@ E - I think part of the problem with "demand" is that FS2, HLP, and related entities are heavy
on the single player focus. Multi for all the time I've been around HLP, has never, ever, been viewed with
consistent joy or real positive feelings. If you need proof, take a look through the last 2 years of multi threads here.
Part of it is the community mindset shifted against multi in a subtle way, maybe folks are predisposed towards a campaign
narrative? I get the sense though, it's more of "we're limited in doing anything with it, and it's not going anywhere, it's cumbersome to
get working for players, so why bother?"
A big part of that IMO is the lag / inability to kill anything like you should. In '99 you could get away with it, in today's
world of Steam, broadband, etc - it doesn't measure up at all. When you pull the trigger you expect a result, not 40,000 rounds later you finally score. Which granted, I'm being illustrative, but it's just plain really really bad as a comparative experience. There's mixed feelings on the matter I'm sure, but if we want to get some of the space sim fanbase back from consoles and a dead market, we need to present ourselves (FSO) as attractive. Sure SCP, the upgrade project, mods, etc are doing all they can there, but most games nowadays live & die by their multiplayer component.
As to demand, I believe there's more mods needing it that you'd expect. We certainly need it, Stellar Assault needs it, FotG I imagine
will need it, Diaspora "should" want it after the great lag battles of BtRL, SoL could probably do some nice things with multiplayer.
Need I go on? There's 3 top showcase mods of FSO right there.
I can see from a "existing stuff that needs coding" perspective, with limited coders, that it wouldn't rank high on the list considering the state
of current released mods and community view of multi. That's fine. What I "am" concerned about is getting dialogue started so we can figure out what we need to get it going, particularly if it means we need to go hunt down new coder(s).
@kara - If you're talking about rewriting the loadout screen from a code perspective, I'm not able to comment there. If you mean it needs
a graphical overhaul, then I already gave E a basic replacement that'd work for proof of concept. It's just me, but I'd chop the whole menu interface up for the selection screens and remake them. There's a lot of inefficient space usage there. But I realize you don't want to break
with the existing FS2 layout.
Realistically I'd like to shoot for 32 players possible in the long run. But baby steps and planning first...