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Online games

Lets assume we have a hypothetical game that needs two players. An AI is
hard to write for the game, so we want human players. As it is quite hard
to find two players at the same physical location who can actually meet
and play the game we need to make it playable over the network.

So far so good. Just some socket-stuff and we're up and running. This is

But, assume we want something more for the online part of the game. Maybe
something like Kali (ok, I've never seen it...) or the chess-servers FICS
or ICS. We want to let user log in, chat, seek games, exchange game-data,
observe other games and so on.

How should an ideal (but simple) system work so that players would feel
'at home' with it and it would be useful? I mean concepts, not code. The
code is not that hard, and unimportant for this case. I do however assume
a server than runs somewhere, and clients who play the game connect to the
(known) server at startup.

Any ideas as to what functionality should be present, or what should not
be done?

 Jan 'Chakie' Ekholm |    CS at Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland
    Linux Inside     | I'm the blue screen of death, no-one hears you scream