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 >