Scott Turner (
Fri, 21 Oct 1994 12:17:52 -0700

> If it requires synchronicity (i.e, each unit must specify the
> command at the same time (or in the current system,
> morning/evening of the day)) does it require the units to be in
> the same location?

Interesting question. I was thinking yes -- at least at the beginning
of the ENFORCE.

> Olympia provides the same mechanics that games like BSE
> provided. I've seen about as much player interaction that I saw in
> BSE -- a lot... If you aren't interacting, that may be more of a
> function of your playing style than lack of game mechanics.

My feeling is that there is some cooperation going on in Olympus.
Much of the cooperation is outside of the game -- exchange of
information, etc., and most seems to be between alliance members. I
think there would be more cooperation if players could make
enforceable deals -- I know I would be more open to working with
people outside my alliance if that was the case. Now my viewpoint is
skewed by what I've done in the game, but I see only advantages to
promoting player-player cooperation, even if there's a lot of it going
on that I don't see.

> I understand, but the main reason I don't like it is that it asks
> the game to do something that you can't normally do with co-operative
> deals: correctly predict future behavior.

Admitted. In real life, enforcing a deal between parties is much more
complicated -- and you have a lot of options on how to do it. Oly
isn't that complex. But, like various other things in the Oly
universe that aren't "realistic", I'd hope that this offence to
reality would be justified by the improved playability. But that's
what this discussion is about...

> The other reason I don't like it is that it give too much scope
> for "bullying". A Big Meany can dictate a whole month's worth of
> ENFORCED orders to a small fry, with an "ATTACK smallfry" on day
> 31. If the small fry doesn't do what I say, they die.

Of course, the Big Meany has to give the small fry his whole month's
worth of orders :-). But at any rate, I don't see the problem with
this. Big Meany should be able to threaten smallfry with death if he
doesn't cooperate -- that's exactly what Oly lacks and needs fixing.

> I think trust works almost as well, and is a lot simpler.

The whole point is that ENFORCE permits you to interact with people
you don't trust. But trust *is* simpler :-).

> If the ENFORCEment mechanism depends on what orders the players are
> _executing_ at a particular time, rather than on what they write,
> then it becomes a complicated way to write conditional orders of the
> sort that (some people think) are very bad.

ENFORCE doesn't depend on what people are executing (unless I'm
misunderstanding what you mean by that). Suppose we have two units, A
and B, with the following orders:

UNIT A BANNER "B is cool."
BANNER "B is cool." UNIT B
UNIT B BANNER "A is cool."
BANNER "A is cool." END
MOVE a01

On Day 10, Oly processes A's orders and sees an ENFORCE that involves
A & B. It checks to see if B also has an ENFORCE occuring this day.
It does. Oly then checks to see if the two ENFORCEs are identical.
They are. Oly checks to see if the units are in the same location.
They are. So Oly rewrites the units' orders as follows:

BANNER "B is cool." BANNER "A is cool."

and continues execution.

I suppose that this could be used to implement some types of
conditionals by using two cooperating units (or at least I'll believe
that if David says it is true :-). But it seems like the only
information that can pass to A from B through this mechanism is
whether B is about to execute the ENFORCE -- does it provide any
capabilities that the existing WAIT and other tricks don't already

-- Scott T.

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