Multiplayer vs Singleplayer

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BrownSky
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Multiplayer vs Singleplayer

Post by BrownSky » Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:26 pm

Take a look at the attached level. It is multiplayer, with four men. Set the game to multiplayer and play it. When you start it appears that you are all trapped in a room with walls and no doors. The clue is that blue man doesn't respond to key presses and when one of the other man touches him he turns away. Now hit F9 (or F8). Aha...

This is an example of an originally one-player level which I have retrofitted to multiplayer, not by giving the other players meaningful tasks to do, but by making them spectators as the first player does the actual work. In this case it has worked out better than usual, by posing a 'trick' for the players to comprehend before the level can be completed (and if they don't figure it out quickly then the blue man will be blown up by butterflies).

So I'm happy with how it works in multiplayer.

Now set the game back to single-player. Start the level. You are the yellow man, trapped in a room with walls and no players, and a CE that looks like the blue man but isn't. What can you do? Nothing. What a stupid level...

The reason it doesn't work in single-player mode is that when it was originally designed, the single player was the blue man. He started in the top left corner and had free rein (as he does in multiplayer mode). But adding other players has made the yellow man become the default single player mode man (as is standard for R'n'D).

Now obviously I could fix this by swapping the positions of the yellow man and the blue man. And then to preserve the illusion that the four players are in the room with no way out, I could change the CE so that it looks like the yellow man. But I don't want to! I want to be able to choose whichever man I want as the 'single player mode' man, even in a cave with multiple men.

So here is my request. Can the level config screen have a tab 'Player allocation' (or something like that) where you can set which man should be the man who is played by the single player (list of all four men plus Murphy, of course).

The devil in the detail would be how to keep this list 'in sync' with what is actually going on in the level. i.e. if you choose blue man, but don't actually have a blue man in the level. or you do, but then you delete him. You could either have complicated code to track what the player does in the editor, or you could ignore all that and just have this as a suggestion, i.e. carry it out if it can be done, otherwise ignore it.

This idea has a connection to my earlier idea "Add non-existing players to levels", which I am glad that Fibo replied to but which I am very sad that Holger hasn't replied to :-(

If we combined the two ideas then on each level's 'Player allocation' tab you could specify the man (or Murphy) for players 1, 2, 3 and 4. So for a 3-player game, or a 2-player game, or a 1-player game, the designer could determine which men are used, therefore guaranteeing (or at least making it more likely) that the level will be playable.

While I'm at it, let me put in a plug for some level settings for multiplayer such as 'key possession is collective', 'level requires all men to enter the exit to be completed', 'each player must collect the stated number of gems' etc.

At the game level, in the Setup next to the 'team mode (multi-player)' and 'network multi-player mode' settings, there should be a setting for 'maximum number of players' which can be dropped from its default of 4 to 3, 2 or 1. Actually this could maybe replace the 'team mode (multi-player)' setting (which is off or on) as a value of 1 would be equivalent to 'team mode (multi-player)' being set to off.

And as per my idea in "Add non-existing players to levels", there could also be a 'minimum number of players' which forces all levels to provide at least that many men even if they were not designed as such. Note that this would require the game engine to make some decisions about where to put the extra men and could result in uncompleteable levels. So it should be a random thing so if it doesn't work one time, you can try again and maybe get a better result next time.
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Eizzoux
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Re: Multiplayer vs Singleplayer

Post by Eizzoux » Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:24 am

Actually, this level is completable in singleplayer mode. That's what you need to do in settings before starting the level:
1. Choose the preferred player as player 4 (blue guy)
2. Turn on the teamwork mode if you haven't
3. Turn on the network game mode
4. Visit the level just to check if you can control the blue guy
5. Turn the network game back off
6. Turn off the teamwork mode and then start the level
As you can see now, you're controlling blue guy instead of yellow and also... He's the only player in this level!
ksf.png
Only player 4
ksf.png (419.42 KiB) Viewed 182 times
asldj.png
Good Game
asldj.png (321.92 KiB) Viewed 182 times
Nothing in here...*

BrownSky
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Re: Multiplayer vs Singleplayer

Post by BrownSky » Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:42 am

Hi Eizzoux,

Thank you for testing out my level, and finding a solution. I feel bad for not actually inspecting the settings and thus not noticing that there is a 'preferred network player' setting.

But I don't think this is an optimum solution. As a designer of a levelset of multiplayer levels, I may want to make the blue man the single player man for some levels, the green man the single player man for other levels, the red man the single player man for some levels, and the yellow man / Murphy the single player man for the remainder of the levels. I want to have that level of control; and where I have specified the man I want, I wouldn't want that to be overridden by some game level setting.

Holger, what do you think?

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Holger
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Re: Multiplayer vs Singleplayer

Post by Holger » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:15 pm

Actually, this level is completable in singleplayer mode. That's what you need to do in settings before starting the level:
1. Choose the preferred player as player 4 (blue guy)
2. Turn on the teamwork mode if you haven't
3. Turn on the network game mode
4. Visit the level just to check if you can control the blue guy
5. Turn the network game back off
6. Turn off the teamwork mode and then start the level
As you can see now, you're controlling blue guy instead of yellow and also... He's the only player in this level!
That's indeed a cool trick! But it looks more like a dirty workaround to make use of a feature that should also be there without having to use this trick. I mean, if there's a "preferred player" setting, it should work in both network mode and in single-player mode, doing what it suggests to do (even if it really is called "preferred _network_player").
I feel bad for not actually inspecting the settings and thus not noticing that there is a 'preferred network player' setting.
You really don't have to feel bad! This option was never intended to select a preferred player in single-player mode! And even less by using such a trick! But Eizzoux is right here: Why not use it exactly this way (but without using that "workaround")?

I have just changed the program a little bit to respect that setup option also in single-player mode, as it really makes sense!
As a designer of a levelset of multiplayer levels, I may want to make the blue man the single player man for some levels, the green man the single player man for other levels, the red man the single player man for some levels, and the yellow man / Murphy the single player man for the remainder of the levels.
That's easy: Just use the player element setting "[x] use artwork from element: <some other player>" on the "config 1" tab of the player settings to visually use a different player when playing a multi-player level in single-player mode!
I want to have that level of control; and where I have specified the man I want, I wouldn't want that to be overridden by some game level setting.
This wouldn't be possible to prevent with the current solution. When leaving the setup options on default values (with player 1 (yellow) being the default player), you can use the above solution to let the player play with a (visually) different default player. But it should be possible to override this, to play any multi-player level using the preferred player.

Most players probably won't do this, but it should indeed be possible (without using "dirty" workarounds).

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