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Play-by-Email (PBEM)?

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Trying to get my friends into EoS, but the lack of PBEM makes it a hard sell multiplayer wise :( For years we've played Stars! and Dominions 3 successfully via PBEM and it's really a must when your group can't find compatible playing hours (if you think studying eats away all your free time, just wait till you get a familiy ;))

I know we've touched this subject in the Dedicated host? thread, but I believe most multiplayer players of this niche prefer PBEM to running an always-on dedicated host-solution - and as noted the game-model in EoS is already perfect for PBEM. Yes, it will unfortunately (all things being equal*) delay trading/diplomacy by a turn, but that's hardly game-breaking.

*) In other PBEM games trading/bargaining/diplomacy is agreed upon via normal email/chat player-to-player, outside the game

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Trying to get my friends into EoS, but the lack of PBEM makes it a hard sell multiplayer wise :( For years we've played Stars! and Dominions 3 successfully via PBEM and it's really a must when your group can't find compatible playing hours (if you think studying eats away all your free time, just wait till you get a familiy ;))

I know we've touched this subject in the Dedicated host? thread, but I believe most multiplayer players of this niche prefer PBEM to running an always-on dedicated host-solution - and as noted the game-model in EoS is already perfect for PBEM. Yes, it will unfortunately (all things being equal*) delay trading/diplomacy by a turn, but that's hardly game-breaking.

*) In other PBEM games trading/bargaining/diplomacy is agreed upon via normal email/chat player-to-player, outside the game

Yeah, I've had a few friends who played Stars! I think they were playing on a "one turn per day" schedule. I do need to setup some sort of PBEM type of system.

Another interesting idea I saw in another game is that they had a dedicated host and a system where the game-world progressed continually, but very slowly. Although, I think that kind of gameplay could lead to obsessive behavior. Players would often launch invasions on other players in the middle of the night so that their units would have several hours of attacks before the second player could react.

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Yeah, I've had a few friends who played Stars! I think they were playing on a "one turn per day" schedule.
Exactly :) A brilliant feature shared by Stars! and EoS is that orders carry over from turn to turn. This feature was often used to boost the tedious beginning of the game, by players submitting orders which would last say five turns, and the host then force-generated five turns without further player intervention.

I do need to setup some sort of PBEM type of system
Woohoo!!! I realize this will be some time down the line, but still... ;)

Another interesting idea I saw in another game is that they had a dedicated host and a system where the game-world progressed continually, but very slowly. Although, I think that kind of gameplay could lead to obsessive behavior. Players would often launch invasions on other players in the middle of the night so that their units would have several hours of attacks before the second player could react.
Yea I've tried a few of those games (Travian.com and Heroes.dk). Unfortunately you have to join from the beginning to have a chance at surviving, and the games eventually end up with two opposing alliances threatening minor players to join their side (read: they decide how you play or you die).

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I agree here, the main thing i see missing from EoS currently is PBEM option, it severely limits multiplayer play for the type of game it is (long running strategy).

Also, talking of stars, we should get a pbem game going :D

Rabbitoids ftw.

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Also, talking of stars, we should get a pbem game going :D
Heh, the reason we quit playing Stars! was the enormous amount of "mathematical strategy" in that game. Knowing the difference between move 2 and move 2 1/4 could mean all or nothing in a battle.

Then the endless wait for the never-appearing J-patch (to fix the few explotis) and vaporware Supernova Genesis :(

Still, Stars! was huge fun while it lasted, and no other game has come close ever since. EoS is the first one showing potential in a decade :eek: - all it needs is PBEM

Rabbitoids ftw.
ROFL - you'll never convince me you've ever won anything using one of the "pre-made" races :D Rabbitoids sure breeded like rabbits, but all their tech was expensive and IIRC they had very limited habitation ranges too :) The only remotely playable pre-made race was Humanoids (JOAT), yet they were terrible compared to any half-decend home made race

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ROFL - you'll never convince me you've ever won anything using one of the "pre-made" races :D Rabbitoids sure breeded like rabbits, but all their tech was expensive and IIRC they had very limited habitation ranges too :) The only remotely playable pre-made race was Humanoids (JOAT), yet they were terrible compared to any half-decend home made race

I didnt say i ever was them, just liked the concept. Rabbit people, whom outbreed the enemy. And eat space carrots.

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Trying to get my friends into EoS, but the lack of PBEM makes it a hard sell multiplayer wise :( For years we've played Stars! and Dominions 3 successfully via PBEM and it's really a must when your group can't find compatible playing hours (if you think studying eats away all your free time, just wait till you get a familiy ;))

I know we've touched this subject in the Dedicated host? thread, but I believe most multiplayer players of this niche prefer PBEM to running an always-on dedicated host-solution - and as noted the game-model in EoS is already perfect for PBEM. Yes, it will unfortunately (all things being equal*) delay trading/diplomacy by a turn, but that's hardly game-breaking.

*) In other PBEM games trading/bargaining/diplomacy is agreed upon via normal email/chat player-to-player, outside the game

Stars! Man now that is a name I have not heard in a VERY long time. That was a neat little game.

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was? traitor.

Anyone up for an eos game? im an unemployed night owl, so for the next few weeks i can play anytime really :D

i would suggest doing a small map, 1 vs 1 but im open to suggestions :D

Also, we REALLY need to get a small stars game going :D i recently re-bought a stars disc from ebay cause i missed it soo.

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Is PBEM (or a Dedicated Host utility) still on the roadmap? :confused:

Seems like every week people are complaining that "noboby's available for multiplayer", which is hardly surprising since noone ever sits around waiting for a 5+ hour game session to begin. Well maybe in a testlab, but not in real life :)

For multiplayer to be a success, there needs to be an option to plan and submit orders out-of-sync with other players being online.

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I still think a system similiar to MAN2, or another game I like to play. dominategame ,would be better.

For now we can post that we would like to play a MP game and maybe try and set up a time for people to meet in the lobby to start.

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Is PBEM (or a Dedicated Host utility) still on the roadmap? :confused:

Seems like every week people are complaining that "noboby's available for multiplayer", which is hardly surprising since noone ever sits around waiting for a 5+ hour game session to begin. Well maybe in a testlab, but not in real life :)

For multiplayer to be a success, there needs to be an option to plan and submit orders out-of-sync with other players being online.

Yes, it's just something that will take some work. Other stuff that takes less time has a tendency to displace it in the to-do list.

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I still think a system similiar to MAN2, or another game I like to play. dominategame ,would be better.

For now we can post that we would like to play a MP game and maybe try and set up a time for people to meet in the lobby to start.

What is MAN2? I took a look at the dominate game, but couldn't figure out how they were handling the multiplayer. It looked (at first glance) like everyone needs to be online at the same time, but I'm not sure. How do they handle the multiplayer?

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MAN2 is Massive Assaault Network 2.

I talked about the method in another thread, but I will post it again.

Basically the games info is kept on a server, presumably the same server as used to log in to either game. Once you log in, any games you have going are listed for you, and whether you have taken your turn in the current round or not. If you havent you can enter that game, and do your turn.

In the case of EOS, let me use an example game to describe how it would work. We have player A, player B, and player C.

Player A decides to start a game. Logs in and creates a game with whatever rules he desires. At this point the game is listed as open for people to join (he has it set at 3 players, so when 3 players have joined and entered their orders the game will start.). While the game is waiting for players,...he enters his orders and hits submit. He leaves the game and goes back into the lobby. After waiting 20 minutes he decides to log off.

Player B logs in to the lobby,...sees Player A's game with room for 2 more players, even though player A is logged off. He enters the game, and gives his orders and hits submit. He leaves the game and goes back into the lobby.

Player A logs back in sees that another player has joined his game,...but still not 3, so he cant do anything yet,....and logs off.

Player C logs in, sees player A's game with room for 1 more player and joins it. He enters his orders and hits submit. The game then processes the turn, and goes to turn 2,...and shows that all 3 players can now enter orders. Player C enters his orders and logs off...........

Player B logs in and sees that the game has advanced to turn 2, so joins it and enters his orders. He then leaves the game and logs off. etc etc......

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In the case of EOS, let me use an example game to describe how it would work. We have player A, player B, and player C....

Ah. So the turn progresses when everyone has submitted their turns. Is there anything different that happens if one player is slow about submitting turns - for example, if he doesn't show up for three days?

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Yeah, a time limit is set at the beginning of the game,..usually 24 hours. If your orders havent been submitted you do nothing that turn.

And I did link to the wrong game. dominate does require everyone to be on at the same time. There is another risk clone that does the daily turns.

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Is this PBEM system ready ?

This is the only reason I will buy this game

I have so much fun with MAN2 and recent Field of Glory that use such PBEM system

Cheers

Unfortunately, no.

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EoS is very similar (though potentially better, IMHO) to the game ADVANCED TACTICS of WORLD WAR II. Since that latter game has PBEM, I fail to see why EoS cannot. I can think of half a dozens sales to start if you add PBEM.

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I've been thinking a lot about the PBEM system lately. I noticed that Civ4 Pitboss uses an email system (though, they say that the email system isn't working, plus it requires access to an SMTP server). Right now, I'm leaning towards a system where a player runs a small application - maybe it sits in their system-tray and checks for updates every 15 minutes or something. It notifies them of what's going on in the game that they need to address. For example, they can see if someone sends them a message or a trade agreement. Then, if there's something they need to access in the game, they can open up the game, connect to the server and respond. I figure this small application would take very little memory, would be an alternative to email, would queue-up all the events since the user last logged in (instead of one email for every 'event' in the game). The display might include things like:

- How many players/which players have submitted their turns

- Whether you have messages, and from whom. ("3 New Mail Messages")

- Trade Agreements ("2 New Trade Offers")

- Instant Messages that players typed into the game

- Declarations of war, etc

I might also be able to cache player data on my internet server -- which means the game-host wouldn't necessarily need to have his game-server running and connected to the internet 24-hours a day. (Although, certain things couldn't happen in the game until the game-server processed them. For example, trade agreements.) Any thoughts/opinions on this?

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Fanfreakintastic!!!!

Just to let players know what's going on with this: here's a screenshot of a small application I wrote. I'm calling it the "Empires of Steel Messenger" right now. It will track what's going on inside a PBEM game without requiring that players have their game open. It's partly a mockup right now in the sense that the display items are fake. But, the application is up and running, can be resized, minimized to the system tray (it doesn't takeup space on the normal taskbar), can talk to the webserver to get data, etc. It currently uses less than 7MB of memory while it's running.

EOSMessenger.png

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Looks great! Will you be able to write an iPhone application for this too? :)
I suppose if the server interface is exposed, EoSM clients could be written in any language (ie. Java, Python) and thus be available on any device able to run said language.

You wont be able to play your turn on the device, but you could easily respond to messages, trades and diplomacy anywhere you can get an Internet connection.

This type of online functionality is what is needed to bring turn based strategy games out of closed forums and lobbies and into the new millennium.

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Looks great! Will you be able to write an iPhone application for this too? :)

I actually don't know anything about iPhone development, but if there's a demand for it, then I could always figure out how to do it or (more likely) contract one of the iPhone developers that I know. I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard since an iPhone app could reuse all the web APIs, basic layout, and artwork that was created for this.

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