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Less of a game, more like work

 
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Less of a game, more like work - 3/22/2010 10:26:23 PM   
NeverMan

 

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I know this has been brought up before but this game almost always feels more like work then fun. Why?

Well, for starters, I had to download 18 files today from google groups BEFORE I could do my turn. I spent about 1/5 of the time playing and the other 4/5 downloading and managing (unzipping, etc) the files.

I understand this isn't a priority.
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RE: Less of a game, more like work - 3/23/2010 10:12:01 AM   
Grognot

 

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FWIW, the file transfer can be eased via something like Dropbox.

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RE: Less of a game, more like work - 3/23/2010 12:55:39 PM   
Marshall Ellis


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I've got the autozip feature coded as well as the auto email feature which should help here BUT I've not tested them enough yet to release since I'm a little behind on some issues.

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RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/2/2010 7:31:36 PM   
StCyr

 

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quote:

I'm a little behind on some issues



LOL! No, no Marshal, don´t worry, just go on with your great work...

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RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/3/2010 5:14:34 AM   
gazfun


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Life is tough isnt it mate

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RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/3/2010 2:59:57 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

Life is tough isnt it mate


Sure must be. "My toy doesn't work right!"

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RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/3/2010 10:04:09 PM   
StCyr

 

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exactly - the toy does not work. I am glad we agree

But does that make life tough ? Take it easy

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RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/3/2010 10:28:53 PM   
pzgndr

 

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Exactly.  In real life, I pay tens of thousands of dollars in taxes for a stupid government that doesn't work and doesn't care.  I don't have any patience left over to whine about a game, a toy for entertainment, which is in fact playable and entertaining, despite its faults.

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Post #: 8
RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/4/2010 3:42:21 AM   
borner


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Ah pz, I missed you while I was away. seriously though, why can't the game work by simply loading the last file, instead of 18 like neverman says. I have never understood this.

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RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/4/2010 5:25:15 AM   
flipperwasirish


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quote:

ORIGINAL: borner

Ah pz, I missed you while I was away. seriously though, why can't the game work by simply loading the last file, instead of 18 like neverman says. I have never understood this.


Perhaps it is poor phrasing, I don't know what you don't understand?

This was explained by Marshall in a thread you started back in November.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2283110

Start with your first post and try reading it again and maybe you will understand the "why".

If not, maybe you have to phrase what you don't understand another way so someone can try to explain it to you. I've been frustrated before when I didn't understand something, sooner or later it will click, when it does you will know.



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Post #: 10
RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/4/2010 8:35:11 AM   
borner


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all I remember is that marshall said it would not allow you to see the moves of those before you. In situations where the player does not care, I still do not understand why the game cannot go forward from the latest file, instead of all having to be loaded.

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Post #: 11
RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/4/2010 4:39:59 PM   
flipperwasirish


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quote:

ORIGINAL: borner

all I remember is that marshall said it would not allow you to see the moves of those before you. In situations where the player does not care, I still do not understand why the game cannot go forward from the latest file, instead of all having to be loaded.


* The answer as of today is becasue the game needs all the files to move foward.
* The quote below was taken from the thread you started in November that I asked you to re-read. Basically, if he figures out a way to do this he will look at it.

Is this now understandable?

quote:

ORIGINAL: Marshall Ellis

Not today.
I'm not real sure how I could go with less files (One file per player per phase) without hampering viewable info.
At this point, I'm saying no-can-do but if a method hits me in the face then I will always look at it...




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Post #: 12
RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/4/2010 5:57:35 PM   
borner


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Yes, Flippie, that is basically my point. Marshall says you loose viewable info, but over a stretch of phases... IE, Prussia loading all the naval phases..... where you do not care about what happened, why thcan't we go forward by either loading everything or loading the last file? I appreciate your attempted input to my question - if that is honestly your intent, but I do not think it is as silly a quesiton as you seem to think it is. Also, Marshall answers that he cannot do it, but not really why he can't. He just states what info would be lost. I very different thing in my opinion.

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RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/4/2010 8:05:51 PM   
flipperwasirish


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I didn't think it was silly, I thought you didn't understand. As I have said I have been stuck not understanding things before, but once I did often it seemed silly that "I" didn't understand from the beginning.

Perhaps Marshall can phrase things in a better way for you. But from my experiance, without understanding the code in a program (at its roots) it is difficult to grasp why what seems to be an easy idea cannot be changed without signifigant effort involved.

You asked and I tried to help. If I can help in the future I will. But with this issue, to explain the nuts and bolts of the program to you requires more info than anyone but Marshall has available. From re-reading your November thread last night I believe Marshall said somewhere that he was concentrating on areas other then PBEM for a while, so I am unsure how this effects getting a more detailed answer to your question.







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RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/4/2010 8:37:12 PM   
borner


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my apologies, I took your replies too personally. It's actually Neverman's question, and one I happen to agree with. If it cannot be done, given the way the code of the game is written, fine. I can understand that. However, if the concern is just that the recap of what happened between loaded turns, in some cases i think a lot of players would be willing to make the trade off. Simply put, if it is possible, it would be nice to have the option.


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Post #: 15
RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/4/2010 10:19:11 PM   
flipperwasirish


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quote:

ORIGINAL: borner
my apologies, I took your replies too personally.

No apology needed.
quote:

ORIGINAL: borner
It's actually Neverman's question, and one I happen to agree with. If it cannot be done, given the way the code of the game is written, fine. I can understand that.

Only Marshall can say if it cannot be done, which he has not said. What he has said is changing it is not as simple people think it is, and if possible at all it would require major effort. And that at present this issue isn't at the top of the list of current priorities.
quote:

ORIGINAL: borner
However, if the concern is just that the recap of what happened between loaded turns, in some cases i think a lot of players would be willing to make the trade off. Simply put, if it is possible, it would be nice to have the option.

Creating this as an option is more difficult than just changing how the game works now (Options/giving choices are always more work). It may be possible (we don't know), but if it is than it comes down to where resources will be expended, and that, for now, Marshall has answered when he said he was working on other areas at present (ie: back in November).

I hope my points are clear, I figure anything that can save Marshall time allows him more time to work on the game.



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RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/5/2010 12:01:48 AM   
NeverMan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: borner

Ah pz, I missed you while I was away. seriously though, why can't the game work by simply loading the last file, instead of 18 like neverman says. I have never understood this.


Simple answer: poor coding!

(in reply to borner)
Post #: 17
RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/5/2010 10:19:37 AM   
flipperwasirish


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quote:

ORIGINAL: NeverMan


quote:

ORIGINAL: borner

Ah pz, I missed you while I was away. seriously though, why can't the game work by simply loading the last file, instead of 18 like neverman says. I have never understood this.


Simple answer: poor coding!


Neverman,

I accept that you like throwing out your little digs at this program but it does come across as childish. The day you aquire the rights to the code and actually study it is when you could prove it is poor coding (or come to find out you are wrong). You can (and have) say you don't like the program and be within your knowledge, but anything more in depth is guess work on your part and is not something a mature person would try to imply as fact. As an example, not all variables can be controlled, a program can be written perfectly and still not get the desired result, in my opinion you cannot or don't want to grasp this fact. Which is why I tend to chuckle when I see you comment on the code, as it has little worth beyond making me laugh. But, laughing is a good thing most of the time.

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RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/5/2010 12:40:48 PM   
Marshall Ellis


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quote:

ORIGINAL: NeverMan


quote:

ORIGINAL: borner

Ah pz, I missed you while I was away. seriously though, why can't the game work by simply loading the last file, instead of 18 like neverman says. I have never understood this.


Simple answer: poor coding!


OUCH!
That's it Neverman! You're off my Xmas card list AGAIN! LOL!

FYI...
The files are not cumulative. They are turn files of a certain player. It was designed this way because the original engine design was simultaneous move so it could not be cumulative.

Actually, I kind of like this portion of the "poor" coding since it was flexible enough allow me to change Diplomacy, Economic to simulatenous execution and still keep the IGO UGO format of the move phases BUT that's only my opinion ... what do I know? LOL!






_____________________________

Thank you

Marshall Ellis
Outflank Strategy War Games



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Post #: 19
RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/5/2010 12:42:09 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

Which is why I tend to chuckle when I see you comment on the code, as it has little worth beyond making me laugh.


Ditto. I'm still waiting to see Neverman's open source EiA project on SourceForge.net or someplace comparable. Based on all of his pompous assertions, he should have been able to single-handedly program a bug-free version of a perfect conversion of the original boardgame by now. Put up or shut up? Still waiting...

Curious how VASSAL handles all of the file exchanges for its EiA module. That's the benchmark standard. Is EiANW better or not in terms of speed and file handling? It would sound so much more mature to say something like "It takes me such-and-such time to play a turn in VASSAL but only umptyfratz time to play a turn in EiANW." Faster is better of course. Marshall has acknowledged file handling as something to enhance, which would be good.

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RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/5/2010 7:48:14 PM   
NeverMan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marshall Ellis


quote:

ORIGINAL: NeverMan


quote:

ORIGINAL: borner

Ah pz, I missed you while I was away. seriously though, why can't the game work by simply loading the last file, instead of 18 like neverman says. I have never understood this.


Simple answer: poor coding!


OUCH!
That's it Neverman! You're off my Xmas card list AGAIN! LOL!

FYI...
The files are not cumulative. They are turn files of a certain player. It was designed this way because the original engine design was simultaneous move so it could not be cumulative.

Actually, I kind of like this portion of the "poor" coding since it was flexible enough allow me to change Diplomacy, Economic to simulatenous execution and still keep the IGO UGO format of the move phases BUT that's only my opinion ... what do I know? LOL!







I'm still confused why you can't put all the turns into one file, very confusing.

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Post #: 21
RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/5/2010 10:17:21 PM   
flipperwasirish


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quote:

ORIGINAL: NeverMan
I'm still confused why you can't put all the turns into one file, very confusing.


Nobody can know everything, some concepts are easier to grasp if the building blocks are there. I think much of your frustration comes from, through no fault of your own, a background that allows you to grasp Marshall's explaination. To you, this is a simple question, but the reality (that you fail to grasp) is much more involved. How much time do you want Marshall to take away from working on the game to try to teach you these building blocks so that you can understand?

Many would perfer for Marshall to spend his time plugging away at improving the game. I just can't see taking away from this in order to increase your knowldege so you are not as confused. IMO, it would be a poor ROI for his resources.




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RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/6/2010 1:19:46 AM   
NeverMan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: flipperwasirish


quote:

ORIGINAL: NeverMan
I'm still confused why you can't put all the turns into one file, very confusing.


Nobody can know everything, some concepts are easier to grasp if the building blocks are there. I think much of your frustration comes from, through no fault of your own, a background that allows you to grasp Marshall's explaination. To you, this is a simple question, but the reality (that you fail to grasp) is much more involved. How much time do you want Marshall to take away from working on the game to try to teach you these building blocks so that you can understand?

Many would perfer for Marshall to spend his time plugging away at improving the game. I just can't see taking away from this in order to increase your knowldege so you are not as confused. IMO, it would be a poor ROI for his resources.





I think you misunderstood my point. I'm confused as to why Marshall doesn't just do this not as to why it can't happen.

There really is little difference between loading multiple files or loading one file with multiple turns (one at a time).

Also, fixing this "download 1800 files so you can do your turn" problem would be a HUGE IMPROVEMENT.

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Post #: 23
RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/6/2010 2:54:18 AM   
flipperwasirish


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quote:

ORIGINAL: NeverMan

I think you misunderstood my point. I'm confused as to why Marshall doesn't just do this not as to why it can't happen.


Yes, that is not what I read your frustration to be here. And if you understand, you should be able to understand the answer he gave before Christmas (I think this is in the Borner "November thread" on this topic) as to where he is expending the resources available to this project. I may be wrong, but now I see maybe you grasp this issue but are frustrated since you disagree or didn't like his answer.

For your disappointment (AKA frustration) I am not sure there is a solution. But hey, miracles can happen.

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RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/6/2010 7:30:39 AM   
Skanvak

 

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We already discuss that. It is not so the number of files that is the problem, but that the program cannot load them all at the same time until it reach the player turn.

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RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/6/2010 1:59:35 PM   
Marshall Ellis


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quote:

ORIGINAL: NeverMan


quote:

ORIGINAL: Marshall Ellis


quote:

ORIGINAL: NeverMan


quote:

ORIGINAL: borner

Ah pz, I missed you while I was away. seriously though, why can't the game work by simply loading the last file, instead of 18 like neverman says. I have never understood this.


Simple answer: poor coding!


OUCH!
That's it Neverman! You're off my Xmas card list AGAIN! LOL!

FYI...
The files are not cumulative. They are turn files of a certain player. It was designed this way because the original engine design was simultaneous move so it could not be cumulative.

Actually, I kind of like this portion of the "poor" coding since it was flexible enough allow me to change Diplomacy, Economic to simulatenous execution and still keep the IGO UGO format of the move phases BUT that's only my opinion ... what do I know? LOL!







I'm still confused why you can't put all the turns into one file, very confusing.


Again ... ;-)

The original design was simultaneous execution. In this mode, you cannot have someone else's turn since the assumption is that he is moving at the same time. If two nations create turn files at the same time then how could you fold one turn into the other's file?





_____________________________

Thank you

Marshall Ellis
Outflank Strategy War Games



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Post #: 26
RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/6/2010 9:28:16 PM   
NeverMan

 

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I'm not talking about simul. The game, currently, has no simul action, it's entirely sequential so I'm not sure what you mean!?

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RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/6/2010 9:43:40 PM   
Grognot

 

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But what you *do* have is a loader that can interpret individual files (which at least at one point, appeared to contain direct dumps of data structures pertaining to global game state instead of deltas, judging from the sheer number of zero bytes as well as the contents of the non-zero bytes -- I have not bothered to examine recent data, so this might have changed), so you can write a loader which interprets a header specifying the organization of multi-section file (number of sections, type of each section, length) and then chains to the previous loader for each individual section (for a straightforwards approach). Given that much of the game is *not* simultaneous-phase, this would not be a significant departure provided that your software architecture hides the details of the I/O from the data model and logic components.

The slightly tricky bit is to determine which files to package, since each subsequent phasing player needs a slightly different view. One possible approach is to eliminate leading sections that originated from the next phasing player, because there's no sense passing him data that he himself generated (but he does need updates from subsequent play).

For simultaneous play, if you use the obvious N-way distribution instead of sequential you can at least have the loader be set to load all files matching the expected pattern in whatever order you desire, and to balk entirely if the full set has not been received yet -- the player is not likely to want to put these files in different directories or to rename them just to spite you, and if he does, it's his own fault. This should work provided a flag of some kind notifies all players that a given phase will, in fact, be simultaneous rather than sequential.

The obvious elephant in the room is how in a game with hidden information you can have both rules enforcement *and* fog of war, but moving to a dedicated-trusted-host system w/ decent public-key encryption for both tamper-resistance and privacy is not something I'd personally prioritize for a game with this many file exchanges and this low a fan base, especially compared to resolving outstanding major or blocker bugs.

And actually I wouldn't prioritize e-mail within the program itself, or necessarily even the above changes re: packaging files, because there are a large number of (free, even) shared-folder services which let everybody stay in synch in the background and thus minimize user-visible transfer time (at least, if there computers are powered and networked prior to playing EiANW). Thus, there are already available solutions for easing the file transfer. The file loading after these transfers may be slightly obnoxious, but that's merely *obnoxious*, not potentially game-breaking like, say, http://eiamantis.babel.com.au/view.php?id=639; or rules deviations that would be nice to revert (like being able to add components to political combinations, or conceivably the original rules regarding where you can place minor factors during reinforcement phase -- right now, I can transport a stack of barely-filled minor corps and then reinforce them on arrival without being able to trace supply to the minors themselves, which is somewhat weird and possibly abusive, and significantly weakens the impact of depot limitations).

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Post #: 28
RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/7/2010 12:47:43 AM   
NeverMan

 

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Grognot, thank you for taking the time, I surely did not want to.

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Post #: 29
RE: Less of a game, more like work - 4/7/2010 4:18:41 AM   
Grapeshot Bob


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Hi again,

I'm checking in for my semi yearly sniff at the moribund mess that is Empires in Arms.

Is this sucker firing on all cylenders yet or are we still beta testing?


All the best,

GSB

(in reply to NeverMan)
Post #: 30
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