PBEM stands for Play By E-Mail. In Stars! it is used to refer to the method of playing whereby each player is sends and receives their turn files by e-mail. PBEMs are usually played at a rate of 1 turn each day or every few days, and thus the game will be stretched over a period of several months.
This method has several advantages:
- Players don't have to be online at the same time to play
- Players can fit taking their turns into their own schedule
- The pace of turns means players can take as long as they like over their turns
- Diplomacy can play a big part as the timescales allow for discussion among players
- If the game is to be played on Autohost then you should e-mail Ron Miller and let him know you wish to reserve / queue a spot.
- All the players send the host their race files ( racename.r1 ) for the particular game.
- The host generates a new game, either using the stars program or from the command line using a *.def file.
- If the universe is to be re-mapped or there are other scenario setup then the host does this.
- If the game is to be played on Autohost then the files should be submitted ( click here for details ).
- For Autohost games just let the players know the url of your game page when it is ready.
- The host sends each player a copy of the universe definition file ( gamename.xy ).
For games hosted manually the procedure is as follows:
- The host sends each player their turn file ( gamename.m5 goes to player #5 and so on).
- The players take their turns and the host waits for them to return their submitted turn files ( gamename.x1 )
- The host generates a new turn using the host file ( gamename.hst ), this can be done before all players have submitted.
- The above steps are repeated for each new turn.
See also Hosting a Multi-Player Game