Let's Vox Populi! (#3)

HorseshoeHermit

20% accurate as usual, Morty
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askingforyoursupport.jpg

The third time!

Except it's still the first time since it hasn't happened yet!

please play with me im cold

I want to begin a bold, large, immersive game of Civilization: Vox Populi, at the latest and greatest, very stable version, to compete for the distinction of the Greatest Civilization to Stand the Test of Time.

Seven slots are open, eight players will play.

The purpose of this thread is to arrange the game. At some near point, we must discuss how to get the multiplayer format itself, and the time commitments, agreed upon. We are tending to the idea of using GMR for Hotseat play (see below), as successful pitboss is a technical barrier. Currently we are settling World configuration data, and then we'll confirm climate and Game Difficulty (for city-states/barbs).


***The thing about format is,*** depending on the format, we may either want to share a timezone, or want to cover the circumference of the Earth*. So we ought to just nominate ourselves to play and we'll pick a format for who gets in.

*Here's how that is:
Spoiler Hotseat likes the turn passing around the planet :

If we play in turns, then it is most likely the turn will cycle in the smallest amount of time if that game data is being passed West around the planet. Even if we're huddled in a few places, aiming to cycle the planet once for half of the players and again for the other half would give you really fast round times, a lot better than what you see for random turn orders between Europe, America, and Asia. When the contestants are finalized they can tell me their probable times to submit their turn and I have models I can use to calculate what order to have.



So, for those who have never done multiplayer in BNW, here's how the two options for the multiplayer format work:

Multiplayer (synchronous) overview

Spoiler Synchronous multiplayer :

Everybody takes their turn, at the same time. The messages are passed to one player who is the host and there's a handshake before anything happens. If two players want to move onto the same tile, whoever's signal makes it to the server first wins. If two players are at war, they move and attack all their units amidst their opponent doing the same thing. You could act last on one turn, and then act first on the next turn, getting the initiative in a way the game is not designed for.
If players bribe City States, they can try to outbid each other on one turn, which is about the only positive consequence of the format. ... unless the CS auto-declares on other players, which then prevents that.

When players build wonders on the same turn, there is a decision made by the netcode. Unless this was addressed in the VP modpack, then simply the host will win all ties. The NQMod built a script that randomly picks when players tie and I hope that's in place in VP. I might even add it myself.

In synchronous multiplayer, chat is supported, which can be to All or to One player, and those recipients know what kind of message it was. This supplements the in-game diplomacy options of treaty offers.



Hotseat mode basics

For this mode, ^Giant Multiplayer Robot will be used. For those who don't know, multiplayerrobot.com is a site that lets players use hotseat mode to do "Play By E-mail", except without actually needing to even see any files. Its server and desktop client takes care of transmitting game saves from user to user, so that you can just click and play.
You log in with your Steam credentials. If you don't need to check your inbox and you get the desktop client, you only need to do this once.

Spoiler Hotseat mode :

On opening the game, you are presented with the option of screens from the main menu. Single Player, Multiplayer, Mods, and some others. When you enter Multiplayer, you can pick Hotseat, which is a mode that works by setting up a game like a Single player game, except, when you add other players, you can indicate they are Human instead of Computer Players. Nothing else is needed, so you can start game.

We won't be creating a game (I will), which means you only need to know how to load your turn. You do that by clicking Multiplayer -> Hotseat -> Load game.

When you start your game, instead of seeing the map, you will see a dialog to enter a password, a button to set a password, and a button to continue. If you set a password, this password will be required to continue from all future dialogs of your Civ's turn. Then play your turn. It will be like a Single player game, except diplomacy with Human rivals is different.*

When you end your turn, the screen is blacked out again and another dialog will appear which will ask for "Player 2's turn", again, allowing a button to continue, until a password is set for that player.
When the turn comes back to you, you will enter your password every time, or have the option to change it if you enter the last one, and then play your turn.

And that's how Hotseat works, which is how Giant Multiplayer Robot works, except GMR will figure out your names using your Steam details so you see them instead of numbers.


Multiplayer diplomacy

Spoiler *Diplomacy :
In both formats, diplomacy isn't carried out synchronously. Instead, you enter offer details in a Trade Offer screen, which opens when you click on a Civ in the world status menu - the one opened by the Globe icon. See picture. (You can also open the Offer screen by clicking a city of the target player.)
When you submit an offer, that player, on their turn (for Hotseat) or "immediately" (for synchronous), will get a notification of the offer where they see its terms. They can either Accept, Reject, or Modify. If they Modify it, an Offer will appear on your screen, on your next turn (Hotseat), or immediately after (synchronous).
InHotseatDiploMenu.jpg


We'll nevertheless be able to chat with each other, GMR provides an inbox, and multiplayer has text chat with whispers.​

---

Here are our game options. Just keep these in mind while we work out how to actually get 8 people probably on two continents to play the game together:


Game options:
* Pangaea map, Standard size, *Full VP*, Normal game pace, ALL victories
* Standard resource abundance, Strategic resource balance, Oldest Earth setting
* Immortal (7) difficulty, No AIs, normal Barbarian menace
* Ancient Ruins
* Options seeing support:

- Low ocean level; default rainfall, temperature.
- Ban 1 civ then draft in random order

* TBD by voting:
- Default planet? (climate, ocean level, etc.)
- Game features: Technology Trading, Research Agreements
* How will we pick civs?

I've already specified Terra, because it offers the world balance of Pangaea, with the opportunities of Continents. It's the best! But it doesn't work actually according to science! I'm so sad!
We'll play on Pangaea.


Total modmods list (pending YOUR input):

o Full VP some version, to be decided after signups.

Use the installer and follow ALL INSTRUCTIONS here.
This will give you:​
  • Community Patch
  • Community Balance Patch
  • City-State Diplomacy Mod
  • Civ IV Diplomacy Features
  • Barathor's More Luxuries
  • CBO "Compatibility Mod" for VP
  • Promotion Icons and Promotion Tree for VP (a UI enhancement)
o Modmods that were mentioned, but will likely eschew all of:
  • Enlightenment Era for VP (1.2.2)
  • 3/4 Unique Components
o Any interface enhancements that need matching versions?
  • I'm talking about something like Promotion Icons that changes nothing, but still checks the "Affects Saved Games" box (or should check it because it does).
  • That combat preview mod, that lets you check out other player's unit stats even when not at war, for example.

---

The roster:
  1. me, HorseshoeHermit
  2. stii
  3. DoodlesTheDragon
  4. Rongute
  5. STEPHEN HOFFMAN
  6. greenfieldpark
  7. Amask
  8. InkAxis
Thank you to those who have helped with legwork. I'm not really suited to make big organ-thing go. :hammer:

The other priority substitutions right now are just: Grassland Farm, dostillevi

Availability:
I am in UT-5, and can potentially play turns anywhere in 13:00 - 03:00 (UT+0)​


---
Let's get some multiplayer happening. I'd like to play. How will we fare? Whose decisions will lead their civ to greatness? Whose will dwindle into irrelevance? How will the fortunes of eight cunning players rise and fall, amid wars, treaties, revolutions, and thoughtful governance?
Whose people will inherit a legacy that stands the Test of Time?
:commerce::c5war::culture::c5trade::espionage::c5science::food::tourism::gold::c5food::gp::c5faith::hammers::c5influence::health::c5production::religion::c5greatperson::science::c5culture::strength:
 
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HorseshoeHermit

20% accurate as usual, Morty
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Multiplayer Robot is actually able to handle modified Civ games, including modified game core. It requires taking a certain odd step during setup, in which you submit the start state of the game twice, but, as the host, that will be my problem.

I'm willing to believe that the only way this game may happen is if it's played in real-time, but, I am really hoping for a game that has no turn timer, at least. Just an agreement about availability and X sessions per... week? per month? It is actually joint multiplayer which will be harder technically, because multiplayer sessions will need us to use the multiplayer-enabling modpack, which is separately maintained and faces obstacles in glitches.

So long as we play Hotseat, which is the illusion of single player on each system, we're fine.
 

STEPHEN HOFFMANN

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I'm interested depending on how many turns you're wanting to play in what time frame. I used to play Axis and Allies PBEM 20ish years ago with a map utility and online dice roller. Part of me is very skeptical it will work. Is it turn based or does everyone submit their turns and then it processes everything at once like regular multiplayer?

Also may need to keep in mind everyone's skill level.
 

dostillevi

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I think establishing a set timezone up front, or at least one you want to play in, would help. I'm in PT. Also it takes just one person missing a session to end it for everyone, as I understand it.
 

Rongute

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Potentially interested but new to multiplayer. Based in the UK, so quite a different timezone. Is this using a DLC modpack, or a more conventional install?
 

HorseshoeHermit

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Okay I'm going to update the first post with an explanation of how Hotseat works and what multiplayerrobot does specifically, in detail. Later.

The point of this thread is to discuss the needs anyone has to commit to a game. I'm going to shelf the talk of rule settings, and focus on timezones, sessions, and format. Thing is, depending on the format, we may either want to share a timezone, or want to cover the circumference of the Earth.*

If we play Hotseat, yes, it is commitment to playing at least for two years, more depending if no one is eliminated. With live play, we would of course be trying to fit in maybe 30-40 turns in one evening. With either one, there's a particular potential of driving out the first 30 turns of the game really fast. Some games on Giant Multiplayer Robot are lucky enough to have this one sort of mega-week where the players are cycling the game save 4 or 5 times in one day during a specific couple hours.

I have very wide availability, but I don't want to play at my local midnight I suppose, so if we play a live session, the only times I wouldn't be available is 03:00 - 13:00 (UT-0).

* If we play in turns, then it is most likely the turn will cycle in the smallest amount of time if that game data is being passed West around the planet. Even if we're huddled in a few places, aiming to cycle the planet once for half of the players and again for the other half would give you really fast round times, a lot better than what you see for random turn orders between Europe, America, and Asia. When the contestants are finalized they can tell me their probable times to submit their turn and I have models I can use to calculate what order to have.

I think establishing a set timezone up front, or at least one you want to play in, would help. I'm in PT. Also it takes just one person missing a session to end it for everyone, as I understand it.
A player's disappearance is not a technical problem for anything. GMR (the host) can just boot the player and they will be replaced by an AI in between the next time the game is uploaded. In live play, again, the host can at any time kick a player. I hope no one has to sign up without knowing they can commit.
 

HorseshoeHermit

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First post updated with some helpful info about multiplayer modes, and fixed some errors, and structured the post for the thread's purpose a bit better.

Sounds fun. When were you thinking of starting? Sometime in November?
I highly doubt we'll get together the people with all their conditions and requirements settled by November (I mean, maybe Nov 30? If the interest is fervent?)

Oh, and I'll center the info on player availability in a sec.

Remember, whether we're in one time zone or many, there is an option for us. I just want to know who wants to play and then what kind of issues they have. I can use my second post in the thread as a collection of responses to each issue raised, perhaps.


I'm interested but what are you going to do when someone misses a turn ?
If we play Hotseat, we potentially don't ever have to make anyone miss a turn. But if we do need to go on, GMR has an AI player substitute for that player for one turn. During that round, that player's civ will interact as though an AI. That AI player may also try to make deals with other players, which will pop up as the normal Treaties screen at the start of those players' turns.

If we use synchronous, we would try to get the group together just like tabletop gamers, I suppose. When you can't make it and delay sessions and everyone else in the game thinks that's a problem, you'll have to be replaced by an AI player, which means booting you unless somehow wondrously, later, you could manage with what an AI does for your side after 30 turns.
 

DoodlesTheDragon

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If we use synchronous, we would try to get the group together just like tabletop gamers, I suppose. When you can't make it and delay sessions and everyone else in the game thinks that's a problem, you'll have to be replaced by an AI player, which means booting you unless somehow wondrously, later, you could manage with what an AI does for your side after 30 turns.

To be clear on synchronous, is it standard synchronous multiplayer, pitboss, or special GMR synchronous?

If it's the first then I strongly suggest Hotseat: My last few attempts with standard synchronous went disastrously once getting into the turn 100-200 range.

That is, unless you've managed to get it working pretty well yourself already.
 

HorseshoeHermit

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GMR allows Hotseat. That's what it does.

I wasn't considering Pitboss an option, but maybe I should. In any case, I probably can't be the one to provide the server. I would like to use this free Oracle server solution with a dedicated VM for us, but I can't, for the simple and stupid reason that the Oracle corporation refuses to acknowledge that I exist when I try to make accounts with them (or try to contact support about how I can't make accounts with them or get in touch with them).
I don't know how multiplayer in the mod would work out. Trying to get multiplayer to work out is what this thread is. My previous attempts were stopped by disinterest before technical concerns.

Speaking of, it's a pretty lukewarm response right now. Some likes are on the OP, which means people like that this idea is here, but I'm bracing myself for the game not happening, like the other two calls.

My question to the VP forumites seeing this thread is, what do you need to see to consider playing MP Vox Populi ?
 

Rongute

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We do have 8 people posting in this discussion now, so starting a game in November certainly does look possible. I'm most interested in hotseat but would consider other options.
 

DoodlesTheDragon

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I wasn't considering Pitboss an option, but maybe I should. In any case, I probably can't be the one to provide the server.

If someone has an extra computer and civ V copy, hosts a pitboss game and sets themselves to observer mode with those, does that count as a pitboss server?

My question to the VP forumites seeing this thread is, what do you need to see to consider playing MP Vox Populi ?

The one big thing for me would be stability-being able to see a conclusion to the game(not necessarily a victory, moreso that everyone agrees that somebody won).

I'd also really like to be able to choose which civ I play as-but I'm ok if most of us want to get a random assigned civ.

You may count me among your band for this endeavor, so you've got at least 1 other person on your list now.
 

STEPHEN HOFFMANN

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Hotseat is coming up a lot and that is the way I'd like to play. Due to a lot going on, I can't commit to a certain time on a certain day to log in and play a handful of turns. If I get an email saying it's my turn, it should be easy to log in and play a turn. I like the idea of not having a set timer that I'm up against. A turn a day sounds very doable, but when life gets in the way occasionally, maybe it's more than 24 hours before I can make a move. And with holidays coming up, I'm sure we will see larger unavailability. As long as everyone is flexible, I think we could have a good experience. Is 8 players a need to have for this? I can go with 8, but would be good if we went down to 5 or 6 too. Makes things a little less hectic with scheduling etc. Just my thoughts.
 

DoodlesTheDragon

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Another benefit of GMR hotseat is we can use extra mods on top of VP with much less worry about destabilization.

So at this point I definitely vote for GMR hotseat.

Is 8 players a need to have for this? I can go with 8, but would be good if we went down to 5 or 6 too. Makes things a little less hectic with scheduling etc. Just my thoughts.

I'd be good with 5 or 6, but I'd find 8 players more entertaining:

+It would be harder to get far ahead without a massive coalition building up

+Higher chance of shenanigans

+politics would be a bit more complex
(which isn't a problem since you and your allies(?) potentially get a day or more to decide on things for every single turn)

+the game's already gonna be very long anyways, so I'd be willing to sacrifice a bit of speed for more political craziness

+Since there are more players, you have even more time before the game circles back to your turn
 
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STEPHEN HOFFMANN

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+It would be harder to get far ahead without a massive coalition building up

+Higher chance of shenanigans

+politics would be a bit more complex
(which isn't a problem since you and your allies(?) potentially get a day or more to decide on things for every single turn)

+the game's already gonna be very long anyways, so I'd be willing to sacrifice a bit of speed for more political craziness

+Since there are more players, you have even more time before the game circles back to your turn

All good points that I am on board with!
 
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