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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Multi-player Games and Custom Characters

Here is something to note, if you ever play a multiplayer game: each character has its own unique checksum, that is constructed from everything about them. If you so much as change the case of a letter in the name, the checksum is different. The only things that don't change the checksum, are the pictures.

When the host starts a new game, all the host's characters are preloaded, and the checksums are cached. Each player that joins is quickly compared against these checksums: if they are missing a character, or even have a modified version of one of the hosts characters (different checksum), they are informed, and then kicked off the server. All they need do at that point, is get a copy of all the hosts characters, and they'll be set to go. This guarantees that everyone is playing with the same starting crowd. Also, this gives the host some control over what characters can be played. The last thing a host wants, is some rogue player playing a demi-god character with all T1 chits, full armor, and a greatsword!!

I suppose I could have built in an automatic transfer mechanism, but I hesistate to do stuff like that without the computer owner's knowledge. It opens the doors for all kinds of problems: where do I put the transferred characters? do I overwrite existing characters? do I delete them when the game ends? etc. Its just as easy for the host to e-mail an archive of the character set they will be using for a particular game to all the players before-hand.

One more thing: though a joining player must have the same character set as the host, there's no problem if they have additional characters in their custom folder. They still can't use the additional characters in the online game, but at least they don't have to delete or move them to play.


Anonymous said...

Where can I upload a pre-made character for magic realm?

DewKid said...

I intend to get a bunch more online, but for now there are only two here.

Of course, if you download the latest version of RealmSpeak, you can make your own. See the "Version 0.56 Released" post below.