Multiplayer Connections

October 1st, 2015

Hello everyone!

Last month, we explored unit behavior--how units move, attack, and cast abilities when battling. With last month's progress, the engine is now able to simulate full battles, with many different types of units.

The pathfinding system is still in development, as it is a considerable challenge to simulate dozens of units in motion for 8 players. We're making steady progress, and aim to complete it in October. After the pathfinding system is completed, we'll be just about ready to show off gameplay.

This month we'd like to share some information on the improved Legion TD 2 multiplayer experience. In the original Legion TD, if one player is lagging, the others must wait for him. You've all seen the dreaded "Waiting for players..." before. This happens when one player has a slow connection.

Legion TD Multiplayer

In the original Legion TD, all players must be updated (color green) in order for the game to advance.

  • If any player is not yet green, the game must wait for that player. Otherwise, players will be out of sync, and this causes errors. (desync)
  • Usually, the game only needs to wait a short time, and nobody notices this.
  • But if someone is lagging, everyone must wait for that player. In the example above, everyone must wait for Player 4.

Legion TD 2 Multiplayer

In Legion TD 2, each player's game will constantly sync itself with the server, rather than syncing with all the other players. The server is always up-to-date, and the players are always catching up.

  • This means, players do not have to wait for player 4, even if he is lagging.
  • Player 4's game will "fast-forward" to catch up to everyone else.
  • Because players sync with the server, rather than each other, this also means that a disconnected player can reconnect to the game.
  • This requires more network bandwidth than the previous multiplayer mode, but connections are advanced enough now (compared to back in 2002 when Warcraft 3 came out), that this is an acceptable cost.
  • This is how modern games like League of Legends and Dota 2 handle multiplayer.

As mentioned above, next month we'll continue building the pathfinding system. We'll also be starting work on gameplay logic like levels, resources, income, and summons. Work on creating and polishing more visual effects like projectiles, spell effects, and other eye candy will be continuing as well. We're thrilled with how the game is shaping up visually and can't wait to show you more as the remaining pieces come together!

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