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Anonymous wrote on 2005-06-22 UTC
I'm excited to see a 3D-game programmer working on something like this. Thank you for doing so. Computer graphics allow chesslike games to finally escape the restrictions placed on them by equipment. I would like to offer suggestions for innovation, since this is a product I'd like to see. <p>3D Chess is so complicated that players should be given a menu to select the number of squares to a side, and place their own pieces in the starting arrangement of their preference. Some people think 8x8 is too much. Some people would want triagonal movers, which you don't have. Others would not choose it. <p>Since a computer simulation has no gravity, we do not need surfaces on which to rest pieces. Put each piece on an intersection of three translucent lines, one for each dimension. This has better visibility. The view of the board should rotate freely with no up or down. It would be great if the user can also change to the size of the pieces, or position his view inside the cube when desired. <p>Without gravity, there is no reason for pieces to be stable pedestals with radial symmetry along only one axis as they are in 2-D chess. The shapes that represent one-dimensional ranged movers (rook, bishop, queen) could be 3-D stars. The piece is formed of arms extending from the intersection it occupies, and dwindling to tips before reaching adjacent intersections. Each arm points out toward an intersection to which the piece could move if it weren't obstructed. So, a rook looks like a thickening of bright, bold opacity along the three translucent board-lines of its intersection. Arms of bishops and triagonal movers (you should add triagonal movers to this game) do not lie along the board lines; they reach across the gap toward adjacent line segments and intersections respectively. Pawns are half-spheres. Kings are large spheres. Leaper pieces (there could be four kinds like in Prince) have thinner, threadlike arms, that fork into Y's tipped with spheres. <p>I think you should put in as much graphical computer assistance as possible. For a game this complex, no one should complain that the graphics are playing the game for you or cheating, because really 3D chess is difficult enough as it is. For instance: All pieces glow when under threat. A large crown symbol appears outside the cube when check is given. When a piece is grasped and dragged, the intersections to which it can legally move light up. Moving the mouse onto a piece, without clicking, causes its name and animated graphic description to display in the space on the screen outside the cube. The piece on the board grows without thickening its arms: the arms stretch as far as they can without being blocked, to show all the intersections to which it can legally move. <p>Also, here is an idea for the user to be able to get a quick glance at all the influence extended on the board. At the option of the user, all pieces on the board simultaneously extend their arms/spheres/surfaces as ghostly fogs of color. Since the sides are red and blue, they blend into purple where they cross. This represents threat from the red and blue sides, and varies with intensity based on how many pieces have a line of sight to the intersection. <p>Only computer graphics let us finally do these things and set chess free.

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