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Players limits

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Lewin

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KaM Remake Developer

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Post 05 Jan 2014, 14:56

Players limits

I know this has been discussed before but I'd like to start a new topic about it. As you all know the player limit in the KaM Remake is 8. I would like to separate this into the multiplayer player limit and the global player limit. Why? Well currently you can't have a co-operative map with 8 human players because you need some slots for AI players. So the global player limit should be larger than the multiplayer player limit. It is also useful when making AIs to separate them into many different "players" all with the same colour (so they appear as one enemy to the human), as this allows you to control their behaviour better (especially with attacks that occur at the start of the game, or with dynamic scripts). In very large and complex singleplayer missions it might be useful to have more than 7 AIs (I think The Dark Lord requested this once?).

Increasing the multiplayer player limit is tempting because it would add more variation and possibilities to the game (3v3v3, 5v5, etc.) and it is very simple from an implementation perspective, basically just change one number.

First lets talk about the limitations with increasing player limits:

Map size
The map size limit is probably not going to go above 256x256 for a few reasons:
- Performance: Some older computers already struggle to run maps of that size, and pathfinding from one side of the map to the other can cause lag with large groups.
- Minimap becomes too small/unreadable.
- Walking from one side of the map to the other takes ages, you end up having to feed your troops before you even get a message about them being hungry for the food to arrive in time, and then the serfs starve on the way home :P

Map size will restrict the multiplayer player limit because you need a certain amount of space for your village. If you look at existing 256x256 maps, there's probably room for another 2-4 players at the most. So I don't think the multiplayer player limit will go above 12.

Performance
If you add an extra 4 players to your average multiplayer game, that's 50% extra units and houses, and so a significant increase in CPU load. I think a 256x256 map with 12 players at x3 speed could cause lag, but it would need to be tested. Certainly older computers would struggle with it as they already struggle with 256x256 8P x3. More players also means more chance of dropouts, ping spikes, waiting for everyone to click ready, etc.


Overall I think we could consider an increase of the multiplayer player limit to 10 or maybe 12 to add some more variation to the game. And I think we could consider increasing the global player limit to 16 to allow for really big co-operative missions and better control of the AI (could be especially useful with dynamic scripts). It would be another nice feature for the next release.

What do you think?
P.S. I'm not making any promises here, this is all still theoretical for now :P
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pawel95

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Post 05 Jan 2014, 15:13

Re: Players limits

When I talked with some guys on TS about that topic some months ago, I fould exactly that problem in my mind: The Lags! When you play with 8 players it happens quite often these days, that 2/3 players have a big ping. Mostly after PT there is a need to replace players, because it´s unplayable mostly. However that is only caused by the internetconnection of these players mostly and not because of the player/armysize. So I think actualy 10 players might work. However there is one other problem, like you also already mentioned, the PC power. I see players in multiplayer games (!without any script!) that have like 15-20 FPS at the start and like 8-9 FPS after PT. Adding more players = More soldiers/units, would decrease that also hard :| I think. (sure it´s the "problem" of those players, but I think your aim isn´t, that players will need a highend pc, to enjoy KaM :P )

The only big negative argument, besides these fps and ping problems, might be that 5vs5 isn´t maybe that funny to play. At least I never played any game 5vs5 :D Rather than 6vs6.


About SP I would really like to see something like a limit of 10 or 12 players. When I am experimenting for example with the AI in the remake, mostly some problems are caused because one single ai player has to do too many tasks at once. Splitting them up (with the same color) and let them do different attacks/things, decreases normaly the ai problems, caused by scripting(static or dynamic).

When I talk about dynamic scripting, this is propably the biggest argument to increase the limit for sp missions(coop missions). Sometimes when you wanna tell a story there is sometimes an ai player, that has only 1 serf for example, just to look it like he is talking to your troops or whatever.
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Jeronimo

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Post 05 Jan 2014, 16:02

Re: Players limits

Multiplayer: I'm fine with max 8 players x map. It's more than the Lags problem... also the Playstyle.
Mainly because 4v4 are already camping, 5v5 and 6v6 will be same and worse... more than 2 hs games (based on the mega-size of the map).
KaM Skill Level: Jeronimo
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Krom

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Post 05 Jan 2014, 17:22

Re: Players limits

I would add another consideration: UI.

At the moment we still support lowest resolution 1024x576 iirc and that adds certain restrictions on menus, especially MP lobby and players list. It would be hard to fit in there 2 more mp players and AI players setup without redesigning it.
Knights Province at: http://www.knightsprovince.com
KaM Remake at: http://www.kamremake.com
Original MBWR/WR2/AFC/FVR tools at: http://krom.reveur.de
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The Dark Lord

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Post 05 Jan 2014, 21:11

Re: Players limits

Indeed, I requested to be able to have more/infinite AI players. But I wanted that so I could tell certain groups more precisely what to do. Now that's possible with dynamic scripts as well. :) But it's still a good thing.
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Lewin

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Post 07 Jan 2014, 05:50

Re: Players limits

Krom wrote:I would add another consideration: UI.

At the moment we still support lowest resolution 1024x576 iirc and that adds certain restrictions on menus, especially MP lobby and players list. It would be hard to fit in there 2 more mp players and AI players setup without redesigning it.

Good point, this is a big limitation to increasing the MP player limit. With my latest spectating changes there are currently 10 slots in the lobby, I believe this could be squeezed to 11 or maybe 12 and still have 5 lines of chat visible for our minimum resolution (which I think is acceptable).

However allowing more AIs won't cause any problems since now co-operative missions have the AIs automatically, you only need to have the humans in the lobby slots. So you could have an 8P coop mission with 8 AIs to be fought using the r5503 lobby layout, if we increased the global player limit to 16 (but left the MP player limit at 8).

It looks like there is support for increasing the global player limit, and there aren't many limiting factors for that since the MapEd is the only place where all those AIs will show up in the GUI. Maybe in the next release we'll see co-operative with 8 humans? :)

I'd like to get more feedback about increasing the MP player limit to 10. So far the feedback has been fairly neutral/negative. Is everybody happy with 8?
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WollongongWolf

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Post 07 Jan 2014, 06:59

Re: Players limits

I think 8 is fine. Generally people want to play with as many people as possible, and 8 is already hard to get. 10 would be even harder + lag +those that want 10 probably just always want more players + I don't think it adds a lot extra to gameplay. Not worth the effort I would say (I do like the increase in global players btw!)
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Remake 2012

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Post 07 Jan 2014, 12:25

Re: Players limits

Map size
The map size limit is probably not going to go above 256x256 for a few reasons:

@ No

- Performance: Some older computers already struggle to run maps of that size, and pathfinding from one side of the map to the other can cause lag with large groups.

@ OMG, we have 2014 year, i7, pc have 8 GB ram ddr 3 or more, we have r9 290 6 GB ram, windows 8.1 or 7, TV with 4k, and rest stuff and you write we have old computers to play old game ? Ok I see "some older computers" but please You have to go in the future.

- Minimap becomes too small/unreadable.

@ Ok right, but:

You need to think about what to do.
1) increase the game panel. = Increase minimap.
2) increase the same minimap let extends beyond the panel game.
3) The minimap shows a smaller piece of the map. After pressing the button still show the entire map.
4) another idea?


- Walking from one side of the map to the other takes ages, you end up having to feed your troops before you even get a message about them being hungry for the food to arrive in time, and then the serfs starve on the way home :P

@ True, but:

Is not it possible to do something about it?

In the life of each person to live must eat and drink.
Let it be the same in the game.
Extend time to eat about 2x.
(each unit has to get wine and a choice: sausage, fish or bread)
Eating time is extended 2x, if there is no wine time is reduced to 1x - as it is now.
This allows you to extend the siege or access to the enemy and go back to the village.



What do you think?

btw

12 players in map ? wow : D or 5v5 : D wooow : D
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The Dark Lord

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Post 07 Jan 2014, 12:45

Re: Players limits

Lewin wrote:I'd like to get more feedback about increasing the MP player limit to 10. So far the feedback has been fairly neutral/negative. Is everybody happy with 8?

The more the better. I really mean that. But for now, 8 is enough. We already experience a lot of lag; it would be worse with more people obviously. I think 10 players is a nice idea for in the future... A couple of years? Who knows. :)
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kocsis1david

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Post 07 Jan 2014, 13:10

Re: Players limits

I have a 4th generation I3 3.4 Ghz CPU and still have <30 FPS on a XL 8 player map. If I zoom out, i have 1 FPS, but CPU usage is less than 8%. So something is wrong because it is not the CPU which makes it slow. And even the GPU has 0% activity.
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Lewin

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KaM Remake Developer

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Post 07 Jan 2014, 13:16

Re: Players limits

kocsis1david wrote:I have a 4th generation I3 3.4 Ghz CPU and still have <30 FPS on a XL 8 player map. If I zoom out, i have 1 FPS, but CPU usage is less than 8%. So something is wrong because it is not the CPU which makes it slow. And even the GPU has 0% activity.

The KaM Remake is single threaded, so it will only be using 1 of your 8 cores, which is about 13%. When I zoom out on an XL map KaM Remake uses 13% of my CPU (I have a 1st generation i7).

In windowed mode you will probably find it locks to 30 or 60 FPS with VSync enabled. Without VSync you might get higher FPS.
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kocsis1david

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Post 07 Jan 2014, 13:19

Re: Players limits

It has 2 cores with HT, but none of the cores have 100% usage.
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Lewin

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KaM Remake Developer

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Post 07 Jan 2014, 13:29

Re: Players limits

kocsis1david wrote:It has 2 cores with HT, but none of the cores have 100% usage.

Operating systems swap processes between cores many times per second to spread out the load and heat. If you use task manager to set the affinity of the KaM Remake process to just one of your cores you should see that core reach 100% usage (that's what I get).
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kocsis1david

Crossbowman

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Post 07 Jan 2014, 13:37

Re: Players limits

Thanks for the explanation, I can see it now. Maybe previous win used only 1 core for single-threaded apps.
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pawel95

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Post 07 Jan 2014, 14:17

Re: Players limits

Remake 2012 wrote:Map size
The map size limit is probably not going to go above 256x256 for a few reasons:

@ No

- Performance: Some older computers already struggle to run maps of that size, and pathfinding from one side of the map to the other can cause lag with large groups.

[b]@ OMG, we have 2014 year, i7, pc have 8 GB ram ddr 3 or more, we have r9 290 6 GB ram, windows 8.1 or 7,


Please stop with your OMG posts... only 8 gb? Paker, I have 12 and what does it help those players that haven't? And in which content the performance of big maps is in connection to windows 8 or 7 ?? :rolleyes:
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