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Scenario Paintball Software Completely off the wall idea... Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   S.T.A.R.S XO. Short 

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 01:51 PM

So I am in the middle of my third year of studying programming at high school (and I am a junior)... I have been through all the computer classes at our school, and am now creating my own classes and taking them... So I was going to write a 3d FPS game... but then last night came up with a crazy idea. I have about 4 months of classes to dedicate to the creation of this software... so anything is possible.

Here is my idea.

**********

EDIT -
Basically I am proposing a scenario management system. This is turning out to be a huge discussion with lots of good ideas and thought... read the whole thread to understand.


**********

Features I thought up

Player Database
-Picture
-Name
-ID #
-Position Preference
-Positions Played
-Games Played
-Stat Tracking (Games Won, Games Lost)

Scenario Creation Software
-Time or Objective Based
-Players
-Missions
-Map (??? Not sure on how to do this...)
-Positions / Roles
-Flag / Locations worth points

Objectives / Missions
-Create Missions
-Who are the missions for
-When are the missions
-Missions Completion Tracking

Real Time Point Tracking
-Point Tracking
-Completed Missions
-Flag stations or locations held

Timer
-Tracks time
-Notifies when its time for another mission

Positions/Role Assignment
-What roles are in the game
-Randomly Assign Roles
-User selected roles
-Mixed random and user assigned
-Role specific missions for a scenario

Team Creation
-Random
-Assigned
-Mixed random and user assigned
-Based on win/loss stats pulled from player database (basically create as fair as possible teams)

Printing
-Interfacing with a printer
-Printing of Team List
-Printing of Positions / Roles and their specific missions
-Printing of Missions
-Printing of Mid Game stats
-Printing of end game stats

Cell Phone SMS Capabilities (If I manage to get this working well... I am selling this software.)

-Cell phone messages sent from the computer to players cellphones
-Reception of messages received from cell phones and update game based on these
-Missions sent out periodically
-Current Points sent out
-Mission completion received


I have a TON more ideas... this is just a jumping off point... basically I am creating a piece of software... that if I manage to develop it, would in the hands of even an amateur, be able to run some kick butt games. And hopefully, if I get enough time... You would be able to push the go button, and through interfacing with cell phones it will run the entire scenario for you, and not have to have anyone sit out to run it. (This would most likely be in like version 2, if version one is at all a success. Please don't get hung up on this feature until I actually have a working version out.)

I had one idea to incorporate RFID tags into player ID cards... but that's WAY in the future.

Basically its like quick books for scenario paintball... except more fun.

Other then that let me know what you guys think. Throw out ideas. Slam my ideas. Modify ideas. Tell me if you think this is stupid or a great idea. Whatever, I want some feedback. I am attempting to take scenario paintball in a whole new technological direction... I wanna leave my mark in paintball lol... who wants to join in?

This post has been edited by S.T.A.R.S XO. Short: 30 January 2009 - 08:47 PM

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#2 User is offline   Puzuma 

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 02:07 PM

Some of the "features" make it hard for me to figure out if this is a game or something a field would use. Which is it?
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#3 User is offline   S.T.A.R.S XO. Short 

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 02:09 PM

Ahh I see... I guess the answer would be both.

Basically this is a data system that could be used by anyone.

Games are designed and run through the software. It would be capable of running the whole game pretty much.

Fields could use it strictly for the player database as well.

It would also be able to store scenario games (Obviously...) and you could run the same scenario over and over, with different players and the such. I would also have a data transfer system, that if someone created a scenario they liked they could freely distribute it over the internet to everyone.

This post has been edited by S.T.A.R.S XO. Short: 30 January 2009 - 02:12 PM

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#4 User is offline   Puzuma 

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 02:32 PM

Hmm. It doesn't sound like that interesting of a game to me, you aren't really doing anything but entering information and then letting the software calculate a winner.

I'm not saying it's a bad idea, just not my cup of tea.
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#5 User is offline   S.T.A.R.S XO. Short 

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 02:36 PM

View PostPuzuma, on Jan 30 2009, 04:32 PM, said:

Hmm. It doesn't sound like that interesting of a game to me, you aren't really doing anything but entering information and then letting the software calculate a winner.

I'm not saying it's a bad idea, just not my cup of tea.


Thats all any computer program does...
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#6 User is offline   Puzuma 

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 02:52 PM

True but a GAME needs more interaction, some level of control. This seems more like running a budget program than a game.
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#7 User is offline   S.T.A.R.S XO. Short 

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 02:58 PM

OKAY WAIT!!!

This is not a game you sit down and PLAY at your computer.

This would be a computer program that you would sit down with create a scenario, and then take it out to the field, and it would run a real scenario with real people. This is basically a program that would make running a scenario easier, and possibly more fun.

I am confused Puzuma... what do you mean?

This is basically scenario management software... not a video game.
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#8 User is offline   The Stuntman 

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 02:59 PM

Its an interesting idea...at the very least, writing a program like this would be great programing practice, might get you some some serious extra credit for school.

I would suggest making it so that whoever is using it can customize to the needs of their specific game/rule set. It might be usefull to "test" a scenario before game day to find any flaws in the game structure, or a variant could be designed that would allow a game producer to track & score a game in progress.

Puz has some points, but I say do it anyway...just be prepared to do some serious tweaking for V.2.

Good luck...
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#9 User is offline   S.T.A.R.S XO. Short 

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 03:07 PM

Quote

I would suggest making it so that whoever is using it can customize to the needs of their specific game/rule set. It might be usefull to "test" a scenario before game day to find any flaws in the game structure, or a variant could be designed that would allow a game producer to track & score a game in progress.


This WHOLE program is based on the USER input. You create, you test, you take it out and PLAY. Okay, I am starting to realize the problem... I was not clear enough... this is not a video game, or anything like that...

This is a complete scenario management software for creating, playing, and analyzing REAL scenarios.

This is really hard to explain when not in person lol... I will get here eventually.
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#10 User is offline   C-4 

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 04:06 PM

I think that your idea is a very good idea for a high school level programming project. What language are you interested in developing this application in?
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#11 User is offline   Puzuma 

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 04:21 PM

View PostS.T.A.R.S XO. Short, on Jan 30 2009, 05:07 PM, said:

Quote

I would suggest making it so that whoever is using it can customize to the needs of their specific game/rule set. It might be usefull to "test" a scenario before game day to find any flaws in the game structure, or a variant could be designed that would allow a game producer to track & score a game in progress.


This WHOLE program is based on the USER input. You create, you test, you take it out and PLAY. Okay, I am starting to realize the problem... I was not clear enough... this is not a video game, or anything like that...

This is a complete scenario management software for creating, playing, and analyzing REAL scenarios.

This is really hard to explain when not in person lol... I will get here eventually.

What you're talking about is a battle simulator. "If I've got 15 players in these positions and they have 20 in these positions, enter this field map..... My chance of winning this is 65%." or something along those lines.

That's going to be a HUGE task. There are a million and one variables to consider. While you might be able to use GPS to map a field how are you going to assign values for terrain? GPS might tell you the elevation but it won't tell you if there's an impassible wall of brambles. How will you determine if the other team is willing to push through that bramble patch?
Are you thinking of running it on PC, laptop or PDA?
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#12 User is offline   C-4 

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 04:26 PM

View PostPuzuma, on Jan 30 2009, 06:21 PM, said:

That's going to be a HUGE task. There are a million and one variables to consider. While you might be able to use GPS to map a field how are you going to assign values for terrain? GPS might tell you the elevation but it won't tell you if there's an impassible wall of brambles. How will you determine if the other team is willing to push through that bramble patch?
Are you thinking of running it on PC, laptop or PDA?


I think what he is talking about here is not something that calculates chances of winning, but rather manages a scenario game. That, keeps track of players, teams, locations, and communications to these players about the date/time of the game and details.

If this is what the OP means, then analyzing the field for win percentage is far beyond the knowledge of any high school student.

This post has been edited by C-4: 30 January 2009 - 04:32 PM

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#13 User is offline   Pyrate Jim 

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 05:06 PM

I understand what you're saying, and I can see some serious flaws.
As a player database for a particular field, it might be fine. But no field owner will take the time to enter every walk-on player or delete those who leave before the game ends. Picture ID's? Nice idea but I switch masks several times during a scenario and few people see my face.
Game creation requires imagination, I can't conceive a program spitting out a scenario called "The Lost Treasure of Gilligans Island" with roles and missions unless somebody took the time to enter that into the memory.
Missions themselves are often not what the game operator originally planned, the ability to improvise is the mark of a good producer. Objectives might be unobtainable or achieved very quickly, point values and time limits often need to be adapted to the flow of the game, not rigidly adhered to. And don't get me started over Roleplaying, I'm the guy who shows up at a mil-sim game wearing a coconut bra and grass skirts.
Team creation is another issue, you often have teams or individuals wishing to dedicate themselves to one side or the other. Telling them they can't play for the side they want to may turn them away, and no field can afford to turn away players.
As a game timer or mission tracker, it might be useful but you still need someone to input the info in real time. When all the refs are busy, the head ref is out on the field settling a dispute, the field owner is gawd-knows-where, the only person to be found is running the fill station and hasn't got a clue about the game itself...Who's there to type this info into the program? Not many fields can afford to hire someone extra just for that.
Printing is only good before the game, not many players pay attention to anything more than a field map if even that. Plus many places don't have printing capability out on the field.
SMS might work, if the places I play allowed them on the field. Not that I'd take a cell phone onto the field with me if I owned one.

In my opinion, it's a neat idea but not practical. You'd never have a spreadsheet filled with all the possibilities, and you have no way of tracking all the players without an equal number of people entering the information about those players. Without that info, no program can keep up with any game as it progresses.
But who knows? With the way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised to see markers with built-in GPS tracking and satellite communication.
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#14 User is offline   oneshot 

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:24 PM

I can tell you have enthusiasm about the idea, but from a "business" standpoint, unfortunately it's not worth your time. Maybe that didn't sound right, it's fine if you just want to do it to have fun, to see if you can actually create a "workable" program from scratch, to use yourself. But I'd like to explain how product creation works, if you want a successful product, that is.

In short, you don't create something and try to sell it to people. You need to find out what people want, then make it or create it and sell that to them. For example, you could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on making a way for cars to be able to flip over and drive upside down for a while and then be able to flip back over and continue driving. You really love that idea, but the problem is that no one else wants to drive upside down. Doesn't matter how passionate about it you are, other people won't use it/buy it/think it's a good idea. You would find out the problems with cars, like poor gas milage, then figure out how to fix it, and people would buy something that increased gas milage.

You need to solve people's problems. Is there a huge number of people out there running scenario games that are having trouble with the actual running of them? If there are, then you would ask them what their problems are, and you would solve them with your software, if possible. I would be willing to bet that the field owners out there that are running scenarios already have a way that they do it, and therefore would not really have a need to spend $500 on software to help them do what they're already doing for free.

I could talk about business all day, so I won't bore everyone, but use your programming skills to solve problems that already exist. Now, if you want to know what kind of software paintball fields REALLY need, PM me.

And don't lose your enthusiasm...
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#15 User is offline   S.T.A.R.S XO. Short 

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:34 PM

OK... good lord this is gonna take forever...

What I am proposing is NOT a simulator. Not an Analyzer (Although that's not to far out of my ability, but it would have to have some sort of calculations based on experience of players, understanding of the field, teamwork, not easily quantifiable things... I am currently taking college level classes for programming... I am more advanced then most high school students, plus I practically teach my programming classes at school... my teacher asks me for help. Anyways basically never assume anything is out of anyone's reach.)

I am proposing a scenario creator aid / management system.

Here is my answering and fielding of questions... God help me...

Quote

What you're talking about is a battle simulator. "If I've got 15 players in these positions and they have 20 in these positions, enter this field map..... My chance of winning this is 65%." or something along those lines.


Not at all. This is not a single part of the program. Not an analyzer.

Quote

Are you thinking of running it on PC, laptop or PDA?

It would most likely be run off of a laptop hooked to a printer. Until I get way further into the development and get the SMS service running.

Quote

As a player database for a particular field, it might be fine. But no field owner will take the time to enter every walk-on player or delete those who leave before the game ends. Picture ID's? Nice idea but I switch masks several times during a scenario and few people see my face.

This system would most likely be used for smaller games, of pre-registered players. Plenty of time to do this. Plus, once the info is in the system, you would actually be saving time in the long run. You just search the persons name and boom, they are there. Picture ID's would not be necessary, just a cool feature. Most likely this would not be used for your average walk on, although it easily could be. And it would not be hard at all to delete someone when they leave. 3 clicks of the mouse.

Quote

Game creation requires imagination, I can't conceive a program spitting out a scenario called "The Lost Treasure of Gilligans Island" with roles and missions unless somebody took the time to enter that into the memory.

Of course. This would take the same amount of time to create a scenario as any other scenario takes. Its not like the popular d-day just wrote itself either. BUT, this system would ALSO have the capability of fielding random missions at random times. So even the creator could play the game, and still get thrown for fun little loops. All the scenario's missions and stuff would have to be written by someone but once written they could be used over and over.

Quote

Missions themselves are often not what the game operator originally planned, the ability to improvise is the mark of a good producer. Objectives might be unobtainable or achieved very quickly, point values and time limits often need to be adapted to the flow of the game, not rigidly adhered to. And don't get me started over Roleplaying, I'm the guy who shows up at a mil-sim game wearing a coconut bra and grass skirts.

The game could easily be based upon objective completion (like stated in my features section), and changed mid-game modified throughout. The point system would easily be created to accept changes by the scenario runner. And you could choose not to accept a role player part, as an option. (I personally hate role-playing as well.)

Quote

Team creation is another issue, you often have teams or individuals wishing to dedicate themselves to one side or the other. Telling them they can't play for the side they want to may turn them away, and no field can afford to turn away players.

Did I ever say that a person or team couldn't choose a specific side? This would obviously have to be part of the system, seeing as most games are based on teams declaring allegiances and facing off.

Quote

As a game timer or mission tracker, it might be useful but you still need someone to input the info in real time. When all the refs are busy, the head ref is out on the field settling a dispute, the field owner is gawd-knows-where, the only person to be found is running the fill station and hasn't got a clue about the game itself...Who's there to type this info into the program? Not many fields can afford to hire someone extra just for that.

Someone would have to do this obviously... but usually that's the game producer... this is what they do anyway... Radios would be used to communicate from the ref to the producer. Or even from the producer to the players.

Quote

Printing is only good before the game, not many players pay attention to anything more than a field map if even that. Plus many places don't have printing capability out on the field.

Agreed.

Quote

SMS might work, if the places I play allowed them on the field. Not that I'd take a cell phone onto the field with me if I owned one.

This is like in version 2 at the earliest of the software.

Quote

In my opinion, it's a neat idea but not practical. You'd never have a spreadsheet filled with all the possibilities, and you have no way of tracking all the players without an equal number of people entering the information about those players. Without that info, no program can keep up with any game as it progresses.

I have no reason to track all the players. The objective completion / missions would tell you everything you need to know for the most part. Players would have to radio back, or some how communicate, to HQ to let them know they got the mission done. (Or a ref.) Just like any other scenario.

Holy cow... you guys are keeping me thinking...

------
Anyways I hope this is starting to make sense to people. Keep throwing out questions.

This will be done in C++.

I am thinking this system would be better served for running 5v5 to 25v 5 games. But based on the skill of the creator of the scenario, you could increase it to 100 v 100 without to much of a hitch.

This post has been edited by S.T.A.R.S XO. Short: 30 January 2009 - 08:35 PM

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