Calling any programmers...

Not much time to type this all out. I've started on a set of high level designs for a quasi EVOMP. I need to know if there's anyone on this board who is very fluent in C++, MPW, etc... If not I'll just try and recruit elsewhere. I know there is at least a couple of you out there though...

I've so far identified these C++ classes as neccesary, (Cripes, a grand total of <drum roll....> 19!! ADT's) and have a module dependancy diagram drawn up. If anyone see's something that's missing, let me know:

FileType, NetManager, EventManager, WindowType.
AIType, InterfaceManager.
MissionType, SystemType, NebuType, ShipType.
CargoType, SysDebreeType, SpobType, WeaponType, OutfitType.
DudeType, FleetType, PersType.

Heh, who would've thought I'd ever use all those SW engineering courses ๐Ÿ˜‰
I figure that, in order to make this serious, I need at least two more C++ guru's, a network god, and some poor fool who actually enjoys linear algebra (the graphics guy.. ๐Ÿ˜„ )

If anyone is interested, or knows where I can find people who are interested, let me know...


I can't program worth a damn (except for plugins), but I'll help with interface, story, design, aesthetics, and gameplay.

"I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids."
-Gen. Jack Ripper, Dr. Strangelove

In terms of interface... I'm still trying to figure out the best interface for missions. Should missions be statically programed into the game via plug-ins? Should missions be created dynamically by players? A mix of both (in which case we need to create a common interface for both types of missions) Anything like that... Just brainstorm.

Another thought. Should there be a difference between outfits and upgrades? Outfits would be luxery items like IFF decoders, Density scanners and other such things that would be useless on a computer controlled ship. Upgrades would be things like cloaking devices, engine upgrades, shield upgrades, afterburners, fuel scoops, etc that WOULD be used by a computer controlled ship. The reason for the distinction would be because I'm planning on letting a plug designer have upgrades installed on a ship by default.


Hey, you sound fairly certain of yourself, havn't seen that on the board for a while (from someone else, that is).

What are your qualifications? How long have you been programming? You have a good idea of what to do?

I'd like to talk to you, email me if you can.


Reasons why the UE and Voinians hate each other...
ย€Voinians prefer SPAM, while the UE likes SPAM light....
ย€The heads of both governments were trying to figure out which wife was
ย€Tomato, Tom'aaa'to, is there a difference? Aparantly so...
ย€Two Voinians accused the UE of using IBM computers...
ย€A UE Cruiser accidentally blew up a Voinian planet...
ย€Two words: name calling

K, I came up with this for mission implementation. Move away from the static dialogue based interface, and instead move to a chat based window in which the person offering the mission can type whatever mission specifics they want, and a mission title. The person accepting the mission would have only for interface a few buttons to accept/decline much like the current interface. Bar missions would take better advantage of the new interface. The dialog buttons would be replaced with a twoway chat window. Also, in order to precipitate more missions, planets have to generate varying amount of resources, and in order to run would need to maintain a certain level of each resource (ie: for a planet that produces a lot of industrial goods, it's going to have to import a lot of metal, etc) This would create trade and therefore missions. ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, to deal with mission bits. There needs to be a distinction between global mission bits that effect system changes, etc. and local mission bits that determine what an individual player has accomplished. What if mission bits were, first of all increased to something like 16-32k in total. Then split so the lower 8-16k are player specific bits and the top half were global bits that would be set in every players pilot file.


I've got something slightly different that moves away from the EV style gameplay that has a unique spin on it - missions are given both with a webboard which has first-come-first-serve special missions posted by players/govts and generic random cargo missions, and missions are also sent directly to players via a "hypermail" link. Chatting can be done with anyone on a planet - and missions could be informally offered this way.

Mission bits are gone - the universe would be dynamic and since govts are human-controlled, systems change hands daily. Admin could decide huge galactic changes.

"I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids."
-Gen. Jack Ripper, Dr. Strangelove

There would still need to be a way to allow individual players access to your tech (if your gov't happened to HAVE any special tech) which would in itself require some form of mission bits. My biggest problem right now though, is that I don't want to have those who run their own government to feel as if they have to program in their own missions during the game. Like, write in the mission description, then the mission briefing, cargo recieved messages, etc... It would be far too artificial and leaves too much room for error. In fact the more I think about it, the more I think we need a completly chat based system, but that only drives away from hard coded missions more...

Any workarounds? So far, this has been the biggest design issue to deal with.


OK, for special tech - no mission bits. The GM would have a list of players, and he/she/it would decide who got what special technology - ie, Hector blows up 3 ships, sends confirmation to GM. GM sees confirmation, decides Hector is a great parrot, and authorizes him to purchase cloaking device.

Missions would be completely unlike how EV/O is now. Suppose you see a mission you like on the main mission BBS. You accept it. You then get to read mission briefing - blow up a freighter. You go blow up said freighter, then land, which sends a confirmation to the player/GM who you are working for. The GM sends a congratulatory message and transfers 100,000 credits to your bank account. This could be completely automatic. . .

As for chatting, I had a great idea. The galaxy is divided into a bunch of sectors, each run off its own server. Players could chat while onplanet with anyone who's onlplanet on that sector - I call it hyperchat. Players couldn't chat while in space - unless they open a channel to another ship in the system. Players could also send broadband messages that reach every ship in a system without opening a channel. While onplanet, players could send long-range transmissions (instant messaging) to any player connected, whether in space or onplanet.

"I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids."
-Gen. Jack Ripper, Dr. Strangelove

that sounds good, and there could be various "universes", from various servers.


Well, unless you plan to write EVMP in REALBasic, I can't help you ๐Ÿ˜„ I think your mission interface is excellent. Any player should be able to offer a mission from destroying another player to simple deliver-this-here-and-get-paid missions. I am a profession graphic designer so if you need anything, contact me. Oh, just a little note: Remember you'll have to make a server/client interface. Yes, thats right, TWO programs.

"Do or do not. There is no try."



Dave Lesovoy wrote:
Well, unless you plan to write EVMP in REALBasic, I can't help you ๐Ÿ˜„


Well, have revised my high level designs... Added an ADT for interface widgets, menubar, etc... and one for sound ๐Ÿ˜‰ Heh, forgot that one.

Doing my mid-low level designs now, still no-one willing to take on networking? I've downloaded the appropriate docs from Apple (about 5 Megs) and have started going through them. It's making for slow progress, so let me offer a few words encouragement ๐Ÿ™‚ Open Transport is nice!! It allows for almost complete transparency from the underlying network protocals... Interfacing is through streams, sort of like reading from a file. So anyone want to take this over? ๐Ÿ™‚
Note: I'm not trying to pass this off cause it's a real pain, it's just time consuming because the dev docs for open transport total around 900 pages...


Sounds cool

I can't program but I might be able to help with graphics and interface, storyline gameplay stuff

How mad would a wood chuck get if a
big neon pink Koala bear named Ishtar
ran into the woods
and chucked all the wood before the
woodchuck could?
(url="http://"")Goomba's Page(/url)

I'll help with the goverments,missions,junk,systems and stellers but not graphics,dudes,fleets,personalitys,outfits,and weapons.
I'm at

Lance,Captain of the White Swan.

I'm learning C/C++ at the moment and might be able to help you eventually. Email me if you want my help, but I mightn't be able to get back to you in a while (I keep forgetting to check my email).

I'm using the full version of CodeWarrior if that's any help. I'll sit around all day and type out code if I can understand what I'm doing. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Could Somebody Dim The Sun? It's Too Bright

Well, for an EVMP you need some people who know a thing or two about networking... not to damn many people know about it.

And... if you knew anything about networking you would probably rethink your systems and nubulae idea and stick with a nice Arena style EVMP... one where we could fight each other in smaller groups......

tear it down


Dreadnought wrote:
**I'm learning C/C++ at the moment and might be able to help you eventually. Email me if you want my help, but I mightn't be able to get back to you in a while (I keep forgetting to check my email).

Your help would be welcome ๐Ÿ™‚ There is a HUGE amount of work to do. As for the networking comments... Yes, I've programmed with various network protocalls before. I've taken the time to familiarise myself with open transport (900 pages!!!) and know how to implement an OT client program. On top of this, Apple has already seen fit to provide as freeware a set of libraries that are already highly optimised and designed specifically for this sort of purpose. Networking isn't as much a problem as designing everything else from the ground up in the first place...


Ok, but what about if someone wants to host his own game for his friends? What if the only reason they are playing now is to enter an 'arena'? It might bring out a new aspect in the gameplay. For instance: We all connect to a server (about 16 people or so). One of us 'hosts' a game and selects the map (like one that has only 5 systems). We discuss in the chat room how much tech we want in the game and the amount of dudes (who could end up joining you in battle or decide to combat you). We all enter the 'arena' where we land on planets and buy up better weapons and ships. After a while we would all hyper into the middle to test our piloting skills in battle. The lure might be to try to destroy as many ships as possible first, or to board a ship and take a specific valuable to your home planet. Other objective for within the game could be created by other players (i.e. we fight, I die, I come back and put a price on your head, next thing you know... everyone is after you).

The interface of EVO does not seem to be adequate anymore, at least for this game. Active dialog communication boxes would be needed. True scanning ability would be put into use, and probably an allies/enemy list would also be needed.

Those are a couple of my thoughts for now.


Manager: Someone who makes nonsense sound reasonable.


Zeta wrote:
Ok, but what about if someone wants to host his own game for his friends? ...

Yup, I totally agree with you. In fact I should provide some links here for you guys. Small player hosted games are basically the native format for Net Sprocket clients. My first stage of network play will almost certainly consist of a small 2 player version that I can use to debug (right now I'm debugging my draw sprocket code). After I work this out, then I'll start programming a server app which I'll hopefully be able to hack into some sort of nice functioning massively multiplayer game. ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, I just ran across some code that contains fast algorithms and blitters for tri-layered sprites. This definately warrents some investigation. The code runs quite fast (~30 fps on my 120mhz 603e) and looks REALLY cool.

Oh, you guys as plug developers... How would you like it if the game read in "compiled" plug-ins... That is, when you destribute your plug-in it's a binary file that people wouldn't be able to rip to pieces in order to see what's inside. This would allow those that want too, to keep their plug-in strategies secret, and if you want to release everything to the public then
you could just distribute the uncompiled sources to your plug with it... The reason I ask is, it's actually faster and smaller to store then dta in binary rather then in ascii form, and if it's not in Resource forks your plug will seem like random hex to someone who tries to edit it... This would discourage cheeting, and allow plug developers some protection for their intellectual properties... The downside is that it will be pretty hard for people to release plugs that "Patch" existing objects. Just something to chew on I guess...


You may not have heard of a Play-by-mail/e-mail game called 'Beyond the Stellar Empire' (a UK-based version, which I played in briefly, is run by KJC Games (, I believe this was based on an original US game which may still be running), which makes use of a lot of the features many people would like to see in the postulated EVMP.

Although obviously very different from the networking challenge you are all considering - a lot of BSE's data is certainly stored on computer, and a lot of actions are computer processed, but it's basically a turn-based game, and there's also a lot of freedom to take actions which only human admins could 'process' - what BSE did include was player-controlled governments and colonies (and all ships were player-controlled AFAIK) and, therefore, missions assigned to one player by another (my captain, for example, was given the money to upgrade his starting ship to a Deep Explorer, and given a mission to investigate a remote planet in search for some intelligent native life).

So, while it won't help much directly, looking into this game may give you a few ideas as to how to set up things like player-run governments and colonies and galaxies which change according to a) the actions of individual players, ๐Ÿ†’ the strategies of player-controlled governments and c) the ideas, plans and whims of the admins. BSE also integrated resource production, trade, industry, construction, colonisation, etc. quite successfully as far as I was able to see.

Again, I repeat that this obviously won't be much help with the technical challenges of networking and programming a monster like this, but might give you some ideas as to how to organise a multiplayer science fiction universe so as to avoid it degenerating into nothing more than a realm of piracy and carnage.

Peter Cartwright.

PS. If an EVMP ever does get off the ground (which, no offence to those who are clearly putting an admirable amount of thought and effort into this, still looks as unlikely as ever), and you reach the stage of putting in an actual universe, please don't use that of EV or EVO. An engine as amazing as would be required clearly deserves an entirely new story of its own - EV and Override galaxies might potentially be added later (as was done with EV Classic, of course) - but something like this shouldn't be sold short.

... you wonder if their eating of the eels isn't a little too overt ...