EVMP Discussion HERE

It would be courteous for Ambrosia to open a discussion on a multiplayer EV - even if they don't want to develop it, I am sure there are others willing to do so. I figured the EV Development board would be the best and most appropriate place to post this message, so post away. 🙂

We DO have one. It's on GX, so don't blame me about how crapp'a it is. (url="http://"http://www.gamersx.com/messages/overview.asp?board_id=16757&page;=1&low-expand;")http://www.gamersx.c...ge=1&low-expand(/url) that's the message board. Chris Burns is the man behind the programming.


I can't seem to access the board - it asks for a password.

actually, from now on, you can access an EVMP discussion board here:

Aeon's EVMP/EV3 Open Discussion Board (url="http://"http://boards.eesite.com/board.cgi?boardset=aeon&boardid;=evmp")http://boards.eesite...on&boardid=evmp(/url)

Please go to the Aeon one as I have posted a rather longish basic description of what a player would like, along with some of the basic working concepts and network structure. I would really appreciate it you read it. I will be posting below this post a reproduction of it for your benefit.

The description may seem a little strange, so read it all. I think a vector transmission format with local resources is a good idea. The only problem is the number of vectors that must be transmitted all the time, which gets worse when combat starts. Network speed is critical and a PPC is a must. Perhaps a max user in stellar cap? Here is the reproduction of my earlier post below


I am not very programming literate so excuse me if this set of ideas seems too hard or unrealistic

The basis of the game will continue to be 2D. I think it simplifies some things and is a bit more intuitive to new people. I think the new standard screenwise should be based around a 15 inch screen, unless demographics justfies a 17 inch screen. That helps to set up some minimum standards.

The play environment will be similar to EV int he following fashion:

The software company ultimately responsible for distribution should also be in charge of the master server that every new user comes to first. As this is a multiplayer game, there is no singleplayer version. The reasons will become apparent below. The client package contains the basic code to operate EV and the networking code as well. It will not contain the galaxy, the outfits, missions, ships, governments, anything. This is just the engine and some necessary GUI stuff.

The company master server will contain all information necessary to run on the Master server's galaxy (the basic essential set of components). Thus a first time user will log in with a name and password. They then download the basic components which includes all the information for that galaxy. Maps, ships, basic missions, outfits, CPU player behavior patterns, everything. This initial download from the company master server kind of sucks, but it is necessary as installing the engine on anybody's computer is quick and easy.

The interface will resemble EV with the visual space to the left, control bar to the right. Armor and shields should be two seperate line bars, and armor must be replaced/bought when a layer gets burned off. Maybe a "heat" bar for when you cook your weapons or go too close to a star. Keep the radar setup the same. Remove the cargo manifest, and only indicate cargo space free.

In flying mode, ships move on the screen in a specific stellar. In code terms, you are constantly sending your own ship's vector to the server along with the vector of your weapons. Other players receive your vectors from the server along with the vectors of the CPU ships' vectors (the server decides on CPU ship movement and weapons firing). Your own computer than uses the vector info to generate the images on screen from the ship sprites downloaded from the server at the beginning of the session, plus weapons sprites. If your ship destructs, you eject to the center of that galaxy and get depositied on the beginning point of that galaxy (example is you eject and get dumped on earth, where all the newbies start from at the company master server). You will also be able to set certain hail messages on the client and activate them by number (or something).Standard hails would include SOS/help, lets go to the spaceport and talk, DIE!, some signature phrase, lets trade ships, escort is fired/released, escorts/fighters return to mothership etc.

I realize that EV style escorts/fighters complicate this somewhat and I expect to have to treat them as CPU ships that the server controls, but behavior is meant to protect you alone. Any players deciding to help you are in charge of their own actions.

Mission/Interaction activities occur in the spaceports, missions occuring in the bar or from a job listing computer. The client will show on the job computerthe basic missions available at that spaceport, but will also dowload any specialty mission titles. If a special mission is selected, you download that particular mission. Kinda the same thing in the bar too. However, here is an opportunity to create a chatroom environment so people can colaborate/scheme. I think this is important as it allows a cetain level of seperation from the game and allows people to interact directly. Commodities exchanges will be the same as EV as well.

Ship modifications and ship buying also occurs in the spaceport. Ships available are from the selections downloaded from the server and availalble in that galaxy and limited by the tech level set for that spaceport, and a randomizer so the same ships aren't always available (opportunity to give people a chance to get a more powerful ship very cheaply due to randomness). Will need to link it in with people selling ships as well so they show up in the shipyard. "standard" ships are more available and used ships come with their upgrades (original names listed but can be changed after purchase). Will also have to impliment some way for two people to trade their ships, with and without excahnge of money involved and independant of the shipyard.

Pilot entries will be recorded on the server and on the client at regular intervals. When logging out, the server and client mark the time, money, position in galaxy, ship type, and upgrades, and missions listed (can only log out in a spaceport). At logout the server, if not the company master server, will send a copy of that log to the company master server. Thus, if the person wants to start back at the beginning they can with their ship and money (provided that ship/outfits exists/is allowed on the company master server galaxy), or go back to the place they logged out at.

I get ahead of myself so let me back up. The galaxy will have 4 "exit points" linked to similar servers but with different galaxies. The exit points are linked directly to each other on the map so jumping to exit points is "quick". If a player reaches an exit point and wishes to travel on, the player intiates a galaxy jump (how this will be defined is up in the air), a network connection is
established. After satisfying certain performance characteristics (ping time) the next server begins to upload to the client the new server's galaxy and any special modifications (ships exclusive to that galaxy, outfits, map, etc). If continueing on and not stopping in that galaxy the player can refuse and download the map only. The Map will only show the exit point hyperspace links and links to "unexplored" stellars. This allows jumping to farther away galaxies quick. Thus thrid party servers will be laid out in a grid like pattern of galaxies, with the company server at the core. If the link to the next server does not complete itself (all parts didn't download, ping time goes too low, pilot/user refused, or any other network hoohawhaw) then the player doesn't jump out of that galaxy and is still stuck there. If they do jump out, then the new server takes over the job of maintaining the players presence.

Thus the normal servers sold by the company must be known and registered to link into the master map scheme. This helps to resist priating and hacking the main galaxy/universe and to make it more secure/safe to new players. Now, if someone wanted to do their own galaxy that is very different from the company galaxy they can buy an enhanced server. This enhanced server can not link into the master map scheme but can start its own. This is essentially a "private" galaxy/universe with a network of private servers never connecting to the main universe. The rational behind this is that people who have poor internet connectivty or can not afford the bandwidth to have their local group of players all playing at the same time can have a local game that uses their local network, which normally has higher bandwidth capability than their internet connection. normal and enchanced servers both can do this, but enhanced servers have the extra code to take care of the overall management

Thus people can develope their own storylines, ships, outfits, and stellars in their own private galaxies. But wait! The company will accept submissions (after review) to add to the basic/company galaxy new ships and outifts, and perhaps even stellars and missions! Everytime you log on to a server you do a check on the locally stored sprites and resources and if they are older, and automatic update of the resources can be enabled. Third party servers can also accept submissions as well to expand their own galaxy thus making a situation where the game parts can be improved and expanded upon.

Does this seem like a good rational?

Your idea sounds very rational 🙂 That must have taken you a while to write, did it?

Yeah, I've got a lot of computer science friends hanging around so some of their knowledge rubs off. The way I figure it, by having a way to automatically update the ships and stuff you can expand the universe easily (designate a time at night to recheck resource versions). The vector format is somewhat transmission intensive, and it puts a hell of a load on the server. It has to manage different active stellars (think arenas) with interaction on the stellar level. Then you have to consider people moving from stellar to stellar. If you are maxed out, you have to have a mechanism to prevent people from jumping into a maxed out stellar (bad jump dynamics message?). But the vector format does simplify some things and putting the engine load on the client end seems like a good idea.

Take the Doom-esqe games. They force uploads of maps and skins when starting a level. They tansmit position info, direction, and which weapon is firing. Client takes care of the rest.

Having the universe limited to galaxies/servers with only four interconnect points helps to keep map set up simple. You have to be religious about map setup though, in a strict grid pattern, or the interconnects will get messy when attempting to show a universe scale map in the nav window.

I think my idea helps to preserve the good aspects of EV/EVO which are;ease of play/learning,simple mission structures, expanding original galaxy stuff with user submitted stuff to make it more appealing and, keeping that exploration aspect to EV.

A mac using friend also told me that the network sprocket that came with the game/input sprockets might make developement of an early version of this game a lot quicker, but limit it to Mac players only. Also, there are some limitions built into network sprocket that may hinder my idea of a vector based communications basis.

Does anybody know enough about network sprocket to be able to say if it will be a help or a hinderence?