Some multiplayer thoughts and questions

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Dis
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Some multiplayer thoughts and questions

#1 Post by Dis » Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:32 pm

Is the following „multiplayer” setup programmable somehow in the Ren’py engine?

(Keep in mind that I’m no programmer, I’m a writer, so I can be wrong here and there.)

The reader/player starts the game and a menu appears asking if he/she/they wants single player or multiplayer mode, and depending on the selection, the story either goes like the usual novels go, or goes somewhat like this (In multiplayer):

1.)The single screen goes into split screen. Maybe done with the screen in screen capability of Ren’py, placing one of the screens to the left and one to the right.

2.)A menu, aka character selection, appears in both screens. Done with menus, or with character pictures.
For example, reader/player A chose Takeshi, a silent type university student, and for example reader/player B chose Miyako, the next door neighbor of Takeshi.

3.)After selecting the characters, the story starts.
For example, on A’s screen, Takeshi wakes up, does his morning things, and heads for school.
On B’s screen, Miyako, who is just changed her clothes looks out the window and sees Takeshi as he comes out of his house. Miyako happily looks at him as she has a crush on him which even she doesn’t knows yet, now as A reaches to the gates of his house, on B’s screen a menu pops up on B’s screen, for example:
- Wave to him.
- Call out to him.
- Just watch him silently.


Probably done by the following things:
-The writer’s storytelling
-Ren’py’s if/and/else functions
-Menus
For example: screen A reaches point a (comes out of the house and gets to the gate) the screen pauses and for example shows a text like, waiting for other player (off course it is programmed in with for example if’s, which character where effects who), on screen B, after A arrives at point a and B selects an option, both players can go further. If B reaches his/her point a first, he/she needs to wait for A to reach his/her point a to advance.

4.)Depending on A’s and B’s choices the programming selects the programmed path for both.
For example B decides to call out to him. On A’s screen: B calls out to him, A waves to her with a smile and happily starts fantasizing about her, as he is doing this, he suddenly sees the time on his watch and while saying goodbye he runs of for school. On B’s screen: B calls out to him, A waves to her with a happy smile, as he is doing this, he suddenly says goodbye and runs of for school. B watches A happily till he disappears from sight and then happily thinking about A, B turns around and comes face to face with the clock on the wall, which tells her that she’ll be late if she doesn’t hurries, so she starts running to school.

And the story goes on. The story would be like the normal ones for both until they come to a place where they meet each other. There they have to wait for each other’s choices. Off course, their choices, for example, A decides to talks bad (for example that she is a bad cook) about B behind her back will effect B’s. For example he overhears A’s friends talking to each other about that according to A, B’s cooking is horrible. B might decide to visit A for this now or later on to take her anger out, or runs away to cry/take cooking lessons from someone.
As the story progresses, A and B each could try to get their chosen target, even each other.


Yes, I know that this would take a lot of programming and writing, but I think it’s not impossible, even if not with the solutions that I have written down.



So what are your opinions about these thoughts? Yes I know that not everyone reads with the same speed. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Edit:
I just remembered that I forgot to write the controlling down here. (In game) A would move and select choices with mouse, while B would with keyboard.
Last edited by Dis on Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Some multiplayer thoughts and questions

#2 Post by gekiganwing » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:26 pm

Dis, it sounds like you're considering a competitive visual novel. That is an interesting concept. But I don't know if it might work in Renpy. Perhaps some other engine, or a custom setup...

A similar concept exists in the world of printed prose: multi-player gamebooks. You can learn more about them here -- http://www.gamebooks.org/show_category. ... 2b74d6cd8b

(While you're on gamebooks.org, you can also search the Romance category if you want. It's fascinating to learn what's already been written, even if it doesn't appeal to your demographic.)

Most of these were originally written in English. They're mostly long out of print... but you can always search for OOP books on eBay or Amazon.

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Re: Some multiplayer thoughts and questions

#3 Post by papillon » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:36 pm

ISTR there was an enormous discussion on the multiplayer subject a year or two ago, with most people on the negative side...

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Re: Some multiplayer thoughts and questions

#4 Post by killdream » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:56 pm

It's an interesting (but really risky) concept. It should be thought _really_ wisely since no one would like waiting for other players alot. All the more, different peoples have different reading speed.

Btw, I really would give up if the game keeps stopping and I have to wait other players to read through -.-

But, yes, it is possible if you use Python and some kind of connection between the players. You can use, for example, a socket to connect both players by IP and them make the game send messages like:

Player_A->Choice->Route_a_CHOICE_UNIQUE_ID

Both players would receive the message, then you'd have some function to process it. Of course, this is just a silly solution, but in this case I think you could use a approach just like on-line chats, but instead of sending players messages you'd be sending internal codes.

There's other better approaches though (but most probably this is the easiest ^^').

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Re: Some multiplayer thoughts and questions

#5 Post by Dis » Sat Jun 13, 2009 3:42 am

gekiganwing wrote:it sounds like you're considering a competitive visual novel
Well, actually, with my post I only wanted the following few things:
1st and primarily, I wanted your opinion about the subject and my thoughts.
2nd, I wanted to, even if a little bit, motivate, inspire people in some way or another.
gekiganwing wrote:That is an interesting concept.
killdream wrote:It's an interesting
3rd and last, (as being a writer and not a programmer, even if I wanted, I couldn't create it (yet), that’s why the above mentioned wait for the other player style solution), I was thinking about how to be able for two people to go through a novel on one PC. Yes, 1 PC aka SPLIT SCREEN, and not net and the like.
gekiganwing wrote:But I don't know if it might work in Renpy
Well, yes I had my doubts too with this solution, at least with the
Dis wrote:Maybe done with the screen in screen capability of Ren’py
gekiganwing wrote:A similar concept exists in the world of printed prose: multi-player gamebooks. You can learn more about them
Thanks, I'll take a look at it.
papillon wrote:there was an enormous discussion on the multiplayer subject a year or two ago, with most people on the negative side...
Yes, I remembered about it vaguely, and before posting my post, I took a look at them, so to as to take in consideration those discussion.
killdream wrote:one would like waiting for other players alot. All the more, different peoples have different reading speed.
Yes I know about this, but if the writer is effective and creative enough, he/she can find a good balance solution.

And if you like, while you’re waiting for the other party to finish, you can even watch the other’s story as he/she plays it.
killdream wrote:no one would like waiting for other players alot
Well, in around 90% I would agree with you, but I think it depends on the players/readers. For example couples and the like might not mind if he/she can watch as his/her loved one fights for his/her hand in the other screen, or to watch how much he/she loves him/her.
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Re: Some multiplayer thoughts and questions

#6 Post by JQuartz » Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:14 am

Dis wrote:The reader/player starts the game and a menu appears asking if he/she/they wants single player or multiplayer mode, and depending on the selection, the story either goes like the usual novels go, or goes somewhat like this (In multiplayer):
This is just a regular menu so it's doable.
Dis wrote:1.)The single screen goes into split screen. Maybe done with the screen in screen capability of Ren’py, placing one of the screens to the left and one to the right.
Doable http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 025#p72025
Dis wrote:2.)A menu, aka character selection, appears in both screens. Done with menus, or with character pictures.
For example, reader/player A chose Takeshi, a silent type university student, and for example reader/player B chose Miyako, the next door neighbor of Takeshi.
If it's turn based(Player 1 chose first followed by player 2) it can be done using ui.buttons and if(so if already selected, the menu would disappear). If you want it to be simultaneous then it's harder. You'll probably have to use ui.keymaps for one of the players.
Dis wrote:3.)After selecting the characters, the story starts.
For example, on A’s screen, Takeshi wakes up, does his morning things, and heads for school.
On B’s screen, Miyako, who is just changed her clothes looks out the window and sees Takeshi as he comes out of his house. Miyako happily looks at him as she has a crush on him which even she doesn’t knows yet, now as A reaches to the gates of his house, on B’s screen a menu pops up on B’s screen, for example:
- Wave to him.
- Call out to him.
- Just watch him silently.
This is really hard since it's simultaneous. Well, you can set a label1 that houses

Code: Select all

    player1 ("%(player1_dialogue)s", interact=False)
    player2 "%(player2_dialogue)s"
(one for each player) and use an overlay of ui.keymap that would jump to a label2 that would set player1_dialogue or player2_dialogue to the next one before jumping back to the label1 thus changing the dialogue for just one of the player. You have to use full text speed though since it'll start the dialogue all over again everytime you jump back to label1.
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Re: Some multiplayer thoughts and questions

#7 Post by chronoluminaire » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:27 am

This has been discussed quite extensively before: see eyerouge's thread, and the separate thread on waiting time. I think there was another big long thread about it too.

I'll agree it's an interesting topic, but Jake and others raised some significant questions on that thread. I'm not quite sure I can imagine how an effective multiplayer VN could work.

Having both players on the same computer does deal with several of the issues, though, both technical and social. My wife will often look over my shoulder when I'm playing a VN and she's doing something else, so it could work.

An interesting comparison is the single-player "zapping adventure" Doushin, where you play as any one of the three sisters, and can switch which one you've playing at a number of points, to see their reactions to each other and make choices as a different character. If two of them were visible on screen at once, controlled with different keys, that might be similar to what you're describing.
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Re: Some multiplayer thoughts and questions

#8 Post by JQuartz » Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:32 pm

Dis wrote:Is the following „multiplayer” setup programmable somehow in the Ren’py engine?
Here a concept system you can use for your multiplayer VN. Just place it in a new project folder and start the game.
Attachments
script.rpy
(6.73 KiB) Downloaded 129 times
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Re: Some multiplayer thoughts and questions

#9 Post by Dis » Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:26 am

JQuartz wrote:Here a concept system you can use for your multiplayer VN. Just place it in a new project folder and start the game.
I tried it, and it worked almost 100% how I described it.
Thanks for your help and assistance.
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