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Offline jamespetts gb

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Handling bankruptsy in multiplayer?
« on: December 15, 2008, 11:46:06 PM »
I know that a networked/multiplayer feature for Simutrans is currently in development. One thing that will need to be considered if any multiplayer feature is implemented is how to handle bankruptsy. In the present single player game, a player can simply clear the "you are bankrupt" dialogue box, and continue indefinitely into the red. In a single player game, that is acceptable (to a degree), since it is up to the individual player to decide whether to "cheat" or not. In a multiplayer game, it is more of a problem.

One possible way of handling it is this: any player who becomes bankrupt is no longer entitled to continue playing with her/his current company, but may continue and (a) observe, or (b) found a new transport company from scratch (with the same amount of starting capital as a new player, or, perhaps, a reduced amount, say 2/3rds of the amount given to a new player - perhaps configurable in simuconf.tab).

That leaves the question of what to do with the old infrastructure. A number of possibilities emerge. One is just to destroy it all. That would be the simplest solution, but it would be somewhat unsatisfying and overly simplistic. Another option is to put a bankrupt company into a sort of administration, run by the AI. The AI could bring all vehicles on unprofitable lines into the depot, but continue to run the profitable lines for a fixed period (configurable again, perhaps 3-6 months). During that time, players would be able to bid for parts of the network (perhaps by using a special "bid" tool and clicking on all of the infrastructure that they want and then setting the price: vehicles should be biddable, perhaps, by clicking on them in transit, or in the depot in which they are stored). At the end of the period of administration, any assets on which any players have bid go to the highest bidder, whilst any assets on which no player has bid are destroyed.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 12:54:41 AM by jamespetts »

Offline IgorEliezer br

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Re: Handling bankruptsy in multiplayer?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2008, 12:23:24 AM »
Well I wanted to speak about multiplayer, I have some suggestions and ideas... but as I was bit afraid to speak about once I'm not a programmer.... :-X

I didn't read entire topic you have linked, but I suppose that a player (Player 0) can open a game and other players can join into (Player 1, 2, 3...and so on). Player 0 is the administrator of game (a.k.a. sever), he is only who can perform some commands that control the course of the game, while others players can perform commands that are necessary for gameplay, just it, nothing more.

If a player went to bankruptcy, Player 0 will inform everyone else that Player X's company went to bankruptcy, and is for sale. Player 0 will use a command that unlocks the failed company (otherwise, anyone could trade their companies any time) to put it for sale. Then, other players would select what they want to. If something remains, Player 0 can liquidate (erase) from map.

But there are some considerations to be taken:

1) For example, if I select just a stop to buy, how would the remaining network run without that stop?

2) How I, who would buy a part of failed company, would evaluate whether I'm buying is interesting?

3) How I, idem, would consult schedules and stats, once I'm wanting to know how the failed company (or the part of) was working until then?

4) Well, I'll expend some money to buy parts or entire failed company. Where will the money go? Player 0? Player who broke their company? (the last one would be interesting).

What'll happen with the player who went to bankruptcy?

Player 0 could either "open" a new company (from scratch) or give back the remaining structure to the player.

For a while, that's all. I'll leave more later.

EDIT: jamespetts, the link is broken.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 12:41:22 AM by IgorTekton »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Handling bankruptsy in multiplayer?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2008, 12:55:00 AM »
EDIT: jamespetts, the link is broken.

Thank you. Fixed.

Offline isidoro

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Re: Handling bankruptsy in multiplayer?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2008, 02:46:54 AM »
Some ideas (take in consideration that a player can run out of money, but can also abandon or be kicked off).  Alternatives:
  • If all players agree (imagine also freeplay), he can continue as in single player
  • All infrastructure becomes public service.  All vehicles are discarded
  • There is an auction.  The player that pays the higher amount gets all: ways, stations and vehicles

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Handling bankruptsy in multiplayer?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2008, 07:56:58 AM »
I think the second solution is the best one. Public service is always present (you can't disable it) and It intended to be used in that sense, for building infraestructures that are expensive for the players in some moments. In addition, if any player has decided to colaborate with the rest instead of competing with sharing infraestructures and cost, once any of these collaborative players has gone banckrupt, the rest still can take advantage of those infraestructures. As isidoro said, are vehicles are lost, but roads, track tunnels and bridges are kept.

As I see it, that's an easy, elegant and simple solution that does not affect the gameplay and seems easier to implement. Indeed it might be merged with the first one, but you have to implement a voting system.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Handling bankruptsy in multiplayer?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2008, 08:43:39 AM »
I think the second solution is the best one. Public service is always present (you can't disable it) and It intended to be used in that sense, for building infraestructures that are expensive for the players in some moments. In addition, if any player has decided to colaborate with the rest instead of competing with sharing infraestructures and cost, once any of these collaborative players has gone banckrupt, the rest still can take advantage of those infraestructures. As isidoro said, are vehicles are lost, but roads, track tunnels and bridges are kept.

As I see it, that's an easy, elegant and simple solution that does not affect the gameplay and seems easier to implement. Indeed it might be merged with the first one, but you have to implement a voting system.

Ahh, yes, that could work, too. In respect of vehicles, perhaps the infrastructure could turn public service (albeit charging players access fees for anything other than roads), but the vehicles could be auctioned to players (with a reserve price equivalent to the ordinary secondhand price of that vehicle)? Auctioning vehicles would seem to be far easier to implement than auctioning infrastructure.

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Handling bankruptsy in multiplayer?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2008, 09:11:08 AM »
Vehicle auction have some problems. First, the auction participants will probably do some preliminar analysis about which vehicles are worth to buy. They must check the dates, the power, the running cost, etc.. quite a lot variables to check. That means they'll spend time in other things that are not actually playing. Probably that player goes bankruptcy because he owns non-profitable lines with non-profitable and expensive vehicles, why is the rest going to be interested on them? The cost of buying, using and maintanance those vehicles would be higher than just ignore them and buy more suitable ones.

I've another proposition. The infraestructures could turn public service and then we could sell all vehicles, distributing the earnings among the rest of players. This way the rest of players don't have to spend time deciding which vehicles are worth. They recieve the money, therefore you let them decide how to use that extra money.

BTW, what would happen with vehicles that are not sell in the auction? will you simply remove them?

Offline Combuijs

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Re: Handling bankruptsy in multiplayer?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2008, 09:37:04 AM »
Quote
distributing the earnings among the rest of players

Which earnings? Firstly, all debts should be paid to the institute that gave the bankrupt player the money, e.g. the "Simutrans bank". And as the player is bankrupt there will not be enough money to do that. So, the bank receives the vehicles. So no money is distributed to the other players. This is the most easy solution, and it's the same as in real life as well.

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Handling bankruptsy in multiplayer?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2008, 10:00:40 AM »
D'oh!! you're right, Combuijs...I didn't realized about that.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 10:07:43 AM by vilvoh »

Offline VS

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Re: Handling bankruptsy in multiplayer?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2008, 10:40:34 AM »
Yup, vehicles should be just removed (confiscated by bank/government/public authority/other). I can't imagine any easy way to make an "auction". How long would it last, when is the end?

Infrastructure turning public… dunno. In some cases it is desirable, in some not. When a company goes bankrupt, typically it's in the first stage of game, so there isn't that much infrastructure to care for. On the other hand, getting it for free use after it is handed to PA can give the other players a boost in this crucial stage?

Somehow I can't imagine situations where bankruptcy happens when half the map is covered in this player's network. Maybe if the players compete so hard that they are pressed to invest every cent into expansion.

Either way, PA roads can be removed, so yes for these.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Handling bankruptsy in multiplayer?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2008, 12:19:42 PM »
Yup, vehicles should be just removed (confiscated by bank/government/public authority/other). I can't imagine any easy way to make an "auction". How long would it last, when is the end?

That is not a problem in itself: it would be quite easy to have a fixed auction period of, say, three or six months: if the players have not bid at least as much as the reserve amount by the end of that time, the auction ends, and the remaining vehicles are removed.

Quote
Infrastructure turning public… dunno. In some cases it is desirable, in some not. When a company goes bankrupt, typically it's in the first stage of game, so there isn't that much infrastructure to care for. On the other hand, getting it for free use after it is handed to PA can give the other players a boost in this crucial stage?

It ought not be for free use: players should have to pay to use the remaining infrastructure on a pay per access basis.

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Handling bankruptsy in multiplayer?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2008, 01:00:53 PM »
That's part of the game. We could call it a Simutrans Lucky Strike. If we add an extra payment for usage would turn it more complex, so I still can't understand why you want to implement it.

I mean, usually players that go to bankrupt don't have a lot of structures, mainly because high level ones (tunnels, bridges, hubs, airports, etc..) are really expensive so, players must be careful about in what they spend their money. Bankruptcy is usually product of a bad gameplay strategy (you spend more money than you able to earn, as simple as that)

In Simutrans, Public Service manages a lot of basic infrastructures like city roads so I think it won't be harmful for gameplay if the PS becomes the owner of all of them. The rest of players can't remove them neither modify them, just take advantage of them to improve their transport networks in certain moments. Therefore, I'm not able see any negative aspect in that sense that may affect to the gameplay.

On the other hand, the payment solution adds more micro management that it's not present in the single user game. I suggest to use the single user mode as a solid base, instead of introducing such a complex changes in other modes. As I see it, multiplayer is just single mode with human players instead of IA's.

To sum up, It's not necessary to reinvent the wheel. Let's use known concepts and ideas that already work until now.

P.S: Although I'm not agree with some aspects of your approach, if you finally implement this feature, I'll be the first on the queue for playing, but if we can save time and useless efforts, I think this discussion will be worth it... ;)
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 01:03:23 PM by vilvoh »

Offline isidoro

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Re: Handling bankruptsy in multiplayer?
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2008, 02:00:20 AM »
I can't imagine any easy way to make an "auction". How long would it last, when is the end?

That's the main reason for doing an all or none auction.  There is a fixed short time in which all players can place their bids and see the others'.  When time expires, there is a winner.  Afterwards, an easy loop for all objects saying: "if the owner of the current object is the loser, then the new owner is the one that won the auction".  Very easy to program and with few side-effects as far as I can see (perhaps only two adjacent stations belonging to the same player).  Realistic, too.  The bank wants to get as much money as it can from the belongings of the looser.

For the second option (vehicles erased and infrastructure public), the player in charge of the public service, once public, can erase or keep infrastructures at his own decision.  He would be a kind of Administrator in multiplayer.  If we directly erase all, there can be some havoc.  Some main roads can have been built by the loser player but be used by many alien vehicles now.  We have to erase them with running vehicles on, etc.


Offline vilvoh

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Re: Handling bankruptsy in multiplayer?
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2008, 07:52:47 AM »
Now I read your comment isidoro, the vehicle auction approach sounds more resonable, efficient and easier to implement, at least at first sight.. :)

Offline prissi

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Re: Handling bankruptsy in multiplayer?
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2008, 11:11:53 AM »
I think I would make it like current game: Everything is sold and roads that were driven on will get public. Otherwise other player will get in trouble too. (But ok, one might consider it then their task to reover from that.

However, this is to be discussed in a distant furture with online capabilities, imho ...