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galactic_milieu [2013/03/11 05:13]
knotwork Added page-title
galactic_milieu [2019/01/17 16:34] (current)
knotwork [Clients] Typo fix
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 So far it has mostly been using [[Crossfire RPG]], [[Freeciv]] and [[Battle for Wesnoth]], although a few possibilities for web-based modes of interacting with the game are being tested in the form of [[Fantasy Online]], [[Galaxies Online]], [[Universes Online]] and [[Villages Online]]. So far it has mostly been using [[Crossfire RPG]], [[Freeciv]] and [[Battle for Wesnoth]], although a few possibilities for web-based modes of interacting with the game are being tested in the form of [[Fantasy Online]], [[Galaxies Online]], [[Universes Online]] and [[Villages Online]].
  
-CoffeeMUD is also being playtested, initially at mudgaard,knotwork.i2p on the [[I2P]] network, now also reachable by telnet as mudgaard.knotwork.com:​5555 and by web browser at http://​mudgaard.knotwork.com:​27744+CoffeeMUD is also being playtested, initially at mudgaard.knotwork.i2p on the [[I2P]] network, now also reachable by telnet as mudgaard.knotwork.com:​5555 and by web browser at http://​mudgaard.knotwork.com:​27744
  
 Funds permitting, it is hoped that eventually fully immersive three-dimensional virtual environments (such as [[OpenSimulator]]) will also be used, a few free open source engines for that purpose are being watched but it is not yet clear which of them to use for which aspects of the game. Funds permitting, it is hoped that eventually fully immersive three-dimensional virtual environments (such as [[OpenSimulator]]) will also be used, a few free open source engines for that purpose are being watched but it is not yet clear which of them to use for which aspects of the game.
  
 The main project site is http://​sourceforge.net/​p/​galacticmilieu/​home/​Home/​ The main project site is http://​sourceforge.net/​p/​galacticmilieu/​home/​Home/​
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 +People seem to get confused by one particular java-based client that is at the client site, maybe because the way it is filed in the directory structure makes it appear to be "​the"​ client. It is actually just a play by mail java client that was tried out as yet another possible way people might be able to interact with the Milieu but that despite having an installer for Windows apparently does not really actually work for people who use Windows. Because no one other than the developer ever actually managed to send in via its built in email system any actual play by email orders, the engine that processes such orders is no longer being run and the gmail address it sends the orders to hardly ever gets checked anymore to see whether by some fluke someone actually has managed to get it to work and managed to send in some orders through it.
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 +So basically the particular galaxy that client relates to is yet another timeline that is no longer moving forwards in time, and the whole idea of play by email has kind of been left on the back burner for a long time now. (Not much point working on that part if no one is interested enough in playing to even debug the client on their platform to find out why it doesn'​t work on their platform and how to fix it so that it does work on their platform.)
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 +The main focus lately has been on the economic underpinnings of the project, for example we do not have so many dedicated servers lying idle that we can just keep running on cron the order processing for the play by email client for years while no one is actually sending in any orders through that client so the whole play by email angle is currently dead. Once we have oodles of spare funding we can just keep such things running on some server somewhere just in case someone someday finds use for it but initial funding has been such that anything we are not directly immediately using gets shut down to free up RAM for things that might make more money faster so as to keep the whole project financed and eventually get more and more servers running to a point where every planet is in RAM 24/7 active and available to play.
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 +Right now we do not even have each and every Freeciv-based planet in RAM running. Ideas have been thrown around about setting up some system whereby paying players would log into some front end from which they could choose one planet at a time to fire up, so it would not be necessary to have all of them always actively running on some server somewhere.
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 +Basically the big bottleneck on the whole project is finances, thus finance and economy has had to become the most important focus until that is solved. To that end work continues on Open Transactions servers and cryptocurrencies,​ and the prototype for how the stock exchanges that Freeciv cities build can function as actual stock exchanges (using Open Transactions for example) bringing in real revenue to support the project is the [[Digitalis Open Transactions server]].
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 +
  
 Its GitHub repository, https://​github.com/​knotwork/​galacticmilieu is distinct and separate, not a duplicate of anything that is on the [[Sourceforge]] site. It is just an initial sketch so far, not yet useful, towards a system for automatically installing stuff and automatically grabbing information about what is happening in the game, possibly to include grabbing intelligence reports, responses to orders and so on. Its GitHub repository, https://​github.com/​knotwork/​galacticmilieu is distinct and separate, not a duplicate of anything that is on the [[Sourceforge]] site. It is just an initial sketch so far, not yet useful, towards a system for automatically installing stuff and automatically grabbing information about what is happening in the game, possibly to include grabbing intelligence reports, responses to orders and so on.
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 ===Of the game=== ===Of the game===
  
-The game is set on, bewteen ​and among worlds that are represented by means of [[Freeciv]] free open source software. That software provides clients for users to use to connect to worlds and servers for serving worlds. These servers need to be hosted, and worlds that are not hosted are unavailable for players to access at the level of scale [[Freeciv]] provides. Basically anything that happens at sufficient scale that it causes changes large enough to be visible at the [[Freeciv]] scale requires a [[Freeciv]] server to be fired up and told about that change or happening.+The game is set on, between ​and among worlds that are represented by means of [[Freeciv]] free open source software. That software provides clients for users to use to connect to worlds and servers for serving worlds. These servers need to be hosted, and worlds that are not hosted are unavailable for players to access at the level of scale [[Freeciv]] provides. Basically anything that happens at sufficient scale that it causes changes large enough to be visible at the [[Freeciv]] scale requires a [[Freeciv]] server to be fired up and told about that change or happening.
  
 However, part of the reason for using [[Freeciv]] is to enable numerous civilisations all to progress in time, and their progress at the [[Freeciv]] scale requires, typically, a [[Freeciv]] "​turn"​ to happen each year of game time. Thus game time itself can only move forward by running one or more [[Freeciv]] servers. This does not matter for applications such as documenting history in the form of [[Battle for Wesnoth]] campaigns until such documenting reaches a point in history which has not yet been resolved or documented at the [[Freeciv]] scale. However, part of the reason for using [[Freeciv]] is to enable numerous civilisations all to progress in time, and their progress at the [[Freeciv]] scale requires, typically, a [[Freeciv]] "​turn"​ to happen each year of game time. Thus game time itself can only move forward by running one or more [[Freeciv]] servers. This does not matter for applications such as documenting history in the form of [[Battle for Wesnoth]] campaigns until such documenting reaches a point in history which has not yet been resolved or documented at the [[Freeciv]] scale.
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 Discovering what happened next became, on [[the planet known as Earth]], a problem of economics. Who would pay to have [[the planet known as E29]] made available for play by running its [[Freeciv]] server? There are plenty of local timelines within the milieu whose progress might be more or less useful or interesting to explore, so which timelines to move forward by how much becomes a problem of how many players are how interested in moving which storylines forward by how much, and how many other storylines they might need to also move forward, or at least have some effect upon, in order to do so. Discovering what happened next became, on [[the planet known as Earth]], a problem of economics. Who would pay to have [[the planet known as E29]] made available for play by running its [[Freeciv]] server? There are plenty of local timelines within the milieu whose progress might be more or less useful or interesting to explore, so which timelines to move forward by how much becomes a problem of how many players are how interested in moving which storylines forward by how much, and how many other storylines they might need to also move forward, or at least have some effect upon, in order to do so.
  
-The fact that [[Freeciv]] has the ability to use primitive artificial ​intelliegence ​algorithms to determine the actions of civilisations means if even just one player is willing to pay to have a [[Freeciv]] "​turn"​ executed all the civilisations on the chosen planet can be moved forward without any "​absolute"​ necessity for other players to devote time and thought to determining what other civilisations are going to do that "​turn",​ but the less players there are who wish to have that "​turn"​ executed the more of the cost of executing a "​turn"​ falls to the player or players who do wish the turn to be executed.+The fact that [[Freeciv]] has the ability to use primitive artificial ​intelligence ​algorithms to determine the actions of civilisations means if even just one player is willing to pay to have a [[Freeciv]] "​turn"​ executed all the civilisations on the chosen planet can be moved forward without any "​absolute"​ necessity for other players to devote time and thought to determining what other civilisations are going to do that "​turn",​ but the less players there are who wish to have that "​turn"​ executed the more of the cost of executing a "​turn"​ falls to the player or players who do wish the turn to be executed.
  
 The artificial intelligence system is however not a particularly good player. If players get to be the only played-by-a-human civilisation on a planet, they are likely to be at a significant advantage, faced only by artificial intelligence opponents, compared to players whose opponents are human players. This fact provides motivation for preferring to wait until all civilisations on a planet are controlled by actual human players before proceeding forward along that planet'​s local timeline. The artificial intelligence system is however not a particularly good player. If players get to be the only played-by-a-human civilisation on a planet, they are likely to be at a significant advantage, faced only by artificial intelligence opponents, compared to players whose opponents are human players. This fact provides motivation for preferring to wait until all civilisations on a planet are controlled by actual human players before proceeding forward along that planet'​s local timeline.
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 However, the hosting of servers used for the smaller scales of play also costs money, and those servers, too, have accrued backlogs of costs. The result of such backlogs building up at all scales of play has been a shifting of the focus of development toward economic matters and to economic and financial software such as [[Bitcoin]],​ [[Devcoin|DeVCoin]] and [[Open Transactions]]. However, the hosting of servers used for the smaller scales of play also costs money, and those servers, too, have accrued backlogs of costs. The result of such backlogs building up at all scales of play has been a shifting of the focus of development toward economic matters and to economic and financial software such as [[Bitcoin]],​ [[Devcoin|DeVCoin]] and [[Open Transactions]].
  
-Thus there now exists the [[Digitalis Open Transactions server]], dealing mostly with assets whose contracts mention the city of [[MI5ius]] on [[the planet known as M5]]. This server should allow an abstraction of at least some economic or financial aspects of the game to a degree sufficient to at least allow forex and/or stock exchange subgames to take place, again dependent, of course, upon the economics of running the server. The server serves also though as a [[Devcoin|DeVCoin]] exchange, which has given it the initial startup benefit of a bounty which has at least enabled it to get set up and running ready to explore whether it will turn out to be able to support itself.+Thus there now exists the [[Digitalis Open Transactions server]], dealing mostly with assets whose contracts mention the city [[MI5ius]] on [[the planet known as M5]]. This server should allow an abstraction of at least some economic or financial aspects of the game to a degree sufficient to at least allow forex and/or stock exchange subgames to take place, again dependent, of course, upon the economics of running the server. The server serves also though as a [[Devcoin|DeVCoin]] exchange, which has given it the initial startup benefit of a bounty which has at least enabled it to get set up and running ready to explore whether it will turn out to be able to support itself.
  
 ===Within the game=== ===Within the game===
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 Initially, these startup costs were accounted for by startup loans. All players started with debts, and, because it was initially unknown quite how risky such debts would turn out to be for the creditors, the interest rates tended to be quite high, albeit not as high in gametime terms as in real life time terms. (Game time usually moves faster than real time, so 1% per day in real life time might be closer to 1% per twelve days in game time.) Initially, these startup costs were accounted for by startup loans. All players started with debts, and, because it was initially unknown quite how risky such debts would turn out to be for the creditors, the interest rates tended to be quite high, albeit not as high in gametime terms as in real life time terms. (Game time usually moves faster than real time, so 1% per day in real life time might be closer to 1% per twelve days in game time.)
  
-It did not take long to discover that the majority of players who start a character, village, mining operation or whatever in an online game tend to fade away into the night, resulting in abandoned villages, abandoned mining operations, abandoned startup loans. This, howoever, had been anticipated,​ and the loans had not been characterised to their creditors as "​secured loans" without reason; repossession corporations stepped in to take over abandoned startups. However this in turn led to a shortage of qualified executives to run repossession corporations,​ so the practice of allowing random visitors from the internet to start up in a villages game or galactic mining game for free had to be abandoned. The signup systems were shut down so no new players could join without administrator intervention,​ and the process of repossession continued until all abandoned positions were taken over by repossession corporations. That is where things stand at the time of writing.+It did not take long to discover that the majority of players who start a character, village, mining operation or whatever in an online game tend to fade away into the night, resulting in abandoned villages, abandoned mining operations, abandoned startup loans. This, however, had been anticipated,​ and the loans had not been characterised to their creditors as "​secured loans" without reason; repossession corporations stepped in to take over abandoned startups. However this in turn led to a shortage of qualified executives to run repossession corporations,​ so the practice of allowing random visitors from the internet to start up in a villages game or galactic mining game for free had to be abandoned. The signup systems were shut down so no new players could join without administrator intervention,​ and the process of repossession continued until all abandoned positions were taken over by repossession corporations. That is where things stand at the time of writing.
  
 By the time a year or so had passed since the initial random passerby players had started play, all abandoned startups had been taken up by repossession corporations and the financial community'​s confidence in the startup loans was high enough that competition to refinance startup loans began. By offering lower interest rates than the original high rates, a number of entities succeeded in convincing various operations to let them pay off the original startup loans, of which [[General Mining Corp|GMC]] and [[General Retirement Funds|GRF]] had been the creditors, replacing them with new loans typically denominated in different currencies. By the time a year or so had passed since the initial random passerby players had started play, all abandoned startups had been taken up by repossession corporations and the financial community'​s confidence in the startup loans was high enough that competition to refinance startup loans began. By offering lower interest rates than the original high rates, a number of entities succeeded in convincing various operations to let them pay off the original startup loans, of which [[General Mining Corp|GMC]] and [[General Retirement Funds|GRF]] had been the creditors, replacing them with new loans typically denominated in different currencies.
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 Because the [[Open Transactions]] test GUI client, [[Moneychanger]],​ is also written in Java and we would like that too to have an installer for Microsoft Windows platforms, revisting the old Galactic Milieu Play By eMail client seemed apropos, and a new version of it has been placed online at the above URL. Not much has changed with it, but because repositories use names like com.digitalis.galacticmilieu.client to find Java artifacts and projects it seemed time to start working out where exactly to place various projects within our Java workspaces and source repositories. Because the [[Open Transactions]] test GUI client, [[Moneychanger]],​ is also written in Java and we would like that too to have an installer for Microsoft Windows platforms, revisting the old Galactic Milieu Play By eMail client seemed apropos, and a new version of it has been placed online at the above URL. Not much has changed with it, but because repositories use names like com.digitalis.galacticmilieu.client to find Java artifacts and projects it seemed time to start working out where exactly to place various projects within our Java workspaces and source repositories.
  
-The PBeM client is still rather primitive, but by playing around with Eclipse and Netbeans it seems possible it and [[Moneychanger]] might be able to teach each other something and possible ​even eventually come together into a larger richer client platform. Basically at this point the PBeM client is not really for actually playing the Milieu through but, rather, is a test client, a step on the road to deploying rich clients written in Java.+The PBeM client is still rather primitive, but by playing around with Eclipse and Netbeans it seems possible it and [[Moneychanger]] might be able to teach each other something and possibly ​even eventually come together into a larger richer client platform. Basically at this point the PBeM client is not really for actually playing the Milieu through but, rather, is a test client, a step on the road to deploying rich clients written in Java.
  
 One thing that it is teaching us is that Java is not necessarily platform-independent at all; the SWT widgets system is specific to windowing-system,​ operating system and hardware-platform. That means we have to find some way to make sure each user uses the correct widget jars for their particular situation, which seems to thoroughly undermine Java's much-vaunted "​platform independence"​. One thing that it is teaching us is that Java is not necessarily platform-independent at all; the SWT widgets system is specific to windowing-system,​ operating system and hardware-platform. That means we have to find some way to make sure each user uses the correct widget jars for their particular situation, which seems to thoroughly undermine Java's much-vaunted "​platform independence"​.
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 ===Servers=== ===Servers===
-[[CrossCiv]],​ [[Digitalis Open Transactions server]], [[Fantasy Online]], [[Galaxies Online]], [[Mudgaard|MUDgaard]],​ [[Universes Online]], [[Villages Online]]+[[CrossCiv]],​ [[Digitalis Open Transactions server]], [[Fantasy Online]], [[Galaxies Online]], [[Mudgaard|MUDgaard]], [[:​Transaction pipe fatness and the Digitalis Open Transactions server]], [[Universes Online]], [[Villages Online]] 
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 +[[Category:​Games]]

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