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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:38 pm 
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The closest I see Oolite ever coming to multiplayer would be some sort of a database similar to Noctis's GUIDE which would store some sort of timed events in a persistent universe.

For example, for the first month the Old Worlds enjoy Navy/police protection. Then every month something could happen. A Thargoid invasion. A system changing its' government or tech level. A Navy excursion into witchspace reducing the chance of witchdrive malfunction.

Thoughts?
We sort of have something similar in the story-telling threads here, where I can follow and enjoy the events in other players' Ooniverses. However, these of course don't feed back into my Ooniverse (or into each other's Ooniverses, for that matter). I don't know Noctis, so I don't know whether that game has a mechanism for that.

One problem with a central database would of course be that because of OXPs our Ooniverses are so vastly different from each other. A typical event in your Ooniverse may be totally impossible in my Ooniverse, if I don't have the right OXP (or combination of OXPs).
First of all, I thought of rather generic events being included so that they might work with most combinations of OXPs.

And secondly, OXPs can already specify requirements or conflicts so a similar thing could be used to use or disable events.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:04 pm 
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A system changing its' government or tech level.
By the way: this reminds me of a very old idea of mine: a dynamic Ooniverse OXP, which would change the government or tech level of selected planets every once in a while.

Original thread here: http://www.aegidian.org/bb/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3043

It popped up again, notably in threads which also were about multiplayer ideas:

http://www.aegidian.org/bb/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3216

http://www.aegidian.org/bb/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3256

http://www.aegidian.org/bb/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2355

http://www.aegidian.org/bb/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8806

http://www.aegidian.org/bb/viewtopic.ph ... 34#p146934

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:12 pm 
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Maybe one way to begin to explore multiplayer is to expose a networking API to OXPs?
Security alert. Your Internet may be in danger if we do this.
Not really, not automatically. If you build a simple time server, there is no security issues unless you screw the implementation very, very, very badly. Besides, we are not talking about a public-facing server for which you have to protect from every cracker in the world, but two machines communicating on a peer-to-peer basis; the players would have to exchange their current IP address in the first place in order to play together (this is, BTW, a great strength of FOSS games: you don't have to have a centralized server [cluster] in order to keep control of what's going on because your business model is all about selling stuff to be used in the games to players).
The API could restrict exploit/abuse possibilities by allowing only to send to/receive from IP addresses specified in a config file that is out of the reach of OXPs. Messages themselves could be limited to plain-text-only (no binary data) in order to allow visual/log monitoring. I'd also suggest to use the UDP protocol instead of TCP in order to get slightly more control over the communication.

That said, yet another idea for the Oolite PvP suggestion box, inspired from flash games like http://armorgames.com/play/4013/phage-wars-2 (warning: might be a time-sink). I could not find again a game in the vanilla style, but replace "cells" and "viruses" with "planets" and "ships" and you get the idea. For those who don't want to bother to play the game: the goal is to conquer planets by sending spaceships to them. The planets that are under your control automatically make and stack ships, you just have to decide where to send them. You are playing against an opponent that does the same. The goal is to conquer all of the planets in the system.

In Oolite this could be implemented like a PvP Tetris, in which when a player achieves something on his side, something is spawned on the other side against which the opponent has to fight. Perhaps a Galactic Navy versus Thargoids confrontation?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:40 pm 
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Not really, not automatically. If you build a simple time server, there is no security issues unless you screw the implementation very, very, very badly.
Well, except that you're making it very easy for someone else to find out what time your computer thinks it is. Here, have an attack which uses that

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:18 am 
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Yet you considered in another thread (Galaxy populator) a client-server model :wink:.

The attack you refer to is very specific because it breaks anonymity, the main feature of the Tor network. I'd like to point out that there is very little value in trying to hack Oolite which has a moderate-sized community.

One could add a a gateway that accepts only messages from localhost and let an external program do the real network/multiplayer stuff but I think it would actually less securing. Because one would have then to trust that program, which may be a black box if shipped as a binary. If networking is made available to OXPs, at least anyone in theory can check the script; and external programs are still an option.

Use case: lets have a symmetric galaxy map (2 axes of symmetry to allow up to 4 players). Players must reach stations of neutral systems to conquer them. Systems conquered by one player become hostile to other players, meaning that stations launch vipers against other players if they enter that system. The number of vipers is limited by the resources available in this system. Each system produce a certain quantity of a specific resource per time unit (minute or hour maybe), the rest must be brought in by the player. Building a viper requires maybe 3-4 different resources (for instance computers, alloys, radioactives, minerals). Players cannot enter a system if another player is already present, in order to avoid the problem of dealing with direct fights (for straight PvP I made another proposal in Outer World). Another way to conquer a system is to surround it, that is to conquer all systems within 7ly. A player loses if he is in a system that's surrounded.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:30 am 
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Yet you considered in another thread (Galaxy populator) a client-server model :wink:.
Though note I didn't say it was a good idea... At any rate, networking code controlled by the core game has rather more manageable security implications than that controlled by OXPs.
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Use case: lets have a symmetric galaxy map (2 axes of symmetry to allow up to 4 players).
Okay, here's a way you could do something like that - with a current nightly build, no more! - assuming as with any open source network game you trusted people not to cheat too much.

1) Create an OXZ that allows the player to pick a faction and contains the current allocation of systems to the factions, adding NPC faction ships as appropriate, with relevant responses to the player.
2) Playing the OXZ will offer missions for the factions which adjust the balance of control in particular systems (which could, in the first version, simply be "dock at this station"). Perhaps you might require the missions to be carried out in a particular ship for fairness, perhaps you might just assess the power level of the player's ship and balance the missions accordingly. You can set conflicts with particular OXPs you'd rather people didn't use at all, though that's only a convenience measure for honest players, not a security feature. Completing a mission generates a particular string of characters.
3) The player copies and pastes the character string into a web page on the server. This notifies the server that the mission is complete. Faction control is adjusted accordingly. The web page prints a different string which the player types into a mission screen to receive their mission reward in-game.
4) Periodically (daily? weekly?), the server builds a new version of the OXZ with an incremented version number and the latest faction data. Players must be running the latest version for their mission success codes to be accepted by the server, but with the OXZ manager that's easy to get (you might want to split the OXZ into two: one small regularly-updated part that just stores current faction control data, and one large part with the graphical assets and the rest of the scripting that is updated less often, to save download time).

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:35 pm 
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I like that idea. Somewhat like what I aiming for with events idea some time back :)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:08 am 
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Quote:
Quote:
Yet you considered in another thread (Galaxy populator) a client-server model :wink:.
Though note I didn't say it was a good idea... At any rate, networking code controlled by the core game has rather more manageable security implications than that controlled by OXPs.
Quote:
Use case: lets have a symmetric galaxy map (2 axes of symmetry to allow up to 4 players).
Okay, here's a way you could do something like that - with a current nightly build, no more! - assuming as with any open source network game you trusted people not to cheat too much.

1) Create an OXZ that allows the player to pick a faction and contains the current allocation of systems to the factions, adding NPC faction ships as appropriate, with relevant responses to the player.
2) Playing the OXZ will offer missions for the factions which adjust the balance of control in particular systems (which could, in the first version, simply be "dock at this station"). Perhaps you might require the missions to be carried out in a particular ship for fairness, perhaps you might just assess the power level of the player's ship and balance the missions accordingly. You can set conflicts with particular OXPs you'd rather people didn't use at all, though that's only a convenience measure for honest players, not a security feature. Completing a mission generates a particular string of characters.
3) The player copies and pastes the character string into a web page on the server. This notifies the server that the mission is complete. Faction control is adjusted accordingly. The web page prints a different string which the player types into a mission screen to receive their mission reward in-game.
4) Periodically (daily? weekly?), the server builds a new version of the OXZ with an incremented version number and the latest faction data. Players must be running the latest version for their mission success codes to be accepted by the server, but with the OXZ manager that's easy to get (you might want to split the OXZ into two: one small regularly-updated part that just stores current faction control data, and one large part with the graphical assets and the rest of the scripting that is updated less often, to save download time).
Sounds interesting, there could be limited-duration "competitions" built around this approach, connected to a web-based ladder system.


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