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Resync of PBEM games

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This has happened to me on a couple of PBEM games now...

It seems like it your computer crashes during or right after turn processing (before it saves) the different players games can get out of sync.

By "out of sync", what happens is each player sees different locations for some of their troops. If it happens enough, the game is unplayable.

Is there any way to resynch these games? I'm thinking that if you could send all the data from the host to each player (instead of just event files) after this occurs you could get it back on track.

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This has happened to me on a couple of PBEM games now...

It seems like it your computer crashes during or right after turn processing (before it saves) the different players games can get out of sync.

By "out of sync", what happens is each player sees different locations for some of their troops. If it happens enough, the game is unplayable.

Is there any way to resynch these games? I'm thinking that if you could send all the data from the host to each player (instead of just event files) after this occurs you could get it back on track.

Ah, I see what you're saying. Right now, there is no way to resend all the data. This can be a particular problem if the host sends out the turn updates to everyone then crashes, since the client-players will get a turn-update that the host doesn't know about. And then the host will have to reprocess the turn (sending, yet another turn update to the clients for the exact same turn). I think I've seen that problem in some people's bad games that were sent to me.

I had thought about writing exactly this type of function a while ago (I have some initial code in the game), but I never ended up writing it. The idea was to output a whole new *.game file for a player (although there could be some security problems with that, since the host could dump out a client-file for another player and open it himself to see what other players are doing).

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Yeah, I think that is exactly what is needed. You could fix the security issue by having each player put a password on your game (sent back to the host as an event on turn 1).

This would be sort of like a failsafe to correct any strange issues that crop up. If the game is messed up or crashing, the host can regenerate the files (which will delete all the events from the server) and email them to the other players. They would then delete all their event files and copy the new save game in.

It would also be nice to be able to go back a few turns in the game (before the bad stuff happened). Maybe this would be as simple as the host keeping autosaved game files for the last 3 turns or so?

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Yeah, I think that is exactly what is needed. You could fix the security issue by having each player put a password on your game (sent back to the host as an event on turn 1).

Actually, there is already a password system in place to prevent players from getting each other's events. Maybe it could use that same password.

This would be sort of like a failsafe to correct any strange issues that crop up. If the game is messed up or crashing, the host can regenerate the files (which will delete all the events from the server) and email them to the other players. They would then delete all their event files and copy the new save game in.

It would also be nice to be able to go back a few turns in the game (before the bad stuff happened). Maybe this would be as simple as the host keeping autosaved game files for the last 3 turns or so?

I should look into that a little more in a few weeks. I have some other projects due at the end of this month.

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I stopped particpating in PBEMs because just when it got interesting my game would lose synch to the other players. Happened two or three times when I'd invested days of turns in my expansion phase.

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I'm carving some time out to fix some of the issues with PBEM. In particular, sometimes people email me because their game is not progressing and it turns out the game-events were downloaded incompletely. There's really no way to recover from that situation. I still don't know if that's a network issue or a server issue. Either way, I'm going to set it up so that the game will automatically delete and re-download events when they aren't accurately downloaded. There's a few other issues to clear up with PBEM game I'll address, as well.

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