Tex

Possible Solution to the Multiplayer Issue

122 posts in this topic

Preface: This is a random inspired idea, and as such is not fleshed out. I would like to see what the KSP community thinks about this idea and develop it further.

I was looking at this thread for a co-op experience in KSP, which, as we all know, is a hassle to discuss and there are parties on both sides that argue that multiplayer in KSP is or simply is not possible. The main issue cited is that timewarping is a crucial component to KSP, because space missions take many months or years to complete. Without timewarping, nobody would want to go anywhere beyond Kerbin's atmosphere, save for a few cool wackos who would volunteer a week to do a Munar mission.

My idea is this: What if we remove the time element from time-warping?

The issue with current models for multiplayer play is when one player decides to timewarp while another person does not. These two players and their creations become de-synchronized and as such can't realistically interact with each other. BUT, if we allow the ability to double, triple, quadruple, and then up to 10,000x our velocities when in space to complete missions within reasonable play sessions, why not just have this warping not affect normal game time rate? Rather than "speeding up time" as the game currently does it for singleplayer, why not instead literally just boost the speed at which ships travel? If this concept is applied to each vessel individually, of course as well as any vessel docked to the warping one, one player's ship can "warp" to complete their missions while other players are unaffected.

This does give possiblilty for players to grief one another by, for instance, causing a collision at 4x the normal speed of their vessel, or a player accidentally warping their space station when another player comes in to dock and either crashing into one another or speeding away from each other. And then that, of course, brings about questions about how to handle multi-player warping (with one such solution being a simple vote), but these are down the road from the base idea.

TL;DR: Take the time out of time-warping and increase velocities rather than speeding up time.

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6 minutes ago, Tex said:

TL;DR: Take the time out of time-warping and increase velocities rather than speeding up time.

Which basically means instant travel. How would that make any sense? Some games just do not lend themselves to multiplayer and KSP is one of them. Just accept it.

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So, no more Hohmanns?

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I actually feel that this could be a good idea

 

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Posted (edited)

In my humble opinion based on experience, this suggestion (which has been called the "warp drive" approach to multiplayer) has some merit because it avoids making several desynched universes. On the other hand, it might wreck Delta-V requirements - something DMP-style subspaces never do.

Edit: Let's say I'm orbiting Jool prograde at Laythe's altitude, directly opposite Laythe. I want to get to Laythe where another player has a station. With the suggested system, could I simply go to medium timewarp until I catch up with that moon, without doing any maneuvers? Under DMP, I would make my maneuvers while warping freely, and after I entered Laythe orbit, the other player would click a button to synch up with me and make the station tangible to my craft.

Edited by SchweinAero
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I agree that multiplayer KSP would be cool but there is no good way around time warp that would not ruin the game one way or the other.

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Posted (edited)

So basically the Star Trek approach.  I'm sorry, I don't think that would be a good idea for a game that is trying to emulate real rocket science as best possible.

There are plenty of ways to work around the time warp issues that would be perfectly fine without inventing the warp drive.  Multiplayer could happen easily enough without that.

Edited by Alshain
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I am not sure it would work, the planets currently move faster with time warp and under this system they would not, this would affect many things.

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3 hours ago, Tex said:

Take the time out of time-warping and increase velocities rather than speeding up time.

I've got a ship in orbit.  I want to get to the other side of my orbit to make a Trans-Munar Injection, but I don't want to wait a long time, so I warp.

 

What happens to my orbit?

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7 hours ago, Kerbital said:

Which basically means instant travel. How would that make any sense?

Admittedly, the method would mean succumbing to less realism in order for a theoretically smoother multiplayer experience, yes. Then again, it is a video game. Portals from the Portal franchise allow instant travel and they don't make sense either.

Quote

Some games just do not lend themselves to multiplayer and KSP is one of them. Just accept it.

Nope, at least not in this instance as a hypothetical situation.

 

7 hours ago, Alshain said:

So basically the Star Trek approach.  I'm sorry, I don't think that would be a good idea for a game that is trying to emulate real rocket science as best possible.

There are plenty of ways to work around the time warp issues that would be perfectly fine without inventing the warp drive.  Multiplayer could happen easily enough without that.

It's not a "warp drive" per se, though I do see the connection. And are there any methods you've heard of that don't involve the DMP method?

 

4 hours ago, razark said:

I've got a ship in orbit.  I want to get to the other side of my orbit to make a Trans-Munar Injection, but I don't want to wait a long time, so I warp.

 

What happens to my orbit?

Aha, good hole poked in my theory. My response is thusly: Obviously a simple "doubling of the velocity" would make the orbit go wonky, but if instead it's a doubling or more not of the actual, true velocity, but the speed at which an object in the game travels from one point in an orbit to another would be greater. In that sense, this non-time time-warp would essentially break/ignore physics, but KSP does still ignore a few physics things for the sake of gameplay.

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13 minutes ago, Tex said:

It's not a "warp drive" per se, though I do see the connection. And are there any methods you've heard of that don't involve the DMP method?

None implemented, but yes in that other thread we were just discussing options for that.  I listed 4 of them.

13 minutes ago, Tex said:

Aha, good hole poked in my theory. My response is thusly: Obviously a simple "doubling of the velocity" would make the orbit go wonky, but if instead it's a doubling or more not of the actual, true velocity, but the speed at which an object in the game travels from one point in an orbit to another would be greater. In that sense, this non-time time-warp would essentially break/ignore physics, but KSP does still ignore a few physics things for the sake of gameplay.

The two are equal.  You can't double the speed at which an object moves without doubling the actual velocity, but since velocity and orbit are directly related, that would change your orbit.  The only thing you could do is pop the craft into a new spot in the orbit, i.e. Orbit editor/Hyperedit.  But this isn't doubling velocity, it's an instant move.

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Just now, Alshain said:

The only thing you could do is pop the craft into a new spot in the orbit, i.e. Orbit editor/Hyperedit.  But this isn't doubling velocity, it's an instant move.

Right, of course. I understand the relationships between velocity and orbit, I guess I didn't explain that like I thought I did, as usual. What I'm talking about here is that, while the apparent speed of an object increases by 2x, 4x, and so on, the actual velocity, the actual numbers counted by the game wouldn't change, so the orbits wouldn't. I know it doesn't make sense, but there is no real way for the mechanic to function AND make sense, hence my earlier Portal connection.

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14 minutes ago, Tex said:

Obviously a simple "doubling of the velocity" would make the orbit go wonky, but if instead it's a doubling or more not of the actual, true velocity, but the speed at which an object in the game travels from one point in an orbit to another would be greater. In that sense, this non-time time-warp would essentially break/ignore physics...

Hrm.  I'd have to say that this is one of the first unique solutions to the question I've seen in a while.  And imagine the new challenges, such as docking to a station that doing twice orbital velocity!

However, it doesn't address all the problems timewarp is supposed to solve.  As @John FX mentions above, if the time isn't actually moving forward faster, this sort of non-timewarp isn't going to be useful for getting to a transfer window any faster.  (But then again, would that matter as much if you've broken the thrust/delta-v/velocity balance?)

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7 minutes ago, Tex said:

What I'm talking about here is that, while the apparent speed of an object increases by 2x, 4x, and so on, the actual velocity, the actual numbers counted by the game wouldn't change, so the orbits wouldn't. I know it doesn't make sense, but there is no real way for the mechanic to function AND make sense, hence my earlier Portal connection.

The way i understand this is by fast-fowarding the "Mean anomaly", basically an angular measurement of how far the craft is in it's orbit. It is not really increasing speed, only orbital parameters.

Problem: In LKO, trying to go to the Mün. Get the Ap about 45degrees in front of it and launch
- Halfway into the trans-lunar orbit(i got SOI encounter icons showing), i decide to warp 2x
  > Now i reach Ap in 1/2 the time, but the Mün still takes 1x time to get there...meaning i suddenly don't have an encounter anymore

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21 minutes ago, Tex said:

Right, of course. I understand the relationships between velocity and orbit, I guess I didn't explain that like I thought I did, as usual. What I'm talking about here is that, while the apparent speed of an object increases by 2x, 4x, and so on, the actual velocity, the actual numbers counted by the game wouldn't change, so the orbits wouldn't. I know it doesn't make sense, but there is no real way for the mechanic to function AND make sense, hence my earlier Portal connection.

The problem is that means you are moving outside the solar systems movement which is pointless.  Why do we warp?  To get to places faster, usually for an encounter with something... but if our ship is moving outside the rest of the system, that means our ship will arrive, but our encounter will not occur because the object we wanted to encounter didn't move the same way.  I can't think of a scenario where this would even be useful, might as well not have timewarp at all.

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12 minutes ago, razark said:

However, it doesn't address all the problems timewarp is supposed to solve.  As @John FX mentions above, if the time isn't actually moving forward faster, this sort of non-timewarp isn't going to be useful for getting to a transfer window any faster.  (But then again, would that matter as much if you've broken the thrust/delta-v/velocity balance?)

Yeah, admittedly it would suck a bit for transfer windows, but in all honesty, people play with RSS and have to build ginormous rockets in order to make the scaled-up transfers. Getting the delta-V for transfers even without optimal windows is fairly easy.

 

5 minutes ago, Blaarkies said:

The way i understand this is by fast-fowarding the "Mean anomaly", basically an angular measurement of how far the craft is in it's orbit. It is not really increasing speed, only orbital parameters.

Problem: In LKO, trying to go to the Mün. Get the Ap about 45degrees in front of it and launch
- Halfway into the trans-lunar orbit(i got SOI encounter icons showing), i decide to warp 2x
  > Now i reach Ap in 1/2 the time, but the Mün still takes 1x time to get there...meaning i suddenly don't have an encounter anymore

Aha, another excellent point. However, because it does sort of seem to be an instant-ish travelling from one location to another, the player would just set up an intercept when the orbit of the vessel is within the Mun's SOI, warp there, and then come out of the warp and then be sitting there in the Mun's SOI with the same velocity as the vessel would in that point in the orbit. In that sense, you would no longer plan intercepts to where the vessel and the Mun happen to be at the same place at the same time, it's more like driving a car to a location within a city. Simply drive, and you get there, the location doesn't move. 

 

1 minute ago, Alshain said:

The problem is that means you are moving outside the solar systems movement which is pointless.  Why do we warp?  To get to places faster, usually for an encounter with something... but if our ship is moving outside the rest of the system, that means our ship will arrive, but our encounter will not occur because the object we wanted to encounter didn't move the same way.  I can't think of a scenario where this would even be useful, might as well not have timewarp at all.

Wait wha? Moving outside of the solar system?

And for the second point, see my above response to @Blaarkies's reply.

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Posted (edited)

3 minutes ago, Tex said:

Yeah, admittedly it would suck a bit for transfer windows, but in all honesty, people play with RSS and have to build ginormous rockets in order to make the scaled-up transfers. Getting the delta-V for transfers even without optimal windows is fairly easy.

 

Aha, another excellent point. However, because it does sort of seem to be an instant-ish travelling from one location to another, the player would just set up an intercept when the orbit of the vessel is within the Mun's SOI, warp there, and then come out of the warp and then be sitting there in the Mun's SOI with the same velocity as the vessel would in that point in the orbit. In that sense, you would no longer plan intercepts to where the vessel and the Mun happen to be at the same place at the same time, it's more like driving a car to a location within a city. Simply drive, and you get there, the location doesn't move. 

 

Wait wha? Moving outside of the solar system?

Moving outside the solar system's physics.

Quote

And for the second point, see my above response to @Blaarkies's reply.

That answer doesn't make sense.  Your vessel would move toward where the Mun was supposed to be, but the Mun wouldn't be there.  You'd never be able to achieve an encounter, you would arrive and the Mun would still be back where it was when you planned the maneuver.  You can't wait till your are in the Mun's SOI, you would never find it's SOI.

Edited by Alshain

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8 minutes ago, Alshain said:

That answer doesn't make sense.  Your vessel would move toward where the Mun was supposed to be, but the Mun wouldn't be there.  You'd never be able to achieve an encounter, you would arrive and the Mun would still be back where it was when you planned the maneuver.  You can't wait till your are in the Mun's SOI, you would never find it's SOI.

Ah, but I mentioned that the maneuvers that must be adjusted for Non-Time Time-Warping aren't like the maneuvers we know today. The Mun would be in one place, but rather than plan an "encounter" in the traditional sense, the burn the vessel would make would instead make their orbit directly intersect the SOI of the Mun. You then warp to the Mun's SOI and come out of warp so you can then place yourself in Munar orbit.

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Posted (edited)

@Tex At that point its not KSP anymore.  You aren't doing anything related to space travel, you are just making magic.  I don't think abandoning KSP's core purpose to make multiplayer happen is worth it.  I'd rather see the sync issues.

Edited by Alshain
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7 minutes ago, Alshain said:

... You aren't doing anything related to space travel...

Well, apart from travelling in space, but I do take your point.

7 minutes ago, Alshain said:

I don't think abandoning KSP's core purpose to make multiplayer happen is worth it.  I'd rather see the sync issues.

I did mention earlier on that it does come at the cost of realism, but KSP itself is not the most perfect possible space simulator as well, because all bodies in space act on one another, regardless of their distance to one another, even if the effects are minuscule, and while this affects real space missions, we luckily don't have to account for this in our missions. The idea for Non-Time Time-Warp is merely a possible solution to allow multiple players to co-exist within one game world and interact with one another without even messing with the concept of time and time-warping, which is getting into, like.... Doctor Who territory. Bad stuff happens with time travel. :D

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Posted (edited)

@Tex Orbital Mechanics are pretty darn close to perfect.  You would be throwing away the most realistic part of the game.

 

The sync issues are of small concequence compared to this.

Edited by Alshain
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Just now, Alshain said:

@Tex Orbital Mechanics are pretty darn close to perfect.  You would be throwing away the most realistic part of the game.

Oh? I do realize the cheaty-ness that insta-warping would cause from a realistic standpoint, but I would disagree that Non-Time Time-Warping would negate the concept of orbital mechanics in the game. They would very much still be there, it's essentially using wormholes (not really, but a comparable example) to get from one point to another faster than would normally be possible. If an object were to pass through a wormhole, physics wouldn't simply cease to act on that object forever, it would continue to act on one side of the wormhole as the other. It's the wormhole part that Non-Time Time-Warping can be thought of.

I do think I should clarify that this concept would NOT be the same thing as, say, Hyperedit, because it's not a literal instantaneous change in positions, and because it's operated with a similar method to current time-warping, it would be possible to overshoot the warp.

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Again, totally destroying the point of it all IMO.  I'd rather have the issues of the DMP style than ruin the orbital mechanics my magically warping or wormholeing a ship to somewhere it should be.

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46 minutes ago, Alshain said:

Again, totally destroying the point of it all IMO.  I'd rather have the issues of the DMP style than ruin the orbital mechanics my magically warping or wormholeing a ship to somewhere it should be.

 

Yes, that is the great thing about orbital mechanics to be in the same place, you have to be there at the same time.

Agree any workable multi-player is about syncing or just not letting any player get to far ahead or behind the controlling timeline. How far "to far" all depends on the time scale after there is alot of drifting through the void which give the servers plenty of time to bring things back into alignment. To me that means you have either a small 2-3 player game and the control time line set by the mission objective. Or you have a large number of actors on a controlled timeline and each player is encouraged to multi-task. The second form would be great for single players who want to multi-task.

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Tbh, this thread is kinda pointless. The time warp in multiplayer was discussed extensively and this infinite-FTL-on-demand-but-not-really drive idea has got some issues.

One way to deal with it is to have this one axis of time (instead of different time lines) where people set a time piece when and for how much time they want the warp to be activated and if the sections of two players overlap it just happens. Still boooooring as hell though.

Another way is a co-op mode where everyone is in one ship and has some sort of role (each controls a different crew member and they can switch seats). IMO that one would be the least boring (for KSP) but the problem arises when they land and want to split or simply EVA. I guess no physwarp when going outside of the ship?

BUT what I think would be the best option is to just drop that darn stupid concept of MP in KSP and make a new game a'la SimplePlanes except with working multiplayer. KSP clearly was an inspiration for that one and I see no reason why shouldn't SQUAD take that (still their) idea, put the MP, a sane career mode and kerbals in and beat SimplePlanes in the amount of sold copies.

Oooooor we can just keep discussing this dead horse of a concept until SQUAD runs out of money and/or employees because DLCs for an unfinished game, right?

Edited by Veeltch

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