So this is just a what and how thread, because I don’t really know.
Generally assuming 1 interaction per day.
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- Sequential turn based
Players take turns one at a time, each player can see the result of the previous player’s actions.
Pros: you can see exactly where everything is and make informed decisions.
Cons: doesn’t scale, if you have 7 players, you get to make one move per week.
- Simultaneous turn based
Players take turns all at the same time, and players can see the state of the game when the turn starts but nothing the other players do until the turn ends.
Cons: having to take actions by guessing is kind of awkward - say, attacking an empty tile that you think an enemy will move into, or if two players try to move to the same location they effectively lose their actions.
- Relativistic sequential turn based: Players within interaction distance have sequential turns, but the turn flow is disconnected from players in other areas. If players approach interaction distance they are inserted into the flow at that time.
Pros: kind of scales, benefits of sequential play
Cons: Can lead to unfairness, by someone who goes away can take a bunch of quick turns then come back (potentially), still need to limit number of interacting players.
- One-third triplex
Players have one way interaction by means of seeing the results of the actions of other players - abandoned fortresses, ghosts, trained AIs, etc.
- Real time
All MMOs. You can interact with the environment, and depending on timing, directly with each other, but you don’t have to play at the same time.
- Indirect control
This is basically simultaneous, but rather than directly indicating what you want to happen, communicating intentions which are carried out by AI. Or perhaps things like neopets where interactions are all indirect and not time sensitive.
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- Play by email
- Server - I might be wrong, bunchronous multiplayert I haven’t found a single sequential/simultaneous asynchronous multiplayer game that offers this solution.
Any other ideas? All of these kind of suck in some way.