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Man and Beast 19: The Vice Squad. Systematic naming of more complex pieces mixing radial and oblique moves.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Moisés Solé wrote on 2009-03-24 UTC
Maybe you could add a MaB 00 with the definitions, so that you don't have
to repeat them everytime the same term appears, but people would know where
to look for the definition should they need to?

For me, the thing that always makes my head explode is the paragraphs that
go like:

If we do this simple operation, we have THIS, THAT, THISOTHERTHING,
THATOTHERTHING, THESEOTHERTHINGS, THOSEOTHERTHINGS,
THOSEOTHERTHINGSOVERTHERE, YETMORETHINGS, YADDAYADDAYADDA...

And so on until we've gotten a couple dozen names. The regularity is
nice, but maybe we'd need a section on 'formulae', so that when we find
one of those uberlong compound names we can easily break it to its
components and try to figure the movements.

In fact, this system would be great if Chess was being invented anew, and
we didn't have to respect the names for well known pieces, ie, the FIDE
Six, but also Camel and Zebra, Marshall and Cardinal, so on. This way, the
system would give names to those pieces that tells us how they move (like
you do with Point, Saltire...), and the more complex pieces are formed by
standard components. Under this ideal, diagrams wouldn't be needed because
the piece name itself tells you how it moves, and vice-versa. The problem
would come with notation.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2008-10-08 UTC
Thank you for your feedback. I should have said that first time, as I
always welcome constructive criticism. Taking your points in turn:
	Plain English: where do you draw the line? I am one of the most fervent
denouncers of nonsense-terminology such as 'hippogonal', and have
responded to past criticism of 'triagonal'. Only so much can be said
without resorting to some kind of jargon, though - would you consider
'diagonal' to be jargon or plain English? It is true that I tend to
define a word only on its first appearance in the entire series, or at
most on the first few pages where it appears. Would repeating it on every
page where it appears be better, or might it engender a 'here we go
again' attitude? What do other readers think?
	Movement diagrams: these take up a lot of space in two senses, and are
more suited to single-piece pages - which where they exist are accessible
on links on the first mention in each article. A large number on one page
might prove even more bewildering. Curiously enough I was wondering
whether a series of pages on single symmetric 3d pieces
('Cubiclopedia'?) might be useful. Your first comment swayed me against
that idea, but if you think that it would help, let me know. I have
devised a system of 3d movement diagrams especially.
	Incredibly convoluted: I can see your point as regards the later pages.
As the series progressed the pieces per page increase as they get more
obscure, but it was that or have many more pages. I wanted to balance
comprehensive coverage with detail suited to each piece's likely
usefulness. There could be a better balance but I have yet to find one.
	Using 'your names for their pieces': Well they might have no names of
their own for pieces. That was what drew me to these pages, a desire to
find out names for variant pieces and especially 3d ones. Conversely they
may want to use particularly names as part of a theme but not be able to
devise their own original pieces to fit them. Not all of them are my names
anyway. Names traceable and attributed to other recent contributors include
Arrow (06, Fergus Duniho), Buffalo (07, Jean-Louis Cazuax), Echidna (16,
Timothy Newton), Falcon (13, George Duke - who routinely quotes my own
piece names), Fox and Wolf (13, Tim Stiles), Gold and Silver dragons (11,
Jared McComb), Harvester and Reaper (13, Ralph Betza), Kangaroo (08,
Timothy Newton), Network/Reporter/Scientist/Spy/University (15, Gavin
Smith) and Waffle (06, Ralph Betza). Alibaba (06) I suspect is Betza but
have yet to confirm! Indeed I have often invited others to better those
names of my devising with which I am not entirely happy.

Peter Boddy wrote on 2008-10-06 UTC
The piececlopedia is written in plain english, and is set up to be searched. I wouldn't set out to read the whole thing, but instead would look for specific pieces. It also (usually) contains a movement diagram that gets the point across.

Step back and try reading one of your articles. Many of the descriptions are incredibly convoluted, and dare I say, confusing. Maybe if one was a chess aficionado for many years one might make heads or tails of it. But for someone who is looking to design their own game just for fun, explain why I (or anyone else) should use your names for their pieces, especially if it is so convoluted?

Charles Gilman wrote on 2008-10-04 UTC
Well it's not all names, although the description emphasises that. There is some details of how the pieces' moves affect their access to the board. Still, perhaps I've neglected the latter element rather in parts of this particular article. I will endeavour to correct it. If you find 19 pages grouping pieces together tough going, what must you make of the piececlopedia - a much larger number of of pages dedicated to one piece each?

Peter Boddy wrote on 2008-10-02 UTC
Good lord man. 19 chapters of names? What purpose do you have in doing this? Wouldn't it make sense, and be easier on the eyes and brain, to just draw out the moves, instead of trying to describe compounds of coprime this and RootEleventyBillion that? I've tried reading your series and my eyes start to go cross-eyed after the first couple. You're seriously going to mess with new reader's heads, that's for certain. You need a friendlier approach.

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