Friday, November 27, 2009

Generic Game

I like playing card games, and lucky me, there is a huge variety of card games to choose from.
Some of the games I like to play got a PC version as well, Solitary, Harts or even Taki are all very common casual games to play on the computer. I tried to figure out the reason, why it is that all the PC version of the games are so doll, poorly implemented, and generally very limited. For example, there is a local law in the realty version of Taki that if someone is left with only one card in hand he must declare "Last card", or else he have to take another seven new cards. Now the problem with Taki PC implementations is that it does not aware of this law, and there is no way for players to add it to the game. Another example would be the luck of undo in the windows solitary game.

Now it's one thing to say, "Oh, look at all these crappy games", and another to show that it's possible to implement it fairly better with less effort. So, let me explain, what could be done better.
When some people are gathered around for a good game of Munchkin, the only thing that supervise the game, and make sure that everyone are playing by the rules, is the players themselves, and none but them. I suggest the creating of a new gaming system that would replace all other PC card games whatsoever. The new system would have no rules programed into it. That's right no rules. Living back the need for rules would make it much essayer to program. Rules are taking the most time and effort to program, one can compared it to a big state machine, which none likes to write down, and none should. Furthermore, the more options that the game has, such as the "Last card" rule in Taki, the more pain in the ass it is to program it, and the poor developers are doomed to always forget some rules that are found in the real world game. It's time to give the players back the control over the game, and untie the bondage. All we need is a system that supplies a full discloser on what’s going on in the game. In this new kind of system, none would be able to perform a move in the game without everyone else to know about it, but nothing would stop him from performing it. I believe it's cryptographically possible to create such an environment using basic concepts of modern cryptography. Moreover, it would be possible to prove that someone took a random card from a virtual deck of cards, but none would have the information on which card it is, but the player who got it.

Of course, we are still left with the problem of two players join forces to win the game together, but that is a none virtual world problem as well.

I say it's time for us to have a descent card games system, made specifically for card games, but not any one in specific. The platform would allow anyone to load any kind of cards he or she likes as long as that person got the cards pictures in his / her arsenal of cards. It would be possible to take a card and put it on a virtual game table, or to hold it in virtual hand. Any player would be able to see what’s going on the table and to count the number of cards the other players are holding in their hands. Many games got different common move, such as putting a card from your hand on the table sides up in one game and sides down in another, therefor configurability is highly important.

So who wants to write it down with me?