June 19, 2005
Last game is coming up...
Was it supposed to be the 5th? Or will it be the 6th after all? When I was working on YINSH I thought of it as a very suitable game to finish Project GIPF, but now that I'm working on the game that will follow soon, I find this one very suitable, too! Maybe even more than YINSH. Not because I think it is better - no idea about that - but because I'm working on it *now*.
So, what shall it be? So far 5 games have been published and that means that I have one game to go. While working on it, I always think of it as the last one. No matter what I have been saying in the past, no matter whether I call it the 5th or the 6th, it is this game that will finish Project GIPF. The plan is to release it in October, during the yearly Fair in Essen, Germany. The concept is ready, it has been tested thoroughly, the first draft of the rules is written, test-pieces have been made yet, Paul Coertjes has started to work on the graphics. 3 to 4 months to get it ready. That is a tight schedule, but without accidents it should be feasible. I even think I already have a name! I cannot reveal it yet, because before I do so, it must stay a at least one more month at the top of my list with names. But I can already let you have a look at the prototype. That should tell you a bit more about what kind of game it is going to be than just another GIPF-like name.
So far the good news!
... but GIPF Set 3 postponed
Now the bad news: I had promised to have GIPF Set 3 ready together with the last game of Project GIPF. Unfortunetely, I will not be able to keep that promise. This set is going to contain the YINSH-potential and the potentials of the last game, but maybe I'll have to add a few more pieces. This set will be the *very* last item of Project, the one that will definitively complete it! So I need to be absolutely sure that everything will be there! And for that I need more time!
Online GIPF league
There's a lot of GIPF and DVONN action going on at the French games portal Boite à Jeux (BaJ). Many of the regular visitors are dedicated players and quite a number of DVONN and GIPF tournaments have taken place there yet. But now there's more! alesk has taken the initiative to set up a GIPF league. He has created a website with info about the league and to keep track with the results. And there's good news for the english speakers amongst you: the site has also an English section. All the games played for the league will be played on BaJ.
The first season will start on June 28. So far 45 players have registered. That is a great number! But it would be great if a few more dudes from all over the globe would join this league. To do so, send an e-mail to *alesk*: email@example.com. The following may be an extra motivation: there's a chance that you'll win a signed copy of GIPF with it. See below!
One last remark: the program that is used to play GIPF on BaJ has a few bugs. You can read about them on the site of the GIPF-league, so you can avoid to be taken by surprice by one of the bugs.
New site to play YINSH
Stefan Esch created a Play-by-Web site for playing YINSH (in a turn-based style, like DVONN on littlegolem.net). The site offers different game modes (i.e. different time limits, from unlimited time up to realtime play) and the interface is available in German and English. The site offers a few great features that work very well. Some more advanced features are still under development, but the current version was stable during beta testing and is therefore ready for an official release.
Michael Reitz (the brain behind ZF1) cooperated with Stefan Esch during development and both guys will continue working together, so any feedback about the site should go in their direction.
Stefan Esch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Reitz: email@example.com
Here, too, you'll have the chance to win a signed copy of GIPF. See below!
2 signed copies of GIPF with original test-pieces
To celebrate the start of two new sides that are dedicated to a game of Project GIPF, we offer two signed copies of GIPF with original test-pieces. These first pieces are white (not ivory!) and black and have two furrows at the top side - i.e. the shape we used for the TAMSK-potentials. The only difference is that the original pieces for GIPF are 1 mm thicker than the potentials.
The first copy will be given to one of the players of the first season of the GIPF-league. There are only two conditions to be in the running for it: you have to play all the games you are supposed to play and you have to finish them within the set time limits. In due time you'll find all the details in the French and the English section of the League site.
Now, if there is "un cadeau" to celebrate the official start of the first season of the GIPF-league, there's also a price that goes with the official release of the YINSH play-by-web site. Stefan Esch will publish a YINSH-puzzle on yinsh.biskai.de, and the second free GIPF with original pieces will be put up in a raffle amongst all the ones that send in a correct solution. The puzzle will be put online within the next 7 days.
TAMSK: hourglasses & new rule
The new print is ready. As already announced, the game looks exaclty as the version that was published by Schmidt Spiele in 1999. Sorry folks: the box still has the same size! The only differences are the logo (now Don & Co instead of Schmidt) and the following two changes:
Important for the ones who don't have the game yet!
On the back of the box you can read: according to the information we have received from the manufacturer, the enclosed hourglasses have a tolerance of 15% percent. This means the time per hourglass can last, at a maximum, 15% more or 15% less than 3 minutes. So be aware that the hourglasses you’ll use to play TAMSK are not exactly but about 3 minutes.
Important for the ones who already have a copy!
When playing according to the advanced rules, the original rules said that you had the right to play twice when your opponent didn’t finish his turn in time, but this could cause confusion in the ending stage of the game. That is fixed with one new rule and one adjustment:
If you start your move but don't finish it in the allowed amount of time (i.e. when you don’t let go of the hour-glass you moved before the 15-second timer runs out of time), you may complete the move, including dropping a ring, but you’ll have to face a penalty. Your opponent may now drop two rings with his next turn. He starts his turn with his regular (i.e. he moves an hour-glass and puts a ring in the newly covered space), and next he may drop a second rings in any space on the board, no matter whether the space is occupied by an hour-glass (of either color) or not. Of course, it is only possible to drop a ring in a space that has not yet its maximum number of rings.
6. Passing a turn:
If you have not started to move an hour-glass when the 15-second timer runs out of time, you forfeit both that turn. In other words: unlike in Level 1, you may now pass your turn, but the consequence is the same as when you have not finished your turn in time, as explained in point 4. above.
Note: when you cannot make a move, this does not count as passing a turn. So, in this case the opponent may not drop 2 rings.
These adjusments have also been made in the rules you find in the TAMSK-section of this site.