An indie game developer has likely leaked a massive new update to how multiplayer games are going to be played on Steam. The developer posted an official email he received from Valve which introduces Remote Play Together to devs. This new Steam feature aims to enable online gameplay for local multiplayer games.
A user named Aiursrage2k posted the email he got from Valve in the user forums of Unity, the popular free game engine many indie devs choose to create their games with. Valve’s email is clearly directed for developers and explains what Remote Play Together is and how it will work. It makes sense that Valve is contacting developers first as to clear misunderstandings whether users will be able to play games they don’t own.
The answers regarding this by Valve are pretty clear. Remote Play Together will merely allow any game that is tagged as local multiplayer, local co-op or split-screen to be played with other people over the internet. It will work like this. The owner of a game that qualifies the requirements stated above, can send an invite to one of their friends while in-game. Valve describes this just like handing a controller to a friend locally, just in a virtual realm. This second player will then receive a video stream of the game being played by the original owner. His/her controller input will then be monitored and streamed back to Player 1.
This feature is designed to add value to multiplayer games which do not already have native online capabilities. It will soon be enjoyed among friends online using the Remote Play Together Beta, enabling fans to introduce your local multiplayer game to new audiences. Note that multiplayer games which are not explicitly designed for local play are still best enjoyed using the game’s built-in online system.
In theory, this will work very similar to how Google, Sony and Microsoft are offering game streaming over the internet. In this case, it’s just relegated to local multiplayer games. Obviously, since the game will be streamed from the user’s PC, a good internet connection is recommended. Valve suggests 10-30 Mbps internet connection for low latency gameplay. The service will allow 1080p resolutions at 60 FPS and up to 4 players.
Remote Play Together will launch in beta this month, October 21st on the Steam Beta client. You can opt into the beta client by going into Settings>Account and then clicking on Beta Participation.