Author Topic: Cataclysm DDA "Multiplayer" Guide  (Read 10255 times)

Offline Mij

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Cataclysm DDA "Multiplayer" Guide
« on: March 07, 2013, 05:36:07 PM »
So, first up, hi! I've been obsessed with the game for about a week now, and having a blast. I've been reading a bunch of various threads about this and haven't yet seen this tip, so now I have a suggestion for if you're having trouble surviving on your own. Was gonna put it in the tips and suggestions thing, but then I realized I'd written a novella. Oh well, new thread it is!

Grab a buddy and play Cataclysm DDA Multiplayer! Sorry, "multiplayer". There's a bit of a distinction. But how, Mij? Well, it's easy with this 8 step process! But first, lemme explain a bit about what you're getting:

The game has a persistent world and allows you to have multiple characters. The purpose of the persistent world is so if you wander into town and get murdered, your next character can come along and find your corpse along with all your stuff. But because you can have multiple characters, and the world is modified when you save any character, this means that you can totally make a character go grab some stuff and drop it in a pile, save, load another character and go pick up that pile.

Despite being a complete exploit for single player use, this has a wonderful side effect in that it lets us pretend the game is multiplayer in a kinda turn-based fashion. You take a turn, your buddy takes a turn. You never see the other character, but do you see their improvements on your base and your vehicles, and you get to watch as magically your piles of tins of beans turn into piles of empty cans. With me so far? Okay, on to the 8 step process! If you're lazy or in a hurry, I've bolded the important parts of each step.
___


1) Make sure you're using the same game version. This works with .1, haven't tested it with .2 yet. Presumably you should also have the spawning option (static or classic) set the same, but I don't know if it'll make a difference. Probably won't.

2) OPTIONAL: Make a new world for your buddy and you to explore! This will delete any saves you currently have, so making a backup of your current save folder might be a good idea. Alternately, you can choose to make a completely separate folder with a copy of the entire game, which is the option I've been using. Keeps everything nice and compartmentalized.

3) Make your character! The great thing here is you can choose to specialize in something. Wanna be the quirky hunter/mechanic who takes care of all the food and water prep, and spends off time working on the Raid Chopper Mk1? Or maybe you wanna be a sneaky scavenger type, quiet and stealthy, who makes nightly raids into the city to gather supplies? Discuss expectations with your buddy - or don't and hash it out as you go along!

4) Play for a predetermined set of time. I like doing it in roughly 1 day increments. You could do a hard and fast rule on time frame, if you wanted, which would be useful for fidelity of tools and equipment. For example, if you can't make it back in time for your buddy's turn, then she might not have access to the desperately needed hacksaw and batteries you just looted, meaning you won't have access to a nice fixed and/or upgraded deathmobile for you next day's adventure. This puts a lot of pressure on small trips or communicating goals and expectations.

5) Save and quit, then send the save folder to your buddy. I like to use a combination of WinRAR and puush, but there are tons of ways to do this. Early games, with not a huge amount of exploration will be a under a meg. My current save on day 8 (where it took my person a 24 hour journey by car to get to my survival partner) is about 12 MB, or zipped 809 KB.

5b) OPTIONAL: just zip and send them the entire game folder. It's not that big, honestly, so if you have high speed internet, you're golden. If you do this, skip step 6.

6) Your buddy replaces their save folder (again, safest to set up a copy of the game, same version as you, which is reserved for multiplayer.

7) Buddy starts new character, then plays for predetermined amount of time.

8) Buddy saves and exits, then copies and transfers the save/game folder back to you!
___


Wow, I'm bad at organization. Oh well! Hopefully this is pretty clear anyway. Lemme know if you have any difficulties with steps in here. It's worked fine for me, so maybe I can help troubleshoot. Again, this hasn't been tested yet on the newest version, although it probably still works based on not seeing any announced features that would preclude it.

Further advice:

Finding your buddy:
This can be tricky. Sometimes you start in the same basic area. I made two characters on the same computer while doing initial testing with this, and they both started at the same evac shelter. They had different names, however the same skills. I'm not sure if that's a determining factor for sure (based on small sample size of tests), but I can say that when my buddy and I tried this, when making character two on their computer, they kept spawning way the hell away from me. In fact, it would probably have taken three to four days to get to them on foot (a stolen car is a godsend) and that's without actually knowing where they are.

If you're lucky enough to start in the same evac shelter, this isn't a concern for you. If not, here are a few methods you can use:

1) Have one person, doesn't matter who, send the other person a screenshot of their map. Make sure to explore a decent bit during the day time, so you have a lot of notable terrain features to use. For me, it's really helpful to have a good idea of the basic shape of the town you're nearest, plus any of the more rare features, such as evac shelters, LMOE shelters, sewage treatment plants, mines, etc.

2) Start exploring! This can be slow. Like I've stated, in my current "multiplayer" game, our spawn locations were incredibly far apart. In fact, here, this is what it looks like: http://imgur.com/JUr9Epq

In this, the main terrain feature to help me find my buddy would be the river. If you can manage to notice some common features, bends in the river, etc, then you've got it made, but it does require both people actively exploring. There's the constant threat that you'll waste days going the wrong directions, sadly, but... hey, the apocalypse is hard, man.

3) Roll a new character! I don't have experience in how it saves things, so this might just bloat the size of your save folder. Dunno! Could use some further testing. But the gist of this tactic is to have player two make a new person, scout for terrain that player one fed them via screenshot or description, then Q the character if they're not in the right place and try again with a new person.

One concern I have here, as mentioned previously, is that characters with the same skill set might just start in the same evac shelter. Again, I did not test this exhaustively (or at all! :D) but it's worth mentioning that if you seem to see a lot of the same location with a few characters, try again with a different skill set!

If it turns out your save folder bloats from this method, one thing you can do is simply to revert the save folder with each attempt, to keep it "pure". Or don't do that, accept the massive file size, but gain the benefit of random piles of loot next to clones. Hell, that even falls in line with the thematic parts of the game. Just assume one of those teams of scientists managed to track down most, but not all of the escaped clones.

4) Cheat! Be warned, this is Pandora's box. The game is more fun for me without cheating, and it's soooo tempting to use this thing. You have a few methods I know about to help you out, which will be kept in spoilers in case people don't want to know how for whatever reason. will be displayed below because I can't figure out how to use
(click to show/hide)
. Sorry folks!

To cheat, use the cheat console. It's mapped to Z by default, but I think you can change it in the options.

4a) Check the map! Z -> 4 will reveal the map, if you then close the game, it will not save. Alternately, check it then just replace the save folder again before you actually head out there. If you check your buddy's location screenshot, or look on their character, then check yours, you should be able to spot the place to head. Either map out a quick route to get there, or just gauge based on the general distance direction and figure it out on the fly. WARNING: this will totally show you where everything is, ruining some of the fun of exploration. Your call.

4b) Teleport! Z -> 3, then choose your destination. Point and click, basically. This probably requires you to check the map with the above step. In theory, you could teleport into unexplored squares without doing that, but it seems clunky and annoying. Both breaks realism and is inefficient. It does preserve a some of the exploration factor, but at the risk of taking forever to actually find your buddy. WARNING: when teleporting, it may look like you've pulled vehicles along with you and sudden your map is broken. Not so - the game just doesn't update until you move out of the 12x12 submap.

4c) Check your grid coordinates! To do this, use Z -> 7.: Check game state... It tells you what location you're at, with an image like this:


So, there's some useful stuff here, but the part we want is the first line. It is, basically, x:y in XX:YY, where lower case is your local map, which you can see normally, and upper case is your over map, which you can access by default m key. I'm not at all knowledgeable about the map code, but maybe you can check this for further reading: http://imgur.com/DiEiotg

From basic experimentation, it shows me that x:y goes from 60-71, meaning its a tinymap with 12x12, before incrementing XX:YY is. XX:YY is our moneymaker. Heading east 12 tiles will increase XX, heading west will decrease it. Heading south 12 tiles will increase YY, heading north with decrease it. So, basically, If upper left of the map is XX:YY of 0:0, then heading directly southeast for 120 tiles will leave you at coordinates 10:10. Furthermore, for every two increments of XX:YY in a given direction, the m map will update your location.

tl;dr:
So how do we use this?
1) Z -> 7 at your destination. It'll say "Location x:y in XX:YY, [description]. Make note of XX:YY.
2) Z -> 7 at your location. It'll say "Location x:y in XX:YY, [description]. Make note of XX:YY.
3) Understanding that heading south or east increases XX or YY respectively, and heading north or west decreases, figure out how far you are from your destination. Take the larger number, subtract the small number from it. Divide that by two. This tells you how many tiles on the map screen (accessible by default key m) it takes to get to where you're going.
4) Write down directions, then head off in search of your buddy! Good luck!
___


Aaaand, there we have it! A weird hybrid of single player/multiplayer. Can you use this to cheat in single player? Sure! Should you? Eh, I'm not one to judge. It could be a lot of fun to make a few characters, for these purposes. Multiplayer in this fashion is definitely fun, although there is a lot of pressure on completing your turn quickly so the other person can get back to it.

I'm tired of typing so here's some things in no particular order to watch out for:

This method of "multiplayer" will will totally work with more than two characters. Unless there's a hard limit in the game, the limiting factors are how long you're okay with not having a turn and how difficult you want the game to be. (having magical tools teleport into the base while you sleep much easier than having to find every damn thing yourself).

Food will decay twice as fast if stored on the ground. ~36 hours for meat is pretty short when your day takes 48+ hours. Since I'm the survivalist, cooking person, I find it helpful to make a bunch of food, then store only about a days worth in the meat pile for my buddy. The rest I hold on my person when I pass the save off. Annoying, but works.

Your dates/times will not match up between characters. This is helpful in making sure you're playing for roughly the same times.

Current weather conditions and monster locations are specific to each character - not shared! I had a situation where my buddy told me about a bear outside the sewage plant we were holed up in, and asked my to take care of it. Wandered outside, saw no bear, shrugged and went on my way. When I passed the save back, I left the door open and they got mauled by the bear, which happily wandered in. Be warned!

Prediction from above: assuming there are no issues with the .2 version, using the static spawning means that each character will probably have to deal with their own zombie hoard. I'll update this when I've got more info on it. Pacifist characters are still just as difficult with this method, for better or worse.

Skills are specific to each character. Sadly, my scientist buddy can't install bionics in me with the same efficiency as she can upgrade herself. On the other hand, I do feel less guilty about save scumming for a successful install when I know I've got someone there who would be able to realistically upgrade me. YMMV.

Battery use will be ridiculous. Seriously. Ridiculous. Work together on resource expectations! If you have a big project you'd like to do, make sure to clear it with your buddy first! A town's worth of batteries can be sucked up in a day by a single character, and when you have two or more?  Not to mention you have to share bionics, mutagen, vehicles, engines, etc etc etc. That said, the ability to have two mechanics work together on a vehicle is pretty damn cool.

Did I miss anything? *shrugs* Anyway, I'd love to hear if anyone else has tried this, and what their adventures have been like! It's been immensely fun for my buddy and me, and I have to say that I absolutely love this feature of the game, intended or not. It's done wonders to keep me interested. ^_^

edit: Fixed a few spelling errors
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 06:07:28 PM by Mij »

Offline Jaginun

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Re: Cataclysm DDA "Multiplayer" Guide
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2013, 05:48:42 PM »
This is a really comprehensive and thought out guide, and I'm glad to hear you and your friend are having fun, but it seems that only 2 IRL friends could do it as opposed to a succession style game on a forum , due to the extensive communication required, and even then it seems like a lot of file switching.

Offline Mij

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Re: Cataclysm DDA "Multiplayer" Guide
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 06:04:18 PM »
Well, it depends on what the participant expectations are. With a succession style game, you usually do things in large increments, and depending on the style of the activity, it might take a day or week for each turn to complete. Because this focuses on swapping back and forth between a small number of characters many times, it's definitely more fun to have a faster pace. You could do one on the forums with a one or two day turn around, with occasional breaks for the main participants by either pausing the game, so to speak, or by electing someone else to do stuff independent of them on the same save file until the main people get back. I think it's totally workable.

There would be a lot of communication at the start and end of your turn, basically, but in the middle... it's up in the air. Really your call. I like to give my buddy updates on steam chat. We do know each other in real life, but we've communicated entirely over the internet for the duration of our game.

And as for file swapping, the barebones requirement is deleting the contents of your save folder, then replacing them with the up-to-date files. Takes very little effort, honestly. With a forum, you would want to make sure you had a file host that wouldn't get annoyed that a ton of people were downloading your file and make you upgrade to a premium account. Pretty sure dropbox would work indefinitely, if the host just never touched that file again hehe.

So, I agree that it does require a bit of effort, which makes sense because it's not an intended feature of the game, but I disagree that it wouldn't be a fun waste of time. I'd also argue that the point of succession games on forums is to have people commenting on them, even if they're not playing. It's to get the community involved in an activity, which might take months or years to complete. None of that is precluded in this method, is it?

Offline Reservoir

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Re: Cataclysm DDA "Multiplayer" Guide
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 06:07:29 PM »
If you could use some kind of software to share the "save" folder at the same time, it could do the trick. Im not sure, havent tried.

Offline The Darkling Wolf

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Re: Cataclysm DDA "Multiplayer" Guide
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 06:23:27 PM »
Yeah, the common method is to host the game on a server and access it via SSH.

Offline Mij

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Re: Cataclysm DDA "Multiplayer" Guide
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2013, 06:32:19 PM »
I'm sure that's relatively simple to set up up, but I dunno how. I bet google has instructions. It usually does ^_^

Offline The Darkling Wolf

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Re: Cataclysm DDA "Multiplayer" Guide
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 06:35:53 PM »
If it's just for one or two friends, sticking the cataclysm folder on Dropbox and playing from there should work fine too.

Offline Reservoir

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Re: Cataclysm DDA "Multiplayer" Guide
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 06:41:45 PM »
Now I want to play multiplayer with someone else... AND BURN EM HOUSES. Also kill zombies and shit

Offline DisK

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Re: Cataclysm DDA "Multiplayer" Guide
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2016, 10:54:48 PM »
This can more easily be done utilizing Dropbox, by placing the game's files in a shared Dropbox folder, the game will automatically keep up to date on all events in the world, though there is still the issue of having to play in turns

Offline Chezzo

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Re: Cataclysm DDA "Multiplayer" Guide
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2016, 09:07:21 PM »
Recently some people were doing this exact thing, except over SSH, over on the IRC. It was pretty fun to watch them switch back and forth, and "You got any bandages?" "I left them at the door of the mansion."

They wouldn't let me play, though.

I think this would be one way we COULD do multiplayer in CDDA. In the game Wazhack, when you play multiplayer, you have the same dungeon, but different monsters, and when you are on the same spot, you can trade and heal one another. We wouldn't even need to replicate the other player's world destruction.

One caveat to the above method, I think food rots twice as quickly. If it is like it was, when you are logged in, your food rots, and when your friend is logged in, your food rots, too.

Offline hexman

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Re: Cataclysm DDA "Multiplayer" Guide
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2016, 06:10:40 AM »
That makes me wonder why there isn't a ssh server for DDA. I mean nethack does have a lot of servers and it makes sense for DDA to have at least one considering this is such a great game and so many people are playing it.
"I've played since the eighties! I've seen more dungeons than Torquemada! I've killed more explorers than malaria! I've kicked in more doors than the LAPD and I've opened more chests than a M*A*S*H unit! Crom help me, I have ascended a Tourist." - Rob Balder (NetHack Parody Song)

Offline Quin91

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Re: Cataclysm DDA "Multiplayer" Guide
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2016, 02:50:21 AM »
True co-op Cataclysm would be beyond amazing. And I don't really see why it couldn't happen other than "We don't want to" Which Iv'e seen so many other Dev teams say about their games. O'Course if it were to happen It would no longer be turn based, And a few other things would need to change but it's not impossible. And would definitely boost the player base.
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Offline Arkenstone

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Re: Cataclysm DDA "Multiplayer" Guide
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2016, 03:15:10 AM »
I'll try this with my wife and let you know how it goes!

Offline Lharson Smith

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Re: Cataclysm DDA "Multiplayer" Guide
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2016, 05:38:34 PM »
If cataclysm became true multi-player it would (in my opinion) become the best game ever made.

Offline Arek_PL

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Re: Cataclysm DDA "Multiplayer" Guide
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2016, 07:35:03 PM »
using some cloud storage like dropbox sounds realy easy, i think that as long as you both do not move over this same land you should be able to play at the same time

lets say player one and player two are at this same base
player one exits base and its out of reality bubble and he saves (autosave or something)
player two can enter the game and sit in base or go in other dimesions
both players play at one time on one world, they just must avoid crossing thier reality bubbles becaue they will override actions of another player lets say both players are at base and player two pickups some food and eat it and go away and saves but later player one who is in base too finish his crafting and saves and when player two returns base he will find food what he will see his food still there even after he consumed it some time ago