The Chess Variant Pages

Check out Metamachy, our featured variant for December, 2023.

[ Help | Earliest Comments | Latest Comments ]
[ List All Subjects of Discussion | Create New Subject of Discussion ]
[ List Latest Comments Only For Pages | Games | Rated Pages | Rated Games | Subjects of Discussion ]

Comments/Ratings for a Single Item

Later Reverse Order Earlier
Ladies and Generals. Missing description (6x(6x9), Cells: 324) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
ty wrote on Thu, Sep 6, 2012 10:29 PM UTC:
I can't find any BISHORANKER on the Setup ?(

💡📝Charles Gilman wrote on Mon, Mar 12, 2012 07:06 AM UTC:
So far so good. The new title is on the index and the old description is gone. This is a great improvement on howiot looked before, but is it not possible to put the new description up? It reads correctly on the 'latest updates' page but not elsewhere.

💡📝Charles Gilman wrote on Sun, Mar 11, 2012 07:54 AM UTC:
It is now a week since I asked for the title and description on the index to this page to be replaced by the title at the top of the page itself and the update text. I am repeating the request in case it was lost in my longer comment when I made the update.

💡📝Charles Gilman wrote on Sat, Mar 10, 2012 08:58 AM UTC:
Well sometimes I combine two variations to the basic game, either of my own or of soeone else's, but that makes for a genuinely very different game. I cannot think of any real literary parallel. The closest that I have come to the 'multiple drafts' that I was talking about was my attempts at hex analogues of Xiang Qi. Even so, they number just three pages, and I judge that necessary for variants on boards of such different shape and size. Contrast with A. Black's Shogi variants, page after page each with just the standard Shogi array plus some piece in front of the King. They could easily have been put on the one page with the one array diagram and and a list of what the extra piece's name and move is in each variant. Contrast with Mats Winther's bifurcating-piece pages, each only a link to a page on his own website. Again, these could have been presented as a page for each board with a series of links per CVP page, again plus a basic array diagram with a list of alternative pieces. Had I had a mind to create a chain of alternative 'I'm a(n) [insert name of piece], Get Me Out of Here' variants, rather than a one-off punning on the name of someone in the news, I would have done it all on the one page with the one array diagram.

🕸Fergus Duniho wrote on Fri, Mar 9, 2012 12:53 PM UTC:
I agree it is an advantage to keep comments on the same page. Where comments no longer appear on the same page, this is something I would like David to undo. I would also like to see related links appear on the same page, not on a separate page.

💡📝Charles Gilman wrote on Fri, Mar 9, 2012 06:50 AM UTC:
That mention of ratings has reminded me of another advantage of Post-your-owns in the present setup of the site:
	(5) Post-your-own pages have the comments and ratings on the page itself, so that newcomers to a page can see at once how it has gone down among other contributors. With the older-style pages you have to click on the 'comments' link, although this was not always the case.

Hubert wrote on Thu, Mar 8, 2012 11:58 PM UTC:
Sorry, Mr. Gilman, I do not see you as you see yourself. You post page after page of piece names for useless strange pieces, and untested variant after untested variant that is variant of your own untested variant, and then you claim that your posts are not multiple drafts of the same thing? Sorry, no, I disagree.

🕸Fergus Duniho wrote on Thu, Mar 8, 2012 01:57 PM UTC:

Yes, letting users post their own pages is more efficient than relying on editors to do it. This is not a magazine with paid staff who can devote their time to this. We have some peer review through comments, but this is of benefit mainly to those who read the comments, and it does little for the average visitor. I would suggest putting something in the header of pages that reports on the popularity and reputation of a game and allows members to add their input. One simple thing would be to put Facebook Like and Twitter Tweet buttons in each header. But more than that, I would like a metric specifically designed for Chess variants, which appears only on game pages. It could ask the question, 'How often have you played this game?' and offer multiple choice answers, 'I have never played this game', 'I have played it once', 'I have played it a few times', 'I have played it many times', and 'I play this game frequently.' Another question could ask, 'What is your opinion of this game?' and offer multiple choice answers, 'It is poorly designed', 'It is okay but doesn't stand out', 'It is better than your average Chess variant', 'It is a good, high-quality game', and 'It is a favorite Chess variant of mine'. It could then report on how many people have chosen each answer to each question and also give an average score for each. If we modified the site to use cookies to recognize members, we could also have the page report back to visitors their own answers, so that they could easily tell which games they have already rated.

I think this would work better than the rating system currently in place. Problems with that one are 1) it remains hidden from users, 2) it is available only for games where the author has allowed ratings, 3) it is unavailable for the oldest and most established games, 4) it asks for detailed evaluation of games, which discourages people from using it extensively. It would work much better to put the two simple questions I have suggested into the header of every game page on the site by default, and if any author doesn't want his games rated, he can opt out.

💡📝Charles Gilman wrote on Thu, Mar 8, 2012 06:59 AM UTC:
	You didn't say that originally, You just said that you don't read books by people who wrote a lot - which as I pointed out is pretty close to not reading any books. I know what kind of books you mean, but my opinion of them is lower than yours appears to be. Judging by the reviews that thbey occasionally get, they read more like successive drafts of the one book, with the settings changed slightly to see iof it makes it more plausible - which it never does. There certainly are contributors who post one page after another with only slight variations on the same basic game, but not only am I not one of them, I am one of their most outspoken critics.

	The fact is, the entire site is like what you term a 'vanity press' - although I reserve that phrase for publishers who actually charge their writers. We are a small band of ordinary people. The wider public will not remember us for variants if they remember any of us for anything. My worst extamnt variant, Great Herd, is an old-style one, and was there because I was still newish and overestimated the merits of Herd itself.

In many cases, post-your-own pages are better than old-style ones in several ways:
	(1) If others point out amiguities in the text, problems in playability, inaccuracies in reference to other variants, unwittingly offensive content, or ways in which a variant could be made a lot better, the page can be amended very quickly. I am still waiting for my updates to three old-style pages to be posted.
	(2) If criticism gets to the point that even the inventor sees no merit in the game it can be withdrawn by replacing the text with a few lines explaining what went wrong - or in the long term replaced by something by their more mature self. We seem stuck with Great Herd forever.
	(3) They impose a standard presentation format that helps newcomers structure the description of their variant better. Some old-style pages, including some of my early efforts, are very unstructuired in comparison.
	(4) Where a contributor has both kinds of page, their PYOs will generally be better, as they will have been designed following helpful advice on their earlier attempts.

🕸Fergus Duniho wrote on Tue, Mar 6, 2012 03:56 PM UTC:

Charles Gilman wrote:

Even before post-your-own pages, the editors were all too busy with day jobs to be able to read through and make scholarly recommendations. Not once did I get an e-mail vback saying 'We canot possibly post this as it has no merit'.
Before David implemented post-your-own-pages, he had made Charles an editor of this site, and I objected to this in no uncertain terms, because I considered Charles unqualified to be an editor here. And I stand by that. Charles writes and writes and writes, but he doesn't playtest, and he doesn't carefully select what material he releases. I don't have the time to keep up with everything he writes, and I just ignore most of it. I expect the other editors don't keep up with what he writes either. Although the editors did not have the time to keep up with Charles' output, David wanted to continue to allow him to post his games and piece articles here. As a compromise, he created the post-your-own-pages system. The idea is that games posted by this method have not been reviewed by the editors in any depth and do not bear any official seal of approval. It is essentially a vanity press. The one merit of this is that it allows his games to get some scrutiny. My concern remains that allowing his pages here drags down the quality and reputation of this site. I think more could be done to distinguish these user-generated pages from the rest of the site. My suggestions toward this are to 1) reword the text appearing in the footer of user-generated pages and move it the header. Say something like 'This user-generated page has been posted through the Chess Variant Pages vanity press. It has not received serious scrutiny from the editors, and it has not been officially approved by anyone associated with this site.' 2) Exclude user-generated pages from searches unless someone specifically checks a box to include them in the search. 3) Create an automated peer review system that updates a game's reputation when people play it and report on it. This would have to be different than the ratings system currently in place. The one currently in place doesn't work well and should be eliminated.

Hubert wrote on Tue, Mar 6, 2012 11:28 AM UTC:
I was talking about pulp romance and thriller writers and you bring up Darwin. That's funny. You are not Darwin of CVs. More like pulp writer. You even wrote too much in that response, and condescendingly, having missed the point.

💡📝Charles Gilman wrote on Tue, Mar 6, 2012 06:55 AM UTC:
'I never buy books by writers who write huge amounts -- you can not write huge amounts and write the best.'
	Most 20th and 21st century published novelists have written far more than ever hit the bookshops, so you probably underestimate how much they've written. Even if you discount rewites - and in the age of wordprocessing an author may easily write and delete more than twice as much in a book as even goes out to publishers or agents - there are all the books that only ever get rejected. In earlier times there was a saying that a good author writes for the fire as well as the publisher. A novel that never gets a 'This book has potential if you edit it' might get a 'You have potential but not with this subject matter' either because the storyline is too complex or they have tried a difficult niche genre and will do better in general fiction. Even in nonfiction a writer might decide that somethging on which he has been working for years has no academic value. Darwin was quite prepared to burn the manuscript of Origin of Species had he grown to disbelieve in evolution, and a parallel work presenting the opposite view may well have passed through the fireplaces of Down House. If anything it is the writers who are indulged because they have friends in high places, and never have to write much that gets rejected, who never get to hone their style and write the best.
	That is traditional publishing - there is the writer to write, the agent to filter, the publisher to filter further, and finally the reader to read. On these pages it is pretty much straight from writer to reader. Even before post-your-own pages, the editors were all too busy with day jobs to be able to read through and make scholarly recommendations. Not once did I get an e-mail back saying 'We canot possibly post this as it has no merit'. Even I'm a Wazir... only got the title's distatesful origins removed. All the criticism is out in the open. Therefore it falls to those who create the variants to judge whether a game isn't worth keeping based on comment - or lack of it - and that is what I am doing.

Hubert wrote on Sun, Mar 4, 2012 03:20 PM UTC:
I never buy books by writers who write huge amounts -- you can not write huge amounts and write the best.

💡📝Charles Gilman wrote on Sun, Mar 4, 2012 07:42 AM UTC:
This is my first complete overwrite this decade. The intended title and description for the index to this page with its new game are the title now at the top of the page and the update description respectively.

I managed to salvage Flight and Ferry from my list of overwrite candidates earlier this month by increasing the ranks and pieces and lifting the bar on non-dragons capturing when flying. The list now stands as follows:
3 to the 5, now a complicated showcase of Gnu compounds compared to the more recent (and straightforwardly 2d) Overkill Ecumenical Chess.
Anglis Qi modified to add Cannons and Arrows, which makes for quite a cramped 8x8 board.
Crooked Board Chess, covering ground dealt with by other people's older variants.
Emperor's Nobility 3d Latrunculi, a not very Chess-like 3d variant with a complex chain of promotions.
Epping Forest Chess, a one-off microregional with complex treatment of edges and corners of squares. Overwriting this variant would also allow me to save on the memory used for it, which is unusually large for a 2-player variant of mine.
Gateway Chess, a one-off microregional with as rotating interpretation of 'forward'.
Half Shoxiang, a variant that was fairly comprehensively slammed in its original form and did not inspire positive comments for its fixes and second variant.
Intrusive Squares, covering ground dealt with by other people's older variants.
Kamil Crater Chess, a one-off topical-theme variant involving board topography. Overwriting this variant would also allow me to save on the memory used for it, which is unusually lrge for a 2-player variant of mine.
Maharajah's Well Chess, a one-off microregional on a very awkward-shaped 3d board.
Neutral Subject Chess, a variant with complex recruitment rules. Overwriting this variant would also allow me to save on the memory used for it, which is unusually large for a 2-player variant of mine.
Partnership Mitregi, an 8x8 promotion-free Shogi variant.
Pawn the Brain, a divergent variant of Take the Brain, for whose pieces I recently dropped distinctive names in favour of a common prefix to the Take the Brain pieces' names.
Sextuple Besiege Wellisch, a hex version of my Quadruple Besiege variants and hard to illustrate.
Sultan's Elephant Chess, a one-off topical-theme variant that some people mistook for a satire on gigantic variants in general. Overwriting this variant would also allow me to drop the defintion of Sultan's pieces now that I have a (3d) piece actually called the Sultan.

💡📝Charles Gilman wrote on Thu, Jun 3, 2010 05:49 PM UTC:
Sorry about the confusion. I've actually posted the variant to which the test text applied (4 Faces), so I've removed it from here now. Now that you've just got the introduction, does that make it clear?

Anonymous wrote on Wed, Jun 2, 2010 06:11 AM UTC:
And winning conditions to... And what happens with pieces of losed player...

Anonymous wrote on Wed, Jun 2, 2010 06:09 AM UTC:
But what are promotion rules? They are not mentoided!

Sam Trenholme wrote on Fri, Apr 28, 2006 06:40 PM UTC:
This is a general comment on all of Mr. Gilman's games: I would be far more inclined to look at the games and see how they play if Mr. Gilman learned how to make Zillions rules files for his games. This both makes it easier to play his games, and resolves any ambiguity in his rules.

- Sam

18 comments displayed

Later Reverse Order Earlier

Permalink to the exact comments currently displayed.