Brainstorm, Descent Manager, Rankings, Matchmaking

The return of Descent! Forum for the reboot which will be developed by Descendent Studios.

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Psyllo
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Brainstorm, Descent Manager, Rankings, Matchmaking

Post by Psyllo » Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:26 pm

What's up guys. I have an attached mock-up, but read this first.

I have been inactive in the community since the late 90's although I have revisited a few times, but mostly in the early 2000's. I started playing on Kali in 1995, joined the PPG and helped form UF. A lot of you know me, but I wanted introduce myself in either case because I have only really been back a couple days.

I have caught up on what's going on in the community and have spent a lot of time going over Descent Underground. Drakona, LotharBot and others have helped me with that.

I need to start a project soon as I have time now to get it jumpstarted. I have had a few ideas about what that project would be. Really, what I am asking is for you to help brainstorm what would be a worthy project that perhaps both of us find useful.

In considering what will be needed in the D:U community in the near future rankings and matchmaking came to mind. Microsoft has lead the way historically in this (as far as I can tell from the research papers I have been scanning) and there is lots of good information available about how to create both rankings (usually extensions of the Elo idea) and matchmaking (two separate ideas). My most intimate familiarity with theses systems is from having played Dota 2, which has what they call an MMR (your rank) and when you go to "Find Game" it matches you up with appropriate competition. This is what D:U will need, by all accounts, as I've read through their forums.

Another idea spawned out of a day dream about how to revitalize the D1/D2 community. It seemed to me that if playing D1/D2 was as easy as clicking next, next, next, "Find Match" then people would start showing up.

Put the ideas together and perhaps you have something like the following mock-up. As you can see it raises many questions.

I was considering posting on the descendentstudios.com forum, but this mock-up is broader. I don't think they want their new Underground product presented in this way any time soon. The part that makes sense to talk to them about is rankings and matchmaking solutions.

I am not attached to these ideas. Feel free to tear them apart.
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DescentMan.png
Purchase, Install, Find Match
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Lothar
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Re: Brainstorm, Descent Manager, Rankings, Matchmaking

Post by Lothar » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:32 pm

Psyllo wrote:rankings and matchmaking came to mind
There are a lot of plans in place for that already.

Elo is actually a fairly weak rating system for a game like this, because it's based purely on win/loss. If you have a lot of other data -- like kill/death ratio, flag captures or returns, and various other metrics, you can have a system that's much more responsive than Elo. (We home-rolled an algorithm for DCL that seems to get people pretty close to right within usually 2-5 matches.)
how to revitalize the D1/D2 community. It seemed to me that if playing D1/D2 was as easy as clicking next, next, next, "Find Match" then people would start showing up
The D1/D2 community was like 5 people 3 years ago. It's been slowly revitalized -- Rangers brought some people back, and then Jediluke and kiln brought some people back, and Retro/DCL brought people back, and the Steam release brought people back, and D:U brought people back. I think we've had about 80 people active in multi, which is not huge, but it's a big gain over a couple years ago.

Making it even easier would probably bring a few more people back, but I think the main thing is getting the info out there. We occasionally lose someone who doesn't want to install/configure Descent, but more often we lose people because they either start playing and lose too much, or they don't realize that the game is still around.

Still, something tied to D:U that lets people launch D1, D2, or D3 would be super nice. We've got about 11,000 people who have paid money for D:U right now, and we'll probably get more like 100,000 when the game hits commercial release. Even if only 1% of people who pick up D:U are interested in the other Descents, that would drastically increase our player base.
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Psyllo
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Re: Brainstorm, Descent Manager, Rankings, Matchmaking

Post by Psyllo » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:58 pm

There are a lot of plans in place for that already.
Great! What has been said? What has been planned? For which feature and for which game?

Do you have any comments on the topic of matchmaking for D1/D2 or D:U?
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Re: Brainstorm, Descent Manager, Rankings, Matchmaking

Post by Sirius » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:17 am

That's for D:U. There's not a whole lot of point doing matchmaking with the first three games with the player counts we have right now.
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