Below is the beginning of a blueprint. There are a few things to note. First, this is not #pickup grafted onto a server. It will be distinctly different. Second, I personally have no experience with scripting servers and have no idea how feasible this idea is. That's why the whole community needs to get involved in some capacity so we can sculpt a tool to extend the life of competitive Armagetron indefinitely.
Fortunately, most of what we need on a basic level already exists and should not be hard to implement. This proposed server, at the very least, must have the ability to raise the authority of a designated player high enough to promote Team Leaders and INCLUDE configuration files. We can take a hint from #pickup's /vote referee <player> function to accomplish the first task this server is responsible for:
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/promote <player> Initiates a vote. Once completed, the named player will be able to grant Team Leader status and invclude game configurations using the /load command (below). /load <game> This calls a game configuration, probably a file that first loads default settings then loads the desired game, such as Fortress, CTF, WST, TST, etc...
Pickup had it's share of problems. First, players often rejected the responsibility of Team Leader, which wasted a lot of time. Speaking of time, #pickup matches would not start unless a certain number of people !add'ed. This method is unnecessary with a server already full of people. Second, the task of picking teams often delayed #pickup matches by 20 minutes or more. We can build team randomization right into the server. (I suspect in most cases randomization is just as good as Team Leaders who don't know what they are doing.)
My vision of an ad-hoc tournament server would allow a player to initialize a game, thus starting a 10 minute countdown. Within that time players can declare their intention to play and if they would like to be a Team Leader. At the end of the countdown, the server randomizes players into teams based on the game type chosen. We can do this with only a few commands:
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/init <game> Initiates a 10 min countdown for a game such as Fort, CTF, WST, TST, etc... The server will output messages reminding players how much time is left, then display the results of team randomization. /add <leader|blank> Players can add themselves or pass the "leader" argument declaring their intention to fill the role of Team Leader. /remove Naturally, we need a way for players to exit the process
If anyone has experience designing servers with this kind of functionality, please, please share your knowledge. I don't have a lot of time but I will do what I can to move this forward. If we are lucky we can have a prototype up in several weeks. This will allow us to continue Ladle Fortress, but also resurrect other games with little or no planning involved.
*Maybe we can come up with a clever name that abbreviates well, unlike GPTS...