Ready x Rīchi (Tentative title)

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Ready x Rīchi (Tentative title)

Post by diddysinatra » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:21 pm

DiddySinatra here, and I'm putting together a game that I'm tentatively going to call "Ready x Rīchi". It's an ad-supported free-to-play competitive Rīchi Mahjong game, in which you can play well enough to earn (or outright buy, or a combination; your choice) yourself a customize-able "table in the cloud" of your own. I have many more details lined up, written up, and thoroughly discussed with dozens of people plus an in-progress Kickstarter page. However, I haven't as of yet haven't had a group of actual, passionate Rīchi players to talk to and see what they think about the state of Reach/Rīchi mahjong games (and other variants).

Don't worry, no amount of money put into this game will come close to raising your status more than consistency, playing out your games to the end (East round only or a Hanchan), and being a good member of the community. NO AMOUNT. The number of amounts of money that would allow that to happen is zero (0) amounts. *cough* I digress, I'll move on...

My goal here is not to fall into the troubles that some of the other existing Mahjong games fall into by asking the very question:

(opinion) what are some of the nagging issues that the currently available Mahjong games have?

Edit: moved topic from ready-specific to here.
To the moderator: should this be in video games, or over in ready-specific?

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Re: Ready x Rīchi (Tentative title)

Post by Shirluban » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:52 am

Welcome!

"should this be in video games, or over in ready-specific?"
Since the subject is specifically about a video game, I guess it should be in the video game forum.
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Re: Ready x Rīchi (Tentative title)

Post by Barticle » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:18 am

Hi again DS. For starters I must say it's exciting to hear of someone undertaking such an ambitious project and I look forward to hearing more about your game as it progresses. Do you want to share the Kickstarter page here? Between active posters, lurkers and casual traffic it would increase your exposure.

I'm assuming you'll need code for AI bots to fill empty seats in multiplayer matches and possibly for a single-player offline mode. I've always assumed that would be one of the hardest aspects of developing your own mahjong game or do you have it covered?

I must admit I don't play much now, and not on PC, but you should find that my GameFAQs guides (link below) give a helpful overview of typical (and atypical) game options, rule options and player stats found in PS3 and DS titles. Personally I like to see as many of these as possible, although for online multiplayer I guess the rule set or options should be simpler.

You mentioned elsewhere the issues of move timers and seat-wind indicators. In offline play I think it's nice to have a range of timer options - new players can play with the timer off then later enable it to prepare for online play. I like having a function to toggle scores/winds/names on/off during play - so you have a clean display but the info's easily accessible.

When we had similar discussions in the past I envisaged a game which had a range of optional graphical overlay assists for novices. These could highlight dora in your hand, dangerous/recommended/safe discards, yaku suggestions, Arabic numerals above suit tiles, opponent discard analysis, etc.

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Re: Ready x Rīchi (Tentative title)

Post by diddysinatra » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:04 pm

Barticle wrote:Do you want to share the Kickstarter page here? Between active posters, lurkers and casual traffic it would increase your exposure.
I think I'll post a link to it here just before it's ready to go live, for feedback, and post it live after that. I still have a large amount of work to do in finding out how much money I actually need to complete this down to a granular level, as well as flesh out the backer rewards. I'm just one dude with a dream.
Barticle wrote:I'm assuming you'll need code for AI bots to fill empty seats in multiplayer matches and possibly for a single-player offline mode. I've always assumed that would be one of the hardest aspects of developing your own mahjong game or do you have it covered?
AI has been on my brain for the past week. Yes, that is going to be the most difficult part of this game to make, bar none. I'm going to build that with my Akagi Engine in mind. See below.
Barticle wrote:I must admit I don't play much now, and not on PC, but you should find that my GameFAQs guides (link below) give a helpful overview of typical (and atypical) game options, rule options and player stats found in PS3 and DS titles. Personally I like to see as many of these as possible, although for online multiplayer I guess the rule set or options should be simpler.
The competitive, ranked side will have a much smaller set of options to work with for consistency. If there are too many different types of ranked games to start, it all becomes too fragmented, and people can't find matches.
Barticle wrote:You mentioned elsewhere the issues of move timers and seat-wind indicators. In offline play I think it's nice to have a range of timer options - new players can play with the timer off then later enable it to prepare for online play. I like having a function to toggle scores/winds/names on/off during play - so you have a clean display but the info's easily accessible.
You hit the nail on the head here. My goal is to have nothing that could be variable be a static feature, especially for those who own their own "table".
Barticle wrote:When we had similar discussions in the past I envisaged a game which had a range of optional graphical overlay assists for novices. These could highlight dora in your hand, dangerous/recommended/safe discards, yaku suggestions, Arabic numerals above suit tiles, opponent discard analysis, etc.
You're talking about the configurable hand and game state analysis engine that I'm building, tentatively called the Akagi Engine (I'm only calling it that on the development level, no need to get into licensing issues, lol) :) The inspiration and key differentiator of this game will be it's tutorial suite and the Akagi Engine. People have short attention spans, and you have to get them to the eureka moment that will keep them hooked on the game very quickly. That "Oh, THAT'S the real game here" moment. Good and numerous tutorials and a good hand-holding engine are the key to making sure a new player understands what is going on.

It seems then that my concerns and solutions already are echoing the things that you've seen that people want. That takes some of the stress off of my mind, since I've been building this out in my head alone and worried that I'm just making a game full of stuff only I'd appreciate :lol:

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Re: Ready x Rīchi (Tentative title)

Post by diddysinatra » Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:40 pm

More details on the game coming soon! A skeleton facebook page is up:

https://www.facebook.com/readyriichi

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Re: Ready x Rīchi (Tentative title)

Post by diddysinatra » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:00 am

Version 1.0 feature set established! Now to write it up officially, calculate costs, estimate how long development should take, etc.

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Re: Ready x Rīchi (Tentative title)

Post by diddysinatra » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:08 pm

Random note: Just got an email from Nintendo to set up a call about developing for the Wii U. Stay tuned...

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Re: Ready x Rīchi (Tentative title)

Post by Barticle » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:14 pm

:shock: Yoinks!

If it comes off that would be a bit more reliable than crowdfunding!

Naturally they already have strong links with established software houses who've made mahjong games for them in the past (e.g. Koei made a version of Mahjong Taikai for the original Wii and there are loads of mahjong games on the DS) but the big console companies do support indie developers for downloadable titles.

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Re: Ready x Rīchi (Tentative title)

Post by diddysinatra » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:10 pm

Yeah, I'm still waiting on their call. I replied to an email of theirs and asked whats up with the call and got a response saying "Yeah, there's a lot of devs applying, we'll call you as soon as we can at the time you dictated" (paraphrased). So now I have to watch my phone at Noon everyday for their call :/

In more pertinent news, I have a question for anyone with an opinion on this: I'm trying to work in as many "meta-game" signals/queues that occur only when playing physical riichi mahjong that can still make sense in the digital world. I have a handful written up (a "Wait" button for claims, and open tile rearrangement, for example), but I'd like to hear what others have noticed is missing from digital mahjong.

I'm open to all opinions.

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Re: Ready x Rīchi (Tentative title)

Post by Barticle » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:58 pm

The most obvious one would be seeing whether your opponent discards the tile they just drew (tsumokiri) or one from within their hand. Several games, even ones without hand/arm animations, provide a simple visual cue by showing the discarded tile being removed from either the right end or the centre of the player's hand.

As an additional assist unavailable in a real match, some games give the option of permanently shading tsumokiri tiles (or highlighting non-tsumokiri tiles) in the player's discards.

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Re: Ready x Rīchi (Tentative title)

Post by zzo38 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:26 am

You ask what feature we might like, and I will say, having a good open source one in C is my preference.

I do not find a lot of issues with existing computer mahjong game, although there are some features I would like to see. I will refrain from mentioning them at this time.

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Re: Ready x Rīchi (Tentative title)

Post by diddysinatra » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:11 am

zzo38 wrote:You ask what feature we might like, and I will say, having a good open source one in C is my preference.

I do not find a lot of issues with existing computer mahjong game, although there are some features I would like to see. I will refrain from mentioning them at this time.
Thanks zzo38! That could definitely be a stretch goal of the eventual kick starter - To release the game's code as open source after a period of time.

In the mean time - Update: I'm currently working on the first version of the game in Flash. Once that's complete and working, I will rewrite the game in HTML5/GSAP. Then, and only then, will I start the kick starter to get the funds for making the actual Version 1 of the game from scratch for the Kickstarter. Making the game multiple times gives me the best view into how much work needs to be done, what considerations and purchases I'll have to make, and how long it would take to make.

I can add the 2-3 early versions of those code bases to the same open source pot, or make it available to certain backer tiers - many options for people who would want something like that. Thanks again.

As always, I'm open to anyone's ideas! I know the parts of the meta that I'd like implemented, but that's not enough!

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Re: Ready x Rīchi (Tentative title)

Post by diddysinatra » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:25 pm

Small Updates!

Hi all,

Target platforms that I know I will release it on PC/Ouya, WIi U, and Android (sort of). I've been mapping out the game logic and data flow for the core game, communications, and some AI. Notice what those have in common? Programming, because that's what my forte is. Hopefully my kickstarter is successful so I can put the game out with not-crummy graphics/effects, not-crummy animation, not-crummy sound, and a story mode (at all) in a reasonable time-frame (within the next year, I'm eager to play too). You know, little things I'm not proficient at yet...

If I could get it to look better than Saikyo no Mahjong 3D, I'd be content :)

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Re: Ready x Rīchi (Tentative title)

Post by diddysinatra » Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:58 am

I'm back! Updates:

Things are going well, Wii U dev kit up and running, my game has changed form a few times, and my Kickstarter begins November 29th, 2013!

Programming wise, I'm working on the math and logic of coming up with a way to calculate how many tiles any given hand in any given game state is from any activated hands in that play session and arranging them in a (ascending or descending) list, ordered by how may tiles are required for tenpai (Shanten) *breathe* it isn't that hard, just gotta make some decisions.

Overall game wise: The first version of my game will also include Chess, Go, and another game that the Kickstarter backers vote to have made. And I might have full cross platform multiplayer across PC, Wii U (pending approval), Ouya, and mobile at launch - fingers crossed :)

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Re: Ready x Rīchi (Tentative title)

Post by Ozball » Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:14 am

Sounds great! I've dabbled in programming in the past so I have an inkling of how much work is involved. Good luck with it and let us know the kickstarter page when it's up!
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