The AI in Powargrid has been called intelligent and even devilish. But since humans are much better than the AI at taunting, throwing insults, gloating and being sore losers, the real fun for many players is to play against - and try to defeat - a human opponent.
To multiply this fun, we've added multiplayer matches with more than two players. Hence the multimultiplayer update - we couldn't find a real word to use :). You can now host multiplayer games for up to eight people. You can choose whether to fight in teams or go for free for all mayhem.
One thing worth of mention is that we wanted to support any number of players up to eight. But since Powargrid is played on a square grid, there is no obvious balanced placing for other numbers of players than 2, 4 or 8. Just take a look at the examples above.
In order to get balance into the starting positions, we've had to juggle with the distance between power plants, the distance to tiles from where other players' power plants can be shot, how far away the starting positions are from corners and which building each player starts with. On top of that, the starting positions shouldn't just be as fair as possible, they should look fair as well. On the other hand, what looks fair at first may not be as balanced when you look closer. Take a look at these two eight player starts:
And even then, the lakes in the middle of this map create an asymmetry we can't solve here. But that's a problem you'll have to live with. Just like you'll have to live with the fact that the main challenge in winning an eight player free for all lies in navigating the social interactions, not in an (un)favourable starting position ;).
In the end, we hand-picked all starting locations for each of the maps for each number of players. Do let us know if you have an opinion on whether we did a good job.
The blue-hued nighttime map you see in the screenshots above is our new map, Marsh to War, which we announced in our previous post. It can be used for both skirmish and (multi)multiplayer matches with up to eight players. The gameplay is quite different from the other maps and we hope you'll enjoy it.
Along with the update, we've also made a demo version available, with the first five missions of the campaign. While we (of course) hope to reach new players with the demo, we also had existing players in mind. With the demo, you can join (but not host) multiplayer games. So if you own the full version of Powargrid, you can always play a (multi)multiplayer game with your friends, even if they only have the demo.
Something that has bugged us for a while is that the visuals for the sixth mission (Seeing Red) do not compare favourably to those for the rest of the game. What's more, the idea that you're on a small mesa / hilltop in the same jungle you fought the previous mission doesn't show. Fortunately, Michiel had a brainwave that solves both these issues. He tweaked the terrain, removed a lot of the trees and added a background that shows the previous battlefield in the distance. What we especially like is that at first glance it simply looks better without immediately recognising what the background is until you focus on it. Or that's what our first tests showed at least. Have a look for yourself:
- Willem -