An interesting problem has come up recently. Oddly enough it is due to Puzzle Pirates. FYI Puzzle Pirates is the only MMO in which success is skill based. Other MMOs, like Everquest, are just glorified chat rooms accompanied by leveling treadmills. Whoever has been playing the longest is the best. Puzzle Pirates is actually a game of puzzling skill. In addition to that its also has a complex economy and politics surrounding it. And of course its also a glorified chat room, but with a Pirate theme, yar!
So recently they have added new functionality to the game. The much needed ability to freely transfer goods between vessels and shops you own at the same island. Previously to transfer goods from ship to ship you would have to sell it to a shop and then buy it back from that shop. It really blew if you didn’t own a shop because you couldn’t do it for free. Good thing we own shops. Anyway, that’s all fixed now.
Prior to the addition of this feature our policy was to always keep ships full of rum and shot. Rum is like gasoline for pirate ships, duh. And shot it what you put in the canons, you need it. Recently many of our pirates have not been filling boats back up. And we have way too many boats for it to be efficient for us to go around loading all of them. So I came up with an idea. At each major island we can store all the rum and shot on a single ship. All of the other commodities can be stored on a second ship. Whenever a pirate wants to go sailing they make a withdrawal from the big ship, as if it were a bank. When they eventually bring the ship back to a port where a storage ship is located they empty out all their goods and make a deposit.
This is the best thing because we can really maximize our efficiency. No longer will every pirate be ordering rum all over the place. Instead we can make fewer larger purchases of rum and shot. This will save us big money in the long run. Also when we sell good we can make fewer larger sales. Better yet, all the stray commodities ( lots of boats have like 1 or 2 units of various materials on them ) will be collected together and become large sacks of goods. This helps a lot because it can rake in more cash.
The problem we have is not the plan. The problem is the accounting. One idea was to use the in-game ships logs every time a deposit or withdrawal is made. The problem with that temporary working pirates can hop on those boats and check our logs. Also, the logs wont do any math for us.
What we need is essentially an online collaborative spreadsheet. It has to be freely available under some open source license. I’m probably going to have to hack away at it some to make it suit our needs I just don’t want to write an entire application. Secondly it must be either web-based or have a free cross-platform client. We’ve got pirates of all operating systems in our crew. Win, *nix and some Mac. If not everyone can use it then its a waste. It also has to have support for at least basic authentication. We don’t want pirates from other crews logging in and messing around.
I tried googling, but I didn’t find much other than commercial collaboration software. That is not what I’m looking for. If I could even get a rough framwork application that I could bend to do what I wanted then it would be great. Does anyone know anything like this?