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    • For years, I had this crazy idea of playing a video game "by committee". For this to work at all, the game would obviously need to be a turn-based game that can be played in small increments and paused inbetween. In my case, it would probably be a game of the Civilization series, because I really like that one.

      Basically, I would start a game, present its initial state and then wait for people to comment, discuss alternatives, come to a conclusion - before I would "implement" this outcome and present the next state. This could be done on a tactical level ("Do I move the Scout left or right?", "Do I build a melee or ranged unit next?"), on a strategic level ("Do we want to start a war with X or Y?", "What win condition do we want to go for?"), or anything between those extremes.

      In the best case, this would turn a single-player strategy game into a multi-player experience with role-playing and/or world-building aspects. In the worst case, this would quickly turn out to be an unmaintainable mess... :D

      What do you think? Does this idea work at all - and would it work here on Cake, maybe using the just released panel Q&A functionality?

    • An interesting read, thanks for bringing this up @lula2488 :)

      A cross between the later stages of this experiment (give participants some time to vote, then act upon the majority) and something influenced by tabletop RPGs (where the game host describes the situation, and players discuss what to do next) seems reasonable.

      This could even be run as an experiment in democracy. Maybe I pick a few "advisors" (earlier Civilization games actually had those in-game) and let them make up the rules? :D

    • What do you think? Does this idea work at all - and would it work here on Cake, maybe using the just released panel Q&A functionality?

      Are you old enough to remember choose-your-own-adventure books, where you would read several pages of adventure and then at a figurative (or literal) fork in the road you’d be told

      Turn to page 78 if you choose to investigate the cellar.

      Turn to page 36 if you choose to turn back and battle the army of Orcs.

      You could certainly do something similar with the Q&A. I would think you’d want to have a time limit or deadline to submit votes by.

    • Are you old enough to remember choose-your-own-adventure books

      Oh, I remember those - they were fun, definitely! :)

      I'm trying to get a good figure for the number of important choices necessary each turn. At the beginning even "minor" things like exploring towards the east instead of the west, keeping a second unit in your city instead of using it to explore faster, developing one technology over the other, are important. Later in the game, these are individually less important, but with an empire of a dozen cities, there will be even more choices to make.

      Some of the choices span multiple turns, too. Simple example, it is probably more sensible to decide strategically once ("let's build a boat, then use it to scout the shoreline of our continent clock-wise") than it would be to have individual, tactical decisions ("build a boat yes/no"; "how to move the boat this turn?"; "how to move it next turn?")

      Bottom line, it is probably unrealistic to present each choice that needs to be made each turn in form of a poll - unless we build some sort of government where one person is responsible for a whole aspect of gameplay and "filters" all votes for me.

      Ah, well. It was a fun idea, but probably too complicated... :)

    • There is a level of creativity that would be required to make a choose-your-own-adventure work.

      The problem with a book, for the author at least, is that you have to map out and write the adventure for every possible choice, and every sub-choice for choice A, and every sub-sub-choice for sub-choice A. I think most of us would give up on trying to craft such a book even if you had several actions resulting from each choice:

      Do you want to stay here or go to Florida? You choose to go to Florida. You steal a sailboat. You head down the coast, taking the inlets whenever possible to avoid sea pirates. At Charleston, you go inland for supplies.

      Do you get supplies and return to your ship or sneak into a rail car to continue by rail? You choose to sneak into a rail car. At the rail yard, you find an empty rail car but are chased by security. You hide in a nearby maintenance shed and find a flare gun. You leave the shed, walk a safe distance away and fire the flare gun into the shed. The flammable rags and solvents burst into flames, creating a useful distraction that draws the guards and other employees to deal with the fire. You jump onto a departing train’s rail car that turns out to be occupied by a gang.

      Do you talk to the leader, fight the gang or jump off the car?

      ***************

      Another paradigm or model to consider are RPGs (“role-playing Games,” Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)). I remember playing a non-D&D version where we were a commando unit going through a city. We ended up roaming through the sewers and getting into a fire fight before returning to the surface and finding the science lab with the mutant zombies. When we took a break, we chatted with the “Dungeon Master” who had been telling us the outcome of each decision we made on our journey. He admitted that going into the sewers was never part of the official game but he improvised and eventually got us back onto the official storyline. A similar approach could be done with a game here. You could have polling with individual suggestions—“I think we should travel to Florida by freighter”—and then the game master incorporates the best suggestions into the storyline.

    • Yes, I think that's true. We'd probably need to focus on the story-telling aspects of it more than each individual decision. So, going back to the idea of a strategy game, instead of asking where each individual unit should be moved each turn, it would be much better to let participants come up with reasons for or against attacking a neighbor, spreading a religion to their cities or building a new city in their direction vs. somewhere else.

      Doing so would probably also allow the game master to do multiple turns at once instead of stopping for each individual turn - which is another issue I've been thinking of. Civilization games consist of up to 500 turns, so allowing one week for each would mean playing for ten years, while doing one turn per day would mean a huge amount of stress for the game master.

      @apm would you be on board if I started such a play-by-panel this weekend? :)

    • would you be on board if I started such a play-by-panel this weekend?

      I think it would be an intriguing challenge just to figure out how to make it work.

      I would be on board to be an adventurer in your game.

      Would it be okay with you if we used this thread here to discuss and debug any problems that crop up during game play?

    • Would it be okay with you if we used this thread here to discuss and debug any problems that crop up during game play?

      That's a good idea. I will link from there to here, so that we can keep the other conversation mostly about the game itself.

    • Reflection on vote #1

      I’ve never been invited to a panel before so it was interesting to see the interface in action.  When I opened your panel, there was a blue button at the bottom of the screen with a “You’ve been invited, click here to join” notice.  I also received an email with a similar notification to join.

      **********

      I watched the introduction video and found it intriguing.  It was a little confusing until I realized that it was a generational timeline of her ancestors, but it ended up making me wonder how game play would progress.

      I read all the character descriptions and then watched videos of the two that were most interesting: Pericles and Gilgamesh.  I found Pericles combination of cultural development and combat strength to be the most complex campaign of the four. I have strong leanings for this option because of this, however, game play may be much slower as a result.  I therefore voted for the polar opposite: Gilgamesh. I expect more interaction with and against the other civilizations and a faster pace compared to the other three options.

      Which one would you prefer, @Factotum ?

    • I watched the introduction video and found it intriguing.  It was a little confusing until I realized that it was a generational timeline of her ancestors, but it ended up making me wonder how game play would progress.

      Yes, this is one of the opening cinematics of the game, and hasn't that much to do with actual gameplay. It just occurred to me that some or even most readers of the panel might not have played the game before, so I will make sure to shine some light on details along the way. Of course, I hope to receive questions if any mechanics of the game are overly unclear. ;)

      I read all the character descriptions and then watched videos of the two that were most interesting: Pericles and Gilgamesh.  I found Pericles combination of cultural development and combat strength to be the most complex campaign of the four. I have strong leanings for this option because of this, however, game play may be much slower as a result.  I therefore voted for the polar opposite: Gilgamesh. I expect more interaction with and against the other civilizations and a faster pace compared to the other three options.

      Which one would you prefer, @Factotum ?

      I think Gilgamesh is a great choice, because having early aggressive units to potentially wage war with other players is different from how I typically play the game myself, and thus will be a bit challenging if we're going that route.

      Generally, I like the fact that every playable civilization in the game changes the rules of the game a bit, which adds replay value. My goal is to eventually win a game each with all of the (currently 42!) different civilizations.

      I suggested these four, because I wanted to avoid the "modern" civilizations (and situations like having to go to war with the US while playing Russia, or similar stuff ;)) - and also because they show a variety of different features.

    • This is kind of off-topic, but I wonder if you (@Factotum) get periodic updates as to how many people are following your game panel?

      This is the first panel I started - so far no updates. Maybe @apm knows if this feature already exists.

      If it doesn't, it might be a good addition to the platform later, when panels are becoming more active.

    • I am following with interest, but do not have gaming experience, and may not have time to devote as a participant. Will continue to follow, though.

      (PS I think your use of a unique emoji for each character is brilliant.)

    • @lidja , below is the data I get on another platform. For each content I publish, it tells me how many people viewed my content: 1,716 people viewed my response to someone else’s thread. Unless things have changed since the Q&A option was implemented, Cake does not provide such data to panel moderators.

    • I think a “number of people following panel” stat would be really interesting for panel leaders to see! I wonder if @Chris would consider adding another item to the Cake wishlist? I bet panel-leader extraordinaire @Victoria would want to see such a thing if she doesn’t already have access to those numbers...

    • My original plan was to mostly do these on Sundays, but it seems as if voting and discussion will either happen pretty immediately, or not at all.

      I probably won't manage to do more than 2-3 turns a week, but I think it is safe for the moment to note that turns CAN happen as soon as 24 hours after the last.

      I'm preparing the next turn right now. :)

    • Whatever time frame works for you is fine since you’re doing the heavy lifting. I was mainly expressing my interest in the game and my anticipation for what happens next.

      🙂