This evening, I plan to release OpenTafl v0.1.7b after testing on a Windows computer. The big feature is a new UI, which should be more readable and more usable, and which opens the door to several major features: a game clock (I plan to write about timing tafl games in a later post), external AI engines and network play (thanks to a rewrite of the way commands are passed from the AI and the UI to the game engine), and, further in the future, a more easily discoverable UI, where the player can use the arrow keys to navigate the board and move pieces.
Speaking of which, here’s the roadmap. Estimated release dates after v0.2.x are not to be trusted.
v0.1.7b+ – Now to April, as I have the time
The rest 0.1.x series of releases will be concerned with wrapping up a few missing rules: the game clock and draws by threefold repetition, including (for the latter) warnings about making a move that would create threefold repetition, and status messages for both.
Once the remaining features for version 0.1.7b are released, I plan to officially announce the OpenTafl Tafl Open, and provide a space for discussion and updates among AI authors. (We already have a kinda-sorta forum, over at http://conclave.manywords.press.)
v0.2.x – By the end of April
The 0.2.x series of releases will be concerned with implementing engine support. The end-of-April deadline leaves about seven months for AI authors to build in OpenTafl engine support for the OpenTafl Tafl Open, which should be sufficient for some fairly interesting designs.
v0.3.x – Summertime sometime
The 0.3.x series of releases will be concerned with allowing more player-to-player interaction, improving the single-player experience, and implementing extra game-analysis features. Planned features for the 0.3.x series include saving and loading games by means of OpenTafl Notation game records, AI improvements, correspondence play, and a simple in-game history viewer and out-of-game replay viewer.
v0.4.x – Fall/winter
The 0.4.x series of releases will be concerned with support for real-time network play. OpenTafl will be able to run in server mode, or connect to a multiplayer server in client mode.
Other features I may try to fit in include the ability to hypothesize moves and sequences as part of the history viewer and replay viewer, although this may prove to be more difficult than I expect.
Anyway, that’s what you can expect in the next year. In the nearer future, v0.1.7b should be available no later than tomorrow morning, but most likely tonight.