On this forum, though there is a robust community and quite a lot of activity, ideas get diluted and a clear idea of how to move forward in/with Elemental becomes muddled. Reading through some 3 or 4 or 5 page discussions with 50+ comments can be very time consuming. Moreover it seems often these discussions can fire off tangentially, often leading to petty arguments over moot issues. One such example is over here: http://forums.elementalgame.com/396119. Zespri raised a wonderful topic, but it doesn’t seem to have born much insight.
Quoting sagittary: reply 75
“Unfortunately, at this point, nothing has actually been discussed. Sure, a lot of words have been said, but they've all amounted to "This game and that game have poor AI."
Stardock has these forums, and the developers (and CEO) participate, and that is both important and admirable. At this point, Elemental is a platform with massive potential. That potential can and will be built upon by the developers. But what the developers do depends upon our feedback; also Elemental can also be built upon by us.
A moderated off-forum discussion would be much more focused and I think would yield greater results in less time and with less aggravation.
I propose a community initiated, community moderated discussion group, hosted in IRC or Google Wave (still up through the end of the year), or Second Life, or some appropriate setting. A topic of the game would be set. Over the course of a week, various individuals would submit important factors to be investigated/discussed. The discussion would consist of a Moderator and Participants. The Moderator would take no part in any side of the discussion, merely presenting the questions and curtailing digressions. Participants would discuss the issues (in a civil manner). The intention of such an endeavor would be profundity through focused conversation, much like The Republic - except instead of essential elements of Justice and government, we would discuss essential elements of 4X gaming and how to implement those elements in Elemental.
We would meet at a given place at a given time for a predetermined amount of time, and discuss whatever we set for ourselves to discuss, with the results of the discussion being circulated to the community and the developers at Stardock.
Being that this idea sprung from a discussion on AI, I propose that, if enough persons should be interested, any initial discussion be on AI. From zespri’s post ():
“A great presentation on AI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJcuQQ1eWWI from the Civ4 designer…What kind of AI is Elemental AI compared to Civ4 AI? What are common? What are differences? What are the game differences that lead to differences in AI?”
Questions I would ask:
-What strategy games have had exceptional AIs?
-For strategy games with decent AIs, what elements of the AI were exceptional?
-Should AIs play by the same rules as mortals? Is cheating permissible given an AIs innate talent at micromanagement?
Anyone who would be interested I say let’s figure out the where (what real time environment; text or voice enabled?), the when, the how (what specifically to discuss) and let’s do it.