The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...

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84 days, 20 hours, 31 minutes ago
View smn's profile
smn
The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
The Game Review Appreciation Thread!

When games end, we can see the results and walk through the turns. But how to get inside the heads of the commanders? Why did they think when offering a treaty to their former enemy? Why did they pick a fight with this neighbour instead of the other? There are few things as interesting as getting a close view on a commanders decision making. What was going on in their heads when they made the critical choices in the game?

Not only are the reviews fascinating to read, but writing one is also a very good exercise. One gets to look back at all those decisions, the good and bad ones, and analyse their effect on the way the game unfolded. Were there opportunities unspotted? Incorrect assumptions or prescient predictions? Writing a review on a game also adds significance to it. We all love stories, and the better and numerous those stories are, the more significant the games.

We have had some splendid reviews written for many games, but often they slip by unnoticed in the feed. We also have many fascinating games ending without a proper review being ever written. Can we change that? How could we shine the spotlight on the stories that get written, how could we encourage writing of more of them? This thread is a first iteration attempt to do this. Here's how we can get started:

If you write a game review or notice a good one, please link it here along with a couple of words to introduce it! Shameless self-promotion is a virtue here! I will collect links to the reviews and update them to the end of this post. Any game is applicable - from old classics to interesting private game experiments. I added some game review links to get us started.

If you're new to writing reviews, some tips:
- Spend some time setting the scene. Who were the opponents and what races they played? What was the race placement like (cluster image or clock face positions)? Any significant replacements?

- Don't try to summarize everything. Focus on key moments and go in depth with those.
- Explain your decisions. What were the key factors? When was there only one option and when was it more random? This is for me the very best part!


*** THE GAME REVIEW CHALLENGE ***

The best new entry (not published earlier) will get splendid attention and prices at this years PlanetsCon in Wiesbaden! Details on judging are open so far, could be by public vote, could be a jury, could be by Imperial Decree!

*** LINKS ***

** CHAMPIONSHIPS **

The Documentation team has collected links to championship game reviews here: http://planets.nu/#/howtoplay/contrib (Capricorn, Gemini)
@Mentar wrote a fantastic recount of Sagittarius using in-game commentary via a plugin [details on accessing needed]

** OLD CLASSICS **

*Die Hard 3* (http://planets.nu/#/sector/59938/)

A classic battle, where several emperors and championship contestants bumped into each other in a 266 turn epic that was referenced in several different PlanetsCon presentations.
Fascist and Rebel point of view in this thread: http://planets.nu/#/activity/2522334
Colonial post mortem is scattered in 9 different posts in http://planets.nu/#/sector/59938/activity

** RECENT FINISHES ""


** NEW ENTRIES **

84 days, 19 hours, 7 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
@Smn,

Good idea, until this thread gets lost among the ~10K other threads.

If you, and the poster, are willing, I believe we can add a section on "important" non-championship game summaries to the Contributions section. I consider these games to be a good learning tool for the intermediate player, but a review ("Why" in addition to "What") would vastly improving the learning experience.

Of course, all Championship summaries by the winner will be put up.

We also have links to major public threads from the older Championship games at the bottom of the Championship Games page (http://planets.nu/#/howtoplay/championship-games). If there are other such threads (including for newer Championship games), please inform us and we'll consider them for addition to that list.
84 days, 18 hours, 51 minutes ago
View smn's profile
smn
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
@Whisperer, thanks.

You're right that the feed inevitably swallows everything. So at start I will take care that the thread doesn't get lost.

I appreciate the offer but my hope for iteration two is to simply get it linked to from the contrib section and if we manage to get the content flow started, to get a news article referencing it for some publicity/longevity.

And who knows, maybe in the future the Planets.nu News articles would link to good stories content.
84 days, 18 hours, 43 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
@Smn,

> my hope for iteration two is to simply get it linked to from the contrib section

I don't believe we'd be interested in linking to this thread from the Contributions section, but if you put the links into a single post (not the first one), and update that post, we could link to it without linking to the thread.

http://planets.nu/_library/whisperer-scripts/getpostid.html
84 days, 10 hours, 1 minutes ago
View tom graves's profile
tom graves
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
Moriak Cluster 48428 – Rebel Perspective
Turns 1 – 8
Normal expansion efforts.
Turns 8 - 12
Spotted first neighbor – the Crystals – Established communications, but began preparing for anti-Crystal operations,
Turn 12
Spotted EE probe – Established communications, learned that the Borg was between him and I.
Turns 12 – 16
Based on Scoreboard, determined that Borg was pursuing a condensed, defensive strategy. This was the worst possible choice he could make with the Rebels as his immediate neighbor.
Turn 16 Spotted Borg ship for first time. I fought a Borg probe for the first time. Crystals started taking back some Falcon outposts.
At this point I was certain of my course of action. Engage the Borg with Rushes using RGA to kill his SB’s (location given to me by Empire). Destroy the Borg fleet.
Turns 16 – 24
Began ‘early rush’ attack on Borg, culminating on Turn 24 in the destruction of 2 Borg Anni’s and a Merlin. After the battle, the Borg set his ships to head into a Star cluster.
Turn 25
Borg resigns. I sent my first message to the Fascists (who I had been cultivating for possible future anti-Crystal activities) that I had bad feelings about both sides in the Lizard vs Bot/Priv battle. I did not know what was going on, but it didn’t feel like I was getting the whole story. So I began investigating all three players and the red flags starting going up around the Bots and Privs, while the Lizard seemed to be the one that was far more trustworthy.



Turn 26
A flurry of messages brought on the revelation that everyone else was mostly suspicious of the Bots/Privs as well and a very quick decision was made to form an alliance against the Bots/Privs. At this time, it included Lizards, Empire, Fascists, Colonies and Rebels. Haaburger also came on board with the Birds.
It was on this turn that the game went from a local ‘kill my neighbors’ game to a global cluster-spanning war. The interesting thing was that the center of Moriak cluster was dominated by a huge nebula. This gave me an opportunity to have a strong influence in the game as it gave me an avenue to move from the far north where I was located to the far south where the Lizards were located in safety from robbery. Its higher degradation rate for minefields gave me the chance to do it without having to deal with bot mines or at least mitigated them. Also, my anti-Crystal strategy of Heavy Disruptors on every ship and a larger proportion of Iron Lady’s in my fleet instantly converted to an anti-Robot strategy.
I immediately began to send falcons into the nebula to establish forward operating bases.
Privs and Bots form alliance.
Turns 26 – 40
The Rebels began the long journey down to the south. Their goal was to establish an undisputed presence in the center of the map. The Rebels wanted to control the entire nebula so that they could strike at Priv and Robot planets adjacent to the nebula.
By T 29 the Crystal began laying web mines in Lizard territory, thus probably assuring the continuing existent of DD’s position and possibly preserving the victory for the great alliance.
This was the period of growing crisis for The GA. The Privs and Robots were still developing, but the pressure they were applying to us (especially the Lizards) was enormous.
During this time the Birds were keeping a low profile and wanted to disavowal association with the Great Alliance. He was actively attacking the Feds, who eventually dropped.
It was during this time that a new Fed player suddenly shows up and aligns with the Priv/Bots. Worse, it was during this time that the Colonies grew frustrated with Priv harassment and resigned.


Turns 40 – 55
The Gang of Three continued to expand and threaten us. The Crystals were establishing a line of web fields as both a corridor from the north to the south, but also as a barrier to divide the GoT from each other. The Rebels have, by the end of this time, established themselves firmly in the Southern end of the nebula. The Robots and Privs will continue to challenge for control of the nebula through turns 110, but were never able to seriously threaten Rebel control after this time period.
The Crystals were able to establish minelayers in both Bird and Empire space to inhibit the GoT’s offensive operations against these positions.
The Lizard continued his long and brutal struggle versus the combined forces of our enemies.
Feds hit their peak planet count on T 52. Privateers hit their peak planet count on T 54.
Turns 56 – 70
Crystals continue to expand web mines as he drove south just west of the Eagle and Ring nebulas. He also managed to save the Birds from an effort by the Robots to eliminate them with web mines in the Bird home area and started expanding webmines at the intersection of Empire and Fed/Bot space.
Robot mines cover close to half the map. The Robots also continued to heavily mine all throughout Robot, Fed and Priv space. It was during this time that Robot mines were heavily employed offensively against the Fascists, Birds and Empire. The Bots also challenged the southern end of the nebula with mines that cost the Rebels several lost ships, but mostly supply-repaired hits on Rush carriers.
Turns 71 – 81
Zenith of The Gang of Three. During this period The GoT reached their widest expansion. They had launched a significant invasion of Fascist space that was halted only by massive web mine laying by the Crystals and tenacious defense by the Fascists. They tried to exterminate the Birds, but Empire Gorbies, Bird Dark Wings and a transferred base that built a few Rushes turned back that tide. Finally, Three Nova’s lead an attack toward the Empire Home World, that had been stripped mostly of defenses for counter attacks in Bird space. This was turned back by the diversion of a Rebel Rush fleet that was able to operate safely due to Crystal webs and the building of new Gorbies in the area.
Robots reach their peak planet count during T 79-81.
Turns 82 – 115
With their offensive efforts spent and no real long term damage achieved against The Great Alliance, the decline of the Gang of Three was now inevitable. The Great Alliance continued to push back the GoT’s warships and planets on all fronts. With the EE and Birds attacking the Feds from the East. The EE and Rebels attacking the Feds from the North. The Fascists and Crystals attacking the Privs from the North, The Crystals, Lizards and Rebels attacking the Privs from the East. The Lizards, Crystals and Rebels attacking the Robots from the North and West. The GoT, were pushed into ever shrinking boxes, with more The Great Alliance gathering in and holding the territory between them.

On Turn 115, marking the end of the period of decline, the last SB that linked Privateer and Robot territory was finally destroyed. This SB had resisted multiple and varied attacks and was absolutely fitted with maximum defenses. This severed their empires and finally linked the Rebels and Lizards solidly together with an unbroken chain of planets from the northern to the southern edge of the cluster.

Turns 116 until game end
For the most part the Gang of Three had given up by this time, playing occasional turns, but mostly on vacation mode. The collapse and destruction of The Gang of Three was not avoidable from this point forward. The Great Alliance controlled too many ship slots and too many planets. Conversations were had about calling the game, but the decision was made to play it out until the complete and utter destruction of the Gang of Three. By turn 134, they controlled only 68 ship slots and 42 planets. Utterly defeated, but not yet utterly destroyed. The Great Alliance was not yet finished until we had completely vanquished them.

84 days, 5 hours, 7 minutes ago
View iso--t's profile
iso--t
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
Good morning NU! Nice subject.

Now I have something to ad. Can I make a suggestion for developers to make gaming experience better! The STORY TELLER!

Usually, when playing a game, you have many thoughts you would like say aloud to audience. But these things can almost always be said only after the game. THEN, after the game, you are too busy or you have forgot majority of those things.

What if there would be STORY TELLER inside the game, where you could write your own thoughts in a particular turns, along the way. Those things could not be seen by anyone, only AFTER the game those things would POP up when you scroll throught the turns. (Story teller could be added to the starmap and you could choose if you want to see all the storylines together, or only one particular players).

ALSO I would suggest, that before this "story" is made public after the game, all players should be able to delete or change some of their thoughts - there can be something you would not like to share when thinking another time, also there could be lot to AD.

I think I have a lot going on in my mind every turn, but I am just too lazy to write them in separete file. If it would be inside the game, then I definitely would make some notes along the way.

What do you think?
84 days, 4 hours, 51 minutes ago
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glyn
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
"Iso--t: What do you think?"

That Big Beefer already made a script for that; http://planets.nu/discussion/game-commentary-plugin-this-tool-allows-you-to-save-game

And that two years ago I couldn't find it "Glyn: Does anyone have Big Beefers game commentary plugin? It was hosted on a now defunk script repository;"

:(
84 days, 4 hours, 47 minutes ago
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glyn
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
Hey I found it! Man I most not have looked very hard two years ago... or maybe the mirror wasn't up yet. Hmmm.

http://userscripts-mirror.org/scripts/show/180685

Not sure if it works... but I did my part... laterz.
84 days, 4 hours, 11 minutes ago
View smn's profile
smn
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
@Tom+Graves, thanks for the report! This looks like being one of the unlucky ones that got the activity contents wiped out back in the day. Definitely belongs to the old classics department. I'll add it to the main post (is it possible to link a single post somehow?)

Looks like there were no Fireclouds in this game, right? Proper positional warfare and conventional logistics all the way. Also I remember Killph and The Easter Bunny being a notorious pre-game alliance back in the day, skilled and ruthless.
84 days, 4 hours, 3 minutes ago
View smn's profile
smn
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
@Iso--t totally agree with you!

@Glyn good discovery, that's the plugin that Mentar used for the Sagittarius commentary. I wonder if it would be possible to get it into the game itself.. Maybe a future uservoice campaign?
84 days, 3 hours, 56 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
@Smn,

> is it possible to link a single post somehow?

Yes, as long as it isn't the first post. I provided a link to the tool in my previous post.
84 days, 2 hours, 49 minutes ago
View emork the lizard king's profile
emork the lizard king
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
"Story Teller" is great idea. Writing down what you plan, hope and fear in certain turn is also helpful for yourself - in the specific game or for general improvement.
84 days, 2 hours, 15 minutes ago
View smn's profile
smn
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
@Whisperer thanks, that's a pretty handy tool. Original post updated.
83 days, 23 hours, 19 minutes ago
View spacesquad's profile
spacesquad
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
Shameless self-promotion? I´m in!
Please find the mother of all game reviews here:
http://www.planetsmagazine.com/races/crystals/crystalguides/the-scorpius-war/#more-137
83 days, 14 hours, 22 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
@Spacesquad,

A link to that game review has been added to the Contributions page. We'll probably move the Championship game reviews onto their own subpage soon.
83 days, 12 hours, 48 minutes ago
View tom graves's profile
tom graves
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
@SMN I never posted it in game. (I wonder if I still can - Answer, nope.) as our team was using a document site to coordinate our teamwork.

DragonDejhi put his account of the game in the game thread, though (on turn 147), so you could link to the game for his game review.

Yes, no FCC, because the rebel killed the borg really early.
80 days, 4 hours, 58 minutes ago
View commander koski's profile
commander koski
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
I will now participate to this battle report competition with my story here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hVIz9ZWWxsjt4B1UwrMUhnmTEXlemFuKRe2haR6EDQ8/edit?usp=sharing

Read about:
- how I built a big fleet!
- how I won an Emperor!
- how I discovered that I'm a rat!

PLUS it has a SOUNDTRACK and a spreadsheet of all my ship vs. ship battles!
79 days, 14 hours, 55 minutes ago
View smn's profile
smn
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
Great report of a solid victory @Commander+Koski, thanks for posting! I just finished reading it - fascinated with your self-discovery concept :)
79 days, 10 hours, 10 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
@Smn,

Thank you for providing a setting for the game reviews.
79 days, 4 hours, 14 minutes ago
View commander koski's profile
commander koski
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
Due to discussion after the game, I made an appendix article in the end of my review: "Appendix 1: Trust, dagger and probability: About breaking deals in strategy games" - I'm sure you'll appreciate it, @SMN !

Btw. my Google Drive says that Rauli and Ludwig have commented it, but I can't see the comments. I tried to figure out what it could be about, and found this: "When a comment is posted in a document, the person posting them must press the blue "Comment" button for the comment to be uploaded and saved to the document (and for you to see it). If you or your collaborators don't save the comments that way, they will be lost forever when the document is closed. If your collaborator can see them but you can't, it means she made some comments but hasn't saved them. They'll be lost when she closes the document unless she saves them by pressing the blue Comment button for each of them." - is this what happened?
75 days, 8 hours, 20 minutes ago
View whisperer's profile
whisperer
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
Bump
72 days, 20 hours, 3 minutes ago
View bondservant's profile
bondservant
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
Lots of fantastic commentary and reviews of player activity in the activity feed of the Academy 101 Economic Training game. It not only has commentary from the players on what they did and why, but it also has comments from other players on what they thought players did well and not so well. In case you want to edit to add it to your post, the link is:

http://play.planets.nu/#/sector/172291/activity
72 days, 18 hours, 58 minutes ago
View smn's profile
smn
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
@Bondservant thanks for reminding, added to first post!
37 days, 6 hours, 58 minutes ago
View smn's profile
smn
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
Team Wolf 1 reviews and commentary coming in from at least me, Frostriese and Talespin in this thread: http://planets.nu/#/activity/3673881
33 days, 15 hours, 51 minutes ago
View smn's profile
smn
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
..and Mursu added his commentary http://planets.nu/#/activity/3673881
33 days, 2 hours, 34 minutes ago
View psydev's profile
psydev
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
Maybe reviews could be written on the site, and linked to directly from the game?
This could encourage people to make relatively casual but insightful reviews. It could just be as simple as notes written on some turns that indicate why they do X instead of Y. Why they declared war on one neighbour while allying with another, etc.
33 days, 2 hours, 34 minutes ago
View psydev's profile
psydev
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
I wrote some game reviews for the Blitz tournament currently going on. I only wrote two, but here they are:

http://psydevnu.blogspot.ca/

Might write more once the tournament is over. :)
32 days, 14 hours, 37 minutes ago
View mentar's profile
mentar
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
Sorry for being late to the party, just wanting to confirm that Big Beefer's commentary plugin still works.

http://userscripts-mirror.org/scripts/show/180685

If you want a turn-by-turn commentary of the Sagittarius War, go here:

http://planets.nu/#/sector/51327

It took me over 15 hours to write (and I had to do it in a hurry, because you can't add anything once the game is over - had to take one day off from work to finish it)

Open the game as the Colonials, use the time machine to go to turn 1, and enjoy the read.
31 days, 18 hours, 1 minutes ago
View smn's profile
smn
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
@Mentar thanks for confirming, I studied a little bit and found a hidden error message that prompted me to install Planets.nu Toolkit and set it to run before the commentary plugin - now it works!

To get the plugin to work, one needs to install first this:
https://userscripts-mirror.org/scripts/source/179304.user.js
then this:
http://userscripts-mirror.org/scripts/show/180685

31 days, 16 hours, 27 minutes ago
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glyn
RE: The Game Review Appreciation Thread! When games end, we...Write Reply
Glad I hunted that script done then.

@Mentar: Thanks for confirming it works.

@SMN: Thanks for the instructions.