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Re: Mildly opinionated rambling on the computer/boardgame flamewar (fwd)

Forwarded message:

> Date: Fri, 23 Oct 1998 16:48:37 -0500
> From: "David \"Inky\" Scott" <[email protected]>
> Subject: Re: Mildly opinionated rambling on the computer/boardgame flamewar

> I've said it before and I'll say it again. You can't send a computer to
> the corner store for snacks and drinks. Nor can six or seven players
> easily cluster around a computer game all at once and be working on
> setting up their next turn/movement/etc. Nor is computer gaming a truly
> social gathering, which is the primary reason why many of us play these
> games.

Well *current* games certainly aren't. But that is no indication they must
be that way.

A good example platform that is currently available is Beowulf Linux. If
each player were to ethernet their machines via a hub then they would all in
effect be participating in a game equivalent in human interaction to any
boardgame. This would allow the concept of distributed game servers. If
you're only playing on your machine it's going to be limited. As the number
of machines increases the capability goes up as well. Of course it could be
done over regular machines without the support in the kernel. Set up an api
that provides access to an analog of the 'r' commands in Unix. Then the
necessary graphics and sound engines, graphics libraries, rules engine, ai.
Change the graphics libraries, rules engine, and ai and you have a
completely different game. This would allow two different modes of playfield
geometry. One would be where every player has an identical map. Another
would be where each player has a different map and they are edge-to-edge
according to some algorithm (which wouldn't have to be Cartesian). Have the
basic structure of the game be a 3 dimension, time enabled (it has a game
clock) array. By changing the scale of the display 'unit cube' play at
different levels could be engaged in. When you're networked to other players
your local ai might give you hints or suggestions, or the ai's could take on
the role of moderator. Maket he basic interface webable and you're ready to

       To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice.


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