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Mark
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« on: January 27, 2009, 12:14:51 am »

Right now I have it so that if you are playing a game with someone and nobody makes a move for twenty minutes, the game ends. I like it that way when I'm playing, but since this site is pretty new and there aren't many people here yet, I'm wondering if it might be better not to have that restriction, at least in the short term.

Thoughts?
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Sir Pent
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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2009, 12:22:00 pm »

I'm looking forward to when playing the computer becomes possible.  I'd also like to try playing someone else when that opportunity arises.
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Mark
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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2009, 02:55:38 am »

It should be working now. Thanks for your help. Let me know if you see any other issues.

BTW, the computer is really not that smart at this point so don't get your hopes up too much. Smiley

Someday I'd like to make the algorithm more sophisticated.
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Sir Pent
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2009, 04:30:54 pm »

Yep, seems to be working.  And you are right about the computer not being very smart yet Smiley
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Mark
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2009, 09:57:09 pm »

As far as the OP goes, I am thinking about allowing both ways. Whoever starts a game can decide whether to have time limits and play the game all at once or to have no limits and people play moves whenever they like.
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jamatz
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2009, 10:00:37 am »

It looks like I can use the forum now. The problem I was experiencing yesterday was that it thought I was a guest, even though I was shown as logged in elsewhere on the site.

Is this project open source? I'd be curious to see the source and possibly help with bug fixes/feature enhancements. There could stand to be some smarter A.I, and when I was playing the computer today it declared me victorious when I hadn't yet connected fully.

Josh
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Mark
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2009, 08:09:26 pm »

The forum has its own session and when you log in to the site it also logs you in to the forum. It could be that there are problems logging in to the forum in certain circumstances or it could be that the forum session is expiring sooner than the main session in certain circumstances.

The forum is SMF, which is free and their license is sort of like an open source one. The rest of the site was developed by me. I can share the source code privately with people.

The computer can tell when it is completely blocked from being able to connect and the other player is not, which means the other player is guaranteed to win, so the computer resigns in this case.
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twixter
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2009, 10:46:31 am »

First, a big thank you for creating this site. As a total Twixt fanatic, I am always glad to see more access to the game on the Net.

I am having some issues with Silverlight on my Linux system, but I realize the people to talk to about this are at http://www.mono-project.com/Moonlight


Rules suggestions

First and foremost is the swap rule also known as the pie rule. After the very first peg is placed on the board, the second player has the option at that moment only to swap sides. With a physical set, where all the pieces are in the same box, this is accomplished by turning the pieces box end for end. The player who made the first move as Red is now Black, and makes the next move. Sides may be swapped only once per game. If the second player chooses not to swap immediately after the first move, then sides may not be swapped at all that game.

This is called the pie rule because it is like when two people want to share the last of the pie. One person cuts the pie into two parts and the other chooses which slice to eat.

This rule was not part of the 3M edition, but all later editions included it. This makes the game much more balanced and interesting. Without it, the first player has a significant advantage. This is often cited as a reason why some people don't like to play Twixt. So, I hope you will remove any such reason for complaint.  Smiley

There are two different ways to implement this rule. You could either swap sides, or the first peg could change color and move to it's "mirror image" location reflected along the A1-X24 diagonal. For example, if the first player plays E3 and the second player swaps, the red E3 peg turns black and moves to C5. The red player stays red and black stays black. This is effectively the same as swapping sides. The first method is preferred by many players, but there may be some programming issues with swapping sides after the game has started.

Another rules issue is link removal. On your move, you are allowed to remove as many of your own links as you wish, prior to placing any. You are also allowed to add a link or links between two pegs of yours which were already on the board before you placed your peg. Usually, this is not necessary. Strong players could play several games in a row without ever removing a link. But sometimes you need the "elbow room" to avoid a draw or even a loss. I would be glad to provide some images illustrating the occasional need for link removal if you wish. This is much less important than the swap rule, but it is still part and parcel of the game of Twixt as envisioned by its inventor, Alex Randolph.

Implementing this could be a real bear, but if you are willing to implement it, here is a suggested GUI scheme:

Click on the center of any link of yours to remove it. It will still be your turn.

Click on any peg of yours already on the board to automatically add all legal links to it. It will still be your turn.

Click on a vacant hole to place your peg. All legal links will be added to it, and your turn will end.

You might also have a "cancel partial move" button which appears when ever you begin removing links.

There's also the issue of what text syntax to use for recording such a move. I have suggestions about that as well. I should mention there is an alternate approach which has been used by the most popular Twixt server on the Net, www.littlegolem.net Twixt was originally a Paper and Pencil game. In Twixt PP, as it is called on Little Golem, Links are never removed, but a player's own links are allowed to cross each other. Of course opposing links may never cross. So, for example, a winning path might loop across itself. Crossed links are not inherently connected. To win, you must still form a chain of pegs, each linked to the next, which connects your border rows. There have been tens of thousands of Twixt PP games played, and of those, about a tenth of one percent could be pointed to as games where the outcome would probably have been different if link removal had been implemented. Another possible point in favor of link crossing is its simplicity. Just place your peg and don't worry about clicking on links. I personally dislike PP and call it radioactive mutant Twixt, but other players prefer it.

There is a third alternative, which is to do nothing about implementing either link crossing or link removal, but this would have a significant impact on game outcome. In other words draws would be more common. I'm not sure how much more common, and like I said this is much less important than implementing the swap rule, but I hope you choose to implement either removal (YES!) or crossing (better than nothing.)

One more rules issue has to do with autolinking. I believe your server automatically adds all possible legal links to the peg just placed. I don't know for sure because it isn't working on my machine just yet. As an experienced player, I very much like this feature and hope you will keep it. Others might argue that it is the player's responsibility to add links, not the computer's. Sometimes the computer surprises me by adding a link I didn't notice, but since this is just as likely to happen on my opponent's turn as it is on my turn, it could be argued that the game is still implemented fairly.



Display suggestion

Diagonal guide lines are eight lines on the board which extend from the corners of the common playing area:



These provide a frame of reference for the eye on this huge grid of holes. They help you see who will win a corner battle. But some players don't like them, so maybe they could be available as an option. Of course they should be some neutral color, not overpowering, not close to the color of either player's pieces. Of course they get covered by the pegs and links. They needn't extend as far as shown here. For example, the lines from B2 could stop at P9 (where a peg is) and i16, and the rest could be symmetric to this. That is the minimum length to create the interior octagon shape.


Links you might be interested in
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Mark
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2009, 03:42:48 pm »

Hi twixter. Thanks for you feedback. I wasn't aware of the swap rule. It might be something I would consider adding at some point. What do other people here think about that? Either way, the fairest way is to play an even number of games with each player going first an equal number of times.

Link removal already works here. Just click the link you want to remove before placing your peg. The way I have I have it set up you should never need to go back and add an additional link later.

What do other people here think about having guidelines? Do you like it better with them or without? Maybe I will add a poll.

Edit: poll added here
« Last Edit: April 04, 2009, 03:50:38 pm by Mark » Logged
twixter
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2009, 06:28:51 pm »

Well yes link removal is possible, but when I try to place my peg I get an error message which crashes the game. A screen shot is attached.



Another visitor to this site reports the same problem, and he uses Windows. Also there is no way to add a link to a peg other than the peg being placed. Example positions where this would be necessary could be provided if you wish.

I disagree that playing an even number of games without the swap rule is the "fairest way." Two imbalanced games are not as fair as one balanced game. The top ten players at Little Golem would probably be able to win most of the time against each other if they move first without the swap rule. But I can't prove my claim, because I doubt any of the top players would agree to play each other under such conditions.

I recommend you take a look at how Twixt is implemented in Javascript on the iGoogle Game Center gadget. See the above link. They have the swap rule, link removal, and a "show diagonals" check box just to the right of the board. If you uncheck it, the guide lines disappear. That way everyone who votes in your poll will be satisfied.

Sorry for being so fussy. I guess I'm spoiled. Thanks for your attention.
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Mark
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2009, 03:37:37 pm »

I fixed the issue, so link removal should be working again.
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Mark
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2009, 08:09:20 pm »

Right now I have it so that if you are playing a game with someone and nobody makes a move for twenty minutes, the game ends. I like it that way when I'm playing, but since this site is pretty new and there aren't many people here yet, I'm wondering if it might be better not to have that restriction, at least in the short term.

Thoughts?

As far as the OP goes, I am thinking about allowing both ways. Whoever starts a game can decide whether to have time limits and play the game all at once or to have no limits and people play moves whenever they like.

I updated the site to do this. Now, when you start a game, you have the option of having a timeout of 20 minutes for each move, 2 minutes, or no timeout at all.

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poppy
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2010, 04:25:42 pm »

Hello together, first of all I want to say "Great site"!!!
If only more people would know it, or at least, now Twixt. I learned it about 2 month ago, and i'm fascinated about it.
I got a suggestion too: I'd love to talk to my opponent in the games too. Wouldn't it be possible to set the chatbox beneath the gameboard, could be the general chat, or if this site gets more visitors, one chat for every game... That would be great I think, what do you think?

Poppy
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Mark
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2010, 10:59:42 am »

That shouldn't be too hard to add, and it could be kind of nice.
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FRQDO
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« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2010, 06:54:21 am »

When you look at a player's profile on twixtlive.com, there's a list of the most recent games the player participated in. However, the game's outcome (won/lost/...) is displayed depending on who's player 1 in that game, not depending on the player whose profile you're looking at. Maybe this could be changed. Smiley
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