Some suggestions on behalf of toby (blokus fan with no sourceforge account):
1) Show total score in C2 (only the individual colour scores are shown, a tota would be nice too)
2) Make unplayed pieces bigger
I tried different relative sizes of the unplayed pieces and found that if you make them bigger the board becomes very small on smaller screen sizes. Of course, this is a personal opinion.
As for the total C2 score, do you mean that the total score should be shown in addition or as a replacement for the color scores? I am a bit minimalistic when it comes to user interfaces, so I would like a replacement more than an addition, but I am not really sure how important it is for Blokus players to see the color scores in C2.
In the Windows version, one always has to define the number and colour or AI opponents at the start of a new game.
Can these settings be saved (say in an .ini file?) across sessions so that one does not have to define them at the start of every new game, but rather when one wants to change them?
I understand that your suggestion would make it more convenient to start a new game if you want to play using the same settings but it would make it more inconvenient if you want to play with different settings because the computer could suddenly start playing in the new game (if it had played the first color in the last game) even if you didn't want that.
So you would need to change the computer color settings for the next game before starting the game. But this could make the computer suddenly continue to play in the current game (if it was not finished and you changed the computer colors such that it plays the color to move in the current game). Again, something that the user may have not intended.
It would be possible to always show a settings dialog when pressing New Game with the last computer color settings as a default. Then you would need to click only on OK. But I don't like the idea very much because there are use cases when you press New Game because you only want to clear the board (e.g. when creating puzzles) and always popping up a dialog would be distracting.
So I will probably leave the current behavior. Most users of Pentobi I know play one of the two-player game variants anyway and you don't need the computer color dialog there. You simply start playing if you want to play the first color or press the Play button if you want the computer to play it.
Thanks for yout reply.
"It would be possible to always show a settings dialog when pressing New Game with the last computer color settings as a default. Then you would need to click only on OK."
Yes, that's really what I meant.
"But I don't like the idea very much because there are use cases when you press New Game because you only want to clear the board (e.g. when creating puzzles) and always popping up a dialog would be distracting."
Then the inclusion of keyboard shortcuts (eg "Return" key for OK) will minimize this nuisance, instead of clicking on the OK button, or are they already in place?
I personally play the 4-player game against 3 AI opponents and sometimes the Blokus Duo/To Go 2-player 14x14 variant. In the first case, the feature I request would be really handy. In the second case, less so.
Thanks for reading anyway! I love your implementation. I have been playing Freebloks 3D for over 2 years now and your version is vastly superior. Here is where I found out about it if you're interested:
I'm still not comfortable with the idea of having New Game always pop up a dialog. There are a number of other use cases in addition to the one I already mentioned, where you don't really want to play a game, for example creating annotated game records with variations, setting up positions for Blokus art, or trying out opening variations by repeatedly pressing Play and Go Back and letting the computer play sequences of moves. In all these cases, there is no notion of a "game" and the New Game dialog would only be in the way.
It would be possible to only show the dialog if the computer plays at least one color in the current game (because that probably means that you want to play games rather than edit move sequences or variation trees) but I would find it very confusing if New Game sometimes opens a dialog and sometimes it doesn't.
What is your preferred setting? Are you always playing Blue in 4-player games? I should probably change the default computer color settings for game variants with more than 2 players to have the human play the first player and the computer play all others by default to make it consistent with the behavior in 2-player game variants.
You also have the option to select New Rated Game instead of New Game. Then the computer will initialize the computer color settings for you (but you will have to play a different color in each game). This has the additional advantage that the computer will automatically choose a playing level according to your current playing strength, such the game becomes neither boringly easy not frustratingly difficult.
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