Named Flags

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alfa1
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Named Flags

Post by alfa1 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:46 pm

Maybe it would be good if, as a server argument, we could set names on flags using their simple letters identifications. In example, for Stealth one, getting "ST" drawn into the flag (not over; though maybe this could be another option); for High Speed one, "V"; etc. Should they be textures or just overwritten letters?. It would be, surely, quitting the BZ logo. I thought, also, on using colored flags at once but maybe it would add too much complexity (though, also, possible with an option).

This would add more ease to certain configurations; in example, for kids.

This could be implemented on radars somehow too.

Note: In the case of using these settings, ID should be disabled. It would be similar to Jump and Ricochet flags cases.
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Re: Named Flags

Post by trpted » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:09 am

* Sign Remember the children :)

Not to say that all servers will have this.

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Re: Named Flags

Post by Bullet Catcher » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:29 pm

Part of the fun of playing BZFlag is not knowing for certain what a flag is before you pick it up.

Map makers who want to remove that uncertainty can establish designated zones for specific types of flags. See the flagbuffet.bzw file in the BZFlag source tree for an example. Clever map makers can create appropriate signs for the zones so no one has to learn anything beyond how to read.

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Re: Named Flags

Post by alfa1 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:56 pm

trpted wrote:Not to say that all servers will have this.
If you mean this configuration, of course not, it will depends on the server owners' decisions.
Bullet Catcher wrote:Part of the fun of playing BZFlag is not knowing for certain what a flag is before you pick it up.
I agree; I just suggested it as an *optional* feature.
Bullet Catcher wrote:Map makers who want to remove that uncertainty can establish designated zones for specific types of flags. See the flagbuffet.bzw file in the BZFlag source tree for an example. Clever map makers can create appropriate signs for the zones so no one has to learn anything beyond how to read.
Yes, but this would require some/lot of work for makers, instead of a simple server argument. In example: "-namedflags [colored] [labeled]". "labeled" means a sign *over* the flags as an extra help (something like the team flag triangle). And both "colored" and "labeled" could automatically appear at once on radars (maybe after some applied zoom for labels).
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Re: Named Flags

Post by trpted » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:53 pm

alpha1 wrote:
Bullet Catcher wrote:Map makers who want to remove that uncertainty can establish designated zones for specific types of flags. See the flagbuffet.bzw file in the BZFlag source tree for an example. Clever map makers can create appropriate signs for the zones so no one has to learn anything beyond how to read.
Yes, but this would require some/lot of work for makers, instead of a simple server argument. In example: "-namedflags [colored] [labeled]". "labeled" means a sign *over* the flags as an extra help (something like the team flag triangle). And both "colored" and "labeled" could automatically appear at once on radars (maybe after some applied zoom for labels).
While I signed earlier and can not sign again the same idea (unless for example I disagreed and then change my mind), that is a good ( +1 point )

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Re: Named Flags

Post by Bullet Catcher » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:06 am

alpha1 wrote:this would require some/lot of work for makers, instead of a simple server argument.
Implementing that "simple server argument" would require BZFlag development effort comparable to creating the sort of map I described. Furthermore, it can't be implemented in version 2.4.x because a change in the network protocol would be needed to expose the identity of all flags.

The complex map method is available now. If anyone is interested in doing the work to modify the client and server for a future release, please come chat with us about it in the #bzflag IRC channel.

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Re: Named Flags

Post by blast » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:25 am

That would be a step backwards as well. Very old versions of the game sent the type of each flag to the clients, mainly because of the Identify flag. This allowed cheaters to easily mark or label flags in order to avoid bad flags and to find specific flags. Later versions changed to sending all non-team flags as a single type (possibly the No Flag type, I can't recall), and sending out updates of the real flag types only when the flags were grabbed or the player grabbed an Identify flag. The current way takes it further, and the Identify flag is handled server-side, with the server simply telling the client what the nearest flag type is.
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Re: Named Flags

Post by alfa1 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:03 pm

Bullet Catcher: If the identity of all flags are revealed *only* with a server argument, I don't see the problem. If this is possible technically talking.

To satisfy my curiosity, the network protocol you mention is that about making all flags become PZ to avoid cheating on clients side, maybe?

blast: after you mentioned it, yes, I think my idea is taken partially from what I heard sometime about cheaters (labels, colors, ...) but, again, if this suggestion is technically possible, then the server *only* would be sending the identity of the flags when one uses this server argument (then, not oportunity of cheating).

I remember also the discussion about having a more authoritative server... I don't have an opinion about, though I always thought that this nowadays model used until now was good enough.
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Re: Named Flags

Post by blast » Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:10 pm

Of course there would be an opportunity of cheating. You'd be telling everyone what each flag type is. Just because everyone can see the flag type doesn't mean someone else can't take it a step further and make their client ignore grabbing bad flags completely or brightly color specific flags so they can easily pick them out from across the map.
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Re: Named Flags

Post by alfa1 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:47 pm

"brightly color specific flags": I have thought that the colors, for all players, should be giving the 4 best flags (L, G, GM and SW) the main or most detectable colors, and only in a map without team flags (like FFA gamestyle), then: red, green, blue and purple, in example. The other flags would have variety of these main colors, then they would be less brighter. There would not be too much difference, again, if the cheater use this method.
"make their client ignore grabbing bad flags completely": to be honest, bad flags are not used very much. Apart, this cheat could be very noticeable.

Not saying you will avoid cheating totally but, if someone cheats with the "named flags" option (or its 2 other features), I think that, in general, there would not be too much advantage for them.

I think that putting identifications into the flags would make the map more like real life (you don't have lots of *different* useful flags into a room without identifications into them (letters, symbols or colors)). (I note, though, that the letters would be a tiny bit hard to read sometimes when the flags are turned.) And using colors and/or labels over the flags would make the map more like the arcade style (I consider BZFlag having a mix between simulator and arcade styles), making it easier to play but also more exciting/funnier (for those who like the style).

Well, I don't want to make this long (unless it is necessary). Thanks for the discussion. If anyone thinks this is useful/fun, they can make it; always that the development team accepts it, of course.
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Re: Named Flags

Post by alfa1 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:15 am

One last thing. To reduce cheating to the minimum and thinking on possible server configurations:
- Maybe, setting '-namedflags' with 'colored' argument would be a good way to use it.
- But, if not, using '-namedflags' alone should use a similar system that Identity flag, as blast mentioned. Not passing all the flags identities to clients at once but, as soon as any client *sees* (triangle into radar) a flag, it receives its ID. This sight would be range limited too. And using binoculars would have a similar effect. (*)
A good performance test case to do would be placing lots of different flags in a row and using binoculars. It will depend, again, on which was the selected system to write letters on flags: either textures or overwritting.

* This would be more loaded than the ID flag system in the sense that clients would receive more flags IDs at once instead of only 1 (the nearest one) but, in the other hand, it would be a bit less loaded than it because they would not receive the flags outside the field of view (radar triangle), in other words, neither the flags beside nor behind the tanks. Also, the mentioned range for namedflags could be configurable to decrease any possible overload, inclusive, maybe, making it equal to the ID flag system.
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