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Robert A. Kraus (Bobkraus)
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2001 - 12:08 pm:   

In case anybody's interested here is a list of the top 20 most prolific Zillion's game implementers (i.e., programmers, not inventors), out of 64 in all, as of April 13, 2001.

Karl Scherer 117
W. D. Troyka 19
Chris Huntoon 16
Derek Nalls 15
Fergus Duniho 12
László Nagy 11
Robert A. Kraus 9
Ed van Zon 8
Stephen Tavener 7
Steve Evans 6
Joao Pedro Neto 5
Robert Price 4
Roland Johansson 4
Jeff Roy 3
Key McKinnis 3
Koksal Karakus 3
Matthew Burke 3
Pierre Tourigny 3
Rob LeRoy 3
Roger Cooper 3
Peter Aronson (Peteraronson)
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2001 - 1:49 pm:   

This is, of course, only if you count those games on the Zillions website. I know that if you search the Chess Variant Pages' Zillions Archive by name for Fergus Duniho, you'll get 30+ entries, and I know he has even more on his home page. Similarly, Jens Markmann, who maintains the ZRF Programming Guide, has at least a couple of dozen on *his* home page.

This leads to an interesting question: because I started there first, I've been posting all of the Chess variants I do to the Chess Variant Pages; something like 22 or 23 at last count. Many of these games have a good reason to be there (a lot of them are contest entries by other people who did not program in Zillions). Should they be posted here too? I'm mildly reluctant to, simply because of the maintenance issue: I'd have to make any bug fixes in two different places, which is messy and failure prone. Any thoughts?
Robert A. Kraus (Bobkraus)
Posted on Friday, April 13, 2001 - 4:37 pm:   

Oops, I wasn't aware of all the games on those other sites. I vaguely remebering looking at some sites, like Jens Markmann's, when I first got Zillion's, and when I saw games like Congo, Chad, Alice Chess, that I recognized from Zillions I just assumed any Zillions game there would also be on the Zillions website.

I definitely think that every (published) Zillions game should be on the Zillions website!
That way I can look in just one place for the games. Yes, I know everyone wants to get people to view their site, but who has the time. I haven't even tried half of the games on Z's site yet! If they were all in one place and completely categorized you could quickly focus on the types that interest you.

And although I greatly appreciate Z's recent splitting of the files into 3 categories, I think they should be further sub-divided into many more, even 30 or 40. For example, some Chess variants categoies could be Standard Chess with minor rule changes, radical rule changes, new pieces, different boards, 3-D games, Shogi variants, completely different chess-like games, etc. Other games could be typed by win-types, (capture all pieces, get pieces in a row, pieces reach a goal, etc.), movement types, (sliding, flipping, jumping, etc.), etc. Of course I know this makes for a lot of work, but with the rate that new Zillions games are being created, something like this has to be eventually done, or one's new game will just get lost in the crowd and not reach the people who would really like it.
Joao Pedro Neto (Joao_Neto)
Posted on Sunday, April 15, 2001 - 9:15 am:   

Hi

About putting every ZRF on the Zillions site, would produce a flood of games that are perhaps not so interesting...

Talking about me, I already made about a dozen ZRFs, but I felt that I should post only the best here. But I don't know if this is the correct decision...

Cheers,

Joao Neto
Robert A. Kraus (Bobkraus)
Posted on Sunday, April 15, 2001 - 8:19 pm:   

Hello,

Yes, we don't want poor games posted! I too have made numerous games that didn't turn out so well!
I only meant that if the games are good enough to be posted on someone else's website, then they should be posted on Zillions also.

Good gaming!

Bob Kraus
David GLAUDE (Glu)
Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2001 - 12:35 pm:   

My 0.02$...

I think some ZRF should never make it into the Zillions web site. Like my Zenix clone: xineZ
at http://glu.freeservers.com/zenix.htm <- Come and dowload/hit my counter. Or the most famous unpublish HexFive (a clone of BoKu) that you can NOT download yet from http://glu.freeservers.com/boku.htm.

I must agree with Joao Pedro Neto that flooding is not really going to help (who is having the time to test so many games)?

I should also say that I am quiet happy with the 3 list split of games because I don't like chess too much (and a most complex variant) and I don't play most puzzle (Sorry Karl, you make wonderfull creazy ZRF code, but I don't play puzzle).

The best thing about Zillions repository of ZRF files, is that they are all ZIP the same way, with small picture and short description. And you can download them all from HTTP and make an off-line version of the web description.

If ever we could join forces and "merge" the ZRF of the various author together into one colaborative web site. If we could use the same packageing rules and try to reuse the maximum of graphics from each other. If we could copyright and COPYLEFT with the same licence all the ZRF that there publish. If we could let selective access to each writer to it's own part of the repository. If we could attach meta-information to the game in a standardize format (and from that meta information + ZRF info generate description pages/Graphics of the start position and list of variant)... Then this would really be great. Then "à la" slashdot we could have comment from players and a rating system. Plus a search engine based on meta information (kind of game, complexity, author, ...). And of course we need the versionning feature like in sourceforge to be able to keep old version but enhance and fix bug.

Of course, this is an ultimate goal and I don't have the time/permanent-connectivity/expertise to do it myself, but I could help with the
Meta-information/parsing of ZRF/generation of graphic of the start-position.

Waiting for such a web site... Zillion repository is quiet nice and if we could just link each page that also contain ZRF not on the Zillions web site, it would be great.

David GLAUDE glu@who.net
Karl Scherer (Karl)
Posted on Monday, May 21, 2001 - 5:46 pm:   

David Claude wrote:

...
(Sorry Karl, you make wonderfull crazy ZRF code, but I don't play puzzle).
...

No need to be sorry for me, David.
There are hundreds of millions of people out there who love puzzles.
Just think of Tetris....
Are you saying you did never played it?
Anyway, all the people I know have played some version of Tetris at some stage, and most of them got quite addicted to it.

I think there is no doubt that solitary games
have a big audience and that they are here to stay.

By the way,
A nice way to use Zillions in your home is the following:
I have a big 29 inch Panasonic TV in the lounge that functions as a computer monitor (not just using the SVGA IN, but a monitor cable!).
100 Hertz repeat rate create a flickerfree picture and a fun gaming image.
A cablefree mouse using radiofrequencies
completes the family entertainment centre in the lounge.

All my friends love the setup. No computer in sight.

Cheers, Karl
Jeff Mallett (Jeffm)
Posted on Saturday, March 13, 2004 - 11:53 am:   

As of today, you can search for games on the Zillions site by a particular author. You'll get a count too. Let's see... type in "scherer", hit "find"... 341 downloads on our site. Wow!
Derek Nalls (Omegaman)
Posted on Saturday, March 13, 2004 - 12:54 pm:   

Bravo!
Tributes to Ed van Zon for his excellent work.

I hope the significant improvement he has made to the Zillions web site is likewise reflected in the next-release Zillions CD. A large offerring of games in an accessible, well-classified thematic structure serves potential players, users of the Zillions program, far better than the outdated original created in 1998.

You folks at Zillions must give yourselves credit for greatly stimulating and changing the world of chess variants since the advent of your program. Furthermore, I would characterize many of us who currently create chess variants as firmly believing (based upon reason) that having such a powerful playtesting tool available to us renders some of our creations superior to what was possible with any amount of effort for the ancients. As such, we want our work to be made available to anyone who purchases the Zillions program, not just to those who choose to visit the Zillions web site for "more games".

Consider the hypothetical possibility that I am generally impressed with Scherer's work and so, I confidently wish to download everything he has ever created at once.

I respectfully request a means of downloading one master file for all of Scherer's creations, irregardless to its large size, instead of having to manually download 341 individual files. Will you please make doing so possible on an optional basis?

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