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Subject: A new language-independent shogi set rss

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Michael Howe
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I have uploaded a new language-independent shogi set that I designed to help some high school students learn to play. I also like it myself, having never taken the time to recognize kanji. Suggestion: print it out on manila cardstock, optionally spray it with clear acrylic for protection, then glue it down to chipboard (I used the backs of some old spiral-bound notebooks, Elmer's and a few hours under heavy books -- worked fine). Cut the pieces out using a boxcutter and then glue matching fronts and backs together. A bit of work, but when you're done you'll have a set that I think is at least as good as any other international set out there. Enjoy.

Link to both sets I have designed:
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/3747324/shogi
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/1127415/shogi
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TPoG
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ISBN: 1-85723-146-5
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Nice sets! More clean than the Western Shogi set from The Shogi Association / Georges Hodges I have:


However, I never use it as I prefer the standard pieces. I did not find it hard to learn the 10-14 symbols. Many euro games are probably at least as memory dependent (wooden pieces in a number of colors and shapes).

On the other hand, remembering symbols and movement patterns for all pieces for the larger shogi variants like e.g. Tenjiku Shogi is a challenge:


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Russ Williams
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FWIW:

Your older one:

seems sufficiently clear / intuitive / obvious to me.

(Though for playing with non-kanji, I am still a fan of Hidetchi's generalization of western Chess looking imagery.)

===

Your recently uploaded one:

seems somehow a bit too stylized / abstracted / unusual, and surprisingly puzzlingly unclear to me for some reason (which I cannot entirely analyze).
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russ wrote:
Your recently uploaded one seems somehow a bit too stylized / abstracted / unusual, and surprisingly puzzlingly unclear to me for some reason (which I cannot entirely analyze).


I guess the symbols would be cleaner/less opaque without the horizontal lines at the bottom. Making the gold general symbol at the promoted side smaller would convey the promoted status.
 
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Russ Williams
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The knight's symbol is somehow less clear to me.

The double parallel lines to represent long movement (bishop, rook) is definitely less obvious than the far more usual convention of an arrow for long movement.
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russ wrote:
The double parallel lines to represent long movement (bishop, rook) is definitely less obvious than the far more usual convention of an arrow for long movement.

One could argue that the lance should have a vertical double line to be consistant with rook and bishop.
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Michael Howe
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The Player of Games wrote:
russ wrote:
Your recently uploaded one seems somehow a bit too stylized / abstracted / unusual, and surprisingly puzzlingly unclear to me for some reason (which I cannot entirely analyze).


I guess the symbols would be cleaner/less opaque without the horizontal lines at the bottom. Making the gold general symbol at the promoted side smaller would convey the promoted status.


The horizontal lines indicate ownership. Otherwise, it would be impossible to distinguish most of one's pieces from the opponent's
 
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Michael Howe
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The Player of Games wrote:
russ wrote:
The double parallel lines to represent long movement (bishop, rook) is definitely less obvious than the far more usual convention of an arrow for long movement.

One could argue that the lance should have a vertical double line to be consistant with rook and bishop.


Maybe, but I think it would just look unnecessarily busy that way. Everyone should feel free to modify as they see fit, but I'm happy with them as is.

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Michael Howe
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russ wrote:
The knight's symbol is somehow less clear to me.

The double parallel lines to represent long movement (bishop, rook) is definitely less obvious than the far more usual convention of an arrow for long movement.


You find the L shape unclear for the knight's move? Okay, but I'm surprised. The double parallel lines make the major pieces stand out more from the minor pieces than arrows. I found that adding arrows actually made the lines appear optically shorter.

 
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Michael Howe
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If anyone wants to modify what I've done you can GM me and I can send you the .ai or the .svg file.
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Russ Williams
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mhowe wrote:
You find the L shape unclear for the knight's move? Okay, but I'm surprised.

Me too! I did say "surprisingly puzzlingly unclear to me for some reason (which I cannot entirely analyze)".

I think it's because it looks at first simply like a capital letter T to me (with a double-line vertical stroke - since various other pieces also have double-line strokes), and a T doesn't immediately suggest knight's move. The 2 curved lines of the earlier design seem a more common/familiar conventional representation of a knight's move which I've often seen, so (to me) it's more immediately recognizable as a knight's move.

And this discussion helped me more consciously realize another reason I found this newer set less clear: the inconsistent use of the double strokes. The double stroke is used for the long moves of the major pieces, but it also appears (albeit with the lines somewhat farther apart from each other, but they are still 2 parallel strokes) on the knight (which does not have a long move), and it's not used for the lance (which does have a long move).
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Michael Howe
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russ wrote:
mhowe wrote:
You find the L shape unclear for the knight's move? Okay, but I'm surprised.

Me too! I did say "surprisingly puzzlingly unclear to me for some reason (which I cannot entirely analyze)".

I think it's because it looks at first simply like a capital letter T to me (with a double-line vertical stroke - since various other pieces also have double-line strokes), and a T doesn't immediately suggest knight's move. The 2 curved lines of the earlier design seem a more common/familiar conventional representation of a knight's move which I've often seen, so (to me) it's more immediately recognizable as a knight's move.

And this discussion helped me more consciously realize another reason I found this newer set less clear: the inconsistent use of the double strokes. The double stroke is used for the long moves of the major pieces, but it also appears (albeit with the lines somewhat farther apart from each other, but they are still 2 parallel strokes) on the knight (which does not have a long move), and it's not used for the lance (which does have a long move).


Russ, I know that you live for critique, but consider that you have not put these designs into play. I have played games with these pieces and the problems you describe did not arise. The double strokes are reserved for the major pieces so that they stand out visually; using them for the lance, which is very minor, sacrifices the contrast. And there is no resemblance to my eye between the double strokes used for rook and bishop and the widely spaced L's of the knight. Try it and see. They work well in actual play. Anyway, I will be using them and you are free to use, modify, or ignore.
 
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