Setting up the installation for BfW development branch (1.9.2)

I spent most of yesterday and part of today in installing the development version of BfW (currently 1.9.2) and the new Interface for creating User Made Content (I'll write more about this in future post).

Basically, I decided to learn how to create simple  scenarios (or other kind of user made content) in order to understand what kind of challenges users, who enter this activity, should face, what competences are required for it and what kind of rewardings it provides. However, the BfW development version will introduce substantial changes into the WML code and for this reason the 1.8 content (and earlier) will need some work to be ported into 1.9 (and future releases). Moreover, for the same reason, the Wesnoth UMC IDE does not work with earlier versions than 1.9.

Enrolment to the IV Italian tournament of Battle for Wesnoth

IV Italian Tournament of BfWIV Italian Tournament of BfW

Few days ago, I enrolled to the IV Italian tournament of Battle for Wesnoth: a tournament of 1 vs 1 matches organised by (and for) the Italian BfW community. Just yesterday, the tournament admin proceeded with the random drawing of the oppenents for the first phase.

Since I am rather new at playing BfW in multi-player, and since my oppnent is an expert one, I do not expect going too far. Howvere I think it is a nice opportunity to start getting to know some of the members of the italian community. Morevoer, it will be an opportunity to understand some of the gaming practices of BfW.

I already had the chance to play a friendly match with another participant. I think, I learned more in this single match, than I did in a whole week of playing. Obviously, I lost the match, but this is not relevant.

Early thoughts from early multi-player matches

During these days I played some matches on the BfW multi-player (MP) server. Before these matches I never played BfW in MP mode, but only in single-player mode. I still consider myself a beginner, although I'm making some progresses with my gaming/strategy skills.

The MP game mode functions in a pretty straightforward way: within the game interface you choose "multiplayer" and you are faced with a window for choosing which server to connect to (official, custom, local...). The "official server" brings you into a lobby room interface which displays all the people connected to the servers and all the games that are currently set up. Moreover, it allows for some actions (such as joining, creating or observing a game, filtering the list of games, simple chat with other people).

MP Lobby roomMulti-player Lobby room for BfW 1.8.5

Access to the field: Wesnoth forums and WIF

A few days ago, I finally registered to the official Wesnoth forum and to the Italian Wesnoth Forum. For both, I opened a thread where I introduced myself and the motivations for being there.

I already received a lot of "welcome!", a couple of comments on my "role as a researcher", and few other ones about the "interesting nature of the research topic". Only in one case, I felt the need to clarify (reassure) one community member about the type of investigation I'm carrying out. I preferred to re-state clearly that I will not perform any data mining, nor I'm interested in putting their private/sensitive data at the center of my analysis. In this page, I tried to explain in more details how I intend to respect these kind of data. When Introducing myself to the forums, I made sure to refer back to the page, so that people who read my introductions will have a better picture about the issue. However, the member who raised the concern specified afterwards, that his comment was not meant to be 'negatively critical', but rather a joke on the accessibility of private/sensitive data in the Internet, in general.

Technical problems on the road to the (cyber-) field

After having adjusted the PhD project proposal, I started organising the approach to the field. Namely, start following the BfW community and interacting with its users and developers. While I still have some items in my todo list concerning the beginnning of my empirical research (e.g.  contacting some mailing list admins, deciding which area of the community to tackle first...), I realised that some technical problems need to be solved ASAP.

I mainly work from my University, but the proxy and the configuration/policies of the University network causes me two problems.

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