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Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games

Valve has informed developers that they are working on a method for adding online multiplayer support to games with local multiplayer functionality. This was done privately, but Ars Technica notes that Valve's letter on the topic is posted on the Unity Forums. Word is this will require the addition of no online features or servers, and should launch in beta form on October 21st. Interestingly, since this emulates local multiplayer, only the host needs to own the game being played. Here's the FAQ on the topic:
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
When is the Remote Play Together Beta launching?

The beta will launch the week of October 21. All users of the Steam Beta client will be able to access this feature.
What games will be included in the beta?
All games tagged with local co-op, local multiplayer, or split-screen will be included.
Do all players need to own the game in order to play it using Remote Play Together?
Remote Play Together is designed to re-create the experience of playing a game with a friend at your PC. Only the host needs to own the game to start a Remote Play Together session with their friends.
Does this mean anyone can play my game without buying it?
Similar to visiting a friendís home to play a game, Remote Play Together is designed for small groups of Steam friends to enjoy games together. In order to play a game using Remote Play Together, a host must own the game and manually send an invite to each friend to play. When a game is exited, the remote play session is terminated. We donít believe itís feasible to use Remote Play Together to avoid purchasing games on Steam entirely, and like other promotional tools and features, we believe the additional exposure and fun players have will lead to additional revenue and player growth.
Can I opt-out of the beta?
Yes, though we would encourage you to try things out in the beta. If you prefer not to participate, let us know by emailing the Steam team at SteamPublish@valvesoftware.com.
https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=3629-RIAV-1617#whatisit
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20. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 11, 2019, 01:26 Dash
 
So now I'll finally be able to play https://store.steampowered.com/app/252110/Lovers_in_a_Dangerous_Spacetime/ with friends online?

HELL YES.
 
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19. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 17:03 jdreyer
 
theglaze wrote on Oct 10, 2019, 14:43:
MacLeod wrote on Oct 10, 2019, 14:31:
This still sounds like same screen support to me, not LAN play.

I agree.

A lot of my 'couch party games' are reflex-based battle games, meaning the host would have a significant advantage because of 0ms latency.

If Valve is smart, they should put in some kind of 'host handicap' to make the playing field even for everyone participating.
Yeah, this is going to work best for same-screen local coop games like the Lego games or Trine. It will also work well for competitive same-screen local turn based games like Worms. It may not work out as well for same-screen local action oriented games like split screen racing in Grid 2 or fighting games like Injustice: Gods Among Us.
 
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18. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 16:51 jdreyer
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Oct 10, 2019, 13:19:
They're just doing this to collect more data from "local" (LOL) gaming sessions. Have fun getting the shit spied out of y'all!

I'm pretty sure this is less about data collection, and more about what a few Valve employees think is cool: " Wouldn't it be awesome if we could play local Worms multiplayer, but remotely?"
 
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The land in Minecraft is flat, Minecraft simulates the Earth, ergo the Earth is flat.
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17. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 16:26 RedEye9
 
Riahderymnmaddog wrote on Oct 10, 2019, 15:20:
One more feature that Epic Games Store doesn't have. I swear, Tim Sweeney is so pathetic.
At this rate there's no way EGS can ever catchup.
#SlowSteamsProgress
 
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16. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 16:05 Cutter
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Oct 10, 2019, 13:19:
They're just doing this to collect more data from "local" (LOL) gaming sessions. Have fun getting the shit spied out of y'all!

To what end? We already know they collect and sell user data. How would this be any different? They'll watch you even closer? What games do you actually play if you won't use digital platforms? GOG? Or are they spying on you too?

This site really needs a :tinfoil hat: smilie.
 
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15. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 15:20 Riahderymnmaddog
 
One more feature that Epic Games Store doesn't have. I swear, Tim Sweeney is so pathetic.  
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14. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 15:17 Darks
 
Beamer wrote on Oct 10, 2019, 14:46:
Per Valve:
To clarify: it really is only for shared-screen or split-screen games. The tech is streaming your screen to your friend and capturing their input and sending it back to the game, so you are both playing the same game, looking at the same thing.


So yes, all it does is send Player A's screen to Player B, and Player B's input to Player A. It's for games you play together on one screen, like You Don't Know Jack.

If this is really what it is, its going to be bad. Lag infested input. Nvidia tried this once before and it failed miserably.
 
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http://www.moddb.com/mods/eye-of-the-beholder-ii-ledgend-of-darkmoon
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13. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 15:06 Nullity
 
Burrito of Peace wrote on Oct 10, 2019, 12:24:
Putting up a VPN is pretty simple these days. There are numerous articles on how to do so for beginners. Some routers, both mid and high end, already have VPN support built in right out of the box.

I am simply awed by this "innovation" from Valve.
Really? You of all people should understand that it's not *just* a VPN. Steam also has to provide some form of low-latency screen sharing and way to hook into the game's input (even if just relayed through the host machine).

Yes, there are tools available that one could probably set up a similar thing manually, but being all baked into Steam for easy use is a pretty awesome feature to have.

(EDIT: It's possible that a VPN wouldn't even be necessary. Depending on the tech they're using, Steam could handle it all directly, as long as it wouldn't introduce too much latency.)

Also, here is an apt GIF I just made for this news... https://i.imgur.com/T0ZNvKV.gif
 
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12. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 14:46 Beamer
 
Per Valve:
To clarify: it really is only for shared-screen or split-screen games. The tech is streaming your screen to your friend and capturing their input and sending it back to the game, so you are both playing the same game, looking at the same thing.


So yes, all it does is send Player A's screen to Player B, and Player B's input to Player A. It's for games you play together on one screen, like You Don't Know Jack.
 



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11. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 14:43 theglaze
 
MacLeod wrote on Oct 10, 2019, 14:31:
This still sounds like same screen support to me, not LAN play.

I agree.

A lot of my 'couch party games' are reflex-based battle games, meaning the host would have a significant advantage because of 0ms latency.

If Valve is smart, they should put in some kind of 'host handicap' to make the playing field even for everyone participating.
 
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10. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 14:31 MacLeod
 
Darks wrote on Oct 10, 2019, 14:13:
Try reading again.

"since this emulates local multiplayer,"

And this!!

"All games tagged with local co-op, local multiplayer, or split-screen will be included"


This still sounds like same screen support to me, not LAN play.

Especially since they're saying only the host needs the game, which if it was working like a LAN, each person would need to be running a copy.

it sounds like a Steam implementation of Parsec to me. I could be wrong though, and it might include LAN play, but I'm just going by how I'm interpreting the info provided.

 
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9. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 14:13 Darks
 
Watter wrote on Oct 10, 2019, 12:39:
From the FAQ quoted directly above:
What games will be included in the beta?
All games tagged with local co-op, local multiplayer, or split-screen will be included.
I don't see LAN mentioned anywhere above or in the linked support document.


Try reading again.

"since this emulates local multiplayer,"

And this!!

"All games tagged with local co-op, local multiplayer, or split-screen will be included"

 
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8. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 13:19 CJ_Parker
 
They're just doing this to collect more data from "local" (LOL) gaming sessions. Have fun getting the shit spied out of y'all!  
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7. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 12:39 Watter
 
From the FAQ quoted directly above:
What games will be included in the beta?
All games tagged with local co-op, local multiplayer, or split-screen will be included.
I don't see LAN mentioned anywhere above or in the linked support document.

 
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6. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 12:29 Darks
 
Orogogus wrote on Oct 10, 2019, 11:39:
Darks wrote on Oct 10, 2019, 11:10:
This is so kewl. Adding a VPN to allow Local lan games is so bad ass.

Steam = Local Lan play soon.
EGS = still no cart!

Eat your heart out Epic!!

I don't think this is LAN play, like DOOM. I think it's same-screen play, like what the PS4 has, so more like Gauntlet or the LEGO games. I believe it's an online streaming feature, again like the PS4.

I think you would be wrong, they are specifically saying local lan. There is no other version of the word local lan. Local lan is locally played games though the local network.

That means Steam is implementing some kind of VPN very much like how Game Ranger works.
 
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5. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 12:24 Burrito of Peace
 
Putting up a VPN is pretty simple these days. There are numerous articles on how to do so for beginners. Some routers, both mid and high end, already have VPN support built in right out of the box.

I am simply awed by this "innovation" from Valve.
 
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4. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 11:39 Orogogus
 
Darks wrote on Oct 10, 2019, 11:10:
This is so kewl. Adding a VPN to allow Local lan games is so bad ass.

Steam = Local Lan play soon.
EGS = still no cart!

Eat your heart out Epic!!

I don't think this is LAN play, like DOOM. I think it's same-screen play, like what the PS4 has, so more like Gauntlet or the LEGO games. I believe it's an online streaming feature, again like the PS4.
 
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3. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 11:30 theglaze
 
Valve be like "sup, EGS" Nahnah  
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2. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 11:25 Acleacius
 
Steam Bastards, damn you and your constant innovations to the gaming universe!!! Ahoy  
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1. Re: Steam Adding Online Support to Local Multiplayer Games Oct 10, 2019, 11:10 Darks
 
This is so kewl. Adding a VPN to allow Local lan games is so bad ass.

Steam = Local Lan play soon.
EGS = still no cart!

Eat your heart out Epic!!
 
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Creator of the Neverwnter Nights Eye of the Beholder Series of Mods.

http://www.moddb.com/mods/eye-of-the-beholder-ii-ledgend-of-darkmoon
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