3. The game zone
How the game zone works
The game zone is the meeting point to play or watch games, talk with other connected players and make use of the main options of the system:
- Open a new game or challenge one player in particular.
- Locate players: search any nick in the game zone.
- Select the games that you want to play beetwen all the available at Ludoteka.
- Show the meeting area: selection of the players and games that best fit with your preferences.
- List all the games and players connected to the game zone.
- Chat rooms.
- Private chat: talk to someone.
The games and players search engine
The search engine shows to every player the selection of the open games and connected users that best fit with the own preferences.
Players must point out to the search engine their own preferences in the following aspects:
- Preferred games panel: the search engine will give more preference to those games.
- Preferred players list: those players will always be located if possible.
- Disliked players list: those players will not be shown, and they will not see you.
- Filters that restrict or tune the selection:
- Preferred players: they will be shown whenever they are connected, even if they do not fit with the other options.
- Onlu my games: the engine will NOT select the games that you have note selected as preferred.
- Only free players: the engine will NOT show in the list of players anyone who is not ready to be offered a new game.
- Only games to play: the engine does NOT show started games.
- Only rated games.
- Only chat room: only players connected to the same chat game, and games where those players are present.
- View, search and premission options:
- "Allow other players to challenge me".
- "Enable private chat with preferred players".
- "Enable private chat with everybody".
- "Activate window when somebody offers you a game".
- "Activate chat panel when receiving a message".
- "Sound when somebody offers a game".
- "I want to be hard to locate": using this option you may cancel the option to be located by other players according to personal reasons (preferred players list or locate players ), but you may be located according to the games or chat room your are in.
Those search preferences are automatically saved and will be used in following connections to the game zone.
Preferences may be modified continuously; the system will return inmediatly the selection of players and games that best matches with the new preferences.
The games and preference forms are loaded in internal panels inside the game zone window.
You can use the preferred players list () and the search function () to locate players connected to different game zones.
Start and access
There are three options to play a game:
- Challenge some player, or accept the challenge made by someone; this option is only enabled in games for two players.
- Open a new game and wait for some other players to get into until all the places are occupied. In this case several players may agree to play together and prevent the access of any other player by using a password.
- Access to a game opened by any other player.
Once the game is opened, no player holds the exclusive privilege to allow or reject the entrance of new players. The rules are the follwing:
- The access for playing only may be restricted by password. No player may be sent off, and nobody may get any player to be quiet.
- If games are rated, the maximum score difference between them may be set to avoid unbalanced games.
- Third parties will be allowed to watch the game if all the players allow their games to be watched. Any observer in particular may be sent off freely by any player at any moment.
- Observers may chat only if all players allow it.
Disconnections and breaks
- Once the game is started, players can´t be replaced.
- The player who voluntarily leaves the game, being connected to the game zone, does not have any option to return. The player who remains alone in the game for this reason wins the game inmediately.
- Games may be paused if players agree ( ).
- When one player disconnects from the game zone the system reserves the place until the game is finished. If the game is played by more than two players, the system replaces the absent player with a robot. If only one player or team remains present, the game is paused automaticly until someone returns.
- When an automatic break happens the present player may finish the game; in this case the system asigns the result of the game depending on the waited time and the possible advantage in the situation of the game.
- If the system detects connection problems and many players are affected, those players do not lose their games automaticly for being disconnected.
After the end of the game players may agree to play a new game without being forced to leave the game window. Two options are possible:
- When the game was for two players, it is possible to challenge the opponent a new game with the same or different conditions, or even a different game
- If the game is for more than 2 people, the only option is to restart a new game with the same conditions. Whenever any of the players decides to restart, the other must answer in some seconds. Players who does not answer in time become watchers in the game, and anyone can fill their places.
When the game is opened with time limits and one player wastes the available time for moving, the result depend on the kind of game:
- If it is a board game, the game is lost.
- If it is parcheesi or it is a card game, the computer performs randomly any action and the game continues.
Options during the game
You can use several options during the game:
- Select the option to make forced moves automatically ( )
- Resign the game ( )
- Offer draw ( )
- Offer the cancellation of the game ( )
- Ignore comments from one of the players ( )