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rob
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Old September 19th, 2014, 02:07 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exmortis View Post
While I agree, there are games that support both, I am rather mystified why you create something as grand as RW, and I am loving it BTW. But then fail to have a fundamental feature as live reveal via a player edition connected up to the realm?

That's a kin to designing a VTT that does not support anyone else from connecting to the host in and seeing the VT from their players view....On the off chance that maybe not everyone has a network?

on a side note, why not support sync via local player to host connection? That is about as common a feature as it gets for sharing.

I get it, you had to decide what's in and whats not, but it is really hard to understand the thought process of RW with its amazing cloud feature, but not have live reveal?
First of all, Joe's statement that we "might" support "live reveal" is him just being cautious. He's trying to hedge on things, because he's not sure what he is or isn't allowed to share about the evolution plan for Realm Works. That responsibility falls to me.

So...

What you call "live reveal" is something we think of as "continuous syncing". And continuous sync is definitely part of the evolution plan for Realm Works. It has been from the start. However, doing continuous sync is significantly more complicated than what we're currently doing. There's a long list of nasty considerations that need to be handled for continuous sync, and many of them are going to be non-obvious until you look closely at the problem. So we started with something that's less complicated yet still highly useful, with syncing being performed when a realm is unloaded. We'll be looking at continuous sync in 2015.

As for local syncing, I believe you're overlooking two very important details. First, a large number of GMs do not trust their players. That means player syncing has to identify only the material revealed (in the future, only to that one player) and send only that information to the players. On top of that, it needs to track what information has already been sent so that it only sends the subset that has actually changed. That's a LOT of complexity that would entail vast amounts of extra work to support. Not just that, but now we have to deal with fun issues like communications failures during the syncing that result in everything being messed up. It's just not realistic to try to do that. You "common" reference seems to conflate what's done for extremely simple tasks (e.g. a simple VTT client) with something having the complexity of Realm Works.

The above concerns are overshadowed by something even more critical and non-obvious. How do we handle users syncing between themselves and now having multiple different computers - GMs and players combined - all possessing differing sets of data? Let's assume you have a desktop and a laptop. Let's further assume your players each have a desktop and laptop on which they will want to use Player Edition. You run your game and the players sync directly to you, but you don't sync to the server. You're playing at your friend's house and he's a player, so that player now wants to sync everything to his desktop after the game - but you're still driving home. So now his desktop is not in sync with his laptop unless he syncs the two directly, which means we also have to support player-to-player syncing or your players are stuck until you've finally synced.

More concerning, let's say you spend a few minutes after the game to update some information in your realm before you go home and those changes involve the content you've already synced to your players, then you sync to the cloud. When your players next try to cloud sync, their content is now at odds with what's on the server (just like if you make changes both on your desktop and laptop), so their only choice is to download everything again. If a player goes home early from the game, he's in the exact same boat. I could go on with further examples, but the bottom line is that it all gets very convoluted unless everything routes through a single sharepoint, which is the cloud.

For tools like a VTT, the GM's computer is the single sharepoint, so everything is nice and easy. It's easy to conflate aspects of the two tools, but they are hugely different in very fundamental ways.
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AEIOU
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Old September 19th, 2014, 02:31 PM
Your poor beta team has a lot of work ahead of it. I hope you are sending them cookies and beer....
AEIOU is offline   #52 Reply With Quote
Farling
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Old September 19th, 2014, 10:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exmortis View Post
While I agree, there are games that support both, I am rather mystified why you create something as grand as RW, and I am loving it BTW. But then fail to have a fundamental feature as live reveal via a player edition connected up to the realm?
It isn't "fundamental" for my requirements.

I would say it is "fundamental" for a VTT, but not for a campaign information manager.
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Exmortis
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Old September 22nd, 2014, 05:36 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob View Post
First of all, Joe's statement that we "might" support "live reveal" is him just being cautious. He's trying to hedge on things, because he's not sure what he is or isn't allowed to share about the evolution plan for Realm Works. That responsibility falls to me.

So...

What you call "live reveal" is something we think of as "continuous syncing". And continuous sync is definitely part of the evolution plan for Realm Works. It has been from the start. However, doing continuous sync is significantly more complicated than what we're currently doing. There's a long list of nasty considerations that need to be handled for continuous sync, and many of them are going to be non-obvious until you look closely at the problem. So we started with something that's less complicated yet still highly useful, with syncing being performed when a realm is unloaded. We'll be looking at continuous sync in 2015.

As for local syncing, I believe you're overlooking two very important details. First, a large number of GMs do not trust their players. That means player syncing has to identify only the material revealed (in the future, only to that one player) and send only that information to the players. On top of that, it needs to track what information has already been sent so that it only sends the subset that has actually changed. That's a LOT of complexity that would entail vast amounts of extra work to support. Not just that, but now we have to deal with fun issues like communications failures during the syncing that result in everything being messed up. It's just not realistic to try to do that. You "common" reference seems to conflate what's done for extremely simple tasks (e.g. a simple VTT client) with something having the complexity of Realm Works.

The above concerns are overshadowed by something even more critical and non-obvious. How do we handle users syncing between themselves and now having multiple different computers - GMs and players combined - all possessing differing sets of data? Let's assume you have a desktop and a laptop. Let's further assume your players each have a desktop and laptop on which they will want to use Player Edition. You run your game and the players sync directly to you, but you don't sync to the server. You're playing at your friend's house and he's a player, so that player now wants to sync everything to his desktop after the game - but you're still driving home. So now his desktop is not in sync with his laptop unless he syncs the two directly, which means we also have to support player-to-player syncing or your players are stuck until you've finally synced.

More concerning, let's say you spend a few minutes after the game to update some information in your realm before you go home and those changes involve the content you've already synced to your players, then you sync to the cloud. When your players next try to cloud sync, their content is now at odds with what's on the server (just like if you make changes both on your desktop and laptop), so their only choice is to download everything again. If a player goes home early from the game, he's in the exact same boat. I could go on with further examples, but the bottom line is that it all gets very convoluted unless everything routes through a single sharepoint, which is the cloud.

For tools like a VTT, the GM's computer is the single sharepoint, so everything is nice and easy. It's easy to conflate aspects of the two tools, but they are hugely different in very fundamental ways.
Thanks Rob thats a fantastic run down of the issues faced when working with such a feature, and I very much appreciate the time you took to provide it.

I am master slave kind of guy, so I was only thinking GM to player(s), and player to GM as a sharepoint.

AS I stated I am loving Realm Works, and a little tip of the hat to you rteam, as complex and all encompasing as RW is? It is not that hard to delve into, I watched a few tutorials then just head long began to work, and so far it does not seem to have a "wrong" way to do anything. I am sure there are better ways, but even though my current Realm is being archived in favour of a new one, which is my own IP ground up, I so far am extremely happy with what has been delivered.

I look forward to growing with RW and HL.
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