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Long term space travel in a peer to peer trading game


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#1 Al_capwn   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 01:03 AM

Now this is not a fully thought out idea for a peer to peer trading game, it's simply some ideas for how to execute it in a way that keeps depth without making the game near inaccessible.

The scenario: You have three friends and you're playing this peer to peer trading game. You're all at separate ports and want to rendezvous at port C The problem: Port A is 1 day from from port C but port B is 2 days. Now for convenience the game has an instant travel function similar to that of the escape velocity games. So either the player at port B waits an in game day, or takes a complicated rout to arrive at the same time. Now, if he waits an in game day, then travel wouldn't be instantaneous.

So, alternatives?

You could have multiple rooms, say 10 of each port, each with a different date so both players could be at the same port at the same time while still keeping the limitations of delayed travel.

Or you could have every port be the same length of time away from each other. Thus the two could meet each other easily, but could still cause breeches in the space time continuum if player 1 stopped at a second port before meeting player 2.

You could have a common real time trading room, but that would remove the dynamic feel of day to day trading.

You could have everything be real time, but again, removing the day to day trading dynamic.

So, any ideas? This is all purely theoretical, so have at it.

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#2 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 963

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 05:32 AM

The scenario: You have three friends and you're playing this peer to peer trading game. You're all at separate ports and want to rendezvous at port C The problem: Port A is 1 day from from port C but port B is 2 days. Now for convenience the game has an instant travel function similar to that of the escape velocity games. So either the player at port B waits an in game day, or takes a complicated rout to arrive at the same time. Now, if he waits an in game day, then travel wouldn't be instantaneous.


Sorry you lost me here. Why does the player at port B need to wait an in-game day? Why can't both players use the instant travel function to go to port C?

Maybe I am confused about the "day to day trading mechanics". Elaborate please?

#3 PyroDragn   Members   -  Reputation: 404

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 07:54 AM

As I understand it, You're at individual ports on day 1. The player at port A travels to C, and arrives on day 2. The player at port B travels to C and arrives on day 3. Therefore one player has to wait around for an ingame day for them to rendezvous at port C on the same day.

Does the in game time pass in relation to realtime? 1 day = 10 minutes or something. Or is it a case of days passing during travel and it passes instantly no matter the distance?

#4 Al_capwn   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 01:35 PM


The scenario: You have three friends and you're playing this peer to peer trading game. You're all at separate ports and want to rendezvous at port C The problem: Port A is 1 day from from port C but port B is 2 days. Now for convenience the game has an instant travel function similar to that of the escape velocity games. So either the player at port B waits an in game day, or takes a complicated rout to arrive at the same time. Now, if he waits an in game day, then travel wouldn't be instantaneous.


Sorry you lost me here. Why does the player at port B need to wait an in-game day? Why can't both players use the instant travel function to go to port C?

Maybe I am confused about the "day to day trading mechanics". Elaborate please?


Sorry I didn't specify. The idea is that when you instant traveled a certain number of in game days passed, so the materials at the port that were for trade had changed.

As I understand it, You're at individual ports on day 1. The player at port A travels to C, and arrives on day 2. The player at port B travels to C and arrives on day 3. Therefore one player has to wait around for an ingame day for them to rendezvous at port C on the same day.

Does the in game time pass in relation to realtime? 1 day = 10 minutes or something. Or is it a case of days passing during travel and it passes instantly no matter the distance?

The idea is that it would be impossible to wait an in game day, because you would both be advancing time in real life forward at exactly the same pace. So when they arrived, one a day late, in game, but the same time in real time, when one waited 10 min so did the other. So neither could wait for the other to show up.

#5 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 963

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 06:47 PM

Sorry I didn't specify. The idea is that when you instant traveled a certain number of in game days passed, so the materials at the port that were for trade had changed.

The idea is that it would be impossible to wait an in game day, because you would both be advancing time in real life forward at exactly the same pace. So when they arrived, one a day late, in game, but the same time in real time, when one waited 10 min so did the other. So neither could wait for the other to show up.


How about this: allow players to form a team. There is an option "meet team at port C". If everyone on the team activates this option, the game checks the teammate that takes the most number of days to reach C. Then, everyone gets teleported to port C with that amount of days passed.

#6 hupsilardee   Members   -  Reputation: 486

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 12:09 AM

So what happens if I'm the player at port A and I am playing from home, while my friend is the player at port B and he is travelling at 99% the speed of light in a real-world spaceship fast approaching the edge of the solar system?

#7 PyroDragn   Members   -  Reputation: 404

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 10:24 AM

The idea is that it would be impossible to wait an in game day, because you would both be advancing time in real life forward at exactly the same pace. So when they arrived, one a day late, in game, but the same time in real time, when one waited 10 min so did the other. So neither could wait for the other to show up.


How is the day to day rate determined? Does it count even during travel? If I'm at a port for 5 minutes and then I travel to another port, is it still 5 minutes until the next day, or does it reset to a full 10 minutes again?

Is this going to be a purely closed network based game, or are you planning it to be massively multiplayer? I can see the travel as it stands being basically impossible to implement, balance, or if you do include it, to allow for player-to-player trading.

Consider the example below:

Player 1: Starts at port A on day 1. Is there for 5 minutes. Travels 2 days to another port. Is there for 2 minutes. Travels 2 days to another port. Is there for 3 minutes (1 day has passed). Travels 2 days to arrive at Port C on day 9.

Player 2: Starts at port B on day 1. Is there for 5 minutes. Travels 1 day to another port. Is there for 5 minutes (1 day has passed). Travels 1 day to arrive at Port C on day 4.

As it stands, both players have been in game for 10 minutes, but player 1 is already 5 days ahead of player 2. The disparity will get larger as time passes, and if there is more than one player to consider it gets even more complicated. If each player is able to advance time regardless of the other players, then physically meeting at later point will be too complicated to consider.

The previous question of meeting at Port C with one day's difference in travel time seems like a minor issue (one player would need to go via a different route to make sure they spend 2 days travelling) however, if you consider that they could be several days apart at the outset, then it adds another level of difficulty to overcome.

The way I see it, you have only a couple of overall options:

1. Eliminate player-to-player interaction (or make it a very very small aspect of the game). This would mean turning the game into a singleplayer game most likely. Trying to integrate player-to-player trading with this system as it is would only frustrate the players if/when they wished to try and rendezvous.

2. Remove instant travel, so that all players are always on the same date. Time advances at rate which is universal for all players (which would most likely mean reducing the time interval at least, or using a turn-based day to day system). If a player is travelling for 2 days, then he spends the time actually travelling. This makes it possible to wait at ports for other players if they wish. The drawback to this option is keeping player interaction during travel time. This could be mitigated by having management necessary on board during travel, or by allowing each player to micro-manage a number of ships, rather than the single ship.

#8 Al_capwn   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 11:22 AM

It's a friend's game, i'm just helping a bit, but I believe he's making it so that 1-4 people connect to a server on one of the players computers. With the other players data drawn from the server and the rest drawn from the client. I doubt it'll ever be finished though.

Thanks for the input, neither option is favorable, but the best sounding idea so far is 2.

#9 Iron Chef Carnage   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1799

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 02:46 PM

PyroDragon's option #2 gets my vote. You're in a tight spot, trying to share a game world that allows client-side time dilation. If it'll be a small game, with just a handful of dudes playing in the world, then you should make it kind of turn-based. You do what you're going to do on a given day, and then when everyone's done with that day, the day advances and everyone gets to start the next day together? If you're on a three-day journey, you'd just hit the "Stay in hyperspace" button and tell everyone else to hurry up on Teamspeak, making fun of their moms and making yourself a sandwich until they finish with their spreadsheets or whatever. That way, if there are two players on the server and they're both warping to the same station, they could just poke the, "Next" button until they get there, then hit the "Wait a day" button until their buddy arrives.

Ideally, let players use the dead time for something productive. You're loading your ships three jumps from our rendezvous and I'm on a six-day flight there, so I'm looking at at least three days of, "Push button, wait for pal," gameplay. Let me set up some market orders, browse commodities markets remotely or optimize my ship and crew configuration during that time.

I hesitate to suggest a play-by-mail option here, but it might be worth thinking about. I have a ten-day flight ahead of me, I can just set it to autopilot, then log out for the night, and my ship will make the trip on its own. I might even be able to set up a system whereby I program the ship to fly to a given destination, load/unload cargo, perform a preset transaction with another player, fly to another site, do some work there, and then head back to HQ.

For instance, let Player A and Player B draft a contract whereby Player A trades ten widgets for five of Player B's gizmos, and then Player A sets up a route that takes him to Planet 1, docks and waits up to four days for Player B to arrive and meet the order. If Player B shows up and meets his side of the bargain, then the order is processed and Player A's ship continues with its instructions. This way, you reduce the amount of time players have to spend waiting around for each other, give them something to do while they're waiting (set up waypoints and instructions for the AI) and get a little closer to the ideal, "Hit button, instantly teleport to a future meeting" ideal that you describe in your top post.

#10 PyroDragn   Members   -  Reputation: 404

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 04:04 AM

PyroDragon's option #2 gets my vote. You're in a tight spot, trying to share a game world that allows client-side time dilation. If it'll be a small game, with just a handful of dudes playing in the world, then you should make it kind of turn-based. You do what you're going to do on a given day, and then when everyone's done with that day, the day advances and everyone gets to start the next day together? If you're on a three-day journey, you'd just hit the "Stay in hyperspace" button and tell everyone else to hurry up on Teamspeak, making fun of their moms and making yourself a sandwich until they finish with their spreadsheets or whatever. That way, if there are two players on the server and they're both warping to the same station, they could just poke the, "Next" button until they get there, then hit the "Wait a day" button until their buddy arrives.

Ideally, let players use the dead time for something productive. You're loading your ships three jumps from our rendezvous and I'm on a six-day flight there, so I'm looking at at least three days of, "Push button, wait for pal," gameplay. Let me set up some market orders, browse commodities markets remotely or optimize my ship and crew configuration during that time.


As this is going to be a small closed network (1-4) players then this is what I had in mind, and I would suggest. You could limit the time that could be spent on a turn if you wish to ensure the gameplay is continuously ongoing - instead of having to wait for "that one guy who spends hours loading his ship".

You could allow some sort of sort of "stock market" so that while travelling players can look at the different items available for sale and their going rates, at their destination planet, or other planets to plan their next step ahead of time. If you allow players to view trends over the past few days (I don't know how complex your economics are planned to be with regards to generating prices though) and pre-order during flight to their destination it could allow for some interesting play. Players could try to determine whether to pre-order during travel, or to wait another day, or until they get their - trying for the "buy low, sell high" schema.




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