In late Summer, we plan to release Demigod: Clan Wars.
So how will it work?
Besides the obvious – creating and joining of clans, the practical meat of Clan Wars is ability to schedule matches. Right now, everything is in real-time. The functionality that Clan Wars will bring in is the ability to schedule matches at specific times and then join in with your friends into that battle at that time.
As it starts to come together, we’ll start to put up screenshots. This will be a free download via Impulse for all registered players.
What is the goal for scheduling matches?
If you're not online my first gut reaction is who cares? When I sit down to play Demigod, just like any other RTS I only really care about playing other people right now, not who I could maybe play if they remember they have an appointment for a game on Tuesday night at 7pm (was that 7pm EST or PST, etc, etc).
The only time scheduled matches would be good is for high level tournament play... Even then I think a system that formed a bracket structure (win/loser bracket -- see any sports games for examples)
Now if scheduled games was a part of something like that (and a no-show would turn into a bi/win for the player who did show) that could allow you to play a tournament over time (1-4 weeks). You would most likely need functionality so that you could reschedule 1-2 times in case something came up.
But imo Demigod games are pretty quick 20-45mins when you know what you're doing a 8 player bracket (16 players @ start) you would have the winners playing a total of 4 games (4*45 = 180 mins or 3 hours).
3 Hours imo is not that long to comit to playing a single sesson (and if you had to leave early you could, you'd just be forfeiting out).
But I suppose 16 players is a fairly small tourament so having the ability to scheuled matches would allow you do do huge tournaments... (64 players, 16 total games for the winner for 720 mins (12 hours) of play or the winners and that's not counting the loser bracket).
So say you where thinking of doing a tournament bracket system, you'd almost need to be able to specify the type live (Sat day tournament that takes 3 hours) or over time (1-4 weeks scheduled matches).
But again, this points to team lobbies being something that should be implimented first, with clans/large scale tournaments and schedualing games coming second.