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Author Topic: "Competition" messages in multi-player.  (Read 3079 times)

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Offline benjad

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"Competition" messages in multi-player.
« on: January 05, 2013, 05:46:44 PM »
Hi.   When playing the AI, all of the AI's actions are sent to a human player in the "competitors" tab.  Would it be possible to have similar messages sent to that tab when other human players take actions too for example.

"PlayerXX formed a new company called TransportXXX"
- should be easy

"TransportXXX built a new station near Town XXXX"
- when station 1st built, not expanded

"TransportXXX opened a new line near Town XXXX"
  (First town in list)
- when a new line is created.  It would be nice if it listed more points, and the type of cargo, but I easily under the problems that would face

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: "Competition" messages in multi-player.
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2013, 07:43:07 PM »
Hmm - this is not a bad idea, actually, as it helps players to keep up with what their competitors are doing. I might consider this for Experimental, although this had better wait until the merge with 112.x is completed, as some of the network/player code has changed recently.

My only concern with this, however, would be that there might simply be too many messages, especially if many players build large networks.

Offline AP

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Re: "Competition" messages in multi-player.
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2013, 08:57:38 PM »
My only concern with this, however, would be that there might simply be too many messages, especially if many players build large networks.

The trick is to convey information that is useful.

As a player I don't need to know that the other players are ... playing. I only need to know stuff that directly impacts me.

  • I do need to know if they build a large new station within N tiles of one of mine (expecially where N is less than the radius of coverage). By large I suppose I mean >5 tiles.
  • I do need to know if passengers start interchanging in large numbers, where they previously did not.
  • I don't really need to know about little things, so maybe exclude bus stop construction, for starters.
  • I don't need to know about every new line other players build, but I would like to know about major new trunk routes. Maybe only report  new lines with any gaps between stops more than than N tiles?
  • What would be useful is if it could be semi-intelligent e.g. "Vehicles can no longer reach player 2's stop at Oxford High Street - your company was recently doing construction nearby, please review" but that might be complicated...

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: "Competition" messages in multi-player.
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2013, 09:52:25 PM »
Hmm, this sort of thing can get massively complicated very, very quickly. The most obvious issue is one of thresholds: precisely what counts as a "large new station"? How large is large and how new is new? Does a one tile 'bus stop added to a 100 year old railway station trigger the message in some cases? How large are "large numbers"? If the number hovers around the "large numbers" threshold, does one get the message every month or every other month? And so forth. I suggest not having these sort of threshold conditions.

Offline benjad

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Re: "Competition" messages in multi-player.
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2013, 10:19:39 PM »
This is why I am looking at the simple things.   A 'new' station, a 'new' line, a new 'company' are events that are easy to capture and report on.  I like a lot of AP's ideas, but know that the logic behind them is very complex.  Lets get the simple things working first. 

Also, I disagree about 'every bus stop'.  Send a message each time a new stop is generated.  If 15 new stops are made in a town, it is pretty easy to tell that a competitor is building a pax network in a town. 

As far as message spam, look at what exists presently.  In my messages are 'station full' and 'problems' from all competitors.  Most are simply spam repeated over and over again. 

Offline greenling

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Re: "Competition" messages in multi-player.
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2013, 11:30:01 AM »
That it a Very great idea.
The Buliding and upgrade from Station are new worth.

Offline ӔO

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Re: "Competition" messages in multi-player.
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2013, 12:14:41 PM »
For stations, I think the message could be just the newly built, top 5~10 in capacity per player at the end of the month. "Newly built, (station) with x capacity". I doubt you would have 14 players playing at once, which could result in 140 lines of text being spammed at once.

For lines, I think you can just do a "(Line #) has been started from (first stop in the line)". It's pretty easy to peak into other player's line schedules, so just a notification of a new line would suffice.
Likewise, "(Line #) has been withdrawn from service" when no more vehicles run on it.

Offline Ters

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Re: "Competition" messages in multi-player.
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2013, 01:52:46 PM »
Since stations are built tile by tile, you can't really make a distinction between the building of a station with a given capacity, and a minor extension of an existing station, or even a replacement of an extension building that temporarily drops the capacity below the limit.

Offline IgorEliezer br

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Re: "Competition" messages in multi-player.
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2013, 03:50:06 PM »
It's a nice idea. It could tell the player there is life in the server.

But I'm afraid the server would be spammed to the hell with any action from the players. I think only the "milestones" and things that can affect players should be announced, such as:

"Player X joined/left the server"
"Player X started/bought/sold/broke the company Y"
"Player X's company Y is now serving the city/region Z" (at least if Simutrans had territories)
"Player X's company Y founded a city"
"Player X's company Y has just made its 1st 1 million" (... trivia 8))
...
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 04:04:46 PM by IgorEliezer »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: "Competition" messages in multi-player.
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2013, 03:58:33 PM »
There is much to be said for publicising the building and demolition (but not the extension) of stops, and also when they are made public. Players will not generally build so many stops as to clog up the message window, and it is very useful to know where other players are building stops and in what number. Igor's ideas as to other messages are sensible, too.

Offline greenling

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Re: "Competition" messages in multi-player.
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2013, 05:29:58 PM »
Yes that what IgorEliezer as idea speak out it a good ideas.

Offline wlindley us

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Re: "Competition" messages in multi-player.
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2013, 06:22:28 PM »
Support "1853-11: Player X just built a new station in city Y" for any entirely new station, so long as duplicate messages are suppressed. Duplicate meaning within the same month.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: "Competition" messages in multi-player.
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2013, 06:28:18 PM »
Another possibility would be to limit it to the first stop of one particular type in any given city, so "The Nutford and Western Railway built its first railway station in Bloomington" or "The Great West Coast Steamship Co. built its first bus stop in Hardford", etc.

Offline AP

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Re: "Competition" messages in multi-player.
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2013, 07:27:34 PM »
Another possibility would be to limit it to the first stop of one particular type in any given city, so "The Nutford and Western Railway built its first railway station in Bloomington" or "The Great West Coast Steamship Co. built its first bus stop in Hardford", etc.
But perhaps filtering the messages so they are only sent to players already serving those towns, otherwise the random game city-names mean very little.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: "Competition" messages in multi-player.
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2013, 07:31:37 PM »
It is still useful, I think, to see to how many towns that one's rival is expanding.

Offline AP

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Re: "Competition" messages in multi-player.
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2013, 08:01:53 PM »
It is still useful, I think, to see to how many towns that one's rival is expanding.
Yes and no. The more messages one gets, the less likely one is to read them.

Offline benjad

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Re: "Competition" messages in multi-player.
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2013, 08:09:30 PM »
Still, more meaningful messages require more programatic work, and so are less likely to be implemented.  Plus, what makes one person happy here would likely not make another person happy.

Thats why I ask for simple.  Any time a new station is created, send a message.  New company, same.  New line, same.  Realizing that to be simple, the new line message may be very unuseful, since it is just a list of waypoints without any convoys attached to it.  These are all real easy program events to generate a message from. 

Perhaps the easier thing is to create the simple messages, the build filters (just like the vehicle lists) to see the ones you are interested in. 

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: "Competition" messages in multi-player.
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2013, 07:47:15 PM »
I have implemented a message for whenever a player builds a new stop (as opposed to upgrading an existing stop) in Simutrans-Experimental 10.22.