Long time no post, AreasMars. I guess I'll opt to anaswer that on technically, and say skipping has been part of the game since December 08.
Marshall, I would agree, that if land phase skip/autoforage option is difficult, then it is not worth the code effort, when a much greater return could be obtained from other speed improvements. How does sim dip & eco fit into the master plan?
My latest thoughts on the matter, are that the game sequence for diplomacy and economic phases stay the same. However, add in a dialogue box that any player at any time after the end of the land phase be able to open in the view mode and check boxes with which he can DOW, change alliances, allow allied movement, etc., by writing to a simple 50 kb encoded text file (lets call it an orders file, which is the virtual equivalent of writting down DOW's on a peice of paper in the board game) that he can then send to all the other players. The other players can then put this file into the comin directory, and at the end of their diplomacy turns, the game will automatically search the comin for any diplomacy orders files for the next player (after checking for a skipped phase). If there is one, the game cuts and pastes the information from the orders file into game diplomacy database and moves onto the next player. If the file is not there, the game reverts to normal mode, and the diplomacy files are sent to the next player as they are now.
This would be as fast as sim diplomacy discussed before, but hopefully much easier to code, and still maintain the orginal game sequence if players select not to use it. The same method works for eco phase, and during an eco turn, players could create order files for both eco and dip, essentially collapsing these two phases into a single sim phase. It would represent a huge leap forward in game speed, and would (IMO) be well worth the coding effort.
An example might be: Spain (who is going last in the land phase) completes her land phase in an economic turn, and sends her land phase out to all players. GB is next and does her eco phase as normal and also creates a orders file for diploamcy. In the meantime, all the other players, including Spain have prepared orders files (“written down their instructions”) for their eco and dip phases. When Britain gets to the end of her eco turn, the game checks to see if there are any instruction files in the comin file for the next player (in this case Spain), loads them and goes on to the next player. And so on, until the game comes to a player without an orders file (and has not skipped). The GB player can then go no further, and sends the full game database file to all players as normal. The player that did not have time to write down his instructions will eventually get to his turn, and once it is complete, the game checks his comin file for orders files from the other players and the process starts again. The process repeats until the end of the diplomacy phase.
Do this, you'd be there, and we'll all stop griping about game speed.
Since when did SKIPPING become part of playing the game Dancing Bear?