Supremacy Online

We have met with several IT / software developers in the last few weeks and have contacts to meet with 3 more this week. This has the potential to be very cool. There are many pitfalls to avoid here. Lots of software people want to turn this into Farmville or Civilization. I don’t think that is what Supremacy is about. The nukes are fun but this game is mostly about negotiating and diplomacy. They want to make it a 1 player game with AI. I’ve never seen a computer strategy AI that actually works. I don’t think a computer is capable of being a good Supremacy opponent. I have seen many good games that totally suck in computer version. We’re determined not to let that happen.


The best model I can see for an online version is WSOP online poker. I think this has to be multiplayer and accessible to many people around the world. It has to have live online chat during the game so that players can posture, haggle, threaten and ally during the turn.


They want to make Supremacy into something they know. Supremacy is completely different from all the other digital games out there. I think that is what’s going to make it big!!


I’d like to get a dialogue going on this with the fans.  More brains are better than 1 and Supremacy players are very smart.  I’ve turned on the comments.  Usually we have them turned off because of spamers.  If this doesn’t work, send me an email and I’ll post it on here for you.


What kinds of things should online Supremacy include?  What should not be there?  Ideas of what you would like to see?  Let us know!


8 thoughts on “Supremacy Online”

  1. Yeah simple freemium games are the antithesis of what Supremacy is about.
    I think the greatest advantages to online play would be twofold:
    1. Having the game remember the rules and do the book-keeping for you. Part of this would be tooltips, intuitive interface, tutorials etc. All stuff to lower the barrier to entry/fun.
    2. Taking advantage of the possibilities for finding other players to play with. There are many examples of ways of doing this that I don’t need to spell out, I’m sure. But I think making this area a priority would be also be important.

    Then I guess you just need to have a solid plan for tunring it into $$$ to help sell the idea. Good luck!

  2. Book-keeping is huge! Most of the ‘work’ in a Supremacy game is all the money transactions with trade and salaries. The fun part is the Attack phase. Having the computer handle all that would be quick and painless.

    Yes, finding players is huge too. We have a fan base all over the world: Europe, Asia, N & S America. Trying to play in common time zones could be an issue.

    You can play poker easily if you don’t know English. Diplomatic chat w/o English would be a problem.

    I’ve heard a common server that can host games in different countries simultaneously could be a problem too.

    How to charge? By the game? By the hour? I’ve heard that a monthly fee doesn’t work well unless the game is really big.

  3. We’ve had ideas of cash prizes before for wargames. You pay a small fee to play but if you win, you could win a cash prize!

    It seems like this could be very problematic with Supremacy. Much of the victory is dependent on diplomacy. How could you prevent cheating if there was money at stake? You’d have to have a more simple fixed rule set.

  4. I don’t know if you’ve played Agricola, Lords of Waterdeep, or Small World, but their iPad apps are all very good. The AIs are all challenging BUT none have player to player diplomacy or trade mechanics. I think you are right questioning the ability of an AI to handle these nuances.

    Years ago I played the online version of Superpowers. It was player vs. player. Games would stretch out as it was turn based but I enjoyed it. It was basically PBEM in an browser app. The guy who created Superpowers also made the app. He might be a resource for you.

    • I did try to contact the guy at Superpowers. He hasn’t answered me.

      How did that PBEM work? I’ve thought of that format also. That could give players lots of time to message back and forth with diplomacy in between game moves. Did it make the game drag on too slowly?


  5. It’s really hard to find players sometimes, but the online version would make this so much easier. Supremacy is the sort of game that has fewer turns – i.e. it’s rare to have a game go to 10 full turns. It could be possible to have more of a play-by-mail type of online version. In other words, you get a day or so to make your move instead of trying to complete the game in a few hours. That would also give players time to negotiate and bully each other a little more.

    • Yes! I agree. We have been debating this with software developers. What format would work best for iSupremacy? I could see WSOP poker format, where you can jump in on a game when you have time then jump out. We’ve also been talking about something email based. This would give players lots of time to message back and forth with diplomacy.

      Diplomacy is really key in this game. How best to handle this online? It could really suck if not done right. I’ve seen many games fall victim to the electronic translation.


  6. I have been working on a mobile version of Supremacy. I fell in love with the game in the early 90s and, in the last couple of years, taught my boys the game. We are playing with the original board and cards. I intend to preserve the game play of the board game–complete with “dice rolls” and turns. The mobile version would be interactive between 2 and 6 players (using Android and iOS interchangeably) with a Marshall still responsible for moving the game between each stage. Funny coincidence in timing as I was hoping to start play testing with my two kids come end of August/Start of Sept.

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