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How to Design and Post Your Own Game. A reference for those who want to post their own games here.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-11-30 UTC

I also use WYSIWYG mode for submitting comments. My only reason for using HTML is when I want to embed active elements (like Interactive Diagrams) in the submission. Links, images, pre-formatted text and such are all supported in WYSIWIG mode.

In general I find the indentation enforced by the CkEditor in HTML mode helpful. Apart from HTML it also appears to understand embedded JavaScript, and the nice layout prevents errors. I thought that ending 'solo tages" like IMG or BR with /> was actually the HTML 5 standard, so you can hardly blame the editor that it enforces that.

Only very rarely the mangling of whitespace by the Ck Editor backfires. One case was for posting Interactive Diagrams: the definition of those must be given as text within a HTML tag pair (like DIV or TD) which normally ignore leading whitespace in their content. So the Editor indented the definition line, while the original Diagram script expected the definition lines to be left-adjusted. So I had delete all leading whitespace from the Diagram definition before saving each time I edited a submission containing a Diagram. I quickly got tired of that, so I just had the routine in the Diagram script that parses the game definition strip the leading whitespce. (As well as trailing BR tags, which tend to appear there when you copy-paste from HTML Page Source.)

I think the only reason we are discussing this issue is that we now have identified a second (quite rare) case where the adding of leading whitespace backfires: text within TEXTAREA tags. Apparently this is a blind spot of the CkEditor: it does recognize PRE tags, and knows it should not mess with the layout there. But it appears to not do the same thing for TEXTAREA, while it should: this is another context where the text between tags should not be messed with.

While I see plenty of reasons why one could want to use pre-formatted text in submissions through PRE tags, I only see very few for TEXTAREA. The Play-Test Applet uses a TEXTAREA for pasting an existing Interactive Diagram into it (so you can convert it to GAME code, or get a table with verbal descriptions of the moves. But it starts out empty. But it appears that invoking Game Courier as a game viewer would be another application, and the first and only article I so far encountered that did this was Asylum Chess.

Logical solution would be: (1) Make Game Courier strip the leading whitespace the CkEditor added, so that it no longer matters (like I did for the Diagram). (2) Fix the Ck Editor so it treats TEXTAREA the same as PRE (not adding any whitespace). (3) Let the submission script delete leading whitespace only between TEXTAREA tags. This cannot be too hard. (4) Let the submission form test whether the page being edited contains TEXTAREA tags by itself, and only in that case suppress the use of the CkEditor. The text input fields of the form have the standard editing capabilities (which you have to rely on when JavaScript is switched off, as the CkEditor is a JavaScript program).


Greg Strong wrote on 2022-11-30 UTC

I think we should keep the current WYSIWYG editor unless we find a better one. It is what I generally use. For quoting people and typing responses, often with formatting, I think it's the easiest and most intuitive of the methods. Mangling whitespace is a potential issue, but it doesn't seem to manifest much in practice.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2022-11-29 UTC

I made a slight tweak to how the Text format works. It used to put PRE tags around any text. It will now put PRE tags around the text only if the text does not contain any HTML tags. This will allow the Text format to be used for entering HTML without CKEditor. Note that it could already be used to enter HTML, but that HTML would appear within PRE tags.

If you want to mix in HTML without including P tags around paragraphs, Markdown will let you do that. Since HTML works in any browser without translation to another format, HTML mixed in with another format still works.


Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-11-28 UTC

I suspect some people will still get along better with a WYSIWYG editor than with markdown, even with the quick guide. Is it worth considering other editors? There's StackExchange's open-source editor "Stacks-Editor," but it's quite new (still in an open beta?).

I agree that mangling whitespace, even when we generally prefer non-ASCII diagrams, is a serious offense.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2022-11-28 UTC

I'm thinking of removing CKEditor from the site. In source mode, it has been reformatting text, which is annoying. I rewrote trim_lines to better handle ASCII diagrams, and it did a great job at that. In the test I ran, an ASCII diagram for Hexagonal Chess looked like this:

        a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j   k
                        ___
                    ___/ b \___                  8
                ___/:q:\___/:k:\___
            ___/!n!\___/!b!\___/!n!\___          7
        ___/ r \___/   \___/   \___/ r \___
    ___/:p:\___/:::\___/:b:\___/:::\___/:p:\___  6
   /!!!\___/!p!\___/!!!\___/!!!\___/!p!\___/!!!\
11 \___/   \___/ p \___/   \___/ p \___/   \___/ 5
   /:::\___/:::\___/:p:\___/:p:\___/:::\___/:::\
10 \___/!!!\___/!!!\___/!p!\___/!!!\___/!!!\___/ 4
   /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
 9 \___/:::\___/:::\___/:::\___/:::\___/:::\___/ 3
   /!!!\___/!!!\___/!!!\___/!!!\___/!!!\___/!!!\
 8 \___/   \___/   \___/ P \___/   \___/   \___/ 2
   /:::\___/:::\___/:P:\___/:P:\___/:::\___/:::\
 7 \___/!!!\___/!P!\___/!!!\___/!P!\___/!!!\___/ 1
   /   \___/ P \___/   \___/   \___/ P \___/   \
 6 \___/:P:\___/:::\___/:B:\___/:::\___/:P:\___/
       \___/!R!\___/!!!\___/!!!\___/!R!\___/
 5         \___/ N \___/ B \___/ N \___/
               \___/:Q:\___/:K:\___/
 4                 \___/!B!\___/
                       \___/
     a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j   k

But when I load the content of the page in CKEditor, it looks like this:

<DIV>
  <PRE>
    a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j   k
    ___
    ___/ b \___                  8
    ___/:q:\___/:k:\___
    ___/!n!\___/!b!\___/!n!\___          7
    ___/ r \___/   \___/   \___/ r \___
    ___/:p:\___/:::\___/:b:\___/:::\___/:p:\___  6
    /!!!\___/!p!\___/!!!\___/!!!\___/!p!\___/!!!\
    11 \___/   \___/ p \___/   \___/ p \___/   \___/ 5
    /:::\___/:::\___/:p:\___/:p:\___/:::\___/:::\
    10 \___/!!!\___/!!!\___/!p!\___/!!!\___/!!!\___/ 4
    /   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \___/   \
    9 \___/:::\___/:::\___/:::\___/:::\___/:::\___/ 3
    /!!!\___/!!!\___/!!!\___/!!!\___/!!!\___/!!!\
    8 \___/   \___/   \___/ P \___/   \___/   \___/ 2
    /:::\___/:::\___/:P:\___/:P:\___/:::\___/:::\
    7 \___/!!!\___/!P!\___/!!!\___/!P!\___/!!!\___/ 1
    /   \___/ P \___/   \___/   \___/ P \___/   \
    6 \___/:P:\___/:::\___/:B:\___/:::\___/:P:\___/
    \___/!R!\___/!!!\___/!!!\___/!R!\___/
    5         \___/ N \___/ B \___/ N \___/
    \___/:Q:\___/:K:\___/
    4                 \___/!B!\___/
    \___/
    a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j   k
  </PRE>
</DIV>

I can get it looking correct by turning CKEditor off, but it's still annoying.

Also, it has been treating unpaired tags as unclosed unless they end with /. Since it indents each unclosed tag further than the last one, things can easily get out of hand with lots of IMG or INPUT tags that do not have closing tags.

The WYSIWYG editor has filled a gap for people who don't know HTML, and it's a better option than writing everything in plain text. However, the option of using Markdown fills the same gap. Markdown is an intuitive markup language that borrows conventions common to plain text documents and replaces them with appropriate HTML. It is already the default format for entering comments, and you can see a Quick Markdown Guide if you look down while entering a comment in the Markdown format. Markdown combines the ease of writing a plain text document with the power of HTML.

And it also allows those who know HTML to mix in HTML with the Markdown.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2022-11-27 UTC

These changes affect pages, not presets. This has nothing to do with Game Courier presets except that there are pages referring people to them.


Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-11-27 UTC

Hope I'm not concerned. I don't understand anything, this is for experts. Are these changes affecting the Game Courier presets made so far?


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2022-11-27 UTC

I modified the scripts for submitting or editing member-submitted pages to use the format attribute instead of the useshtml attribute. While the latter was binary, the former has four values. The format may now be set to HTML, Markdown, Text, or WYSIWYG. HTML and WYSIWYG both get saved to the database as HTML, though they differ in which mode CkEditor is used with them. Markdown and Text are both saved as plain text in the database, and neither uses CkEditor. They differ in how they are displayed. Markdown is a simpler markup language than HTML, and it gets converted to HTML before being displayed. Text just gets surrounded by PRE tags with no additional conversion.

So far, I have added Format to the database without removing UsesHTML. I will remove it later. In the meantime, please check how well the scripts are working and leave any comments on them here.


Kevin Pacey wrote on 2022-08-15 UTC

Patented 8x8 Arimaa was heavily licensed, though it is arguably not a true CV (no king-like pieces). The one who licensed it in my opinion slowed the spread of what could have been an explosively popular board game, e.g. countless books, over-the-board clubs, by requiring permission to write/start such, instead restricting (online) play to one official website (when I looked there many years ago I saw number of logins [at least some being players] that were listed [low 100's, about what it is now?!]). Elsewhere there's approved equipment, and there are also apps sold, at least.

Ironically, the game was promoted as computer-resistant (compared to chess), but that claim did not last for two decades, even, and so maybe now the game is less played globally(??). I recall one Google search I did many years ago had the result 'They've fixed chess' (probably in reference to computers and/or that an Arimaa game cannot ever end in a draw). One other 'defect' uncovered is that in setting up a start position (done by each side), only a small few strategies are now thought clearly best, I've read somewhere.

The inventor restricted the power of any hardware that could be used to challenge humans in the contests on his website, but still a machine (program) eventually triumphed over the best humans in matches. Currently it seems clear no board game can ever be computer-resistant for long, especially with self-teaching programs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arimaa

http://arimaa.com/arimaa/

P.S.: I don't know much about patents around the world, but once any game is out in the public domain (and does become quite popular - usually requiring promotion by inventor anyway?!), I would guess the horse has left the barn; if so, no risk-free way to make a big profit, as is normal.

edit: Public domain rules, at least in US, may be more complex nowadays than I guessed - here's a sub-wiki that may be only just a taste:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain#Dedicating_works_to_the_public_domain


Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-08-15 UTC

I fully agree.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-08-15 UTC

Chances that people want to play a variant are very small. Chances they would want to pay for it next to zero.

There are two variants I know of that were patented. In the U.S.. (Patents do not automatically apply world wide.) In the U.S. you can pretty much patent anything; whether the patent is valid is to be determined in the court cases that challenge it. That makes them cheap; there only is a (yearly?) registration fee. In Europe it can take tens of thousands euros to do the due diligence get a patent approved. (And the result of this in case of a chess variant would most likely be that it gets rejected, for lack of novelty.) As far as I know both U.S. patents expired before anyone challenged them, because the inventors got tired of paying the fees.

To make sure there would be no legal issues for this website, there was a ban on using words that reminded of the variant in any posting here.

I am not sure how you could make money out of a chess variant. Unless it requires special equipment, which you sell. Patents are more suitable for protecting equipment than ideas. Chess variants typically only require a board and pieces, though. Boards can be made from cardboard and paper, and pretty much anything could be used as pieces. (A wide selection of high-quality unorthodox pieces is already commercially available, both in wood and plastic.) There is no way you could prevent people using these at home.

Of course you could set up an internet server where the variant could be played on-line. And ask a fee for regestering there. It seems a good way to make absolutely sure no one would ever want to play it, even in the extremely unlikely case that the variant would have the potential to become popular on its own merits.


Viswesh Srinivasan wrote on 2022-08-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I have a new chess variant idea. 
Before I send it across to you , I have a few questions:

1) If my variant idea becomes popular, is there any way I can get paid for it ?

2) Can chess variant idea be patented ? Can I apply for a patent before sending it to you ? How many chess variants in your site are patented ?

Kutasi Márton wrote on 2020-11-08 UTC

very well you guys are the proffesionals and if it makes the game easier then yes in the first two ranks can make the pawns move forward two


Greg Strong wrote on 2020-11-08 UTC

I dont quiet understand the second question though what do you mean by first rank? Sorry for my lack of knowladge.

Rank means row.  Squares a1, b1, c1, ... f1 are the first rank.  A pawn moves backwards on its first move - pawn on e2 moves to e1.  It is now on the first rank.  Can it move two spaces?  Personally, I would make the rule like this: "any pawn on the first or second rank can move two spaces."  Otherwise, players must remember which pawns have moved and which have not.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2020-11-08 UTC

Well, it is not "just like in original Chess", as in original Chess you can never go back. So there is ambiguity whether to interpret the FIDE rule for Pawn moves as a location-dependent move or as a one-time initial move. In many Chess variants where you can go back (e.g. Crazyhouse, where captured Pawns can be dropped back on 2nd rank) a Pawn that returns there will again be able to move two squares forward. The advantage of that is that you do not need any 'hidden game state', to remember which Pawns have already moved and which not; just looking at the position will tell you everything you have to know. (About the Pawns. Castling rights are of course an example of hidden game state that even occurs in orthodox Chess.)


Kutasi Márton wrote on 2020-11-08 UTC

oh i see im a moron no if you go back to your original post where your pawn started you cannot move two tiles forward only if its the pawn first move in the match just like in original chess

I dont quiet understand the second question though what do you mean by first rank? Sorry for my lack of knowladge.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2020-11-08 UTC

The question is this: if you start moving a Pawn 1 square forward, and on a later move let it step 1 square backward, so that it is again on the square where it started... Can it move forward 2 squares then? Or only 1?

And what if it moves to the first rank? How many steps forward can it then make?


Kutasi Márton wrote on 2020-11-08 UTC

well you can never make two spaces backwards only one as i said, even if there is two space you can only do one


Greg Strong wrote on 2020-11-07 UTC

You miss the part where you can make the aggrements if both sides feel if they can make the other side do something that would make them more advateges then before you can betray the other one also this action tooks one turn and the other need to execute the action in their turn and then you do the same what he wants to also you can betray him this up to you if you feel that you can trust him next time.

This could be placed in the notes, but this is not really a rule.  All you are really saying is that players can talk.  They could do this in Chess too.  But they do not have to do what they say they will do.

nyway yes this how i would have been able to do it more sorted out about the question, you cannot make a space backwards 2 tiles only one though im not so sure if its such a bug diffrents on the field though if you feel like that playing the game it can make a diffrance then im sure we can change it though i never played my self with that rule included

My question was not about moving two spaces backwards.  My question is when can you move two spaces forwards?  In chess, any pawn on the second rank can move two spaces.  But in this game, since they can go backwards, they can leave the second rank and still come back.

 


Kutasi Márton wrote on 2020-11-07 UTC

You miss the part where you can make the aggrements if both sides feel if they can make the other side do something that would make them more advateges then before you can betray the other one also this action tooks one turn and the other need to execute the action in their turn and then you do the same what he wants to also you can betray him this up to you if you feel that you can trust him next time. Anyway yes this how i would have been able to do it more sorted out about the question, you cannot make a space backwards 2 tiles only one though im not so sure if its such a bug diffrents on the field though if you feel like that playing the game it can make a diffrance then im sure we can change it though i never played my self with that rule included


Greg Strong wrote on 2020-11-07 UTC

It is being reviewed. Thank you for your patience.

I will need to make significant changes to the text for clarity. First, let me make sure I understand the rules exactly. I think the game is the same as orthodox chess except for the following:

  1. There is no check, checkmate, or stalemate.
  2. If you capture the opponent’s king, you win immediately
  3. If you move your king to the last rank, you win immediately
  4. Pieces cannot capture, except: (a) a King can capture anything, and (b) anything can capture a King.
  5. Pawns can also move a single space backwards, but cannot capture anything backwards.

Does this look right?

Also, another question about the pawn. When can a pawn make a 2-space move? Any time it is on the second rank? (For example, it moves a space backward to the first rank, then a space forward to the second rank. Can it then make a 2-space move?)


Kutasi Márton wrote on 2020-11-07 UTC

so how should i know if its getting rewied?


Kutasi Márton wrote on 2020-10-31 UTC

also thank you for the fast checking i was not expecting such hospitality


Kutasi Márton wrote on 2020-10-31 UTC

straight back my friend they cant kill if they go back and only if there is space


Greg Strong wrote on 2020-10-31 UTC

The pawns are also can move backwards

How do they move backwards? One space backwards? Can they capture a king when moving backwards? Straight back or diagonally?


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