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October 23, 2019, 12:54:51 AM

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperTechnical (Moderator: ThemsAllTook)Multiplayer networking for modded open source game?
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mysteriousmonkey29
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« on: February 18, 2019, 04:55:26 PM »

Hello, I want to make an RTS game that allows users to write their own AI for units. However, I have limited resources, and am thinking of modding an existing open-source RTS to add this functionality, rather than build my own game from scratch. Or at least at first. This would be a good way to gauge interest and get feedback.

 

It looks like there are a lot of open-source RTS games that fit what I'm looking for, such as 0 AD, Warzone 2100, Glest/Megaglest, etc. And their licensing is very permitting (GNU GPL and CC BY SA), so it looks like I'm welcome to mod their games, and then release my mod wherever I want, as long as I include attribution, and release it also under GPL with the source code included. I was thinking of releasing the mod on either Steam, itcho.io, to gain visibility and to take advantage of their premade features for packaging, delivery, and matchmaking of the game.

 

However, I was looking the matchmaking aspect, and am a little confused. Steam talks about servers here: https://partner.steamgames.com/doc/features/multiplayer/game_servers which says basically that you can use the Steamworks API, but need to provide your own servers, or have the player's computers act as the servers. I'm guessing the latter would probably be impractical given the genre (RTS), but don't have a lot of experience by which to judge.

 

What I'm looking for is something that's not a lot of work to connect people in multiplayer games. I'm happy to pay for servers, even if I don't end up charging anything for the game. I'm not sure what goes into linking servers to steam to allow matchmaking, and how much of it is done for you.

 

I also tried to look into how 0 AD does matchmaking. It looks like it works directly through the game (like the old "multiplayer" option in Age of Empires), but beyond that, I'm not sure.

 

Anyone know more about this sort of thing?

 

Thanks!
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kason.xiv
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2019, 05:47:13 AM »

Age of Empires II did networking via P2P infrastructure and there's an open source clone of that game: https://github.com/SFTtech/openage

That could be a good starting point?

edit:
here's their AI source https://github.com/SFTtech/openage/tree/master/libopenage/pathfinding, not sure if there's more than just this.

And I can't easily find the code that handles the networking, but Open Age is apparently multiplayer, so it's there somewhere.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 05:54:45 AM by kason.xiv » Logged
mysteriousmonkey29
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2019, 08:32:55 PM »

That's interesting; didn't realize that existed. Not sure if I can use it though, cause isn't cloning a commercial game a copyright infringement? Like how are they getting away with that?

And good to know about the P2P networking; didn't realize that was viable (thought it might cause too much lag).
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kason.xiv
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2019, 06:45:09 AM »

P2P is used in a lot of games afaik, but there is one drawback. Because the traffic isn't going through a central server, there is no way to monitor it for illegitimate packets (essentially, there's no way to tell if someone is cheating).

Also, as for the legitimacy of Open Age.. I don't know exactly.. but it's quite the popular project and so if there was legal grounds to dismiss them I feel like it probably would have happened by now.
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Daid
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2019, 01:09:30 PM »

Also, as for the legitimacy of Open Age.. I don't know exactly.. but it's quite the popular project and so if there was legal grounds to dismiss them I feel like it probably would have happened by now.
There is nothing illegal about implementing a game engine from scratch. The idea of the game isn't copyrightable, the assets are. There are quite a few projects like this. That implement a game engine, but use the official assets.

They webpage shows that they don't include the assets and that you need to own them:
Quote
openage uses the original game assets (such as sounds and graphics), but (for obvious reasons) doesn't ship them. To play, you require an original AoE II : TC installation or AoE II: HD (installation via Wine or Steam-Linux).


Other famous examples of these are https://www.openttd.org/ (which has free assets these days as well), and all kind of system emulators, including https://www.scummvm.org/
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mysteriousmonkey29
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2019, 09:08:02 AM »

Ah, I see. So it's like you can play the open-source version, but if you want to do so legally you have to already own the game. Just like project M, the mod on Super Smash. And then it's legal to distribute without the game assets.

Thanks for the clarification.
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