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Time is the fire in which we burn (or: KShisen Time Penalty)

February 10, 2010
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In KShisen there is the so-called “Cheat Mode” which indicates that the player used the Hint or the Undo function to solve the game. As a consequence the game is not stored as a high score, even if it was one time-wise.

When I first played KShisen, I liked that idea. Then, when my playing technique advanced a bit, I wished for the undo action to not block my way to the high score table. So I decided it is me or the cheat mode.

When I became maintainer of KShisen about one year ago, it also became clear who had to go. :D My lazyness gave the cheat mode another year to live, but now its time has finally come. Oh really? Yeah, rea… well, almost.

Before changing the way a game works, the players should have the chance to state their opinion with respect to that change. Yeah, both of them. :D

So here is my proposal:
Get rid of the cheat mode.
Put a time penalty system in its place to keep it desirable to play without requesting help. So if the player undoes a move, 2 seconds are added to his time; a hint costs 5 seconds. The values are of course subject of discussion.

What do you think? Leave a comment or try reaching me in #kdegames on Freenode.

(Title Quote: Star Trek – Generations)

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2010 3:01 am

    First of all, thanks for the great job on kde games. My mom absolutely loves these games, and was surprised to find that people do maintain and update them (Kmajonng and kbreakout are her favs). She plays often, and often times I notice that she uses the hint mechanism to step her through a game, when she is trying to learn the rules. She does care that doing so makes it so the game will not be highscored, its her incentive to play a game without hints. The undo button is a bit cruel, because ‘undo’ implies ‘oops, my cat jumped on the mouse and now my game is whacked out’ but it behaves like ‘oh man this is not working, I am so taking back that move’.

    I asked her for input and she wished that there was a time limit on the undo action (say 5 sec.) In these 5 seconds pressing undo will not penalize the player, but anything after that will cause the game not to be high scored. The hint action should penalize timewise for only a certain amount of hints, after which it will no longer highscore the game (the specific number might vary according the difficulty of the game.)

    Please keep up the great work! :)

  2. February 11, 2010 7:43 am

    Please keep the cheat mode : the goal of shisen game is to do it without undos. I suggest only that if an action activates the cheat mode, a popup advises the player, with a cancel button to go back, and a check box ‘I still want this game to go to the highscores near the OK button.

    Still, I think the 5 seconds grace period for undo by Saleel Velankar has sense.

    The time penalty is really making the game different, except if it is so big no one would use it : 300 seconds the hint, because when finishing the game even 30 seconds for an hint can help doing a best top score.

  3. peterix permalink
    February 11, 2010 7:51 am

    Have two high-scores. One for normal games, one for cheat games.

  4. jwickers permalink
    February 11, 2010 10:39 am

    Another option is to only allow undo for the last action. This allows correcting a bad click, but not say to go back 3 steps because you noticed your game is lost, so there is no exploiting it.

  5. David permalink
    February 11, 2010 5:57 pm

    First, thanks for your work! I enjoy KShisen–it helps keep my memory sharp, and with an elderly Mother with Alzheimer’s that is quite important to me, since I certainly don’ t want to wind up with it also.

    I don’t mind either keeping things as-is or going with the time penalty only for the hints and undo actions. However, for the undo–I would make the penalty larger if someone tried to do more than one step of undo at a time than I would simply for doing an “undo” before making the next move. ..if that’s possible without too much work.

    Thanks again…

  6. February 13, 2010 8:49 pm

    Thank you for all your feedback. I did not expect feedback of this high quality, to be honest. :)
    The next few days I will think about your proposals and then try to implement what I think makes sense.

    Thanks again. :)

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