Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Killer feature: Correspondence games

A few versions back we finally release the Killer Feature.

Over the course of Kaya we noticed that many users are very busy and use the server at Work or visiting friends, so they have a small window of opportunity to play a few moves and then come back.

Thats why we implemented correspondence games, becoming the First Hybrid server of live/correspondence games out there.

Over 100 correspondence games are ongoing right now and it is extremely easy to get a game on Kaya.
Furthermore you can also play the game live just as any other if your opponent is online.

We also gave correspondence games the ability to use the score estimator and also being able to use the edit-offline feature giving the players absolute ease of study and time to produce and think the best move possible.

Try it out! Get on kaya and get a correspondence game, and play at your own pace :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Meijin, Open Kaya and Sports Accord.

As promised on the last post, i was going to talk more about OpenKaya.

Part of our original plan and strategy for Kaya is to be a open platform. The go community has a high degree of computer scientists and mathematicians, including famous Ruby programmer Ryan Bates (who did the GovsGo site).

And thus we opened the OpenKaya Github Repository.

There are many features and independent projects to be run from OpenKaya and that will get into the server.
Actually Kaya has many things done by collaborators: The scoring algorithm, the Score Estimator, the rating system.
Ideas for the rank graph, the gtp bot client and more came from there. And there are a big number of things to do to.

All work done on OpenKaya is open-sourced: anyone can use code made available from there , thus enriching the community.

We help out by providing an outline, tests and code for contributors to hack into problems directly and provide a solution that we assess and decide to put on the server later.

Right now there are a few collaborators with tasks, such as JQ and crodgers (Yes guys, im totally burning you. If you dont commit soon this post will be your shame :) ) and Enders.

This brings us to one huge collaborator of the project: Enders. He has provided high quality code on the covert-ops projects of Kaya, and the scoring algorithm. And this week he became a Meijin of the project, helping us out even further.

Kaya is run thanks to the donations of the users, that had not been here, we would not be able to dedicate all the time we do to the project.

Last but not least, programming is not the only way to collaborate or do something for the Go community. Kaya has the unique broadcast system and next week there is an awesome opportunity: The SportsAccord tournament.
Several users have contacted me about broadcasting them, but the more the merrier, as there is a game every day and we should not strain collaborators :).
IF you want to get the collaborator kanji and a load of karma, contact us at the server and we will show you how to make broadcasts.

Next week i will be around surely to comment the games and make sure all goes smoothly.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

More UI changes on 1.17

On the last release we finally removed the footer, and we used a Kongregate-style menu to organize different links.

We are happy with the practicality of the new location, although we are sure to ask a designer for extra tips on how to make it look best.

This week we also had several adjustment because of a big server improvement regarding game saving. The process is not always foolproof in the sense that our storage db does not always answer quickly. 
So I improved the way storing is handled to make sure data is saved properly and it does not affect the server itself when there are delays or inconveniences.

December also started now and we have to get ready for 25th of december : the birthday of Kaya;s server!. We are planning some changes for then, i hope we make it on time :).

This week was rough because a pervasive problem has been happening a lot since the latest change. We had smoe heavy discussion on some of the tools we use on Kaya.

Kaya is built with state of the art tools, servers , libraries and services and that is a double edged sword: we are super ahead in html5 gaming services , as we are truly pioneers of such a complex experience on a browser. However, these technologies dont have the same level of maturity and as such, we have to patch or work over weaknesses in these new technologies.
I worked a lot for almost a month in making kaya work more stable an w e are getting to the point where any issue that arises is small and easy to handle.
For the moment, stay tuned for the Killer Feature, we might be able to make it for 1.18!

Also i have more news for OpenKaya, as more collaborators join the open side of the project, but that will be another post :)

See you guys on Kaya!