We’re only about a day away from launching Mechanic Miner into Early Access and we’ve seen a lot of you asking or talking about the Mechanic Miner Multiplayer. In this smallish Q&A-styled Developer Log I’ve asked Finn, our Game Director, a few questions about what to expect from the upcoming Multiplayer Beta that will be part of the Early Access release of Mechanic Miner.
Q: MM Early Access will come with a Multiplayer beta, could you briefly explain what this multiplayer beta is and how it will work for the player.
A: “The multiplayer beta will be playable from a separate beta build of the game, accessible to all owners of the game via the Steam interface - a "beta branch". We will release more information on how to access this beta branch after the release of Early Access.”
Q: How will the Multiplayer Beta differ from the single player version of the game (thinking about content, modes, etc.).
A: “The MPB will be playable in either survival or creative mode, meaning you cannot play story mode. At the time of the EA release, some features are also disabled for MP. These include foundation blocks and pistons. All other features will should be available, but since it’s still in beta, some features might hold some undiscovered bugs.”
Q: You call it a "beta". Why is that? And what is missing before the Multiplayer will be part of the main game?
A: “Although we feel the MP version of the game has enough features to be included in the main game, it does have limitations:
- It only works well if all connected players are able to maintain a reasonably steady frame rate of at least 60. This is because a "frameskip" feature is not yet implemented in the game.
- There is noticeable "fixing" happening on all the clients (not the server player), which are due to current bugs in the synchronization of the game state.
- We have yet to implement better so-called prediction features, which matter when you play with people far away, i.e. with a high ping time.
Q: Talking about the technical aspect of the Multiplayer beta. What can the player expect in terms of latency/lag, stability and just general performance?
A: “The MP version of the game is slightly less stable, but other than that performs just like the SP version. It does require more resources on the machine acting as the server. Latency/lag will be noticeable in the beta, which is the main reason we are not including it in the main build of the game. We feel that it is not yet playable as in the experience we would like it to be.”
Q: How do you plan to finish Multiplayer? What are the next steps and when can we expect Multiplayer to be done?
A: “With respect to issues 1) and 2) listed above we are currently working on those and expect to be able to put out improved versions with these matters solved in the course of this early access phase.
We also aim to add the features in the SP creative & survival modes currently missing in the same time frame. We have a desire to make the story mode playable for multiple players, but those plans are a bit more tentative currently.
We expect to have better prediction code in place before the 1.0 release of the game, so the game is playable in high latency situations, i.e. with players from different continents etc.”
Mechanic Miner will release into Early Access tomorrow (22nd of May 2019) and all owners of the game will have access to the Multiplayer Beta.
Finn & Needo