Don Eskridge
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Illinois
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Hi; I’ve designed an abstract strategy game called COLORS. It’s a fairly simple design, in the vein of the GIPF series by Kris Burm. Ideally I’d like to see it published in board and digital versions. However, I’d like to test the game more before release in ways that are best done through an online program, for issues like 1st player advantage, game length, etc.

To that end, this is a call for a computer programmer to develop an online-ready Windows version of the game. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but functioning with a hot-seat mode and online, such that anyone with the program can access an online server to play with others, a la Keldon’s awesome RFTG program (http://keldon.net/rftg/, potential programmers please take a look). Ideally this program would serve for both testing and as a way for publishers to try the game. I’m interested in both/either real-time (RFTG) and asynchronous servers (Yucata.de), but if one is much more feasible than another, okay.

The basic actions/options in the program, from the beginning:

Initial Setup menu
• Hotseat/online play
• # of players (2-4)
• Player nicknames
• Random Setup/Planned Setup
• (2 Player version only) – 5/6 Goal Tiles

Game setup screen
• Display board and each player’s Goal Tiles, visible to all players
• If Random Setup, pre-place pieces according to algorithm
• If Planned Setup, players take turns placing pieces from a known pool, according to placement restrictions.

On a player’s turn:
• May click on a piece, then click a space to move it. No sliding effect required, just replace the image.
• May ‘swap’ the markers on two pieces.
• After 2 of either such actions, the turn ends. The program checks to see if certain groups of pieces are on the board. If so, the matching goal tile is Xed out.
• That finishes the turn. On the next turn, since players cannot repeat immediately previous actions, indicators of the past turn are shown on screen.

Game end:
Once a certain number of tiles are Xed out in one player’s area, game ends and winning screen pops up.

--------------------------

The types of games from which I'll need data
• 2p5 (2 player, 5 goal tiles)
• 2p6 (2 player, 6 goal tiles)
• 3p
• 4p

The data for each version to be aggregated with all played games and available to be seen from a “Statistics” menu, which covers the 4 different versions of the game (regardless of Random or Planned setup):

• # of games played per version (including random or planned setup)
• Average # of turns per game (not including the Setup phase)
• Number of times/percent that the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th player won.

Summary of programming:
1. Opening menu, random setup algorithm
2. Moving pieces, checking for matching groups, displaying last turn’s move
3. Setting up online server for play
4. Recording data on various points for review

Initially I was considering an AI, but maybe that’s better left for down the road (unless you know how to write one). If this is a project you’re interested in putting together, please contact me. If some part of the above is unreasonable, let me know – I’m open to what CAN be done. Also, a downloadable program would be good, but a flash-type game on an online site could also be workable. Let’s talk about it.

I don’t know exactly how complicated/how much work this would be. Let me know an estimate on payment and we can work it out. I believe I have all the necessary image files, and I can make whatever is missing. Here are some pictures outlining what the game would look like.

Initial 4 player Setup


Example of moved piece


Example of swapped markers


Example of 3 matching sets



Okay, that’s it! I hope to hear from those interested by geekmail, and then we can get this digital ball rolling. Thanks,

Don Eskridge
 
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Russ Williams
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Don E wrote:
However, I’d like to test the game more before release in ways that are best done through an online program, for issues like 1st player advantage, game length, etc.

Instead of creating a special purpose program to playtest it, you might consider playing it online at an existing site with a sandbox like iggamecenter, or even proposing it be added to iggamecenter or superdupergames or boardspace.net or gamerz.net etc.

Proposed igGameCenter.com games
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Marc Lanctot
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Hi Don,

Sounds like it'd be interesting and fun (I also saw Kay Wilke's email forward on the Yucata developers list). I just don't have time, unfortunately.

I'm posting to suggest that you also try posting on the Computer Based Board Gaming forum. Also: There was a thread on the CBBG forum a month or so ago about someone looking for a game to run some AI algorithms on.. (probably in the second or third page by now).

Good luck!
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Don Eskridge
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Hi guys thanks for the responses so far.

Russ I'll take a look at the websites you mention. They sound like a good idea, but not sure I could get the specific feedback I'm looking for from them.

Marc thanks, I'll post on that forum and see what comes up. It's too bad you're busy, I'm sure you could do a great implementation. Next time!
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