Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Developer comments in single-player offline thread

  1. #1

    Developer comments in single-player offline thread

    This thread contains posts from the development team about the single-player mode. Questions have been paraphrased for ease of reading. We'll try to keep this thread up-to-date.

    General questions
    Question: will offline mode ever be implemented?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    Probably not.

    Michael
    Question: why wait so long to announce this?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    Because we wanted to be certain before announcing. This isn't the choice we wanted to make, but one we had to.

    Michael
    Question: FFE is still fun to play - can't you just recreate it with ED graphics?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    Which is great, but we are doing so much more with this new game.

    Michael
    Question: this was a promised feature - surely that means something?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    Indeed and the biggest promise is the game with the vision we set out with. We haven't taken this decision lightly, but having to hamper the game to work offline would have meant that we couldn't deliver the game we're making.

    Michael
    Question: why not create a second version of the game that works offline?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    The problem is that the galaxy mechanics all sit on the online servers. The data set and processes are huge and not something that would translate offline without considerable compromise to the vision. Trust me we didn't sit down and think what would annoy people the most! It's a choice we've had to make and so we've taken it.

    Michael
    What motivated this decision?

    Question: is it just that you don't care about the offline experience?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    Of course we cared. We wouldn't have devoted time and effort to try and support offline as well as online if that wasn't the case.

    Michael
    Question: what would you lose in offline mode?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    The online servers provide all of the data and processing for the galaxy, interactions between players and all transactions of value. Without it there isn't a game. We always intended that the way to play the game would be online. We had hoped that we could do an offline variant, but as the game progressed the online requirement superseded that. It wasn't an easy choice to make, but to stay true to the game we set out to make we had to make this choice.

    Michael
    Question: surely that was obvious during the Kickstarter?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    As mentioned in the newsletter thread the game has changed a lot since the initial kickstarter. One of the biggest changes is the importance of the the offline component to manage the galaxy and interactions. This isn't something we can translate into an offline experience as we'd effectively have to make a new game world - we couldn't share the same world and that throws out the intent for a shared universe.

    Michael
    Question: so why did the Kickstarter say this would happen, not just that you "hoped" it would happen?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    At the time we didn't think it would be a problem.

    Michael
    Question: was this because Frontier thought they could make more money this way?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    No it was't a ploy to get more money.

    Michael
    Question: Was this because offline players are less likely to get involved in microtransactions?
    Originally Posted by Edward Lewis View Post (Source)
    Hi. I understand your concern! But this was no way a factor involved in the offline decision.

    Ed
    Question: what happened to the idea of creating a cut-down single-player experience?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    The problem is that you wouldn't have got that. During the kickstarter we thought we would be able to operate a dual mode with the offline version cut down. As we've progressed more of the game has had to exist online, so much so that an offline version would be mostly a new and different game - which is something we can't support.

    Michael
    Why is offline mode a hard technical problem?
    Question: why not create a second "offline galaxy" with different secrets than the online one?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    Because that then becomes another product we have to create and support and that just isn't possible. We have considered many alternatives to see if we could make this work, but unfortunately this is what we've had to do.

    Michael
    Question: what sort of hardware would it take to run an ED server?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    There isn't a simple answer to this as it's in the cloud and constantly changing. As trades occur the data increases and changes. Same to for exploration and missions and every other moderated transaction in the game.

    Michael
    Question: why not bundle the server code with the client?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    The problem here is that you'd have access to the server which isn't something we'd want to allow as it contains the secrets of the galaxy. Which was also an issue with an online version.

    Michael
    Question: if the galaxy is procedurally generated, what's so hard about taking it offline?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    The generation of the galaxy isn't the main issue (although it is part of it). The issue arises from the processes and data that changes as players interact with the world. The previous games were essentially static universes with some specific changes. For Elite: Dangerous aspects of the entire galaxy can be changes and there isn't an easy way to abstract that out. We were faced with a tough choice and it's not something we wanted to do, but to release a game that matched what we set out to do we had to go online online. I'd love to be able to make everyone happy but sometimes we have to make a hard choice as we have here.

    Michael
    Question: why can't we just download a new block of data every few months?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    It's not just the data on the servers, it's the processing of everything that happens in the galaxy - so generating missions, trading, events, exploration - the core of the game.

    Michael
    Question: if it's about syncing with a server, can't you just release an offline version without those checks?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    To make that happen we'd essentially have to create two games. The servers handle more than just the data, they handle all the key processes for interaction in the game, so trading, mission generation and background simulation to name a few.

    The decision wasn't made this week, we've spend a lot of time and effort trying to come up with a way that would allow us to support offline play - however the answer is no we can't.

    Michael
    Question: what is Frontier's plan for when the servers shut down?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    We have no plans to shut the servers down anytime soon. This is a core project for the company and we intend developing for it as long as we can.

    Michael
    Question: could the server code be released publicly some day when the servers are shut down?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    I've no idea at the moment. We're planning on supporting this game for some time to come.

    Michael
    Question: couldn't you just do whatever the previous Elite games did?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    And if it were that simple there wouldn't be a problem. The core vision for Elite: Dangerous was multiplayer, we've said that all along. The galaxy exists as an online entity, extracting that into an offline version that still works as game isn't simple. Missions are a good example, they are created based on the state of the galaxy and they feed back into the state of the galaxy there's a big level of difference between what we're doing now and what was in the previous games..

    Michael
    Question: what are the technical reasons for not providing an offline mode?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    As I said it's not simply the data although that is certainly an issue. Remember you don't just have the start point of the galaxy, you have any changes that are applied to it. The decision making processes for gameplay within the galaxy are also cloud based and it's not a simple job to transfer these over. The vision for how the game works has necessitated a much more encompassing online structure than we'd initially thought. We've not just said - let's not do offline. We've investigated the different ways we can do it and the simple answer is that we can't - not without compromising the game we're trying to make.

    Michael
    Why is offline mode a hard organisational problem?
    Question: why didn't you try harder to make offline mode work?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    As I've mentioned elsewhere I understand the sentiment. We have put considerable time and effort to try and make this happen, but we've had to make this decision to make the game we set out to do. We would happily support offline play if it were possible for us to do so.

    Michael
    Question: Is offline mode an impossible problem, or just unfeasible?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    It is impractical rather than impossible, but circumstances mean that it cannot be done.

    Michael
    Question: why not delay the decisions and put extra resources on this after the release?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    We have always said the way to play the game is online - indeed it says so in the quote of me being circulated. The choice was develop the game in the way we wanted, or not. Trying to make it offline would have made both experiences worse than we were willing to tolerate. We had to make the decision and have done so. I would say that an offline rewrite of the game is unlikely for the future.

    Michael
    Question: why not reassign the resources necessary to make this happen?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    Spending time on an offline mode is wasted if it doesn't provide the game that we've set out to make - which is the case here. For us the game needs the richness that the online galaxy gives us. Without it there is no game.

    Michael
    Question: surely your word is worth the sacrifice?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    Even if it made the game worse?

    Michael
    Question: is your arm being twisted by external forces?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    There is no arm twisting. Circumstances are simply staff we have available and what could be spared to work on something that doesn't support the core design of the game.

    Michael
    Questions about refunds
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    There's an established process on the store for requesting a refund: https://store.zaonce.net/cancellations-returns/

    Michael
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    You can put a refund request in through the store.

    Michael
    Question: What kind of refund can Kickstarter backers expect?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    I don't have any details for that. At the moment all refund requests are dealt with on a case by case basis.

    Michael
    How will single-player online mode work?

    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    Single player online does require a consistent connection.

    Michael
    Question: how often will the single-player client connect to the server?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    At the moment it's whenever you need to conduct a server moderated transaction like trading.

    Michael
    Question: what type of data does single-player online mode require?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    For single player it's transaction type data, we do need to make connection failures a bit more forgiving, but it would be improvements for the game as a whole rather than a specific mode.

    Michael
    Question: if my network connection dropped out, how long could I go before the client had a problem?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    Until it needs to retrieve data from the server or moderate a transaction.

    Michael

  2. #2
    Update 17 Nov:

    Removed a couple of duplicate posts (copy/paste error in the original) and added the following:

    Question: what is Frontier's plan for when the servers shut down?
    Originally Posted by Michael Brookes View Post (Source)
    We have no plans to shut the servers down anytime soon. This is a core project for the company and we intend developing for it as long as we can.

    Michael
    Michael's other posts seem to be addressing issues that have already been discussed. Please PM me if you've spotted some news I missed.