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View Full Version : The Erfworld "game" rules are at least partially computer assisted



Tubercular Ox
2009-01-22, 02:14 PM
And probably totally. Probably already discussed, but hey, I'm new.

Look at the fog of war system. Each side doesn't know anything about the other (without scouts and/or magic). Even more amazing, a side might not know everything about itself: Scouts need to send back reports; Ansom has to wait for Unit Reports to know the details of any battles that occurred during his turn; he doesn't know Jillian got captured until they find the hat.

Without duplicate equipment, separate rooms, and a referee with his own room with omniscient detail, this can't really be pulled off in a tabletop scenario, so I think Parson can be excused for thinking everyone has a full-disclosure set up.

Plus, there are enough die rolls that Mathamancers have a job and the players can't just calculate odds in their head. Maybe. But if that's the case, the only way to simulate Mathamancers would be with a computer, unless the players are on some sort of time limit to execute their turn and a good mathamancer extends your turn to let you use your calculator more... but your calculator is also a kind of computer.

SteveMB
2009-01-22, 02:23 PM
That's pretty much how I see it. Personally, I'm more an old-school board gamer, but I've picked up enough about computer gaming through cultural osmosis to keep up. :smallsmile:

DevilDan
2009-01-22, 02:55 PM
What you call a computer I call the rules and reality, the physics and chemistry, of Erf.

Olibarro
2009-01-22, 03:02 PM
What you call a computer I call the rules and reality, the physics and chemistry, of Erf.
Agreed. IF Erfworld were a game, then yes, it would require computer-assistance. But the same applies if you were trying to simulate the "real" world as a game.

Tubercular Ox
2009-01-22, 03:24 PM
Well, wouldn't it be fun if we could move to Erfworld?

If I were determined to keep all the rules of the game, I'd write something Civilization like, except I'd skip explore and expand and just write exploit and exterminate. No settlers, but of course you can resurrect fallen cities.

I'm not enamored of online play. The turns look like they'd take too long to carry out -- lots of thumb twiddling for the off player(s). So I'd implement play-by-email first.

There'd be a simple scripting language, like FF12. At the end of your turn, you assign a script to each of your Warlords, so that the next player(s) can go through their turn without having to email other players back every time there's a battle.

The language would be extensible. Those of us with a BS in computer science and an MS in military science could write complicated commands in C++ or some other detailed language (again, like Civ) that they could publish online for the benefit of those of us who simply want to laugh at the marbits fighting dwagons.

You can only reset the scripts of Warlords within your command and control (messengers and/or thinkamancy). Willless warlords, such as the uncroaked, would have limits on either command set or script size. Unled stacks, of course, would have a default, unchangeable script.

I'm torn about the strategic move of warlords out of your control. Either we destroy some of the fog of war and let you move them strategically, or we try to implement a strategic script in addition to a tactical script. I think tactical scripts are just within the capability of the average player -- again, FF12 manages -- but strategic scripts, even if you've studied the Art of War, would be a lot more complicated and might limit the game to CS majors.

If I managed all of that, I might create an online web-based MMORPG that implements explore and expand. You could join as an underlord, and once you got big enough, you could "split off" into your own side. There's a huge complication with simultaneous battles. If you're fighting one battle at one email an hour, but another battle at one email a day... coordination becomes rough.

That's all I've got so far.

dr pepper
2009-01-22, 07:32 PM
Well i've got a BS in CompSci, but i haven't programmed seriously in years.

Still, i would not implement moves in C++ or any other primary programming language. Instead i would create a higher level language just for scripts, which would be interpreted by the program that maintained the game. Of course it would have macros.

Lord_Butters_I
2009-01-22, 11:37 PM
I would design Erfworld to give you real-time control over fights when a warlord is present and ability to move warlords around the map as you see fit. When an unled stack attacks or is attacked they're controlled by AI. I wouldn't limit player control to just home base.

K2
2009-01-23, 12:22 AM
Honestly I thought of the mathamancers and the thinkamancers as mentats. You know, from Dune.

MadMaw
2009-01-23, 01:17 AM
I would design Erfworld to give you real-time control over fights when a warlord is present and ability to move warlords around the map as you see fit. When an unled stack attacks or is attacked they're controlled by AI. I wouldn't limit player control to just home base.

Combat in hex's does appear to be real time, something like they have in Warhammer Dark Omen (or Shadow of the Horned Rat) would probably work.

Tubercular Ox
2009-01-23, 05:03 AM
Still, i would not implement moves in C++ or any other primary programming language. Instead i would create a higher level language just for scripts, which would be interpreted by the program that maintained the game. Of course it would have macros.

The intent was that, yes, there would be a higher level language just for scripts, but there would be hooks so that the higher level language can have verbs added that are themselves programmed in C or some other base language. Which can then be shared. Very much like Civilization.


I would design Erfworld to give you real-time control over fights when a warlord is present and ability to move warlords around the map as you see fit. When an unled stack attacks or is attacked they're controlled by AI. I wouldn't limit player control to just home base.

How would you handle the fog of war issues I brought up? Ansom never knew that Jillian was captured until his side found the hat, being the prime example.

I think that a lot of rules would be worth scrapping for playability, fog of war being one option. I was just speculating "If I were determined to keep all the rules of the game."

Hadrian_Emrys
2009-01-23, 05:42 AM
I always assumed much of how the setting works was heavily influenced by the likes of Warlords III: Dark Lord's Rising. I am addicted to that stupid game even to this day.