FAQ  •  Login

Decision on Steam & Stand-Alone Launcher

Moderator: zeussy

<<

Killrob

User avatar

Developer - Lead Beta Tester/Producer/German Efficiency Expert
Developer - Lead Beta Tester/Producer/German Efficiency Expert

Posts: 3711

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:00 am

Location: Lower Hutt, New Zealand

Cars: I owned a Twingo... totally bad-ass!

Post Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:52 pm

Decision on Steam & Stand-Alone Launcher

Hey Automationeers!

Within the team, carefully considering the results of the poll we ran in October, we have come to the conclusion to keep the separate game launcher alongside the Steam implementation of Automation with some limitations. While the Steam implementation of the game will be complete, we choose to not implement multiplayer into the stand-alone launcher. This can be considered a half-measure between the options initially proposed.


Poll Results

In this post we would like to give you some more background information on how this decision was formed. The outcome of the poll, in which 888 votes were cast was:

  Code:
81.532% (724)  Steam Only
11.712% (104)  Steam Only (Inconvenient)
 6.757%  (60)  Stand-Alone Only


This result was somewhat surprising to us as we would have expected around 90% pure “Steam Only”. We do have to assume that these numbers are representative of our player base and thus can be scaled to the ~12k copies sold. Expressed in scaled numbers we would be looking at the following:

  Code:
9784 +/- 364  Steam Only
1405 +/- 138  Steam Only (Inconvenient)
 811 +/- 105  Stand-Alone Only


Discussion on Multiplayer

As a small developer we definitely cannot afford to leave some 800 paying customers in the dust and we would not be able to pay for that many refunds either. Developing a full stand-alone game comes with a huge amount of added effort and would significantly hurt the development progress. Considering the multiplayer part of the game stands for most of this additional effort required and only few players ever touch multiplayer modes, a no-multiplayer stand-alone version is the best possible solution in our opinion.

This statement about multiplayer may seem confusing. Indeed the title Demigod by Gas Powered Games could be considered a multiplayer-only title, and only 23% of its player base ever even tried logging in to their servers. On a similar note, Chris Taylor mentioned in an interview, that only about 10% of Supreme Commander players ever touched their multiplayer modes. Both Demigod and Supreme Commander, although different genres, can be considered much more tailored to the multiplayer experience than Automation ever will be. Taking the 10% figure as an upper limit estimate for Automation thus seems reasonable. In addition to that, people voicing their concerns with Steam in our discussion thread, on average were not interested in the social component of the game.


Conclusion

Piecing this together would mean a maximum of some odd 80 people having to sacrifice a potential multiplayer option by not switching over to Steam, which of course they are free to do like everyone else. This is unfortunate, but in the big picture we think this definitely is the best decision for Automation in the short and long run. Everyone owning a copy of Automation will be able to convert their game key to a Steam key for Automation for free.

We hope that closer to ~99% of our existing players agree with this decision and that the above discussion was insightful. We are very much looking forward to getting Automation onto Steam in the next few months.

Cheers!
The Automation Dev-Team
<<

Lanarius

User avatar

Turbocharged
Turbocharged

Posts: 34

Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:59 am

Cars: Opel Astra H 1.8

Post Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:51 pm

Re: Decision on Steam & Stand-Alone Launcher

Seems like a legit choice.
Spelunky did something similar, where e.g. the daily challenge isn't available for DRM-free versions of e.g. gog.com. So if you didn't care you just would get the one without the BS attached.
If it turns out to be easy enough to do, you can still "upgrade" the standalone.
<<

WizzyThaMan

User avatar

Turbocharged
Turbocharged

Posts: 2221

Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:39 am

Location: The Netherlands

Cars: Citroën Saxo, Mazda 2

Post Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:59 pm

Re: Decision on Steam & Stand-Alone Launcher

I totally agree with the conclusion, from a developer point of view. As for myself, I would've rather seen a complete time investment for the game to run on Steam, as now you also would need to make the standalone. How much work does it take to keep the standalone running, too? If with every big new patch, it takes 2 weeks to keep the standalone updated, thats 2 weeks worth of development that stalls.
Though, I completely understand you cannot leave 800 paid customers to themselves and that number also suprised me.

Nevertheless, great way to keep everyone happy and keep up the good work!
Image
Founder of AutomationHub, for all your Automation needs!
Please visit us at: http://www.automationhub.net
Like our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/automationhub
Our livestream channel: http://www.twitch.tv/automationhub
<<

strop

User avatar

3-Star Beta Tester
3-Star Beta Tester

Posts: 3462

Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:31 pm

Cars: Honda Civic VTI-S MY13

Post Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:02 am

Re: Decision on Steam & Stand-Alone Launcher

That consideration with the multiplayer seems appropriate to me, as while I am perfectly happy to convert to steam, I am also happy not to use steam and am not particularly interested in the multiplayer due to the way I like to approach this game. It seems reflected in the general levels of interest in multiplayer mode: the biggest drawcard by far of this game is the tycoon mode, and, in a way, also the sandbox mode and the activity on the forum seems a pretty good indication of why.
<<

VosNox

User avatar

Supercharged
Supercharged

Posts: 554

Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:06 am

Location: Kansas

Cars: 1983 Chevy S10 2.8

Post Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:56 am

Re: Decision on Steam & Stand-Alone Launcher

Sounds like a damn good idea.
Image

First Gen / Second Gen / Next Gen
Current holder the Automation land speed record @ 447.9 MPH
<<

Killrob

User avatar

Developer - Lead Beta Tester/Producer/German Efficiency Expert
Developer - Lead Beta Tester/Producer/German Efficiency Expert

Posts: 3711

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:00 am

Location: Lower Hutt, New Zealand

Cars: I owned a Twingo... totally bad-ass!

Post Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:14 am

Re: Decision on Steam & Stand-Alone Launcher

@Wizzy: The effort going into maintaining the stand-alone version without multiplayer is pretty small in comparison to doing the full thing. I would estimate a day or two for every big update, so that should not hold us back too much!
<<

ronnie4444

Supercharged
Supercharged

Posts: 83

Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:11 am

Location: UNDER YO BED

Cars: 2004 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE!
Also, a recent addition - Early 80's RX-7 Series-3.

Post Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:24 am

Re: Decision on Steam & Stand-Alone Launcher

Instead of having a server host all of our online games, could you perhaps implement a feature similar to the minecraft multiplayer system?

For example, I start a dedicated server, and I, along with a few of my friends, connect to it directly through my I.P. Address?

Just a thought to consider, because I really don't like the idea of not having multiplayer on the stand-alone launcher, and I personally don't like steam one bit.

Plus, it means that you don't have to host all of our stand-alone-launcher online games on one of your servers!

I know it'd take a while, but it's basically (not that I know a whole lot about game development...) modifying the stand-alone client's UI to say "Connect to a server! Input IP and port:" instead of "Here's a list of servers! Join one now!", and essentially copying the already existing online game server program and perhaps modifying it slightly to work better with a private server infrastructure. Just an idea to think about.

I'm not saying that it'd be easy by any means, but it might be a better alternative as opposed to simply saying "NO MULTIPLAYER FOR U STANDALONE!". lol

Thanks,
Ron
Apex Automotive forever!
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=3837
<<

07CobaltGirl

User avatar

Queen of Track Building

Posts: 1613

Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:47 am

Location: Atlanta, GA, USA

Cars: Chevy Cobalt

Post Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:57 am

Re: Decision on Steam & Stand-Alone Launcher

I find this solution perfect! I do not desire to hold development back and I also do not participate in multiplayer (although I have logged in a few times to never find anyone on). Consider this a happy *no steam* customer! IF I ever decide I need to try out multiplayer, it will be on me to sign up for Steam, but it's great to have an option which does not require it. :)
<<

TheTom

User avatar

Turbocharged
Turbocharged

Posts: 1080

Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:33 am

Location: Austria

Cars: Vw Golf 3 TDI

Post Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:52 pm

Re: Decision on Steam & Stand-Alone Launcher

I'm happy with this decision! Since i already play most of the games i play on Steam anyway, it's no problem at all for me. How about the saved files? Like engine files and model files, will those be saved for both the standalone and the Steam version? If not, will there be a way to copy paste the .lua files into the folders of the steam version?
<<

RaduST

User avatar

Supercharged
Supercharged

Posts: 172

Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 6:07 am

Location: Bucharest, Romania

Cars: 2010 Nissan Pathfinder

Post Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:44 pm

Re: Decision on Steam & Stand-Alone Launcher

Well, I never used steam but i guess it shouldn't be too much of a effort.
<<

maffc

User avatar

4-Star Beta Tester
4-Star Beta Tester

Posts: 674

Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:11 pm

Location: Halifax, UK

Cars: Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sportiva

Post Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:55 pm

Re: Decision on Steam & Stand-Alone Launcher

TheTom wrote:I'm happy with this decision! Since i already play most of the games i play on Steam anyway, it's no problem at all for me. How about the saved files? Like engine files and model files, will those be saved for both the standalone and the Steam version? If not, will there be a way to copy paste the .lua files into the folders of the steam version?


I cant see any reason why saving engine cars, models etc should differ between versions any more than it should differ now between players.
I play Civ 5 a lot through steam. I don't use steam cloud so all my save games are local. Civ 5 has a folder within my documents, just like Automation does.
<<

Killrob

User avatar

Developer - Lead Beta Tester/Producer/German Efficiency Expert
Developer - Lead Beta Tester/Producer/German Efficiency Expert

Posts: 3711

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:00 am

Location: Lower Hutt, New Zealand

Cars: I owned a Twingo... totally bad-ass!

Post Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:31 am

Re: Decision on Steam & Stand-Alone Launcher

Saves are not affected, no. Maybe there will be an option for simultaneous cloud saves though.
<<

zeussy

User avatar

Developer - Lead Programmer
Developer - Lead Programmer

Posts: 745

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:32 am

Location: Wellington - New Zealand

Cars: A crashed 1992 Suzuki Cappuccino

Post Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:56 am

Re: Decision on Steam & Stand-Alone Launcher

ronnie4444 wrote:Instead of having a server host all of our online games, could you perhaps implement a feature similar to the minecraft multiplayer system?

For example, I start a dedicated server, and I, along with a few of my friends, connect to it directly through my I.P. Address?

Just a thought to consider, because I really don't like the idea of not having multiplayer on the stand-alone launcher, and I personally don't like steam one bit.

Plus, it means that you don't have to host all of our stand-alone-launcher online games on one of your servers!

I know it'd take a while, but it's basically (not that I know a whole lot about game development...) modifying the stand-alone client's UI to say "Connect to a server! Input IP and port:" instead of "Here's a list of servers! Join one now!", and essentially copying the already existing online game server program and perhaps modifying it slightly to work better with a private server infrastructure. Just an idea to think about.

I'm not saying that it'd be easy by any means, but it might be a better alternative as opposed to simply saying "NO MULTIPLAYER FOR U STANDALONE!". lol

Thanks,
Ron


The problem is, this does not tie into our plans for multiplayer. Such as having on running challenges, like a racing league etc. This requires leaderboards, which steam provides out of the box. The Steamworks API provides a fantastic set of networking tools, that I do not have to write myself from scratch, and handles things such as NAT punch through, authentication, voice communications etc. NAT punchthrough is the reason why I didn't allow people to host their own games, it's a bitch to sort out, and the minecraft solution of just let the users figure it out, and forward the correct ports never sat right for me. I want the players to enjoy playing the game, and learning about cars and engines. Not having to learn about ip addresses and port forwarding, and getting frustrated at why it doesn't connect.

To maintain multiplayer games on the standalone version to a similar standard to the Steam integration would be months of work.
Lead Progammer (The Guy that makes stuff happen!)

Follow us on
Twitter - http://twitter.com/AutomationGame
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/AutomationGame

Come chat to us at http://automationgame.com/irc
<<

ronnie4444

Supercharged
Supercharged

Posts: 83

Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:11 am

Location: UNDER YO BED

Cars: 2004 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE!
Also, a recent addition - Early 80's RX-7 Series-3.

Post Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:56 am

Re: Decision on Steam & Stand-Alone Launcher

That makes sense.

I don't want to hold back development any more than absolutely needed lol.

I just thought that might be a good idea, but once again I'm not an experienced programmer by any means (my best piece of work is currently a game similar to game dev tycoon, but for computers instead. still working on it!). As such, I somehow figured there'd be a good number of complications with a game like automation, which is complicated already (not saying that I know how hard it is! xD)!

Either way, I really can't wait to see what automation brings in the future. I may just try steam, purely for the multiplayer aspect :D

Ron
Apex Automotive forever!
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=3837
<<

AllEnable

Naturally Aspirated

Posts: 12

Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:23 am

Cars: A Golf Buggy!

Post Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:58 pm

Re: Decision on Steam & Stand-Alone Launcher

Seems legit. I don't use any multiplayer, and I don't want to use steam. Great choice!
Next

Return to News

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MSN [Bot] and 0 guests

cron