Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - mike_bike_kite

Pages: [1]
Thanks for that. I must of missed that in the rules.
Can I ask why you can't have parallel rivers?
Is it because it would cut the board in half and dull the game?

I think this is a bug but then I might just be having one of my senior moments  ::)

It's the start of the game and I appear to have 2 places I can place my tile but only one is highlighted. It might also be that I don't fully understand the placement rules. Anyway I've attached a picture of the position.

PS would it be worth having some textual way to show the current position and moves? a bit like either a FEN or a PGN in chess. This would allow you to test these "bugs" a little easier. Obviously we'd need some option to show this text at any point in the game.

I like the idea of the stats to - I quite often under use builders and pigs etc.

Adding players: Rather than having the current system where you click, click and click again until you get the right option - just have two options to either add a human player or a computer player. This might allow you to add some simple graphics to the set up screen. It would be nice if it could remember your name (and the rest of your settings!!) after you set in once in the GUI.

Please say if you want any ideas for improving the AI. I have lot's of thoughts but you might already of done much of it.

Just to say  like the improvements and apologies if these bugs have already been reported:

1) I was occasionally given a tile (a river II piece in one instance and a simple road corner piece) and I wasn't allowed to play it where I wanted to. Other valid squares where highlighted for placement but oddly not the place I wanted to put it. This only happened twice during my game and all other placement was fine.

2) the new version which only shows you valid tile rotations is great but occasionally it starts off with an invalid rotation - if I rotate the tile then only valid rotations are shown from this point.

Thanks for considering the suggestions Farin but remember they are only suggestions  :)
You could consider the idea of making the project an open source project though I'll admit I've never released any of my projects this way.
If not then you could just have a list of items you might like help on - things like the graphics and sounds could be done by others without accessing your code.


PS remember that power users are only about 5% of your user base. Making it easy to use for the other 95% should be a higher priority but it's your choice.

Code: [Select]
E:\Dropbox\Projects\AlienSwarm>java -version
java version "1.7.0_21"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_21-b11)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 23.21-b01, mixed mode)

Detailed logging:
Code: [Select]
E:\Program Files (x86)\JCloisterZone>dir
 Volume in drive E is New Volume
 Volume Serial Number is 28DF-AF11

 Directory of E:\Program Files (x86)\JCloisterZone

15/11/2014  10:38    <DIR>          .
15/11/2014  10:38    <DIR>          ..
13/11/2014  19:34             1,954 config.yaml
15/11/2014  10:38               154 error.log
13/11/2014  19:33         5,603,035 JCloisterZone.jar
13/11/2014  19:33               762 JCloisterZone.jar - Shortcut.lnk
13/11/2014  19:33    <DIR>          plugins
05/01/2014  23:19    <DIR>          saves
               4 File(s)      5,605,905 bytes
               4 Dir(s)  795,501,604,864 bytes free

E:\Program Files (x86)\JCloisterZone>java -jar JCloisterZone.jar -Dorg.slf4j.sim
[AWT-EventQueue-0] WARN com.jcloisterzone.config.ConfigLoader - Unable to create
 configuration file E:\Program%20Files%20(x86)\JCloisterZone\config.yaml
It seems it can't write to this directory. Should it be writing elsewhere? should the program be elsewhere? should jcloister just be using the prefs class?

Yet more suggestions:
  • Can the settings screen be split into 2 with one screen to choose players and the other for settings?
  • Could the player screen have avatar images of the AI players?
  • Could the settings screen include the settings from the extra settings that are only available from the menu?
  • It would look pretty if the settings screen just had small images of the expansions with a tick if they were active. Not sure how you'd stand on copy-write here.

Regards the AI stuff: strangely I always preferred working on the AI to the graphics stuff, I felt like a new father when my chess program beat me for the first time. I think you should have a way of altering the personalities (and strength) of the AI's before you make the AI stronger though. It would be off putting for a new player to start up JCloister and be crushed by the AI on every turn.

Please consider that farin has a family and a full-time job, and that his work on JCloisterZone is just a "labour of love" for him. Furthermore, he doesn't receive any money for it and consequently doesn't owe us anything...
I think the work he's done is great and my points weren't complaints but suggestions for making the game even better.

I don't know how much you've played with JCloisterZone but  ... I don't even notice and the way of selecting meeple types
If you do something a lot then it will become automatic but if you're a new user trying the game out then it's a painful barrier. The obvious solution is to keep the various key presses for "power users" and have the floating icons for those of us who need a more intuitive interface.

Also, AI is massive! I can't begin to imagine how to program a computer to beat even my 3 year-old daughter at Carcassonne and I have a degree in Computing!
I write classical games as a hobby (chess, draughts, othello, connect 4 etc) so I fully understand that this part is quite difficult. Improving the AI is certainly tough but luckily this isn't a huge issue. Getting a range of skill levels for the existing AI's is quite straightforward - all you do is alter the weighting of the various scoring methods and perhaps introduce a small random element for each AI. You might have an AI called Emma that put's much more weighting on farms than normal while an AI called Peter might try to stop you building cities at every turn. You could then play all these new personalities against each other to come up with a league table of AI personalities.

1 - there is  scrollbar, but you are definitely right it is sick. I want to improve it soon.
2 - what do you mean? You must extract it and you delete zip immediately. Or do you mean icon of .jar file?
3 - One reason is that you may want to rotate first than move to tile when you place. But it is probably less common scenario
and you are not first who request it. I will probably change it to skip invalid rotation with config option to use current way
4 - use tab or right click to toggle. Is it enough?
5 - it should remember it. One connected to point 2. Do you run it directly from zip? In such case config wouldn't be writable ...
6 - you can play both rivers. Do you have any issue with it?

yep, nice to have but quite complex task. road map is now focusing to public server (human to human play is better)

1. you right, it useless
2. when public server will be done it will be possible, it is not bad idea
3. yep

nice to have
i am not graphics designer, if somebody wants participate is open to such things
UI 1 - the scrollbar definitely doesn't show on my laptop (a C720 running Linux). The start game button is off the screen to the right and the options at the bottom of the screen are also impossible to view. An easy fix would be to put "start game" in the pull down menu as well.
UI 2 - I was after an icon to view on my desktop. At the moment I have lot's of professional looking icons on my desktop that go with various programs but for JCloister I have no graphic at all. I'll try and attach an icon to this post.
UI 4 - No. Regular users of your program will quickly adopt to any set of random key presses to control your program but if you want a wider audience then you need to make this part much more intuitive. I'll admit I nearly deleted your program from my PC when I was clicking a tile that wouldn't rotate for some reason (it was a previous version) when suddenly it rotated, added a meeple in the wrong place and ended my go.
UI 5 - The only way to get the program to remember your settings is to edit the settings file and save it. This seems a little crazy to me as you have a reasonable GUI interface to the settings in the program yet it does nothing when I press save. The program is unzipped etc. Have you considered using java.util.prefs.Preferences for saving settings etc?
UI 6 - my bad  :-[
AI  - see my reply to Dan above.
Nice to have - perhaps it might be worthwhile to have a list of tasks that you might like help with.

I have been using Jcloister for a while and wanted to give some suggestions:

User interface issues:
  • I downloaded the app onto my laptop (Ubuntu running on a C720) and found the start button was off the screen (1366 x 768 screen)- so it appears I can only play the game on my PC :( it might be good to add a start game option in the menu system as well (assume easy)
  • It would be nice to have an icon in the zip file so the application looks like a proper application on my desktop (easy)
  • Why display invalid rotations of tiles? (assume easy to fix)
  • It would be much easier to use if the play options (meeple, big meeple, builder, rotate left and right, undo etc) all appeared as floating icons near to where you play the tile. It would be better still if the icons were semi transparent so you could still see the board underneath (moderate)
  • Why doesn't it remember your settings???? it seems insane in this day and age to have to edit files to alter how a program works (easy)
  • Can you legally play the game with both the River and River II options chosen? Game seems to allow you to choose both. (easy fix)
  • It would be nice to have stronger AI but this isn't a big issue (probably hard)
  • It would be nice to change the strength of the AI players so as you can progress and play stronger games within a "league" of AI opponents (moderate)
General Info:
  • Why does it show scoring at the end for options you haven't chosen? (easy)
  • It would be interesting to see which options are the most popular amongst JCloister (Carcassonne) players (easy)
  • I like the new layout of the web site but it needs info saying that the application can be run on any OS (if you have java) and a quick explanation of how to run it. (easy)
Nice to have:
  • I'd like to have a little move life when you zoom into the board ie see birds moving across the landscape, sheep slowly moving around, maybe a horse and cart on the road. Perhaps clouds (or the shadows of clouds) could slowly drift by. I don't believe this needs any complicated programming (birds and clouds easy/sheep more difficult)
  • Low level background sounds could also be used when zooming into a cathedral, town or country setting. This would just add to the immersive nature of the game ( easy)
  • It might be interesting to be able to change the background to a different colour or tiled image. This isn't a big issue though (easy)

I know there are a lot of points above but I was asked to put my suggestions on this forum so here they are. I'm actually very impressed by JCloister and the current version is great fun to play but there's always a little more that can be done and these were my suggestions. Feel free to comment.


Did anyone else find it took them 7 attempts to register (perhaps I really am a robot :-[ )
and now there's more questions before I can post  >:D
I think it was easier to get my passport!  :)

Pages: [1]