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Thread: (Released) Upcoming T2 NewDark FM "A Nice Game of Chess"

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2012
    Location: Seattle

    (Released) Upcoming T2 NewDark FM "A Nice Game of Chess"

    Greetings, tafferdom! I'm pleased to report that my T2 NewDark fan mission A Nice Game of Chess is currently in beta testing. has been released! This FM is a real, playable computer chess game, set in the Thief world with appropriate AI characters as the "pieces". The Fruit 2.1 chess engine drives the computer player's moves.

    Scenarios: There will beare three different scenarios to choose from, each with a different board environment and sets of characters:
    • The City vs. Blackbrook: This is the final, decisive conflict of the two powers' long-running war, fought on a misty rural battlefield.
    • Hammerites vs. Undead: The Old Quarter is secure, but now the Order must retake another necromancy-infested temple on a snowy night.
    • Pagans vs. Mechanists: In this alternate history, Viktoria managed to resurrect Constantine, allowing the Pagans to hold their own against the Mechanists in their rainy forest home.


    Screenshots:








    Blackbrook's forces are arrayed against you.

    Frob the gems to move the pieces. Apologies to The Sims.

    Hammerites vs. Undead

    Pagans vs. Mechanists

    Baroness Felicia doesn't put up with taffers.

    The Immortal Game's checkmate position, Thief-style.


    Preliminary thanks: kfgecko created a demo mission of Thief AIs making chess moves in 1999, though I have been unable to find a copy of it. In 2003, fallen pallando, The Shroud, and others discussed possible Thief chess sets here. Both of those threads helped to inspire this FM. And, as Yandros has noted below, Archon and Battle Chess must be noted as the pioneers of this little genre.

    I am planning to release the FM on April 16. The mission is now released! Please see the new thread.

    -Kevin (kdau)
    Last edited by kdau; 16th Apr 2013 at 15:49. Reason: released!
    If I have taffed further it is by mantling the shoulders of giants.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Wow, very cool!

  3. #3
    L'architecte de Rocksbourg
    Registered: Nov 2005
    Location: Narbonne, France
    Haha that's brilliant, love it

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: May 2005
    Location: Full on Kevel's mom
    Good idea! looking forward to it!

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2001
    Location: 0x0x0
    Love this idea.

    One thing though. The board in the pics seems large in relation to the pawns and pieces.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Almost forgot, if you need my help translating it into French let me know

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: ColoRADo
    that's awesome.

    Definitely think undead vrs hammers should be included.

    If you do pagans would be cool to see constantine as king and include treebeasts, crawmen, all that good stuff. Maybe Hammers vrs Woodsies.

  8. #8
    Clearinghouse
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia
    Awesome! Looking forward to it

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2012
    Location: Seattle
    Thanks for the encouragement, everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by SlyFoxx View Post
    One thing though. The board in the pics seems large in relation to the pawns and pieces.
    Indeed, it is. I started with more traditional proportions, but the AIs couldn't move properly during combat sequences in the small spaces. As it is, the burrick-knights still bump past the pawns as they move. I have set scale_player_speed, though, so it doesn't take too long to tour the battlefield.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azaran View Post
    Almost forgot, if you need my help translating it into French let me know
    Thanks! I'll send you a Visitor Message shortly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schwaa2 View Post
    Definitely think undead vrs hammers should be included.

    If you do pagans would be cool to see constantine as king and include treebeasts, crawmen, all that good stuff. Maybe Hammers vrs Woodsies.
    I agree that King Constantine (and Queen Viktoria, of course) would be essential, so I suppose it would have to be Hammers instead of Mechanists fighting the Pagans to avoid anachronism. Hmm.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2008
    Location: Deutschland/Germany
    Wow that's really incredible!

    Quote Originally Posted by kdau View Post
    Translators: I would like to include a full set of languages in my final release. The amount of text is relatively small, but I would prefer translators who have some familiarity with chess, as technical terms need to be translated appropriately. Again, please reply here or email me if you have that background and can help. I have an offer for French, but still need other languages.
    Ask the taffers of the The Guild Of Translators ...

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2001
    Location: 0x0x0
    Ahh, I see. Well I can always set up a traditional board along side to study the position.

  12. #12
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    This looks amazing! Kudos on executing the idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by kdau View Post
    The Fruit 2.1 chess engine drives the computer player's moves.
    I'm really curious how you managed to utilize an external chess engine from within a fan mission.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: May 2010
    Location: Taffer's Inn
    We should make some contests Amazing btw

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2012
    Location: Seattle
    Quote Originally Posted by zappen View Post
    Wow that's really incredible!



    Ask the taffers of the The Guild Of Translators ...
    Thanks, I'll send some requests as soon as I can PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by SlyFoxx View Post
    Ahh, I see. Well I can always set up a traditional board along side to study the position.
    Oh, I see what you mean. Well in that case I might be able to create a traditional proxy board on the "player's table" (which has the "log of battle" [scoresheet] book, time control clock on Expert, etc.), as long as beta testing doesn't reveal a swarm of bugs to keep me busy fixing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    This looks amazing! Kudos on executing the idea.


    I'm really curious how you managed to utilize an external chess engine from within a fan mission.
    Thanks! One of my custom scripts spawns the engine as a subprocess from BeginScript and attaches to its stdin/stdout pipes (UCI protocol). Every move made in-game is sent down to the engine, and a periodic script timer checks the pipe for replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by InfinituS View Post
    We should make some contests Amazing btw
    Interesting. The debrief screen will show total time spent, number of moves made, number of enemy pieces you took, and number of your pieces taken. If there are any other stats which could be relevant for contests or the like, I can definitely throw them in as well. (Sorry to hear about your YouTube channel. I just watched the "Looking Back at LGS" panel video two days ago...)

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2004
    hmm,
    I think something like this was mentioned in the FM "Acid Trip"... where you can try to play chess with the "things" you find in the mission.. (the hammers with squid heads)..
    thing was, you could only do that if you made a perfect "corpse fall".. which I was never able to do for some reason... couldnt get the timing right.

    as for this... I"m looking forward to it... very orginal.

  16. #16
    Archivist
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Museum of the Ancients
    What a unique concept, kdau

    I'm wondering, do we actually need a certain knowledge of chess to be able to play this properly? Are there any tutorial sessions included?

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2012
    Location: Seattle
    Quote Originally Posted by Eiji View Post
    hmm,
    I think something like this was mentioned in the FM "Acid Trip"... where you can try to play chess with the "things" you find in the mission.. (the hammers with squid heads)..
    thing was, you could only do that if you made a perfect "corpse fall".. which I was never able to do for some reason... couldnt get the timing right.

    as for this... I"m looking forward to it... very orginal.
    I must confess that Acid Trip freaked me out so much the first time that I never finished it. So I jumped to the area you're talking about in DromEd, and while it isn't actually a functional chess game, the sight of the Hammerthulu facing you across the chess table is...intimidating, to say the least.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Phantom View Post
    What a unique concept, kdau

    I'm wondering, do we actually need a certain knowledge of chess to be able to play this properly? Are there any tutorial sessions included?
    There will be three difficulty levels, so on the lowest the computer opponent won't be too challenging. You'll need to know the basics, but the game will only allow you to make legal moves, and your pieces have decals under them showing what directions they can move in (see top right screenshot). As for a tutorial, it's probably too much extra effort to include a full sequence. Now that you mention it, though, I might throw in the Wikibooks introduction to chess as a readable on the table.

  18. #18
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    That's really impressive how you talk to the engine process. I didn't realize the hooks were in Dark to do that. So, is it a given that you played Archon and Battle Chess back in the day?

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2012
    Location: Seattle
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    That's really impressive how you talk to the engine process. I didn't realize the hooks were in Dark to do that. So, is it a given that you played Archon and Battle Chess back in the day?
    No hooks, actually, just raw Windows API. This would definitely void the warranty, if there were one. (I just checked the EULA, and there's even a line about Square Enix not being liable for your game-related death unless your local laws force them to be. That's certainly a reason to avoid combat...)

    Ah, thanks, I knew there had to be chess-with-combat computer games out there. But no, I'm too young to have played either of those, I'm afraid. *researches* Wow, lots of accidental similarities. Battle Chess even had spellcaster queens. It doesn't look like theirs shot magic scepters from their tiaras that flinderized into gold coins, so I think I'm still reasonably original.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2012
    Location: Seattle
    I've just issued the second beta version of A Nice Game of Chess, fixing issues and adding features. But I still only have two beta testers. If you have the time and would enjoy making AIs attack each other, why not volunteer? No prior chess experience is necessary. Please reply here or PM me if you're interested.
    Last edited by kdau; 15th Mar 2013 at 23:14.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2009
    Lol, if we had T2MP working for ND, this would be a perfect FM to retool for MP.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2012
    Location: Seattle
    Quote Originally Posted by Albert View Post
    Lol, if we had T2MP working for ND, this would be a perfect FM to retool for MP.
    Indeed. If ND:MP does ever happen, I'd be glad to put out a multiplayer version. From a brief look at the INetworkingScriptService, it shouldn't be a huge change to my code.

  23. #23
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: United States
    kdau, your voiceover samples have been uploaded and I sent you an email.

    I don't have tons of time, but I could still do some beta testing, if you'd like.

  24. #24
    New Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Hello kdau,
    i read now your post and i accept to translate your mission. I will send you an email.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2012
    Location: Seattle
    Quote Originally Posted by saxmeister View Post
    kdau, your voiceover samples have been uploaded and I sent you an email.

    I don't have tons of time, but I could still do some beta testing, if you'd like.
    Thank you, they're great! I replied with details by email.

    Quote Originally Posted by Smallman_647 View Post
    Hello kdau,
    i read now your post and i accept to translate your mission. I will send you an email.
    Thanks! You should receive all the information by email shortly.

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