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RE: Online games

On 07-Mar-2000 Jan Ekholm wrote:
> 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
> easy.
> 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?

most commonly they are represented as virtual rooms or hallways with doors or
tables. I think a good strong game meta-server is a good plan, and I would hope
that efforts would go to sifting thru the several in existance, choosing the
most promising, and helping them. Microsoft (as evil as they are) has a
functional working example, possibly a few people should explore their system
and report back? games.yahoo.com has one written for their games that works on
java/javascript, so even non-win-whores can enjoy. I would think that a good
game server would offer an attractive general simple interface and be versatile
enough that any game could plug into it. I think that each game having its own
online server (like quatra, for example), or very limited sets of games having
a common server (I smell battlenet) are *BAD* things :) All a meta-server like
this has to do is get the end users into communication. If every package had
its own package management, it would be chaos. If every program had different
compile methods, it'd be mayhem. If every window manager had different concepts
of what a window is or what a click is, it'd be trouble. I think making a
general easy versatile framework and hoping that game developers utilize it
would be the best method. There are a few projects like this, and a few that
are too limited. Mebbe someone who knows them can report on their goals/status

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

        -Erik <erik@smluc.org> [http://math.smsu.edu/~br0ke]

The opinions expressed by me are not necessarily opinions. In all
probability, they are random rambling, and to be ignored. Failure to ignore
may result in severe boredom or confusion. Shake well before opening. Keep

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