A lot of online Nomic games share a
common problem - after assigning all sorts of interesting and strategic
variables to players (points, location, hit-points, diseases, money,
etc.), it's often awkward to keep track of them.
Usually the only
solution is for players to declare intentions to a mailing list ("I
spend ten thousand Credits to increase my Influence by five") and wait for
assigned, human data-trackers to notice and manually update the records; perhaps
fair enough for some games, but restrictive and destructive to most.
The Generic Nomic Data Tracker is a tool for simplifying
data-tracking aspects of an online Nomic game. The required data types
are set up for a given Nomic, and each player is assigned a password
which allows them to log in and edit the variables of any player,
with or without explanatory comment.
All updates are logged and identified, making it easy to see who
changed what at what time, and simple to reverse illegal alterations.
Once the GNDT is recognised as part of the gamestate, it then becomes easy
to write rules along the lines of "Any Player may, no more than once
per day, change their Location", "A Player may take a Red Pill to
gain a Life Point, at any time", "If a Player uses a smiley on the
mailing list, any Player may dock them a point".
Real-time actions and transactions
can be actively encouraged, for a change.
(Note that the GNDT was originally written in 2001, when there wasn't
an easy solution to this problem. Nowadays, it's trivial to set up a free
wiki somewhere and use that as a visible gamestate with tracked changes, so the GNDT is mostly obsolete.)
If you'd like the GNDT to handle your Nomic's player data, contact
for further explanation.
(The GNDT was dusted off for BlogNomic in 2003,
but isn't being developed particularly strenuously.)
- Making "dice" part of the config.
- A simple "undo" feature.
- Friendlier support for "inventory" style variables ("add this
object, remove that one").
- Friendlier support for numerical variables ("subtract 17 from score").
Cookies to spare continual login tedium. Done!
Automated administration (adding/removing players, changing
scheme, altering variables). Done, a bit.
- Graphical variables (Unanomic-style mood faces, original-DocNomic-style pills)
- Support for global Nomic variables (word of the day, weather, etc.)
- Some way of displaying player locations on a map.
Generic Nomic Data Tracker - Kevan Davis, April-ish 2001