|Pointy Stone 3 Othello by Jonathan Kreuzer|
This is what the GUI looks like:
Left Button: Move the cursor over the square you wish to move, and click the left button to move there.
Center Button: Center Click the Mouse to toggle marking squares that are valid moves on and off.
NOTE: You may have click on the board window(right click) to enter keyboard commands.
s key: Type s to tell Pointy to stop thinking early, and he will play whichever move seemed best on shallower searches.
z Key: This will tell Pointy to play the side to move. If you're replaying the game, Pointy's move will end the replay.
GAME WINDOW : The game window is displayed to the right of the board window. It contains the following:
Player Names: Here you can type in names for either player. Pointy Stone will automatically write his name and how deep he searches in the midgame if he is playing. If you want the human player's name to Default to something when the program is started up, from the menu choose defaults and set default name (from the black or white name boxes.)
Discs: This is the number of discs that are currently on the board for each color.
Moves: This contains the number of moves made so far in the game, and the number of moves that are in the transcript. There can be up to 60 moves (and usually are) in a game of Othello. If this says "Move 33 of 40" this means that the board is currently displaying the game up to (and including) move 33, but was played to move 40. So in this situation you can play forward up to move 40 with the playback buttons.
If at any point you play a move by clicking on the board, this breaks the replay, and starts the game at the current position. If you want to play a move, but be able to replay after that point from the old transcript, use Copy Game State and Paste Game State menu buttons, detailed in the MENUs section.
MENUS :Any menu command can be accessed at any time during the game. Some commands aren't available while playing an internet game though.
New: Start a new game (same as Game->restart)
Export Transcript: Writes a file on your harddisk with the transcript of the current game in square format and move format. Player names and final disc counts are also included.
Import Transcript: Reads Transcript from a file of either the square format, or move format. Unlike the load game option, Pointy can't read player names from transcripts, and thus won't update the player name boxes.
ClipBoard Paste Transcript: The same as Import Transcript, only it reads the text in the clipboard.
Next Transcript: If there's more than 1 transcript on a line, this will read the next transcript.
Transcripts in the Square format are only read properly if they are complete or near complete games. If you use ClipBoard Paste Transcript, make sure you copy the entire first line of the transcript, as one of the things Pointy checks to read the transcript is even spacing for each transcript line. Any extra text/data in the paste will be ignored, so you can copy text&lines around the transcript.
Here is a transcript to test out, just highlight and copy the whole thing, then select clipboard paste Transcript. Select Next Transcript to view the second transcript on the line.
"Transcript Read with Errors or Incomplete":
The transcript contained illegal moves, or ended before it was over.
Start a new game
In addition to menu commands, you can use the 'z' key to make the computer play the side to move. This key will end the replay when you're replaying the game.
A game state consists the start board (in case the user used board setup,) the Transcript, and the current Move Number.
Copy Game State:
Paste Game State from last changed move:
Transcript to Clipboard:
you use the playback buttons below to end the board setup.
There are 8 Difficulty levels to select from. These range from 1 ply lookahead to 12 ply lookahead in midgame. Timed games use
*Also Pointy will perform a win/loss search 2 moves before the perfect endgame search.
So, if you selected (8 ply, 14 ply end) Pointy would:
* use the opening book until the positions were no longer in it
In addition, you can tell Pointy to perform a win/loss search or perfect endgame search with any number of empty squares. (The amount of time needed for these searches increases exponentially for each additional empty square though, so if you try to search with too many empty squares it may take almost forever.)
If difficulty is set to time dependent, Pointy will take varying amounts of time to think according to how much time is left on his clock. So his playing strength will depend on what the time limit is set to and how fast your computer is. In time dependent mode only, Pointy uses forward pruning, to give up searching unpromising lines early. I haven't worked much on Time Dependent mode, so he doesn't use his time very well sometimes, when he tries to solve the endgame is set to what works best on my computer, on other computers he may waste time trying to solve the endgame when he doesn't have enough time, or on faste computers not solve when he can and end up not playing the best move.
You can select the style of your opponent here, listed from toughest to easiest.
Pointy Stone: The toughest opponent, the methods are described on the Pointy Stone Brain link.
Greedy: I call this brain greedy because it gobbles up edges and corners. It also includes a mobility term. Playing against it I've found that if I purposely ignore mobility, it reduces my mobility and wins, but if I play my best, it gobbles up edges and I can usually beat it at any difficulty level.
Random Max: This brain likes having as many markers on the board as possible, with a large bonus for corners. It also has a large random number added or subtracted from the evalution.
If the time runs out for a player, a popup message will inform you that the player has lost on time. You're free to ignore the message and continue to play though.
Reset Clock will set both players clocks to zero seconds used, and the clock will go back to - format if time was expired.
You might need to be a bit computer savvy get this working. This option allows you to connect directly to a friend's computer over the internet. One of you starts a server by selecting Internet->Start TCP/IP Server. Starting a server will automatically connect you as a client to that server. Then the person who started the server sends his/her IP address(perhaps over GoogleTalk or AIM.) to their friends, who will connect as clients. The clients choose Internet->Connect to IP Address, and enter the IP address of the server, and then the chat dialog should appear with a connection message. If you want to try out the netgame on a single computer, you can connect to yourself by using the IP 127.0.0.1
If you are behind a firewall, it may require special setup with firewall settings establish a direct connection to an external IP. If you need to learn more about IPs and establishing connections, you'll have to look beyond this help file.
Start TCP/IP Server:
Connect to IP Address:
Offer/Accept Take Back:
Tell me my IP:
From the new netgame setup dialog you can choose timelimit, and and who plays which color. Once one player selects ready, parameters may no longer be changed, unless he unreadies. Once both players select ready, the game will start.
Replay Last Move: If you didn't see the most recent move, this will go back 1 move, pause a second, then replay it.
Show Available Moves (toggle): There will be a green dot displayed on each square where the a move can be played. This is especially useful for those new to the game.
No Flip Animation (toggle): When a move is played this toggle is on, it turns off the quick flip animation for flipped discs that is played after each move.
Board Orientation: The Board can be oriented in 4 different ways, and still be equivalent, this cycles through them. (basically mirrors the board along either length 8 diagonal.)
Display Search Info(toggle): You can display info about the Pointy's move search in the info box.
Eval: Pointy's evaluation of the board position, positive values mean Pointy thinks he's winning... high positive values mean he thinks he's winning by a lot. (In the beginning because of the opening book you will see only either 2, 1, 0, or -1, - 2.) This is scaled to be loosely reperesentative of the estimated final disk difference, but isn't quite meant to be a disk differnce estimate.
Final Eval: Gives the final number of markers at the end of the game (black-white). It can only get worse for you from here. A <= or >= after the number means either the search didn't finish on perfect endgame and the winning player probably won by more. A ?? or ? means the win/loss search checked only move variations that looked close to it. (two ?? is an educated guess, one ? means very likely correct, but still not guaranteed.)
Nodes: Gives the number of nodes that Pointy searched through to arrive at the evaluation... deeper searches/higher branching factors (number of available moves)/no obvious superior or inferior moves will all lead to Pointy searching through more nodes. The first move of the endgame search may take significantly longer than the midgame.
Speed: This gives the number of nodes that were searched each second. The search speed depends mostly on your computer's processor. Also the perfect endgame search is about 3 times faster than the midgame search. (Because it's quicker to find moves near the end of the game with only a few empty squares, and on the last move the board doesn't have to be updated, only the count of discs flipped obtained instead.) The win/loss is a bit slower than the perfect endgame, because it does a midgame search first, and searches less of the quicker end nodes.
Move: This is the move Pointy currently thinks is best. It will be displayed when Pointy is thinking. The move in parentheses is the move that Pointy is currently examining.
Page by: Jon Kreuzer.