In the past 20 years there have been uncountable implementations of Diplomacy. In the beginning was play-by-email, but oh my, was it a pain to use. Interacting with the judge stopped short of learning a custom scripting language. Despite that, it was an amazingly flexible and powerful system.
As browsers have gotten more awesome, so have Diplomacy implementations. Most can do incredible things. Yet, I have nits to pick with all of them: some are ugly, some have no variants, some have poor user interface, some are not free. I firmly believe there is no Diplomacy client online with the power of 20 years ago.
Six months ago, I started work on a vast project: Diplomacy that is free and open, customisable, and pleasant.
My goals for this project:
- Arbitrary variant support. This is done through plug-ins that I or the community can write. Both custom maps and custom rules will be accommodated. At the moment I am supporting both Classical and Chromatic. When I get into adjudication development I will bring in another couple choices.
- Player accountability. Abandoning games will not be tolerated.
- Flexible game scheduling. Because sometimes you just don’t want to GM on Thursdays.
- White, grey, and black press.
- Live press and map updates. This nicely complements the next item…
- Arbitrarily short deadlines. Woo 1 minute seasons!
- Transparent development. You all deserve to see what’s going on, and the exposure keeps me on-task. To that end, all server and client code is being maintained on GitHub . In the coming months I’ll build documentation on writing plug-ins so we can all get that game of Chaos going! At this point I will try to stick to weekly builds.
- Free as in beer. I hate paying for fun stuff, and you do too, probably. dipl.io will remain free to and through its completion until I am no longer financially able to keep it up.
- Free as in speech. If I theoretically were to make it a pay site (theoretically!), I promise to keep the GitHub repository open such that another person is free to spawn a free equivalent. This is not just a promise, even: the license I have assigned mandates this.