Let's Vox Populi! (#3)

HorseshoeHermit

20% accurate as usual, Morty
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whew alright well, what else did we have to figure out here? Minor settings? Yeah Raging Barbs and Ruins and stuff.
Then the tech demo to try and get pitboss, then we do the draft and begin.

Learning to lucid dream is a thing, it's not like Im getting anything out of dreams right now. But yeah, 'got tired of all that already'... something like that. I can still work on some skills, but only with a lot of breaks - to make up for the times when you can't help walk around anyway.

I have to switch gears to catch up on this production. Monotropic thinking. I'll make it a priority for this week, to set up everyone to know what we're doing, and paint the target. It's close.
 

Amask

Oogala Boogala
Joined
Feb 7, 2002
Messages
828
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Toronto
"GMR folks" indeed failed to respond.

I had a very stressful trip, and got sick shortly after getting home. I don't have the resolve to do any more investigating right now, but can invest more time on the weekend.

To be honest it's not looking good. The connectivity issues are the biggest problem in my eyes. It could take many many hours to deal with. My suspicion is that my router is just broken when it comes to port forwarding.
There are some really hardcore things I can try, but I know relatively little about networking and absolutely despise dealing with it.

Your second point discounts Amask claiming to already have technology that transforms a game save data into a hotseat game.

It's a theoretical possibility. I haven't tested it yet.
In my personal opinion if it turns out to not be possible, we should go with pitboss anyway. Then we can proceed at a decent pace of one turn per day, for the most part.
That's also the best case scenario with GMR, but in practice I really don't see it happening that quickly. All it takes is for a single person (A) to be busy for whatever reason during their usual playing time. The person after them (B) might also have only a narrow window to play, so even if person A is only late by an hour, person B might already be sleeping by that point. These delays will cascade.
Having said that, if everyone insists on GMR, I'm fine with that too. But give me till the weekend at least to poke at it some more.

Finally, to reiterate what I said earlier, GMR isn't guaranteed to work either.
They do some magical save editing to protect each player's civ with a password.
If they are using the same tool that I already tried, then we might have a problem. That particular tool didn't work for latest versions of VP.
 

Amask

Oogala Boogala
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Status update.

1.
Spent more time trying to convert pitboss saves to hotseat.
Partial success. I'm able to load the game in hotseat mode as player 1, but can't end turn and switch to next player. There are things I can still try on this front, and I'll spend more time on it tomorrow.
Note that this is without any mods. There's still the issue of the tool that I'm using breaking on more recent VP versions. It's a known issue, but the developer of the tool hasn't been active for close to a year.
I'm reasonably confident that I could figure it out. I believe it has to do with additional game options added by VP. So I'm attacking the more critical task first. If it turns out that converting even vanilla saves doesn't work, then this issue becomes irrelevant.

2.
GMR has been down all day. Uh oh.
I was actually going to test if it supports VP at all, forget converted saves.
Also came across a thread elsewhere where someone claims GMR itself can convert single player saves to hotseat. Perhaps it can do the same for multiplayer saves. But for now I can't test it.
 

DoodlesTheDragon

Chieftain
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
65
Raging Barbs: No. Feel like Authority might get too far ahead farming Barbarians. Maybe I'm overestimating Authority.

Ancient Ruins: Yes.

All it takes is for a single person (A) to be busy for whatever reason during their usual playing time. The person after them (B) might also have only a narrow window to play, so even if person A is only late by an hour, person B might already be sleeping by that point. These delays will cascade.
Having said that, if everyone insists on GMR, I'm fine with that too. But give me till the weekend at least to poke at it some more.

Our Great Scientist Amask* makes a very good point. I'd give Amask as much time as Amask thinks necessary, even beyond the weekend.

GMR has been down all day. Uh oh.

Big uh oh indeed. Let's hope pitboss works out-but if not, and if GMR doesn't work out... well, we'll fall off that cliff if we come to it.

Also I can see no one has answered about whether they want to be the Discord host, so I'll give it till... January 22nd. If no one has answered by then (or we've already started the game by then), I'll try out being host.

Edit: *Just to be clear, I do really appreciate the effort you're putting in to see if pitboss can work Amask-not trying to mock. Even if it doesn't work in the end, it'll still be great that you tried.
 
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Amask

Oogala Boogala
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Sorry to hear about your health issue.

I continued my adventures on Sunday, and didn't get much farther unfortunately.
It seems like there are more substantial differences between a hotseat save and a regular MP save that just a "is_hotseat" flag.
For example I think hotseat saves have additional sections where player passwords are stored. Seems like this doesn't exist in normal saves, not even as blank memory.
I have no idea what the format of this section is, or if it's even all one continuous section. The most promising tool out there doesn't support reading/editing this.
I tried another tool that supposedly lets you edit player passwords, and all I could get out of it was corrupted saves. I have no idea if it's just an old tool and something changed, or if I'm an idiot and did something wrong.
I can't make any more progress in a reasonable time without knowing more about the format of the save files.
I think trying GMR's capabilities should be done first.


GMR is back up right now. It was down for all or most of Sunday, and even Monday morning. It was also briefly up late in the evening on Saturday, before I went to bed.
Seems pretty strange. I suppose it could be power outages or something like that.

Anyway, I created two GMR games.

1. An unmodded game that I started in pitboss mode. This is to test whether existing saves can be converted to hotseat.
http://multiplayerrobot.com/Game/Join/29818?token=5b4c968a-4174-4a5e-9472-183a4a454bd5

2. A VP game to test if GMR supports it at all.
http://multiplayerrobot.com/Game/Join/29819?token=51bdeecf-8f6d-45d3-abb6-fe59557ac7ea

I need one person to join my games.
I think you only need to log in on GMR site with your steam account, and join the game. I don't think you'll actually need to start civ at all, at least not right now.
Both links will only work for one person. If you're the first to do this, make a post so others don't waste their time.

Pick Greece as your civ.

Edit: *Just to be clear, I do really appreciate the effort you're putting in to see if pitboss can work Amask-not trying to mock. Even if it doesn't work in the end, it'll still be great that you tried.
All good. I sure talked a big talk, let's hope I can deliver!
 

stii

Emperor
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
1,026
Sorry to hear about your health issue.

I continued my adventures on Sunday, and didn't get much farther unfortunately.
It seems like there are more substantial differences between a hotseat save and a regular MP save that just a "is_hotseat" flag.
For example I think hotseat saves have additional sections where player passwords are stored. Seems like this doesn't exist in normal saves, not even as blank memory.
I have no idea what the format of this section is, or if it's even all one continuous section. The most promising tool out there doesn't support reading/editing this.
I tried another tool that supposedly lets you edit player passwords, and all I could get out of it was corrupted saves. I have no idea if it's just an old tool and something changed, or if I'm an idiot and did something wrong.
I can't make any more progress in a reasonable time without knowing more about the format of the save files.
I think trying GMR's capabilities should be done first.


GMR is back up right now. It was down for all or most of Sunday, and even Monday morning. It was also briefly up late in the evening on Saturday, before I went to bed.
Seems pretty strange. I suppose it could be power outages or something like that.

Anyway, I created two GMR games.

1. An unmodded game that I started in pitboss mode. This is to test whether existing saves can be converted to hotseat.
http://multiplayerrobot.com/Game/Join/29818?token=5b4c968a-4174-4a5e-9472-183a4a454bd5

2. A VP game to test if GMR supports it at all.
http://multiplayerrobot.com/Game/Join/29819?token=51bdeecf-8f6d-45d3-abb6-fe59557ac7ea

I need one person to join my games.
I think you only need to log in on GMR site with your steam account, and join the game. I don't think you'll actually need to start civ at all, at least not right now.
Both links will only work for one person. If you're the first to do this, make a post so others don't waste their time.

Pick Greece as your civ.


All good. I sure talked a big talk, let's hope I can deliver!


ok joined both games.
 

Recursive

Already Looping
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We actually gonna play! That's so cool! I know that 2-months-ago-me would be so happy about this. Thank you for chipping in with info, problem solving, and task shouldering, Doodles, Amask, stii with the tests. Heck even Recursive if he puts the Diplo Victory voting rule in (that the game should have shipped with) by January version.

The options DIPLOAI_NO_OTHER_HOST_VOTES and DIPLOAI_NO_OTHER_WORLD_LEADER_VOTES have been added to DiploAIOptions.sql for the next version. They don't affect humans, but they prevent the AI from voting for anyone except themselves and their teammates.
 

HorseshoeHermit

20% accurate as usual, Morty
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Canada
OKAY so I reviewed the thread,

Two people spoke up about tech trading and research agreements, and everyone so far has said Yes Ruins No Raging. I ran three games with Raging Barbs - I was tripping balls, that mode is unfair.

Let's just ask now about Tech Trading and Research Agreements. I am entering my vote right now to switch off Tech Trading because I don't want something silly to trivialize the first ever game played like this, as stii warned, but I do continue to hope to include Tech Trading in the core VP experience.


Do you want Tech Trading? y/n
0 vote yes, 1 vote no
Do you want Research Agreements? y/n
-

I vote No Tech Trading. I'm updating the OP with Ruins on and just forgetting about Raging Barbs.
 

stii

Emperor
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
1,026
No tech trading, yes to research agreements.

Not sure how practical research agreements will be in MP but see no reason to not allow them.
 

Amask

Oogala Boogala
Joined
Feb 7, 2002
Messages
828
Location
Toronto
I have concluded the GMR tests with stii's help, and I got bad news. It doesn't work.
I'm fairly confident I did everything correctly. If anyone has nothing better to do, you're welcome to try it yourself.
Boring details below for anyone that cares.
Spoiler :

Test 1. (VP)
start single player game
save at any point during the 1st turn
upload to GMR
download the save that GMR converted to hotseat
load save -> CRASH

These were the official instructions. In order to play modded games you have to start a single player game, and GMR itself is supposed to convert it to hotseat.
Then I tried to see what happens if I start the game in hotseat to begin with.

Test 2. (VP)
start hotseat game
before playing my turn, on the screen where you can enter password, I made a save
upload to GMR
download new save from GMR
load save -> CRASH

Test 3. (VP)
same as above, except this time I ended my turn and made a save before stii's turn
upload to GMR
stii downloads save, loads -> CRASH

Test 4. (vanilla, using a save I made from a pitboss game)
All attempts to get GMR to recognize this save failed.
It gave me an error on the site itself every time, no matter what I tried doing to the save to convert it to hotseat.

EDIT:
To be clear, the VP tests were conducted with a modpack.
I'm not really sure what the alternative would even be.
You can start a single player game with a mod, but then how would you load that game through hotseat if you can't use mods in MP?
That's something that a brave soul can investigate. I'm sick of it to be honest.


Our options are now:
a) pitboss hosted by me
b) pitboss hosted by someone else
c) manual hotseat without GMR. We will have to email each other the saves ourselves like animals :)

"a" has one advantage compared to "b", and that is that I can make a site where you can see current status (who has already played and who hasn't). The only potential obstacle is with modifying the game to make saves whenever any player ends their turn. If that is possible (and I think it is), then I have no doubt whatsoever about my ability to implement the rest.
But I still have to figure out my connectivity issues.

b) If someone has a spare computer, they can be the host. There's nothing too tricky about it.

-------------

More thoughts on hotseat vs pitboss.
Pitboss:
1. still have no idea if your civ is truly yours, i.e. can anyone else log in as your civ?. I would be quite surprised if they can.
2. If someone needs a substitute player for a short time, I'm not sure how that would work. Probably would have to kick the original player. Then the AI takes over until the substitute player logs in. I don't know exactly how this works, but there's a chance that even if the original player ended their turn before getting kicked the AI might still be able to do naughty things, like waste a general (who hasn't moved) on a pointless citadel, or invest in some pointless buildings.
3. If someone just drops off the face of the earth, the host can easily kick them. Either an AI or a substitute player can take over.
4. Potential stability issues. I really have no idea what I'm talking about here, but perhaps the issues occur more frequently in real simultaneous MP, where everyone is playing at once. So there's a decent chance that we'll be fine. As far as converting a problematic save to hotseat, ugh. I've spent many hours on this already, and while I'm not ready to conclude that it's impossible, it's definitely a very time-consuming affair.

Hotseat:
1. If someone drops off the face of the earth, we might be screwed. Would have to figure out how to edit the save to kick them to AI or remove their password. Chances of this are pretty slim though.
2. It's slow!!!

Despite potential problems with pitboss, my vote is firmly in favour of it.

-------------

No to tech trading.
No to research agreements.

Edit: added some more details about my tests
 

Amask

Oogala Boogala
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Toronto
The options DIPLOAI_NO_OTHER_HOST_VOTES and DIPLOAI_NO_OTHER_WORLD_LEADER_VOTES have been added to DiploAIOptions.sql for the next version. They don't affect humans, but they prevent the AI from voting for anyone except themselves and their teammates.

So how does this work? You just manually edit the file? Can we change this value after a game started, or will the game use the original value?
 

Recursive

Already Looping
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So how does this work? You just manually edit the file? Can we change this value after a game started, or will the game use the original value?

Yes, you manually edit the file.

You can change the value midgame in singleplayer. I don't know how mods work in multiplayer. I have heard that all database values must be the same for all players.
 

Rongute

Chieftain
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Jun 25, 2021
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Wales, UK
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.

Could we wait to hear from HorseshoeHermit? I thought the way that the GMR was setup explicitly didn't use Modpacks. Can we wait for confirmation this definitely doesn't work?
 

Amask

Oogala Boogala
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Thanks, you can surrender from the game now. Nothing worked. Details below:
Spoiler :

start SP game with mods, NOT with modpack
save at any point before ending turn
upload to GMR
download converted save
load through hotseat (without loading any mods on my own, which is impossible in MP)
game starts "configuring mods" or w/e
CRASH
can't load through single player -> save is greyed out
tried loading mods first, then loading through single player (there's no multiplayer option after you load mods) -> save is greyed out
tried loading save without mods but with modpack -> civ starts "configuring mods" -> CRASH

upload_2022-1-20_16-4-3.png

I assume that's where the idea of uploading twice comes from.
First you upload a single player save, then you download the converted file, then you upload again after having played your turn.
Aside from this I'm not sure what it means to "submit the start state of the game twice".
After you upload once, the option to upload again is gone. You must then download the converted save, and only then can you upload again.

 

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HorseshoeHermit

20% accurate as usual, Morty
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Canada
Well. VP must've got too big. I was able to load after the conversion the last time I assembled a competition. However, perhaps even at that time that save would not have loaded on the next machine, I cant know.

I'll add some eyes to research on Pitboss then. It's the last hope we even can do this. At least, until someone gets into the modpack business again.
 
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