[Request] More Players

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sunkica
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Hedgewars is an office favourite on game nights here at my company. The only problem we have is that there's often not enough player slots for everyone to play at the same time, so we're forced to either play two separate games or have some people sit the games out.

Any chance we might see the player limit raised up to 16 in the future? If not, what are the limiting factors?

nemo
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The team limit is hardcoded here:
https://hg.hedgewars.org/hedgewars/file/tip/hedgewars/uConsts.pas#l172
https://hg.hedgewars.org/hedgewars/file/tip/QTfrontend/hwconsts.cpp.in#l39
https://hg.hedgewars.org/hedgewars/file/tip/gameServer/HWProtoInRoomState.hs#l154
(note that prior to protocol 38 [0.9.16], the restriction was 6)

The colour array would need expanding too.

The restriction to 8 was totally arbitrary and mostly about encouraging a fun turn based game.

With 45 second turns and 8 unique teams, an entire round takes 6 minutes. A 15 round game would take an hour and a half.

With 16 teams that would be 3 hours...

Some modes help of course. Like if you allied players together and used Tag Team mode or played the Frenzy script.
But yeah. That's the main reason. There's also the problem of keeping track of when your turn is about to come up..

You can rebuild it to expand the list but IMO you'd be better off just playing multiple games tournament style. Less time waiting for your turn.

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KoBeWi
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Sooo... you can already override some game settings, example set damage multiplier to 100000% by directly modifying the scheme file. Why not do something like this for number of players? A hidden hack for advanced users in case they want it.

UltiMaxKom
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^ Like the idea so much, dislike the probability that devs could/would do it (by the improbability for implementation, priority issues, or due lack of time/manpower to do so)

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Wuzzy
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Interesting topic.

Hmmm, the question is, would having a >=9 player game be a good idea in the first place?
Because the more players you have, the longer one round will take.

With 8 players one round can already be pretty long.

But assuming we ignore all of that, several questions have to be answered:

- How high would the new limit be?
- How to display the team bars with >8 teams? We do shrink team bars is they occupy a big portion of the screen, but even then, space is not limitless
- How many players until the waiting for your turn becomes too long?
- Do we add more clan colors? If yes, which colors to pick, because all colors must be clearly distinguishable?

UltiMaxKom
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Wuzzy allegedly wrote:

- How high would the new limit be?
- How to display the team bars with >8 teams? We do shrink team bars is they occupy a big portion of the screen, but even then, space is not limitless
- How many players until the waiting for your turn becomes too long?
- Do we add more clan colors? If yes, which colors to pick, because all colors must be clearly distinguishable?

I'll give my solution/opinion:

1> Limitless is the best (positive+ number)

2> Instead of "Bars", one may replace the value display by number, then make it like a matrix; in row and column. What? Wanted a limitless space? Then regardless of the value shown (by bars nor number): Make a hotkey to scroll down the team values, and ta-da! It's limitless, no more complicated stuff...

3> Depend on the game mode(e.g: Highlander *usually* be longer than Construction Mode), game rules(e.g: Artillery or not), game conditions(e.g: Map with air mines), game flags(e.g: Endless bot-respawn), and turn time (the least of factors, I'd say). But for me imo, I think 8 players 'already' too long =/

4> Can we get gradient? If so, I believe the number of available team color get multiplied real fast using this method (imagining~). If not then ummm... uh... Sorry, have no solution on this one, as if we couldn't get gradient as team/clan colors =(

Okay then, I believe that I can do best to help, have a nice day/night ^^!

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nemo
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BTW, kinda wish these people would play their games on official server if they have that many. would really help our activity.

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KoBeWi
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Wuzzy allegedly wrote:
- How to display the team bars with >8 teams? We do shrink team bars is they occupy a big portion of the screen, but even then, space is not limitless
Just don't show all of them, but only 8 best or worst. Or add "pages" for teams, which would require one more hotkey for going to next "page" and the game would switch to proper page on team's turn automatically. As for rest of teams, either don't show them, or make a tiny list with names or something.

Wuzzy allegedly wrote:
Do we add more clan colors? If yes, which colors to pick, because all colors must be clearly distinguishable?
You can store colors on 6 bits, with 2 bits per channel for multipliers of 64. Colors like (64, 128, 128) and (128, 192, 128) etc. are easily enough distinguishable and you get 64 combinations, which is probably enough.

UltiMaxKom
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KoBeWi allegedly wrote:
Just don't show all of them, but only 8 best or worst. Or add "pages" for teams, which would require one more hotkey for going to next "page" and the game would switch to proper page on team's turn automatically. As for rest of teams, either don't show them, or make a tiny list with names or something.

I believe I've already suggested that one(?), make a team list with a hotkey to navigate =/
Also instead of a tiny list (I had hypermetropic eye, and I think if the list were so tiny I might need to put my face into the screen itself (8 teams alone feel so tiny already, leave alone for adding more)), matrix of numbers should be a better option as it manages to use space more efficiently, I think. (also, only show the first four letters of player's nick to get even more space)

But ofc the option using a team list with navigation feature should be the best between them.
And for covering the color issue, I think KoBeWi bring the best solution, imo =)

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nemo
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There are a lot of clearly distinguishable pretty awful looking colours.
We went through a bunch of proposed variants just to get to current list.

The issue is we should have a good *default* set.
Just because, if a game has 16 teams (for some insane reason, it really doesn't seem very playable), if the player hasn't defined colours, we need to display something... Otherwise we could push whole problem off on the users to define.

Maybe could take existing set and shift it darker or lighter.

https://m8y.org/hw/colours.xhtml - just for fun, here's kobewi's proposed set, against a few different kinds of backgrounds.

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sunkica
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We use a pretty fast-paced game style, so as to not draw out the game (or individual turns) too much, so having more than 8 players shouldn't be a problem. That said, about 16 players would likely be the maximum number of players that could potentially play and still have fun, and even that's pushing it a bit. You'd need something like concurrently acting teams to play together with more than 16 players.

Team bars could be stacked horizontally in addition to the vertical stack. Most screens should be large enough these days to place two stacks on them without covering too much of the playing area. Pages are also an option, with hotkeys and/or auto-scrolling.

I've never really found team colors to be much of an issue in multiplayer games. Just let users select their color from the palette on their own. You could display clan name under hog names to distinguish between those with similar colors (or add a hotkey to do it on demand). But either way, there's more than enough pastel colors in the color wheel to have at least 16 separate teams that aren't too hard to distinguish (unless you're color blind).

In any case, I work for a software company, so we might be able to pitch in if manpower is an obstacle. Big Grin

nemo
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Issue isn't so much letting user pick. That's easy and we do it already.
It's having a good initial set of 16 so the users who *DON'T* want to manually set up their colours have good defaults. IMO that's less easy. Esp on a variety of background colours - thus the mockup I did of kobewi's set which had some obv problems ☺

And... colours that are easy to distinguish in big swathes are less easy to distinguish when text is coloured. Also the colours can't really be white or greyscale since white is for non-team messages.

In terms of changing it over, it isn't really a big deal. Just bump the numbers mentioned. Can be done in next release. If you want to help with hedgewars code in general, please stop on by our IRC, there's tons of stuff to do.

If you just want to play locally with 16, just change values I noted and add more colours.

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Wuzzy
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Hmm, I previously played around with cMaxTeams a little but noticed it wasn't that simple. Whatever, I made a few changes to the code so it now works as you expect.

Using absurdly many teams:

https://i.imgur.com/xVMaiJV.png

You can play just fine, but the more hogs you add, the longer it takes to load. Smile

As you can see, the team bars are a problem at huge numbers.
I do not like the suggestion of dropping some teams from the list. Especially for crowded games it is crucial to have an overview of all teams. But I think the way teams are displayed must definitely be rethought for huge numbers before we raise the team limit significantly. But I don't think this is a unsolvable problem.

I think the number of teams is actually not the real problem.
It's the number of clans that's a bigger problem. We simply run out of easily distinguishable colors. I absolutely agree with nemo that sane default colors are very important, with a bad color palette, the game becomes hard to play.
So the clans count must be low. OOOOR, we come up with a very different way to denote clan membership, but this would be quite a major change.

We could theoreticlly increase number of teams without increasing the number of clans.

I now think increasing the team limit in general would be benefitial, simply for flexibility's sake. Hedgewars is a very customizable game and turn length depends on the game scheme, so my previous argument of long rounds doesn't really hold water.

That having said, nemo: how about we at least increase the team limit to 9 for now? Because Hedgewars already comes with 9 clan colors, not 8.

Lyberta
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Or we allow several colors per clan. Like stripes.

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