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-   -   HPG: Internet Required? (http://hamumu.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16178)

Jamul 06-02-2008 02:38 PM

HPG: Internet Required?
This is a very simple poll, but think hard! There are two possible paths:

* Make Happyponygate require an internet connection to play. If this is the case, your game will be saved online and you can play it on any computer any time. It would automatically download the files it needs to be played, on demand as you visit new areas. It also frees me to make many more interesting internet features than I otherwise could. The only downside is an obvious one: you can't play this game on a computer that is not online!

* Support offline play. If this is the case, the upside is that you could play the game offline. The downside is the loss of the specific features I mentioned above, and a severe curtailing of other as-yet-unknown features. See, if I support both off- and online play, I basically am developing two games at the same time (to some degree), and so it really limits just what features I can include, and am willing to include, knowing that I'll have to develop two completely different versions of them.

So the question I am really asking is: How important is it to you to be able to play offline?

Your comments with regard to your vote are also appreciated.

In short: Do you think being able to play offline is so important that you are willing to lose the cool internet features to have it?

Licking Post 06-02-2008 02:51 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
Wow! The vote is unanimous.

TyTBone 06-02-2008 03:15 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
Heh, I'm in the minority. As I've said before, I'm hoping most of the Internet features will be saved for a future game, hopefully an MMO, and hopefully a Loonyland one. :p Plus, I don't want to have to get online every time I want to play! (Believe it or not, I don't have personal access at home; only my parents know the password.)

EDIT: To me, HPG doesn't seem like a game that should only be playable online, as it wasn't intended that way from the start. And I KNOW Hamumu concepts change, but meh...I guess I'm stuck in my opinion. ;)

Another EDIT: Couldn't patches be created for new features?

Jamul 06-02-2008 04:06 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
No - if offline play is possible, then most of the cool stuff involving the internet is not possible (or too much work to be worth the trouble).

Also, there is no such thing as "saving" a feature. Having item trading in this game has NO impact on it being in a future game - except for making it more likely, since I've already figured out how to make it work! And it will be better in the next game, since I can improve upon my first work.

And lastly, don't look forward to an MMO. THat is still a ridiculous pipe dream, not something remotely plausible.

That is not to say your opinion is wrong, just pointing out specific issues.

Coolguy 06-02-2008 04:18 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
I voted that I prefer an offline game - I think the online stuff would probably end up very similar to the Hamumu website stuff (trophies, chatting, etc). :p

Blackduck 06-02-2008 04:45 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
I want offline play really badly but I still want online play. You could just make some sort of story mode(offline) and for fun online or something, but I think both are necessary for a good Hamumu style game

Jamul 06-02-2008 04:46 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
Coolguy: Can you clarify why that is a bad thing?

(it's not true, by the way! The online stuff would end up similar to KoL, I would say - you play the game by yourself, but can chat with others and trade, etc)

Jamul 06-02-2008 04:49 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
Blackduck: Whether online or off, this will be the usual single-player Hamumu game with a story mode. See the original post for more details. The online features are just things like trading items and chatting with other players.

Coolguy 06-02-2008 04:53 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
I like trophies and such, but all the chat/trophy/etc internet focus seems like doing a bunch of work for something you could already do on the Hamumu website.

Jamul 06-02-2008 05:03 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
Well, it's not things you can do on the site, other than the chat, as I said. In fact, I think you just made up the idea of trophies! Again, it's all about trading stuff, playing peoples' levels, interacting in that way. Like the Monstergram. Sending monsters into their game. None of that is possible on the site, and of course wouldn't make any sense if it was, since it's all stuff from in the game!

Redbone 06-02-2008 05:46 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
I want cool features, but I want Internet supported, not forced.

Jamul 06-02-2008 05:54 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
That's not one of the options, for a good reason!

The question of the poll is this:

Do you think being able to play offline is so important that you are willing to lose the cool internet features to have it?

I think that's a fairly accurate short-form interpretation of the issues at hand. I'll add it to the first post.

Sillyman 06-02-2008 06:37 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
Hmm... would it really be too much trouble to let it do both? Couldn't you, say, let it always try to connect, but if it fails, use locally cached data only? Doesn't seem like that would be programming two games, just programming a way to feed data you already have back in. A potentially easy way to do that would be treating offline play as connecting to yourself, making it launch a miniserver program thingy with access to whatever you already have if it can't make an external connection, then connecting via the IP loopback device as though it were the real server. Slightly better would be building that functionality into the game itself so instead of seeing an almost empty server, you are told that you're offline.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that I want the cool online features, but think you could handle offline play the same way browsers handle offline browsing. Keep the permanent data you download.

Wait... ah, I see. There are some things that just don't work without constant connection, because instead of starting unavailable and becoming available, they start available and become unavailable, like houses. Well, you could just not let the player into a house if he's not online. And then there's the saving system. Well, local saves and remote saves would work, if we had some way of keeping track of them... hmm...

So the solution I see is as follows:
1. Put a "Play Offline" button on the login screen.
2. If playing offline, realtime multiplayer stuff is unavailable, acting much like an empty server.
3. If playing offline, limited availability multiplayer stuff cannot be reduced in availability in any way, but anything you know already exists can be seen.
4. If playing offline, new content cannot be downloaded, but already downloaded content (and content that came with the release) can be seen.
5. If playing offline, saves are local. If playing online, saves are uploaded to the server. Manual uploading and downloading of saves is possible, but (if you don't want people copying saves) deletes the save in it's original location. So if you think you'll be going offline, download the save. If you think you'll be leaving your computer, upload the save.

But if that would be too much effort, I definitely want online.

Jamul 06-02-2008 07:00 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
Yes, too much effort. The question is not "how can I do both", because that's not gonna happen! You just described a project that would keep Nasa busy for 5 years.

Coolguy 06-02-2008 07:13 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
Yeah, now that I see some of the possibilities, I think I'd change to favoring internet (but not extremely favoring!:p).

Jamul 06-02-2008 07:47 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
I want to be sure people are answering the right question here. Remember, it's:

Do you think being able to play offline is so important that you are willing to lose the cool internet features to have it?

We've so far mostly gotten people discussing things entirely different than that, it sounds to me, if I'm reading them right. You have the choice between being able to play it on a computer that is not on the internet, or having the various extra internet features. Those are the options... It just doesn't sound like that's what people are talking about, I don't know. If anybody wants better clarity of the question, feel free to ask!

Jamul 06-02-2008 07:52 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
I know a clarification! Let me explain why I am asking this.

I'm sure it sounds like I'm trying to sell you guys on the Cool New Features. And I am! I want to make them, it's the game I want to make! But I am concerned about the two people in comments who were saying they really wanted to be able to play these games on a non-connected PC. So I want to see how many people there are who really value offline play for its own sake. Most of all, people who won't buy a game if it requires the internet to play.

With that information, I'll be able to see if I should go ahead with the full-fledged thing, or just having the few simple internet features that I can tack onto a standard offline-style game. If too many people are really looking for an offline game, it wouldn't be too wise to shoot for the online one. But if it's just a few, then I will definitely go for making the most fun game I can, which is the fully online one.

TyTBone 06-02-2008 08:00 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?

Originally Posted by Jamul (Post 191250)
If it's just a few, then I will definitely go for making the most fun game I can, which is the fully online one.

Then carry on, good sir! :D It seems most of the people want full-fledged Net, sooooo...yeah!

Something I was reluctant to mention: I didn't really want extra online features in this game because I felt like it would cause players to veer too far away from the main story line. I mean, they're cool, but I'm not sure they're quite right for HPG. 'Course, that's just me...

Blackduck 06-02-2008 08:48 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
I guess I'll take online then. As I rather have a Hamumu first then another Hamumu game. and we all know Online is what brings in the $$$(just please don't make it pay every month to play)

Jamul 06-02-2008 09:02 PM

Re: HPG: Internet Required?
It is definitely pay once! And not to burst any bubbles, but the "storyline" (always in Hamumu games, that goes in quotes) was always meant to be just a very very small part of the game, from the very first. Even less so than previous games. You will not spend much of your game time on it. This game is all about wandering the city and doing missions!

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