Shannon V. OKeets
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Forgive my intrusion Great Ones.
I feel like a bug amongst the Gods.
I played my first game more than 20 years ago, maps taped together over my bed room floor. Two wives, and two decades later (hells... I really miss those decades), I have only played.... one game. You beat me by two Kermitt.
Without boring you with a biography, I too, have followed this site for a very long time.
I'd just like to say two things, and ask one other.
a/ I was totally skyed to note the approx June date for release. After so much work, and such 'Job like patience', I pay homage to those who have brought this work to within sight of completion.
b/ I recognise that many have waited even longer than I. So bring out the game ASAP for their sakes. But me... I need the AI. As a born again virgin, I cant wait for my next 'first' experience with WIF, but with no real history of WIF, no computer knowledge of all this PBEMNetplayWiFFE stuff, and no established network of other gamers, I can only see myself playing against AI. So bring out the 'play real people online' version as quick as you can, coz I can understand, and agree with the points made by Paulderynck... its a real bugga.... but don’t be too long in bringing out the AI version. Please.
c/ (question time) What is the best way for a semi-computer literate, un-networked person to get involved in either playing with himself (yes yes... chuckle away), or with others?
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
Welcome to the forum.
But really, Great Ones? Obsessive-compulsive behavior is probably more accurate in my case.
I have been making good progress on NetPlay recently. Yesterday I was able to get both sides set up in Barbarossa. As the Russian player places his units on the map, the German player's computer instantly shows the placement of the units. The same is true when the two sides are reversed.
I can't fully describe the rush I got when that worked correctly. There are well over 10,000 lines of code just to create a new game and another 10,000 to send and receive the data for player decisions/actions. It was back in 2007 when I designed how that was to work and it took me many long months to write all the code for accomplishing it.
I ran through the entire player interface on the second computer and everything worked correctly. Because there are so many entries into the Game Record Log just to create a game, I have both computers perform that task independently. It was really nice to see that both machines made exactly 8482 GRL entries to reach the point where the USSR began randomly selecting units for the setup tray.
There is still a lot to test and inevitably debug, but that should be very straightforward to do.
As for running NetPlay, the only tricky bit is to determine a port number to use for the game. In almost all cases the default number should work. If you just own one computer, that should be it as far as the technical side of things goes. If, and only if, you have a home (or business) local area network (LAN), then there is the additional task of convincing your local router/server to permit incoming MWIF transmissions to use the port number.
Assuming you have a good port number, finding an opponent shouldn't be that difficult. Matrix/Slitherine have a system they have been using for finding PBEM opponents for many other games. MWIF is using a slight variation of that system for enabling MWIF players to find NetPlay opponents. Of course you need to agree on a day and time for when to play.
So, let's further assume that you have a worthy opponent and a scheduled game session.
One player starts a new MWIF game choosing the Internet mode of play, the same way he starts a new game for any other mode of play (e.g., solitaire). He has to type in the names of both players precisely, but that's about it. The program automatically branches to logging the first player into the NetPlay Private MWIF Forum. As soon as a the second player logs into that Forum, the program prompts the first player to click on the Start Game button and the program creates the new game (e.g., loads in the map and unit data for the given scenario and optional rules). If the first player sets up units first, then the Setup Tray appears and he starts placing units on the map.
The second player simply starts by logging into the Forum (there is a button for doing so on the opening screen). Once the first player has created the new game and logged into the Forum, the second player is prompted to click on the Start Game button, and his computer goes through the same process as the first player's computer.
Every MWIF game you play over the internet would start the same way.
Pretty simple [and I am working on eliminating the need for players to click on the Start Game button.]
Perfection is an elusive goal.