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Kevin Pacey wrote on 2019-11-24 UTC

Well, I'm happy that I could do non-rules-enforcing presets (and rules page submissions) for so many CVs already, after only a few years being a member. While my health is not the best (brain fog and brain lock at times, mainly to meds and age), I hadn't tried to do any sort of programming for decades. So, I'm not very representative of members/users here, I'd think. For example, I'd struggle to even upload anything to CVP (maybe it's easier to learn than I think, though when using the internet I worry in general about getting my laptop infected 'somehow', not knowing all the ways it could happen).

What my previous post also meant to allude to (aside from my other, largely unrelated topics) is that making rules-enforcing presets seems, at least at times, not entirely easy - however some users seem marvelously productive at churning them out. I've only made one, for my Throne Chess variant (same game as chess, except playing king to K8 also wins a game, instantly); Fergus helped with that by indicating the chess preset to start with (in order to suitably modify it), and also checking my code when I kept getting error messages. I found I had to add a lot of extra lines of code to check for the implications of the extra victory condition, though maybe there was a way to do the task with less lines (most presets seem remarkably low on code). However, I'm not sure that preset works correctly, as I'd need to do a lot more testing of possible game positions to see if a bug might happen - a reason I'm shy about making rules-enforcing presets in general (I'd hate for anyone's game to be spoiled due to a bug that I could not fix quickly, assuming I was available).

CVs I'd currently have trouble making even non-rules-enforcing presets for would include those with special board features, such as shogi-like ones, or Smess-like ones, or something like Eurasian Chess (e.g. which has a river demarcation); Diagram Designer currently does not support round boards, at least, so I'd have trouble making a rules page submission without learning how to upload something to CVP.

Some games I would not want to make anything but a rules-enforcing preset for, if I would learn to, as these games have complex moves by the pieces that players should best have help with by such a preset. An example would be Ultima, where for example a move by a Chameleon might conceivably wipe out a number of enemy pieces. The same goes for games with drops, because they are multi-move by the players otherwise, which could make playing a game tedious a bit.

One game I'd be reluctant to make a non-rules-enforcing preset for is Universal Chess, not only because the setup needs initial randomizing of seup code. Universal Chess would take extensive work to make its rules page submission for, and I think for this particular game such a rules page is an absolute must. I'm not yet close to being familiar with how all the piece-types Carlos included move, to boot.

All that said, I think Fergus is right that some games are too complicated to make rules-enforcing presets for, at least in a reasonable amount of time for even someone adept at making presets. I also think replacing the current preset-making process on Game Courier would seem a herculean task, though maybe it should be considered on the drawing board for the far-future. As an aside, I'm a bit concerned whether the contents of CVP database, or the website itself, will live on indefinitely, as a lot of work by a lot of people has gone into these - I hope that at least some of my better CV inventions are saved in good time by people elsewhere, just in case. Anyway, a friend requested I not help continue the discussion here about presets much longer, so I hope I've answered H.G.'s questions of me (which seemed deserving of answer) well enough.

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