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In my previous post, I describe a tile rotation app and a couple of ideas for implementation of a stone moving game. This post describes another possibility.
The players take turns adding stones to the board. Only one stone is allowed on a tile at a time. After all stones are placed, each player is allowed to rotate tiles in order to create the maximum scoring possible. Points are awarded based on number of stones that are mutually touching. Following are some screen shots that illustrate.
So. how should points be counted? One possibility is to simply count the number of connected stones. So in the above illustration, black gets 6 points, and white gets 7 points (but maybe only two touching shouldn't count, in which case it would be 4 and 5, respectively.
Another possibility is to count the number of touches each stone has. For black, each stone touches 2 others in the square and 1 other on the left, so the total point count would be 8 for the square and 2 for the others, for a total of 10. For white, 3 stones touch 2 others and 4 stones touch one other making the total 3*2 + 4 = 10 points.
Or maybe the longer the string, the higher the reward should be. Powers of 2 would be the obvious choice, but powers of 10 would be easier for most users, so I'll describe that. Essentially, one 0 is added for each additional stone in the chain.
So for white, there is a 5 stone chain (100,000 points) and a 2 stone chain (100 points) for a total of 100,100 points.
And for black, there is a 4 stone group (10,000 points) and a 2 stone chain (100 points) for a total of 10,100 points.
Now let's look at a screen that has been completely filled with stones (note only one stone is allowed on each tile).
In the above illustration, the tiles have been rotated to form a checkerboard pattern. No attempt has been made to optimize score. Using powers of ten scoring, the score is:
Black: 10,000 * 2 + 1,000 * 5 + 100 * 6 = 25,600 points.
White: 10,000 * 3 + 1,000 * 2 + 100 * 10 = 33,000 points (note the 3rd white triangle at the top joins the third white triangle at the bottom forming a 3 stone grouping).
Here the tiles have been rotated in order to cause more stones to touch each other. I won't add up the total score, but I will point out the highest scoring grouping of each color, which likely determines the winner.
Black: 9 stones: 1000,000,000 points (the string of black at the top continues with the string of stones at the bottom.
White: 8 stones: 100,000,000 points.
Here black has a 7 stone string. White has a 6 stone string.
Here white has a 10 stone string.
Here black has an 11 stone string.
This blog post is a departure from previous posts because it doesn't include any photographs. Instead, it includes screen shots of an app I'm working on. The app, for now, is called Tile Rotation. The basic operation of the app is described on the app's website.
I've decided to start brainstorming for a board game based upon the second phase of that app using stone movements in addition to tile rotations. Here are some sample screens to show possibilities.
Here stones have been added to all the tiles that are on either end of the board. Black stones are on one end. White stones on the other end. Players can move stones and/or rotate tiles. To move a stone, it is dragged to the new location. White stones always sit on the white portions of the tiles they sit on. Black stones sit on the black portion. To rotate tiles, the user taps once to rotate it clockwise or double-taps to rotate it counterclockwise. In either case, either a whole column or tiles or a whole row of tiles is rotated in order to keep neighboring tiles touching with the same color.
Here is an example of what the screen looks like after each player has moved one stone and tapped one tile to do a rotation. At this point, I need to decide what moves should be legal. There are many possibilities. Perhaps stones should move only by one tile at a time. Perhaps they should be able to move multiple tiles, as long as they go in a straight line. That's what's shown, above. Perhaps captures should be allowed.
Here, each player has made several moves, and white has just placed a stone on the same tile that's already occupied by a black stone. Does this constitute a capture?
Anyway, the rules are not set yet. If you have an iOS device and would like to join the test team to help decide on what rules should apply, let me know, and I'll add you and give you additional instructions.
Here is a sample tic-tac-toe-like game. The board starts out with no stones. Players take turns adding a stone and optionally doing one rotation. First person to get 5 stones in a row along the same color wins.
I have an update to my previous blog entry about the bluebonnet with the strange inflorescence, where it looked like the flowers were turning out to be leaves. Now it is producing actual flowers.
The plant is in a bed where I planted maroon bluebonnet seeds in the fall of 2011. This particular plant sprouted almost exactly a year ago. Perhaps I'll search for older photos of this plant.
It bloomed for the first time in the spring of 2012. It survived the summer, and now it's blooming again in December.
Bluebonnets usually sprout from seed some time in autumn and then grow throughout the winter. This gives them plenty of energy to burst into bloom in spring. After blooming, it makes seeds and dies. The plant lives less than a year, but is sometimes considered to be a biennial because it crosses the calendar year boundary.
This particular plant is unusual in that it is still flourishing in November. Maybe flourishing is not the right word. It already bloomed this spring, but instead of dying, the plant continued growing as a small plant throughout the summer. Earlier this fall, I noticed an inflorescence and wrote about it to friends and relatives. I figured I'd take pictures when the flowers were more fully formed.
Well, they never did. Instead, the plant is turning into a tall vegetative plant with no flowers. What appears at first to be flower buds is actually leaf buds.
It looks like we're in the middle of another massive American Snout migration.
The first time I paid attention to American Snouts was in the fall of 2006, when they were migrating by the millions. Oddly (to me, at least) they were all flying north. And so they are doing right now.
The fall of 2006 was the beginning of a very rainy season. In fact, I think the calendar year 2007 was the rainiest year since I've been in Austin.
American snouts are known to have massive migrations spaced years apart, but I haven't read anything about what triggers the migration. Now I'm wondering if it's timed to coincide with the onset of El Niño.
If you read this post and know of references explaining the migrations of this species, please add a comment to the blog post with your information or a link to a website.
There is more information and references at the bugguide article on the American Snout butterfly.
Here's an article with much more information.