I have never played in a PBEM game and I will tell you why. I am currently OBSERVING a few through various internet groups, and while I find it entertaining, the joy in watching those is that when the updates come, they come, and I don't care. I remember when I played EiA in high school. Some weeks just couldn't get by quick enough for that fix. When I had big ideas in my head, I couldn't wait to get back to the board. While watching those games is slightly entertaining, there is no way I'd be havnig fun as one of the players. They are just painfully slow. It sounds like you got lucky and found a really good PBEM game, but I think that is an exception rather than the rule.
I won't lie. Even IP play scares me. Even if you get a group of guys who committ to playing every Sunday (as an example) from 5-10, it only takes one guy each week to derail things. I'd hate to be knee deep in a good game and then start getting in scenarios where every week it seems like someone is having something come up. One of the things I'd love to see for IP play is the ability for EiA to not have to be "full screen" to run. That way a group could use AIM for diplomacy (as well as their chat room feature for general discussion/BSing while someone is moving). This would allow Marshall to not even have to bother with creating a chat feature. He could then just focus his efforts on allowing someone to host, and having everyone's moves sent to the host, which would then spit them back out to other clients attached to the game. In all honesty, and I am no game programmer, I would think that it shouldnt be THAT hard to make IP play, if you just count on someone else like AIM, Yahoo, or MSN to handle all the chat functions. Simply focus efforts on moving gameplay between connected IP addresses, and allow someone as host to perform all the send and receives, and it should be relatively doable. The only change to the game interface would be in allowing the game window to be minimized, maximized, and resized like a regular Windows pop up box.
1. I've been a proponent of Internet play for ~ 4 years now. So that would make me "happy" (as you say).
2. You didn't answer my question: If PBEM was more streamlined, would that interest you? For example, if eco and dip phases were simultaneous. Something like that. The game would no longer be as slow.
3. Since you haven't played in a PBEM game I'm curious as to how you know it's "slow". I am currently in 3, and your right, 2 of them are very slow; HOWEVER, one of them is VERY FAST. I actually believe that at times we get through more play than you would if you sat down once a week for Internet play for 5 hours. My point is that it all depends on the players. In those 2 games the turnarounds are very slow (48 hours) and people really take their time. In those 2 games, yes I absolutely agree with you that the game is too slow and is quickly losing my interest, but I'm still playing and it's not the end all be all of my existance, so it's there. In my 1 game, people are super committed to playing a fast game and we have covered over a year in ~2 months real time. Maybe we all work at computer workstations, I don't know, but it's really going fast, which is great.
If the PBEM was streamlined even more than these PBEM games would really go fast if you have a group of dedicated players (which, I admit, is apparently hard to find).
< Message edited by RayKinStL -- 7/31/2008 7:01:26 PM >