Showing posts with label Skeptiplomacy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Skeptiplomacy. Show all posts

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Coming Attractions

Well, the Decemberween break is over, and we all know the true meaning of it all. Anyway, I've managed to average just a little over a post a day this year, despite gaps in the last couple of months. Anyway, stuff you can look forward to, if I get my stuff together properly:

1. Podcast with my brother. We're mostly going to ramble aimlessly and see if any direction emerges. Going to have an interesting time with editing, since my brother's the sound-oriented one and left his laptop's charger in Austin. We can probably make do with some cheapo free software for the first experimental podcast. I was thinking of doing it on New Year's, but we'll see. We're kind of loose at the moment. You can send me some emails with questions, weird woo websites, or whatever until then. Think we could try doing regular, low-stress, low expectation 10 minute bites after that. Small enough to fit on YouTube with some helpful graphics and visuals, maybe, since I've got my account up and empty. Please bear in mind that I'm keeping your expectations low in the off chance that A) we do this, and B) blow you away if we really, really surpass them.

2. Skeptiplomacy: The setbacks, dropped communications, and outright procrastination have been numerous, but I've got a map mostly done. It may need some suggested tweaks by people who've already played the game, since I'm trying to keep some balance in between nations and the utility of fleets and armies. I can email a copy of the Illustrator files if you contact my inbox.

Here's the email, if it's not obvious enough:

Monday, July 23, 2007

Just a Note

I've had to dinker with some of the settings for the Skeptiplomacy forum. A number of spammers were sneaking in, so I've tried to set it to require my approval before someone can sign up. If you're a player trying to sign on and can't, leave a comment here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Building Up Steam, Maybe

Skeptiplomacy is starting to move, again. I'm fixing up Brendan's map, Bourgeois Rage is dinkering with a bit of code, and Joshua has provided a Skeptiplomacy forum, so start signing up. Be sure to bookmark it, because from now on, I'll be focusing the bulk of Skeptiplomacy stuff over there.

Current sections of the forum: Setup (general and software sections), In-Character (The News Reel & The War Room), Other Games (New Concepts & Existing Games), and General Skepticism. Don't be afraid to start new threads, because I don't want to just talk to myself over there.

Apologies for the current spurt of trouble with the forum. Let's hope it's not a regular thing.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Skeptiplomacy: Trying to Re-Rail This Train

Well, it's been a while, and there have been considerable delays and setbacks all over the place, including baldywilson vanishing off the face of the Earth. (I hope he's okay.) Anyway, last time I checked, Brendan had completed a physical map and was having trouble translating it into useful digital media. I'll try my hand at creating a map of my own in the mean time, and if Brendan gets his in, I'll save mine for the next game, if there is one.

Bourgeois Rage (man, it takes me a lot of tries to spell that) is trying his hand at coding and hosting it, and will probably have far more success than I would have. The topic was only brought back up today, so I'm risking jumping the gun.

Anyway, since it's been a long time, I feel I should reintroduce the whole concept:

Diplomacy is a board game that doesn't rely on dice, cards, or any large amount of luck. In the standard game, 7 players take on the role of countries in a battle to control Europe and then some in the early 1900's. All moves are simultaneous, and combat features no randomness. The key skill in the game is your ability to get other players to help you conquer, right up until you backstab 'em. Here's a tutorial.

Brendan's map is designed for 14 players, though I may design one for fewer, depending on how many people I can grab for this game through the disillusionment from the rough and rocky start. The theme for this game is kind of a giant weird mix of various elements in a kind of Jules Verne/steampunk setting featuring a floating continent. Instead of fleets of ships, you'll more likely have fleets of dirigibles, balloons, and biplanes. I'm not going to be too picky about how you describe the military actions of your forces in your propaganda posts. It's all going to be a big, crazy mashup. I was thankfully introduced to Girl Genius recently, and I think some concept borrowing from that would be cool.

Anyway here's where I'll be keeping the list of players. If you signed up before, please reconfirm. For map purposes, it'd be nice to include some names for regions under your control as well as the cities that would function as supply centers. Each nation will start with 6 territories and 3 supply centers. Other stuff that'd be cool: Images for your nation's flag, as well as your army and fleet symbols. A national color would probably come in handy for visual reference as well.

Players:

1. Bronze Dog (Bronze)
2. Bob
3. Bourgeois Rage
4. Brendan
5. Infophile (Black & White)
6. Akusai (Purple & Gold)
7. JackalMage
8. Joshua (Electric Blue)
9. Reverend BigDumbChimp
10. GreedyAlgorithm
11. xiangtao
12. Nes
13.
14.

Feel free to ask questions.

UPDATE: Joshua has been kind enough to provide us with a forum of our own.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Skeptiplomacy Update: A Brick Wall

A week ago, I emailed Brendan and baldywilson to check on their progress with the map and coding, respectively. Brendan's been silent, and I got an error message from baldy's server. So, after thinking we were getting somewhere, we're back to start.

I've done a little dinkering with Python, so I may try my hand at coding this summer, though it'll take me a while to figure out just how to work out the judging process: I see a lot of if statements in my future. If anyone's interested in helping me out, remember the website in the link is .ORG, not .com. I've been told there are naughty things at the .com site.

UPDATE: Got word from Brendan. It's a busy time. Still worried about baldy, though.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Another Skeptiplomacy Update

It's been a while, so I should let you know how things are coming along, since I got an update from Brendan and baldywilson not too long ago:

The map (2/19): Terrain and territories are done. What's left: Assign starting nations and distribute supply centers. Scan and clean up.

The code (2/22): baldy's got the relevant stuff for move/attack, hold, and support down, last seen coding for the convoy command. Once he's got all that working properly, he'll put the code up, and customization for Brendan's map will apparently be no problem.

The player list: Unchanged since the last update:

1. Bronze Dog
2. Austin Atheist
3. Rev. BigDumbChimp
4. JackalMage
5. xiangtao
6. Infophile
7. baldywilson
8. Brendan
9. Bourgeois_Rage
10. Akusai
11. Greedy Algorithm
12. Nes
13.
14.

EDITED TO ADD: Oh, almost forgot: Everyone, send the email address you want to use for negotiation and sending commands to my email addy. You can probably guess it, if you haven't already. Gmail invites for anyone who wants them.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Skeptiplomacy Update

Been a while since I mentioned the game, so here's an update:

For the wager idea, I think I'll borrow a bit from the Reverend: The losing players have to get some item of their local areas and mail them to the winner, and I'm interpreting "areas" to be fairly broad, just in case you live in some boring little town, but some nearby place has something of interest. How does that idea sound?

Other than that, not a lot happened since the last post, but here's the player list thus far:

1. Bronze Dog (duh)
2. Austin Atheist
3. Rev. BigDumbChimp
4. JackalMage
5. xiangtao
6. Infophile
7. baldywilson
8. Brendan
9. Bourgeois_Rage
10. Akusai
11. Greedy Algorithm
12. Nes
13.
14.

We still need the last two players. I'm thinking of just going around doing some inviting on my own. Don't hesitate to do the same. If there's more than two new players showing up, they'll get the slots in the order they appear in the comments for signing up.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Shall We Make a Wager?

Well, we're up to 11 12 players out of 14 for the Skeptiplomacy game. One thing I was thinking about to spice things up and possibly attract the last 3 2 players: A wager of some sort, where the losers (that'll be the rest of you) do something for the winner (that'll be me) at the end of the game. I was also thinking of having it at multiple levels: The people who get utterly wiped off the map are bigger losers than the people who manage to survive until the end, when I claim over half the supply centers.

Beyond something simple like everyone making a post about a topic of the winner's choosing, I don't have many ideas, so get to brainstorming.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sit! Stay! Good Blog. #4


Not only does he code Diplomacy games for us, baldywilson blogs, too! So far, he's still new, but off to a good start. One of the entries I enjoyed detailed an... "interesting" bit of junk mail.

He also covers a bit about that Left Behind videogame, including one Cretinist canard included in it.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Game Year Update

Well, Brendan's working on the map for our big Diplomacy game, and has set the number of players to 18 14, so now we have a particular number of slots. One thing Brendan requested to help inspire ideas for the map: Some history of the fictional world soon to be ruled under my not-quite-iron fist we'll be playing in. Remember that the genre and such aren't being restricted, so go wild with your imagination. One idea I'm fond of for the moment is floating islands with an airforce substituting for fleets.

baldywilson has offered his 133t code monkey skills for programming a server to handle the board, and Rev. BigDumbChimp has offered a machine to act as said server.

The player list:

1. Bronze Dog (duh)
2. Austin Atheist
3. Rev. BigDumbChimp
4. JackalMage
5. xiangtao
6. Infophile
7. baldywilson
8. Brendan
9. Bourgeois_Rage
10. Akusai
11. Greedy Algorithm
12. Nes
13.
14.

If you'd like to join, say so in the comments (unambiguously, please), and I'll add you to the list. Here's a tutorial for the new players.

While you're here, I'd also like ideas for what to call the big game. Would help it become a regular event or something if we enjoy it enough.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

51st Skeptics' Circle

It's up. See it at See You at Enceladus.

Glad I got a little plug for the Diplomacy game... Need to see if I can contact Brendan to see how the map's coming.

Withdrawing from the game is FORBIDDEN! Otherwise, the thread's fairly open.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Game Night! Er, Year?

I previously mentioned the idea of a game of Diplomacy being played by email among skeptical/atheist bloggers. Since it's getting buried under long posts, I'm expanding some of it over here.

Here are some of the ideas I'm thinking for the game.

1) We need a moderator who'd receive the emails with people's commands and post updates to the map, inform players of combat results, etcetera. (Or a program to do it for us)

2) Ideally, I'd like to be able to play a large custom non-Earth map with more than the standard 7 players. One thought I had was playing the game on a globe of some sort, but that might have a few difficulties from a programming stance: I don't know much about that sort of thing, but I imagine if the concept's advertised enough, it won't be hard to find a programmer who's willing to work on it. After it's done, it'd probably be something other people would like to use. Suspect people would like to be able to name their starting regions and supply centers. (Canis Aeneus, the impenetrable city... ...nah.)

3) I'd like a relaxed pace for turns. Lot of bloggers out there can get unexpectedly busy, so maybe just one or two turns per week. More time for players to talk about where they'll put the knives in my back, too.

Alternate game concept, just because: Heavily abstracted map: Bunch of connected nodes, handful of identical units. Some twists, such as nodes with certain features, or limited accessibility, (like land/sea/air/city/wall/whatever nodes).

If you're the coding sort, or at least willing to moderate a bunch of pieces on a physical board for a long time, be sure to email me at my gmail account or leave a comment.

EDITED TO ADD: Here's a link to a tutorial for the fellow newbies.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Decemberween!

Well, things are going well for my family. I played a game of Settlers of Catan with AA and one of our mutual genetic contributors. It was a surprisingly close game, with me squeezing out a victory. We got into a longest road war, with me largely dropping out: Built settlements and cities to increase my resources, and only built roads towards that end. Had a 3:1 port since the start, and managed to completely monopolize a clay and farmland hex towards the end. Caught them by surprise when I started trading in all that clay for other resources. Won the game without the longest road or the largest army. Dad started out slow, but once he got his wool production and wool 2:1 port going, he started catching up pretty quickly. One annoyance was that we were all rolling a fair number of 7s, thus activating the robber over and over. The gambler's fallacy was strong with AA, so he insisted that we pack up and head to Vegas. Sanity was restored quickly enough.

Since the game's still new enough for us, we spent some time commenting on some of the game mechanics we enjoyed. Then I brought up the idea of starting a big play-by-email game of Diplomacy among skeptical/atheist bloggers. I haven't played Diplomacy before, but the game concept struck me as interesting when I read about it. No dice rolls, just tactical second-guessing, or something like that. Plus, there is, of course, all the massive backstabbing we could do amongst each other.

I don't have any of the supplies myself, but it should be easy enough to get ahold of a rule book and a scan of the game map. Probably need to get someone to moderate and post round-by-round updates or something. I was thinking we'd do one or two rounds a week. Something else that might be interesting to do: Make a new board that doesn't correspond with Earth. Could be a map of some alien planet, fantasy world, or whatever: Mostly I'm thinking along those lines because it might throw off some of the veterans who know where to work the default board, and as a first time player, I'd like something of a fighting chance.

Of course, during the course of the game, I'll be trying out my hand at propaganda to inform the masses of my inevitable victory.