Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kaya's first design is applied to the server. KPMC & K-Baduk crazyness

Hey guys. Notices have been pretty slow because i am very busy these days with tournaments. This past week i finished participating in the KPMC (with awful results by the way) and now im playing a televised team championship, which is also pretty cool.

Polly has been working a lot on applying the design to the server, which is the first one we are making until we go full pro on it.

I think maybe it would have been better to put off the design and focus on some other things first, considering th eeffort it took us to achieve it and where that effort could have gone .

That said, we are soon making the video which hopefully will make it easier for us to get more contributors and maybe even future customers.

Also we are very close to a beta version as the only true thing we have to polish is scoring (actually agreeing on the score). It is done but we should test it.

But even though we are so close, im staying in korea to do research and work on GoLibrary (the go problem solving section of the site) so full server development is a little stalled, maybe until i get back. So we will make the video showing how you interact with Kaya, to quelch the hunger for news, and then work on go problems.

Hope everyone is eager :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In Korea

Hey Guys! I haven't updated in a while because i was travelling to Korea.

I am not staying at BIBA along many other players like Ali Jabarin, Ron Lavi, Fredrik Blombak, Dusan, Lucien Corlan, and soon even more.

While Patricio is merging the designers work into Kaya and we prepare to make the demo video, y started working on Go Library, the problem solving branch of the server. There is some basic mock-up functionality, and i will be working on it while on the school, and see if i can make all the students use it, and trial run it. That is my main objective while here at BIBA plus do some reasearch on what pros like.

There are many schools here in korea and originally with GoLibrary i wanted to target them. If all korean schools use our problem solving system we could get a lot of leverage to get users and more.

In a couple of days KPMC starts and i will be very busy for a week, while Patricio will work on the board related features of GoLibrary (mainly adapting GoSpeed to be used to solve problems, or just using eidogo as goproblems does).

Guys here have seen a peep on how Kaya is looking while i was working at it. As soon as the video is out all founders will get access to it ASAP.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

ReplayBot + Scoring + Design + Tournaments

Guys! Exciting news.

Along with polly, we just watched the full replay a of a professional game on Kaya.gs. Yes. You heard right. We saw a professional game being played a 2, 5 and 10 seconds a move, and enjoyed watching each stone getting broadcasted for all users to see.

It was amazing. It worked really good. What we do is fetch games from GoKifu, which means we have a never ending stream of "just-played" professional games, working automatically. By artificially spacing the moves as it gets replayed, users have the option to chat and comment the very game.

In the longer term, we want to save and screen all those commentaries, so only go related ones remain, and the game can be saved and published as a "Kaya.gs commented game".

Polly is hectic this week working on the last details of the board for the demo. He finished adopting the scoring algorithm from kaya, and worked on some functions and features to do the score counting. Now he is going to work on a VERY cool way to share variations.

Last but not least, we have a designer working on Kaya right now, on the home page and the board screen. The short-term goal is to have a fancy design for the demo.

After the demo, i will be in Korea and some direct-Kaya.gs features will be put on hold in favour of GoLibrary : the oficial training-site/tool of Kaya. Back at the beginning of september i started prototyping it and liked the results. So polly will work on making Gospeed problem-able (or maybe we will use goproblems.com modified eidogo) and i will work on a fast prototype first version and test it out at BIBA with the other students, and see it work in real life.

Problem solving and training is one of the core activities of go players, and i think no-one ever did an honest effort to find a solution. I want to tackle that problem asap.

Also the mentor of this project (and maker of many of the software tools we use) might be tempted to work on a Tournament organizer site. The idea is that any tournaemnt can be organized from there, and games can be scheduled on Kaya, thus giving the option for anyone to start a tournament online, which automatic verification of asistance, results, scoring, tables and more (Inspired by KGS lack of automatization , which prevented me from organizing an Atsumi Cup back in the day)

Friday, October 7, 2011

KPMC comes soon..

Hey guys! I have some delicious updates :)

Next friday i will start the journey to Korea to participate on the KPMC. After that tournament i will be staying at BIBA , mostly trying to do some research on what would be awesome for professionals to get into the server, and also work on GoLibrary: the problem solving/training tool of Kaya.

We are ecstatic about all the work we did in the past month. Even ourselves cannot believe how different things look and feel and work, after this first full-time month.

I want to take advantage of the KPMC to get more coverage on Kaya , and making sure everyone in the world knows about, and hopefull, more volunteers, contributors and developers aid us in the building of this server.

To make a showcase we decided on making a video instead of a live demonstration. The advantages are plentiful: such a video can be broadcasted, put on the site and more. It is also a safer way to make a demonstration, as we can re-tape if something goes wrong or breaks. The server is working pretty well but week by week we change many things and its not in a reliable phase still.

This week we are wrapping up a lot of features :timing, score, owner-ship, editing tools, etc. We are still improving and expanding the Sandbox (a.k.a. known as a Demonstration). It is the toughest game window of all, as many things can change and be edited, and control can be passed around. By cracking the toughest nut, we know that the rest of the game modes are downhill.

This week we hired a designer to work on Kaya to get it to a presentable state for the demonstration. Unfortunately the prototype designer is on vacation, so until november we wont start working on the "final" look&feel.

Check out the latest screenshot on the Sandbox:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Timers & Licenses

Today OpenKaya published yet another library to build go related applications, specifically a library to use Timers.

One thing frequenly asked for is Fischer or Bronstein timing, and I'm sure different uses of timers for different situations is possible (like problem solving, rengo, etc).

So going fancy and pro, we made a lib. With awesome testing. Right now it has only Absolute Time, and we(or an eager contributor) will progressively add other time systems.
What other time systems are there?

Canadian Byo-yomi
Japanese Byo-yomi
Simple Delay
Hour Glass(Found out about this one today. It sounds really fun)

You can check out the details of these systems here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_clock#Time_controls
If you like any in particular, suggest it in the feedback section! or comment the suggestion to build different time systems.

Because this is something many other sites might we, we added it to OpenKaya and finally put in a License: CreativeCommons. The only requirements are Attribution and the share-alike for derived work from it (that is, people that branch out and do their own must also have a CC license). Commercial use is permitted for anyone.

Today we are working hard to build the demo for October. Because our star designer is on vacation the next to weeks, we decided to make a compromise on how much we are going to show by October. We plan on showing the main page and the ability to create games in a very fancy video, possibly with my beautiful voice bring up the experience a few notches :) .