Watching the PitBoss…

This is pretty cool. I’m not sure how it works exactly, but it’s probably just grabbing whatever info it can (turns, score, years) from the PitBoss app and then spitting it out to the Web. I love to see these types of “secondary” utilities appear – they provide a strong argument for using non-proprietary data and scripting (such as XML and Python for Civ4). By choosing standard formats, it becomes much, much easier for modders to create tools that extend the functionality of the original game. The CivStats site provides a great service for PitBoss games – allowing all users to get a quick overview of the game’s management and pace. It also provides a neat voyeuristic feel – I like lurking to see if all those 18-player game can acutally work.

Everytime I see an 18-player game, I am also reminded that, for better or worse, the limits we set as developers truly matter. If we made the limit 32 players, those would all be 32-player games… and would probably be progressing four times as slowly. These decisions are always tough calls.

2 thoughts on “Watching the PitBoss…

  1. Hello. Creator of here. Just in case you are wondering how it works: There is an application that runs on the server that reads all of the text out of the Pitboss admin window. It can grab names, score, status, and “turn finished?” and the time left in the turn. Whenever it detects a change, it uploads it to the web by doing a simple GET request on a php page on the server. Basically, it downloads the webpage “pbuplaod.php?gameid=5&password=something&moredata=stuff”
    while causes the server to update its database. So, I’m currently not taking advantage of the non-proprietary data and scripting, but that’s in the plan! I am going to be asking on civfanatics for a partner to develop a python script for Civ4 that will output ALL of the data I can imagine from the game. (I’d do it myself, but the php side is already taking all my time!) Then my uploader tool will read from that file and upload it all to the web. The idea will be to not only get the simple info like who hasn’t finished their turn, but the much more detailed info about their entire Civ. I will basically mirror each of the advisors in a web interface, so people can see what their civ is doing while at work, or something.

  2. wow, thanks for info, Greg. That’s very interesting. I had been wondering if it was a more brute force approach as the info you have listed on CivStats is basically the info you could determine from a screen grab of the PitBoss app. I just didn’t know that an app could actually do that. Very cool.

    But, yeah, if you start harnessing the power of the Python, you’ll be amazed at what you can show. Theoretically, people could just watch the game over the Web, if you had a way to display map info. Glad to hear you are looking into it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *