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History pages

What would you like to see in Freeciv? Do you have a good idea what should be improved or how?

History pages

Postby monamipierrot » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:23 pm

In old LT site there was a very interesting feature: the World History pages.
I give for granted that you know what I'm talking about: a place where hostory or chronicles can be posted (with a suitable delay) and ordered for match/player/timeline.
I think a better tool could be developed to allow players to post their history.

I copy&paste from a post in LT forum:

It would be very nice if players could publish their histories in "Chapters", which correspond, roughly, to a specific Turn number (of course they don't have to write a chapter for each turn!!!). If each chapter have a field with "T#" (and of course, a field with the LT# game), they can be arranged not only historian-wise (history by one single player's POV), but also chrono-wise, i.e. one can read altogether all point of views of, say, T100, by player x, player y and player z. Chapters may have a title field also.
If world map or stats are available of that very turn, they can be seen altogether with the POVs.
This would lend to a navigation tree like this:

LT29:
-T0
-"Here I am" (Monamipierrot POV)
-Dude POV
-"Fantastic spot" (OleTraveler POV)
-[World Map]
-T1
-Dude POV
-KG POV
-[Historian publishes]
...
-T10
-"Gonna kill Monamipierrot" (OleTraveler POV)
-"Gonna kill OleTraveler" (Monamipierrot POV)
-[World stats]
...
-Tx

Of course, the tool should also allow WRITING, host images, and in the meanwhile keeping everything invisible till the end of the match, or to a given # of turns or date. I would recommend a grace period of 50-100 turns anyway. Some matches rules may at all forbid publishing before the end of the match, or even at all. I personally would love to let people publish what they want if this doesn't affect too much the game.
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Re: History pages

Postby monamipierrot » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:29 pm

one more thing: the World History page would be a GREAT turn-on for new players.
Actually, I joined LT (and consequentely, GT) because I read some of their chronicles with images and so on.
One obvious feature of the History page is a frame which show the save game animation, even better if faster than normal but slowing down around the given turn one is reading about.
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Re: History pages

Postby Davide » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:31 am

That's a great idea. The "delayed posting" is, too.
For example, while a match is running, some players may like to keep a small log of notes or remarkable events each few turns, right when their memories are fresh. Then they may choose to publish their stories right away as they write them, or to temporarily archive them and let the server automatically publish them all just after the relative game has turned to end.

These memories can be organized and consequently browsed by criteria like author, turn range, and game.
The "humanistic" aspect of this feature is simple after all. I am considering the technical implications now.
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Re: History pages

Postby monamipierrot » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:39 am

Davide wrote:For example, while a match is running, some players may like to keep a small log of notes or remarkable events each few turns, right when their memories are fresh.

This gave to me another idea.
A known problem with the chronicles is that many start them, write a page for T1, half a page for T2, three lines for T3, four words for T4 and zero from T5 on.
To help with players' laziness, the client should help him in writing chronicles.
This can be achieved in many ways.
1. A button (or a command) in the client should automatically open in the web browser a direct link to the notebook/log page of History, and create a new entry (NameOfMatch-Player-Turn#), either completely blank, or already filled with some info (or even images) about current Turn that the player may then want to use or refer to in writing his crhornicle.
2. The automatic info could be of different kinds: e.g. a collection of Demographics/Stats and so on, or a copy of recent Messages (e.g. military battles and diplomacy), a copy of chat messages, or some other useful notes. Also, a Pop-up/Message event could be triggered in case of relevant milestones (Revolutions, Exterminations, Important Techs, 1st Contacts, Diplomacy actions... or simply 20 turns has passed without anything new). The PopUp/Message could be Pliny the Elder himself reminding the player that this event could be a good subject for a chronicle chapter, and would offer the link to the corresponding new chronicle entry page.

Of course, all of these ideas lead to open a pandora box of how the server/client could and should show info, and expecially historical info, to players. Access to mycivilization's own history in savegames throu the server should be an important tool to be added in a future version of Freeciv. To replay battles and events (even those we didn't actually see because we were offline) also will be a giant add-on to playability. But I know it's just dreams, right now!
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Re: History pages

Postby Davide » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:30 am

monamipierrot wrote:But I know it's just dreams, right now!

Anyway I appreciate the idea :)
There's a complete lack of infrastructure on the client/server side to implement this without rewriting 20% of Freeciv ex-novo. There are also systemic difficulties to overcome; for example, how the client is going to pass the information to the website? A static interface needs to be invented and has to remain unchanged over new releases of Freeciv.

BTW, I am considering the idea of history narrations as viewed by the point of view and interpretations of players. I've started looking around it with the intent to provide a simple yet functional web facilitation to log & hide from the public eyes individual's notes or tales. But please don't expect a revolution :) this will be just a simple additional feature for now, mostly as a (very curious) experiment.
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Re: History pages

Postby Davide » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:57 am

It's been done! We have something called "History Books" now :)

It took several hours across different days;
Now we have a new forum section for each Greatturn match, called History Book, intended to collect the individual's stories and thoughts which take place during the course of the game.
Everything posted there is kept hidden from the public's eyes for as long as the relative match is being played, and it's automatically disclosed only after the match runs over. The authors of the posts can always see, edit, and resume their writings.
A typical usage case for an author would be to open a history thread about his running game as soon as he wills to write something down, and then keep the thread updated by posting new facts from day to day. All will be automatically published only after the match is over.

To my knowledge, there is no way to access these narrations while the server keeps them secret. However, this forum's software is a complex beast and I might have forgotten an open access to the narrations. This shouldn't be the case, but let me know if you happen to spot such condition.
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Re: History pages

Postby Major Nimrod » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:24 am

Very cool !

Will definitely give it a try.

Great work Davide, and thanks to monamipierrot for the suggestion, too!

P.S. A bit confused about how to actually use this new feature:

At first I logged onto GT, and couldn't find the History pages at all within the GT My Games section (I figured that would make the most sense, as it's supposed to be private). I finally found it within the Freeciv Forum section, which aroused my suspicions because it doesn't "seem" private at all. I'll post a fairly unspecific inital post to test and please let me know if you can read what I've posted.
"Big Brother is watching you" - George Orwell
"Shh! I'm Hunting Wabbits" - Elmer Fudd
"What a Nimrod" - Bugs Bunny

NIMMY
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Re: History pages

Postby Davide » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:52 pm

Major Nimrod wrote:I'll post a fairly unspecific inital post to test and please let me know if you can read what I've posted.

I can't read it, your post is kept secret :)

Major Nimrod wrote:A bit confused about how to actually use this new feature [...]

Thanks for the suggestion, I'm keeping it present.
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