Hello to all who are working on this project, and thank you for the great service you are providing to kids around the world! I am the Vice President of the American Go Foundation, a charitable organization that provides free Go equipment to children and teachers in schools. I spend a great deal of time teaching children, and am an active Go player and organizer on the national scene. It has come to my attention that there are a number of problems with the Play Go program, and also that a set of rules that are appropriate for children may well be needed.
I am not a computer programmer, and do not have one of the laptops, so I haven't actually seen the Play Go program at work. I did ask a child who has one, and plays Go, to tell me how it seemed. He may have an older version of the software, but if his observations are correct it sounds like there are some serious issues. I would be very glad to help solve some of these problems if you would like some input. As I said, I can't program, but I can tell whoever is writing the software what the problems are. Please feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com. If you would like a rule set designed for children, please let me know and we will be happy to write one for you. You can see one example of our approach to this on our youth go website, which is here: http://tigersmouth.org/viewpage.php?page_id=8
Thank you so much, and I hope to hear from whoever is programming Play Go.
Paul Barchilon, American Go Foundation
Single user experience
The older edits below discuss some issues with the shared game. Since I have just one XO, I can't comment, however, I did notice that if you try to share the game with no one around to join, you can't back up to single user except by quitting and starting a new instance.
Playing the game with one XO requires sharing the old fashioned way: handing the XO back and forth. The game is usable in this mode but needs, in order of priority:
- A means for placing handicap stones: very important for teaching
- Undo and redo buttons: it is very easy to make a mistake placing stones
- A visual tally of captured stones
- Automated scoring at game end
- Perhaps a teach mode, allowing arbitrary placement and removal of stones
In the spirit of "first make it work, then make it flashy", these items are, in my opinion, more important than mesh sharing or the stated phase II & III goals.
Nonetheless, it is a nice beginning. Esemplectic 21:01, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm very interested in seeing PlayGo work, but it's apparently stalled. (Hopefully those who were working on it are currently working on more important things.) As far as basic functionality is concerned, playing a 2-XO game is awkward (though not necessarily impossible).
The player who starts the game can play black or white stones (depending on which mouse button is clicked).
The second player (no idea what happens if more than 2 try to share) can only play black stones.
There's no enforcement of turns at all--either player can place a stone at any time.
When the second player joins the game, the first player's pieces remain on the board from their point of view, but do not appear on the second player's board.
I'm hoping I'll get clever enough to attack these problems, but I figured I would at least note them here.
I'd be interested in helping out with this. I've done a collaborative goban in different environment. This project looks like it could use more detailed UI flow diagram. There probably isn't much sense in making use of existing software: Being a go board for play and replay isn't that difficult, and existing software doesn't interface with Sugar. Interfacing with KGS will be difficult, as the protocol is proprietary. MtnViewMark 01:30, 27 April 2008 (EDT)