The Diplomatic Pouch and
World Diplomacy Convention VI

by Stephen Beaulieu

This year's World Diplomacy Convention VI in Columbus, Ohio should be the first WDC to enable the electronic Diplomacy community to check up on it, and in some cases even participate, while in the comfort of their own presumably distant homes. We will achieve this goal through the medium of the Internet, allowing us to provide Web based and e-mail updates of the goings-on in Columbus as well as enabling us to introduce PBEM play to postal and face-to-face players. We plan on having a small suite of computers available on site, providing access to the WDC VI Web pages, and to the Web and e-mail based Diplomacy adjudicator we will bring with us. The goal is to showcase a limited number of Internet games between members of the convention and fellow dipsters unable to attend, for both the enjoyment of the participants and for the instruction of those unfamiliar with or unaware of PBEM diplomacy.

The services we hope to provide are:

  1. A Diplomatic Pouch special website for WDC VI that will include updates on the progress of each face-to-face game played at the convention, especially the Championship games. The website will also detail upcoming events of the player's groups meeting at the Convention.

  2. A daily newsletter listing the day's achievements and the next day's events for game participants, interviews with the participants and sponsors, and anything else deemed important.

  3. A network of computers allowing participants to explore the Diplomatic Pouch WDC VI website, and even contribute to the WDC VI Web Journal, a special series of daily articles concerning the convention.

  4. A fast e-mail and Web based Diplomacy adjudicator running several showcase PBEM games, and introducing realtime Web-based diplomacy games to the Diplomacy community. Possible showcase games include: standard realtime, nopress games between convention goers and outside participants, a Payola variant game, and (if all goes well) a standard nopress game involving Danny Loeb's Bordeaux Diplomat, a computer Diplomacy player. Depending on availability, interest and bandwidth, many other games may occur.

  5. Listserver and e-mail versions of the WDC VI website articles and the daily newsletter.

  6. Whatever else for which we can find the time, energy, and volunteers.

To make all of this happen we are depending on loans of the computer equipment from other dedicated Diplomacy fanatics in and around Ohio. If you are such a person, please contact me at your earliest convenience.

The Judge

Those of us from the PBEM diplomacy community are already very familiar with Ken Lowe's Diplomacy Adjudicator. The Judge is a fundamental part of our dip experience. But it does have it's limitations. Currently the judge does not support access to games over the World Wide Web, only through e-mail. While it is true that many people who take part in judge games might not have the bandwidth to particiapte via the Web, many do. Increasingly, people have expressed interest in the Web as an appropriate venue for Diplomacy.

The members of the DP Council agree. So much so, in fact, that separately we are in the process of writing two new judges that will support Web based Diplomacy. These judges will allow players to use either the Web or e-mail to get current game status, send moves, press, and (hopefully) receive press via the Web.

The two new judges will both support identical user interfaces, so that knowing how to use one judge will allow you to use the other.

The two judges being worked on are:

We should be using a version of the BeJudge to run the games associated with WDC VI.

These judges, along with Danny Loeb's Bordeaux Diplomat and others, will be the main topic of discussion for the Spring 1996 Retreat issue of the Pouch. Be sure to check in on us in June to learn more details.

Stephen Beaulieu

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