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2021-01-02 Hazeron Plans for the Future
#1
Here is a general update on plans for the near future of Hazeron.

We are working to get Hazeron Starship ready for release on Steam. It is fully integrated into our build processes so updates to the software propagate to all versions: the Hazeron Starship solo game and the Shores of Hazeron MMO clients and servers. My first priority is on the Steam release but changes often apply to the mmo client and/or servers as well.

Shores of Hazeron - The MMO Game
The mmo Shores of Hazeron will continue to be free online until Hazeron Starship is released on Steam. Then it will return to being $10 per month using PayPal, as before.

No changes are planned or pending that would force a reset of the database. There is no current plan to reset the database at any point along the way.

There is some hope that the solo game will drive players to try the mmo. The servers are being kept online until after the Steam release, to see how that plays out.

To be honest, it will take a miraculous surge in interest in the online game to keep the servers alive. They are expensive to maintain and they are not needed at all for the Steam version, which is solo playable only. 

In my opinion, I predict the servers are taken off line a few months after the Steam release.

The web site will remain up to support the wiki and the forum, mainly for bug reporting.

Hazeron Starship - The Solo Game
The solo Hazeron Starship is currently getting a surge of attention, to get ready for release on Steam.

The current plan is to work hard for the next three months to get ready, with the possibility of going six months, if that is needed.

Steamworks has fully approved Hazeron Starship for release on Steam. I just need to push the button and Hazeron Starship will be announced as "Coming Soon". It will remain in that state for two weeks before it is actually available in the Steam app store.

Rather than rush into that, I decided the game needed more solo play content. I wanted to give the player more value for their money. I also wanted to improve the story.

What I would really like to see is a continuing story that rambles along but never really ends, like a soap opera or comic book, like episodes of Star Trek or The Mandalorian. Updates to the software would include additions to the story as they become available.

To that end, it is beneficial to start with a substantial amount of story for players to play through. That way it takes them a while to catch up to the leading edge, where the author is now in the story. As the story grows longer, each new player after that has an even longer story to play, before they catch up.

I hired a professional novelist and playwright to take command of the story telling in the game. It is a long time Shores of Hazeron player who is passionate about the game. I do not yet know if they want their identity known to the players so that will remain unsaid for now.

They have the latitude to rewrite the story from scratch. No bit of the existing story need be saved.

This will lead to useful improvements in the story script engine.

Eventually, it might be possible to make the script engine available to the public. Then players could write and share stories between themselves. Some games have done this successfully. It doesn't really work for the mmo, unless someone at this end reviews and approves each script. Otherwise it's, "Oh look, is that a patent for warp 9 lying on the ground? Whoa Q255 even!"

Steam assigned an Adult rating to Hazeron Starship. It makes sense for a game where players can get naked, have sex, and bear children.

One benefit to that adult rating is that children won't be playing the game. It is detailed and complicated. It really isn't a game for children.

Another benefit to that is the author can write for an adult audience. Steam is a mature platform, with a lot of mature players. I think adults want to be spoken to like adults, not like children. Knowing the audience is comprised of adults, the author can develop an engaging story that might not be interesting to children. I don't mean pornography or crudeness, but complexity and subtlety, with adult themes and innuendo.

Steamworks currently shows 94 million active monthly users. An unknown number of them are adults. An unknown number of those adults might be interested in a complicated space game.
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#2
Not interested if its not multiplayer. Sorry my dude. Best wishes to you.

Maybe you could develop software for players to host their own small-scale "private servers", maybe even with the ability to connect multiple servers into a cluster. Please consider allowing us to have some form of multiplayer.
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#3
Quote:Please consider allowing us to have some form of multiplayer.

It would not be difficult at this point to enable the solo client to host logins by other clients. That feature is not essential to releasing the game on Steam so it is not a top priority at the moment.

However, if I decide to take the servers off line, and if Hazeron Starship appears to have some hope of making it on Steam, I will add hosting capability to Hazeron Starship. Then your friends could login to your Hazeron universe and you could play multiplayer with them.

There is also the distant possibility that a miracle will occur and Hazeron Starship will make a lot of money on Steam. If that were to happen, I might just upgrade the servers and keep them running for the fun of it.

There are many possibilities. Months of time will pass before the servers risk shutting down.
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#4
(01-03-2021, 12:01 AM)Haxus Wrote: Eventually, it might be possible to make the script engine available to the public. Then players could write and share stories between themselves. Some games have done this successfully. It doesn't really work for the mmo, unless someone at this end reviews and approves each script. Otherwise it's, "Oh look, is that a patent for warp 9 lying on the ground? Whoa Q255 even!"

I know I have definitely wanted this for a long time. I got a little story I have always wanted to make.

For Hazeron Starship it might be possible to make this easy if Steam Workshop integration is added. Don't know how much you know about the Steam Workshop feature, many other games use it for easy modding support.
Players can make mods (or in our case stories) and then release them as a downloadable package. Then other players simply click the "Subscribe" button on the packages they want, and they are automatically downloaded via Steam.

Seems like the perfect fit for this once the story script engine is made public.
At worse it allows players to add easy cheats to the game, like you hint at with the "warp 9 lying on the ground". But if the game is solo only (or stories are at least moderated before inclusion) it doesn't matter.
Shores of Hazeron Forum and Wiki Moderator
hazeron.com/wiki/ User: Deantwo
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#5
(01-03-2021, 12:36 AM)Haxus Wrote:
Quote:Please consider allowing us to have some form of multiplayer.

It would not be difficult at this point to enable the solo client to host logins by other clients.

In addition to this feature, how difficult or tedious would it be to make CLI dedicated server software for Windows and various Linux distros? If you did do that, I imagine CPU and RAM would be vital, but how much disk space might you need for a server hosting one sector of equal size to current sectors? Would it be feasible on a mid-sized gaming tower, or would it require business or enterprise hosting? This would be the ideal way forward in my opinion, but I'd like to hear what you think.
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#6
(01-03-2021, 12:52 AM)Seathre Wrote: but how much disk space might you need for a server hosting one sector of equal size to current sectors?

Solar systems that aren't generated takes up no server resources. Only once a solar system is explored will it be generated, and then it will exist in the database until it decay.

So you can't really count anything in galaxy size. The more you explore, the more server resources are used. If a solar system is without anything in it for a longer time, it decay and the server resources are freed up.

That is how the MMO does it at least. I am curios if it will be different in Hazeron Starship, I doubt it is though.
Adjustable decay rules would be nice though.
Shores of Hazeron Forum and Wiki Moderator
hazeron.com/wiki/ User: Deantwo
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#7
Quote:how much disk space

For reference.

I have a solo game going right now. It has multiple avatars in multiple home solar systems, not all in the same sector because startup works just like online. One avatar has built a civilization that can manufacture spacecraft, enough to play through the entire Relic story, which ends at a ringworld.

The game save file is 165MB. It doesn't take long to load the saved game. Interstellar travel is fairly quick with no server hand offs, just the time needed to generate new systems as they are explored.

For the most part, it feels like I am playing the mmo but nobody is here except me and there is no network latency.

Systems in the solo game do not decay (I think).
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#8
(01-03-2021, 01:01 AM)Deantwo Wrote:
(01-03-2021, 12:52 AM)Seathre Wrote: but how much disk space might you need for a server hosting one sector of equal size to current sectors?
Solar systems that aren't generated takes up no server resources

If, for instance, you hosted a single Sector and pre-generated each system on the first start up, you would need to have an idea of how much disk space is needed for a single solar system, in order to calculate how much total space you will need. This feature is still being discussed, but I'd like to see if it is even feasible to host a small-scale server without breaking the bank.
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#9
Hazeron Starship is integrated with Steamworks. The Steam Workshop is certainly a feature available to the game. When it is time for that, Steam Workshop sounds like the ideal way to handle story content.

At present, I expect the story author and I will have a lot of discussions about features needed by the script engine to get the job done. I'll know when the script engine is ready when it has been a long time since I last made any changes to it.
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#10
Quote:I'd like to see if it is even feasible to host a small-scale server without breaking the bank

If my 165MB saved game contained only one solar system, and a moderate density sector contained 25 solar systems, that sector would only be 4GB in rough numbers.

In fact, that 165MB file contains all the building and ship designs in the solo design exchange (all designs by Haxus). It also contains all of the solar systems in all of the perimeter sectors to the explored sectors, plus the perimeter sectors, and all twenty one galaxies.

The data load is not that heavy.

I do believe a single computer could host a small scale game for a few people. More CPU cores help.
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