Introduction: Pistos

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Pistos
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Introduction: Pistos

Post by Pistos » Thu Jun 23, 2016 16:23

Hi.

I am a relative noob when it comes to TCGs/CCGs. I've never played with physical cards, and the only experience I have is with Hearthstone. I enjoyed that for a while, until I realized how it was subtly Pay to Win, even if ostensibly "free to play". You also had to keep up with the releases to stay competitive. So, I was turned off of Hearthstone, but the card game genre is still interesting to me. So, I went websearching for "open source CCG", and found WTactics.

One thing I'll say is that, if it's at all possible (or even "easy") to play WTactics online, your websites (main site and wiki) do not at all make it obvious how to do so. There's lots of *references* about how you might do it, but no actual concise instructions in one single place. You may consider putting a big "Play Now!" call-to-action button on the home page of wtactics.org, which redirects you to a functional Sandscape server, or however it is one is supposed to quickly get started playing online, to get a feel for the game, the artwork, the rules.

I have many years of software development experience, and I believe I'm rather more tenacious than the average websurfer, so for me not to be able to find a way to play without printing out the cards is saying a lot.

So, I'm still interested in trying this game out. Can anyone provide pointers on how to play a game or two of WTactics online?
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snowdrop
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Re: Introduction: Pistos

Post by snowdrop » Wed Jun 29, 2016 06:09

I am a relative noob when it comes to TCGs/CCGs. I've never played with physical cards, and the only experience I have is with Hearthstone.
Greets, and welcome to the world off CCG:s =) HS is a good entry point, one of the better ones imho. What it captures in speed and simplicty it misses out on in depth though, but all in all I think they have done a really good job of what they're aiming for - action packed, easy to play and speedy ccg.

It doesn't matter all too much that you've never played with physical cards, the principles are pretty much the same. It is also pretty obvious to a player if something can easily be replicated on a kitchen table or if the game realies heavily on automation and behind the scenes administration done by the computer.
I realized how it was subtly Pay to Win, even if ostensibly "free to play". You also had to keep up with the releases to stay competitive.
In most free to play games there are indeed shortucts when it comes to time invested vs just buying stuff right out. It's a part of their economical model, and from what I understand the free to play developers, in general, make their earnings of 3-5% of the total of the playerbase - the milk cows ;)
So, I was turned off of Hearthstone, but the card game genre is still interesting to me
Yay, that was a fast turn off - you should be happy you didn't come in contact with the industry back in the golden days ;) It was way harder, if not outright impossible, to have access to genre at all without much money, not to mention to compete. Back then there was also no games at all that actually didn't sell you random cards... that coupled with rarity and in some cases a small loclal playerbase and no internet made it very hard to actually explore the true nature of a game without shelling out loads of money = P

The genre is great though - I'm confident it will continue to evolve, and much has happened in just the recent 5-10 years, all for the better. There are a lot of ccg:s, both alive ones and dead. Keep searching until you find what fits your shoe :)
if it's at all possible (or even "easy") to play WTactics online /../how you might do it, but no actual concise instructions in one single place.

In short: The game is still in development. Our goal is to have 2 pre-constructed decks ready and tested before new year 2016 / 2017. We're getting there and making good progress. Currently nobody is maintaining an online way to play.

In longer ; ) That is why you couldn't find a downloadable or something else that allows you to play it online - we haven't released the modules yet.

However, it is easy to play online once somebody actually releases the modules and maintains them (that is also easy) - it can be done with LackeyCCG, gCCG or OCTGN2, to just mention the three clienst that top the list. We would of course encourage the future community to release and maintain to any other software it wants to, like for example any of the numerous virtual tabletops that are around.
You may consider putting a big "Play Now!
Yups, there will be dedicated and easy to reach page for the online-stuff for all newcomers to find.

So, I'm still interested in trying this game out. Can anyone provide pointers on how to play a game or two of WTactics online?
You could join the project if you're interested in making it playable, either as maintainer and becoming the play-online-guy, or as a coder that works on an open framework from scratch (or from where Sandscape is)

If you're just interested in playing the ruleset that's called ARC is being worked on and NG has released both the reules and also 2 playable pre-constructed decks that he is playtesting. Info about them should be easy to find in recent posts on this forum. Their latest playtest seemd to be a nice one.

If you have any questions or thoughts I'd be happy to book a voice session using skype or discord etc - there's a lot to take in at times = P
Pistos
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Re: Introduction: Pistos

Post by Pistos » Thu Jun 30, 2016 17:49

snowdrop wrote:In short: The game is still in development. Our goal is to have 2 pre-constructed decks ready and tested before new year 2016 / 2017. We're getting there and making good progress. Currently nobody is maintaining an online way to play.

(...) We would of course encourage the future community to release and maintain to any other software it wants to

(...) You could join the project if you're interested in making it playable, either as maintainer and becoming the play-online-guy, or as a coder that works on an open framework from scratch (or from where Sandscape is)
Well, I *am* a developer ;) so I would indeed be interested in making a very accessible (easy to get started) way to play the game online. I'll check out the rules and stuff, and think about it.

Thank you for your reply!
Pistos
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Re: Introduction: Pistos

Post by Pistos » Thu Jun 30, 2016 17:54

By the way, if I were to start coding, which ruleset do you recommend I go with? ORC or ARC? Would it be worth it to try to make the system flexible enough to handle either one, and give a choice to the players (for each game)?
ngoeminne
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Re: Introduction: Pistos

Post by ngoeminne » Fri Jul 01, 2016 09:37

Hi Pistos,

Welcome to our little project. Nice to see you are willing to help out!

Our roadmap is to get the game rules and two pre-constructed decks by the end of the year.
We'd like to postpone all (major) software dev until we reach this goal. Many attempts have been made, but were abandoned. We'd rather focus on rules and cards so we can at least playtest them.

The ARC is 'playtest ready' and has two ready to go decks: Uneasy Alliance and Gaian Love for Life.
The ORC is nearly 'playtest ready', but hasn't got cards yet.

Although online play is not possible at the moment, I was able to add cards from our card db to untap.in, and asked Knitter to follow up and contact the owners. I don't think there has been any contact with them beyond the initial contact.

Instead of developing all things from scratch, we could try to cooperate with them.
Either they give us the ability to mass-import cards in their system, or they allow us to run a server for Wtactics.

For the moment we could manually add the cards of the ARC decks there and playtest them.
If you're willing to do that, let me know.

Kind regards,
Nico
Pistos
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Re: Introduction: Pistos

Post by Pistos » Fri Jul 01, 2016 13:44

I understand the desire to avoid duplication of effort. At the same time, I've been developing a sort of framework for online application, and was looking for something to test drive it with. Anyway, I'll see. I can totally accept that whatever I write for WTactics may not be used in the long run, because the creation of it would have been good "exercise" for my framework, if you know what I mean.
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snowdrop
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Re: Introduction: Pistos

Post by snowdrop » Sat Jul 02, 2016 00:02

Pistos wrote:I understand the desire to avoid duplication of effort.
I think NG captures it well, even if I myself rather see people doing something, and preferably something they like, than nothing at all ;) and I'm sure it's not in contradiction somehow with the (correct) info that NG gave.

Personally I'm somewhat afraid or sceptical of getting people aboard the project and noticing later on that their efforts were in vain or totally misdirected even. That is more true for cases where their project had only a sole purpose and use - in a context together with this particular game. It would be less true if whatever was produced could still stand on it's own, regardless of this game, like for instance frameworks that you mention.

My fear comes from the fact that we to this date we have had at least 3-7 code projects of some kind related to the game in one way or the other (clients in diff languages/even in theory + at least 2 databases + scripts/bots/what not) and still not much to show for in terms of something usable (client/server).


At the same time, I've been developing a sort of framework for online application, and was looking for something to test drive it with
.

What langauge are you planning on using? Do you have some specific goals in mind? What do you envision?
Anyway, I'll see. I can totally accept that whatever I write for WTactics may not be used in the long run, because the creation of it would have been good "exercise" for my framework, if you know what I mean.
The game will run on anything as long as somebody maintains it for the given software - we see no reasons to restrict or somehow control people and what tools they want to use when playing it, if they're happy with what they are doing and it's legal it's all fine. It's also good for us since it allows a wider access to the game, if there happens to be an interest in it on a specific platform/software.

I'm not sure right now if there will be an "officialy" announced method of playing the game using specific solution x, where we as a dev team tell the world "use this instead of the other 50 solutions out there you maybe rather use". Sure, there might be a reason to go that way (non fragmentation of community and player base, but thats a weak argument even..) if and only if there is some excellent software around or somebody creates it for the project, software that preferably does something that isn't already around and that does it better. ;)

For that reason you're right that we can't promise to use antyhing, in the same way we can't promise a card designer that her ideas will be included in the game, or the artist that his art will be on a card.

However, and this is a big however: In cases where development is done correctly, the end result works and it has grown as result of communicatíon about what is around, what is needed and how it best is done, there are bigger chances that one writes good code.

Undertaking a project where the end result is having a card game playable is a huge task though. And to answer your question: Unless if you are interese din creating singleplayer games and writing an AI it doesn't matter much exactly what ruleset you try to create code for: Reason is rules wont be in the code, ever - code should just end being a virtual table, made easy to play card games. (Check out the ones I mentioned to see what they are doing)
Pistos
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Re: Introduction: Pistos

Post by Pistos » Sat Jul 02, 2016 03:04

The framework is written in ES6 for the frontend and Ruby + SQL in the back. (And it's fully FLOSS, released with a GPL licence.)

I appreciate both of your warnings and cautions for me not to waste my time; thank you. :) I also acknowledge your skepticism because of your history of seeing past development efforts show nothing. Indeed, I'm not going to promise anything, but, as I said, I'd like to test drive my framework in at least 2 projects or so.

Re: rules in the code: I must say, I have opposite intentions. As you have pointed out, there are at least 3 software packages or online platforms in existence which offer generic table-top gaming platforms. I don't see a need for contributing a new project to that field. In contrast, I very much intended to put the rules right into the code, so as to relieve newcomers (and perhaps even experienced WTactics players) of having to do some of the manual calculation, recordkeeping, token management, card marking, etc. etc. The rules need not be completely hard-coded; the system could be made configurable so that 2 players can agree on adjustments to parameters (number of Victory Points needed, for example).

Anyway, I really just am looking for some "exercise", as I've mentioned, but if what I might create happens to gain some traction and popularity, that would be nice, and I'd continue development. If not, and I lose interest, that's okay too, I would not consider it time lost (on my part).

By the way, could I request an account on the wiki? I noticed several grammar, spelling and style flaws, and would like to submit corrections. (I am fully fluent in English, and have lots of proofreading experience.)
ngoeminne
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Re: Introduction: Pistos

Post by ngoeminne » Sun Jul 03, 2016 09:54

Hi Pistos
Pistos wrote:Re: rules in the code: I must say, I have opposite intentions. As you have pointed out, there are at least 3 software packages or online platforms in existence which offer generic table-top gaming platforms. I don't see a need for contributing a new project to that field. In contrast, I very much intended to put the rules right into the code, so as to relieve newcomers (and perhaps even experienced WTactics players) of having to do some of the manual calculation, recordkeeping, token management, card marking, etc. etc. The rules need not be completely hard-coded; the system could be made configurable so that 2 players can agree on adjustments to parameters (number of Victory Points needed, for example).
All the things you mention are part of the physical realm, not of the game rules itself. And there are solutions out there that already do what you mention like untap in (just added our ARC playtest decks). Coding the card rules would require a lot of effort, coding an AI even more. It is not a one man's job. Also, the rules are not yet fixed, so that would be hard to maintain as well.

We'd like to take a step by step approach, and bundling resources towards a goal that's achievable.
1. First create a ruleset and two preconstructed decks (august 2016)
2. Playtest them and adjust until we're satisfied (november 2016)
3. Make them available in print format, and online using existing tools/services/
4. Do some kind of 'official' release (dec 2016)
5. Create own software platform for online play (beyond 2016)

In fact we are in need of people that would like to playtest, and above all do some work towards the goals set out. What I really would appreciate is your offer to do proofreading and editorial work. There are some places where we could use your help. The website (main page), the wiki (main page), the ORC / ARC rule sets and at last (most important) the cards themselves.

Kind regards,
Nico
Pistos
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Re: Introduction: Pistos

Post by Pistos » Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:07

I made an account on untap.in . Trying to fiddle around over there. I'll try to play a game between two accounts I own.

The WTactics wiki doesn't allow account creation, by the way.
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