Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
15 Posts

Age of Steam» Forums » General

Subject: Why no online / turn-based implementation rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ferdinand Chan
Australia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Given this game have so many lovers (I'm one of them ), and the large amount of maps available for playing, I wonder why no one implement a web-based, turn-based version of this game so that fanboy like me can play this game more? ( I struggle a bit to get this game on the table due to my lack of face to face gaming time )

Was it because the publisher is keeping the rights of the digital version of this game?

or was it because this game consists of a lot of small user turns ( bid, select special action, build track, move good), and its not suitable for a turn-based online implementation ( some of the good turn-based online boardgame like Through the Ages, Brass, consists of relatively long, but small number of user turns per game, which seems to make the game a natural fit for turn based game.

Understood that there's no free lunch and as a owner of the physical game, I don't mind to pay for a digital version of the game so that I can play this game more.

Any thoughts?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Kouris
France
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Each turn, the bidding phase will certainly take some time ...
I'm not sure it will play smoothly in digital version.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Juho Snellman
Switzerland
Zurich
Zurich
flag msg tools
mb
Neither of those is a fatal problem in itself.

The exceptionally murky IP situation of AoS makes it less likely anyone would get explicit permission to run a service like this, but that hasn't stopped others before for other games. I can't speculate about the exact legality of making an unlicensed online version of a game, but there have been such cases in the past, and they just removed the most obvious problem of using original images. E.g. the first RftG computer implementation (Genie) switched to a homebrew text-based symbology for a few months after issues with Rio Grande, and I believe that's also one reason the BGO TTA doesn't use the original graphics.

And actually the turn structure of AoS is reasonably well suited for asynchronous turn based play. In a single game each player would have about 50 distinct blobs of actions. That's not as awesome as Brass (where the number is a maximum of 16, and more likely something like 13-14 due to the variable turn order), but about the same as TTA or Agricola, both of which work just fine as play-by-web.

I'd speculate that the reason is the general variant-based AoS culture. Maps are played once or twice, and then the group moves to another. The need to keep constantly adding new variants with new and wacky rules makes the implementation effort a lot bigger than might first appear. There are also a few ways in which the base rule set is particularly annoying to implement as a program with full rules enforcement.

(I have a largely finished implementation, but haven't touched it for a year, and it was mostly an experiment that I never planned on publishing
anyway.)
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ferdinand Chan
Australia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
jsnell wrote:

I'd speculate that the reason is the general variant-based AoS culture. Maps are played once or twice, and then the group moves to another. The need to keep constantly adding new variants with new and wacky rules makes the implementation effort a lot bigger than might first appear.


This is interesting and I never thought of it that way, but I kind of agree to it, given most of us really suffer from the cult of the new.

But I personally would think that the basic form of Age of Stream is a pretty standard railway building game, if implemented properly, the system might be extended to cover 18XX game as well? I'm not sure coz I have yet to try the 18XX family

I'm asking this in the forum because personally, I love to invest more of my play time on this game and would think that the huge number of expansion maps is part of the reason why I want to invest on this system. But seems like this huge number of maps is a double-edged sword where it could drive people to "Taste" more map instead of really spending time to work out how to tackle those maps.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I always supposed it was because of the IP issues with the game, and the stricter than average stance about "online-ness" (e.g. that the Age of Steam rules are not permitted to be online).

I see nothing inherently impractical about playing the game asynchronously by web. E.g. I've played Power Grid that way, which also has auctions and various little interleaved phases and steps. (And a variety of different maps with their own special rules.)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
uniquefer wrote:

But I personally would think that the basic form of Age of Stream is a pretty standard railway building game, if implemented properly, the system might be extended to cover 18XX game as well? I'm not sure coz I have yet to try the 18XX family


They really have little in common beyond 18xx providing hexes and the inspiration for the tiles to AoS's ancestor prototype. Further, there are already multiple PBEM, moderator, and Rails options for 18xx games.

To quickly get up to speed on 18xx, why not try watching the Board Games with Scott episode.

B>
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Johannes cum Grano Salis
United States
Finger Lakes
New York
flag msg tools
"It's not hard to design a game that works, the real challenge is making one that people want to play again and again."--Martin Wallace
mbmbmbmbmb
While I've never played using it, there appears to be a Vassal module for the game, plus a few maps.

http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Age_Of_Steam

I play a lot of 18xx using Rails/Dropbox, and would certainly play AoS using something similar. I played my first AoS game in a year (!) last night. It's simply too hard to find opponents locally.

EDIT: fixed link
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
flag msg tools
designer
jsnell wrote:
There are also a few ways in which the base rule set is particularly annoying to implement as a program with full rules enforcement.


As with digital 18xx presentations, full rules enforcement is at best a Slightly Nice To Have and is certainly not a requirement. The vast majority of the value comes from simply representing the bits and their placement. Aspects like turns and actions and phases can be viably represented by the players and not the software.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Costas
Canada
London
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Age of Steam » Forums » General
Re: Why no online / turn-based implementation
There exists a formerly vibrant community of Age of Steam Vassal players. You can create a profile here:
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/AgeofSteamVASSAL/

Many games provided pictoral session repors for user fubar awol's geeklist:
AoS Empirical Strategy Guide: w/ links to Move-by-Move Session Reports

I can be convinced to play a game again but probably not until the new year.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shane
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd certainly be interested in trying some plays via Vassal. However, i've only played around with Vassal a few times, and would need to learn the software.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ferdinand Chan
Australia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
thepackrat wrote:
uniquefer wrote:

But I personally would think that the basic form of Age of Stream is a pretty standard railway building game, if implemented properly, the system might be extended to cover 18XX game as well? I'm not sure coz I have yet to try the 18XX family


They really have little in common beyond 18xx providing hexes and the inspiration for the tiles to AoS's ancestor prototype. Further, there are already multiple PBEM, moderator, and Rails options for 18xx games.

To quickly get up to speed on 18xx, why not try watching the Board Games with Scott episode.

B>


I've read Scott's great introduction to the 18XX family and am intrigued.
But sadly, I don't have enough time to explore both system and might give 18XX a try when my kids get older (so that I will have more time to play laugh )

Anyone know how long would a PBEM 18xx game last for? lets say people are willing to make 2 - 3 moves per day ( say one in the morning, one in the evening or maybe one more before sleep )
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shane
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
uniquefer wrote:
Anyone know how long would a PBEM 18xx game last for? lets say people are willing to make 2 - 3 moves per day ( say one in the morning, one in the evening or maybe one more before sleep )

There is always at least one player who misses a day or three (and yes, that player has been me). And then someone has holidays or a business trip, etc so there are always delays. I would go for a goal of one turn per day. Of course there are a number of factors, but my longest games (1856, 1830) seem to be nearly six months. IIRC one 1856 game was done in under 2 months.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
flag msg tools
designer
uniquefer wrote:
Anyone know how long would a PBEM 18xx game last for? lets say people are willing to make 2 - 3 moves per day ( say one in the morning, one in the evening or maybe one more before sleep )


One turn per player per day appears to be the baseline standard requirement. It is often exceeded in practice, but that's the normal minimal expectation.

Most of the PBeM games I've seen have lasted 2-3 months, with longer/larger games pushing into 4 months.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ferdinand Chan
Australia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
clearclaw wrote:
uniquefer wrote:
Anyone know how long would a PBEM 18xx game last for? lets say people are willing to make 2 - 3 moves per day ( say one in the morning, one in the evening or maybe one more before sleep )


One turn per player per day appears to be the baseline standard requirement. It is often exceeded in practice, but that's the normal minimal expectation.

Most of the PBeM games I've seen have lasted 2-3 months, with longer/larger games pushing into 4 months.


2 - 3 months per game is not that bad.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Webb
United States
Western Mitten
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
SD40 wrote:
I'd certainly be interested in trying some plays via Vassal. However, i've only played around with Vassal a few times, and would need to learn the software.


Vassal is exceptionally easy to learn and games of Age of Steam can be completed relatively quickly if people are taking their turns adroitly. The only thing that slows it down is the auction.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.