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D&D On Google Wave 118

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-failed-my-invite-throw dept.
Jon Stokes at the Opposable Thumbs blog relates his experience using Google Wave as a platform for Dungeons and Dragons — the true test of success for any new communications technology. A post at Spirits of Eden lists some of Wave's strengths for gaming. Quoting: "The few games I'm following typically have at least three waves: one for recruiting and general discussion, another for out-of-character interactions ('table talk'), and the main wave where the actual in-character gaming takes place. Individual players are also encouraged to start waves between themselves for any conversations that the GM shouldn't be privy to. Character sheets can be posted in a private wave between a player and the GM, and character biographies can go anywhere where the other players can get access to them. The waves are persistent, accessible to anyone who's added to them, and include the ability to track changes, so they ultimately work quite well as a medium for the non-tactical parts of an RPG. A newcomer can jump right in and get up-to-speed on past interactions, and a GM or industrious player can constantly maintain the official record of play by going back and fixing errors, formatting text, adding and deleting material, and reorganizing posts."
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D&D On Google Wave

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  • Kinda sounds like (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OverlordQ (264228) on Friday October 30, 2009 @04:07AM (#29921409) Journal

    IRC (sans logging)

    "The few games I'm following typically have at least three channels: one for recruiting and general discussion, another for out-of-character interactions ('table talk'), and the main channel where the actual in-character gaming takes place. Individual players are also encouraged to private message between themselves for any conversations that the GM shouldn't be privy to. Character sheets can be posted in a private message between a player and the GM, and character biographies can go anywhere where the other players can get access to them."

    I'm sorry but I still dont get all the hype, to me it's just a bastard child of IRC and a Wiki.

    • by twoshortplanks (124523) on Friday October 30, 2009 @04:20AM (#29921449) Homepage

      I'm sorry but I still dont get all the hype, to me it's just a bastard child of IRC and a Wiki.

      Yes! That's exactly what it is. You say that like this development of new technology is a bad thing. Do you need to hand in your geek card?

      • by Canazza (1428553) on Friday October 30, 2009 @04:44AM (#29921561)

        it's not really the development of a new technology, it's the hybridisation of everything that's come before - IRC, IM, Wiki's, Email - into one flexible platform. It's certainly an interesting idea, but what it needs is the ability to forcibly narrow down the parameters so you can *if you want* lock it into a pure Wiki, or IRC clone or whatever.

        It might, however, be one of those kid in a candy shop style affairs where the kid can have as much candy as he wants, but doesn't know where to start, eats everything, pukes and makes a mess.

        • by sorak (246725) on Friday October 30, 2009 @08:50AM (#29922551)

          It might, however, be one of those kid in a candy shop style affairs where the kid can have as much candy as he wants, but doesn't know where to start, eats everything, pukes and makes a mess.

          That is a great analogy for the internet itself. The next time my mother asks why web pages are so cluttered, I am going to have to remember that.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Beale (676138)
          ... And then you *learn* and don't puke up the next time. Allowing users to lock modes would mean that a lot of people would never find out what's interesting and new about the system. You might end up with a horrible mess once, but then you can look at what you did wrong.
        • Isn't all new technology the hybridization and evolution of previous developments?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Yvanhoe (564877)
          I think Google Wave is a great platform but adds nothing for roleplaying. It even has an unwanted feature : logs accessible to newcomers. I used to game through IRC, creating a channel for each room and a general discussion channel. Players going from room to romm to meet people or act separately. It was crucial that when arriving in a room, players did not know what happened before as the game (Amber DRPG) focuses a lot on PvP conspiracies.
          • So it adds nothing to your particular style of roleplaying, at least in that game. In a game where the players aren't constantly keeping secrets from each other, it's fine. Hell, it'd probably be fine in that game if you had players who can separate OOC knowledge with IC knowledge. It definitely could have its uses at times, but like anything else, it has its flaws.
          • by FleaPlus (6935)

            think Google Wave is a great platform but adds nothing for roleplaying. It even has an unwanted feature : logs accessible to newcomers. I used to game through IRC, creating a channel for each room and a general discussion channel. Players going from room to romm to meet people or act separately. It was crucial that when arriving in a room, players did not know what happened before as the game (Amber DRPG) focuses a lot on PvP conspiracies.

            Remember that although the initial Wave servers are operated by Google, their eventual plan is to release the code as open source and encourage others to run their own Wave servers. I'm suspect that eventually people will modify the code or create plugins so they can run their own role-playing oriented servers with the sort of feature set you describe.

      • IMO, technology isn't bad or good - it's common or cool. Technology that is common (i.e., uncool) loses it's appealing luster when everybody thinks it's cool and when the majority of them neither know why it's cool nor have interest in how it works. True coolness comes when something not previously possible becomes possible, when those using it know how it works and exploit it, and when those not using have no interest in how it works.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 30, 2009 @04:26AM (#29921473)

      Pretty much all of the described things (three separate threads. Private messages. Logs.) are exactly as they would be in PbP (play by post, usually on a forum) game. In addition, RPG oriented forums (Myth-Weavers, GiantITP...) often have dicerollers, character sheet managers, etc... Those could be added as gadgets here too, I guess. But nothing there seems revolutionary as in offering anything new.

      I think that the point is easiness of use compared to other options and stuff like that. Rather than letting you do something new, wave lets you do all the old stuff in one program instead of having multiple ones. One useful scenario for this could be: A PbP game that is played normally on forums, but on wave you see "Ah, those two guys are online now", send them a message "Want to do some playing in real time?" and begin chatting with them. Much easier than telling them to fire up IRC, connect to a server, etc. (especially if they aren't "computer people").

      So I could see wave potentially being useful for this (like many other things). There just has been too much hype about it so people first act more among the lines of "This will cure cancer and HIV and everything!" and then go "Uh, this isn't THAT awesome. We'll need to desperately look for things in which this is superior to other mediums!" instead of going "Oh, a new alternative for forums and chats. Neat. I'm sure we'll come up with some interesting uses for this over time."

      I have been designing a program to play DnD over the internet lately. One with battlemaps, chats, dicerollers, stuff like that. I am aware of OpenRPG and similar products but I'm not completely happy with them (the UI, the functionality, a lot of things) so I've decided to write my own one. I think that writing a wave plugin for the missing stuff instead might be worth giving some thought.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by etore (1667647)
        Try Fantasy Grounds [fantasygrounds.com] first though. It's got realistic dice, tools, maps the works for pretty much any major pen & paper RPG since there are quite a few rulesets available.
        • by Abreu (173023) on Friday October 30, 2009 @09:24AM (#29922851)

          Try Fantasy Grounds [fantasygrounds.com] first though. It's got realistic dice, tools, maps the works for pretty much any major pen & paper RPG since there are quite a few rulesets available.

          Why try proprietary software when there's an excellent Free Software option [rptools.net] that you can customize to your needs?

          • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

            by KidTHC (95096)

            I have used MapTool to RP with friends that have moved away. It works great. If any of you are looking for a solution and haven't tried it, I highly recommend it. The one thing that would be nice with Wave is the persistence factor. It would be convenient to keep game information and materials in one place were everyone can access the same versions.

          • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

            by DerekLyons (302214)

            Why try proprietary software when there's an excellent Free Software option that you can customize to your needs?

            Because not everyone is a programmer. Some of us just want to play.

          • Usually the answer is "because you don't want to spend time customising it to your needs", but people's mileage may vary.

      • by ShakaUVM (157947)

        I have been designing a program to play DnD over the internet lately. One with battlemaps, chats, dicerollers, stuff like that. I am aware of OpenRPG and similar products but I'm not completely happy with them (the UI, the functionality, a lot of things) so I've decided to write my own one. I think that writing a wave plugin for the missing stuff instead might be worth giving some thought.

        I like gametable myself (http://gametable.galactanet.com/), but I think there is a need for a better online tabletop RPG

    • by Jessta (666101) on Friday October 30, 2009 @04:26AM (#29921477) Homepage

      The hype works like this,
      1. Replace IRC with IM(msn,yahoo etc.) in the user population which is more about one-to-one conversations and terrible at group conversations. These users are now completely unaware of IRC and are stuck with email for one-to-many communication.
      2. Next you sell them various ways they can get back the one-to-many communication method(facebook,myspace,google wave)
      3.???
      4. PROFIT!

      It's really that simple, everything old is new again...oh and now it's in your web browser so you can use those CPU cycles you're missing out on when your CPU would otherwise be sleeping.

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Well, whereas instant-messaging chat programs are terrible for group discussions, IRC is terrible for everything.

      • Yes, adding new communication means can disrupt existing ones. But nobody 'took away' IRC. It was just not accessible for new Internet users (and I don't mean that in a technical sense).

    • Re:Kinda sounds like (Score:5, Interesting)

      by GryMor (88799) on Friday October 30, 2009 @04:29AM (#29921495)

      Persistent wikified irc with integrated permissions management?

      That, right there, is a killer app.

      • by Leolo (568145) on Friday October 30, 2009 @06:27AM (#29921909) Homepage

        With version control, play-back capability, distributed storage, and a well documented pluggin API.

        Wave blows me away.

        The fact that so many people chime in with "I don't get it" is probably an indication of how revolutionary it is.

        • by Joren (312641)

          The fact that so many people chime in with "I don't get it" is probably an indication of how revolutionary it is.

          ...or of it just being poorly articulated.

          I'm not a Wave hater, but a lot of the coverage I read initially was really vague about what it actually is. Even after the .com bubble, it seems a lot of people are willing to make the assumption that vague vibes of goodness and a lack of details makes for something revolutionary - if it can't be explained well, then it must be cool.

          In this case though it turns out Wave actually is cool. It just needs to be explained better, and we're beginning to see some of

        • The fact that so many people chime in with "I don't get it" is probably an indication of how revolutionary it is.

          Or maybe it's a case of The Emperor's New Clothes [wikipedia.org]. Those who are chiming in with "I get it, I get it!" are praising his amazing new suit...

          Relatively speaking, you have one person who has actually tried it, and just here on Slashdot, a thousand people who are proclaiming "I Get It! It's Wonderful". How can you Get or know to be Wonderful, something you haven't experienced and only know

          • by Tarsir (1175373)

            How can you Get, or know to be Wonderful, something you haven't experienced [...] ?

            Thanks to this breakthrough new technology called rationalism [wikipedia.org] it is now possible to know things without directly experiencing them.

            I'll give you a quick tutorial: The original claim is that Wave is an aggregation of various existing technologies. You claim that it is impossible to know how useful this will be without using it. Some intrepid souls, however, are reflecting that the existing technologies which Wave aggregates all have drawbacks, and reasoning that by combining them, Google has eliminated, o

            • What makes you think I haven't tried reasoning? Oh, right - I don't echo the Gospel of Google, and that is prima facie evidence that I haven't tried reasoning or that my reasoning is by definition wrong.

              You are correct, in that by reasoning based on indirect evidence one can reach a valid conclusion. If and only if the evidence used in reaching that conclusion is itself valid. GIGO [wikipedia.org] applied to data processing done in wetware as it does in software. When your inputs consist only of hype, assumptio

        • I think what many people "don't get" is how they're supposed to use it when it's so hard to get accounts for others. It would be very useful for me if, say, everyone in my research group had an account, but at this point, that seems like something that won't happen until everyone loses interest. At the moment, if it weren't for one or two gadgetry-inclined friends of mine, it would be entirely pointless for me to try to use it, since there wouldn't be anyone for me to talk to; as it is, we can't talk about

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nifboy (659817)
      Well, yeah. That's the point. It's basically IRC with a centralized location for storing pictures, char sheets, combat maps, etc. I mean, sure, you could set up your own wiki and your own IRC channel and have them both open at the same time.
    • Re:Kinda sounds like (Score:4, Interesting)

      by loganrapp (975327) <loganrapp AT gmail DOT com> on Friday October 30, 2009 @04:43AM (#29921559)
      Presentation is everything, these days. Being able to display your character sheets to everyone while you're on a more real-time version of IRC with group logging and archival is a big step forward.

      Swap character sheets for "business plans," and you can see the potential, here.

      There's also the convenience factor. It does everything for you. Unlike IRC, you can edit within the Wave itself. Logs don't have to be outputted to a .txt file before you can edit them. You just do it right there.

      What'll be interesting is if/when Skype can be added to it in a gadget. VoIP with audio/video chat, the ability to display documents to an entire group, and to collaboratively write something with real-time editing.

      If you want to say it's just a repackaging of IRC and a Wiki, sure, go right ahead. It's just shaping up to be a very well done and potentially ubiquitous repackaging.

      • how do you get more real-time than IRC?

        • Well, you could have people's letters appear as they type.. or go around to their house and talk face to face.

        • by dr00p (56154)

          you have have keystroke updates instead of waiting for the entire line to be inputed

          • Like the old Unix Command Talk

            Bah. Back the old days we had chat and it was better too. Full split screen chat. You typed on top the person you were chatting with was on the bottom. Real time you saw what they typed there misspellings and there typing speed.

            There was also versions of this for BBS's it was great because you can see how computer literate the people were by their typing

      • by dr00p (56154)

        I think there are already a few voice/video conference extensions ...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AniVisual (1373773)

      The hype is because it has no technical jargon words. The media gets a headache when it encounters technical jargon. The hype is because it has marketing jargon. The media falls head-over-heels when it encounters marketing jargon.

      • Except, it's not just the media who are hyping this. Look at the comments on the various Slashdot stories about Wave and you can see how the followers of the Cult of Google are willingly hyping this as well.

    • by Shikaku (1129753) on Friday October 30, 2009 @04:57AM (#29921601)

      So it's really IRC++?

    • by osgeek (239988) on Friday October 30, 2009 @10:35AM (#29923607) Homepage Journal

      I still don't get it. Cell phones are just regular phone but without the wires.

      I still don't get it. The web is just like gopher/ftp but you with pictures.

      I still don't get it. The iPhone is just a bastard child of a cell phone and a pda.

      What you don't get is that almost all new products that really take off are amalgamations of pre-existing technologies. Yeah, Google Wave is just a really neat way to put together IRC, Wiki, and Email. Its impact will be huge. A couple of years from now, even your mom will be talking about sending you a Wave. Numerous imitators and Wave server implementations will be around. Waves and wave-like concepts will be omnipresent.

      • by eples (239989)
        I still don't get it. The internet is just a telegraph running at gigahertz speeds.
    • It's easier to manage, I think.
  • Great! (Score:5, Funny)

    by declain (1338567) on Friday October 30, 2009 @04:31AM (#29921509)
    I put on my robe and wizard hat.
    • Re:Great! (Score:4, Informative)

      by polle404 (727386) on Friday October 30, 2009 @04:38AM (#29921531)
      yeah, i was thinking of that one as well...

      http://bash.org/?104383 [bash.org]
    • A large rat glowers at you dubiously
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Watch out for killer gazebos!

      • by MRe_nl (306212) on Friday October 30, 2009 @06:26AM (#29921901)

        ED: You see a well groomed garden. In the middle, on a small hill, you see a gazebo.
        ERIC: A gazebo? What color is it?
        ED: [pause] It's white, Eric.
        ERIC: How far away is it?
        ED: About 50 yards.
        ERIC: How big is it?
        ED: [pause] It's about 30 ft across, 15 ft high, with a pointed top.
        ERIC: I use my sword to detect good on it.
        ED: It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo.
        ERIC: [pause] I call out to it.
        ED: It won't answer. It's a gazebo.
        ERIC: [pause] I sheathe my sword and draw my bow and arrows. Does it respond in any way?
        ED: No, Eric, it's a gazebo!
        ERIC: I shoot it with my bow. [roll to hit] What happened?
        ED: There is now a gazebo with an arrow sticking out of it.
        ERIC: [pause] Wasn't it wounded?
        ED: OF COURSE NOT, ERIC! IT'S A GAZEBO!
        ERIC: [whimper] But that was a +3 arrow!
        ED: It's a gazebo, Eric, a GAZEBO! If you really want to try to destroy it, you could try to chop it with an axe, I suppose, or you could try to burn it, but I don't know why anybody would even try. It's a @#$%!! gazebo!
        ERIC: [long pause. He has no axe or fire spells.] I run away.
        ED: [thoroughly frustrated] It's too late. You've awakened the gazebo. It catches you and eats you.
        ERIC: [reaching for his dice] Maybe I'll roll up a fire-using mage so I can avenge my Paladin.

      • "How does Forces-3/Prime-2 strike you?"
        "I hope it doesn't!"
  • "a platform for Dungeons and Dragons — the true test of success for any new communications technology"

    "Can you roll 8 or better on 2d6 so you can hear me now? Good."

    d00d! grab your manuals and head for Hat Creek, CA. The Allen Telescope Array needs to be tested so it can tell when it's picking up alien transmissions. We're going to need to know whether to consider them monsters or non-player characters.

    • by Culture20 (968837)

      "a platform for Dungeons and Dragons -- the true test of success for any new communications technology" d00d! grab your manuals and head for Hat Creek, CA. The Allen Telescope Array needs to be tested so it can tell when it's picking up alien transmissions. We're going to need to know whether to consider them monsters or non-player characters.

      Or players. Thousands of years ago, Xenu the Galactic Overlord broadcast his D&D games that he played with a group of precognitive servants. If you tune in with the right equipment, maybe you'll be the mind(s) the precogs touched, so you can "play" D&D with Xenu.

    • by DynaSoar (714234)

      Aw, seems I rubbed someone the wrong way and they modded me down. What's the matter did I dis one of your fellow gamerboi's posts by replying with humor?

  • by thenextstevejobs (1586847) on Friday October 30, 2009 @05:11AM (#29921659)

    Those of us with beta accounts are familiar with the fact that its slow, clumsy and unexciting.

    Sort of sad how everyone is shitting themselves because they found ONE decent use for Wave. A dedicated program for D&D, which dedicated players would rather use than a general tool shoehorned into D&D and stuck in the damn browser, would be much better.

    I used to like Google's products because they were simple and responsive. This is what I would expect out of a startup, not a company with resources and experience like Google.

    They've probably already realized this is a failed experiment, and they'd be better off shoving it under the rug now than pushing forward as if this is the next Google Search or Mail.

    • by wall0159 (881759) on Friday October 30, 2009 @06:09AM (#29921829)

      "Those of us with beta accounts are familiar with the fact that its slow, clumsy and unexciting. "

      can this be rephrased as:
      "Too slow. Steeper learning curve than email. Lame."
      ?

      • No, it can't. It's actually bad. The iPod didn't have scrolling that was so close to non-functional that one of the few extensions available is solely for the purpose of replacing it with something else. And that's hardly the worst problem with Wave at the moment: waves that aren't short quickly become hideously slow (it took >1 minute just to open one long wave for me, and it made the interface unusably slow afterwards), deletion and archiving take a long time and aren't conveniently placed, replying an

    • by Tei (520358) on Friday October 30, 2009 @06:30AM (#29921921) Journal

      The google web Wave client is tryiing too much things, and give the feel of a alfa client, with the speed a bloated "v14.0"-ish app.

      1) It will be better if it try less things. FIRST. Using waves to configure things, is like using emails to store emails settings. Is just a bad idea. It could be cool, and good for devs (eat your own dog food), but is bad for users. Since the use of waves is slow, changing settings is slow. A normal interface, like the one that Gmail have for his setup details, will be much faster and easy to use, also more "normal". Future versions of Wave could have something different, but for the current version is just too much. This wave client is trying too strong to be a 2020 client, and need to be a 2009 client.

      2). Again, is 2009. For most people Wave is slow, It just do too much things automatically. Opening and closing waves sould be much faster. It feel like everything is automatically autoupdating all the time. Thats sould stop, and only the active wave be this active. Maybe broadcast the "modified" flag. A future 2020 version could get that feature back, once our computers and the whole internet is much faster.

      3). Too much!!!.. Is too much!!. Wave is complex beyond needing a manual, It almost need special training. It seems some features are unwanted, but present everywhere. ..more about this soon..

      Who created a wave?. It seems a wave lack the "headers" of a email. It sould have a way to know the name of the wave creator (the OP in forum parlance), the date of such creating, and other stuff. The subject/title of a room, sould probably be "manual" and not "automagical".

      Why I can't download it to a file? say a PDF.

      Why I can't open a wave in areal fullscreen way, withouth the web MDI interface?.

      Its need more control over a wave. Like... force part of it read-only, or stop more people to join.

      How its now.. what If I say something sensitive, and some guy invited the wrong person? ok, you can do that with email, but here seems something that can be like more casual. It just don't trusth a wave, because It feels public, without a way to stop that. It would be "easy" to block that.

      What are the limits of a bot? can a bot that inject a SWF steal my account details? Facebook seems a bit more "safer" than this. Bots are like too "misterious". Bots sould have a special way to be identified from humans, and a dedicated page with (maybe) commands. Hell... PEOPLE need a simple profile page.

      LOTS OF STUFF...

      I think Wave has been released too early. Its still a technological preview of a future technology, but is not usable today for what I have commented. I love to have it available, has a toy, but I have not found a real use, nor my friends seems inclined to use it.

      A faster client (desktop based?) will be giganteous step.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cfc-12 (1195347)

        I think Wave has been released too early. Its still a technological preview of a future technology, but is not usable today for what I have commented. I love to have it available, has a toy, but I have not found a real use, nor my friends seems inclined to use it.

        They released it early so they could get feedback on it to see what needs to be improved for the final release. Your post is probably exactly the kind of feedback they're looking for; have you submitted it to them as well as us?

      • by renoX (11677)

        >what If I say something sensitive, and some guy invited the wrong person?

        Even if you had control on Wave itself, what could prevent the same guy taking screenshots and putting them on the web?
        That said having control on the one who can reply to a wave is a good idea, to prevent trolls.

        >Bots sould have a special way to be identified from humans,

        It's probably a good default but those who want 'anonymous bots' will find a way to make them (not too hard: script the client) so I don't think it's a big iss

    • by D Ninja (825055) on Friday October 30, 2009 @07:55AM (#29922267)

      Those of us with beta accounts are familiar with the fact that its slow, clumsy and unexciting.

      Well, it's an alpha (preview, in Google terms) account first off.

      Second, I do agree that it feels slow and a bit clumsy. Of course, I'm willing to forgive that because it's alpha. I realize not everybody will be.

      As for its uses, however, well, I don't want to speak to that until more people join it. Right now, it's kind of pointless just to chat back and forth between two people. However, I can see huge advantages in project planning and management, developer discussion, etc. Nothing is worse than having to wade through conversations in e-mails that are scattered across multiple threads and I can't figure out what the heck is going on. And that's just one use that I can think of. I know there are plenty more (especially as you start bringing in gadgets).

      Yeah, Wave was sold pretty well, but realize that not that many people are using it yet. It still has a long way to go before it is considered "complete" by anybody's standards, much less Google's.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "Those of us with beta accounts are familiar with the fact that its slow, clumsy, and unexciting"

      Please don't post drivel that tries to paint broad strokes about a platform like this. On Chrome, I've found the platform very responsible (especially over the last few weeks). The only major exception being for ridiculously large waves. Unlike email, it takes time to fetch all the little bits and pieces of data and assemble them. The wave protocol needs to have a "check-in" or "lock" point where it just gen

    • by Chyeld (713439)

      To me, the best part about Google's wave isn't that it's an omnibus tool that's being touted as the next revolution in communication, it's that it's an omnibus tool they've already released the specs and such for in a way that someone implementing it DOESN'T need to stick to Google's hosted service or even a web browser.

      And as a result, if someone had the intent to, they could roll this into a dedicated RPG tool with a desktop client and the other bells and whistles.

      What I see Google Wave to be is a demo fo

  • by sfraggle (212671) on Friday October 30, 2009 @05:25AM (#29921689)

    In a related note, over the past couple of weeks I have been porting Colossal Cave Adventure [wikimedia.org] to Google Wave. Send a ping to colossal-wave@appspot.com to play :-)

    • In a related note, over the past couple of weeks I have been porting Colossal Cave Adventure [wikimedia.org] to Google Wave. Send a ping to colossal-wave@appspot.com to play :-)

      Brilliant! You, Sir, just ruined my weekend, for I will have to play this! Thank you!!

    • by illumin8 (148082)

      You know what would be awesome? Using Wave for multiplayer, real-time Nethack... I pray to god someone will start that project.

  • Did somebody say "Lawsuit"?

  • I've written a simple text-adventure Wave bot that lets you play zcode games -- including some of the old Infocom classics (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Leather Goddesses of Phobos) along with a few choice picks from http://ifarchive.org./ [ifarchive.org.] (More games soon.) Just add bardbot@appspot.com to a wave to play.
  • by giladpn (1657217) on Friday October 30, 2009 @06:47AM (#29921987)
    Google Wave has one huge advantage IMO.

    Lots of us get along fine with email, for 1:1 and 1:n communication, mailing lists, the works. So OK email misses the "wall" or "real time web" effect were everybody can see what everyone else is posting. But email works.
    And the really big deal about email is the standards - I can use outlook yesterday, gmail today, and yahoo mail tomorrow. I can move my stuff among vendors and keep my stuff from years back. Because everyone must stick to standards.

    Trouble is there is an insidious conspiracy to make email uncool. Its led by the hordes of Facebook-ers and lately Tweet-ers. Like, I mean, do you really want to spend your life tweet-ing your latest embarrasing whatever to the world at large? But lets face it - the pressure is on bigtime. If you're not there you don't exist. Talk about peer pressure - the most obvious success of the social realtime web is the use of peer pressure to force everyone on board.:-(

    Now along comes wave. Google Wave is basically email on steroids, with a "wall / real time web" capability thrown in. You can be totally private or you can be totally public or any combo in between. Nice. And oh yes you also get media richness.
    And the Facebook-ers and Tweet-ers can't claim its uncool; actually you can one-up 'em - they're old hat.

    Finally. Privacy is back (at least when you want it).
    Now they just need to reintroduce standards. Is anyone listening?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Before it was even released, Wave had already done far more for standardization than Facebook and Twitter combined over the entirety of their existence. The protocols [waveprotocol.org] are all there for anyone to implement (with the explicit exception of patent trolls [waveprotocol.org]).

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by petrus4 (213815)

      Now along comes wave. Google Wave is basically email on steroids, with a "wall / real time web" capability thrown in. You can be totally private or you can be totally public or any combo in between. Nice. And oh yes you also get media richness.

      1. XML-based protocol? Check.
      2. Obfuscated? Check.
      3. Needlessly complex? Check.
      4. Proprietary/commercially based? Check. (The better to "de-commoditise protocols," my dear)

      5. Replaces a perfectly good, pre-existing protocol [irc.org], when there's absolutely no sane reason (other than the aforementioned commercialism, of course) to do so? Check.

      6. (The icing on the cake; this one ALWAYS shows up) Uses the brainless, meaningless, totally subjective, rage-inducing, corporate-suit-spawned "richness," argume

      • by dkf (304284) <donal.k.fellows@manchester.ac.uk> on Friday October 30, 2009 @09:40AM (#29922991) Homepage

        5. Replaces a perfectly good, pre-existing protocol [irc.org], when there's absolutely no sane reason (other than the aforementioned commercialism, of course) to do so? Check.

        It's actually XMPP under the hood, which has been around for a few years before Google started getting excited about it. XMPP's jabber application has a number of advantages over IRC (notably the encoding of metadata is nowhere near as horrific) but that's hardly the only use for it.

        Doesn't make any sense as a replacement for email though. Maybe as a way to replace POP or IMAP, but SMTP? The advantage of SMTP is its universality (yeah, even Exchange and Notes allegedly...) which means it is great when you need to communicate with someone who is using a different software stack to you.

      • by Zerth (26112) on Friday October 30, 2009 @09:41AM (#29923003)

        You do know that the wave protocol is open and designed to run on multiple servers, same as email/irc? Apparently you are unaware that there already exist other non-google wave servers.

        If you're not a troll, then you are just ignorant.

    • by mahadiga (1346169)
      Real-time != Asynchronous
  • by Anonymous Coward

    DM: Why are you casting Magic Missile? There's nothing to attack here.
    Golstaff: I...I'm attacking the darkness!

    [...]
    Golstaff: Hello.
    Elf: Hello.
    Golstaff: I am Golstaff, Sorcerer of Light.
    Elf: Then how come you had to cast Magic Missile?

  • Who'd have thought that with all the technology and MMO-type games there still isn't a way to play D&D online with a group? As someone who enjoyed D&D back in the day and now a mature gamer with a life and family, I would still love to play but don't have time for bi/tri-weekly meetings in someones basement for hours on end. A night or two a week, online, for a few hours and I'd be a happy nerd.

    (or if anyone knows of a solid group with a more relaxed campaign in the Pittsburgh, PA area, I'm down)

  • by slim (1652)

    I think Wave might be ideal for playing Diplomacy. In Dip, you want to be having numerous conversations, some public, some private, in various combinations of players.

    Even without a board widget or an automated adjudicator, it would be a great way for the designers to test out various approaches to Wave privacy (fork this wave privately; attach a confidential comment to this part of a wave; etc.)

  • Character sheets, GO

  • "Wave does have support for bots and interactive widgets, so it won't be long before RPG-specific examples of both start cropping up."

    We're headed back to MUD's?

  • We don't care if it's reworking old technologies, we have to evolve with the technology! And Google seems to love taking up that role, great job and welcome to the future!

  • The waves are persistent, accessible to anyone who's added to them, and include the ability to track changes, so they ultimately work quite well as a medium for the non-tactical parts of an RPG. A newcomer can jump right in and get up-to-speed on past interactions, and a GM or industrious player can constantly maintain the official record of play by going back and fixing errors, formatting text, adding and deleting material, and reorganizing posts.

    Great, so with everything logged, they can finally settle whether or not Galstaff had cast Mordenkainen's Magical Watchdog.

  • Tarantino used Wave to collaborate in writing Pulp Fiction [youtube.com]?

  • As a pen and paper RPG'er for going on 35+ years now, this is only slightly better than numerous apps that have come and gone. To play a real RPG you need to be face to face with your fellow players so you can read the subtle things. As for a channel for player conversations that the GM should not be a part off ? I can't think of any situation involving game that the GM should NOT be involved in. I think they are headed in the right direction but IMHO this would be almost as bad as calling WoW an RPG.

    • by Macgrrl (762836)

      As a long time GM for a number of RPG settings and rules systems, I'm perfectly happy for the players to conspire against me. It's entirely up to me whether the world behaves the way they anticipate in response to their actions. And ultimately nothing happens until they bring it to the table (or play arena, whatever it may be).

      One of the most fun sessions I ever had as a player was the result of myself being bore at work and writing up a stack of cue-cards in advance and turning them over in turn to dictate

A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz

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