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[Freeciv] Re: play by email version

[Freeciv] Re: play by email version

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To: Raimar Falke <rf13@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: John Allman <allmanj@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, freeciv@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Freeciv] Re: play by email version
From: Jason Short <jdorje@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: 26 Mar 2003 00:25:52 -0500

On Tue, 2003-03-25 at 13:58, Raimar Falke wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 25, 2003 at 09:36:21AM +0000, John Allman wrote:
> > Hi - i'm new to freeciv but it looks great. I had a look on the site but 
> > there doesn't appear to be a play by email version of the game. Is there 
> > one being developed or are there any plans to develop one?
> This feature is requested often but AFAIK nobody is working on it and
> no patch exists. One solution is to play with a large timeout of 1 day
> or so.

I had a few thoughts on what would be needed for such an
implementation.  But then I ran into a wall, and I'm sure in any case
there are many things I haven't thought of.

I assume we want to be sending one e-mail per player per turn.  This
e-mail is sent to the server, which also receives every other player's
emails and sends an e-mail back to each player.

There are two things this implementation would need:

1. Change the network protocol to deal with binary files that can be
emailed rather than a continuous stream.

2. Extend client functionality & change game rules so that the server
and client don't need to communicate at all *during* a turn.  This is
assuming one email per turn will be sent.

#1 should be pretty easy; the dataio code just needs to be extended. 
Basically, we still do have a continuous stream of data - it's being
sent in e-mail rather than through TCP.

#2 would be much harder.  To begin with, nobody can make moves during
the turn - we'd need something like the proposed goto-at-end-of-turn
system where everyone enters goto moves and the server processes them
all at the end of the turn.

But this is just the beginning.  Currently almost every player action
involves the client sending a packet to the server and receiving another
packet in return.  Here the return packet needs to be cut out.  In most
cases this just means the client needs to know more about the game

My question is, what is the point?  The only advantage I can see to
play-by-email is that a direct connection to the server is not
required.  But the implementation would have many spin-off benefits from
reduced lag effects.


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