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State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November 2017

 
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State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November 2017 - 11/27/2017 9:54:17 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 33957
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
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Thank you all for your patience and support of Matrix Games' World in Flames (MWIF) over the years since release. We hope you have enjoyed the game so far and that you will check back with us as we continue to support this release. Steve and I greatly appreciate the community's involvement through bug reports, suggestions and other feedback, both through the beta test program and through the official updates. Your support and feedback has been critical in getting MWIF to the point where it is today and we can only complete the rest of the our shared goals with your continued involvement.

Our Commitment to You

We are committed to continuing to support MWIF, which includes addressing bug reports, completing NetPlay and adding additional optional rules and scenarios. You can find more on our future plans a bit further down.

The State of the Game


Thousands of issues have been resolved over the past few years, but despite that, much more work remains to be done. We recently released the promised new official update, which included an additional 300+ fixes, focused on all modes of play, but including 50+ NetPlay fixes as well. We hope that you find this update to be a significant improvement for solitaire as well as NetPlay, but it is not yet the "NetPlay Complete" update we were hoping to release this year.

After spending a significant amount of time this year during the process leading up to this official update trying to make sure that the solitaire game was made as stable as possible, we will now shift our focus back primarily to NetPlay. The NetPlay issues list has been shrinking and many of the remaining issues are less frequently encountered than those that have already been fixed. We plan to have a new series of internal and public beta updates to progress NetPlay to the point of an official "NetPlay Complete" update.

NetPlay, Our Next Priority


We have been working towards this for far longer than we ever expected and it has seemed to be a Sisyphean task at times, partially thanks to the incredible complexity of MWIF and how fixing one issue can at times uncover several new ones, but based on the progress we've seen to date and the remaining issues on our list, the goal does finally seem within reach. We are aiming for an April 2018 "NetPlay Complete" release candidate, along with additional fixes for all modes of play that come up between now and then. We expect another update later in 2018 with fixes for any additional NetPlay issues that arise from testing the "NetPlay Complete" update.

Once we have evidence that NetPlay for 2 Players is indeed at last working as expected, we plan to proceed with the following in priority order:

Future Plans

1. Additional Bug Fixes

- This will be an ongoing effort, focused on any serious issues that arise as well as areas of the game that still need more attention. Each update, including the NetPlay updates, will continue to include fixes for every issue we can fit in.

2. Low Risk Optional Rules

- These are the rules we are planning to include in this set:
53. City based volunteers (67)
54. Isolated reorganization limits (47)
55. Kamikazes (60)
56. Naval supply units (69)
57. Guard banner armies (70)
58. Rough seas (75)
67. USSR-Japan compulsory peace (50)

3. Additional Scenarios

- This means the two half map scenarios we promised to complete.

Once we reach this point, we would consider the original MWIF feature and content complete, with ongoing support after this point focused on bug fixes and interface polish.

4. AI Expansion (Core Rule Set)

- This means implementing a working AI opponent for solitaire play. The "Core Rule Set" means that the AI will be designed to work with a core set of fixed optional rules, rather than supporting all possible optional rules variations. Needless to say, this will be a big job and for a game this complex no AI will ever be as good as a human player, but we know players love to have an AI to practice against and use as a learning aid and we don't intend to leave MWIF as our only release without an AI opponent. This is also a feature that Steve is very interested in and very knowledgeable about, plus he has already put in place much of the necessary framework.

5. Additional Optional Rules Expansion

We will look at the remaining optional rules not implemented as part of #2 above and decide which can be implemented, possibly as part of the same expansion which includes the AI, possibly as another project. The list to choose from here is as follows:
59. Convoys in Flames (76)
60. Recruitment limits (16)
61. Surprised zones of control (20)
62. Bounce combat (22)
63. V weapons (23)
64. Atomic bombs (23)
65. Frogmen (24)
66. Hitler's war (49)
68. En route interception (51)
69. Limited aircraft interception (57)
70. Flying bombs (59)
71. Ukraine (62)
72. Intelligence (63)
73. Japanese command conflict (64)
74. Partisan HQs (72)
75. Oil tankers (76)
76. Naval offensive chit (a variation on the optional rule for offensive chits)

< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 11/27/2017 9:56:13 PM >


_____________________________

Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development


For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.
Post #: 1
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/27/2017 10:28:56 PM   
davidachamberlain

 

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Joined: 1/21/2014
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Thanks Erik.

One feature set that is conspicously absent is support for Netplay with more than 2 players (more specifically for 3 or 4).

Could you advise where it sits in the priority or if it is no longer in the plans?

Thank you.

Dave

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 2
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/27/2017 10:58:43 PM   
paulderynck


Posts: 7686
Joined: 3/24/2007
From: Canada
Status: offline
Based on what happened last time, if I were a solitaire-only player, I would not install public beta releases in place of the present public version until after the beta testers have had some time to check them out. And most of the beta testers will be focusing on NetPlay most of the time, so that may be awhile.

_____________________________

Paul

(in reply to davidachamberlain)
Post #: 3
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/28/2017 4:31:36 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21393
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
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quote:

ORIGINAL: davidachamberlain

Thanks Erik.

One feature set that is conspicously absent is support for Netplay with more than 2 players (more specifically for 3 or 4).

Could you advise where it sits in the priority or if it is no longer in the plans?

Thank you.

Dave

Erik and I talked about this. While it would be a good and noble thing to make NetPlay available for 3 - 6 players, there are some issues with doing that.

(1) Making code changes to support NetPlay for 2 players created a lot of 'new' problems in the Solitaire/Head-to-head code. While increasing the number of players to more than 2 would not be as difficult a task, it would still be likely to introduce some 'new' errors in the other modes of play. We would much prefer to go forward, add more optional rules, and eventually work on the AI Opponent.

(2) Equally important, I do not see players getting into NetPlay games with more than 2 players simply for practical reasons. I have been playing three games using NetPlay for 2 players for the past 10 months or so and getting 2 players together for ~4 hours a week is difficult. For instance, when one player goes on vacation for 3+ weeks, the game is in hiatus. Family, work, and other commitments also make for interruptions in our normal once-a-week schedule. With 4 players trying to get on-line at the same time it seems that weekly get-togethers would be very hard to achieve for the time required to play a Global War scenario (or any other scenario where 3+ players would be viable). To give you a sense of the time required, my longest NetPlay game is only in Set/Oct 1941 (2 years simulated time). The Allied player would like to get the US into the war sometime soon. Then there is all of 1942, 1943, and 1944 to go through. So, the 4 players would be signing up for a couple of years of playing time - at least. Have you ever tried to get 4 players together to play Bridge every week? And do that for a couple of years?

< Message edited by Shannon V. OKeets -- 11/28/2017 4:33:17 AM >


_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to davidachamberlain)
Post #: 4
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/28/2017 2:28:24 PM   
davidachamberlain

 

Posts: 276
Joined: 1/21/2014
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

Erik and I talked about this. While it would be a good and noble thing to make NetPlay available for 3 - 6 players, there are some issues with doing that.

(1) Making code changes to support NetPlay for 2 players created a lot of 'new' problems in the Solitaire/Head-to-head code. While increasing the number of players to more than 2 would not be as difficult a task, it would still be likely to introduce some 'new' errors in the other modes of play. We would much prefer to go forward, add more optional rules, and eventually work on the AI Opponent.

(2) Equally important, I do not see players getting into NetPlay games with more than 2 players simply for practical reasons. I have been playing three games using NetPlay for 2 players for the past 10 months or so and getting 2 players together for ~4 hours a week is difficult. For instance, when one player goes on vacation for 3+ weeks, the game is in hiatus. Family, work, and other commitments also make for interruptions in our normal once-a-week schedule. With 4 players trying to get on-line at the same time it seems that weekly get-togethers would be very hard to achieve for the time required to play a Global War scenario (or any other scenario where 3+ players would be viable). To give you a sense of the time required, my longest NetPlay game is only in Set/Oct 1941 (2 years simulated time). The Allied player would like to get the US into the war sometime soon. Then there is all of 1942, 1943, and 1944 to go through. So, the 4 players would be signing up for a couple of years of playing time - at least. Have you ever tried to get 4 players together to play Bridge every week? And do that for a couple of years?

Thanks for the response, Steve.

As you know from the AARs, there are people who are already trying to play the game with 4 players. I am currently involved in a 4 player game (approaching a year). You are correct in that it is a slow process.

We are "working around" the constraint with TeamViewer. For a number of people (not sure how many) who used to play the board game version, this has allowed people who were co-located to now play distributed. In my own case, there are 4 people in 3 different cities/states who are playing the game.

Your argument actually argues against the existence of the board game which a larger number of people ARE playing with more than 2 players.

I understand your concerns about the development and testing complexity. I also understand your interest in the priorities.

I (and the others in my current game) and probably others who are similarly interested WILL be disappointed. I can say, definitively that all 4 of our players bought a copy of the game with the expectation that we would all be able to participate in a Netplay game. We probably would have just bought 2 (rather than 4) copies if we knew this a year ago.

I will leave you and Erik to your own thoughts about priorities and plans vs what can or should be done.

Dave

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 5
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/28/2017 3:48:36 PM   
pzgndr

 

Posts: 2495
Joined: 3/18/2004
From: Maryland
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
4. AI Expansion (Core Rule Set)
- The "Core Rule Set" means that the AI will be designed to work with a core set of fixed optional rules, rather than supporting all possible optional rules variations.


Quick question about what exactly the "Core Rule Set" means. Would all of the default Novice/Standard/Advanced rule sets be supported, or will there be a new single customized rule set created for solitaire play and what will that include? Basically, as I and others continue to learn this game with the intention of eventually playing against the AI opponent, it would be best to get used to whatever rules we will have to play with. Whenever... Thanks!

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 6
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/28/2017 5:15:00 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21393
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
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My tentative list for the Core Rule Set for the AI Opponent is:

1. Divisions (2)
2. Artillery (3)
3. Fortifications (5)
4. Supply units (6)
5. Combat engineers (7)
6. Construction engineers (7)
7. Flying boats (8)
8. Territorial units (10)
9. Limited overseas supply (11)
10. Limited supply across straits (12)
11. HQ support (13)
13. Synthetic oil plants (14)
15. Bottomed ships (18)
16. In the presence of the enemy (19)
17. Surface combat ship transports (25)
18. Amphibious rules (26)
19. Optional carrier planes searching (27)
20. Pilots (28)
21. Food in flames (29)
22. Factory construction (30)
23. Saving resources (31)
25. Tank busters (33)
26. Motorized movement rates (34)
27. Bombers as air transports (35)
28. Large air transports (36)
30. Defensive shore bombardment (38)
31. Blitz bonus (39)
32. Chinese attack weakness (40)
33. Fractional odds (41)
34. Allied combat friction (42)
35. Two 10 sided dice land combat results table (43)
36. Extended aircraft rebasing (44)
37. Variable reorganization costs (45)
38. Partisans (46)
39. Oil rules (48)
41. Twin engine bombers (53)
42. Fighter-bombers (54)
43. Outclassed fighters (55); renamed as Backup Fighters
44. Carrier planes (56)
45. Internment (58)
46. Offensive chits (61)
47. Ski troops (65)
48. The Queens (66)
49. Siberians (68)
50. Chinese warlords (71)
51. Cruisers in Flames (75)
52. Off city reinforcement (15)

xx Additional Chinese Cities
xx Breaking the Nazi-Soviet Pact

Optional rules that are currently implemented that would be excluded are:
12. Emergency HQ supply (13)
14. HQ movement (17)
24. Carpet bombing (32)
29. Railway movement (37)
40. Night missions (52)

xx Scrap Units
xx Unlimited Breakdown
xx Extended Game


_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to pzgndr)
Post #: 7
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/28/2017 6:12:54 PM   
Centuur


Posts: 8090
Joined: 6/3/2011
From: Hoorn (NED).
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

quote:

ORIGINAL: davidachamberlain

Thanks Erik.

One feature set that is conspicously absent is support for Netplay with more than 2 players (more specifically for 3 or 4).

Could you advise where it sits in the priority or if it is no longer in the plans?

Thank you.

Dave

Erik and I talked about this. While it would be a good and noble thing to make NetPlay available for 3 - 6 players, there are some issues with doing that.

(1) Making code changes to support NetPlay for 2 players created a lot of 'new' problems in the Solitaire/Head-to-head code. While increasing the number of players to more than 2 would not be as difficult a task, it would still be likely to introduce some 'new' errors in the other modes of play. We would much prefer to go forward, add more optional rules, and eventually work on the AI Opponent.

(2) Equally important, I do not see players getting into NetPlay games with more than 2 players simply for practical reasons. I have been playing three games using NetPlay for 2 players for the past 10 months or so and getting 2 players together for ~4 hours a week is difficult. For instance, when one player goes on vacation for 3+ weeks, the game is in hiatus. Family, work, and other commitments also make for interruptions in our normal once-a-week schedule. With 4 players trying to get on-line at the same time it seems that weekly get-togethers would be very hard to achieve for the time required to play a Global War scenario (or any other scenario where 3+ players would be viable). To give you a sense of the time required, my longest NetPlay game is only in Set/Oct 1941 (2 years simulated time). The Allied player would like to get the US into the war sometime soon. Then there is all of 1942, 1943, and 1944 to go through. So, the 4 players would be signing up for a couple of years of playing time - at least. Have you ever tried to get 4 players together to play Bridge every week? And do that for a couple of years?


There's only one thing which I would like to propose if no multiplayer is going to be coded. This is that a password system gets coded for obscuring US entry and the neutrality pacts information which should only be visible to the player playing that particular major power. One could than use a solitair game for PBEM and multiplayer purposes quite easily using teamviewer, without having to worry that a player accidentally presses the wrong button (or worse see a full pop up on the screen) and sees information which he is not entitled to get access to. If you do so, you would not need to code a PBEM game in itself (or multiplayer netplay), since saved games can already be send through e-mail to the other side.

Is this feasable?

< Message edited by Centuur -- 11/28/2017 6:14:29 PM >


_____________________________

Peter

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 8
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/28/2017 7:43:02 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 33957
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: offline
Hi Dave,

quote:

ORIGINAL: davidachamberlain
One feature set that is conspicously absent is support for Netplay with more than 2 players (more specifically for 3 or 4).
Could you advise where it sits in the priority or if it is no longer in the plans?


Thanks for asking. I think Steve explained it well, but I want to add that the list above is a list focused only on our priorities - by which I mean that it is not necessarily exclusionary when it comes to later tasks that are not on the list.

If there is community demand for 4 player NetPlay, we would certainly consider revisiting it, but the 2 player version has proved to be a much larger work and time sink than we ever anticipated, so I expect it would be after the plans listed above and that it would prove to be a big task. No doubt there are other potential features in the same category, but we're always willing to listen and re-evaluate if enough community members ask for a feature.

Regards,

- Erik


< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 11/28/2017 7:45:45 PM >


_____________________________

Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development


For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to davidachamberlain)
Post #: 9
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/28/2017 10:28:12 PM   
davidc


Posts: 25
Joined: 12/5/2007
Status: offline
+1 for multiplayer NetPlay.

To me, that is why WIF is such a good game.
It is not a traditional 1 v 1 game, though it can be played that way.
It is 2 v 2 or 3 v 3 where the best games happen.

_____________________________

David

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 10
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/29/2017 3:25:20 AM   
brian brian

 

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Joined: 11/16/2005
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It sure seems like it should be pretty straight-forward to add a password lock screen to the US Entry chits. A simple 4 digit PIN # would be all that is really needed. Should multi-player ever become a reality, only the US player should know the PIN #.

For multi-player NetPlay, I think perhaps NetPlay could be re-imagined some, and perhaps the following idea could improve implementation of 2-player NetPlay as well.

NetPlay only absolutely needs to work, and work perfectly, during _some_ phases. Primarily Naval Movement and then Naval Combat, and then everything
AFTER Land Movement. Perhaps occasionally during DOW or decision points for drawing chits or in the Conquest phases, but such 'only-occasional' points could be handled by what I propose next.

It would help game-play a lot if players DID NOT have to be connected to each other during other phases. So the Russians could move all of their pieces on the Eastern Front in 1944 while the German player is not even online. It seems rather sad that all of the work completed for the code to enforce the rules completely and correctly can't somehow be leveraged for players to 'work on' their part of the game without all players being connected simultaneously.

If the software had a basic module to import data from another machine running the same software, it could just import the land movement data from the Russian player and send it to the German player - and then both could be online for when Ground Strikes start. Mega dittoes, of course, for all end-of-turn / new-turn activities like building units and placing reinforcements.

I don't get a sense that the software has any kind of internal "Events Log" really; the unit and hex data is manipulated in real-time as decisions are made. Probably some sort of a log is needed for an "Undo" of a land move. Anyhow, if the program created a basic log of legal moves, immediately after the code has approved the move and moved past the point where a decision can be "Undone" (Land movement only?); then later the other machine running the program could change all the data on unit locations, or political status, or what have you, the next time the machines connect together.

Edit to add: if "Undo" is overly burdensome to program, just offer it as an option for a player at the END of movement - they can Undo a move, by a Re-Do of all of their moves, and when satisfied, they could approve the whole set of moves at the end.

This would probably need a simple "replay" mode so the non-phasing player could see the units move. Even though he can be assured the moves are legal, players would want that. But once a log exists, it wouldn't seem hard to display the activity as it is read in from the log. A HQ moves forward one hex, and the supply status indicators change, and the next unit moves, and so on.

And I would note here that the freeware programs that MWiF competes against do offer a 'replay' mode, so rules enforcement can be checked by the opposing player.

If such a basic structure could be added without mountains of work (I have no idea), that could be a starting point for a simpler way to do NetPlay in a > 2 player game. Perhaps the Axis and Allied teams would each need a "Captain" machine that could aggregate decisions for all powers on one side, such as 3 sets of land moves. Then the other 2 or 3 machines on the other side could receive all of the moves from just one machine; ditto for build decisions, etc. It seems to me that multiple connected machines would be far trickier to properly code ... but again, if only the points where decisions need to come in from 2 or more players are where NetPlay works flawlessly, it seems to me that would be simpler than moving a unit correctly on 6 machines simultaneously.

And if that is too difficult, one "Captain" machine could handle the connection for just the non-phasing player decision points and the players on that team would have to work out amongst themselves who handles it, or it would have to rotate among the various countries in different combats. (Though multi-power naval combats still seem like they would be extra complex to code.)

I don't know if a little hybrid of on-line and off-line play would simplify anything, but I hope it can be considered. When WiF is played mutt-player, face-to-face, activity occurs all around the map, simultaneously, and the players keep track of which power is in which activity without much difficulty. It would be very boring for the US and Japanese players to have to sit around and wait for the German and Russian players all the time, when normally action in Europe and Asia happens simultaneously, in ftf play.


And Edit to add - a log of all the player decisions could also be a way to offer players to "go backwards" in the game to correct mistakes, such as when, and another way to save the game. Just have the program read all of the events in until whatever point is selected. It would also offer VERY interesting data to analyze some day in the future, when players inevitably want to continue to improve the game system - what really happens across an entire game, and all of those die rolls in all of those air combats?

And such a log could perhaps be aid in writing and testing an AI - have the AI read in a partial game log, and then see what it decides to do.

IFFFFFFFFF adding a log feature isn't far far too late, given the internal program structure already in use, etc., etc., something quite beyond me.

< Message edited by brian brian -- 11/29/2017 3:36:25 AM >

(in reply to davidc)
Post #: 11
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/29/2017 3:35:29 AM   
davidachamberlain

 

Posts: 276
Joined: 1/21/2014
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Hi Dave,

Thanks for asking. I think Steve explained it well, but I want to add that the list above is a list focused only on our priorities - by which I mean that it is not necessarily exclusionary when it comes to later tasks that are not on the list.

If there is community demand for 4 player NetPlay, we would certainly consider revisiting it, but the 2 player version has proved to be a much larger work and time sink than we ever anticipated, so I expect it would be after the plans listed above and that it would prove to be a big task. No doubt there are other potential features in the same category, but we're always willing to listen and re-evaluate if enough community members ask for a feature.

Regards,

- Erik


Thanks, Erik.

It does come down to priorities and I happen to think that though players (and the community) is an input into the process, I also believe that Steve (and his own interests and passion) come into play as well. The efforts and enthusiasm to deliver on all of this does come down to him.

Though it is a disappointment, I can certainly understand just wanting to get to the point where other things get done, too.

I don't have a problem with including more of the optional rules and the single map scenarios.

I also don't have a problem with including the AI, though I am sceptical about the ability to deliver a playable AI opponent.

I will just assume then that as things progress, there may be further consideration regarding the multiplayer feature, but it will still be a long way off. I believe that it would be optimistic to deliver on the Optional rules and scenarios quickly. After maintenance cycles to fix newly introduced or uncovered problems, there will need to be time for stability. There may be some further thoughts about AI as it evolves into a detailed design and prototype which would better determine how feasible a functional solution could be.

However, I have my doubts about this going forward for 3 or 4 more years and to achieve everything that is on the backlog could take that long.

Dave

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 12
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/29/2017 12:11:59 PM   
Centuur


Posts: 8090
Joined: 6/3/2011
From: Hoorn (NED).
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Hi Dave,

quote:

ORIGINAL: davidachamberlain
One feature set that is conspicously absent is support for Netplay with more than 2 players (more specifically for 3 or 4).
Could you advise where it sits in the priority or if it is no longer in the plans?


Thanks for asking. I think Steve explained it well, but I want to add that the list above is a list focused only on our priorities - by which I mean that it is not necessarily exclusionary when it comes to later tasks that are not on the list.

If there is community demand for 4 player NetPlay, we would certainly consider revisiting it, but the 2 player version has proved to be a much larger work and time sink than we ever anticipated, so I expect it would be after the plans listed above and that it would prove to be a big task. No doubt there are other potential features in the same category, but we're always willing to listen and re-evaluate if enough community members ask for a feature.

Regards,

- Erik



Given that there are already people going for four player games in the AAR's, this will be asked by the community. This game is best played by at least 4 people. Every player who's played WiF on the board will second this. Diplomatic decisions become suddenly very important, because all individual players want to win.

The question should be: what is needed to provide the community with at least some kind of multiplayer game. Now, the solitair game is used for the 4 player games using Teamviewer. Players can see what movement is done using this program and by sending the gamesave over to the other players one can make there own decisions on their own computer.

The only thing needed to make it a lot better is the protection of US entry and neutrality pact information which should only be available to the player concerned. If that could be added, you can make this community a lot more happier IMHO and have provided at least a basic multiplayer version. Sure, it's not multiplayer netplay, but this is far better than doing nothing about it.

Now, I don't think that this will take a lot of work to add (but I'm no programmer). A password per player is enough and the few pop ups for US entry and neutrality pacts should only give the right information if the player has entered that code.

< Message edited by Centuur -- 11/29/2017 12:12:37 PM >


_____________________________

Peter

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 13
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/29/2017 5:10:37 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21393
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
Just a couple of comments here.

1 - the program does maintain a record log of every event that changes the simulation: the GRL (game record log) is stored continuously on all computers (i.e., on both computers in a 2 player NetPlay game). You have probably noticed that files named "RecordLog 99999999999_99999.CSV" keep getting created on your computer. The numbers before the underline are the game number (randomly created for each game) and the numbers after the underline are the Entry Number at the start of the game session. You can view these using any spreadsheet or database program but they are going to be incomprehensible. Each entry is a change to the game 'state'. Their purpose is to enable replay (and replay backwards), starting from a matching saved game. But enabling that capability would be non-trivial. However, the design to do so exists and so does the data - on the computer of everyone who hasn't deleted the RecordLog files (which personally I do periodically).

2 - The problem with enabling only the US player to view the US Entry Pools in a Solitaire game is that the program has no way of knowing who is the US player. As far as the program knows, the person who has the GAM file is playing solitaire. This also applies to the Neutrality Pact markers.

< Message edited by Shannon V. OKeets -- 11/29/2017 5:12:39 PM >


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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/29/2017 10:27:32 PM   
ParJ

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

2 - The problem with enabling only the US player to view the US Entry Pools in a Solitaire game is that the program has no way of knowing who is the US player. As far as the program knows, the person who has the GAM file is playing solitaire. This also applies to the Neutrality Pact markers.
[/qoute]

Steve,

The solitare game would not have to know who the US player is. If the game allows to set a US password (and German, Sovjet, etc) and only that person playing that country knows the password (because he set it) then prompting for US password when viewing US entry chits would only allow the real US player to see them.

Also, I would really like to see 2 vs 2 online capability. Playing the boardgame many times with 6 players for 12+ hours per session (plus 3 hours set up an removal) every 4 weeks for at least a year each time I have no problem doing this with 4 players (even if I'm 15 years older now). We could go 3 hours per week since the startup overhead is eliminated with the computer game.

Thank for all the hard work! And I'm pleased to see that the off-line viewing made it into the game!

Par

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Post #: 15
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/30/2017 1:48:19 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: oto02


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

2 - The problem with enabling only the US player to view the US Entry Pools in a Solitaire game is that the program has no way of knowing who is the US player. As far as the program knows, the person who has the GAM file is playing solitaire. This also applies to the Neutrality Pact markers.


Steve,

The solitaire game would not have to know who the US player is. If the game allows to set a US password (and German, Soviet, etc) and only that person playing that country knows the password (because he set it) then prompting for US password when viewing US entry chits would only allow the real US player to see them.

Also, I would really like to see 2 vs 2 online capability. Playing the board game many times with 6 players for 12+ hours per session (plus 3 hours set up an removal) every 4 weeks for at least a year each time I have no problem doing this with 4 players (even if I'm 15 years older now). We could go 3 hours per week since the startup overhead is eliminated with the computer game.

Thank for all the hard work! And I'm pleased to see that the off-line viewing made it into the game!

Par


This still doesn't get around the problem. The player starts the game - if it is a Solitaire game, then the program expects there to be just one player.

The best solution I have for this [so far] is to create a new mode of play: Off-line Multiplayer, or some such. The idea would be to use the NetPlay start process to enter the names of the players and assign who controls which major powers. Then the program would generate a 4 digit 'password' for each player. Details after that are a little hazy at the moment. But at least the program would have a password for each player stored in the GAM file. Note that the player doesn't get to create his own password. He would have to record the 4 digits somewhere. Just in case you don't know, there would be a lot of problems with letting the players generate the passwords.


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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/30/2017 3:31:22 AM   
brian brian

 

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A big hurdle would also be Major Powers that co-operate and dynamic supply states - Italy moves an HQ forward, German units become in supply, they move, this puts an Italian unit in supply, it moves...


For a PIN # for US Entry in solitaire mode, the USA player would just have to be the player to always start a new game. USA player selects PIN #, selects pool for first three chits, sets up counters, emails game file to Italian player, doesn’t tell Italian player the PIN #.



Anyhow, we all know the game will be worked on, thank you.

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Post #: 17
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/30/2017 4:32:04 PM   
ParJ

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian

A big hurdle would also be Major Powers that co-operate and dynamic supply states - Italy moves an HQ forward, German units become in supply, they move, this puts an Italian unit in supply, it moves...


For a PIN # for US Entry in solitaire mode, the USA player would just have to be the player to always start a new game. USA player selects PIN #, selects pool for first three chits, sets up counters, emails game file to Italian player, doesn’t tell Italian player the PIN #.



Anyhow, we all know the game will be worked on, thank you.


Exactly, and if setting up PIN# for other countries (e.g. Germany and USSR, to limit garrison chit visibility) that could be made at any time within the game, when that player has control over the game file. An even if US would not start the game, only the first three chits would have been revealed.

Par

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Post #: 18
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/30/2017 5:27:34 PM   
Mayhemizer


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If there is a PIN code for each player what happens when Axis declares war or Japan occupies Chinese city? Can they draw a chit to US entry pool or does US player need to do that? If US player is always needed, I don’t vote for PIN codes.

Is it possible to hide all information from US entry pools? So that without PIN code you can draw a chit to pool, but you can’t see any numbers of chits or entry levels. Axis cloud see number if chits in each pool.

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/30/2017 6:37:29 PM   
jjdenver

 

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nice post - thanks for this. I'd like to vote for bounce combat to be included after you get through your main set of optionals (which look good - glad they include JP-USSR peace and isolated reorg) and of course factory in flames which is a great addition but I don't see it on your list.

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/30/2017 7:23:31 PM   
Centuur


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mayhemizer

If there is a PIN code for each player what happens when Axis declares war or Japan occupies Chinese city? Can they draw a chit to US entry pool or does US player need to do that? If US player is always needed, I don’t vote for PIN codes.

Is it possible to hide all information from US entry pools? So that without PIN code you can draw a chit to pool, but you can’t see any numbers of chits or entry levels. Axis cloud see number if chits in each pool.


In a 2 player netplay game the Axis player sees only the number of chits in the pools. The value of them is not visible (an X is shown).






Attachment (1)

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/30/2017 7:36:28 PM   
Mayhemizer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mayhemizer

If there is a PIN code for each player what happens when Axis declares war or Japan occupies Chinese city? Can they draw a chit to US entry pool or does US player need to do that? If US player is always needed, I don’t vote for PIN codes.

Is it possible to hide all information from US entry pools? So that without PIN code you can draw a chit to pool, but you can’t see any numbers of chits or entry levels. Axis cloud see number if chits in each pool.


In a 2 player netplay game the Axis player sees only the number of chits in the pools. The value of them is not visible (an X is shown).

That would be great in solitaire mode too if Allies had a PIN code. That way there would be no problem with this matter.


< Message edited by Mayhemizer -- 11/30/2017 7:37:43 PM >

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 11/30/2017 9:47:12 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mayhemizer

If there is a PIN code for each player what happens when Axis declares war or Japan occupies Chinese city? Can they draw a chit to US entry pool or does US player need to do that? If US player is always needed, I don’t vote for PIN codes.

Is it possible to hide all information from US entry pools? So that without PIN code you can draw a chit to pool, but you can’t see any numbers of chits or entry levels. Axis cloud see number if chits in each pool.

You forget that the program believes the GAM file is for Solitaire game. Having the first player play the US gets around the US Entry marker problem, but does nothing for the Neutrality Pacts.

It would be possible to have the 'Pin' be zero as a default. In that case the program would let all major powers see the US Entry markers. That would be the setting for normal Solitaire games.

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 12/1/2017 7:40:16 AM   
Mayhemizer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mayhemizer

If there is a PIN code for each player what happens when Axis declares war or Japan occupies Chinese city? Can they draw a chit to US entry pool or does US player need to do that? If US player is always needed, I don’t vote for PIN codes.

Is it possible to hide all information from US entry pools? So that without PIN code you can draw a chit to pool, but you can’t see any numbers of chits or entry levels. Axis cloud see number if chits in each pool.

You forget that the program believes the GAM file is for Solitaire game. Having the first player play the US gets around the US Entry marker problem, but does nothing for the Neutrality Pacts.

It would be possible to have the 'Pin' be zero as a default. In that case the program would let all major powers see the US Entry markers. That would be the setting for normal Solitaire games.

One PIN would be enough for me. That way nobody can see accidentally anything they are not allowed.

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Post #: 24
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 12/1/2017 11:54:15 AM   
juntoalmar


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I remember Avalon Hill Third Reich on its PC version allowed to switch on/off the AI at any time for each player. This allowed us to play PBEM.

On the Allied turn, the AI for the Axis was set ON so that the Allied player could do all the movements and attacks and AI will play for the non-phasing player (basically, the interceptions).

Something very basic like this for non-phasing player for:
- selection of combat table to be used
- air interception
- naval interception (more complex I guess)
- selecting naval and land loses

would make much easier playing by PBEM (which is my main interest).

Does it makes sense for anybody else?



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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 6/20/2018 4:50:12 PM   
wodin


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AI core ruleset sounds excellent.

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 8/6/2018 5:36:39 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
NetPlay, Our Next Priority
Future Plans

1. Additional Bug Fixes


2. Low Risk Optional Rules


3. Additional Scenarios

Once we reach this point, we would consider the original MWIF feature and content complete...


With the latest update that "Netplay Complete" should be released in August 2018, just curious what the latest estimate might be to complete the seven low-risk optional rules and the two half-map scenarios? It would be nice to start playing the Fascist Tide ETO scenario later this year, if possible. Patiently waiting...

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 8/6/2018 9:04:45 PM   
Centuur


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quote:

ORIGINAL: pzgndr


quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
NetPlay, Our Next Priority
Future Plans

1. Additional Bug Fixes


2. Low Risk Optional Rules


3. Additional Scenarios

Once we reach this point, we would consider the original MWIF feature and content complete...


With the latest update that "Netplay Complete" should be released in August 2018, just curious what the latest estimate might be to complete the seven low-risk optional rules and the two half-map scenarios? It would be nice to start playing the Fascist Tide ETO scenario later this year, if possible. Patiently waiting...


We've still a couple of bugs which need fixing. Especially in production planning and during the peace phase, there are some pretty important bugs remaining. Personally, I believe that one should not have ones hopes too high, I'm afraid where this game is concerned.
But I agree that these additional scenarios would be very nice to have...

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 8/7/2018 12:20:41 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur
We've still a couple of bugs which need fixing. Especially in production planning and during the peace phase, there are some pretty important bugs remaining. Personally, I believe that one should not have ones hopes too high, I'm afraid where this game is concerned.
But I agree that these additional scenarios would be very nice to have...


We are all well aware of the delays and potential for more delays. "Netplay Complete" was targeted for April and now it's August, so it is what it is. But this is a good milestone, so perchance to dream about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Certainly there are bugs to fix over the next month or so to wrap up the Netplay release. The low-risk optional rules and half-map scenarios may be fairly easy to implement, or maybe not. So just curious what Steve's prediction may be at this point, soon or not-so-soon? It would be great to reach that point where the original MWiF features and content are considered complete, and then be able to look forward to the rest (AI Expansion and additional optional rules)...

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 8/8/2018 8:06:54 AM   
juntoalmar


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How is the situation regarding solitary game?

I remember there were some issues with production and with air combat not being able to finish (sometimes the button to close the A2A form was missing). Is this fixed?

Cheers!

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