Suggestion for real-time screen updates during turn chat


Freaky lozur with spikes
Dec 23, 2001
Punk Rock Heaven
Instead of keeping the cabinet and other citizens updated visually only thro the savegame at the end of the turn chat, I propose using a remote desktop software which allows remote users to login & view (but not control) the game in real-time as it is being played. This could give better real-time feedback to the president and also be more fun for the spectators.

One such software is VNC: :scan:

Setting up is relatively easy though the image tends to break-up or go out-of sync until the next refresh (every few seconds or so, depending on bandwidth), but this will at least provide real-time info on troop positions etc. Issues of security (only view, not control access) can be worked out easily, i think.

Windows XP is also supposed to have a remote desktop facility but I'm not sure about this.

Any other suggestions? And feedback pls.

:eek: Wow! I never thought of that...but it would definitely add another level to the game cause you wouldn't have to rely on just trying to explain and people wouldn't have to constantly download the game, load it, and then report back to the chatroom. What does the president think? I think that someone should bring that up in the next chat session. Wait, I'm going! I should! D'oh... Alright, thanks Zur, this is a great idea!
This is definately a good idea, but it is also nearly impossible to implement in a community this large. You might try it with a small group of local friends first to see if it works and is worth the trouble.
VNC has MAJOR security problems, while it can be password protected, it's unencrypted which allows for access for more people than you'd want.

My Brother who works in computer secuirty, strongly advises against using VNC, because of it's security problems.
VNC.... I've heard they had some before, but I thought they were sometype of glitch or something.(Don't have any idea why I thought of a glitch)
1. Thx for the initial response! :) Sorry for the massively long reply, but like to discuss some technical issues. ;)

2. The point of this suggestion is to improve the "user-interface" of the demo game. This could lead to higher turn outs for turn chats and generally higher interest in the demo game. This would actually be useful only if
a) it is used by citizens
b) it is used by the cabinet to improve decision making.

3. Having said that, I forsee some issues in the implementation of such an untested system:
a) firewalls:
This is top on my list because I know that VNC can't bypass some (eg. college) firewalls, so if the host(president or player) or clients(people viewing) were behind a firewall, this *may* not work at all.

b) bandwidth:
I have not tested VNC on a modem, but on cable, I can get a full screen update every 5-10s. This still gives reasonably good real-time performance and generally, a full screen update is not necessary to know what's happening. Need more input on this working for lower bandwidths. :confused:
Also, only tried this 1 to 1 and not sure if bandwidth is an issue for 1 to many.

c) security:
It is possible to exploit VNC to give a user unauthorised control over a remote computer. However, in our case, the president would have prior knowledge of the installation of VNC on his system and thus steps could be taken to avoid this. The host has full power to disconnect all clients. The host could specify read-only access (disable remote keyboard & mouse) to clients since VNC was designed to enable use as a demonstration-only system.
There is absolutely NO security problem for clients since they can use any browser directly or the VNC viewer (a thin program), which only allows viewing. VNC was designed by AT&T to handle security as well. If there are any specific problems of people hacking in due to lack of encryption, pls. voice it in this thread.

d) convenience:
The host (president) would need VNC installed and running. The client could either connect using a small VNC viewer or directly thro any browser (Java). That is ALL. :goodjob:

4. I volunteer to test this pioneering system but cannot as yet promise any optimistic results.
*I will only attempt this if there is sufficient interest in this and if more people attend turn chats, so pls. reply to this thread!*
My system is behind a firewall, so ideally another nice member of this forum without firewalls could volunteer to be the test-host. ;)You would need the VNC application & civ3 (duh) installed. For clients, need people with various connection speeds from 28.8 up to cable both behind firewalls and not. No download is necessary since any browser can be used. If enough people volunteer, we will set a time to meet and test the system.

5. Another point, if there are any better software out there, I would like to know as well.

Good Idea Zur :goodjob:

Of course I wont be able to help in the testing, but it's a good idea. If VNC does have secruity problems then it would be smart to try and find a differant program.

I did alittle research on it and my results came up that VNC does have a secruity problems, but there not really major problems. Some of the sercuity problems yahoo also has with their e-mail service!(but yahoo doesn't have as much)
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