Battle for Wesnoth MMORPG, nearing alpha test

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bryanbr
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Battle for Wesnoth MMORPG, nearing alpha test

Post by bryanbr » August 21st, 2008, 8:53 pm

I've seen some speculation on here that such a thing wouldn't be possible. Well, I'm here to say that I went ahead did it (almost). I have a mostly working prototype, called Battle for Tidestone, that should be playable in the next couple weeks. This is an Ajax application programmed on the server-side in Java and playable with your basic web browser, no plug-ins (ie. flash) are used.

I develop free, web-based games and make them available at the following URL:

http://www.denizengames.com

If you visit the link, I have a working clone of the board game Risk, called Grand Strategy. I have borrowed from that code base to get the prototype of Battle for Tidestone working, and I will be using many of the same concepts: a casual game that is played 1 to 2 turns per day. If you like, you can play it faster. I previously developed a game with the same name (Battle for Tidestone) that I discontinued.

The initial scope of the game will be PvP, tactical one-shot battles: choose a map, the game is created and then started as other players join. I don't foresee implementing scenario play. That said the following will probably not be implemented in the short term:

1. Play version AI
2. Scenario play
3. Most of the races
4. The larger maps

What I have working now is a fairly loyal, web-based version of Wesnoth with the basic tactical feature set in place: you can create/join games, move/attack units and actually win the game. There are a number of caveats (all of which will be addressed): only 3 the races are working, only 12 of the Terrain types are working, traits are not working, combat calcs are much simplified, animations are not working.

I haven't worked out a system for how players will be allowed to recall units from previous battles. There are obvious play balance issues there with newbies being squashed by a hoard of high level units from experienced players. I also haven't given much thought to how gold should be gained/reused across maps. Anyone have thoughts on how this could be done?

I foresee implementing some type of overall global world in which the players gain and lose territory through individual battles. Any thoughts on how this could be done?

Blarumyrran
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Re: Battle for Wesnoth MMORPG, nearing alpha test

Post by Blarumyrran » August 22nd, 2008, 12:12 pm

Uh, will it be under GPL license?

And any screenshots? Screenshots are always the quickest way to judge a game, even if it is in alpha.

bryanbr
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Re: Battle for Wesnoth MMORPG, nearing alpha test

Post by bryanbr » August 22nd, 2008, 5:47 pm

Syntax_Error wrote:Uh, will it be under GPL license?

And any screenshots? Screenshots are always the quickest way to judge a game, even if it is in alpha.
The GPL is not a good license for web games. Understand that web games are played through a web browser, so technically someone can take the code, run it on their server, modify it, make money from it and because they are never actually distributing the code changes and the binaries, they never have to release their changes. I have actually had this happen with other games that I have released under the GPL.

I'd like to release the UI (web pages, javascript, etc) under some kind of license that guaranteed openness, but honestly the GPL is not well suited for web games. Of course, all of the content will be GPLed and I will be linking and honoring Wesnoth. As I am writing the game in Java/HTML, I haven't been able to make use of any of the Wesnoth source.

I'll post a screenshot (tonight maybe?). The UI is 0% polished so don't expect anything too pretty.

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loonycyborg
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Re: Battle for Wesnoth MMORPG, nearing alpha test

Post by loonycyborg » August 22nd, 2008, 8:08 pm

bryanbr wrote: The GPL is not a good license for web games. Understand that web games are played through a web browser, so technically someone can take the code, run it on their server, modify it, make money from it and because they are never actually distributing the code changes and the binaries, they never have to release their changes.
That's why there's Affero GPL.
"meh." - zookeeper

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Zachron
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Re: Battle for Wesnoth MMORPG, nearing alpha test

Post by Zachron » August 23rd, 2008, 2:33 am

Well, if you're not going to put it under GPL then you may as well rename it. Wesnoth is GPL. And I think that means that any derrived works also need to be GPL compatible. I'm not sure how GPL is exactly incompatible with a Web Game though. You could still charge if that's the issue. Or is it the dime-a-dozen competition you'll have to deal with when people get your source code anduse it to make their own games? (It won't be as bad as hobo-wars, most Wesnothians are pretty loyal from what I've seen.)
Project Battlescar: An rpg engine of my own design.
http://battlescar.wikispaces.com/

bryanbr
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Re: Battle for Wesnoth MMORPG, nearing alpha test

Post by bryanbr » August 23rd, 2008, 5:12 pm

Zachron wrote:You could still charge if that's the issue. Or is it the dime-a-dozen competition you'll have to deal with when people get your source code anduse it to make their own games? (It won't be as bad as hobo-wars, most Wesnothians are pretty loyal from what I've seen.)
Charging for it certainly isn't an issue that's why I offer the games for free (you can pay $18 bucks for a Premium account but most people don't). It actually costs me money to write these games as I make my money elsewhere in life. Hardware and bandwidth costs are not cheap for a very database intensive web application: you can't put a highly dynamic web site on a Celeron with one hard disk and expect it to work. Check out Grand Strategy: there's a couple google ads on the login screen and then you never see an ad when playing the game. Now your average web game is plastered with ads. My motivation is more that I just like to provide strategy gaming.

But I'll definitely be putting some of the code under a open license. It would be a good learning tool if someone else wants to write a web game.

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Zachron
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Re: Battle for Wesnoth MMORPG, nearing alpha test

Post by Zachron » August 25th, 2008, 6:48 am

Grand Strategy actually looks kinda neat so far. I'll have to actually try playing it later. /me needs to head to bed.
Project Battlescar: An rpg engine of my own design.
http://battlescar.wikispaces.com/

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Sapient
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Re: Battle for Wesnoth MMORPG, nearing alpha test

Post by Sapient » August 29th, 2008, 2:47 am

I read the link provided by loony. Apparently, the Affero GPL Version 3 is compatible with GPLv3, (so that means you can include Wesnoth stuff with your AGPLv3 stuff). Anyone who modifies it would be required to include a "download source" link with their content.
http://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/User:Sapient... "Looks like your skills saved us again. Uh, well at least, they saved Soarin's apple pie."

bryanbr
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Re: Battle for Wesnoth MMORPG, nearing alpha test

Post by bryanbr » September 4th, 2008, 5:56 pm

The game is now playable, and dare I say even worthy of the name of beta.

Play here:

http://www.denizengames.com/tidestone/login.faces

You can discuss the game or request features here:

http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/tidestone/

I'm still giving thought to how the persistent world map should function. Imagine each separate battle in Wesnoth occurring on a grand strategic map where hundreds (hopefully) of other players are also participating.

Blarumyrran
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Re: Battle for Wesnoth MMORPG, nearing alpha test

Post by Blarumyrran » September 4th, 2008, 6:17 pm

kind of hard to try it out with the lack of other players :o

bryanbr
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Re: Battle for Wesnoth MMORPG, nearing alpha test

Post by bryanbr » September 4th, 2008, 7:49 pm

Syntax_Error wrote:kind of hard to try it out with the lack of other players :o

That's a side effect of my not really telling anyone about the game yet. I need to put in a chat area in the join game screen so you can see other people and ask them to play a game.

Just like my Risk clone the game is usually played very casually, many people login in the morning, play all of their turns and then don't come back until tomorrow.

I'll be putting in an option so you can specify how much time each player can have for a turn. And then some code so it refreshes and tells you that you can play a turn if you are waiting to play against someone in a quickly paced game.

The game will send you an email on the first turn of a game when it is ready to be played.

Blarumyrran
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Re: Battle for Wesnoth MMORPG, nearing alpha test

Post by Blarumyrran » September 5th, 2008, 6:18 am

It's more like just a PBEM/Web-based Wesnoth, than a mmorpg... but nice nevertheless!

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