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Subject: online play rss

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jbrier
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I don't have experience with digidice's board game apps (or any board game apps for that matter).

It looks like you can play turn based, and against real opponents of your choosing (assuming they also have the app of course).

I definitely agree it sucks not to have the much cleaner interface and public game stats, but theoretically someone could still organize on BGG and run a league/tournament like there is for TM? Not as convenient, only open to people who own the app, but possible?

 
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Ryan Feathers
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verandi wrote:

I definitely agree it sucks not to have the much cleaner interface and public game stats, but theoretically someone could still organize on BGG and run a league/tournament like there is for TM? Not as convenient, only open to people who own the app, but possible?



Absolutely possible, although will require quite a few changes for the players and organizers. There will be far less automation possible since games can't be auto created and the like, nor scores automatically reported.

But for an example of what such a league could look like, here you go: https://www.meepleleague.com/through-the-ages-online-tournam...
That is a TTA league that utilizes the app to play. Players sign up and some nifty google docs help to slot players into games. Players then can use a form to report their scores, those reports automatically get loaded into the spreadsheet and it largely handles things from there. It's not quite as slick as TMTour by any means, but it's also not crazy laborious for players or organizers and there's some automation. With that being said it would get really tough to run with several hundred participants as some manual intervention is needed in various places.
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James Ataei
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Adding in all of the art and animations into Unity (or Unreal Engine) is what takes the longest amount of time to develop an app to make sure that it can be ported to PC or Steam, Android, iOS, and possibly Nintendo Switch. The base programming logic of a game like Gaia Project is something that can be done relatively quickly compared to the importation of this logic into Unity to create interactions and animations with the art and logic. This is significantly more complicated than the simple pic and click boxes or drop down menus that you get from Snellman or the site that Ola/kruppy made.

A very large segment of Snellman did not buy the Terra Mystica app as far as I can tell. The ones that did buy it, did not play on it much, and some even left it for Snellman(Ozymandias) for the better competition. For quite a while I held the #1 ranked spot until Sprockitz decided to top me. I'm now #2. When you compare that my high water mark on Snellman is about top 100 then you can see that the competition is not as good on the app.

Currently the main focus of DIGIDICED is on finishing Castles of Burgundy. It is in small multiplayer playtesting currently. If I was allowed to share a screenshot, I would. It's got all new art, 3D buildings, and rotating 3D bird's eye view of your kingdom. I would expect that a Gaia Project app/PC version would have a lot of sophistication similar to Scythe and what we are doing for Castles.

The AI for Terra Mystica will not be able to be improved in a normal fashion unless someone wants to help out with Deep Mind. The current suggestion is to give the AI some handicap resources each round. Perhaps additional starting resources of +2w +3c +4pw +1p and round income of +1w +2c +3pw would make the Terra Mystica AI quite formidable.
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Tysen Streib
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And just to clarify a couple things that James said, I’ve been authorized to say that, yes DIGIDICED has the digital rights to GP, but it has a lot of things on its plate now.
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Scott Cranfill
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tysen wrote:
And just to clarify a couple things that James said, I’ve been authorized to say that, yes DIGIDICED has the digital rights to GP, but it has a lot of things on its plate now.

But what could possibly be more important than Gaia Project?
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James Ataei
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Scottish wrote:
tysen wrote:
And just to clarify a couple things that James said, I’ve been authorized to say that, yes DIGIDICED has the digital rights to GP, but it has a lot of things on its plate now.

But what could possibly be more important than Gaia Project?


Castles of Burgundy and (censored). whistle
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JamesWolfpacker wrote:
Scottish wrote:
tysen wrote:
And just to clarify a couple things that James said, I’ve been authorized to say that, yes DIGIDICED has the digital rights to GP, but it has a lot of things on its plate now.

But what could possibly be more important than Gaia Project?


Castles of Burgundy and (censored). whistle


OK. The porn I can understand, but Castles of Burgundy? Really?
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James Ataei
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OedipussyRex wrote:
JamesWolfpacker wrote:
Scottish wrote:
tysen wrote:
And just to clarify a couple things that James said, I’ve been authorized to say that, yes DIGIDICED has the digital rights to GP, but it has a lot of things on its plate now.

But what could possibly be more important than Gaia Project?


Castles of Burgundy and (censored). whistle


OK. The porn I can understand, but Castles of Burgundy? Really?


I'm just not allowed to say what is in the queue...
 
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Oedipussy Rex
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JamesWolfpacker wrote:
OedipussyRex wrote:
JamesWolfpacker wrote:
Scottish wrote:
tysen wrote:
And just to clarify a couple things that James said, I’ve been authorized to say that, yes DIGIDICED has the digital rights to GP, but it has a lot of things on its plate now.

But what could possibly be more important than Gaia Project?


Castles of Burgundy and (censored). whistle


OK. The porn I can understand, but Castles of Burgundy? Really?


I'm just not allowed to say what is in the queue...


So we can't know what's Behind the Green Door?
 
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Tysen Streib
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OedipussyRex wrote:

So we can't know what's Behind the Green Door?

It could very certainly be green...
 
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Mitch Harding
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Jack Spirio wrote:
Sadly they don’t care what’s best for you, but what’s best for them

Yes, although I do wonder if allowing a snellman-like site wouldn't actually be best for them anyway -- best for both the original GP publishers or the digital rights holders.

There's no way to know, but I feel that snellman's existence led to many more people playing Terra Mystica than otherwise would have, and I imagine some number of those people bought physical copies, probably introducing the game to their friends, bringing still more people into the TM community. And I assume that many of the app sales come from people in this community.

In other words, the more people who get introduced to a game, the more physical and digital copies that will be sold. Will some people choose not to buy a physical and/or digital copy of the game when a free-to-play version is available? Probably. But I personally believe that this is more than offset by the increase in player bass that is spurred by a snellman-like site.

I also think the longer it takes for a digital version to become available, the less excitement there will be for it. Obviously the hardcore GP players will still be interested, but the wider audience may have moved on to the next hot thing.

Finally, I suspect I am not the only person who prefers web-based implementations over the graphics-heavy apps. This is worst in the case where an app is developed for both Steam and mobile, since then it feels like you get a worst of both worlds, lowest common denominator experience regardless of whether you play on PC or mobile. I think graphical apps are fine for lighter games, but in heavy games with a lot of information to convey, most web implementations I've seen do a better job of concisely conveying the game state to the players. I suspect I'm not alone in this feeling, based on conversations I've had about digital versions of various strategy games. So if the current digital rights situation means that there will be no web-based GP implementation, then I think it will be excluding a non-trivial portion of players.

Just my two cents.
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Jack Spirio
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you can look in the PBF section, it's not as convenient to use as snellman, but it's still pretty good
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James Ataei
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Not many Snellman players (less than 5%) from what I can tell actually bought the app. If there was an open and free implementation out first then that would not be good for a business.
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Mitch Harding
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JamesWolfpacker wrote:
Not many Snellman players (less than 5%) from what I can tell actually bought the app. If there was an open and free implementation out first then that would not be good for a business.

FWIW, I'd happily pay for a web-based implementation. I'm not so much lamenting the absence of a free implementation as I'm lamenting the current lack of any implementation (beyond PBF, as Jack notes) and the lack of any plans for a non-app implementation (as far as is publicly known, anyway).
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oronzotauro
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when the digital version will be out , and noone will remember the game , you probably get 100% of 0
 
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Jonathan Guinn
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JamesWolfpacker wrote:
Adding in all of the art and animations into Unity (or Unreal Engine) is what takes the longest amount of time to develop an app to make sure that it can be ported to PC or Steam, Android, iOS, and possibly Nintendo Switch. The base programming logic of a game like Gaia Project is something that can be done relatively quickly compared to the importation of this logic into Unity to create interactions and animations with the art and logic. This is significantly more complicated than the simple pic and click boxes or drop down menus that you get from Snellman or the site that Ola/kruppy made.

A very large segment of Snellman did not buy the Terra Mystica app as far as I can tell. The ones that did buy it, did not play on it much, and some even left it for Snellman(Ozymandias) for the better competition. For quite a while I held the #1 ranked spot until Sprockitz decided to top me. I'm now #2. When you compare that my high water mark on Snellman is about top 100 then you can see that the competition is not as good on the app.

Currently the main focus of DIGIDICED is on finishing Castles of Burgundy. It is in small multiplayer playtesting currently. If I was allowed to share a screenshot, I would. It's got all new art, 3D buildings, and rotating 3D bird's eye view of your kingdom. I would expect that a Gaia Project app/PC version would have a lot of sophistication similar to Scythe and what we are doing for Castles.

The AI for Terra Mystica will not be able to be improved in a normal fashion unless someone wants to help out with Deep Mind. The current suggestion is to give the AI some handicap resources each round. Perhaps additional starting resources of +2w +3c +4pw +1p and round income of +1w +2c +3pw would make the Terra Mystica AI quite formidable.


OK, so this was posted in January. Can we get an update on this?

It seems like a long time in coming since the game came out it 2017...
 
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James Ataei
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jguinn1 wrote:
OK, so this was posted in January. Can we get an update on this?

It seems like a long time in coming since the game came out it 2017...


No update that I can give out.
 
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tysen wrote:
And just to clarify a couple things that James said, I’ve been authorized to say that, yes DIGIDICED has the digital rights to GP, but it has a lot of things on its plate now.


Thanks for getting that into the open!
 
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kruppy wrote:
[q="tysen"]And just to clarify a couple things that James said, I’ve been authorized to say that, yes DIGIDICED has the digital rights to GP, but it has a lot of things on its plate now.


I hope DIGIDICED is willing to flesh out the online modes a bit more with GP. The TM app is excellent but at least on mobile it is altogether worthless when it comes to trying to play a game online. Games take multiple days and usually you end up playing against AI within 24 hours. I've still yet to find a game in their 'fast queue' which I believe has a 4 minute timer. I believe the requirement that the app be up on screen or it drops you from the queue to be a big reason why.

I'd love to see options like Through the Ages has for online play. Unfortunately after buying the TM app I just found myself over on Board Game Arena where I've never had an issue getting a game of TM going and thanks to the wealth of play speeds I've consistently been able to complete a game on my lunch.

They put a lot of work into their apps so it is just a real shame to see a game like TM end up being a bit of a dud because of the online multiplayer options. I really hope this is something that will get worked out once they get around to GP. I'm sure they will make another excellent implementation of it but I have to ask myself what's the point if its going to be such a drag trying to play a game of it online? And just ending up playing against AI opponents because nobody gives a damn (myself included) about continuing on after they've slept because the games drag on for days isn't very alluring either.

The multiplayer options online are the one element of their apps I find to be majorly subpar, everything else about them is absolutely stellar, unfortunately the prospect of playing online against humans is a huge element to why many of us play these games especially on mobile and having to option to bang out a game in as short a time as possible is a major draw. Options are the key here and there simply aren't enough game speed options in TM.
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feartheclown wrote:
kruppy wrote:
[q="tysen"]And just to clarify a couple things that James said, I’ve been authorized to say that, yes DIGIDICED has the digital rights to GP, but it has a lot of things on its plate now.


I hope DIGIDICED is willing to flesh out the online modes a bit more with GP. The TM app is excellent but at least on mobile it is altogether worthless when it comes to trying to play a game online. Games take multiple days and usually you end up playing against AI within 24 hours. I've still yet to find a game in their 'fast queue' which I believe has a 4 minute timer. I believe the requirement that the app be up on screen or it drops you from the queue to be a big reason why.

I'd love to see options like Through the Ages has for online play. Unfortunately after buying the TM app I just found myself over on Board Game Arena where I've never had an issue getting a game of TM going and thanks to the wealth of play speeds I've consistently been able to complete a game on my lunch.

They put a lot of work into their apps so it is just a real shame to see a game like TM end up being a bit of a dud because of the online multiplayer options. I really hope this is something that will get worked out once they get around to GP. I'm sure they will make another excellent implementation of it but I have to ask myself what's the point if its going to be such a drag trying to play a game of it online? And just ending up playing against AI opponents because nobody gives a damn (myself included) about continuing on after they've slept because the games drag on for days isn't very alluring either.

The multiplayer options online are the one element of their apps I find to be majorly subpar, everything else about them is absolutely stellar, unfortunately the prospect of playing online against humans is a huge element to why many of us play these games especially on mobile and having to option to bang out a game in as short a time as possible is a major draw. Options are the key here and there simply aren't enough game speed options in TM.


Absolutely this. I like the TM app and currently have a couple games open. But 1 in every 3 games ends up having an AI player which screws everything up as they often make suboptimal moves that no human player would that end up costing a human player the game.

There should be a lobby where you can join a fast game or something to this effect, or at the very least an online chat.

The interface was very good for Terra Mystica on mobile and was one of the reasons I still play the app. But for most, the online mode killed whatever good the app had.
 
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James Ataei
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It is doubtful that there will be different setup options and a lobby for Gaia Project. There are actually not that many options for Gaia Project anyway. Nothing is set in stone, but my setup recommendation for playing ranked games would be:

4p games.
Variable Turn Order.
Random sector layout and 4th player rotates sectors (their Chess clock gets reset to full value).
Asynchronous chess clock: 48 hrs max + 12 hrs/move.
Live game chess clock: 5 min max + 2 min/move.

If allowed, I would recommended my bidding method for factions without any map rotation. The 4 players each pick a faction for a start seat and then bid end of game vp for the factions:
Pick an open faction and bid X vp (X or Y can be 0).
Next player either takes a faction from another player for more than X vp or takes an open faction for Y vp.
If you have a faction with a bid you are skipped until someone takes the last faction.

You can also set up any player number games you want with friends with other options.
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Ryan Feathers
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JamesWolfpacker wrote:
Nothing is set in stone, but my setup recommendation for playing ranked games would be:

4p games.
Variable Turn Order.
Random sector layout and 4th player rotates sectors (their Chess clock gets reset to full value).
Asynchronous chess clock: 48 hrs max + 12 hrs/move.
Live game chess clock: 5 min max + 2 min/move.


One of the main reasons I do not play online in the Terra Mystica app much is because of the dearth of timer setting options. Apps like Through the Ages absolutely nail this with a great blend of options for asynch and live play tailored to the speed preferences of those players. Even the Agricola app has an alright blend of timer options (although the flat clock there is annoying versus the chess clock system which is better).

I don't know if I ever got into a live game of Terra Mystica on the app. It was so annoying to be waiting for one and unable to tell if there was even anyone else online waiting for one. Those timer settings sound really bad anyhow--games could easily take over 4-5 hours like that, particularly if leech "turns" are counted. I would be much happier if the settings were more like 1/min move (which I think may still be a bit too slow but at least could be playable).

 
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James Ataei
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1 min/move is way too fast though. Patchwork live games is 2 min/move.
 
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I suppose I’m just too used to BGA and the typical turn timers there. It’s perfectly possible to play Terra Mystica there with a turn timer less than 1/min a move and then have the entire game take about 80 minutes.

I just cannot understand how an online game of Gaia Project should take longer than it does in real life, and as such 1/min per move seems very reasonable to me, especially given you have a 5 minute max/reserve so you can take a few longer turns as long as you can take some quicker turns too.

But ah well. I may just not be the intended audience.
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