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Old 06-02-2008, 06:37 PM   #13
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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Posts: 1,392
Default 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.
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