phpDiplomacy


Labor of Love

The game DIPLOMACY by Gibson Games, then Avalon Hill, has many devotees, including myself. I have tried running a couple of games in the last year or so and they have all pretty much degenerated or have been sabotaged from within by indifference or malevolence.

I still hold out hope. I was a big fan of DIPLOMACY back in the day and in a sense it is the perfect email game, as the interaction is 90 per cent verbal and ten per cent mechanical, making turns easy to adjudicate.

I’ve used a few turn adjudicators I found on the Diplomatic Pouch, which were nice standalones.. like JavaDip. Now a installable server based setup has come along which handles adjudication in a fashion not unlike a robot judge on the internet. It’s called PHPDIPLOMACY, and it is the work of a dedicated group of Diplo fans trying to find an easier way to play with players separated by long distances.

The code is free, and available on the PHPDIPLOMACY project page on Sourceforge. It will require MYSQL and a PHP compiler. This looks to be a very worthy project, and I will see if I can implement it locally myself.

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3 responses to “phpDiplomacy

  1. Dear Walt

    Years ago I was in several PBM diplomacy games, all of which were thoroughly enjoyable, far mroe than FTF games. This was PBM, and I mean “M” as in “mail in every sense of the word. Moves were due MONTHLY. That means you had all of a month to correspond with other players, call them, write them, etc., and make your moves. The correspondence between the players was fascinating, especially when we traded them after the game and could see what the other guy “was thinking.”

    I think that this is the ONLY way to do it. Trying to do it on the net is a waste of time. All you are going to get on the net is the typical brain-dead gonzo with the attention span of a hamster who is used ot games where if he gets into the slightest bit of trouble– whoops!! just reboot! and start over. Only people who have the patience to write and send letters will have the patience and dedication to follow through on a game. The rest- – hey!! A brief sight of Pamela-Sue Anderson’s boobs or Brad Pitt eating cockaroaches on fear-factor and it’s all over.

    Doesn’t matter what software you use- unless it’s going to guarantee an extravagant win every time for the worthless snots– as soon as they get bored or in difficulties it just makes it easire for them to dropout.

    Sir Snooty.

  2. Otto, thanks for your opinion but I don’t think it’s a universal statement about all PBeM games. I have played in many of them, and many DIPLO games, that were thrilling and quite engrossing. And this was just done with email using an old AH computer game as the “Ajudicator”. I remember when I was a young turk at Booz, Allen and Hamilton back in the day.. many of us played Diplo using the (then fairly newish) corporate email system. We would get together at a bar, hand out countries by bidding points on them, distribute the rules, and do the rest via email.

    Some of the best games of Diplo I’ve ever played were handled this way. I even won as Austria in one of them. We got a lot of people who were unused to ANY kind of boardgame to play diplomacy as a social event, and the experience is one I’ll always cherish.

    So I have hope… we all seem to have less time on our hands and to have the attention spans of gnats these days, but I know there are people out ther eplaying games to conclusion all the time– just visit The Diplomatic Pouch site at some point and you’ll see for yourself.

    On the gripping hand, I do have some fondness (mostly just nostalgic fondness) for postal games. Remember a company called Schubel and Son? They ran a game called COMPANY COMMANDER that was, in retrospect, one of the greatest game experiences in my life. And it was all done with letters and very occasional phone calls. No email whatsoever.

  3. Otto, thanks for your opinion but I don’t think it’s a universal statement about all PBeM games. I have played in many of them, and many DIPLO games, that were thrilling and quite engrossing. And this was just done with email using an old AH computer game as the “Ajudicator”. I remember when I was a young turk at Booz, Allen and Hamilton back in the day.. many of us played Diplo using the (then fairly newish) corporate email system. We would get together at a bar, hand out countries by bidding points on them, distribute the rules, and do the rest via email.

    Some of the best games of Diplo I’ve ever played were handled this way. I even won as Austria in one of them. We got a lot of people who were unused to ANY kind of boardgame to play diplomacy as a social event, and the experience is one I’ll always cherish.

    So I have hope… we all seem to have less time on our hands and to have the attention spans of gnats these days, but I know there are people out ther eplaying games to conclusion all the time– just visit The Diplomatic Pouch site at some point and you’ll see for yourself.

    On the gripping hand, I do have some fondness (mostly just nostalgic fondness) for postal games. Remember a company called Schubel and Son? They ran a game called COMPANY COMMANDER that was, in retrospect, one of the greatest game experiences in my life. And it was all done with letters and very occasional phone calls. No email whatsoever.