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When will LAN / Offline play be available?

Discussion in 'Multiplayer' started by Parias, Jan 26, 2014.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Parias Trainee Engineer

    I know this game is incomplete, but I was curious if there was any way to play the game in a LAN / offline capacity. I purchased copies of the game with my friends once I heard multiplayer had to added as we were eager to try it out, but as there was no internet connection readily available at our place of play at the time, we had no way to play it! Even though the game would launch in Steam's "offline" mode, any time we accessed the multiplayer UI it told us that multiplayer wouldn't work if Steam was in offline mode, and that we would all have to log into Steam first to play. This wasn't possible for us as we had no internet connection at the time.

    This was seriously disappointing to find, as we all bought the game just to play multiplayer in a LAN setting and thought it was supposed to be DRM free. Now we've basically purchased the game for no reason (I'll still get some enjoyment out of the game offline, but I don't think my friends will as multiplayer was the decision that pushed them over the edge into buying it). Is there a chance this will be changed?

  2. DocTanner Junior Engineer

    Because the multiplayer is through Steam's API, there is no way to play on a LAN. While it is possible that KEEN will implement LAN play, it is unlikely. Doing so would require writing the code to essentially replace Steam's (quite robust) connection API. This includes network communication, user identification, port-forwarding, etc. While I don't know for sure, I'd be willing to bet that it's not a priority. It's quite a lot of work for very little benefit.

    And just to clarify, DRM is "data rights management"; it has nothing to do with whether or not you can play a game on LAN. It doesn't go through Steam to confirm that you own it, it goes through Steam because their API is what does all the work.
  3. crazyrobban Apprentice Engineer

    Offline LAN Play would make this game the most pirated of the year.
    It's 2014, get an internet connection.
  4. chilypepper Trainee Engineer

    How do you not have internet? 0.o

    This question is completely dependent on your lack of internet connection rather than an actual lack of LAN support.
  5. DarkGhost Junior Engineer

    LAN support was already said it was a possible future feature.


    The technical detail spoken about could be that Steam's API you speak about though, DocTanner. :3
  6. K^2 Apprentice Engineer

    Looking at packets, Steam API seems to be only used to find other players and get around NAT. Later is not needed at all during LAN play, and former can be replaced by a simple broadcast.

    So while it would require some additional code for finding and joining the game, once connection is made, the rest of the code remains exactly the same. It's extra work, but there are no special challenges there.
  7. DocTanner Junior Engineer

    There's also identifying players, etc. It doesn't matter now, but it will once factions/IFF systems/ etc are released. Steam covers that by using your SteamID. That'd all have the be handled in-house.

    And keep in mind, too, that what crazyrobban said is true: LAN play allows for easy piracy. I know we discussed the DRM issue already, but you have to remember that Steam IS a DRM solution. You can play your copy of space engineers from anywhere, on any number of computers you like... but it's YOUR copy. Once LAN play is released, the ability for pirates to get around that goes WAY up. And personally, I don't want to see this game pirated even once. It costs all of $10USD and goes to fund development.
  8. Veleno92 Trainee Engineer

    yes lan party
  9. jimbobslimbob Trainee Engineer

    While I agree, this would be a nice feature, I would prefer their time was spent on optimising the existing multiplayer first. You can always create a private internet game afterall. Well, at least you can as long as you have internet ;)
  10. piddlefoot Senior Engineer

    Well I don't really know enough about coding to comment on that, beyond saying that what Doc says makes sense in relation to pirating.
  11. Parias Trainee Engineer

    Thanks! This is good to hear - I hope they add this.

    I suppose my biggest beef is that the internet requirement isn't really made clear at all on the game's purchase page. On the contrary, the Steam store page explicitly says "No internet connection required to play the game", and I can't really find it mentioned anywhere else that internet actually IS required if you want to do multiplayer (maybe I'm not looking hard enough). That's why I was surprised by all this, as the ability to just connect directly to an IP address outside of the whole complicated matchmaking system strikes me as a really basic feature that most games (but admittedly not all) have. But I'm also not a coder and acknowledge the other comments that perhaps this would be more complicated than it seems.

    I can't really comment on piracy as I bought the game myself (and I'm in the position of working with my friends to purchase additional copies as required for multiplayer) - we're just having trouble playing the game the way it is now due to the logistics of our LAN setup. So I'm really hoping they integrate this functionality soon so that we can actually play the game we purchased. I'm OK with waiting as I know this game is very early in development, I'm just hoping this functionality will come at some point down the road.
  12. DocTanner Junior Engineer

    Please keep in mind that the multiplayer is an early alpha feature in an early alpha game. The fact that the game is multiplayer hasn't even been widely advertised yet.

    They may add this feature in the future. But for now, it represents a potential huge loss of profit for very little benefit. The game will run over the local network for players that are on one (gotta love the Steam API), you just need internet to be authenticated by Steam.
  13. Shogoll Trainee Engineer


    I would argue that piracy shouldn't be used as reasoning to prevent the implementation of features, since screwing over paying consumers to defend against pirates has shown its self to be a very stupid decision in the past. That said, I of course agree that the technical circumstances preventing LAN multiplayer and the minor benefit it brings relative to the work necessary to implement it is a very real argument that will likely prevent this game from having it implemented in the near future.
  14. DocTanner Junior Engineer

    I'm not saying they shouldn't add it eventually. I'm saying that for now, especially with the piracy concern, there's no reason for it to be at the top of the priority list.

    Think of it this way: people buying the game is what funds KSH to develop it. When multiplayer came out, their sales DOUBLED. If they add a feature that allows for pirated mulitplayer, then that can directly cut into their sales. And since, as I said, sales are what lets them continue development... they're not screwing paying customers to prevent pirates, they're preventing pirates to avoid screwing paying customers.

    Should offline LAN play be added eventually? Yes, absolutely. But I'd rather they do pretty much everything else first.
  15. Shogoll Trainee Engineer

    Indeed there is far too much currently missing in the game for offline LAN play to even be anywhere remotely close to a priority feature.
  16. DarkDragon Apprentice Engineer

    Err i have not once seen a game go over lan for local players on a network... it reaches out to the internet for connection to the game host and retrieves it from there no lan was ever used or latency wouldent be an issue for the local players i have had.

    They have added a LAN optionas of the last small update early this morning that states there is a LAN option but i cannot find where this is used. dont tell me its automatic when its clearly not.

    EDIT: yes i know this topic is old, didnt realise how old till i re-read the last post date sorry...
  17. Mara Trainee Engineer

    You think that it's a really big problem for pirates to crack this game and also Steam API?
    I don't support pirates, I like to support developers with some money and then enjoy the game, as I did. But seriously, It would be only easier for them.
    Second sentence is really naive. Go to the Africa and tell them "get an internet connection"... you think that, when you have a good internet connection in your country on every place, that everyone can get an internet connection? Keep in mind, that everyone isn't on your place please... thank you.
    I'm also lobbying for LAN connection, because not everyone have a good internet connection or possibilities to have Steam in online mode. LAN party in your room/house/building is good think, try it sometimes... ;-)

    PS: Excuse me for my English, but I'm from Czech republic.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2014
  18. Guner1357 Trainee Engineer

    Hey, I live in Oregon and I don't have internet at my house. In the nearest town the internet is terribly slow, so lan play is the only option for people in my area to get a multiplayer game to work.
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