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Matt Pullin
GreenCastle

Epoch Go

Epoch Go is a real-time interpretation of the classic board game Go. I am building the first implementation with Ansca Mobile's Corona SDK using the PubNub network. It is aimed for phone-sized devices and will have a 7x7 grid, although I do not rule out the possibility of a version with a larger grid for tablet-sized devices.

In Epoch Go, the players place stones on the intersections of a square grid. Unlike Go, there are no turns. Players can place stones whenever they want. If two players place a stone at the same point within 500 ms (this time is adjustable) of each other, a collision occurs and a "crater" forms at that point. Craters are neutral, permanent stones. They take liberties away from all players. If a group of [orthogonally connected] stones loses all its liberties [empty points connected orthogonally to any stone in the group], it is captured and all the stones are removed. It is not legal to take away the last liberty from one of your groups, unless that move results in the immediate capture of an opponent's group. If there are no legal moves made within 10 seconds, the host will declare the game to be over and count up the stones. The player with the most stones on the board wins.

This app is going to feature a multiple host, multiple client architecture. Technically, all connections are clients, but upon launching the app, the user can decide to host games or to participate in games. The host and player connections subscribe to different channels and behave in different ways. A host manages a single game at a time and plays traffic cop, telling the players where all the stones on the board are and determining if moves submitted to it are legal. In this way I hope the game network will sustain itself without having a centralized host running code all the time.



Here is a video demonstration of the app in action.



Here are a couple production screenshots. Click to view full size in new window.

 

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