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Real-time Turn Based Online Play

A topic by kcovey created 178 days ago Views: 118 Replies: 3
Viewing posts 1 to 4

I feel like the online play would benefit greatly from having a real-time mode where players are required to make their turn within a short time and be present throughout the match.

The game is very immersive, much more so than other turn based games. I find that making a turn, leaving for a day or more (it seems people are pretty unresponsive), and coming back isn't a great way to experience the game.

As a developer myself, I understand that features take large amounts of time to create and that distributed systems, especially when applied to games, are insanely complex. I'm sure that this game mechanic was made for a good reason, I just wanted to contribute my feedback.

I might be alone in this, so I'm eager to hear what other players think. Thanks for making a great game, it's incredibly polished and full for an early-release.


We'd love to hear more about other player's thoughts on this too! We have an experimental mode that functions similar to what you are requesting, but I'll let Tim chime in with more info and details!

Developer (Edited 1 time)

Hey kcovey - yeah, I hear you! We actually do have a "Synchronous mode" that we've played with internally. It changes the mechanics a bit: you see your opponent's moves play out in realtime, of course; but more interestingly, there's a turn timer (similar to Hearthstone), which puts a new twist on the core gameplay, as you really have to think on your feet.

From a business perspective, there are a couple things that give me pause about shipping with this mode. First, the game needs a much larger pool of active players in order to have automatching work well. If you hit the "Quick Match" button and you don't get an async game immediately, that's no big deal -- that suits the pacing of async games. But if you're trying to play a realtime match and it takes several minutes to find an opponent, you -- the proverbial you, i.e. most players -- are likely to just bail.

The second concern is a bit smaller, and has to do with mobile devices. Antihero will ship on tablets on phones several months after the PC version is complete, and async just makes so much sense on those devices. That said, Hearthstone has definitely demonstrated that large numbers of players are willing to do synchronous play from their iPhones and iPads... but Hearthstone has Blizzard behind it :).

Anyway, it's not an either-or thing. The game will definitely ship with the existing async mode, and it may _also_ ship with the synchronous mode; we just need to figure out what the best player experience will be.

ALL THAT SAID, the current plan is to release an update with Synchronous mode enabled - soon - and gather feedback from players! Hopefully this will happen in the next week or so.

Thank you guys for the feedback, it's awesome seeing you reply to all the posts here.

I'm glad to hear that you guys are playing around with a synchronous mode! It would certainly make sitting down to play the game feel much more like an event to sink time into.

After making my comment, I continued to play the game as intended. I realized after giving my feedback that I have actually never played any asynchronous games on the PC before (at least, not that I can remember) and I feel that time spent with the current system has given me some perspective. I still stand by my comment that a synchronous mode would be awesome, but I've come to appreciate the asynchronous play style as well.

I find myself sitting at work, still thinking about the last move I made. I check my email constantly to see if any of my opponents have played their turn. Once I get a notification, I try to analyze the game board from memory and think about what they could have done to get the upper hand. When 7|8 PM rolls around, I'm excited to sit down and take my next turn. In other words, I've come to appreciate the asynchronous mode after being made to play the game that way.

You guys have really outdone yourselves; this is a very good game. The only reason I haven't referred my friends to come buy a copy is because there aren't any left! Keep doing what you're doing and there will be no need to worry about having enough players to go around.

P.S. Tim: I am a software developer by day, game developer by night, and really appreciate the amount of work a game like this must have taken. I get that you're busy with this and everything else going on, but I've been itching to pick your brain about game development in general (mainly things such as your workflow, best practices, advice, etc.). You've really constructed a master piece here, I'm excited that I get to be standing on the ground floor of this project.