There are a number of functions that are obvious, such as route and time determination software and system creation. For a game there is certainly logistics tracking. Also subsector map generation and the like. Those are functions I need on my own desktop; data products like travel itineraries or images of maps can be produced and distributed as needed.
For a low-intensity function like an RPG the software is probably fine just on my desk. For a full, formal strategic game I would have to pick one of two choices:
- Abstract the system to the point where results can be worked out "in your head" -- which, when you get down to it, would not be a horrible bear. It is probably safe to assume that I could also distribute player data in the form of spreadsheets - there are simple APIs for spreadsheet output.
- Provide software for player use to allow full calculation, but only with data he can see. The program could also generate order files that could be processed by my GM software. The real downside to this is development time and support effort. Do I want to take it on myself and do I want to impose it on others?
A strategic RPG is also less sensitive to player coordination -- as a "solo game with outside inputs" instead of a conventional multi-player it can clog on without direct player supervision. This is especially true if each side has multiple players.
I like this last one. What do other folks think?