Custom Multi Player Maps

Are we light years from making the dream a reality?

I think of custom MP maps as being a thing of the future, but what I'd like to know is how far into the future? Are we versions away from being able to unite against a custom Boss in a MP map? Will we ever know what it's like to explore The Temple Of The Pen side by side with a partner? Just how far away are we talking here for the possibility of custom MP maps to present itself, even in a primitive form? I understand that the format is quite different from the Solo mode custom maps, what with gun colours, weapon upgrades, level quests and all that. (and obviously the size of the map would be of great significance as well) But I mean, custom levels were created, so surely it can be done again right?

It can technically be done, and it's not that hard, to replace the built-in multiplayer levels by custom versions (the format is the same as that of the built-in single-player levels, of course a few things have to be taken into account like two starting points for the two players). So you could swap a map with another one to play multiplayer with (in the same conditions: limited time, coop/comp, etc ).

How many versions away (to have, I suppose, actual support for doing so, plus not being limited to the current 2P settings) is another matter entirely. We are still knee-deep in bugs and I don't know how many features are going to be implemented in the future, if any.

@zacha-pedro, on Apr 2 2007, 03:16 PM, said in Custom Multi Player Maps:

It can technically be done, and it's not that hard, to replace the built-in multiplayer levels by custom versions (the format is the same as that of the built-in single-player levels, of course a few things have to be taken into account like two starting points for the two players). So you could swap a map with another one to play multiplayer with (in the same conditions: limited time, coop/comp, etc ).

The only difficulty with that is score-reporting. It doesn't matter in 1.0.1, but in 1.0.0, at least, it is definitely possible to register scores set on non-original MP maps (as proven by a couple of recent 150,000-point scores on Crazy Zone, set with SF 1.0.0). This could cause some major problems even if the mapmaker honestly tried to make a normal map, as the scores set on that map would get reported as being set on whatever map was replaced by it. If the scores were as little as 20,000 points above the current highest score for that map, it would be indistinguishable from a real high score, but nearly unbeatable by the real map.

Possible solutions:

  1. Only play custom MP maps with 1.0.1. A bit annoying with the disconnect after a high-scoring game, but won't set any fake scores.
  2. Replace only the Volcano map. It's completely unbalanced anyway, so any fake scores registered can be ignored. The difficulty here is if the high score list starts filling up, reducing the "top 100" to, say, 50 (or 0!). It's already down to 88 or so due to excessively-high-scoring Volcano runs in 1.0.0.
  3. Anyone using a custom MP map changes their name to reflect that. This may be a good idea anyway, as data mis-matches with stock players make that map completely unplayable.
  4. Server-level: Set up a checksum check and refuse scores set by non-standard maps. Don't do anything to prevent non-standard maps from being played , though. I strongly suggest doing this anyway, but it may require changes to the game engine to implement.

Edwards

I think a solution would have to be devised that wouldn't interfere with the scores as you say, Edwards. Although the Volcano map is a bit unbalanced (what with all those juicy point giving Lava Blobs walking around) it would still push the other scores on the list down, down, down until you couldn't actually set a high score on a non custom MP map. Your point on having a server is probably the best way to get around this, as it could ignore the high scores altogether. Of course, this is something that we probably won't see in Sketchfighter for many moons, as it's a considerable change in the game's format. (indeed, if this feature does see the light of day, it will probably be in Sketchfighter 2 ^_^ )

I'm surprised and uplifted to hear ZP say that it's not that difficult to physically create a multi player map, I thought it required a slightly altered version of the editor. At least that serves as a constant reminder that custom MP maps might one day present itself in a recognisable form.

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