Sebastian W
Finland
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The games of TI3 that my group and I have played seem to take a very very long time, which I hear is a fairly common problem with TI3. It also seems that the setup phase is taking an inordinate amount of time for us. Seeing as our games easily get past 9 hours in length, and more often than not have to be interrupted, I have been thinking about what could be done to remedy this. (We have really tried almost everything in terms of speeding up the actual games, such as timers, etc.) I feel that in order to get the full experience, I don't want to feel like everyone is being rushed.

I have come to the conclusion that what I need would be two applications similar in appearance to Vassal, but which would include options for easily setting up the board and saving it. Basically an app where you choose how many players you have, it gives you the layout for that amount of players, randomizes cards for the players and distributes them automatically, and then asks each player in turn which card they want to place and where. It would also refuse to accept any placements that go against the rules.

Then, once the initial setup is complete, the real game could start in the real world! I know, setup is ALSO part of the game (and a very important one at that) but when it takes 2 hours(!!!), it can very easily be the difference between finishing the game or not.

Also, the second app would be a separate one (I guess) for saving the setup of the game in case we have to stop playing, thereby allowing us to continue. This would be really useful if we ever use more additional parts of the game (leaders, distant suns etc.) when I assume the game would get even longer. The app would basically consist of taking a picture of the board and having the app interpret the image into a board setup. The only things the players would have to do is take their hands of action cards and political cards and put them aside for when the game continues. The idea is that everything else would be saved.

I have been looking at FFG's policies regarding online versions of their games and feel that both of these apps should be fine since they cannot be used without the game nor can they replace the game.

My question:

What should I code these apps in? I have zero experience in coding games, but have coded in Java and C++, none of which I think I will use. I am looking at Flash, but I am unsure of where to turn to find the easiest path forward, since I am guessing that this will take some time.
My coding skills are rusty as hell, but still, better aim big!

Input?
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TJ
United States
Maryland
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I don't understand what takes everyone so long to play this game. My group and I used to play 6 player games that would take no longer than 4 hours, usually shorter. In fact when we only played 4 player that's when games would take longer. Mostly because of the fact that everyone had two strategy cards so there was a lot more strategy on what order you would do things.
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Sebastian W
Finland
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Well don't ask me, I've been keeping track of who is "wasting time" and I am far faster than anyone else. As far as I can see, it is mainly due to the other players not being familiar enough with the rules, which is a factor if English is not your mother tongue and if you aren't completely fluent.

That, and we almost always play with 4 players, which IS longer, I agree. In fact, 4 players, apart from 8 players, is the slowest game of them all, I made a calculation some time ago that I can't find now, but it is quite logical.
 
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Patrick
United States
Glenshaw
Pa
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Does your religion have lightsabers? Nope? Didn't think so.
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"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals." Agent K. Oh my what he would think of people had he known about what the internet would become.....
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knightfall316 wrote:
I don't understand what takes everyone so long to play this game. My group and I used to play 6 player games that would take no longer than 4 hours, usually shorter. In fact when we only played 4 player that's when games would take longer. Mostly because of the fact that everyone had two strategy cards so there was a lot more strategy on what order you would do things.

Which expansions/variants are you using?


To OP:
I would love the ability to save a game of this mid point. Would be a pretty neat idea.
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Brian Petersen
United States
Texas
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The set-up app would only save time if it was done before players arrive. If it takes you less time to locate and place specific systems than it does to shuffle, you should shuffle at the end of the previous game instead of sorting them.

I could also see it speeding up Final Frontier, Distant Suns and Territorial Distant Suns, since you could just draw without replacing in the appropriate deck. Native Intelligence and Probing might mess with that system a bit too much.

The second app would be amazing. I'd start with individual systems before the whole map, just to figure out the code and bugs.
 
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Slev Sleddeddan
United Kingdom
Victoria Park
Manchester
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What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
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Don't you open that trapdoor!
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Inquartata wrote:
Well don't ask me, I've been keeping track of who is "wasting time" and I am far faster than anyone else. As far as I can see, it is mainly due to the other players not being familiar enough with the rules, which is a factor if English is not your mother tongue and if you aren't completely fluent.

That, and we almost always play with 4 players, which IS longer, I agree. In fact, 4 players, apart from 8 players, is the slowest game of them all, I made a calculation some time ago that I can't find now, but it is quite logical.


I long ago came up with the equation of 1-3 hours (depending on variants) plus thirty minutes per player, plus thirty additional minutes per inexperienced player. I can thus see your problem, and extra play will likely fix it.


Honestly, if set-up is taking two hours, I'd recommend the pre-set maps option from the web site. If you don't have Shattered Empire, you should be able to fudge it.
 
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Atilla Kármán
Hungary
Budapest
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With my gaming group, we decided to use custom designed maps for every game. Everybody (who's interested) designs a few map patterns, then comes a poll which decides which patter are going to be used. Then comes randomization, which specifies which tile goes where. At that point we have a perfectly set up map. Then a picture of the map is mailed to every player who'll play in the next session, at least a few days, but usually a week earlier. This way, everybody has the opportunity to find out a main strategy and get used to the map.
If you play with the Age of Empire variant (like we do) then you can also randomize the public objectives along with the map, so everybody can have a look at them before the game also.
Sure it eliminates the creation of the galaxy part of the game, or better say transforms it into an activity which does not need phisical presence.

Right now, I'm working on a web tool prototype which would randomize TI maps based on a pattern. I wish I have more time for it
 
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Scott M.
United States
Winter Springs
Florida
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Take a photo...

Take a couple of photos of the board for each player area.

Then take a photo of each persons card area.

Then take a photo of the Score track.

Done..
 
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