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Stephen Brooks
2003-05-15 06:29:46
I made the boards all different sizes of rectangle a few days ago.  Now I think maybe my choice was a bit too random and I should change the selection of sizes a bit.  Do you have any ideas?  I'd probably like something along the lines of:
  • Fewer 'tall' boards, because they end up with boring "skyscraper" games that reduce to counting.
  • At least a couple of HUGE boards for people with too much time on their hands
  • Some wide boards to encourage lateral thinking
  • A few small boards, though not so small that almost any game ends in a draw.
For comparison, the original connect4 plastic counters game was 8x6, and the normal BrowserWars was 10x8 to account for a greater number of simultaneous players.  Obviously nothing can be smaller than 4 in either direction (or at least it could be, but it would be stupid).  I think maybe 6x5 would be the smallest practical size.

Today's weather in %region is Sunny/(null), max.  temperature -99999°C
Book'em Dano
2003-05-15 17:35:32
I'm not a big fan of the different sizes, but I can see how it obviously affects the game strategy.  I agree the "tall' boards end up being boring, so I suggest boards no more than 6 high with random widths from 6 to say 18, besides the "normal" 10 x 8 boards.

Huge boards would be great for multiple players!  Unfortunantely, the speed at which the games seem to be played now is way to long.  Any ideas on how more players could be attracted?
Stephen Brooks
2003-05-15 19:30:11
quote:
Any ideas on how more players could be attracted?

Well we could get a large magnet, a crop-dusting aeroplane and some iron filings in a liquid paste -- no, dumb idea... we'd get too many unwanted items such as cannonballs trying to play.

Well I think people would come back if there was something a little more interesting going on.  I've wondered about adding the games of Othello/Reversi and Go in various forms to this thing, although the details of how the N-player games work out could be strange.

Another way to attract more people is just to e-mail your friends, ask them to play a game with you, then hope they get hooked.  Or do a similar thing posting the URL on other bulletin boards, chatsites, IRC channels, whatever.

Oh, and also perhaps it would be more popular if I had the stats separated by date, so we had daily, weekly, monthly (yearly?) winners.  I.e. somebody can _win_ instead of it just being open-ended (and the longer it goes on as it is the less frequent changes of leader are going to be).
[edit]Another thing that might be popular is if the last 5 daily, weekly and monthly winners were displayed (as icons) on the front page.  But there'd be a text box every time someone won, which they could either leave blank or write something in.  The last phrase written by the browser which became the daily/weekly/monthly winner would be put in the ALT text of those images.[/edit]

So that's two things I could do, one thing everyone else can do, and one thing that wouldn't work.

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Book'em Dano
2003-05-16 18:00:35
Qoute: Another way to attract more people is just to e-mail your friends, ask them to play a game with you, then hope they get hooked.  Or do a similar thing posting the URL on other bulletin boards, chatsites, IRC channels, whatever.

Well along those lines is there another site that could be persuaded to do a small write up or follow up.  Isn't that what happended last fall when the boards were swamped for a period of time with so many players?
Kwil
2003-05-20 20:27:57
Have the boards be random length and width for each game.

Variance from 5-17.

If you want to get fancy, bell curve it by using 4 choices from 1-4 and add 1.

And if you want to get *real* fancy, have it rechoose the if the length or side is the same as another length or side (respectively) already on the field.
Alf
2003-05-31 02:32:13
quote:
Any ideas on how more players could be attracted? 


I must say that some months ago I enjoyed playing here, but then some stupid people started cheating just in order to get the stats of his prefered browser up and then it was no longer funny to see how they cheated using bots or leaving a game alone when they were losing.

Besides that we were too many Mozillas and it was hard to find a table with someone else willing to play a nice game.

Maybe I'll give this weekend another chance to the boards to see how it's the thing right now, but it seems that there are still to many Mozillas.
Stephen Brooks
2003-06-15 11:21:57
quote:
Originally posted by Kwil:
Have the boards be random length and width for each game.

Variance from 5-17.

If you want to get fancy, bell curve it by using 4 choices from 1-4 and add 1.

And if you want to get *real* fancy, have it rechoose the if the length or side is the same as another length or side (respectively) already on the field.
Well actually considering you went to the trouble to think of such a system I had half a mind to implement it _exactly_ as you just described.  In fact I may do that in a later version.  For now, I've taken up the idea of varying it for each game.  I wanted also to introduce some asymmetry so that there would be fewer dull "skyscraper" games, but then found I could do that simply by making the horizontal range of values (4-16) go higher than the vertical range (4-12).  I decided to use uniform randomness both because it was easier and also because the extremes of the range are not _so_ extreme that I'd want to bias against them.  If however I allowed the program to potentially make HUGE boards up to 32 across or something, I might put those in with reduced probabilities (like exponentially decreasing or something).

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