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Óskar's 3dchess. Missing description (8x8x5, Cells: 320) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Hafsteinn Kjartansson wrote on 2010-07-15 UTC
I do not own a credit card...

David Cannon wrote on 2010-07-15 UTC
Hi Hafsteinn! You can download the full version of Zillions here. The cost is $24.98 (or a little extra, if you want to receive a CD). Believe me, it's worth it!

I wouldn't worry too much about 'stealing' others' pieces. Anything completely original wouldn't be a chess variant - it would be something else entirely! Of course, you can't just copy the game in toto and present it as your own, but there's nothing wrong with borrowing ideas, as long as you acknowledge the source. I did this with a number of my games, such as Diamond Chess 306. The tiling pattern and many of the pieces are taken from Parachess, an earlier game by Tony Paletta. I did invent a number of new pieces, but many of them are logical extensions of Paletta's ideas. I briefly acknowledged my debt to him (and to Fergus Duniho, for some other ideas) on the web page, and in more detail on the information file that I included in the Zillions package.

One weakness, as I see it, with a lot of 3D games is that the King is too mobile, making checkmate problematic. We'd all do well to explore ways to address this.

Hafsteinn Kjartansson wrote on 2010-07-13 UTC
I do own the zillions demo but that's it. And I don't know where to download and how much to spend on the full version. If I had got some more chess-sets I would propably test-play this game. (I've got two out of five...) I'm thinking about your advice about the extra leapers, but after checking out the 3-dimensional eight level chess, 3d8l (link: ) ,which has got four kinds of leapers I did not want to 'steal' these pieces... If you've got any more ideas, please contact me at: [email protected] ,or just leave a comment as always......

David Cannon wrote on 2010-07-13 UTC
That's a great step in the right direction! Yes, it is complicated, which is why I've never published any of my own 3D explorations here - I've never been satisfied with the results.

If you want to experiment with your ideas, we've got quite a few Zillions experts around here. (I know a little Zillions programming, but I'm no expert and it takes me weeks to produce a functional game, but there are others here who could do a better job much more quickly). If you have a Zillions implementation and let the computer play against itself, you can see what goes on and analyse it - which I've found very helpful.

I think I spoke a little too hastily last night. I've seen a few too many games that seemed just slapped together, but now that I've taken a look around some of your work, I can see that's not what you're about. It's probably a good thing that you've submitted your 'first draft' raw for others to look at, and I'm sorry I shot from the hip last night.

Hafsteinn Kjartansson wrote on 2010-07-12 UTC
I agree. I'm working on a better solution, this is only the first try. I find most 3d chess variants too complicated, I simply was trying to make gameplay easier. I am (like I said before) working on - my new version (not posted yet) has got 48 pieces, that is 15% (still too low) and it has got the mace, the mace-bishop, mace-rook and the rook-bishop.

David Cannon wrote on 2010-07-12 UTCPoor ★
I don't regularly comment on others' games and when I do, I hate to give a negative grade. However, as there are already quite a number of 3D variants, I can only compare this game to some of them.

1. 3D chess creates extra paths on which pieces may move. The most obvious of these is the so-called 'trigonal' path (like a diagonal path, but not colour-bound); various variants have introduced a UNICORN or a MACE as a line-piece to move on this path. A variant that misses this is really lacking something important, I feel.

2. One weakness with the starting position is that a couple of simple moves by the Rook or the Queen can check the opposing King. As white moves first, this gives quite a head-start to white, which is not fair.

3. The piece density is too low. FIDE chess has 32 pieces for 64 cells (50%); Shogi has 40 pieces for 81 cells (almost the same, although Shogi's pieces are somewhat weaker). Changgi (Korean Chess) has a lower density of 32 pieces for 81 points (40%). Now, there's nothing sacred about these percentages, but they have stood the test of time. Having designed quite a few games and playtested them on Zillions of Games, I've found that Changgi's 40% density is close to the lower limit at which one may play a satisfactory game. With too low a density, the players just chase each other around the board forever. (My own Diamond Chess 306, whose Zillions file you can download from this site, has a 38% density, but in two of the variants each piece is really a three-piece compound that can be unpackaged). The popular 5x5x5 variants have a 16 percent density, which I find too low. Your own 32 pieces per 320 cells is only a 10 percent density. You've got to be joking.

Now, some suggestions for you, Hafsteinn: 1. Either borrow a Unicorn/Mace-like piece from other variants to ride the Trigonal path, or modify one of the existing pieces to utilize it. 2. Give us something most of the existing 3D variants haven't got. Leapers, for example. Most existing variants simply extrapolate the Knight's move (one orthogonal step plus one diagonal step) to the 3D board. How about bringing in some new leapers that cover the orthogonal plus trigonal, and diagonal plus trigonal, steps? 3. Increase your piece density! Either reduce the size of the board, or increase the number of pieces. (I know the solution is problematic - I'm working on the idea myself, and it's tying my brain in knots - but we've got to try).

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