Shannon V. OKeets
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
ORIGINAL: brian brian
well that is all a little mysterious there Steve, particularly Preplanned Decisions, which I just can't think of a part of the game I would need this? You pre-plan everything while you look at the screen all the time. When the phase comes to push the buttons you need to push, then you do it. ???
Game Replay sounds very enticing. A little mini-movie of the war (game), complete with a Groupon coupon for some popcorn down at your local market? No, I suspect that is not what you meant. But I can only think of how Cyberboard works; all it does is manipulate little graphic objects (counters) over a graphic layer underneath (map). When looking at a move record sent from another player, the player can pause, click forward a single move of a piece at a time, even if perhaps the opponent just clicked on a piece, moved it a single pixel (not changing hexes), and then go on to the next, or the player can let it all roll by automatically. This would seem to be important for pbem. The alternative would be to look at all of your opponents pieces, click some sort of permission acknowledging receipt of your opponent's moves from the 'net, and then suddenly all of their pieces are in new places. But it doesn't seem that hard to get that done. ? The game log must have a part that sequentially changes the location of the pieces....as that is read into the log on the 2nd player's computer, couldn't it go out to the screen, one move at a time? But I really have no idea what you were hoping to have in 'Game Replay'.
My idea is to treat the game record log the same way a database is handled for business (banking, inventory). The common system design allows database transactions to be "rolled forward" and "rolled backward". For instance, if the database gets damaged in a system crash, a back up can be restored and then all the transactions (which are recorded separately as they occur) can be applied to bring the database up-to-date. Or, if the last groups of transactions didn't get applied cleanly, they can be removed (rolled backward) to restore the database to where it is known to have been 'valid'.
For MWIF, the replay would let you see the pieces move on the map, control the pace at which that happens, and stop to examine various forms etc. when ever you like. The direction of the replay would be either forwards or backwards. My design of the GRLs allows for all this to happen. For example, each GRL records where the unit was before it moved, so the move can be undone.
Preplanned decisions would permit the player to move his land units around (or rebase his air units) while the other side was figuring out what to do. The units wouldn't move on the opponent's map of the world, and the moves wouldn't be permanent until confirmed. So, for example, while the Commonwealth is trying to decide whether to send up fighters against the German ground strike, the Japanese player could move all his units in China.
Neither of these will be available until 2013 or 2014, if ever.
Perfection is an elusive goal.