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Author Topic: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games  (Read 42885 times)

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Thisisnotasmile

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #100 on: July 01, 2011, 04:41:42 pm »
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I quite like how a quote from months ago got dug up and all of a sudden it's such a big deal. You should see the councilroom IRC channel. People are losing sleep over the fact that isotropic's suddenly dying out of the blue.
this is absurd! no one is losing any sleep! we had the same initial reaction that most people on the boards had, worried about the quality of the site and what the cost will be. I've been playing on iso since sep of last year and made many friends and bonds with some of the players and will be sad when it's gone.

That's exactly what I mean. I was simply pointing out to those who aren't on the irc, that this exact same reaction is going on else where. My main point remains though, that all of this over-reaction and whining and what-not has all been prompted by someone mentioning something that Donald said back in February. This didn't all happen back then, but it's happening now!

I'm having the same reaction as the first time it was metioned over four months ago. I feel that RGG have every right to do this and am not going to get upset about it. What's the point? They're not closing down isotropic and saying "if you want to play Dominion, play with your friends IRL". They could do that, but they're not. They're saying "Isotropic's going to close down because we're making an official product which will be in direct competition with it". This means that we'll still be able to play Dominion online. On an official RGG product. I'm perfectly fine with that, just like I was when I heard the news at the beginning of the year.
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Eagle

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #101 on: July 01, 2011, 04:44:17 pm »
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I quite like how a quote from months ago got dug up and all of a sudden it's such a big deal. You should see the councilroom IRC channel. People are losing sleep over the fact that isotropic's suddenly dying out of the blue.
I wonder what the curve looks like of effect on society due to how far off future events are. You know. Scientists predict the sun will go nova. If it's in a million years, no-one cares. When do they start caring? If it's 300 years off, are we like, np, we can take the next 100 years off and still have 200 years to colonize Alpha Centauri? How many years off can it be before you stop flossing?

Anyway, man, there is no Dominion apocalypse coming, you will be able to play Dominion online until the heat death of the universe.

It sounds like we're complaining, (ok, a lot of people are), but I think the majority of players would agree with me when I say we really do appreciate you allowing it Donald!  (And Doug too for creating the online implementation!).  I'm sure the majority of game owners wouldn't have allowed a free version to exist at all, commercial version or no commercial version.

I look forward to seeing the "real" version...  Here's hoping the programmers can match or exceed it.
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Donald X.

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #102 on: July 01, 2011, 04:57:10 pm »
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It sounds like we're complaining, (ok, a lot of people are), but I think the majority of players would agree with me when I say we really do appreciate you allowing it Donald!  (And Doug too for creating the online implementation!).  I'm sure the majority of game owners wouldn't have allowed a free version to exist at all, commercial version or no commercial version.

I look forward to seeing the "real" version...  Here's hoping the programmers can match or exceed it.
Thx guys, you and those other guys you are talking about.

We have always let people make online versions in these official-version-less times, under the stipulations that they be free and not use the art, because what, we're not here to stop people from having fun. It's exactly the opposite, we are working hard on making fun things.

Apropos of this, I just saw the Board Game Arena thread at BGG and told them to take down Dominion, because man, they did not possibly have permission for the art, and they sure didn't get permission from me for the rest of it, and yet they have insisted that they have permission, and are using the art.

There is another entity as we speak that has a beta for an online version that has the art, only, they erased the copyright message on the cards. They are just so desperate to get sued. I mean suing someone isn't fun, but man, sometimes someone just begs so hard.

Of course it all just says, you have to get a real computer version out early, so that people don't feel like there's any opportunity there for them, so you don't have to deal with these people.
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Garion

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #103 on: July 02, 2011, 03:32:06 am »
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Q: Won't the computer version suck though? At least, compared to isotropic.
A: You are either crazy or young or both. I mean wtf. I had a friend in the 80s who thought there would never be another good movie. Many of my favorite movies are from the 90s. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that change necessarily sucks, that the future necessarily sucks, that whatever you've got is as good as it gets. Experience does not bear these things out though.

Sounds like you're on top of it, which is good! I hope you have a big say in how the interface of the paid version will turn out, because I'm sure it'll be good then.

When/if it enters the beta testing stage, I'm sure there will be many people here who would love to beta test it, including me :-)
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theory

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #104 on: July 03, 2011, 02:13:03 am »
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I hate to keep posting here, because I keep sounding like I'm complaining and being mean, but I'm actually trying to issue a huge compliment, which is this:

I think what Doug did with Isotropic is an incredible once-in-a-lifetime feat.  I've played a lot of electronic board game implementations, and Isotropic blows every other implementation I've ever played out of the water.  Keldon's AI for RftG is the closest, but even it has minor card logic bugs.  Isotropic has somehow managed to combine perfect game logic with a brilliantly simple and intuitive interface: an exceedingly rare combination in software development.

The chance that RGG's programmers can duplicate this is vanishingly small.  I do not intend this as a slight against them, but as a compliment to Doug.  I am sure that RGG has hired talented and excellent programmers, but rrenaud is the most talented programmer I know personally and by his own admission he is not nearly smart enough to have been able to code Isotropic.  Many talented programmers have worked on many other board games, and I've never seen any of them come up with something like Isotropic.

There are many, many advantages to a replacement for Isotropic, and I wholeheartedly want a commercial electronic Dominion to succeed.  I just didn't want anyone to assume (not that anyone is) that software as good as Isotropic is easily reproduced.  Clearly you (and RGG) do appreciate Isotropic's quality, since opening it to the public was something few other game companies would have dared do but seems clearly a good decision in retrospect.
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Kirian

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #105 on: July 03, 2011, 05:48:57 pm »
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I think what Doug did with Isotropic is an incredible once-in-a-lifetime feat.  I've played a lot of electronic board game implementations, and Isotropic blows every other implementation I've ever played out of the water.

This is surprising.  I've seen some quite good Settlers implementations, and BSW's Power Grid implementation is very nice.  In both cases, however, there is a lot less going on in the game.  That, along with the wrapper, is what makes isotropic special.  BSW's matchmaking implementation is... I think "horrible" is not an unreasonable word to use.

Quote
The chance that RGG's programmers can duplicate this is vanishingly small.  I do not intend this as a slight against them, but as a compliment to Doug.  I am sure that RGG has hired talented and excellent programmers, but rrenaud is the most talented programmer I know personally and by his own admission he is not nearly smart enough to have been able to code Isotropic.

I want to preface what I'm about to say with this:  isotropic is f*cking awesome.  There is no doubt that Doug should get huge kudos for it.

That said, I'm going to take issue with what theory says here.  Rrenaud may be the best programmer you personally know, but isotropic is simpler than, say, this forum software--the major difference being the real-time aspect.  Consider Narbacular Drop, or Minecraft, or Spacechem, or Nethack, or any number of other amazing games developed on a shoestring or zero budget, written by one programmer or a small team.  All of these are more complex than isotropic, ignoring art; Nethack is an order of magnitude more complex; Minecraft, ignoring the "art," is easily 2 orders of magnitude more complex.

Hell, Trade Wars has more complexity than Dominion, and it wasn't exactly a pinnacle of gaming... in 1990.

(I can confidently say I could program a solitaire only Dominion application in PHP.  Alas, PHP doesn't really support real-time interaction except via forced reload.  That said, it would take all of my free time for the next six months.  I'd imagine that for a programmer experienced with the real-time aspect [say, for instance, dougz], that the wrapper for the game [that is, real-time interaction, chat, matchmaking] would add about 50% more time.)

And we haven't even discussed what people do with a budget.  Consider Starcraft.  Consider WOW.  Consider Civilization.

Again, no offense at all to Doug, here.  On no budget, in his free time, he's created an excellent implementation of isotropic that I and others would be willing to pay for.  That is a damned awesome accomplishment.  He deserves praise both for writing it and for making it free...

Quote
I just didn't want anyone to assume (not that anyone is) that software as good as Isotropic is easily reproduced.

...but suggesting isotropic is the best software one could write for Dominion is a bit like suggesting that Uno is the best you can do with two decks of playing cards.

The question is not one of can these other programmers do better, but will they do it?  And that is up to RGG.  What budget did they set up?  If it was less than $10k then I'd expect something worse than isotropic; more than half the programming time will go toward implementing cross-platform multiplayer, and 100 man-hours of programming won't get you isotropic.  Did they (I hope) offer profit-sharing?  Then you bet your butt the programmers are watching this thread, and looking at isotropic's features, especially since some of the features mentioned (like game logs) should be incredibly easy to implement compared to other things needed.

The major problem is that we were working off Donald's February post saying the software would ship with only Base and Intrigue.  I'll set that assumption aside for now.  I hope, hope, hope that RGG and the software developers will wait the extra two weeks to release rather than releasing with a third of the cards.  I think that Donald will take this thread to Jay and the programmers and suggest that might be a really good idea.
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PetterTB

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #106 on: July 04, 2011, 03:01:40 am »
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I really like playing on isotropic, thanks to Donald for allowing it ! :D

I had a period where I played on BSW, before I found iso. With some time I tired of it, I don't remember all the problems, but the lack of cards bugged me, so did the interface. The main thing I remember from BSW was the neverending clicking of blobs with nobles! gradually my lust for dominion cooled, until I found isotropic and started playing again :)

I'd love a dominon with the art! But I'd prefer iso to a version with too few of the cards.

Just my 2 cents :)
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DG

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #107 on: July 04, 2011, 08:03:15 am »
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I think this software issue is a lot more complicated than some people are realising. Some issues that might seem trivial to one user of a system are major to another user of the system and the developers have to act accordingly. If there's a jerk with an offensive name on Isotropic you just accept that it's a free server and you ignore it. If someone creates an offensive name on a paid product it probably will need to be dealt with somehow by someone with some software, and that all needs paying for even though it's not Dominion.

If the new product can run both stand-alone and connected to a central sever then it will need AI for the stand alone. The AI then needs to be decent quality or people will want refunds. An awful lot of time then goes into AI and it drives other factors of the development, such as how many cards will be supported upon release and also the workings of the interface. I actually hope there's no AI at all, or just something limited such as a few kingdoms with scripts for a set of computer players.

Anyway, I suspect this will all mean that many people won't like the new product as it won't provide the same functionality as Isotropic. New products rarely do everything better than their predecessors. It'll do some things better, such as having Dominion rules available for beginners, but those things won't appeal to experienced isotropic users. As Donald says, we'll just have to get used to it. If there's money around the product then someone might find some new ways to promote the game to make it more accessible and competitive, so that might be good.
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Donald X.

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #108 on: July 04, 2011, 03:13:16 pm »
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Apropos of this, I just saw the Board Game Arena thread at BGG and told them to take down Dominion, because man, they did not possibly have permission for the art, and they sure didn't get permission from me for the rest of it, and yet they have insisted that they have permission, and are using the art.
I am just going to mention here, in this awful thread, since the BGG one was locked, that we are not making BGA take down Dominion early after all. They did get permission from Jay back when, and while he didn't remember if they'd mentioned using the art or what, they only have the main set, which you can play on BSW with art anyway, and it's free and they agreed back when to take it down when a commercial one comes out. So it just seemed like, do I really care about this. No-one else is getting permission to use the art though, so watch it.

The lesson I have taken away from this, which is not a lesson for me so have I really learned anything, is, don't make statements about who owns what unless you know for sure. The BGA guy was all, I asked the copyright holders, and man, that's me and they did not ask me. So they are either lying about asking or are saying that I don't own the game, and well, way to randomly piss me off. But it was in fact reasonable for them not to know who owned what, and to ask Jay, and for Jay to answer for both of us. And they'd have to ask him for the art in any case, if they didn't just accept me saying the answer would be no.

So all of you people who read that BGG thread and were wondering what happened, now you know.
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Nitsuj

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #109 on: July 05, 2011, 08:23:40 am »
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I know I'm just one voice of many, and I love isotropic online dominion, and I own all the physical cards, so I don't feel guilty about playing online for free, in my mind its just a different way to enjoy the game that I've already paid for, and since I cannot play online and IRL at the same time, I feel that this is justified.

If I can play online dominion for a one-time cost - or even just purchase each expansion for a one time cost and then only be able to play other people who have also bought that expansion (or as long as one player at the virtual table has bought the exansion) - I'd sign up. 

But, if it is a monthly fee (and I believe it would have to be a re-occuring cost, since the cost of maintaining and running the servers would be ongoing for the developer and unless they can keep new players coming on board to cover those costs they would likely run into financial trouble) - I doubt I would play online dominion. 

And with as many board games out there, my dominion playing time in general (even IRL) would probably drop significantly - which endangers the likelyhood of me purchasing future physical expansions.
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cherdano

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #110 on: July 05, 2011, 10:04:39 am »
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We have always let people make online versions in these official-version-less times, under the stipulations that they be free and not use the art, because what, we're not here to stop people from having fun. It's exactly the opposite, we are working hard on making fun things.
Thanks for that. As a matter of fact, I got addicted to dominion via isotropic, and will now be getting the physical game as well.
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KMueller

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #111 on: July 05, 2011, 12:48:08 pm »
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If I can play online dominion for a one-time cost - or even just purchase each expansion for a one time cost and then only be able to play other people who have also bought that expansion (or as long as one player at the virtual table has bought the exansion) - I'd sign up. 


I wonder if it worked this way, if RGG would include a download code or some sort of voucher when you purchased the physical set. Sort of like when I purchase an LP and it comes with a free digital copy, or now-a-days Blue Rays come with a free digital copy.
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