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[Freeciv] Re: play by email version

[Freeciv] Re: play by email version

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To: John Allman <allmanj@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: freeciv@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Freeciv] Re: play by email version
From: Raimar Falke <rf13@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 12:39:07 +0100

On Wed, Mar 26, 2003 at 10:09:18AM +0000, John Allman wrote:
> Raimar Falke wrote:
> >As you point out it will change the game a lot (both gameplay and also
> >the code). IMHO will this create another game.
> >
> >     Raimar
> >
> This is exactly what i'd like to avoid if at all possible:( If a pbem 
> module couldn't be integrated into the game then it would be nice if a 
> pbem version could build on top of the code in such a manner that after 
> each freeciv release the pbem version could be rebuilt without 
> alteration and keep the new features. 

The solution which comes at first to mind is to use a proxy. The
unchanged client connects to proxy server (each player has one) and
the proxy server collects the commands and than sends these to the
"real" server. The "real" server than executes the commands in some
(to be defined) fair way.

> Something like the way phoenix builds on top of mozilla? (excuse my
> ignorance if i am mistaken, but that is the way i understand phoenix
> to work).

I have heard of Phoenix but I have no idea how it works. The home page
says: "Phoenix is a redesign of the Mozilla browser component
... written using the XUL user interface language and designed to be
cross-platform." So the "core" Mozilla is like libglade and the user
only have to define the unterface with an xml input?!

I have to admit I never played VGA Planets (the only PBEM game I
know). So I'm not sure what the main motivation for PBEM is. Is it the
reduced online time, the ability/need to think really hard about the
turn, the "hard" turn mode (I would call freeciv's mode here "soft")
or another reason?

I have another proposal which at least takes are of some points. After
each turn the server creates a savegame for each player (these
savegames only contain the information which the player really
has). These savegames are than transferred to the players (by email
for example to get the EM in PBEM ;) ). The player than loads his
savegame in his local server and inspects the state. He plans his
actions (and if required take notes on paper). There is now the real
server somewhere in the net. There is now a time window (6h for
example) in which the players can connect to the server and have to
make their actions. At this time they can also make interactive things
like diplomacy. The last step can be changed to be a bit more fair
(but loosing flexibility) instead of a give timewindow the server
starts if all players connect to the server. This is fairer since all
players have to same chance to do actions. But this is also a
who-clicks-faster thing.

This last problem is the one which would need the most changes. To
solve this the server has to be modified to queue up commands and than
execute than in a (to be defined) fair way.


 email: rf13@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 "If at first you don't succeed... well so much for skydiving."

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