[ View Thread ] [ Post Response ] [ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]

BGonline.org Forums

BGBlitz 2.8.0 is online

Posted By: Frank Berger
Date: Sunday, 2 November 2014, at 6:31 p.m.

Hi all,

BGBlitz 2.8.0 is available. Finally! It took even longer than 2.7. And no, again I was not lazy. But when you burn the midnight oil for more than a decade you pile up debts in your program structure. I decided to take the time and clean up things, which took a lot of time. More than I liked. And there are around 150 improvements, bug fixes and new features. The most important:

The tutor of BGBlitz has a new ability rating your moves in real-time. This doesn't sound too spectacular, but the feedback is immediate after your checker move
- it doesn't interrupt your flow
- you have an idea of the error size
- you get not only critics but positive feedback too which is important under motivational aspects.
Hard to explain how it feels but imagine having a coach in the background, nodding his head or rising his eye brow....
There is a small screencast showing this feature in action. It is really addictive. ( http://www.bgblitz.com/screencast/TutorRating_EN.mp4)

Your mileage may vary, but for me, the aesthetics of the game were always important. For the last year, I’ve worked with Debbie Curtis, a U.S. designer and former Mac consultant, who created a bunch of marvelous boards — around 50 big ones, at 1490 x 1036 pixels. In the hunt for the perfect board, she nudged me to expand BGBlitz’s visual interface capabilities (e.g., multiple checker faces, flexible cube and point numbers locations, bigger thumbnail previews). She donated four boards free of charge, and you can buy the others on her website www.dcbackgammon.com . They’re very affordable (costs less than a beer in most countries and you would be surprised how much work goes into them!). As a little thank you to her and to my BGBlitz customers, I bought 250 licenses to give away to the next 125 new buyers (upgrade from Player version counts, too) and the first 125 existing buyers. All you have to do is send me an EMail (subject: “free theme”) and I’ll give you a special code to get any theme of your choice — free, no strings attached!
You can see some appetizers on my website.

For the same reason I added some more well looking look&feels so you have more choices to make your favorite theme look even better (Windows and Linux only).

Naturally some effort was put in the AI. I experimented a lot, trained more than a dozen neural nets (each trained about two month), fixed a weakness in the cube heuristics and here is the new AI, not surprisingly called TachiAI IV. In the Depreli 2010 Benchmark it achieves 43.4 (down from 66. Lower is better) with 3-ply and 37.5 with 4-ply which is a decent improvement. At the same time the speed, especially for 3 and 4-ply was improved (about twice as fast) and BGBlitz now supports Match Equity tables in the XG-format.

I play a lot on http://www.dailygammon.com. It's like correspondence Backgammon on steroids. How often you want to know "was you're move right?" or "Should I have dropped the cube?", but you are too lazy to setup the position. And waiting until the game is finished takes too long (sometimes weeks). BGBlitz comes to the rescue. Just drop the URL on BGBlitz board and you know whether you were right. Here is a screencast showing this feauture. (http://bgblitz.com/screencast/Dailygammon.mp4) Naturally you have to use it ethically and only look after you have moved or made your cube decision!!

I added another random number generator. It is recorded real random from "quantum randomness of photon arrival times" (see https://qrng.physik.hu-berlin.de). I included 1 million random dice, what should suffice for some time.....

Support for Longgammon is added (a Backgammon variation with a different starting position)

Numerous further improvements and some bug fixes among them 2 fatal errors and a dozen serious errors

Many thanks to Anders Olsen, Charlie Dick, Chrilly Donninger, Claudio Rescoigno, Dave Bellows, Debbie Curtis, Erich Bloch, Gert Ereth, Gregoire Cornu, Jörg Picard, Kevin Whyte, Markus Goemmel, Michael Petch, Norbert Dehnbostel, Otto Nadolny, Paul Churchill, Peter Grotrian, Philippe Michel, Radu-Dan Sabau, Ralph Landkammer, Sultan Rotrout, William Maslen and to all of the people who have provided error reports, making suggestions or helping in any other way to improve BGBlitz.

The update is free!

Just download the free version from http://www.bgblitz.com/download.html . If you have installed the license in your current version with drag&drop, or have at least 2.7.0 the license will be recognized automatically. In the worst case you have to drag&drop the license file again on the board if BGBlitz runs.

If you use Windows please uninstall the old version first.

I hope you enjoy the new version. I always glad getting some feedback. If you find some errors or quirks please drop me an email.

regards Frank

Messages In This Thread


Post Response

Your Name:
Your E-Mail Address:

If necessary, enter your password below:




[ View Thread ] [ Post Response ] [ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]

BGonline.org Forums is maintained by Stick with WebBBS 5.12.