I return from the February tournament in France tired, cold. Did I catch a coronavirus or not? But after a week I'm fine, so maybe it was something else. Within a few days, the Czech Republic has its first official case. Shortly afterwards, on March 10, 2020, the government announces the first lockdown. Fortunately, I work as an IT and working from home simply worked even before. Life somehow stops and I intend to come make good use of the changes, because when else, if not now, when I have suddenly about two hours of extra time a day, because I do not need to travel to work? And so I start to work on my dreams about a game server.
We start from the essence of my personality. When I play, I like to think for a long time, but at the same time I don't have time to think about it. So I need a server where it will be played by correspondence. There are not many, but it is a type where I have at least a little idea how to make it work.
In the first phase, I figure out what the screen will look like. Well, simply. Click on that link or button here if you want to start a new game. And here's the one if you want to join an established game. And another when you want to play. Everything is precisely treated, so if you want to play, you must be on the move, otherwise you will not see the button. I simply control the processing of the form with the button. I display the board as a diagram, ie only with numbers. The first of April I announce to the mancala group that the first version of my work is available. A few people tried it, but we are just at the beginning and we need something better. Players like Assel will definitely not play when they see only a diagram, so the next step is to generate images and display the board by number and image. Gradually I figure out how to arrange display the board after a move in the same window without the possibility to click on the buttons, and my work is slowly approaching what players are used to from other servers. Gradually, I add playing with a robot (even if only playing random moves), and a real-time game. I end the development at the beginning of June. On the one hand, despite all the improvements, no one wants to play with me anyway, on the other hand, it is necessary to do others things. Further developments will follow, but first I have to learn a lot of things.
I get to that learning during the autumn and I continue development at the end of the year. During the summer, there possibility of playing on the kurnik, an old Polish server later renamed plaok.com, appeared. However, their graphics are terrible. Light brown background, and dark brown balls. Well, it's better than nothing and it's still better than my work. But look forward to it, the competition is coming. Unfortunately, with a long delay. But I am just one person, volunteer, not a team of payed profesionals.
However, everything we don't like on playok is a tip on how to do it better. Stupid graphics? I'll make a blue board and white balls. Tournament missed by a couple seconds? I will make it possible to register for individual rounds. Too many ideas, too little time, as always… sometimes I get stuck, but overall things are constantly changing for the better. It's a shame that my work cannot be a Christmas nor New Year's gift. But we are approaching an ideal "made by me" server.