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I've thought about and discussed this with some of you, but this makes it easy to collect everyone's thoughts.

I've always been of two minds about fumen use during play. I mostly wish I could prevent it but know that's not possible, so the best alternative is to present the features that people use fumen for directly. One of those is invisible play.

What I like about invisible play is that it requires more knowledge and skill to make use of, and while its presence was initially a bug, I think it adds something unique and interesting to the game. Also, those extra rows can make a big difference with the kind of garbage that gets thrown around.

Simply extending the field to 10x25 is one possibility, but that kills all the things that make it interesting. If I were to show the piece as you manipulated it, you could directly map out the top using your current piece(s), so that's not much better. The solution I am considering is this:

Draw the stack as it is after each commit, but don't draw the active piece. This still requires most of the same skills: planning, memory, knowledge of piece rotation and spawn details, and of course packing skill. Like garbage, you would have to commit to reveal the changes, so once you gain information you can't "take it back" so to speak. If I didn't update it in any circumstances, the visual would be doubly harmful rather than helpful, so the other possibility is perhaps end-of-turn, which would prevent place-one-commit progress.

Between these last two, I'm not sure which I prefer better, but I'm leaning towards end-of-turn in 'hardcore' scenarios such as tournament/ladder/whatever play, and after-commit for casual stuff.

Thoughts? Other ideas?


Sun May 05, 2013 1:09 am
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Strange, I was just thinking about this the other day, as I had started using the fumen in order to analyse larry's field in our recent game. I used it as a tool to gain better knowledge about each of his placements, as well as help me visualise what he might have done in the invisible part of his field.

I disagree quite strongly with simply extending the playing field to 10x25: why not just limit it to 10x20 and be done with it in that case?

The issue that I have with the latter two options is that the opponent will be able to see the invisible part of your matrix, which gets rid of the need for him to analyse your piece placements and 'guess' how many lines he has to send you in order to top you out.

Rather than discourage the use of fumens, would it not be possible to integrate it within KoS (i.e. making it a feature of the game)? I understand that you want piece visualization to be an important skill for players, but since it's impossible to fully prevent the use of fumens, why not simply make it accessible to everyone?

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Sun May 05, 2013 3:33 am
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Well, it is available to everyone. By not having it 'built in', it's at least somewhat of a hassle. You may not have noticed what happened with reverts, but fumen had always been available to plan turns like that -- yet people use revert more than they would use fumen. This would be something of a compromise; it gives you enough information that you don't have to play completely blind, but you still have to know what to do with your pieces.

I hadn't really considered the revelation of info to an opponent, but it's info you can get from the replay anyway so I'm not terribly concerned about it.


Sun May 05, 2013 1:28 pm
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myndzi wrote:
Well, it is available to everyone. By not having it 'built in', it's at least somewhat of a hassle. You may not have noticed what happened with reverts, but fumen had always been available to plan turns like that -- yet people use revert more than they would use fumen. This would be something of a compromise; it gives you enough information that you don't have to play completely blind, but you still have to know what to do with your pieces.


Fair enough. I was just thinking of people like tk, who mentioned that he did not know how to use fumens; if it were actually an integrated feature in the game, perhaps the task of learning to use this new tool might be less daunting.

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I hadn't really considered the revelation of info to an opponent, but it's info you can get from the replay anyway so I'm not terribly concerned about it.


But the way things work now, it's not information that you can get from the replay, since the replay does not show the invisible part of the matrix (not until the game ends, in any case). If you make it visible at the end of a turn, the opponent gains the additional information on exactly how many lines you will be able to defend against, which may incite him to set up rather than attack, for example.

I know that this feature would hardly ever come into play the way I am thinking of it, but I guess I'm being influenced by my recent experience playing against larry, where he was able to set up defenses against 10+ lines of jeopardy in the invisible part of his matrix alone. Had I been able to see exactly what he had set up, I would have probably played differently, but because it was not visible to me, he was able to come back and win the game.

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Sun May 05, 2013 3:11 pm
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Ah, you mean pieces stacked outside of the area. True, I was only thinking about the shape that got pushed up. I kind of like the defensive aspect of having it hidden, so I agree with you. It wouldn't be any harder to only show that portion to the relevant player, though.


Sun May 05, 2013 11:29 pm
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