Strategic Primer

Strategic Primer is a strategy game that I am designing, in which players send “strategies” to the “Judge” who is running the game, then receive the “results” of their orders describing what has occurred in the game-world. (I originally intended to additionally produce a version of it requiring no human interaction other than with other players, but that never got beyond the prototype stage and has been postponed indefinitely.) I am currently running a campaign of this game, which would eagerly welcome any new players. So far this campaign has moved no faster than a turn per month.

From time to time, I have tried to collect information about the game into a substantial, well-organized resource of some sort, but for now the archives of this blog are the best source of information about the game. This page, with the Pages under it, is intended to serve as a topical list of relevant posts, but often lags far behind the weekly posts, so you may read more recent posts at the automatically-updated category archive. There is also a small collection of documents about the game, which was intended to replace some older, now out-dated, inconsistent and disorganized posts, but is now just as out-dated and inconsistent. It’s arguable which, of those documents or this page, is the best introduction to the game and basic reference for players in the current campaign.

For Players

Beginning players should refer to the Starting Package of advances that every player begins the game with; once they’ve invented or discovered additional advances, I maintain a separate file for each player to keep him or her up to date. They may also wish to consult the sample strategy I created.

I’m developing a suite of assistive programs to help players in the current campaign (and me); I post development reports roughly monthly. The source code is stored on GitHub, which also holds precompiled binary executable versions of “snapshot releases” for Windows, Mac OS X, and cross-platform Java (JAR).

Players may wish to know how character and skill advancement or workers and soldiers, and non-player-directed in-game scientific and technical research, is handled, though knowledge of these details is by no means essential for success in the game.

Players should think about diplomacy when instructing their explorers and, in deciding what to try to invent in the game, should think big.

History of Strategic Primer

Earlier on this blog, I’ve described how the game began, what technology I used to run the first campaign, and how what kind of advances players can discover has changed as the game developed. And there were various directions I considered taking the game but decided against.

Technical Challenges

I’ve discussed several technical challenges I face both in writing the program and running the campaign, including dealing with the size and detail of the world while making it realistically complex, keeping track of players’ technical and scientific advancement, modeling and representing units’ capabilities (“statistics”) including training, and researching the necessary rules or statistics to carry out players’ intentions.

The now-effectively-abandoned computer version, especially with the long-range design plans I imagined, posed its own challenges in addition to many of those I mentioned above, including designing an API, representing orders, and redesigning it as a server and clients.

Previous Turns of the Current Campaign

I have posted summaries of the events of every turn so far: the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh turns.

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