I’ve mentioned The Player of Games previously but this time I bring a slightly different post: a call for input.

A year or so ago (the last time I read the book in fact) I started designing the concept of a new board game, inspired by the concept of more complex board games taken from the book. A sort of chess with luck, hidden pieces, guesswork… something I would like to play.

Jernau (named after the protagonist of the novel) is a game played on a 15 or 20 to a side grid (probably on the computer, due to the number of pieces needed) between 2 (possibly more) players. I am releasing my preliminary work on the rules and mode of play behind the games that, although are no where near comprehensive, give a general idea.

I’ve made a Google Code project for it, at:

The rules will be transferred into the Wiki on that page in time, as well as the source code and a compiled version.

If you want to be able to edit it, just email “jernau” (dot) “game” (at) “gmail” (dot) “com” (that should throw the spam bots…) And I’ll add your email to the list of admins.

What needs doing is:

  1.  Coming up with the algorithms judging the conflicts
  2. Software implementation
  3. Closing the semantics of movement

I have already started a kind of program in which one can test the concepts (more of a test bench at the moment) in processing, although it lacks a lot of framework, any networking or a proper digital representation of the board.

The scheme of representation is a topic of a bit of interest to me, how to store, send and even play the game. The hierarchy of the system is one that I feel requires some thought, especially in thought of keeping the software light on RAM. There are multiple approaches:

  1. Have a set of counters, each with a properties stored locally, and also a coordinate of where it is.
  2. Have a set of squares, with member counters.
  3. Have a set of squares with member groups which has member counters and some other properties.
  4. Have a board with a member set of squares… a la 3.

I like the idea of 4, as it then could have tools for transferring state changes of all of the parts, as well as allowing multiple boards to be stored in one program simply.

Applying rules would require knowledge of the interaction, requiring another transfer medium etc… The usual programming choice.

I haven’t much experience in this sort of organisation of infrastructure (the networking side also needs writing!) so any help would be great!

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