Would this be a good idea? Accelerated AFK - NP2/3 + BBB +?

I wish there were a way to categorize this as both NP and BBB :frowning:

Anyway, there have been prior suggestions for dealing with players that go AFK at the beginning of the game or later. Sometimes the time it takes for this to happen (particularly in turn-based games AKA the only real games) is too long.


  • Go ahead and do the thing suggested here to make sure the AFK time limit is at least a certain amount of real time.
  • In turn-based games, if a player has missed the previous turn, auto-submit the next turn at some increasing fraction of the limit. This would require an e-mail notification warning AFK players.

The idea would be to give players the same amount of time to come back to the game, but to progress the game faster for playing players.

As an example, and to make things simple, say the turns go every 12 hours and the AFK limit is 6 turns/72 hours. Say the AFK fraction is 2/3 of previous.

  1. Turn 1. Game starts, I am AFK. The turn goes in 12 hours.
  2. Turn 2. I am still AFK. I am notified and my turn is auto-submitted in 8 hours. The turn goes when it goes between 8 and 12 hours.
  3. Turn 3. I am still AFK. I am again notified and my turn is auto-submitted in 5.333 hours. The turn still goes when it goes

etc., etc., down to 0 hours for me where my turn is immediately auto-submitted until 72 hours have passed at which point the AI takes over. If at any point I come back from being AFK, my personal turn limit goes back to normal.

I feel like that would be a very good combination of giving players plenty of time to come back from being AFK while not holding up the folks who are actually playing the game.


Good idea @dakotahawkins.

For those of you that don’t know, in BBB we opted for simplicity and to keep the games moving as fast as possible. If you miss just one turn you AFK.

There is a danger that in a small game, if you miss your turn by an hour or two, and the other players are all on line at the same time, the other players could race ahead and finish the game without you!

The wait to get through AFK’s in turn-based games (the ones I play the most of) will probably be the reason I stop playing N.P. in the future. It’s tiring and frustrating to sign up for a game and 7 players enter a move and the 8th player doesn’t even start and it’s 6 24 hour periods to be rid of him/her. It gets old fast. I personally think it needs to be shortened to 3 moves missed and you are out. It might be an issue in a long game with short submission times, but in 95% of turn-based games it’s more than appropriate.

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@JayKyburz I’d also suggest an e-mail survey you could send to people who go AFK towards the start of games. Just something simple like “Why? Map unfair? No time? Spite? Other reason?”

I personally think the star distribution could be a lot better, and that people might quit if it screws them, but you might learn something valuable from the aggregated feedback in case there are other reasons. Maybe you could tweak something to improve player participation, idk.

Edit: Because suddenly and unexpectedly not having time to play for a while is a fine and valid reason, but certainly not the most common reason, especially at the beginning of the game.

1 Some sports websites will allow league tracking of your team’s streak of wins and losses.
Example NFL AFC conference:
New England … W7
Kansas City … W2
Pittsburgh … W7
Houstpn …L1

2A I recall that NP2 API info tracks the status of players in the current galaxy:

Playing Now
Killed (no more stars or carriers / before Quit or AFK)

via a numerical code system.

2B I suspect, but am not certain, that NP2 API info also tracks a turn countdown to AFK for any playing now members in the current galaxy:

3 NP2 should be able to add a streak field for the players roster with appropriate designations… and then the number of games counted.

3C This streak datapoint should be assigned from the player profile to the galaxy in as of the alias creation by the player to each new galaxy. Streak information should be updated to the player profile at the conclusion of each galaxy.

3D However, I think it could be a good Idea to reveal the streak for all players at the game ending.

4 AFK is a big slowdown on turn based games.

I suggest a quicker AFK for players with longer streaks of AFK in an active galaxy. <

AFK streak of 7 or more prior games = 4 turn countdown to AFK on any live game.
AFK streak of 4 to 6 prior games = 5 turns to AFK on any live game.
AFK streak of 1 to 3 prior games = 6 turns to AFK on any live game. (standard)

non AFK streak of 1 or more = 6 turns to AFK on any live game. (standard)

Debatable options:
5 Whether Jay makes the streak info API readable can be debatable.
6 A player with a Win streak of 3 or more can get = 7 turn countdown to AFK on the current live galaxy.

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I suspect most of the warning and survey emails get screened off to the spam box, if not outright deleted. Expect < 1% response.

But then again, If Jay does not ask, he will never get an answer.

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@eplazaguest has a great idea. Or maybe something simplified like this.

Each NP2 player account keeps track of the number of “Allowable AFK Turns”, default beginning with 6 or 7 turns. For each game that the player is declared AFK, the number of “Allowable AFK Turns” decrements by 1 turn down to a minimum of 1 or 3 turns, or 4 turns as suggested by eplazaguest. For each game that the player is not AFK, the number of “Allowable AFK Turns” increments by 1 up to a maximum of 6 or 7 turns as suggested by eplazaguest

Each player that joins a game must be made aware of their current count of “Allowable AFK Turns”.

Using the player’s count of “Allowable AFK Turns”, a similar conversion could be made for allowable AFK ticks in real time games. Maybe there should be adjustments depending on the different turn based games rates of turn wait / tick jumps or real time games faster / slower speeds.

This can reduce the frustration for veteran players in turn based games waiting for AFK players to continue the game. AFK players then also have a way to earn their trust back by playing games without becoming AFK.

I did a limited survey once in a NP2 game. It seemed like new players are more likely to AFK.

Maybe each player’s “Allowable AFK Turns” should initialize at 2 turns, since usually new players are more likely to AFK. As players become more confident, they will reduce their AFKs from games, which will build up their “Allowable AFK Turns” up to a maximum of 6 or 7 turns.