When you see the giant board laid out in its fullest, and the thousands of pieces each in their individual positions...you get the sense that these would be almost impossible games to really play adequately on a computer -- until maybe the hololens. The need to see the context of the entire battlefield is overwhelming that no amount of scrolling around a screen can really compensate for it.
Another thing that's not clear for people from the outside is in many cases how scripted portions of the game are, and its really up to the players to spend a few hours following the script in between moves. This is supposed to simulate various historic battlefield conditions like new groups of units moving on and off the field as the real battle progressed, and the "play" happens within this framework.
Very deep, very detailed, really fun in a way, and no way could I ever put the kind of time into it that it needs, even for "small" games.
First, strategic zoom: the ability to seamlessly zoom in to the littlest unit and out to the entire battlefield using the scroll wheel of the mouse. As you scrolled out, each unit and building were replaced with strategic icons, but there was no effective concept of a "mini map" needed during play because the whole game space was the one thing.
The second thing was native game design for multiple monitors. This let you have the "strategic map" full screen up on one monitor, while you focused in on tactical issues and orders on the second. Because of the first feature though, this was just an arbitrary distinction. As I mentioned, there was no needed conceptually differentiate between the two monitors, as each could be thought of as either a strategic or tactical view (or anything in between) as necessary, and transitioning between the two was so intuitive you basically didn't think about it.
Somewhere, I should still have a copy of Cavaliers and Roundheads. At least I believe it has survived all the moves.
I highly recommend it for anyone that likes painstakingly researched details about the world of games.
That probably sounds archaic but I try to purchase all my books there. There aren't many local bookstores left and I'm partial to it, so I hope to help keep them in business.
Much thanks for the recommendation. I've never read it and I am almost done with my current nightstand book. (Battle Cry, Leon Uris.) If they don't have it, they should be able to order it.
Good for you!
what an exaggeration. we had games with that level of complexity a decade ago, even before if you consider the modding scene for total annihilation.
edit: -1 for being factual and correct, hn crusaders in a nutshell
parent was specifically talking about computer games:
> these would be almost impossible games to really play adequately on a computer
you all just skipping an opportunity to learn about gaming history.
supreme ruler 2010 had worldwide combat, c.a. 2005 or so if I recall it correctly. unit moved continuously and fought by the hundreds, as opposed to medieval total war movement by nation.
they all had extremely complex interaction with terrain, including movement speed, hiding, defensive positioning and whatnot.
there are plentiful war games that have extremely complex engagement rules, to the point implementing whatever you have in mind is just a matter of putting it in writing.
basically the computer isn't the limit. the patience of gamers and market audience is the limit and what prevents extremely complex war games surface on the market (as in: complex in rules). that plus the factor that computer can actually simulate the whole environment and unit interaction physically, so no real need to have to approximate it out with rule lists.
on the other hand, if you want to go into the indie space, you'll find plenty game with unbelievable depth, like aurora 4x - that got some serious rule lists, up and including combat readiness for crews and the need to ready them with training maneuvers which happen in space as the game actually goes.
I know the answer is no. I know you know the answer is no. We both know this was the contention that was being made. It wasn't that computers cant handle complex games, or that they can't dusplay lots of complex information, it was just that they can't show all of that all at the the same time in one view. That's all.
Why are you doing this?
Some of the very detailed air and naval tactical wargames back then could take an hour or so to simulate a few seconds or minutes of combat. I tried some of those and did not particularly enjoy them, but if a computer could help... My learning to program was significantly driven by making computer-aided-wargaming assistant software. But before long, PC wargames became more playable and I started turning to them instead.
As an adult with work and family, I can't play the monsters or rivet-counters anymore. I have great memories of obsessing over them and all their details and possibilities. But even now that they're computerized, trying to fit all that information in my head, handle all the detail and micromanagement feels too much like work. Such games are works of art that provide a special place and time and some lasting memories for those who can get into them.
According to Boardgamegeek, "Playing time with 10 players is listed at 1200 hours." At the top of the BGG page, play time is said to be 1000 hours. There is a thread in their forum asking if anyone has ever finished the game, and the answer seems to be no.
The core concept of the game was you go online, download the rule book for free, donate if you want, and use the pieces from other board games to play. If it caught on, we'd create an option to buy a custom made game (utilizing the Dymaxion Map and 3D printed pieces). Such are the dreams of youth.
My dreams for the game were to be able to build up scenarios or start from scratch. Each team in Scratch Mode starts with one T, one capitol, and five armies. Certain Ts produce a lot of income (simulating oil, mining value, or agriculture) while other Ts were constant deficits (if they border X+1 other Ts OR if the only had one connection).
I forgot to list the victory conditions: you must control 75% of the economy, territories, or military, or 51% of all three. In my mind, the goal was to form a global coalition and sign a peace treaty (game over... for now...((cue Red Alert HELL MARCH music))) or beat everyone into submission.
We used the Dymaxion Map in our modeling because it was fun and different, but as stated previously, the game was really the Rule Book, so one could conceivably use map, or chess board, or living room with furniture + a ruler/yardstick.
I know that these problems reside with our poor choice in founder(s), and it was for a film project, not a tangible product, but the whole affair left a bad taste and i would go with Indy Go Go if there was a next time.
This may be conceited, but when it comes to film, i only want informed, intelligent investors and i want them to give a maximum so they have a stake, not a minimum so they have a badge of involvement. In my opinion, creators and producers need to be held accountable by investors. Getting 5,000 people to chip in $10 bucks feels like a bad thing in the long run for the world of indy film, but besides my previously articulated sentiments i don't know exactly why, i just have a negative gut reaction.
Also, i want to be paid for something created, not rewarded for good marketing (which is probably why the Company keeps me chained up in the basement whenever investors are remotely close by ;) ).
For example, those fuel leakage calculations on 1000+ units, for 100+ turns involve carefully writing down 100,000+ numbers. At two seconds per number, that’s three days of work over the entire game, or, if that 1500 hours is accurate, around 4% of playing time (.4% if ten players shared the work load)
A modern computer could easily do that in one second.
I think someone (truly) dedicated could build a version where every piece had an e-ink display that gets updated automatically to show each unit’s food, fuel and ammunition status and strength, and speed up game play tremendously.
(Technically, perfect play in a non-randomized game determines the winner very rapidly, and even in randomized games there's a clear maximum probability path. However, perfect play is generally humanly-infeasible and may even be computationally infeasible; chess is a relatively simple game compared to most and we still don't know who wins or draws with perfect play.)
Engaging 10 people for 1500 hours is probably effectively impossible, though. At that point you'd basically be selecting the people and building the game to match, if a solution even existed.
(You may be thinking "Oh, but jerf, there are people who play 1500 hours of Team Fortress 2 and stuff", but my reply is that if you designed TF2 for this use case and picked 10 random people, even 10 random TF2 players, you'd have to be pretty lucky to get 1500 hours for all 10 of them. I'm sure there's well more than 10 people with that much time clocked but they're still the outliers, and you'd have a hard time naming them before the fact. Even with prior information about their addictiveness and tendency to stick with games.)
Sounds like the perfect game for a long prison stretch.
From my experience with the game over the course of several years, TF2 becomes insanely addictive only after you overcome the horrendous learning curve.
This takes around 50-100 hours of pure playtime on average.
Once you understand the game mechanics, how to play the classes reasonably well (fully mastering a class can take 100+ hours), how trading works, and how to play the most popular game modes (including duos, 4v4, dodgeball, bball, MGE, surf, etc.), you're basically set for life!
For those who overcome the curve, the retention rate is quite high, from my experience at least. The release of Overwatch probably pulled quite a few people over though. This is primarily due to how Valve has treated the game over the years.
I have over 1000 hours, my brother has twice that (at least), and I know several people I played with regularly who had 4000+. Keep in mind that the country that I was living in had an absurdly small TF2 community.
I don't play anymore because: (1) I don't have a good PC, and (2) grad school sucks.
Oh, I picked that carefully. TF2, Starcraft, Diablo, the more successful MMOs... certainly people can pour thousands into those.
First, I guarantee you that for every person you can find with 1000 hours in TF2, there are dozens or possibly even hundreds of people who installed it, screwed around for a few dozen hours or fewer, and then left. So if you randomly select 10 TF2 players, even if I spot you "from the set of all people with more than 5 hours in the game", the odds that you'll come up with a set of 10 people who are ready to put 1500 hours into "one game" are actually pretty dismal.
Secondly, I'd also very, very seriously question whether that constitutes "one game" in the way that this game really is one game, with one team winning, after 1500 hours. TF2 is more a series of games that last about an hour. I've played far less than 1500 hours on TF2, and I "won" and "lost" dozens of times each. MMOs may lack quite the same degree of clarity but one could probably say that "one quest" is a game, or some other larger subdivision like "all the quests in one area" or "a single raid", but generally if an MMO does have a quest that lasts for even a hundred hours it's going to be considered by the players as a long-term adjunct quest rather than "the thing I do for 100 hours". There have been enough MMOs out there that somebody might be able to cite a counterexample, but it would be rare. At the very least an MMO player playing one MMO for 1500 hours is probably going to be running multiple characters, which would be reasonably called "separate games".
There may be individual Civ games that ran that long, like maybe the Eternal War: https://www.reddit.com/r/theeternalwar/ (The original post the guy doesn't claim a game time, just that he'd been playing for 10 years.) But, again, trying to get 10 such people together would be a challenge.
But a big factor of all those games was the banter and chatter that took place in between the play rounds - which easily took up >50% of 'game time'.
Discussions about famous war heroes, tactics, politics, geography and purely made up stories to rationalise our game play was what made those sessions special, and stand out in my mind FAR more than the die rolls, cards or token that we had...
I loved that every game was so different, but yes, the initial random deal of starting provinces could make or break the entire game. Also found that it made a huge difference if you went first in the first round, then last on every round afterwards.
But even with all that, Shogun is still one of my favourite board war games ever. Still have my original set from >30 years ago, back when I think it was still a Milton Bradley game(?)
I recall bringing a then-obsolete Mac SE into a private student lounge about 20 years ago. One of the games installed on it was Harpoon, which seems to be in the spirit of these old board games. Almost no one was interested in it. I had installed it because it was a novelty. One student played it ravenously. It leaves me wondering what computer gaming would be like if it focused upon detailed simulations rather than graphics and reflexes.
But the change that really started to make people put games first in their lives was when it became social -- MUDs/MUSHes. When you could interact with other people through the game, that is when people started to play them all night and fail out of school because of them, etc.
The rather expensive-to-make military flight simulation games are getting rarer, but Falcon 4.0, ILM Sturmovik and DCS did, or do, have sizeable niche followings. Fairly detailed car racing simulators (Assetto Corsa, Dirt:Rally, iRacing) are also fairly popular. Board-style wargames remain a small niche, but they do exist - I remember the early iterations of Close Combat being particularly good (real-time platoon-level engagements with well-modelled soldiers that had a propensity for panicking under fire, or perhaps displaying extreme bravery).
Detailed simulations of fictional entities are a bigger thing - Prison Architect, Kerbal Space Program and Dwarf Fortress are all popular games, each of which simulate complex interlocking systems (the Prison Industrial System, Orbital Mechanics, and an entire fantasy world, in amazing detail), and all of which are starting to pick up imitators.
Then there's the Paradox series of big historical games - Crusader Kings II, Europa Universalis IV and Victoria 2, among others, let you pick any country you like in their given time periods (medieval, early modern, 19th century respectively), and attempt to model a sort of alternate history through gameplay, with war, economics, politics, diplomacy, religion being part of the systems at work. If you want to try your hand at the Swedish colonization of South America, or to halt the Protestant reformation in it's tracks, or keep Byzantium alive into the 18th century, these games are what you after.
There's sports management games too - the likes of Football Manager and Out of the Park baseball model much of the entire professional range of their sports (OOTP Baseball has more or less the entire history of the top US Baseball Leagues in it's database) in considerable depth.
Games are a very broad church, and complex, detailed, simulations are very much a part of it. A lot of the future you're wondering about actually happened; they just formed into various subcultures and coexisted with the shinier, simpler games you're thinking of.
An interesting article about a bug from various features interacting in unexpected ways
The game is incredibly detailed, and rife with unexpected and hilarious outcomes.
The interface, however, is a ASCII-like overlay of characters controlled by the keyboard alone, like the old rogue games, if you're familiar with any of those.
You should give it a try. If you do, just remember: losing is fun.
Play this twice and you and your friends will have possibly beaten your Civ time.
Of course pasta existed before tomatoes were available, as in things like Bolognese sauce, but it's still a strong association.
Only a little over 300 years longer in Italy (where it did not originate.)
Here's a Let's Play of War in the Pacific that was played at one day (real time) per day (game time) - for 1320 days. And as you can imagine, it can very easily take an hour or more per turn. https://lparchive.org/War-in-the-Pacific/
I wonder if "have you tried turning it off and back on again" was in popular use for computers at this time.
The institutional ones probably had uptimes measured in months though.
You didn't just reboot something that multiple people, including senior staff and tenured professors, may be using...