[MUD-Dev] Re: DIS: Client-Server vs Peer-to-Peer

Ling K.L.Lo-94 at student.lboro.ac.uk
Wed Dec 2 12:02:23 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

On Mon, 30 Nov 1998, J C Lawrence wrote:
> On Sat, 28 Nov 1998 12:02:00 +0100 (MET) 
> Niklas Elmqvist<d97elm at dtek.chalmers.se> wrote:
> > On Wed, 25 Nov 1998, J C Lawrence wrote:
> > More hype: The idea is to allow for a lot of different types of
> > simulations cooperating on the same battlefield. It all boils down
> > to human players generally not wanting to play cannon-fodder roles
> > such as infantry charging against a machine-gun nest (though I
> > expect some players would like to sit behind that machine-gun
> > instead), so the AI is there to take care of that. In addition,
> > the AI will make it possible to run large-scale scenarios where
> > only a small fraction of the individual units are controlled by
> > human players. 
> This sounds a whole lot like a number of ideas that Ling has been
> talking about for a while now...

Oh, is this a prompt for ME! :)  How timely!  I've just been doing some
thinking along those lines.

Firstly, there was an earlier mention about cyborgs and their rather
horrid affect on gameplay for players that are not assisted by chrome.  I
think the game design should account for it as it is inevitable.  How?  I
have no idea at present, will get back if I ever.  A gentleman's agreement
obviously won't work for being a) sexist and b) trust based.

Mildly related, I tried a demo of Urban Assault (C&C with the ability to
play first person view) and I found the game was vastly more playable with
a friend.  One person, with a mouse, did all the grand thinking and the
other person rattled off lots of bullets with the joystick.  Things I did
notice was that: our performance was horrid coz I couldn't second-guess
what my friend was gonna do so I usually had to overcompensate by building
excessive number of units; I didn't want him to be bored so when things
were in a rut I had to give him a squad of *something* so he could bounce
off buildings; and everytime I wanted to do anything that involved his
units, I had to warn him to give him a chance to orientate.  The last one
prolly wouldn't a problem in a real MMPOG (horrid acronym) but the need
for orientation will be there and something like a cyborg to give the
player a chance wouldn't go amiss.  It'd be better than having players
'flash' invulnerability for a few seconds (which defeats the point of not
knowing that you're fighting against AI).

I also have to note the implications real time joining, can you imagine
the havoc (and fun!) that'll be caused if there was a mass defection!  Or
what if the person next to me joined the game on the opposing side to act
as a spy for me?  And instead of clans, there will be mercenary units
those loyalty can be bought (with?).  Triple-crossing cloak-and-dagger
with none of the intrigue coz people just wanna see what's the other side

Personally, I love the idea.  I don't mind being given orders to run
around and do things, so long as the orders are broad bounding, like go
capture something, we don't care.

A game you may like to examine is a Command & Conquer variant (meaning
official variant) where each player controls a single unit.  I never did
find out how it worked but it didn't get particularly good marks for
playability, probably because the C&C game design wasn't suited to MMPOG
(I still hate that acronym).

[Was gonna make a post about game AI but feel it would be lengthy and
 deserves its own thread]

  |    Ling Lo (aka Hyperactive Lad, for today)
_O_O_  kllo at iee.org

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