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Steam's Remote Play Together

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,480
451
126
Valve has added a new beta feature to Steam today called Remote Play Together. The feature is designed to allow people to play couch co-op games over the Internet and will automatically be available for any game tagged with a feature like "Local Co-Op" on Steam. The feature only requires the hosting player to own the game, and it will work by streaming the gameplay video to up to three other players while those players will transmit their input back to the host. If you're hosting, Valve recommends 10Mbps upload per remote player.

Personally, I'm a bit fond of this feature, and it's nice that it's being built right into Steam. There are some good games available such as Overcooked, Towerfall, or Lovers in Dangerous Spacetime that are local-only multiplayer, and it would be nice to play these games with others.
 

nakedfrog

No Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
50,075
2,776
126
Interesting, I thought games with local co-op typically had online too (I'm normally only looking for local co-op so haven't particularly paid attention to whether they had online).
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,480
451
126
Interesting, I thought games with local co-op typically had online too (I'm normally only looking for local co-op so haven't particularly paid attention to whether they had online).
I'd say that they do more often than not, but there are still a few games that were just never developed with online play. I don't know if the developers just didn't really have the resources to develop a good online implementation, or if they were focused on that couch co-op aspect. I mean... I've played some of the aforementioned games with people in the same room, and it certainly is quite a bit of fun. Although, I think the developers understand the deficiencies with their game, because I tend to see online play added into sequels such as Overcooked 2.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,480
451
126
By the way, Remote Play Together is now out of beta and available in the default client, and Steam is currently doing a sale in support of local co-op or local versus games that would work well with Remote Play Together.
 

GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
2,415
836
136
This is a great feature, just a shame that it's built around streaming and all the bandwidth requirements that comes with. Would have preferred both players just own the game and the controller inputs are transmitted and synced.

Lot of announcements from Valve recently, looks like Epic might be getting under Valve's skin here...
 

WhiteNoise

Senior member
Jun 22, 2016
954
121
106
Yeah, the bandwidth requirement is too much for me. I have 460Mbps down but only 20Mbps up. In reality, I get the full download but my upload is usually sitting around 14Mbps. Then again I don't really care about this feature though it is kinda cool.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,480
451
126
This is a great feature, just a shame that it's built around streaming and all the bandwidth requirements that comes with. Would have preferred both players just own the game and the controller inputs are transmitted and synced.
The problem is that streaming the content is a simple and effective solution, but of course, it's one that doesn't really fit as well into the American Internet infrastructure given the lackluster focus on upload capability. (Apart from a lower price, that's one big reason why I've been waiting for a fiber connection.) What this could probably heavily benefit from is the support for h.265 encoding. However, even with that, you'd want the host to have hardware encoding support and the clients to have hardware decoding support. (The latter may not be that big of a deal given they aren't running a game, and can spare CPU cycles.)

Your solution may be plausible... but definitely far more complex. The first hurdle is that it would require an outside setup prior to executing the game as the same person would need to be player one on each game. The second problem is that it would require all players to contain the same DLC and save setup. Essentially, each player must be executing from the same environment (whether it's a copy or the original). Now, the final issue is likely the death knell of it... network anomalies. In other words, how do you stay synchronized? In a game with online multiplayer, these synchronizations are performed at the game's netcode level, but you'd have to have Steam attempt to modify the game state to resynchronize the game.
 

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