Multiplayer

Outer Colony features multiplayer modes, allowing users to play games with friends via the internet.

A screenshot of two players, connected to the same world.

General Notes & Recommendations

  • To this point, multiplayer has only been tested by me and two friends. Others in our test group haven’t exercised these features, so multiplayer is likely to have more bugs than single player mode at this point. That’s OK! If you encounter a bug, feel free to post about it on our forums!
  • Multiplayer mode can be somewhat bandwidth intensive. You’ll need a solid connection, particularly a good upload capacity on the server, in order to support many users. In benchmarks run to this point, expect to upload ~30-50 KB per second per user on the server. A solid cable or fiber connection is recommended.
  • When a remote client first connects to a server, all of the world’s data must be transferred. For this reason, micro-sized worlds are ideal for the fastest connection times. Small worlds are usually alright, but medium and large worlds can take several minutes to load upon connection.
  • A strong CPU is also recommended for the server. First, the server is doing a great deal of data compression to make networking manageable, especially upon initial connection. Second, when you have many players with large colonies, it’s easy to have hundreds of human NPCs active at once, and this taxes a processor.

With those recommendations in mind, I hope you have fun with multiplayer!! It is easily my favorite way to play Outer Colony, and as far as how I personally play the game, multiplayer is the system’s cornerstone feature.

Hosting a Server

To host a server, choose multiplayer on the splash screen, then click Host Server. You’ll see the server hosting window, shown above.

  • An Outer Colony server has a single password. This, combined with a user name, is how players access the server and take control of their chosen colony. There aren’t individual passwords for each user.
  • You can choose to run the server on any port you’d like. The default port is 44222.
  • You can choose to create a new world when hosting, or to load an existing one.
  • Outer Colony features two server types, listen and dedicated. A listen server is one where the host computer has a player. A dedicated server is one where the host computer runs Outer Colony without the main interface, and all players connect from other computers.
  • You can set an autosave frequency for a server. With this setting enabled, the server will save and overwrite the world at regular intervals. It’s also possible to manually save server worlds after the server has been launched.
  • When you host a listen server, the player name on the host is automatically set to “Player”. Right now, this can’t be changed.

Joining a Server

To join a server, choose Multiplayer on the splash screen, then click Join Server. The Join Server window will become visible.

  • In the first box, enter the IP address of the server you’d like to join.
  • Specify the port number in the second box.
  • In the third box, enter your player name.  This is the name associated with the colony you’ll run.
  • Enter the server’s password into the password box.
  • Click Join when you’re ready to join the server. It may take some time to connect, since clients have to download the remote world before they can load in.

Chat

Once connected to a server, you can chat with other players using the chat box in the bottom left corner of the screen. Messages you type and send are transmitted to all players by default. You can also send a private message to one player by using the “/t” (or “/tell”) command.

For example, if I type “/t John Hi, John!”, it will send that message only to the player named John. The quotes are not a part of what you type to send a /tell message.

Posted in Game Design, Technology