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News: Online xOTM Replay Utility - Beta

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Game of the Month' started by AlanH, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Have you ever wanted to ...

    • investigate how the xOTM winners achieve their great results?
    • recall how you played that great game last year?
    • compare your game progress with that of another player?
    • see how the AI behaves in different games?
    • just watch a replay?
    Well, now you can do all this and more on line.
    • Fire up any web browser except Internet Explorer.
    • Point it at this page
    • Select a game type in the first menu - Civ3 or Civ4, GOTM, COTM, WOTM, BOTM, SGOTM ...
    • Select a game from the next menu to see some game data.
    • Select one or two players in the lower menus.
    • Use the controls to control the replay.
    • Play forward or backward; single step or auto-step at variable speeds; or enter a specific turn. If you have selected two players, their displays will play in sync.
    • Drag panels using their yellow title bars to take advantage of a bigger screen if you have one.
    The moveable panels display:
    • A list of civs in the game, colour coded to match the map colours.
    • For each selected player:
      • A Map, showing civ cities and culture boundaries.
        Click a territory for a pop-up showing its current owner.
        Click a city for a pop-up showing its current and previous ownership, and its wonders.
      • An Event Log displays events up to the current date of the map (latest event at the top).
        Click an event to set that player's map to display the territories at that date.
      • Progress Graphs display various performance indicators for all the civs, and a vertical line at the current date of the map.
        Choose a graph parameter from the menu in the panel.
        Click a point on the graph to set that player's map to display territories at that date.

    This is a beta. I started building it a while back, and it had some rough edges. I always intended to tidy it up before releasing for public use. However, I have not been able to get back to do that. Rather than leave it hidden and unused until hell freezes, I have done a bit more minimal work on it to fix obvious issues and to include SGOTMs, and I offer it here now.

    Known issues include:

    • Internet Explorer support IE doesn't support the HTML5 <canvas> graphics tag, which is used heavily in this app. I don't feel inclined to learn Silverlight. Impasse!
    • Overlapped panel display issues If you drag panels to overlap, you will sometimes see odd display problems, or be unable to move a panel without first dragging another one away.
    • Graphic design is not my strong point So the page layout, controls and panel design could be improved significantly.
    • Civ3 SGOTM 1 doesn't work. I have not investigated this yet. There's no obvious difference between this game and the other 200+ games in the system.
    • Some old games are not included This is because we no longer have the saves for those games.
    • Some maps are a bit big! Probably need to use a smaller scale for those. Meanwhile you need a big screen!
    • Civ3 Event Logs are less comprehensive than Civ4 ones. Sorry, that's just the way it is. Civ3 saves contain less data.
    • More testing is required Based on my work and a few others who have looked at it, I think it basically works, but I'm sure there are bugs in the code.

    Let me know what you think. Is it useful as it is? Please comment here on improvements you would like to see, or bugs you find.
     
  2. southpw11

    southpw11 Chieftain

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    This is an excellent idea, thanks for doing it.

    *edit* The only comment I have is that it would be nice is the ability to watch 'any' game, even your own games....not just gotms. ie..abilty to upload your own games or make this program a downloadable program (exe file). I realize that is a lot to ask, but you asked for suggestions. :)
     
  3. KingMorgan

    KingMorgan Deity

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    Great work Alan, very useful tool.
     
  4. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Yes, I had thought about that. I'm not sure how it would cope with all the mods and variants out there, though. Also, I would need to work out how to use transient uploaded data as opposed to files we have permanently stored on the server. Not impossible, but it's a significant task that would need to be prioritised. And surely, you have the replay facility in Civ4 to provide most of the information about your own games?

    Re. a downloadable .exe, that's sooooo yesterday. We're in the Google/Azure Clouds now :D It would be much more work to create, maintain and enhance a .exe than implementing your first proposal. Also, I'm a Mac user, so I don't have the tools and expertise needed to create a Windows .exe even if I wanted to.
     
  5. Obormot

    Obormot Old warmonger

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    That is really usefull, great work! :goodjob:

    It would be cool if we were able to zoom in and out (to compare the placement of the first several cities in some mroe detail). How difficult would that be to implement?
     
  6. BLubmuz

    BLubmuz HoF Quattromaster

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    great idea :goodjob:, if only it works...
    I selected some game, but not always it gives you the option to select another player, and it doesn't shows any control to play it.


    But it's a good thing once you can make it work.
    I use IE8, before you ask me.
     
  7. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Nothing's impossible. The challenge is adding more and more features while retaining a simple user interface. That would maybe need a sort of Google Maps control, and perhaps a Control-drag to pan the zoomed map, or Control-click to re-centre it.
     
  8. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Ummm! I tried to make it easy to understand, but I guess no one reads the detail. Please look for TWO explicit references - in Bold text - to Internet Explorer in my first post.

    IE is the least standards compliant browser on the planet. I strongly recommend getting a decent one - almost anything else, basically.
     
  9. BLubmuz

    BLubmuz HoF Quattromaster

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    I've read it, but missed the "except" :blush:
    This and the BotM 19 accident let me think that i'm growing old.
     
  10. Dynamic

    Dynamic But not hurry

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    Great work, AlanH! :goodjob:
     
  11. Krill

    Krill Deity

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    That is amazingly cool.
     
  12. Markus5

    Markus5 Code Monkey

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    Wow. You, sir, are a powerful programming mage. :goodjob:
     
  13. ngraner42

    ngraner42 Ultrarunner

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    I thought Windows Explorer was the only browser. Didn't Microsoft win the browser wars?

    Seriously, I downloaded Firefox and the utility is great. Alan, thank you for putting this together.
     
  14. srad

    srad King

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    Wow! This is really great! Thanks a lot!
     
  15. Sam_Yeager

    Sam_Yeager Another Original Geezer

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    :hmm: IE8 on Win 7 RC works fairly well for me. The only really major issue is how the events appear. A lot of the lines overlap each other which make it difficult to read. A more minor issue is that the left hand column is overlapped by the right hand column.

    I realise that IE is explicitly not supported but it doesn't seem to be that unusable. In fact IE8 lets me scroll down the events on the right hand side whereas FF 3.0.11 doesn't. :crazyeye:
     
  16. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    @Sam_Yeager: Yes, I did do some work on a version to run on IE, but there are a lot of issues with it. I haven't updated that version in line with the main one, so it doesn't support Civ3, and it may also have more bugs. I probably ought to kill altogether.

    The map on the IE version is updated by the server because it doesn't do <canvas>. As a result, the replay speed is far slower than it is on Firefox. It also doesn't display png transparency.

    I never did work out why IE has problems with the events list - that was probably the straw that broke that camel's back for me on supporting IE.

    I don't know why you are unable to scroll the right hand list in FF - it works OK for me. Is the scroll bar off the display on your monitor? If so you can either scroll the entire content right using the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom, or you can drag the events list left to see its scroll bar.
     
  17. oyzar

    oyzar Have quit civ/forums

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    In Opera 9.62 played and rank overlap..
     
  18. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Thx. Fixed. The font is a little bigger, so the label text was wrapping.
     
  19. TheMostWanted

    TheMostWanted Chieftain

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    It's very interesting. Good work Alan, good work.
     
  20. Thunderfall

    Thunderfall Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    Really great stuff, Alan! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
     

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