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Table of Contents

Freeciv

Freeciv is a free open source civilisation-building game in which players play nations aka civilisations and the game takes place on a single planet.

Its home website is http://freeciv.org/

It allows the creation of rulesets and modpacks, wherein a modpack contains images and such possibly in addition to a ruleset whereas a ruleset consists of rules files that configure various aspects of the game.

The Galactic Ruleset for example is referred to as a ruleset rather than a modpack because at time of writing it does not yet contain any graphic elements; it merely re-used existing graphics to represent the new technologies, units and buildings it provides for the Galactic Milieu.

In normal use, Freeciv is a one player per civilisation scale of game, set on a single planet.

In the Galactic Milieu however, where Freeciv serves as a world-scale strategic outline or backdrop within a larger milieu and within which smaller scale play can occur, it is quite reasonable to expect that a single civilisation could involve a large number of players. Indeed the level of control exercised normally be a single player need not always be exercised by the same player and potentially eventually various software modifications or enhancements might become necessary in order to facilitate many players sharing control of a single civilisation.

Freeciv abstracts the “purchasing power” of civilisations by means of an abstraction referred to as “gold”. This functionality exists even before the civilisation develops currency. In the Galactic Milieu, this so called “gold” is not taken to literally be the metal known as gold. Rather, it is taken to be somewhat abstract, comprising influence, favours, and locally-valued goods and services. It is local to the planet; in the Galactic Milieu one does not take this so called “gold” from world to world.

Thus it becomes necessary to introduce some means of assigning some kinds of values to this “gold” in terms of various actual currencies. It is proposed that this be done by the normal capitalist method of discovering prices: that is by markets. For example auctions could be held. However actions do not work very well without a number of bidders, so it is also proposed that various “non player character” entities be implemented which will participate in such auctions or markets.

The Freeciv system disposes of (“sinks”) this abstract “gold” constantly into upkeep costs of city-improvements. This provides an opportunity for a more detailed level of play's view of such improvements to incorporate a more detailed look at what exactly happens to that expenditure. A detailed view that uses some other currency could sell off the “Freeciv Gold” units to entities that have some interest or potential interest in dabbling in the Freeciv level of play, in return for the type(s) of currency the detailed view operates with.

Stock Exchanges require Banks which require Markets, and Stock Exchanges are something of definite interest as a place where DeVCoin can interface with the Galactic Milieu. It is proposed that each Stock Exchange serve as an opportunity for injection of various currencies into the Milieu; typically this will initially involve DeVCoin and whatever currency is most associated with the place where the Stock Exchange is located and the civilisation that controls the city in which the Stock Exchange is located, for example United Kingdom Britcoin in British cities or Canadian Digital Notes in Canadian cities.

The proposed mechanism as currently envisioned is to initiate a new “corp”, with shares tradeable on Stock Markets and denominated in DeVCoin, per each Stock Exchange city-improvement built in the Milieu.

Since Freeciv leaves changing which player controls a civilisation out of scope, and glosses over changes of government type with an abstract “anarchy” government type as potential interrim government during the changeover, political parties such as the Anarchist Party, the Despotism Party, the Royalist Party, the Republican Party, the Communist Party and the Democratic Party should probably find the more-detailed views of markets, banks and stock exchanges become somewhat important to any plans they might have of actually taking control of a civilisation. Whether by hiring muscle, bribing officials, or buying votes, finance seems likely to be a useful tool in the quest for control of a civilisation. Details, however, remain murky still so far.

The Digitalis Open Transactions server has been set up partially to help test the Open Transactions platform as potentially of use as a standard software component for implementing Stock Exchanges and possibly also Banks and Markets.

Initially the Asset Contracts used have all, for simplicity and (mostly) to avoid getting into the problem of multiple exchanges on multiple planets during this initial proof-of-concept phase, used wording that relates them all the the city MI5ius on the planet known as M5.

Basically the details of the wording of the contracts were not deeply thought out, as it seemed more important to get some actual contracts set up and working to test and debug the software than to delve into the complexities of what the words in the contract might actually mean in some kind of legal or human-interpretational sense. The object was simply to get some assets up and running so that scripts for trading them could be set up that in turn could constantly, 24/7/365, exercise the software to ascertain that it works, that the markets it provides work, than available clients could exchange tokens and make and accept offers on the markets and so on and so forth.

So far none of these assets are specifically related to Freeciv save in their reference to the city and planet they purport to relate to, the planet involved being implemented using Freeciv and the Galactic Ruleset. Thus there is nothing as yet that relates these assets directly or numerically to the resources, luxuries, so called gold and so on implemented by the Freeciv platform. Freeciv provides a lot of background information about settigns such as cities, but so far that information is not explicitly referenced in these initial sketches toward Open Transactions based representations of assets purported to be located on Freeciv planets.

Food

The treatment of food in Freeciv is a frequent target of criticisms of its use as a general large scale backdrop system. Typically in Freeciv food is treated as a distinctly local resource; the is no provision for shipment of food from one “city” to another. If some other free open source software platform is available that can be used instead of Freeciv to perform this function of providing a planetary scale backdrop against which smaller scale activity can take place then its treatment of food might well prove an important factor in termining whether, and to what extent, it is used in place of or in addition to Freeciv; so far Freeciv, however imperfect, has remained the “top contender” for a number of years.

Scale

The Freeciv scale is huge compared to the scales typical in Battle for Wesnoth, Crossfire RPG, CoffeeMUD and OpenSimulator. Tiles of a Freeciv world, at least back when the largest size was 29,000 or so tiles (so called size 29), should probably be assumed to be somewhere in the 100 kilometres across to 100 miles across range, To represent just one such tile in OpenSimulator would take many more “sims” than seems reasonable or practical, at least at first glance, to set up. How many servers might it take? How many servers? WOuldn't such a huge number of sims dilute the player population so much that they scarcely interact? The prospect of representing an entire Freeciv world using OpenSimulator seems particularly resource-intensive; even a Crossfire RPG representation of an entire such world seems reource-expensive.

For this reason it has been suggested that the smaller scales of play revolce around cities and units, so that all characters at the smaller scales are always either at as city represented on the Freeciv scale or part of (or at least on the same Freeciv tile as) a Freeciv scale “unit”.

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