate credit? or is this intended to help people who are stuck in the game or socially deprived?
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Re: Co-Op Mode

Postby rt » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:19 pm

Kirp wrote:will this count towards world records? if so, do both players get seperate credit? or is this intended to help people who are stuck in the game or socially deprived?


Currently only the first player (who started the level) will get the record posted to the website. This feature is intended to allow younger players to work together, or a parent-child team to solve puzzles, ultimately resulting in a better world for everyone.
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Re: Co-Op Mode

Postby Gemma » Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:17 pm

Cool! This sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun. I like teamwork games, so am really glad to hear about this. :)

Interesting idea, doing this with the pilgrimage levels too. It'll probably put a new perspective on some of them; with two people working on different areas of the level at once I'm sure the community will come up with a lot of new solutions. I think it'll encourage creativity.

Thanks for all your hard work on the game!
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Re: Co-Op Mode

Postby rt » Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:59 pm

Gemma wrote:Cool! This sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun. I like teamwork games, so am really glad to hear about this. :)


It's a natural extension as we designed Clones to be a multiplayer game from the beginning. Most of the pilgrimage levels will support this so a co-op teammate can now take the place of "Freeze Time" to help perform time-critical actions, or on the less competitive side an older sibling/parent can give assistance to a younger player without robbing them of the feeling of accomplishment.

Of course to maximize the feeling of teamwork the puzzles will have to be designed for co-op play. That will be the focus of the Super Synergy mode.
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Re: Co-Op Mode

Postby rt » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:20 pm

The singleplayer co-op mode is currently only LAN (v1.29) but you should be able to play with a friend over the internet if you both have a VPN.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamachi_(software)
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Re: Co-Op Mode

Postby Ruien » Tue May 10, 2011 9:46 am

I just purchased this game today specifically because of the added co-op in 1.29. My wife loves it! Thanks!

We're getting checksum errors on some levels (even though I've verified the data pack's md5sums on both machines), but I assume this is a known issue.

rt: I've been reading your development logs and activity on these forums and am very impressed. For example, your recent additions to the mini-AI based on some suggestions is Very Cool.
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Re: Co-Op Mode

Postby rt » Tue May 10, 2011 10:04 am

Ruien wrote:I just purchased this game today specifically because of the added co-op in 1.29. My wife loves it! Thanks!


Happy to hear you're enjoying that feature, we had fun testing it as well. It gives a different feel when you work as a team to solve a puzzle.

We're getting checksum errors on some levels (even though I've verified the data pack's md5sums on both machines), but I assume this is a known issue.


Please provide some more details:
- Which maps produce checksum error?
- Is the error right after level load, or after the match is over?
- What is the processor brand for each of the two computers? (Intel, AMD?)
- What OS are the computers running? (Vista? XP? Windows 7?)
- Do you notice any pattern for when the error is displayed?

We've seen that error on a computer with a very low-end graphics card that was unable to load some of the large textures on some maps. We could probably fix up the maps to help with this.

rt: I've been reading your development logs and activity on these forums and am very impressed. For example, your recent additions to the mini-AI based on some suggestions is Very Cool.


Thanks for the praise, but the truth is i can't help it. I'm addicted to Clones :P Sometimes new features even come to me in dreams, such as the "delta score" number in the upper right during a multiplayer match. Do you have any suggestions?
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Re: Co-Op Mode

Postby Ruien » Wed May 11, 2011 9:47 am

Which maps produce checksum error?


I just went and tested all of the levels from the first three clonemasters. Here are the stages which display the error:

Code: Select all
DrillDude: Mushbombing | Final Drill, Dude
RoboBrain: Atomize This! | Endless Clocean
RoastEd: Bones | Twilight | Roast Coast | Quicksand


The other stages in these clonemasters' areas do not engender the error.

Is the error right after level load, or after the match is over?


Immediately following the level load in all cases.

What is the processor brand (and OS) for each of the computers?)


I have 3 computers tested in two configurations:

Desktop -- AMD Athlon 2 X2 250 -- Windows XP SP2 (English) -- High-end Nvidia graphics card
Netbook1 -- Acer AspireOne Pro 531h -- Intel Atom -- Windows XP SP2 (English) -- Low-end integrated Intel video chip
Netbook2 -- Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3 -- Intel Atom -- Windows XP SP3 (Chinese) -- Low-end integrated Intel video chip

The two configurations were (Desktop + Netbook1) and (Desktop + Netbook2).
The errors happen for both machines regardless of which machine is the host and which is the client. The host receives the checksum message when the client connects.
Also, all machines are able to play and complete these levels in normal single-player with no co-op.

Do you notice any pattern for when the error is displayed?


Not really, apart from being consistently reproducible. I haven't tested all combinations and permutations of hardware, though, and if you have any specific tests you'd like me to perform, just let me know.

Do you have any suggestions?


You guys are doing great, so just keep focusing on the bug fixes. Here's what I've got:
* 640x480 windowed mode doesn't seem to work (appears to be the same size as 800x600 windowed mode). Important for netbooks when multitasking.
* Getting co-op working with Direct Connect via hostname/IP on the Internet instead of LAN-only.

In terms of co-op play, I don't really see much of a need to develop a lot of levels particulary designed for it (although that might be cool). Instead, some stages that are suitable for singleplayer can simply be tweaked to be more challenging.

For example, the game can be "frozen" to allow issuing commands. A great co-op challenge would be to have to play those levels in real-time by not having the option to freeze time and issue commands. A non-trivial take would be to incorporate configurable restrictions including, for example, a speed increase, in something similar to the existing multiplayer tweak menu. Another idea would be to have the option of dividing different morphs between different co-op players. In short, being able to recycle existing content for a more challenging multiplayer cooperative experience makes the co-op mode that much more viable.

Then again, you may have already done or were planning to do some of this. I haven't seen enough of the game yet to have a very valid opinion or to build upon the excellent work that has already been done.
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Re: Co-Op Mode

Postby rt » Wed May 11, 2011 12:42 pm

Ruien wrote:
Code: Select all
DrillDude: Mushbombing | Final Drill, Dude
RoboBrain: Atomize This! | Endless Clocean
RoastEd: Bones | Twilight | Roast Coast | Quicksand

The other stages in these clonemasters' areas do not engender the error.


Thanks for the specific feedback! I've examined these levels and they do have large shading textures, but some of them were not set to "Overlay" so it could have affected the terrain checksum if it failed to load up. I've tweaked these for 1.30 which is due out soon, if you could test again once 1.30 is out it would help us a lot. I suspect the netbooks texture size limit is the culprit.

* 640x480 windowed mode doesn't seem to work (appears to be the same size as 800x600 windowed mode). Important for netbooks when multitasking.


When you change the resolution in Clones the window size is not adjusted (unless a new aspect ratio is selected) so it may appear that nothing has changed, but you should be able to detect a quality difference in the graphics and fonts. You can freely resize the window by grabbing the edge.

* Getting co-op working with Direct Connect via hostname/IP on the Internet instead of LAN-only.


This should be working in 1.29, the default port is 9877 but it can be changed on the multiplayer level select screen. In 1.30 it will be a bit tricky to use direct connect for co-op because singleplayer will choose an OS supplied open port, which could be anything. You'd have to open the log file to see which port was chosen and send that to the remote player to use in connecting. A VPN would be easier, like the one i linked to in a previous post.

In terms of co-op play, I don't really see much of a need to develop a lot of levels particulary designed for it (although that might be cool)........Another idea would be to have the option of dividing different morphs between different co-op players.


Yes for the current co-op some tweaking would be great. Removing the freeze time when co-op is detected makes sense. Ultimately we would like to complete the "Super Synergy" game mode which would require people to play co-op online to complete a puzzle by controlling different groups with different morph sets. These puzzles would be similar to the existing "Quantum Loop" puzzles but would include timing and cyclical dependence of groups to succeed.
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