Game Design, Gaming, My Games, Polls 4 Comments

So, I’m writing a web-based game, and I would like to know how people feel about timing out people who have disconnected. The game is a turn-based strategy game with moderately fast play, on the order of every 30 seconds to 1 minute, comparable to Reversi/Othello (Havannah, to be specific.) In particular, I’m not sure where to set the threshholds for a given person timing out.

My plan is to have three threshholds. If you’re playing a game, and someone disconnects, it’s generally for one of two reasons: their connection failed, or they’re quitting to avoid losing. On the one hand, I have spotty wifi at home, and I frequently lose connection for several minutes at a time, and I wouldn’t want to be counted a loser and a poor sport while I waited on my DSL modem to stop sucking. On the other hand, sitting around waiting for someone you don’t know is frequently the suck, and many people do quit to get out of a loss.

So, I’m setting the upper threshhold at 20 minutes. No matter what, if they log off and stay gone for 20 minutes, the game is discarded, and called in favor of the person still online. However, obviously I don’t want people to have to wait around for 20 minutes, so I need to set a lower threshhold. That threshhold will be the point at which someone gets to choose what to do. If I’m gone a little over the lower threshhold, the system will say to the other player “do you want to call it a tie, save it for later, or claim a disconnect win?” If it’s someone who doesn’t know me, they shouldn’t be forced to wait, and should have the option of calling it a tie if the game isn’t very far in, or if I’ve obviously been having connection trouble. However, they should also be able to claim a disconnect win if they smell a jerk.

It would be nice if they could call a tie or a save very early, much earlier than would be appropriate for calling a quitter loss, so the other two threshholds are those two issues seperately. The lowest threshhold is the “save or tie” threshhold, and it should be fairly fast. Someone can choose to ignore it if they want. The next threshhold is the “you quit to cheat” threshhold, and it should be at least somewhat patient. At the 20 minute line, the system will call it, no matter what.
So, the question is, how long should those two lower timeouts be? Twenty minutes is obviously far too long for either. On the balance, ten seconds obviously isn’t long enough; most people can’t reconnect that fast, and we need to be accomodating of people’s computers rebooting, of modem reconnect cycles, of DSL reconnect cycles, and so on.

I’m going to set a range of options. If you don’t see the time you want, feel free to add it; I’ll be using the distribution of answers, not just the most popular, so it’ll still count.
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I’m getting close to beta

Gaming, General Interest, Miscellaneous, My Games, Puzzles, Sudoku 3 Comments

That PC sudoku client I keep talking about is starting to come together. Probably in the next week or two, I’m going to start looking for beta testers. Beta testers get 500 free puzzles, and don’t have to pay any money to be involved. If you’re interested, read on.

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Sorry About The Lag

Gaming, My Games, Nintendo DS, Puzzles, Sudoku No Comments

I’m looking for beta participants for my PC client!  See http://blog.sc.tri-bit.com/archives/151.

I’ve got a potential buyer for my PC and Nintendo DS Sudoku clients, so I’ve been working on them fairly exclusively.  I’m kind of hoping to have news about them soon, because in particular the PC client has a bunch of fairly odd new features which I am quite proud of.  But, first I have to get them sold.

Sorry I’ve Been Gone; Also Yay Blog Spam

Game Design, Gaming, General Interest, Miscellaneous, My Games, Nintendo DS, Sudoku 9 Comments

Blog content’s gonna be thin over the next few weeks. E3′s coming up and I have work to do.

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On Shadowcasting

Artificial Intelligence, C/C++, Game Algorithms, Game Design, Gaming, Nintendo DS, Programming, Southgate No Comments

I haven’t written a roguelike in a long, long time. Last time, I used the traditional light-per-room model for lighting from the original Rogue; these days, I don’t find that at all satisfactory. It’s time for a proper shadowcaster.
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Field of Vision Code

Game Algorithms, Nintendo DS, Southgate No Comments

I’m working on a field-of-vision implementation for Southgate at the moment, which is both very fast and highly accurate. Read the rest…

Blog? What blog?

Blog Meta, DynoBright, My Games, Southgate No Comments

Oh right, I’m supposed to be updating this thing. What month is it again?
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Easier is Harder

Game Algorithms, Gaming, My Games, Rants, Southgate 2 Comments

Why would I say that?

Because every time I develop a tool to make things easier, that just gives me an excuse to make a system triple as complicated. Every time I make something easier, it turns harder. This is something of an annoying habit of mine, though it’s also led to some of the best things I’ve invented. That said, it’s also led to a lot of wasted time and extra complexity – not that that’s exactly a terrible thing in a hobby project, but still. Whether this is going to turn out in that fashion remains to be seen.
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Dungeon Generators are Interesting

Game Algorithms, My Games, Southgate 1 Comment

Dungeon Generators are strange creatures.

I’m discovering, since I haven’t attempted one in several years, that the older a programmer you are and the more strange tools in your belt, the more fun dungeon generators are to write. Back in the day, it seemed like a huge and painful task. Now that modularity is second nature, it’s turning into a joy to write. This is sort of a surprise to me; last time I wrote a Roguelike, the monster system was by far and away the most entertaining, and the level system something of a chore. I kind of wonder whether the new monster system is going to be as much fun.
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Southgate Development Journal: Basics

My Games, Nintendo DS, Southgate No Comments

The roguelike is well underway, now, including a name.
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