Author Topic: The Art of Conflict 5.0  (Read 3541 times)

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Offline 76mm

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Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2019, 07:28:51 PM »
I'm going register a nay for XML. While it is plain text, the mark up makes it hard to read and edit by hand, which will be necessary until an editor exists. JSON or YAML are better choices from a manual editing stand point.
I can't say that I'm familiar with JSON or YAML, but looking at the examples in the Wiki links, I didn't really find them any easier to read than XML.  One advantage of XML is that it is easy to manipulate programatically, which will facilitate creation of an editor, which should be the main (but not sole) means of editing files.  How do JSON and YAML compare in this regard?

Offline PopeFrancis

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Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2019, 11:12:09 PM »
I'm no computer program design expert but I'd like to see a lot of AI running the game engine.  I'd like to see the game be so user friendly that no manual is needed to play it.  I'd like to see the game engine anticipate what the user needs next and provide it automatically.  I envision an executive module that orchastrates the things that need to happen.  There should be only one module that contains the master database and handles it's contents.  The database might consist of several files: one for the terrain(s) in each hex of the map, one for the equipment in each unit, one for the units for each side, and so on.   

It's important to get the program working correctly at first and make it run faster and/or more efficiently as one of the last steps in the process.  Is there anybody on the team that knows how to query databases?

As for a wish list let's get one started.  (1)I'd like to see the UI player-adjustable for one thing.  Position the information windows where you want them and save that configuration to a file so it can be duplicated when next the session begins.
there's two things that everyone needs to know:
(1) 90% of the human race lives near the coast.
(2)  human beings can't breathe under water.

Offline cathar1244

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Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2019, 12:03:55 AM »
Concerning topics for discussion.  Is there any way to set up a hierarchical structure for this, so that we have threads dedicated to particular topics and not everything in one thread?  Maybe the admins on this site have a suggestion?

On the poll re: running in a web browser.  I voted "no" -- only because the variety of browsers will require more than one version of code -- or am I mistaken?

Cheers

Offline PopeFrancis

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Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2019, 08:31:39 AM »
Larry ( the other Larry )  brought up some relevant points in an email to me and I thought it appropriate to share them with everybody:

Thinking about how to state goals, perhaps a good place to start is with the updated toaw manual that sPzAbt653 released. Have people go thru it paragraph by paragraph gathering opinions on whether what was done there is what we want to accomplish, or what we would like to see done differently. As we are contemplating a "replacement" for toaw, that seems like a reasonable starting point. We are certainly not going to duplicate the code of toaw, but just trying to reapply the concepts in a new manner.

Have open discussions about what toaw is missing and could be added. You've mentioned some things you would like to see added. Others will make a case for their passions also.

Determine the scope of this rewrite. Do we want to be able to simulate current conflicts? How far back in the history of conflicts do we wish to try to recreate? Could conflicts from certain periods of history be modularized so that specific issues of the time period are addressed with more relevance.

We want operational conflict. Stay out of the tactical arena. How far down into scale do we allow the game to go. Is a 2.5 kilometer hex an operational game or are we getting into the tactical area? I'd guess no, but limits need to be imposed.

I like the use of the "scalars" that toaw uses. Maybe have a lot more of them. Just call them something different. When I first started with this game I had difficulty understanding that term - but that was just me.  I think the user should have the greatest flexibility in playing the game. Something thinks it is too hard to get to the outskirts of Moscow? Give him the ability to change the parameters so that the game is more suited to his playing style.

Matrix also pronounces that any of their games in progress cannot be modified. That used to really gripe me about WiTP. How in the hell could I ever test a change to the data if I had to play 50 turns, find out that I was not getting the desired result or I had entered the wrong data, have to make the change, then go back and play another 50 turns to see if it seemed reasonable now. I used to call that game "Restart in the Pacific". Of course, this was all done so that the PBEM players could be sure that their opponents could not "cheat" during an ongoing game - at the expense of the vast majority of players who would like the ability to make changes to the long running game they are playing. Later on some data changes were made possible within an ongoing game and that improved the play-ability of the game immensely - at least for me. There does have to be some option for safety in PBEM however.

Where would such a game be able to be released to the public? Steam, slitherine, etc are in business to make money and would have no interest in providing for a game that does not have the ability to line their pockets with gold.  It would have to be "housed" somewhere to that players can easily find each other and become a community.

Multi-platform: I hope those saying this are not talking about a game that can be run on a tablet or an iphone. Someone mentioned linux. I know nothing about it other that it is a competing operating system to windows. Then there is apple and I am sure others exist. Someone with knowledge of how these systems differ from windows would have to explore that. How far down that road do we want to go?


I like how he thinks.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 08:38:45 AM by PopeFrancis »
there's two things that everyone needs to know:
(1) 90% of the human race lives near the coast.
(2)  human beings can't breathe under water.

Offline cathar1244

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Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2019, 09:05:06 AM »
As far as generic concepts go, the ideal game would maximize flexibility for scenario designers -- let them modify anything like weather effects, characteristics of objects like terrain tiles (name, effects, etc.),  -all- unit characteristics (no autogenerated values like the anti-shipping factor in TOAW).  TOAW partially implements flexibility, but IMO doesn't go far enough.

Cheers

Offline DD696

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Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2019, 10:26:31 AM »
Regarding multi platform, they may have also be referring to the toy boxes like playstation and whatever exists along that line. I'm not sure how well a game such as this would work in that environment. Don't they just operate from joysticks and car control buttons? How would that make this game usable there? How would GUI data in the game be accessed? As you can tell, I don't use them (since the original Atari) and don't feel they support the audience we would be after, and the work involved to make it work there I don't feel would be worth the effort - even if it could be done.

Coding - most anyone with the knowledge and insight to play this type of game certainly has the ability to learn how to code. My career was in banking using COBOL, which is certainly not applicable here. However, coding is not difficult. Coding efficiently and in the manner that the boss wants is something else again. Even at my advanced age (73 next month) I am certain that I would be capable of learning the basics of the chosen programming language in a very short time.

A problem I see is that even when you have a newbie or an expert writing code, the problem is, what code do you write? It would be easy to write code to move a unit three hexes keeping track of terrain costs and remaining movement allowances. Then it bumps into an enemy combatant and the fun starts. A unit with a final attack value of 20 goes after a unit with a final defense value of 8. Someone has to tell the coder how the results of this is to be calculated. Then there is the whole issue of equipment within the units involved. Calculations are required to come up with how much equipment has been lost to the opposing units and what their state is after the combat. Say the 2nd panzer division is attacked by the 2nd US armored division (as in the Battle of the Bulge). How many tanks, squads, artillery, etc., are lost? To me, these calculations are going to be the toughest part of the coding process. Data entry, GUI and the like any decent coder can provide.  Finding the person with the knowledge to tell the coder how to code combat results I see as critical and would become a most valuable team member(s).

I would like to see equipment that is disabled from movement, combat, malaria, or no letters from home, such as the way War in the Pacific does. I think it would make a good addition to the game. In WiTP there was mention of providing nurses to improve the morale of the troops, but that's going too far.
First to Fight:  United States Marine
We don't take kindly to Idjits

Offline PopeFrancis

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Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2019, 10:37:31 AM »
Quote
In WiTP there was mention of providing nurses to improve the morale of the troops, but that's going too far.
Honestly, that's the kind of "chrome" I'd like to see.
there's two things that everyone needs to know:
(1) 90% of the human race lives near the coast.
(2)  human beings can't breathe under water.

Offline PopeFrancis

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Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2019, 10:46:25 AM »
Mz Sam Bee has volunteered to edit our manual.  I'm glad we're having a lot of people volunteering.
there's two things that everyone needs to know:
(1) 90% of the human race lives near the coast.
(2)  human beings can't breathe under water.

Offline DD696

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Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2019, 10:48:18 AM »
Are you having any luck finding takers? Look like a couple have checked in? Have you tried the PM route on Matrix to people you would have confidence in or those saying I'm interested?
First to Fight:  United States Marine
We don't take kindly to Idjits

Offline PopeFrancis

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Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2019, 10:57:42 AM »
Are you having any luck finding takers?
You bet'cha.

Looks like a couple have checked in.
I've gotten some PM's as well.

Have you tried the PM route on Matrix to people you would have confidence in or those saying I'm interested?
Funny you should ask....I just now got through sending out emails to the people who posted on our thread and I'm awaiting replies as we speak.
there's two things that everyone needs to know:
(1) 90% of the human race lives near the coast.
(2)  human beings can't breathe under water.

Offline DD696

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Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2019, 11:01:37 AM »
All right! Looks like you have the reins firmly in hand. Now to start herding 'dos cats.
First to Fight:  United States Marine
We don't take kindly to Idjits

Offline tomlowshang

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Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2019, 11:13:34 AM »
I'm going register a nay for XML. While it is plain text, the mark up makes it hard to read and edit by hand, which will be necessary until an editor exists. JSON or YAML are better choices from a manual editing stand point.
I can't say that I'm familiar with JSON or YAML, but looking at the examples in the Wiki links, I didn't really find them any easier to read than XML.  One advantage of XML is that it is easy to manipulate programatically, which will facilitate creation of an editor, which should be the main (but not sole) means of editing files.  How do JSON and YAML compare in this regard?
It's just as easy in the worst case. In the best case, if the language has dictionary/hashmap and variant array types, JSON/YAML objects and arrays correspond to the those two types so data manipulation is very natural. JSON also loads faster than XML due to simpler mark up and more limited structure. YAML actually loads slower than JSON due to lack of mark up. XMLs main benefit is flexibility but that comes with some overhead.

Offline tomlowshang

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Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2019, 11:24:56 AM »
Will this be an free/libre open source project? Does everyone understand those terms or does it require further explanation?

Offline DD696

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Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2019, 12:13:44 PM »
Larry has stated in the Matrix forum that he would like to see this proceed as an open source project, but all of this is not even in the planning stage yet. More like in the "let's see if we can find enough interest and support to start planning" stage.
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We don't take kindly to Idjits

Offline W8taminute

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Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2019, 01:13:33 PM »
What is this vortex I've been sucked into and how do I escape without resorting to thermo nuclear war?
Forgive me my old friend.  But I must use all my experience...to get home.