Strategic Primer: Changesets

After I finish my current task of adding support for sub-maps to the Strategic Primer map viewer, and reduce the resolution of the main map, the next feature I want to tackle is something I call “changesets.” I’ve mentioned this several times in my development reports, but today I’ll explain in a little more detail.

A changeset is a collection of changes that can be made to a map. For example, if an explorer unit moved, there’s the unit move, any new tiles discovered, and so on. A changeset can be applied, reversed (i.e. undone), combined with other changesets, and so on. Once the feature is available, changes to players’ maps will be distributed as changesets (though I’m afraid I can’t easily recreate previous turns’ results in that form).

A user of the map viewer will be able to manage the changesets associated with the map being viewed. This would include viewing the map as of any particular changeset, reordering them, removing them, loading additional ones, and eventually even creating them. If a player’s explorer returns, that explorer’s report would likely be given in the form of a changeset to apply to the player’s “known world” map—and if more than one explorer returns at once, this will let the player tell which explorer saw which new areas—while conversely (eventually, I hope) a player will be able to use the viewer to give several kinds of orders, which would be transmitted to me (the Judge of the campaign) as changesets.

I think that changesets could become a powerful tool. But I recognize that this potential will in practice be limited by the interface by which they are presented to the user, and more fundamentally by the “operations” from which changesets can be built. So I’m interested in your comments on this constellation of features even at this very early stage.

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