Multiplayer sleep, how should it work?
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I have yet to try multiplayer, since I'm waiting for it to be a bit more complete before I start trying to make my friends buy this game. The big thing that is missing right now is sleep. I believe I've read somewhere that it will be added, but I don't recall seeing how the devs planned on implementing it. How do you think it should work?

 

Personally, I think the first person to go to sleep should choose how long they want to sleep for. If they choose 8 hours, every other player gets a message pinned in a corner of their screen somewhere saying "Player 1 is sleeping for 8 hours", with a countdown for the length of time remaining on Player 1's sleep. Then when player 2 finds a bed and chooses to go to sleep, they have the option to just click a button to sleep until Player 1's timer is up (which most people would do), or they can choose their own amount of time. Once everyone is asleep, time would fast-forward until the first person wakes up, as it does in single player.

 

This would work well if we had the option to sleep on the floor. What if you are in a safehouse with 3 beds, but 4 players? If you don't want to cuddle up, then there should be an option to just sleep in your clothes on the floor. You probably wouldn't wake up as rested, though.

 

It would be neat to have a "rotating guard" mechanic, but I don't know how we would be able to fast-forward sleep if you always had someone awake, walking around the safehouse. If you just had people rotating guard duty during a fast forward, how would the game know what kind of area you're tying to guard? If we're holed up in a warehouse office, is our guarded area the whole warehouse, or just the office?

 

For a first iteration, it would probably be easiest to just implement the fast forward while everyone is sleeping mechanic.

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For me the best solution would be like this:

Your taking a 5 min real time sleep (for 1h day time).

Screen goes black, you cant move your character but you can chat and check skill and character tab.

Other players or loud noise can wake you up before 5 min time.

Why like this ? 5 mib imo is not that long, finding a match in dota 2 takes about 5 min and most players are ok with that.

Black screen keeps the need of finding safe place to sleep. During that time you can chat, alt-tab grab a tea or punch a dolphin in face.

Time would just run at normal server speed, but im ok with that.

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The problem is that there are two different groups of MP players.

  1. RP players who play with friends and in a co-op manner.
  2. PvP Players who do not play co-op.

The idea of fast forwarding time when everyone chooses to sleep is great for 1. but it is not good for 2.

 

I usually play like group 1 so I would love the option to speed up time if all the players agree. Whether that be for sleeping or reading skill books.

 

However, for those in group 2 it just wouldn't work well. If I was playing PvP and I got a message that 'Player X' has chosen to go to sleep and would like to fast forward time, then I would probably set out and try to kill 'Player X' while they are sleeping. Or at least I would want the option to be able to do that. If I was 'Player X' and I wanted to sleep but not everyone was agreeing to sleep, then I would assume that 'Player Y' is coming to try to kill me and I would be alerted to a potential threat. I just don't see how logically it would work on a PvP server with fast forwarding time. Going to sleep needs to be a risk, you shouldn't have to alert other players that you are trying to sleep or not sleep.

 

Maybe the server admin can choose which type of sleep system? If everyone is agreeing to play Co-Op then the admin can choose the server setting to allow time to speed up if everyone is sleeping and if its a PvP server then we could use the 5 minute black screen approach? (5 mins is a good amount of time, especially in comparison to how long it takes to read a skillbook, which is damn near forever in MP where you aren't doing anything).

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It's a problematic that has been discussed many times, and it is something I really care about as the lack of sleep in multiplayer is mainly what keeps me from really getting into it. Imo sleeping is as important as food or water and playing without it just feels weird ^^. Plus sleep would impact A LOT on the way players behave, not adventuring too far from their safe place, slower looting pace etc...
Though, I think sleep multiplayer-sleep should have an option to be disabled, as I can understand some people don't want inactive game periods.

I mainly see 2 totally different ways to play MP, each with different requirements for sleeping mechanics : Co-op with a limited amount of players/friends and massive PvP oriented servers with "uncoordinated" players. The first case is rather easy to deal with and it's already been done for the split-screen mode ; time accelerates when all the players are asleep, until the first one wakes up.

But time warp isn't an option on massive PvP servers, and [imo] the solution I prefer would be the roughest one : you select the amount of time you want to sleep, you sleep, black screen until waking-up but there's no time acceleration and the rate of fatigue recovery stays the same as regular SP. You could be woken up by loud noises or friendly players warning you, or noise traps. The other solution is to accelerate the rate of recovery to be fully recovered after a way shorter sleeping period, a kind of compromise.

But imo, when playing a game as deep & unique as PZ, might as well go for it and get the full immersion package and play with a realistic amount of sleep. Gameplay wise it would be a big plus for PvP as the longer players sleep, the longer their guard stays down/low. Which means they'd have to get an actual safe place to sleep, and organize a watch if playing in group, and that'd be osum. Whereas faster rate of recovery would make sleep a lesser concern, you could quickly take a nap anywhere and be fully regenerated, ready to loot some more.

Also, the more time players need to sleep, the less time they have to care about their other needs, that would rebalance multiplayer's low-difficulty pretty hard.

Edit : CatKaspar wrote faster ;o

Edit 2 : Forgot to say, you could still chat in the global chat while sleeping, or PZ is easy to alt+tab anyway, you could check some other stuffs on the internet or do whatever you please. "Not playing when playing" is something I really don't have any issue with, and I don't think I'm the only one in that situation.

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Edit 2 : Forgot to say, you could still chat in the global chat while sleeping, or PZ is easy to alt+tab anyway, you could check some other stuffs on the internet or do whatever you please. "Not playing when playing" is something I really don't have any issue with, and I don't think I'm the only one in that situation.

 

I am on the fence about the 'non-playable' time in game. I do make good use of the time. I go to the bathroom, I eat a sandwich, I grab another beer, let the dog out to pee, etc. But, I am not thrilled, from a game-play perspective, that we are forced to watch (in MP) long periods of green progress bars when reading skill books.

 

From a game play perspective; it simply is not game play. That's my biggest problem. You literally can not do anything with your character when they are reading a skill book. Yeah I get it that its realistic just like in real life, that if I was studying some material, I wouldn't be able to do much else other than drink my coffee and maybe eat something. But, for the sake of game play, you aren't interacting with the game in anyway during that time, so its terrible game play. I would argue that you aren't even playing at that point. I could go watch my disk defragmenter and have a more exciting experience.

 

I think the skill books in MP are another broken mechanic that was ported over from SP that just doesn't work well in MP, but worked perfectly fine in SP.

 

In SP we can use the time warp if we don't feel like sitting there and waiting if we don't need a bio break, etc. And it works out great. Problem is we can't do that in MP and its sort of the same problem as the sleep system.

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This is kind of a wacky idea but let me know what you think as a potential option.

 

MP sleep works the exact same as SP sleep without the time sped up. While sleeping, the character is prone and vulnerable to attack. But instead of the screen going black for the player, it goes into a black and white dream mode. The player can check inventory, check health and skill screens, and chat but otherwise not interact with anything. But they can "see" within their hearing radius. A big red button in the right corner of the screen says, "Wake Up!". The player can hit that button at any time to immediately awaken from the dream state.

 

This provides "something to do" for the player while the character is sleeping. Maybe reduce the amount of in game time a character needs to sleep before being fully rested if using a bed (or provide customization as a server admin option). In my current SP game I have Slow Reader. Reading skill books takes forever so I use the time to go to the bathroom or grab a beer. Or check the PZ forum!

 

But I agree with the posters above. I believe Sleep needs to be in MP and it makes a huge difference in the game. I also think Sleep can be integrated with player log off. For example, if your character has a sleep deficit when you log off, the character will remain in game and sleep for the required amount of time before disappearing from the game. So players should either be well rested before logging off or somewhere safe where they can sleep.

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This is kind of a wacky idea but let me know what you think as a potential option.

 

MP sleep works the exact same as SP sleep without the time sped up. While sleeping, the character is prone and vulnerable to attack. But instead of the screen going black for the player, it goes into a black and white dream mode. The player can check inventory, check health and skill screens, and chat but otherwise not interact with anything. But they can "see" within their hearing radius. A big red button in the right corner of the screen says, "Wake Up!". The player can hit that button at any time to immediately awaken from the dream state.

 

This provides "something to do" for the player while the character is sleeping. Maybe reduce the amount of in game time a character needs to sleep before being fully rested if using a bed (or provide customization as a server admin option). In my current SP game I have Slow Reader. Reading skill books takes forever so I use the time to go to the bathroom or grab a beer. Or check the PZ forum!

 

But I agree with the posters above. I believe Sleep needs to be in MP and it makes a huge difference in the game. I also think Sleep can be integrated with player log off. For example, if your character has a sleep deficit when you log off, the character will remain in game and sleep for the required amount of time before disappearing from the game. So players should either be well rested before logging off or somewhere safe where they can sleep.

 

I like this idea.

 

However, I don't think your character should be able to 'see' within the hearing radius. You hear a noise and its up to you to wake up or not. If you falsely wake-up you could get a penalty to your sleep efficiency?

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you were doing ok until the last paragraph where you suggest the players character stay in the game, sleeping, after the player has logged out. that would only work if it were impossible for other players to hurt the sleeping player. logging in the next day to find that my character had been brutally mauled and stabbed or beaten while sleeping would seriously piss me off

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This is kind of a wacky idea but let me know what you think as a potential option.

 

MP sleep works the exact same as SP sleep without the time sped up. While sleeping, the character is prone and vulnerable to attack. But instead of the screen going black for the player, it goes into a black and white dream mode. The player can check inventory, check health and skill screens, and chat but otherwise not interact with anything. But they can "see" within their hearing radius. A big red button in the right corner of the screen says, "Wake Up!". The player can hit that button at any time to immediately awaken from the dream state.

 

As I agree "something to do" would be cool, I think being aware of your environment would reduce the risks big time when sleeping. Maybe having only the UI / HUD showing, inventory, health and such, but no world view, I'd like that.

The ultimate veri besterest solution would be a community-made mod that would allow you to play the Challenges modes while asleep (mainly for the last stand one).

Edit :

 

 

 

you were doing ok until the last paragraph where you suggest the players character stay in the game, sleeping, after the player has logged out. that would only work if it were impossible for other players to hurt the sleeping player. logging in the next day to find that my character had been brutally mauled and stabbed or beaten while sleeping would seriously piss me off

Well, imo there should be a delay during which your character stays ingame when disconnect, no matter what. That would prevent wild disconnections when in trouble, or running into someone's base and disconnecting inside before they catch you... so you can come back later and do your dirty deeds.

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This is kind of a wacky idea but let me know what you think as a potential option.

 

MP sleep works the exact same as SP sleep without the time sped up. While sleeping, the character is prone and vulnerable to attack. But instead of the screen going black for the player, it goes into a black and white dream mode. The player can check inventory, check health and skill screens, and chat but otherwise not interact with anything. But they can "see" within their hearing radius. A big red button in the right corner of the screen says, "Wake Up!". The player can hit that button at any time to immediately awaken from the dream state.

 

As I agree "something to do" would be cool, I think being aware of your environment would reduce the risks big time when sleeping. Maybe having only the UI / HUD showing, inventory, health and such, but no world view, I'd like that.

The ultimate veri besterest solution would be a community-made mod that would allow you to play the Challenges modes while asleep (mainly for the last stand one).

Edit :

 

 

 

you were doing ok until the last paragraph where you suggest the players character stay in the game, sleeping, after the player has logged out. that would only work if it were impossible for other players to hurt the sleeping player. logging in the next day to find that my character had been brutally mauled and stabbed or beaten while sleeping would seriously piss me off

Well, imo there should be a delay during which your character stays ingame when disconnect, no matter what. That would prevent wild disconnections when in trouble, or running into someone's base and disconnecting inside before they catch you... so you can come back later and do your dirty deeds.

 

 

100% agree

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you were doing ok until the last paragraph where you suggest the players character stay in the game, sleeping, after the player has logged out. that would only work if it were impossible for other players to hurt the sleeping player. logging in the next day to find that my character had been brutally mauled and stabbed or beaten while sleeping would seriously piss me off

Don't log off tired or choose a better sleeping spot. Or post guards. Think of the thrill of dispatching your enemy while he sleeps. And how much do you really trust your new companion anyway? Enough to sleep with both eyes closed?

You may be pissed off when you return but you might get to watch your dead character wandering the streets eating other people.

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To expand on the trust thing: let's say a new character partnered up with you. You didn't trust him 100%. You tell him you need to log off and your character will sleep.

I would go to sleep in a room with a locked door. And instead of logging off, I'd sleep but listen for someone trying to axe down my door. If I hear chopping, I'd wake up and get my gun.

Point is this: sleeping can build trust between players. Taking turns being vulnerable builds bonds. In the Zombie Apocalypse, trust is more valuable than bullets.

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I know I'm probably in the minority here, so I wouldn't expect it to be the default, but I would really like a multiplayer server option that enabled sleep just as it is - with no fast forwarding.

That would be so boring and broken. If a day

Last 1h a sleep would be from 20-30 mins.

Having 33%-50% of playing time as sleeping is just wrong

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I know I'm probably in the minority here, so I wouldn't expect it to be the default, but I would really like a multiplayer server option that enabled sleep just as it is - with no fast forwarding.

That would be so boring and broken. If a day

Last 1h a sleep would be from 20-30 mins.

Having 33%-50% of playing time as sleeping is just wrong

If a day is 30 mins, sleep for 8 hrs would be 10 minutes.  I personally wouldn't mind given that it's steam and I can use the overlay to browse the web or something - again, I know I'm in the minority and that many find that to be bad game design.  However, if they created a seriously detailed character development system with traits and skills and all sorts of stuff like that, and you spent the time sleeping speccing your character or something, I think they could fill that time with something meaningful without being silly like minigames and the like.

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I know I'm probably in the minority here, so I wouldn't expect it to be the default, but I would really like a multiplayer server option that enabled sleep just as it is - with no fast forwarding.

That would be so boring and broken. If a day

Last 1h a sleep would be from 20-30 mins.

Having 33%-50% of playing time as sleeping is just wrong

 

Depends if you manage your sleep in long nights or if you fracture your day in shorter sleep cycles. Also you overshot the amount of time slept per hour a bit, it would be closer to 15-17mins, if you're not waiting to be completely exhausted and require 12h of sleep.

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Perfectly content with the idea of real-time sleep, personally (and particularly if we're talking about a 15 minute day server).

What I do when I get bored of multiplayer (or single player) but am in a safe place is just open my Internet browser (or other) and tuck PZ to the side and do something else.

I know, risky and potentially foolish to propose that people don't play the game, but that's me. :D

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I love the COOP sleep system, is like 1 or 2 minutes tops of sleep while the other player is doing something else, there was a time where i was sleeping and i woke up with breakfeast of 1/4 of chocolate bar.

 

Also i think it would work in MP, i mean gameplay wise how can you make sleeping fun? You cant unless you add something meta to it. And i like having the concept of if you are going to sleep, you are going to lose the control of your character for a bit of time (1 or 2 minutes?), so you better sleep somewhere safe or with someone on guard.

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Discussing this sleep mechanic for multiplayer must be a headache for the devs, there's so many variables involed, trying to keep it realistic, but playable vs what the general community wants or prefers. But let's face not everyone's needs can be met.

The way I see sleep for multiplayer can be a few things,

1.) as mentioned above every player that sleeps must wait in real time with a black screen until at least everyone sleeps so then a time skip can happen, but personally I don't prefer that option.

2.) have a "bed-time" set, all though unrealistic, it could work I think. At a set time every night all players are forced to sleep. If you can make it to a place of rest with in the set time or grace time you become we'll rested. If you don't make it to a area you pass out and suffer lack of sleep moodles. However one thing I don't like for this option is it takes that sneak attack option aay from the player. I mean who wouldn't want to rob and kill there enemy while there asleep right?

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I know I'm probably in the minority here, so I wouldn't expect it to be the default, but I would really like a multiplayer server option that enabled sleep just as it is - with no fast forwarding.

I agree 100% with this.  PZ is already a niche game; you're catering to people who like slower, more difficult and less action-y gameplay.  This is a natural extension of that, and being able to still chat with your friends or whoever you're playing with will help relieve the tedium.

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I never even considered the PVP implications of sleep, my friends and I would be playing co-op. Currently, if everyone is asleep in co-op, is there time skip?

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2.) have a "bed-time" set, all though unrealistic, it could work I think. At a set time every night all players are forced to sleep. If you can make it to a place of rest with in the set time or grace time you become we'll rested. If you don't make it to a area you pass out and suffer lack of sleep moodles. However one thing I don't like for this option is it takes that sneak attack option aay from the player. I mean who wouldn't want to rob and kill there enemy while there asleep right?

I'm really against that idea ! Firstly because, as you said, it takes the "sneak attack option" away, but not only : you simply can't choose to go out by night anymore, which is too bad because zombies see less during night time. It also takes freedom of choice away from the player, you're not in control of when & where & how you want to sleep. And what would happen if a horde bangs on your door during the "forced sleep-time" ?

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Sleep idea:

Screen goes black, sleep happens in real time, no fast forward BUT a new window pops up with a recorded video of your play since last sleep. You can re-watch, rewind, pause as you wait.

It's kinda like dreaming, your memories are getting encoded in the brain. You have the option of waking up at any time but a Refresh meter tracks your progress from rest. Beds refresh faster. Others more slowly. Players could also chat and check character menus.

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I like the idea, I think something similar had been proposed as well, like a slideshow of screenshots automatically taken during your day, might be less of a pain in the ass to code that a "video" footage you could rewind and all.

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Sleep idea:

Screen goes black, sleep happens in real time, no fast forward BUT a new window pops up with a recorded video of your play since last sleep. You can re-watch, rewind, pause as you wait.

It's kinda like dreaming, your memories are getting encoded in the brain. You have the option of waking up at any time but a Refresh meter tracks your progress from rest. Beds refresh faster. Others more slowly. Players could also chat and check character menus.

Well this is a friggin' excellent idea.

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