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 Post subject: Spectating and Replays
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:02 pm 
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With everyone streaming games online these days, I feel like it's important to think about potential spectating features. Not necessarily high priority, but at the very least it could be a useful way to generate interest in the game.

A Spectator mode would obviously be useful. Replays too, but to a lesser extent. It would nice to be able to properly spectate FoW matches, preferably with some sort of password system.

I'm sure there are other desirable features or details that I'm missing, but I'll leave it at that for now.

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 Post subject: Re: Spectating and Replays
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:44 am 
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Some sort of game clock would be nice as well. I gave up on AWBW some time ago if for no other reason than matches would drag on and on, with the boot mechanic rarely working, cluttering my game listing. Assuming it hasn't changed recently, AWBW's system counts days rather than actual time which is sufficient IF it worked.

All of this falls under a match infastructure that must be at least as good as what is available now, of course. I recall there was a lobby feature that aimed to be a matchmaking and chat service so cumbersome emails and PMs wouldn't be necessary, but it obviously fell through.

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 Post subject: Re: Spectating and Replays
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:02 pm 
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Quote:
A Spectator mode would obviously be useful. Replays too, but to a lesser extent. It would nice to be able to properly spectate FoW matches, preferably with some sort of password system.


This idea has been tossed around in my mind. I can see it working for non-FOW games. But, I need to figure out how we'll prevent people from spectating their own events to get the upper hand in FOW games. Replays are already planned and are going to be an integral part of the save mechanics. My plan for replays is that you'll be able to access them from the save file.

Quote:
Some sort of game clock would be nice as well. I gave up on AWBW some time ago if for no other reason than matches would drag on and on, with the boot mechanic rarely working, cluttering my game listing. Assuming it hasn't changed recently, AWBW's system counts days rather than actual time which is sufficient IF it worked.


This has been suggested before to me, though I can't put a face to it. I think it is a great idea. I believe the same person suggested that time should be split up into sections like (30 min, 60 min, 90 min, 120 min) with longer times for when CO powers are activated. Anyway, it is an expansion of your current idea. I think I will build the new server system to accommodate this new idea.

Another problem I realized is that players usually give up if they believe they are going to lose a game. They just will leave the game waiting. Boot times and kicking aside, these games would probably make up the majority of the server space. Maybe instead of a Auto-End Turn.

Why not just give the active player the ability to resign the other player that is inactive (if they don't play for a certain number of days)? Unless it is a vacation, people will probably not come back if they are not doing as well as they hoped. I am all ears for user booting systems that will help newbies and veterans get the best out of a CW match.


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 Post subject: Re: Spectating and Replays
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:38 pm 
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I think a flexible timer would be extremely useful. As in, I would love to be able to set a total amount of time per match, ranging between extremely short (like 10-30 minutes) and very long (days or weeks). A turn timer (e.g. "3 minutes per turn"), or even a more complex system that takes into account the size of the map (e.g. "3 minutes per turn, +20 seconds per property") would be more advanced features that might be pretty desirable.

I don't think there's anything wrong with a system where a player immediately loses for going over their time limit. That happens in online Chess sites, other gaming sites I've dealt with, and so on. No issues there.

There could be a matter of disconnects, though: fantasystrike.com uses a system where, if your opponent disconnects, they're given a couple minutes to return. If they don't make it in time, then you can either choose to claim victory, or continue waiting. I like this system because it cleanly solves the issue of "ragequitters" while also allowing friendlier matches to continue unhindered in the case of accidental disconnects. This is assuming simultaneous play though; in the case of AWBW-style asynchronous matches, it doesn't really apply.

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 Post subject: Re: Spectating and Replays
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:04 pm 
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May as well use this thread for general suggestions.

GipFace wrote:
Now for a serious post. What do I really want to see in an AW PC clone?

PRIORITY
- See enemy turn in progress (Custom Wars didn't have this!)
- In-game clock (static from 1-5 minutes or based on turns/unit count)
- Spectating
- Toggle AW2/AW3/AW4 mode
- Maintain relevant quirky gameplay accuracy in the canon games (50 unit limit, AW4 defensive zone charging, terrain def. reduces luck, APC/rig supply after upkeep, etc.)
- Rejoin on disconnect options

HIGH
- Spectate host. A tournament organizer could host the game and let two people play.
- Spectate camera (for fog mode - have a no-fog camera and specific player cameras)
- Unit and map animation
- Music and sound effects
- Completely remappable input
- Random player position (players don't know if they're P1 or P2 until the game starts!)
- All menu items available as buttoned commands

MEDIUM
- "Metal Gear ! warning" This was in that Strategery flash game. When advancing a unit, any enemy units that may attack it the following turn will have a ! pop up. I really liked this.
- 2-click command mode, user selectable. This would be really cool. Left-click on a unit to select, and then movement will follow the pointer. Hovering over an enemy will show projected damage, and left-clicking on it would execute a command. Moving to an empty space is an automatic wait/supply/capture command, except only when unloading or constructing is available (which requires >2 clicks). If blitz play were to be implemented, this would speed things up a lot. But perhaps some people would like the old AW3 or AW4 command mode, and that's fine too. Right-click, of course, is cancel.
- "Attach CO to this unit" command, which would be needed in 2-click command mode
- Toggle CO blind pick or 1P selects CO first

LOW
- New art for canon COs
- Map design mirror fill. Make one half of the map and tell the map editor to mirror it for perfect symmetry! No more messing up.
- Exact health mode. Shows exact health instead of /10 HP
- Exact projected counterattack damage mode. Show multiple possibilities based on luck outcome. (If projected damage is 55%, show 4HP and 5HP counterattack damage)
- Set low ammo/gas warning levels. It's set at 50% or below by default; making it customizable would be cute.
- Auto end turn if you cannot build anything or issue a command, and you cannot activate a COP
- Force animation off or minimum animation if clock is under 20 seconds
- Custom units
- Custom COs

Basically, any AW clone should at least consider this entire checklist before taking huge leaps with design.

You're starting to attract attention. How are you holding up?

Also, it appears multiple AW projects are stirring anew at this time. Very strange.

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 Post subject: Re: Spectating and Replays
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:44 am 
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Quote:
All menu items available as buttoned commands

Hotkeys, in other words. The plan was to have a more traditional command bar at the bottom along the lines of other PC-based TBS and RTS games, so hotkeys will almost certainly be included.

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 Post subject: Re: Spectating and Replays
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:33 pm 
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DiamondPheonix wrote:
You're starting to attract attention. How are you holding up?

Also, it appears multiple AW projects are stirring anew at this time. Very strange.


To be honest, I haven't been doing any real advertising for this project at all. I know MaraSargon did a little bit of advertising on the old WC forums and on the BBHQ forums. All the rest of the people who have found it and are responding to it is all probably word of mouth. I am also surprised to see that there is more than one AW clone project.

I know that Mori from AWBW is working on a Competitive AW project. It was an extension of the AHC mod, but I think he might be migrating it to its own project.

What is also pretty interesting is that the producer of Netwars, a very old AW clone, is being completely rewritten in a language called Clojure (a subsidiary of the Java programming language). If you guys want to check out the progress on it, check out the link below.

https://github.com/the-kenny/netwars-clj

I like the fact that there are options out there. Even with AW not producing a game in almost 5 years, this is truly a great effort I see to get a clone out there.

As for holding up, we are doing just fine. Most of my focus now is getting the network system ready and active. I really want all the core features to be in this game before we hit Milestone 5. Gipface's chart has been put into our official checklist. We are going to strive to nail as many (if not all) the points that he has stated. My programming team all agrees, this will strengthen AW clones far beyond a simple copy if all these points are nailed. Mara, thank you for clarification on that bullet point.

I can't ask for a better group of people for the ideas. You might think your contributions are little, but believe me, I am truly thanking you guys for all your effort you've put in so far. Your design ideas are truly making a better program. Keep them coming :)


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