Multiplayer: Bots replacing players mid-game

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RuskiTalib3003
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Multiplayer: Bots replacing players mid-game

Postby RuskiTalib3003 » Fri Sep 09, 2016 6:57 pm

Since the multiplayer is coming soon, I've started wondering how players abandoning should be handled. Of course as always I'm talking about bots replacing players mid-race. This would be a really good thing for keeping the races alive if a couple of players need to leave the game.

And as far as I can see it there can be 3 ways of letting players know that someone was replaced:

1. Once the player leaves, it is clearly stated in chat and on player list that he left the game (He's being replaced by a bot with different name/car skin etc.)
For an example it could look like this:

  • Player "Bezimienny!" has left the game (disconnected by user)
  • [BOT] Jester has joined the game!


2. This is a similiar approach to what was used in Company of Heroes 2. Once a player disconnects, there's a notification in the chat. However, the only way to tell that the player disconnected after that waring, is the fact that they have [BOT] or some kind of different prefix added to their name.
For an example:

  • Player "Bezimienny!" has left the game (disconnected by user)
  • Player "Bezimienny!" has left the game and was replaced by a BOT


The first two choices are bad in my opinion mostly because they let players know who was replaced by a bot. In such case player will know that he now needs to be more carefull around a certain car or that it's way easier to destroy it now.

3. In my opinion this is the best method to do this as it makes sure players don't know wich cars are bots. This will put more pressure on players (especially when a GRIP veteran is going to get replaced. If there's no clear indication that he was replaced, everyone is going to be more carefull around him. In other methods I suspect everyone spamming his car once they get confirmation he's a bot.)

So in this case, there would be no output in chat, the name or skin of the car would not change, and it would remain the same on players list the whole game. The only way to know who's a BOT would be to look at score at the end of the race, where BOT takeover times would be listed.

(Of course in this case [BOT] prefixes can only be seen on the race board after finishing the race.

  • COMBATANT | BOT TAKEOVER TIME | TIME | POS
  • [BOT] SHANK | --:--.--- | 02:00.666 | 1
  • POTTERMAN28WXCV | --:--.--- | 02:15.666 | 2
  • [BOT] BLADE | --:--.--- | 02:20.666 | 3
  • [BOT] CHRIS | 01:23.453 | 02:21.666 | 4
  • [BOT] JESTER | --:--.--- | 02:23.666 | 5
  • [BOT] TALON | --:--.--- | 02:34.666 | 6
  • [BOT] JETFIRE | --:--.--- | 02:56.666 | 7
  • BEZIMIENNY! | --:--.--- | 02:76.696 | 8
  • [BOT] GOPNIK MCBLYAT | 00:20.649 | 02:77.666 | 9
  • [BOT] FLAME | --:--.--- | 02:89.666 | 10


So... what do you guys think? :mrgreen:

(Small Edit:
Of course in terms of how they should be replaced, I think they should instantly hop into an abandoned car and take controll from where they currently are. As for difficulty level, they should be on the difficulty level that host has set in the race setup.)
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Re: Multiplayer: Bots replacing players mid-game

Postby Queadah » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:37 pm

+1, clever thinking! It's clearly a point the devs we'll have to figure out (if they haven't already).

I'd be all for your solution #3, with a suggestion; perhaps we can roleplay our way out of this one, with say:
  • Racer "Bezimienny!" engaged autopilot!
...and then show [bot] in the dashboard. I know it kills the element of surprise (Beriemienny has disconnected, no need to worry now!) but hear me out, what if:
  • player Bezimienny disconnected (accidentally or not)
  • Beriemmienny tries to join again
  • instead of waiting for a new race, he takes back control of his car!! (Contrary to other new players that would have to wait a new round)
  • Racer "Bezimienny!" disengaged autopilot!
  • Race resumes as normal
and voilà ^^. That would bring something new to the genre :)

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Re: Multiplayer: Bots replacing players mid-game

Postby wantfastcars » Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:13 pm

I think this is a good idea, if it isn't too difficult to implement, especially letting the player jump back in.
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Re: Multiplayer: Bots replacing players mid-game

Postby potterman28wxcv » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:42 am

RuskiTalib3003 wrote:3. In my opinion this is the best method to do this as it makes sure players don't know wich cars are bots. This will put more pressure on players (especially when a GRIP veteran is going to get replaced. If there's no clear indication that he was replaced, everyone is going to be more carefull around him. In other methods I suspect everyone spamming his car once they get confirmation he's a bot.)

I'm not a fan of hiding information from the player, especially when it comes to who is in the game.
I don't want to be racing with someone, chatting with him, then he's replaced by a bot, and I end up talking to.. myself ? It would just feel weird

wantfastcars wrote:I think this is a good idea, if it isn't too difficult to implement, especially letting the player jump back in.

Letting the player back in, it would mean you would have to lock the bot seat for this player in particular, for say 1 minute.
Indeed, you want to make sure that no other player takes his place while he is away.
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Re: Multiplayer: Bots replacing players mid-game

Postby Volken » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:55 am

Nice ideas, I'd also like to have it as a checkbox when creating a lobby and the possibility for players to re-join if they lost connection to the host.

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Re: Multiplayer: Bots replacing players mid-game

Postby Queadah » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:27 am

potterman28wxcv wrote:I'm not a fan of hiding information from the player, especially when it comes to who is in the game.
I don't want to be racing with someone, chatting with him, then he's replaced by a bot, and I end up talking to.. myself ?

+1
potterman28wxcv wrote:
wantfastcars wrote:I think this is a good idea, if it isn't too difficult to implement, especially letting the player jump back in.

Letting the player back in, it would mean you would have to lock the bot seat for this player in particular [...] you want to make sure that no other player takes his place while he is away.

Absolutely! While this is unnecessary in FPS (no position to hold), being able to jump back in in a race would be quite unique.
For open lobbies, I also suggest:
  • Upon disconnection, make the bot perma-locked for the leaving player while the round/event lasts.
  • If another player joined in the meantime, reaching the maximum player number, prioritize for the leaving player and put the new guy in the lobby
  • Thus, returning player can get his seat back even though player limit has been reached
  • When the round/event is over, the new guy takes his turn and the other guy gets ejected or goes in the waiting room
This way, you cater for a player leaving for good with new players allowed to take his place while still giving a chance
for a disconnection not to spoil your fun with your friends.

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Re: Multiplayer: Bots replacing players mid-game

Postby RuskiTalib3003 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:37 am

Queadah wrote:+1, clever thinking! It's clearly a point the devs we'll have to figure out (if they haven't already).

I'd be all for your solution #3, with a suggestion; perhaps we can roleplay our way out of this one, with say:
  • Racer "Bezimienny!" engaged autopilot!
...and then show [bot] in the dashboard. I know it kills the element of surprise (Beriemienny has disconnected, no need to worry now!) but hear me out, what if:
  • player Bezimienny disconnected (accidentally or not)
  • Beriemmienny tries to join again
  • instead of waiting for a new race, he takes back control of his car!! (Contrary to other new players that would have to wait a new round)
  • Racer "Bezimienny!" disengaged autopilot!
  • Race resumes as normal
and voilà ^^. That would bring something new to the genre :)


Oh yeah, that sounds like a great idea! And it fits with the GRIP world too! ("Beriemmienny"? :lol: )

potterman28wxcv wrote:
wantfastcars wrote:I think this is a good idea, if it isn't too difficult to implement, especially letting the player jump back in.

Letting the player back in, it would mean you would have to lock the bot seat for this player in particular, for say 1 minute.
Indeed, you want to make sure that no other player takes his place while he is away.


Hmmm... I've never really thought about it like that. So in this case solution #2 seems like a most viable option. And like you've said cooldown to hop into your own BOT again, would be good, especially for players that lost connection.
Maybe players would get a notification like in CSGO:

You've disconnected from the lobby!
Your car will still stay reserved for you if you join back before the next race!


Then once he joins back his camera will be instantly teleported to his bot with a message:
"You will regain controll over your car in 10 seconds!"

If the player doesn't join back, his car will just remain as a BOT to the end of the race.

[EDIT]
For some reason second post of Queadah appeared just when I've finished writing mine :v
So I've changed my abandoning messages since I think I agree with perma car lock more than timed lock.
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Re: Multiplayer: Bots replacing players mid-game

Postby Queadah » Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:23 am

Hehe, sorry man ^^
RuskiTalib3003 wrote:Then once he joins back his camera will be instantly teleported to his bot with a message:
"You will regain controll over your car in 10 seconds!"
If the player doesn't join back, his car will just remain as a BOT to the end of the race.

Yep, pretty much. The time to load, your cam gets in place with your message, or something like:
"Autopilot disengage in 5... 4..."

Good luck implementing this tech though. This is going to be a doozy X)

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Re: Multiplayer: Bots replacing players mid-game

Postby RuskiTalib3003 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:04 am

Queadah wrote:Hehe, sorry man ^^
RuskiTalib3003 wrote:Then once he joins back his camera will be instantly teleported to his bot with a message:
"You will regain controll over your car in 10 seconds!"
If the player doesn't join back, his car will just remain as a BOT to the end of the race.

Yep, pretty much. The time to load, your cam gets in place with your message, or something like:
"Autopilot disengage in 5... 4..."

Good luck implementing this tech though. This is going to be a doozy X)


And yea, I think that we'll see something like that implemented long after this patch, (if at all) as currently multiplayer is so buggy It'll be better for them to just focus on getting it, at least, kind of playable for private patch :D
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Re: Multiplayer: Bots replacing players mid-game

Postby Chris_CE » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:06 pm

Potterman wrote to me this morning linking me to this thread, saying it's funny because we were just talking about this internally.

I've always wanted bots to take over from players or vise versa, it's been in the documentation for a while, but all these posts solidify that it's a good idea. :D

Ok, so including the ideas in this discussion with the team's, here is how it could work...

  • Message in chat saying player has left, then message saying "[BOT] Name" has joined
  • The BOT then takes over the player's car for the remainder of the race, unless that player comes back
  • If the player DC'd unwillingly and wants to come back, there is a 1 minute window in which they can return to the event (with a message saying so when they leave or are disconnected)
  • When the same player that left comes back, they inherit the positiono and points they got before they left, as well as any points the bot gained
  • If that player does not come back and a new player joins, they do NOT inherit any points from the previous player or bot, and they're specific car and customization replace the bot car's setup
  • When a player joins a game to replace a bot, they are sent to the chase cam behind the bot car and a timer with a prompt saying "taking over from AI in..." then 5,4,3,2,1
  • At the end of an event, the scoreboard will clearly state whether a new player came in and took over for a bot or not. If they are in a top placed position, well shame on the human players for letting a bot do so well :P
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Re: Multiplayer: Bots replacing players mid-game

Postby RuskiTalib3003 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 3:52 pm

Chris_CE wrote:Potterman wrote to me this morning linking me to this thread, saying it's funny because we were just talking about this internally.

I've always wanted bots to take over from players or vise versa, it's been in the documentation for a while, but all these posts solidify that it's a good idea. :D

Ok, so including the ideas in this discussion with the team's, here is how it could work...

  • Message in chat saying player has left, then message saying "[BOT] Name" has joined
  • The BOT then takes over the player's car for the remainder of the race, unless that player comes back
  • If the player DC'd unwillingly and wants to come back, there is a 1 minute window in which they can return to the event (with a message saying so when they leave or are disconnected)
  • When the same player that left comes back, they inherit the positiono and points they got before they left, as well as any points the bot gained
  • If that player does not come back and a new player joins, they do NOT inherit any points from the previous player or bot, and they're specific car and customization replace the bot car's setup
  • When a player joins a game to replace a bot, they are sent to the chase cam behind the bot car and a timer with a prompt saying "taking over from AI in..." then 5,4,3,2,1
  • At the end of an event, the scoreboard will clearly state whether a new player came in and took over for a bot or not. If they are in a top placed position, well shame on the human players for letting a bot do so well :P


Nice, I think this is a really good system for this. However, maybe cooldown for unwanted DCs should be longer than 1 minute, as I think that recovering from a game crash or connection problems is not going to take only 1 minute.
Last edited by RuskiTalib3003 on Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Multiplayer: Bots replacing players mid-game

Postby Queadah » Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:07 pm

Good news indeed!! Chris, your description is spot on :D
There's only this 1min timer that makes me wonder though. Of course it allows for quite a dynamic gameplay and turnover, but isn't the main the purpose of such a feature a way for your friends to get back in instead of a complete "stranger" steping in? I dunno.

I must admit such a system would be perfect to fill lobbies for events that already started but are not full (provided enough bots were created in the event setup). Or make it a bit more than a minute... say 1m10sec (roughly the time it takes for an average gamer to complete a full race track). Testing only will tell.

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Re: Multiplayer: Bots replacing players mid-game

Postby potterman28wxcv » Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:05 pm

I think he copied the "1 minute" from my post. But it was just an example - in practice, I think it might be conceavable to lock the seat for the entire race duration. As a race duration is around 5 minutes, even in the worst case, it's not really problematic. After the race ended, the seat would be free again.
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