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Subject: online play rss

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kruppy wrote:
If you have only two planets, then it's easy, but if you have three or more it becomes similar to the 'travelling salesman problem' (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travelling_salesman_problem).


The part about this in the rulebook can be ambiguous:

"You cannot form a federation by connecting more planets
and satellites than are needed to form it. In other words, if
the federation would be valid with at least one fewer planet
and one fewer satellite, you must change the federation."

This is an and, not an or. So if the federation would be valid with N fewer satellite, but with the same planets, you need not change it. And thus you don't need the tsp at all.

But maybe I'm wrong and this part of the rules needs clarification.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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Skyswooper wrote:
You cannot form a federation by connecting more planets and satellites than are needed to form it. In other words, if the federation would be valid with at least one fewer planet and one fewer satellite, you must change the federation.
I don't like the way this is worded at all. It's meant to avoid someone creating a federation and needlessly tacking on extra worlds just to create additional satellites, especially for the goal that rewards "most satellites", but it can be completely misinterpreted in a weird way.

For example, let's assume we have these buildings:
AC(3) PI(3) M(1) M(1) TP(2) M(1)

We can form a federation like so:
AC(3) PI(3)-M(1)-M(1)-TP(2) M(1)

This rule is meant to prohibit this:
AC(3) PI(3)-M(1)-M(1)-TP(2)-M(1)
The rightmost mine isn't needed and should be omitted.

But the rule as written could be interpreted as requiring this:
AC(3)-PI(3)-M(1) M(1) TP(2) M(1)
In the new configuration the "federation would be valid with at least one fewer planet and one fewer satellite" which would mean "you must change the federation." I think most people would interpret this the other way, recognizing that it probably is meant to only look at buildings in the current configuration and not all possible configurations, and thus it won't be a problem... but this is certainly a legitimate interpretation that could be argued as valid.

I'd prefer the rule to be rewritten along these lines: "A federation cannot include unnecessary worlds and satellites. In other words, if the federation you create has worlds that could be omitted and still qualify as a federation, you must omit them." This is unambiguous that you aren't required to form a different federation that is more efficient than the one you're currently trying to form, only that the one you're forming must be efficient in itself. It can't have extra worlds tacked on... but you don't have to form a better federation just because there's an alternative configuration that would have fewer worlds.
 
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Skyswooper wrote:
kruppy wrote:
If you have only two planets, then it's easy, but if you have three or more it becomes similar to the 'travelling salesman problem' (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travelling_salesman_problem).


The part about this in the rulebook can be ambiguous:

"You cannot form a federation by connecting more planets
and satellites than are needed to form it. In other words, if
the federation would be valid with at least one fewer planet
and one fewer satellite, you must change the federation."

This is an and, not an or. So if the federation would be valid with N fewer satellite, but with the same planets, you need not change it. And thus you don't need the tsp at all.

But maybe I'm wrong and this part of the rules needs clarification.


I'll just say two things: First, let us please keep the discussion of the federation rule to that thread in the rules forum. The situation is confused enough as it is.

Secondly, I'm just pretending to know what I'm talking about when it comes to the theoretical underpinnings of this rule. But from a practical perspective, it is bound to be more complex than the TM town rule. There you just have to construct all clusters of directly adjacent hexes, and as soon as you have a cluster of size at least four and value at least seven, it's automatically a town.
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Bryan Thunkd
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kruppy wrote:
But from a practical perspective, it is bound to be more complex than the TM town rule. There you just have to construct all clusters of directly adjacent hexes, and as soon as you have a cluster of size at least four and value at least seven, it's automatically a town.
You're just looking to validate the federation action though, right? You're not trying to create an AI that finds the most efficient route.

So all I'd do is a rudimentary check to see if you can omit each planet and/or satellite and still qualify as a federation. If you can omit something, prompt the user with an error message that explains the rule about not adding extraneous planets/satellites (giving the example "Planet X is not required for this to be a federation") and ask them to redo their federation.

If their federation does pass that rudimentary check, then accept the move and prompt the other players asking if they accept that it is an efficient federation. If they say no, then prompt them to create a federation using a subset of the same planets in the proposed federation that uses the same or fewer satellites and/or worlds. If they can't, then ignore their objection. If they can, accept the revised federation.

You don't have to create an algorithm to find the best route when you can task the players to enforce the rule themselves.
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Flo P
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Thunkd wrote:
You're just looking to validate the federation action though, right? You're not trying to create an AI that finds the most efficient route.


Unfortunately these topics cannot really be disentangled. If you have a look at the federation thread, the algorithm outlined by zlorfik clearly shows that checking for redundant (I called them 'hanging' in said thread) planets/structures already requires you to have used [one of] the shortest possible route[s].

The reason this can become important can be seen if you follow the thread to the end where one of the more recent examples, originally posted by user Robert Shepherd, was discussed. An illegal initial route can lead to efficient yet illegal federations during the redundancy correction loop.

Just a last word of warning: Heed kruppy's words, that thread really is confusing and depending on which of the different rules interpretations reported by users there was intuitive for you initially, you might be shocked to learn that you have played the game wrong. Personally, I would recommend to work out the Ma-Ka-Ro - Sha/Ni example for yourself, it is reduced in complexity and covers all the essentials. Otherwise I can only second kruppy's request to keep the confusion limited to that thread robot
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Thunkd wrote:
kruppy wrote:
But from a practical perspective, it is bound to be more complex than the TM town rule. There you just have to construct all clusters of directly adjacent hexes, and as soon as you have a cluster of size at least four and value at least seven, it's automatically a town.
You're just looking to validate the federation action though, right? You're not trying to create an AI that finds the most efficient route.

So all I'd do is a rudimentary check to see if you can omit each planet and/or satellite and still qualify as a federation. If you can omit something, prompt the user with an error message that explains the rule about not adding extraneous planets/satellites (giving the example "Planet X is not required for this to be a federation") and ask them to redo their federation.

If their federation does pass that rudimentary check, then accept the move and prompt the other players asking if they accept that it is an efficient federation. If they say no, then prompt them to create a federation using a subset of the same planets in the proposed federation that uses the same or fewer satellites and/or worlds. If they can't, then ignore their objection. If they can, accept the revised federation.

You don't have to create an algorithm to find the best route when you can task the players to enforce the rule themselves.


I have a solution that (I think at least) provides the user with all legal satellite configurations for a given set of starting planets. Any kind of 'peer review' is bound to be difficult and error-prone, especially with this rule.
 
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Robert
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I'd find it deeply unsatisfying if in an online implementation, the rule for forming federations (or any other) wasn't put in code but rather left to the users. This is all the more true for an unintuitive rule like this, which even experienced players still misinterpret at times, and which still lacks a satisfying set of officially approved examples for the various quirks.
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Steinar Nerhus
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kruppy wrote:
I'll probably regret this post at some point, but I thought it was timely since there have been scattered discussions on the topic lately. I also thought I might prevent duplicated efforts.

I am currently building an (English) online Gaia interface somewhat similar to snellman for TM. My motivation is simply that someone ought to do it, because being able to play competitively on a regular basis makes so much of a difference. I still don't really know where I stand on GP as a game (even though I was a playtester) simply because I get to play it way to seldom. It's also turned out to be quite fun, at least so far.

I do commend Jack's initiative with the google doc, but I would think that any solution based on spreadsheets has inherent limitations. We also have not seen great uptake yet. I cannot comment on the Chinese site - it might be great, but unless it gets translated into English I have a hard time seeing it gain general popularity. It also seems that the creator(s) are not engaging with the community here, which would be a stumbling block to do cool community-based stuff like tournaments and so on.

I have done a lot of the hard ground work, but it's still not possible to play a game from start to finish. I have more or less all the actions implemented, but the overall management (whose turn, what round etc) are not implemented yet, and nor are the income and gaia phases. Once I have that it should be possible to play a full game in a closed session, and I will then invite beta testers. The final step before it will actually be useful is to implement a database backend that saves all games and moves.

I do realise this creates expectations, but there are lots of caveats and I do not want to make any firm promises yet. I might hit a brick wall or lose my motivation or whatever. What I do promise is that if I decide to drop this project at some point, I will release it for anyone interested to complete. Based on the speed so far and my vague sense of how much is remaining, my aim is to invite beta testers in four to six weeks, and to have a first version up by the end of August or so. But again, please do not take this as any kind if promise.

If any of the designers or publishers are reading this: Obviously you will get fully credited. At this point, with no 'official' app or similar on the market, I cannot see that this initiative could create any harm to your game. If anything, I hope it would increase its exposure and make it even more popular.


This is great news! I hope you have fun, and that you are able to complete it. If you need any help please let me know, I would not mind spending some time on a project like this. I love programming-challenges of the federation-kind.

Which programming-language are you using? Do you have it on gitHub?
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Ola Caster
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Stones wrote:

This is great news! I hope you have fun, and that you are able to complete it. If you need any help please let me know, I would not mind spending some time on a project like this. I love programming-challenges of the federation-kind.

Which programming-language are you using? Do you have it on gitHub?


It's implemented in R as a Shiny dashboard app, which has both pros and cons. Some of the heavier stuff makes use of packages that are written in quicker languages. The good thing about Shiny is that it is easy even for a relative amateur like me to produce a decent-looking UI without too much effort.

I appreciate your shoutout - let me think about it. Perhaps you'd like to port your random map generator to R? I don't have anything public at this time.
 
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Steinar Nerhus
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R! If I remember correctly it is the language we used in many of our statistics courses at university, it was nice for statistic-stuff. Thats about all I remember though...
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Stones wrote:
R! If I remember correctly it is the language we used in many of our statistics courses at university, it was nice for statistic-stuff. Thats about all I remember though...


same here
 
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Ola Caster
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So... It seems to be working decently now. Half of the factions are still to be implemented, and quite a bit of additional testing needs to be done. But good progress. A few screenshots are attached.





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Chris Nash
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Looking pretty nice...!
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Pedro Sequeira
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looking good!

when can we start testing even with only a few races ^^
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Jack Spirio
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I created a Thread in the PBF Forum, so it's easier to find my Google Spreadsheet.
There are already 4 Games finished (or still running) and you can easily start your own game.
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Songok wrote:
looking good!

when can we start testing even with only a few races ^^


Sorry, I won't make any promises about anything at this point. I have a small group of testers ready, that will be the next step. It's also not possible to play asynchronously yet.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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kruppy wrote:
So... It seems to be working decently now. Half of the factions are still to be implemented, and quite a bit of additional testing needs to be done. But good progress. A few screenshots are attached.

This map looks odd to me. For example, there's a cluster of orange worlds around 03-A1. Were those really all orange worlds? Or have they been terraformed to orange? Because if they're been terraformed, I'd rather see the original planet color (which is relevant for the various ways you can trigger "number of different colored worlds" in the game). I assume you could indicate who owns those structures the same way you're showing the Gaiaformers on Terran worlds.
 
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Thunkd wrote:
kruppy wrote:
So... It seems to be working decently now. Half of the factions are still to be implemented, and quite a bit of additional testing needs to be done. But good progress. A few screenshots are attached.

This map looks odd to me. For example, there's a cluster of orange worlds around 03-A1. Were those really all orange worlds? Or have they been terraformed to orange? Because if they're been terraformed, I'd rather see the original planet color (which is relevant for the various ways you can trigger "number of different colored worlds" in the game). I assume you could indicate who owns those structures the same way you're showing the Gaiaformers on Terran worlds.


You could do it both ways. I personally think this looks less cluttered. You can see all colours a player has built on the faction board. (So yes, they have been terraformed to orange.)
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Bryan Thunkd
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kruppy wrote:
You could do it both ways. I personally think this looks less cluttered. You can see all colours a player has built on the faction board. (So yes, they have been terraformed to orange.)
I prefer to mimic the board game as much as possible.
 
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Ken Thibodeau
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Thunkd wrote:
kruppy wrote:
You could do it both ways. I personally think this looks less cluttered. You can see all colours a player has built on the faction board. (So yes, they have been terraformed to orange.)
I prefer to mimic the board game as much as possible.


While you are progamming a GP clone and publish it online, I will happily play what’s been done graciously by kruppy.
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Rolster IEM
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as someone who still hasn't read the rules, anybody want to make a video so I can watch you use the interface?
 
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I just wanna say, you guys are the real heroes. I cant wait to start playing GP more often. Please let me know if I can do anything to help. I'll test things relentlessly or just join you guys when you want another player, wish I could help with the programming side
 
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seleCT wrote:
as someone who still hasn't read the rules, anybody want to make a video so I can watch you use the interface?


I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean. I wouldn't recommend to use this as a way to learn the rules. It's probably a lot better to find a video of someone playing the pysical game.
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kruppy wrote:
You could do it both ways. I personally think this looks less cluttered. You can see all colours a player has built on the faction board. (So yes, they have been terraformed to orange.)


I totally agree. Looking at the PBF sheets, I had areally tough time figuring out what's going on on the map. As long as you can see somewhere what colors a player has, I don't think there is any need to see the colors of settled planets.

Looking forward to trying this when it's ready.
 
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Watno wrote:
kruppy wrote:
You could do it both ways. I personally think this looks less cluttered. You can see all colours a player has built on the faction board. (So yes, they have been terraformed to orange.)


I totally agree. Looking at the PBF sheets, I had areally tough time figuring out what's going on on the map. As long as you can see somewhere what colors a player has, I don't think there is any need to see the colors of settled planets.

Looking forward to trying this when it's ready.


really?
I think it looks cool, but it is pretty easy to make the whole planet that color, if you think it is easier
 
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