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Subject: RoR online version rss

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Guillaume
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Ave fellow senators,

I played RoR for the first time in my native French in the early 90s and have been a huge fan of the game since. I own the original French edition and just bought the new VG edition.

Living 10,000 kilometres away from France now, I cannot really hope to meet my old game partners and play as many games as I used to. I make sure to play a game every time I visit, though. This is how much I love RoR.

So I've been thinking of an online version of the game that wouldn't be either a Vassal module or a PbeM game requiring a referee, but more of an interactive online RoR board that can be shared between players. I have no plan to make an artificial intelligence, just an online board : you login, you go to the game you're currently playing, and you can play any relevant action, browse through your party, your cards, the board, and the history of the game.

I am currently (after roughly 40 hours of programming) finishing the forum phase, although I left events for a later stage of the development. And I would be quite interested in getting some play testers. Be warned, though, that everything is text-based at the moment, quite dry, and obviously unfinished (no senate). Caveat emptor.

On the technical side : I am using PHP on an Apache server, and making shameless heavy use of object-oriented programming. There is not even a database, just serialised objects saved on file. I own the server, so it might be down from time to time, like when I'm hit by a massive earthquake, for example...

I have contacted VG about my project but they haven't replied yet. I would of course stop what I'm doing immediately if they told me to do so, but I don't believe this project could hurt them : you still need the rules to play it, and an online version is no replacement for owning the game to be able to play it face to face. This online version is just aimed at those who can't do that for practical reasons.

If you are interested to participate, please reply here. I need play testers, and if there is good feedback, this project might make RoR playable online. Please forgive the response time in advance : I also unfortunately have a real job.

Quod erat programandum.

LocoNeko.
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Andrew Young
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And if you never have, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.
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I could be interested in testing.

devil

 
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brian
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OK, Rik from Valley should be getting a hold of you soon. They have no issue with the project but would like a summary of your plans for their files.

So with their blessing, I am very interested in participating and being a liaison with them if need be.
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Todd Woodward
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LocoNeko wrote:
Ave fellow senators,

I played RoR for the first time in my native French in the early 90s and have been a huge fan of the game since. I own the original French edition and just bought the new VG edition.

Living 10,000 kilometres away from France now, I cannot really hope to meet my old game partners and play as many games as I used to. I make sure to play a game every time I visit, though. This is how much I love RoR.

So I've been thinking of an online version of the game that wouldn't be either a Vassal module or a PbeM game requiring a referee, but more of an interactive online RoR board that can be shared between players. I have no plan to make an artificial intelligence, just an online board : you login, you go to the game you're currently playing, and you can play any relevant action, browse through your party, your cards, the board, and the history of the game.

I am currently (after roughly 40 hours of programming) finishing the forum phase, although I left events for a later stage of the development. And I would be quite interested in getting some play testers. Be warned, though, that everything is text-based at the moment, quite dry, and obviously unfinished (no senate). Caveat emptor.

On the technical side : I am using PHP on an Apache server, and making shameless heavy use of object-oriented programming. There is not even a database, just serialised objects saved on file. I own the server, so it might be down from time to time, like when I'm hit by a massive earthquake, for example...

I have contacted VG about my project but they haven't replied yet. I would of course stop what I'm doing immediately if they told me to do so, but I don't believe this project could hurt them : you still need the rules to play it, and an online version is no replacement for owning the game to be able to play it face to face. This online version is just aimed at those who can't do that for practical reasons.

If you are interested to participate, please reply here. I need play testers, and if there is good feedback, this project might make RoR playable online. Please forgive the response time in advance : I also unfortunately have a real job.

Quod erat programandum.

LocoNeko.


I would love to help, this sounds excellent!
 
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Wei Jen Seah
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I have always wanted to learn this game but never had the opportunity. If you don't mind a total newbie living 10,000 miles away, I would love to be part of this
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Sheldon Morris
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I'd be interested in participating. At the least, I own the Valley Games Edition, and have played several face-to-face games as well as one PbeM.
 
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David Hammond
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I'd be interested in testing.
 
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Guillaume
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First of all, thanks everyone for the feedback. This is more replies than I ever dreamed of !

ColtsFan76 wrote:
OK, Rik from Valley should be getting a hold of you soon. They have no issue with the project but would like a summary of your plans for their files.

So with their blessing, I am very interested in participating and being a liaison with them if need be.


That's very good news. I think the best course of action is to wait for Rik to contact me before I give away any link to the project. Then, once I have VG's green light, I can give access to people who are interested in testing and work with them on perfecting the project.

Alea jacta est.

Oh, and I should really stop pretending that I can speak latin.
 
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Ferdinand Chan
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I'm also eager to offer my help. This is exciting !
 
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Mark McG
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have a look at ACTS
http://acts.warhorsesim.com/index.asp
 
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Guillaume
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Hey Mark, Thanks for the input !

I tried ACTS a while back, and I believe it's OK, but I'd still like to have an application designed specifically for RoR.

I don't know how well I'll be able to manage the Senate phase, though. It's a phase where players are rather free, and it probably means building some kind of "grammar" to make almost any proposal possible. But I still think it's better than some of the problems you face with a system like ATCS.

Looking at the journals in ACTS, I also realise that a message board is going to be a must have...

This is going to be so many thousands lines of code
 
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Mark McG
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I think the way ACTS is usually used is in conjunction with a graphic 'board' display. So ACTS does the card management, and something like VASSAL or Cyberboard does the display. http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:The_Republic_of_Rome

Basically it means using existing software rather than creating your own.

In terms of the Senate Phase, I think you need a 'Forum'
Seriously, I think you need to have free text for proposals, I just can't see how all possibilities can be covered.
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Guillaume
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3,000 lines of code and counting... I'm now doing the Senate phase and it's insane. But so far, the project is going well. A small teaser for you guys, in the form of a partial game log :

New phase : Forum phase - First Initiative
Player c rolls 7 for initiative and rolls 8 for random events. Event : Epidemic
Player c is using CLAUDIUS to try to bribe MANLIUS who is in player a's party
CLAUDIUS is spending 8 talents from his personal treasury
Player a is spending 1 talents from his party's treasury to counter-bribe.
Player b is spending 1 talents from his party's treasury to counter-bribe.
The final difficulty is 3 (Oratory) + 9 (Influence) + 8 (bribe) - 14 (target's resistance) - 2 (counter-bribe) = 4
2D6 Roll : 8. MANLIUS refuses to join c's party and just takes the money.
Player c's senator CLAUDIUS tries to attract a knight. Roll : 4, talents spent : 0. FAILURE.
Forum phase - First Initiative is finished.


... and Rik from Valley Games contacted me, so as soon as I get their green light, I hope to open the server for testing !thumbsup

In other news : I love PHP
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Guillaume
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OK, Rik gave me VG's green light to publish the link to my project for testing, so here it is :

http://www.fr-jp.com/ROR/

logins are a,b,c,d,e, and f, passwords are the same.

I'm now at 3,800 lines of code and consider myself halfway done in terms of programming. I hope to integrate some graphics later.

Please be patient, do a bit of testing if you can, and let me know if you find a mistake or something that could be improved upon.

I'm struggling with the prosecutions now
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Todd Woodward
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LocoNeko wrote:
OK, Rik gave me VG's green light to publish the link to my project for testing, so here it is :

http://www.fr-jp.com/ROR/

logins are a,b,c,d,e, and f, passwords are the same.

I'm now at 3,800 lines of code and consider myself halfway done in terms of programming. I hope to integrate some graphics later.

Please be patient, do a bit of testing if you can, and let me know if you find a mistake or something that could be improved upon.

I'm struggling with the prosecutions now


I logged on as B, if anyone wants me to use a different letter please let me know.
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Guillaume
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Sorry, the 'logout' function was broken and re-directed to another site.

It should be fixed now. So if you want to make some tests, just login as any user from a to h, and you can play anyone by relogging with another user name, as described on the first page.

The programming of the Senate phase is proceeding slowly. Once it's done, the hardest part will be behind me...

Hopefully.
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Guillaume
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Alright,

The prosecutions are done (apart from popular appeal mob effects) and this was no small affair. I believe it should be easier now, although I actually have all this to take care of in the Senate phase : Governors appointments and recalls , Concessions , Landbills , Recruit Legions and Fleets, Deploy and Recall forces , Consul for life , Minor motions , Laws, and last but not least assassinations...

Combat should be comparatively easy (famous last words), as it's quite mechanical.

For all of you who are interested, now is the time to help me. Just log in to the site, create a game with at least 3 players and play them all (using the trick explained on the main page to login as a different user). You can then see if things move the way they're supposed to, what mistakes I've made, what situation are not taken into account, etc.

Programming and testing everything myself is a lot of work and I'm likely to miss some errors.

The code is now 4200 lines long...
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Steve Bachman
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LocoNeko wrote:
Combat should be comparatively easy (famous last words), as it's quite mechanical.

Don't forget to include the use of some Intrique cards during the Combat phase.
 
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Guillaume
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Ward wrote:
Don't forget to include the use of some Intrique cards during the Combat phase.


Apart from tribunes, Intrigue cards are not implemented yet. I might hate myself for not taking that into account earlier...

And actually, more than cards during the combat phase, I'm worried about cards like tribune assassination : they are supposed to be a reaction to a player playing a tribune, so I should interupt the game sequence to give the owner a chance to play it, but if I do that, it basically reveals that he has a tribune assassination card just by giving him the opportunity to play it... Yet, if I give a chance to interupt the sequence all the time (by using a message like "waiting for other players to *maybe* play a card"), I slow down the game sequence considerably.

Any input appreciated.

Oh, and by the by, I had to delete all game files so far, as I changed their structure and the old ones became incompatible. Sowwy.whistle
 
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Guillaume
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Well... so far I hadn't bothered checking my app in ie, but I just did and it seems like the trick to change the credentials works in Firefox but not in ie...

Without it, I think it's very hard to test the app, since the only proper way to do it at the moment is to play everyone and see what happens.

So until I find a solution to this problem, people who use ie (if any) will have trouble testing.

I still don't know if the fact that I mainly use Firefox is the reason why I never have any problem designing for this browser, or if ie is indeed the useless load of crap I think it is.

Hmmm...

But as this log capture shows, I'm making progress :

Plutocrats [b] - Senate phase
Elect consuls - The presiding magistrate is AEGYPTIAN GRAIN ( []).
There is no proposal being voted on.
 
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Guillaume
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Hi everyone.

I can see a test game with players e and f, and it seems there was a problem to set the party leader. Could you let me know what happened ? Usually, the first senator is selected by default and should be appointed party leader if you click OK, but it looks like this failed. Hope the testers can provide some information on that.

Cheers,
 
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Guillaume
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Since I did a lot of bug-hunting, and also because of some "real" work to do In the last 10 days I've only made it to the Legions/Fleets Recruit/Disband phase of the Senate, but I am making steady progress.

Hope to have something actually playable quite soon.
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Guillaume
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Hi everyone !

Just a quick update : I've been busy with real life stuff and unable to keep programming my RoR application until now, and September doesn't look too good either.

You are still welcome to test the application as it is now on the web site mentioned above and if you contacted me you should have your login and password already. If you don't, just drop me a message, I'll send you a login and password.

I'll post here again once I resume programming !

Thanks !
 
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NATHAN KIRK
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I have invested maybe 120 hours into programming a MS Access tool to do all the bookkeeping and enforce the rules. I'm in the debugging phase now. Players must have the VG game, the tool merely keeps the action moving.
I see the tool as a way to interest newbies in the game. In particular, to interest charter schools that emphasize classics or education similar to that of the Founding Fathers. Who would Washington have been had he never heard of Cincinnatus?

I could use some help converting the tool to the web. I'd prefer to use Ruby On Rails, but PHP is good.
Again, the purpose isn't to allow online or PBeM, the purpose is to allow people sitting around a table to actually play this incredibly complicated game. Are there really people out there able to play this game just by reading the rules?
 
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Guillaume
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Hi Nathan,

Good initiative !

I avoid everything microsoft myself, so this is why I mostly concentrate on open source tools, so HTML+PHP seemed a natural choice to me.

My purpose with this project is definitely to achieve online playability at some point, but I've just been too busy to spend anytime on this recently. This should change by February... hopefully.

If in the meantime, you manage to get a tool for book keeping, that might be quite useful for players who feel a bit lost in the turn sequence of RoR. It's true that it can be a bit heavy
 
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