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

Ling K.L.Lo-94 at student.lboro.ac.uk
Tue Dec 8 18:11:00 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

On Thu, 3 Dec 1998, Niklas Elmqvist wrote:
> On Wed, 2 Dec 1998, Ling wrote:
> > On Mon, 30 Nov 1998, J C Lawrence wrote:
> > > 
> > > 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.
> I did not realize that you had some similar idea brewing -- please tell us
> more about it. 

I can't claim to be a budding game designer if I haven't at least thought
about all the different types of games possible! :)  I think JCL is
referring to my thoughts about teamwork and how games orientate around
"Only You Can Save Mankind".  I'm all in favour of wingmen running around
getting in your way when you're about to do something that's quite vital
and would probably save their butts too (which happened to me whilst
playing some game last week).

> > 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).
> Not sure what you're getting at with "orientation" here, but I tend to
> agree on the cyborg bit (if I understand you correctly). Dying as a GI in
> an Omaha beach scenario would probably transfer your control to another
> soldier in the same unit (or at least someone of the same rank and class) 
> -- if the cyborg did not take care of diving into cover automatically, the
> player might find himself walking through a line of characters in a few
> seconds' time if that MG-42 opens up at an unfortunate time. 

Ever played X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter?  In that, you pilot a craft in a
squad.  Dying means you are shunted to another craft in the same squad. 
When this does happen, I usually take at least a second to check where I
am, my status, who's on my tail and ohmigosh I'm about to fly into a Star
Destroyer!  (that's actually happened)  In any case, it's worth looking
into the game to see what commands for wingmen has evolved over the years. 
Stuff like attack my target, scram and target the unit that's targetting
my target. :) 

Back to orientation, a particularly keen enemy could figure out which unit
is the player, shoot that.  Spot the next unit, etc. 

> > Or what if the person next to me joined the game on the opposing side to
> > act as a spy for me?  
> Well, this is a potential problem in almost any multiplayer game, but in
> practice, it doesn't seem to be much of one. I have never noticed anything
> special, at least.

Maybe it's coz they're too frantic for a spy to relay information that's
worth anything.  Quake is one.  Hardly anyone ever talks coz you're prolly
gonna die if you do.  Even if a team member told you that Bubba was in the
lobby, unless Bubba had a defensive style of play, he's gonna be a
lightyear away by the time you've digested the snippet of information. 
Voice communication might change things.  I'll report back whenever I stop
being too scared to play Half-Life, overcome my motion sickness and work
out how to use the operator headset. 

For muds, it's different, I've planted people in other parties to see what
they're doing whilst I go around setting things up for an ambush.  We did
shortcut coz the plant is usually a friend who's playing in the same room
as me.

> > 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. 
> Right. I think many gamers really would like to take part in a large
> organization and work for a common cause -- just witness the popularity of
> team mods such as CTF and Team Fortress for Quake and other first-person
> shooters. Players don't have to save the world on their own all the time
> -- it is equally rewarding to save the world TOGETHER with lots of other
> people. This feeling of shared purpose is desirable and rather hard to
> come by on the internet, at least currently.

I personally gravitate towards teamplay but most people I meet rather go
the old-fashioned head-to-head.  Part of this team work business comes
from when I used to pk like a maniac, it isn't all fun.  It takes a bit of
coordination to pull it off.  I like to point out that the end result for
both pking and Team Fortress is lots of dead bodies.  Must be a good
motivation to work together. :P

> I, for one, would absolutely *love* to participate in a massive
> undertaking such as D-Day, knowing that hundreds if not thousands of my
> fellow players are all striving towards this end. Introducing a
> higher-level command mechanism such as ranking officers (you could rise
> in ranks as you play, thus gaining command of platoons, companies, etc)
> and real-time strategy interfaces (such as those of StarCraft and
> Command & Conquer) would help to strengthen the cooperative experience
> even further (all orders would be more like advice when it concerns
> players, of course -- we could not force them to do things).

I suppose advice would certainly be more acceptable, for me.

You may be interested in a shareware game called Firefight.  It's a WWII
real-time tactics game.  The control system is quite neat.  For each
squad, you have this bar which represents where the squad ought to be and
by resizing or rotating the bar, you can position the squad and how far
spaced out they should be.  The cool bit is that the squad members don't
take your orders as gospel, they'll do their best to execute your desires
but as staying alive is a priority, they tend to form a line behind hedges
and such.  If only the proper commercial games had as much inspiration...
<sigh>  The point being that it advises the soldiers where to go rather
than "Go here or die trying".

  |    Ling Lo (aka Lethargic Lad)
_O_O_  kllo at iee.org

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