Lets focus on multiplayer again!
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Author:  bencelot [ Fri 22 Jun 2018, 06:07 ]
Post subject:  Lets focus on multiplayer again!

With the release of version 1.10 I have finally finished the singleplayer/coop campaign and am really happy with how it turned out. So far the entire time in Early Access has focused on reworking and polishing up the campaign. Now that it's done I'm finally free to get back to my favourite part of Geneshift - the multiplayer!

Marketing Plans
In a few weeks time I will start marketing Geneshift again, for the first time since the Early Access launch. I've already created an awesome new trailer (available on the Steam store), and in a few weeks I'll start sending emails to youtubers to try get some exposure. But there is one thing I must do before this... one super critical feature that will completely and fundamentally change the way the game is played.. introducing.. dun dun duuuuuun!!

Multiplayer Bots
Bots hooray! I'm not talking about those pesky, cannon-fodder gangsters we currently have. I'm talking about real, smart AI, human replacement bots. Bots that can kill you, drive cars, place chemicals, capture objectives, and provide a real challenge. I want you to be able to play an entire round of Conquest or Capture the Flag by yourself and have a good time. To wonder if you can actually beat the bots before they capture that final objective. Can you win a 5v5 game of Conuest Downtown on insane difficulty?? My goal is to provide a genuine challenge that is fun to play just on your own. And of course even more fun as real humans join the server.

Singleplayer Potential
Just ignore the benefits to multiplayer for a second... Adding bots will double the content available for singleplayer gamers. Instead of having access to just the campaign, they will now be able to have genuine fun playing solo in a bunch of different game modes. They can try conquest, capture the flag, checkpoint, etc.. have fun placing and destroying chemicals. Grind for more XP to level up their permanent mutant, and enjoy the process of creating the perfect skill build. All of the fun we've enjoyed in multiplayer over the years will become meaninful again with the addition of bots, and the simple challenge they provide. All these game modes will go from being pointless and empty to brand new challenges to overcome.

Getting Games Going
Of course the main benefit of this is that multiplayer servers can come back. If I can make Conquest mode fun to play just on your own, then games will start up all the time. Someone might hop on and play a round of Conquest against bots, and before you know it others have joined and we've got a full PvP game going. This is going to be so key to the marketing plan. When new players can join a server and experience a good ol PvP game, always perfectly balanced with 5v5 combat, it will do wonders for player retention.

Play Co-op vs Bots
There will be cool new options for gamers too. We can play co-op games vs bots! How fun would it be if 5 mates all join the scientists, set the difficulty level to insane and see if they can actually work as a team to beat the super difficult AI on a game of Checkpoint. This option will actually exist and is like nothing we've ever played before. Not only that, but we can actually play Checkpoint! The forgotten game mode, which never got played due to lack of numbers, can now be played with the click of a button. 5v5, 20v20, whatever your computer can handle! As long as the bots are smart, capture objectives and provide a genuine challenge, this could be amazing fun.

How Will They Work?
So there is a lot to be decided here and I'd love input in this thread or on Discord. The main idea however is that they behave as close to real players as possible. So this means a few things:
They will capture objectives, place chemicals, use skills, and drive cars
They will show up in the scoretab with their own K:D ratios and a clantag like this: [BOT] Knickers
They will have all the same stats as real players, meaning they do 100% damage and don't have any weird damage modifiers (unlike zombies or guards who take more damage from certain weapon or skills)
They will always auto-balance to make the teams even, and have some sort of dynamic difficulty system to ensure a fair, even and close game
They will award XP whenever you kill them based on their mutation level. In permanent servers, their mutation level will increase with the difficulty (maybe playful bots are around lvl 10, while insane are near 40). This gives an incentive to play harder difficulties as you can grind more XP.
They award the kill reward, just like real players. They will do full damage and kill you a lot, so when you do kill one you should get fully rewarded.
They will look like normal players
They will have their own premade skill builds and perhaps even unique playing styles. Some might focus on sniping while others are all about the rushing.

Anyway that's all for now. I'm going to start coding this up today and expect it to take maybe a month. There is a lot more to consider here and this will take a lot of work. But i think it's going to be worth it. It will double the content available to singleplayer gamres, and finally give us multiplayer gamers the ability to get games going, in any sort of server setting you can imagine!

Please give me any ideas and feedback. I'm super pumped to get this feature added, and after that finally start marketing the game. There will be many Geneshift games to be played soon!


Note: I know it's a bit strange to post this here, as the community has shifted over to the Steam forums and Discord. But I thought it'd be nice for old times sake.

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