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Thread: Gauging interest in a server hosted campaign world

  1. #1
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    Default Gauging interest in a server hosted campaign world

    Project Code Name: Anchorage MMO

    So I'm playing with the idea of making a persistent "world" that runs on a server. The server will basically launch AI merchants and warships from ports and send them sailing to a destination (port, patrol area, blockade). The merchants will try and follow shipping lanes and some will be escorted. The player's fleet will also reside on the server and will interact with other players and AI as they cross paths. You would access your fleet through a web browser where you will captain your ship such as setting waypoints, patrol areas, etc. I am thinking you would see this on your web browser:

    Here is a player's fleet sailing near Barbados following two preset waypoints. The circle around the ship icon is the visible area of the map where sails can be spotted. The white outer part of the circle is areas where you may or may not see sails on the horizon based upon skill, luck, target size, etc.
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    (The example above came straight out of my software so you can see there is already significant progress.. the islands, map scale, compass all is "in game".)

    I am thinking maybe 24 hours of realtime is a week in the campaign world so things would be accelerated. Also if we wanted to condense things the map scale can also be reduced to model a smaller world.

    This isn't meant to be some fast paced MMO. This is a slower paced world where your ships are sailing across the ocean as you go about your normal day and you get notifications when something comes up.
    So if you are offline and your watch spots a sail you will get an email notification alerting you and you can login to the browser and take action. You can also preprogram in automatic avoidance or close and try to identify without having to log back in. This is where the fun games can be played as who is it and should I close distance or not, raise colors, stop for inspections, etc. You get the idea.

    So at some point there will be combat and that is where the physical copy of the Sails of Glory game will takeover. Through browser or email will get an order of battle for the ships that are involved and you play out the fight with your ships at home against AI rules or real opponents (spouse?). You could also use my software to play it out. After the battle you submit your results to the campaign world via the browser. Your ships would be held in limbo on the campaign map during this time to give you a time window of playing this out. These details would need to be further sketched out.

    The initial player controlled side of the game will most likely be frigates out looking for prizes but there will be bigger fish in the sea. As you come across merchants and battleships and win you will slowly lose crew as they act as prize crews. Eventually you bring your prizes back to port or send them home on their own and hope they don't get recaptured.

    If you run across another player and manage to close the distance you can hail each other and use threatening gestures (how you would fight each other would be up to you if you even want to attempt it, that's further down the road).

    Anyway the server software would be built up in stages as we all grow with the game or if it isn't fun we can just dump it.

    I would welcome any help such as figuring out how far you can spot a ship during different conditions and what is the realistic sailing speeds at various wind attitudes for the ships. Please comment so I can gauge the interest in such a venture. There will also be new actions such as towing crippled ships, ocean current effects around bays, dangerous shoals to avoid, etc.

    The purpose of this is to give this community a means to play together even if it is solo for the SoG part of the game. The anticipation, chase, etc is what this venture would bring to the table.

    Technically the server engine is not hard to make. I already have a world map partially built and moving the ships to destinations using vector speeds is simple stuff to do. The challenge would be to come up with game rules such as realistic speeds vs attitude, viewing distance, etc. The time consuming aspects would be research as to what were the frequency of merchants, shipping destinations, etc. Making it all work together is what I do best.

    Now, I already have plans to do some of this on my own for personal reasons (the fun of doing it) but was limiting it to one player. I wanted to get a pulse of the community and if maybe 5 to 10 others want to really push this I am willing to expand my scope to include multi users

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Aaron; 12-17-2017 at 22:00.

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    For an observer on the ground with eye level at h = 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m), the horizon is at a distance of 2.9 miles (4.7 km). For an observer standing on a hill or tower 100 feet (30 m) in height, the horizon is at a distance of 12.2 miles (19.6 km).

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    I was just about to say that Neil.
    At dawn, when you can see a Grey Goose at a mile is somewhat more esoteric.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  4. #4
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    The whole concept of this idea fill me with pleasure Aaron.
    How many campaigns have failed bogged down in a minutiae of details which no one had the will to sort out? I know I have. Usually happens about month four or five. The whole concept of this idea fill me with pleasure. How many campaigns have failed bogged down in details which no one had the will to sort out. I know I have. Usually happens about month four or five.
    This concept solves all the drudgery without preventing you having a good scrap on the table top. i assume Fleets could be tailored to what ships you own, so would give a good airing to those lesser used vessels that seldom leave port.
    A few caveats need addressing I feel, but these can be left until later. I do not wish to muddy the waters around what looks like being a darned good idea. I was going to say pour cold water on the idea, but that seemed somewhat inappropriate given the medium in which we sail.

    Go for it says I.


    Bligh
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Union Jack View Post
    For an observer on the ground with eye level at h = 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m), the horizon is at a distance of 2.9 miles (4.7 km). For an observer standing on a hill or tower 100 feet (30 m) in height, the horizon is at a distance of 12.2 miles (19.6 km).

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    So 15 miles is too much? Take it down to 12.2 for best conditions?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    The whole concept of this idea fill me with pleasure Aaron.
    How many campaigns have failed bogged down in a minutiae of details which no one had the will to sort out? I know I have. Usually happens about month four or five. The whole concept of this idea fill me with pleasure. How many campaigns have failed bogged down in details which no one had the will to sort out. I know I have. Usually happens about month four or five.
    This concept solves all the drudgery without preventing you having a good scrap on the table top. i assume Fleets could be tailored to what ships you own, so would give a good airing to those lesser used vessels that seldom leave port.
    A few caveats need addressing I feel, but these can be left until later. I do not wish to muddy the waters around what looks like being a darned good idea. I was going to say pour cold water on the idea, but that seemed somewhat inappropriate given the medium in which we sail.

    Go for it says I.


    Bligh
    Bligh, glad to hear! I like “the keep it simple concept” of getting the ball rolling. Keeping this light and fun but still interesting is the key for success here.

    The first order would be to build a small test server with a local region and define some AI convoys and set our ships upon them to test the concept.

    I’ve been dreaming up interesting expansion options to perform while at sea and in chase mode, those being:
    1) dumping cargo overboard for speed (cannons, water, etc)
    2) heading to port for press gangs actions
    3) random events (crew sickness, losing top masts with gusts)
    4) keel depth limiting access to shallows
    5) realistic communication using small fast ships or obtaining news from ports, passing ships

    These are all potential to add as it grows

    1) So my first challenge is making a webpage that interacts with a database.
    2) and then code a simple server software that reads the database and performs things.

    Once this works I can place in the map and we can sail around. I will probably keep the AI ships visible to us so we can intercept them for testing purposes. Later we can turn on fog of war.

  7. #7
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    I look forward to following your developments.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  8. #8
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    Bligh- just curious if you see yourself more performing game master functions like setting up special encounters and events or be a player for the experience.

    I plan on making Game Master tools for interjecting into the persistent world like blockades and special events and rumors.

    And an important question: would it be possible to host the server on the anchorage website server?
    Last edited by Aaron; 12-19-2017 at 08:29.

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    I'm afraid that with my other duties on the site Aaron I will be unable to commit to any active roll in your work.
    Nevertheless, I will be very interested in your progress. I may well take part in a game later on.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  10. #10
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    Sounds good! You may need all the reserve time to patrol the West Indies :)
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    I already researched some ASP.Net web forms. It may do what I need.

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    Am I wrong in thinking that reducing the circle to 12 miles would be incorrect?
    I'm sure that lookouts from the top rigging would have a view beyond that of 15 miles as I thought most ships of the era topped out more than 35m above deck height (please correct if I am wrong).
    With 1st rates having a top mast height of over 60m from waterline (based upon Victory) you certainly shouldn't think about less than 15 miles in my opinion.

    I'll express interest in jumping in if you'll have me. :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewG73 View Post
    Am I wrong in thinking that reducing the circle to 12 miles would be incorrect?
    I'm sure that lookouts from the top rigging would have a view beyond that of 15 miles as I thought most ships of the era topped out more than 35m above deck height (please correct if I am wrong).
    With 1st rates having a top mast height of over 60m from waterline (based upon Victory) you certainly shouldn't think about less than 15 miles in my opinion.

    I'll express interest in jumping in if you'll have me. :)
    The more the merrier!

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    Ok so I did some homework last night and I am going to try my hand at JavaScript for the client side. Using this will allow the game to be accessed through desktop and mobile browsers. I’m in the beginner tutorials and it appears straightforward for now.

    For communication to the backend (the server database) I am posturing to use node.js as this is fast and lightweight. The server will be my own creation using c# as it is the one I am best at.

    This all may change obviously this is concept mode.

  14. #14
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    Progress:
    Using JavaScript I managed to plot some nav points on an image. This is a good start for sure. Clicking with the mouse or finger on a touch screen progressively placed out the waypoints.
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    The next step is transmit those points to a server.
    Last edited by Aaron; 12-20-2017 at 11:37.

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    I've been thinking and dreaming of something like this, not just here but for Axis & Allies War at Sea, and even Wizkids Pirates, for over a decade. (My dream was to get scans of period nautical charts and use them to build a complete global map.)

    My personal thought was something like how Star Wars: Empire At War did things, where you have a Strategic Map for assembling forces and deploying them and then when the other side's forces and yours meet in a sector it zooms in to a Tactical Battle Map... except I was thinking Strategic map digital, Tactical hard on tabletop. :)
    --Diamondback
    PMH, SME, TLA, BBB

  16. #16
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    I’m speed reading through Fighting at Sea 18th century so I can keep gathering ideas for this. I also want to put down currents and wind on the world maps as well. I haven’t found a good source for these yet.

    The idea is to have interesting choices to make regarding chases. Fleets especially as you are stuck at the worst sailer unless you dart ahead with fast ships.

    Also, I will more than likely will do a side view sail plan and hull view for the ships as part of identification and perceiving target threats. The strategic map sailing speeds will be physics model based (current thinking) using current, wind, sail plan, hull drag, rudder angle, freeboard wind, copper plating, age of copper, high seas, ship length, wind gust frequency, skill of helmsman, etc. Again, not hard to do just need data.

    View will be kinda like:
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