Start game @ time


Can I suggest the following solution for the issue of when a game starts once it has all players or if it is force started.

As each player joins the game they are shown a start time screen, this screen has a tick box per hour, with each hour initially selected, as each player joins they are able to untick the hours on which they don’t want the game to start. As each player joins they see the latest range of available start times.
When the game is full or is force started it then starts at the next selected hour.
The first player to join the game would be able, if they wanted to, to un select every hour except for one, effectively selecting an exact start time.
The displayed start hours would be localised to the players time zone in the same way that the time is localised in game.

The minutes past the hour could be selected, randomly, by the server.

I am not sure if any load management is required on the server(s) but the exact minute on which the game starts in the selected hour could be selected to help manage this (maybe).


I think an easier solution would be an option for the game creator to set the beggining hour of the game, only for real time of course. The standard could be “start immediately as the player list is full”.


I like this. It would be bad if you joined a game and then the production cycle was in the middle of the night. Simply adding a production time setting would be a way to go. Then the game could start at the first time the production time passed after all spots are filled.


@mikejonez if you could see the production time set, then maybe you wont join it for that reason?


I’ve done this a couple of times already (joined game that started in the middle of the night). It’s pretty much a guaranteed loss. I’m in favor of adding an option to start the game at a specific time.


Ditto what Floydian said - you are at a serious disadvantage if the production time is in the middle of the night for 'ya. So if this is settable/visible as a game parameter, you can decide if it makes sense for you to join - might reduce some of the AFK’s … which is always good.

I suggested this a long time ago … so ditto also what Arth and mikejonez’s said.


That would be great. Barring that, someone suggest having 26-hour cycles instead, so it would cycle and (dis)advantage everyone at some point.


@ThornEel You know, I quite like the simplicity of that solution. Perhaps bring them forward rather than back so there are more of them in the game.

I would like to hear other players thoughts about how annoying it would be to have the time shifting around throughout the day. Always two hours earlier or later than the last.


I like the idea, how about having it at 25 Hour cycles, then it shifts an hour per day.

I am also guessing that it could be a simple change to the code (which is always a good thing).


If you did do that, please make it an option. I prefer the way it is now.

As for starting time, in a quad-speed real-time game production happens at some point in the middle of the night no matter when the game starts. The problem is when the game starts unexpectedly at 3:30 AM without warning. Missing your first 1 or 2 turns can have dire consequences, and of course then having to set your alarm for 3:30 AM every night afterward makes me grumpy. Being able to configure the start time allows you to predetermine exactly what times production will happen, so you can set your alarm clock accordingly or configure production times at more reasonable hours (e.g. 12AM/6AM).


@JayKyburz Thinking about what @Floydian said can the game support other Cycle lengths
Double speed could be a 13 hour cycle
Quad speed could be a 7 hour cycle

Could this also lead to a 5 times speed 5 hour cycle game?


While on that subject, why not then just allow the length of a tick to be configurable?


Ultimately, I think that’s what we’re trying to get to.


Why is there even such a thing as a production cycle? Is it to mimic the real world where taxes are paid at the end of the year? Because that’s not how it works in real life: taxes are paid constantly, only at the end of the year the numbers are added and people have to pay extra taxes if they didn’t pay enough or get money back if they paid to much.
Let’s get rid of the production cycle, let’s get money in the empires coffers every hour.
And every hour there’s a small chance that some genius researcher makes a break through with experiments. Should only be a small chance, but increasing with every hour that has passed without a break through.


I think it is to mimic board games, not real life.


Its so there is an exciting bust of activity at one point in the day.


Im glad others have noticed the issue. I waited for my first 32players game for atleast five days. Monday night around 00:15 the game suddenly starts. I log in 18:00 - Almost 18 hours behind! and see myself with 4 planets while others have up to 12 and a amazing start.

What annoys the most is how importat the first log in is - You really need to boost that research some levels =) If you login 18 hours behind you don no want to see that there is “5 days of reesearch” before your first breaktrough? :slight_smile:

I think the idea of choosing a good “production time” would be one step forward to a more fair start?

My suggest: When full - email that game will start 24h later :slight_smile: Its just silly waiting fo soemething so long and then loose alot bcause of when it suddenly starts? Or maby - give premium players notification by sms?
Until this change - I might consider to join as number 8 a while to get easy best start.


Another potentially useful idea is showing all stars within jump range of your stars when Dark Start Only is used. Currently Dark Start Only functions the same as Dark Galaxy: Enabled until the game starts.

The problem is that the first jumps you make are very important. If you can save 4-5 hours flight time by making a direct jump to a star which is inside your jump bubble but outside your scanning bubble that can mean the difference between grabbing a strategic choke point vs. flying your fleet into an enemy star.

For people unaware, the reasons for dark start are to prevent people joining games together being guaranteed neighbouring positions and players letting other people know the best starting position. Dark Start combined with inability to rejoin games when you leave prevents a few problems.

By showing all stars within jump range you make it easier to plan your initial jumps while still hiding the overall strategic picture.

(I fully support the idea of having a fixed start time. The above is a somewhat midway point between what we currently have and the proposed idea.)


When you have joined a game, you can begin buying carriers, transfer ships, giving move orders, buy ECON, IND, or SCI, even while the game has not started because it is waiting for more players to join.


I think @AnnanFay has a good point. You should be able to see as far as you can jump at the start of games. Errr… if I set the range to 4 at the start will that do it for the big games?