Fast turn based and other clock improvements

Board Game Arena Official announcements
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sourisdudesert
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Fast turn based and other clock improvements

Post by sourisdudesert » 25 January 2019, 14:36

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We are proud to introduce today 3 new improvements of the BGA time management system:

1. Fast turn-based.
2. Better "initial time" and "additional time" values.
3. "No time limit" improvements.


On Board Game Arena we have chosen to give an high importance to the game clock, because when you play against strangers over the Internet there is nothing more frustrating than waiting for an opponent who takes way too long to play each move (or who decides to stop playing).

But our focus is to allow you to play with your preferred game speed: fast if you don't want to wait, slow if you don't care. And we have built these 3 new improvements exactly for this.


1. Fast turn-based


Since some years now, BGA has been supporting 2 modes: realtime and turn-based.

Realtime is good because it is really like a real boardgame. Turn-based is also cool because you are not stressed with the timer and can take your time for each move.

However, the drawback of turn-based is that a single game may takes weeks - and sometimes months - to be played. The fastest available speed on BGA is 4 moves / day (ie: 6 hours per move), and even at this speed a single game may be veeeeeery long.

At first, we didn't want to propose faster speeds: it makes no sense to play a 8 moves / day turn based game because it means that you would have only 3 hours / move. Even boardgamers must sleep sometimes...

However, we wanted to propose something between realtime and turn-based. Something that would allow turn-based players to make sure a game will not last more than 2-3 days, with the comfort of a turn-based game. So we are happy to launch now the "Fast Turn Based" feature.

Fast turn based introduces 3 new speeds for turn-based: 8 moves / day, 12 moves / day and 24 moves / day. But the most important thing is that you can define, for each tables some Playing Hours. A playing hours period is a 12 hours slot, for example "10:00 to 22:00". During the playing hours period, everything is like a normal Turn-based game. On the contrary, outside of the selected playing hours period, during the "night", the clock is not decreasing. Of course, you can play during the night if you want, but all clocks are "frozen" during this period.

Consequently, playing a Fast Turn based 12 moves / day (10:00 => 22:00) means that you get +1 hour additional thinking time on each move, and that the clock is frozen between 22:00 and 10:00.

Of course, all clock times are always displayed in your local time.

Note: this new feature is also particularly appropriate for turn-based tournaments, since in a tournament you expect each match to be played in a short time.

We hope you'll enjoy this new game speeds :)


2. Better "initial time" and "additional time" values.

When playing on BGA, whatever the game speed, the game clock has an "initial time" (which is also a maximum time) and an "additional time per move" values. These values are different for each game.

Ex: 3mn + 45s / turn.

We introduced a few weeks ago a new algorithm to compute the best values for each game. It is now based on the actual average time the players community is using to play each game on BGA, so it's really more accurate now.

With this new algorithm, we'd like to avoid some situations you may have encountered before:

Situation 1: you start a very quick game which should last only 3-4 minutes, but a player leaves the game and you have to wait 5 long minutes to expel him/her. With the new algorithm, we tried to reduce the maximum time for quick games so that you don't have to wait very long.

Situation 2: one of your opponents decides to take 3 minutes for each move, while most players play usually in 10-15 seconds. With the new algorithm, it's impossible to have an additional time really too long compared to the average thinking time, so your opponents cannot do this anymore.

Situation 3: in a turn based game with 1 move / day, your opponent plays 10 moves during a day to accumulate a lot of time, then does not play during 5 days. The new algorithm sets a more appropriate maximum time for turn based game so that a X moves / day game stays close to a X moves / day game, as expected.

Please note that for real-time the introduction of this algorithm decreased the allotted time for "fast" and "normal" speeds, and increased the time for "slow" speed for a majority of games. If you think the new allotted time is too short for you, please switch to "slow" speed for more comfort when setting up your game.


3. "No time limit" improvements.

A lot of you like to play with the "No time limit" option, for example to play with friends without worrying about the clock, or just because they don't want to have to pay attention to the clock.

So we made this option a little more visible and attractive when setting up the table options, and in addition, we actually removed the clock from the interface for games using "No time limit". So now they really look like "No time limit" games :)


Enjoy!

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SerBaldur
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Re: Fast turn based and other clock improvements

Post by SerBaldur » 25 January 2019, 15:55

nice usability additions, thanks for continuous improvement!

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fserra35
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Re: Fast turn based and other clock improvements

Post by fserra35 » 25 January 2019, 17:49

Good work crew!!!!!
Congratz

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Entoloma
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Joined: 07 December 2016, 01:09

Re: Fast turn based and other clock improvements

Post by Entoloma » 25 January 2019, 18:12

This is a great idea! But can you make this with 4 hours/day, too? (The slowest now in this system is 8hrs/day). I think 4 hours will be a nice option, too, for those who will slower games, but also likes this 12 hrs playing system.

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somedayz
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Re: Fast turn based and other clock improvements

Post by somedayz » 25 January 2019, 18:40

The No Time Limit setting is particularly helpful when teaching a game to beginners. Thank you

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rcann4jtr
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Re: Fast turn based and other clock improvements

Post by rcann4jtr » 25 January 2019, 19:11

Excellent improvements - thank you!

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vigorousRoll
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Re: Fast turn based and other clock improvements

Post by vigorousRoll » 25 January 2019, 19:32

Since no efforts have been made to make Coup available as a turn-based game, I wonder if it would be possible to set up a game of Coup under the No Time Limit format ?


Also, when searching for open tables under the Play Now menu, one can hit the Play Real Time button or the Play Turn-Based button. Well, if someone has created a table under the No Time Limit format, where will I see that table ? Will it be included as part of the Play Turn-Based listings ?

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sourisdudesert
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Re: Fast turn based and other clock improvements

Post by sourisdudesert » 25 January 2019, 19:37

vigorousRoll wrote:Since no efforts have been made to make Coup available as a turn-based game
Sorry but this is not a question of effort. A lot of discussions has been made on the thread below about this so please discuss this there and not here:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=13251
vigorousRoll wrote:Well, if someone has created a table under the No Time Limit format, where will I see that table ? Will it be included as part of the Play Turn-Based listings ?
Yes. No Time Limit tables are turn-based tables, since you need to be warned (ex: by email) when it's your turn. However, if all players are online, you can see updates in realtime so it's not different than a regular realtime game.

But to go further on this: we recommend to use this mode only with friends or players you know very well. So these tables hasn't really designed to be seen on the lobby: most of them will be accessible using personal invitation instead. So basically, it's not important to display them in one lobby or another.

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JCase16
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Re: Fast turn based and other clock improvements

Post by JCase16 » 25 January 2019, 21:06

Fantastic updates. I hope it works like I think it will but it sounds terrific. Thank you!

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volkerk
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Re: Fast turn based and other clock improvements

Post by volkerk » 25 January 2019, 21:20

The new modes have the potential to create more problems than they solve. E.g. if in a fast game someone takes on average 3 mins per move while others are taking just seconds, chances are high that he's taking a bit longer because it's just too stressful for him, and with the change now things become even more stressful - contrary to what you wrote the worst thing that can happen in online game play is NOT that someone just doesn't play, but that others hound you to finally make your move. That's what ####### is infamous for, and these changes will make BGA drift more into that direction, which is a horrible outlook for the future.

Increasing time pressure does NOT reflect a gaming experience at the table either. People don't play with a chess clock. And people that constantly bug others to move faster quickly find themselves without playing partners!

The same thing goes for the change to the maximum time you can rack up. It is perfectly reasonable that you will not be able to play for a few days, and therefore rack up thinking time while you can, then go offline for whatever private or business reason you might have, and then continue playing. Turn-based gaming has no cost associated with it, nobody is hurt by having to wait for a few days while you're not moving, except in tournament play where others depend on the outcome of your game (and in tournaments there already was an overall time limit).

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