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Marty
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Re: Abstract set concept
« Reply #45 on: May 20th, 2013, 5:05pm »
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on May 20th, 2013, 1:34am, mattj256 wrote:

I think that in written materials (books and online) there is room for a more abstract representation of the pieces.  And I could imagine adults enjoying a physical abstract set, but I agree with Laci that a real-animal physical set is best for kids.
 
One issue with the real-animal pieces is that in written materials they don't shrink well.  The Wikipedia page on Chess has diagrams that are much smaller than ours, and they can do that because the chess pieces are really icons.

i strongly agree that more abstract pieces are desirable. in my opinion they would be preferable even for online play. consider pieces about as far from real life animals as chess pieces are from their real life counterparts.
 
unfortunately i can't draw myself, but from searching for "[animal] symbol" image (resized and reupped):
 

 
both elephant and dog are extremely simplistic, drawn with only few basic shapes, yet they are easily recognizable and i dare say their clean shapes are also aesthetically pleasing
 
it would be possible to draw only heads in the same fashion if it served the purpose better. in that case one could decide between profile and full face view, the latter with an advantage of being symmetric, thus removing the left/right orientation of animals at the board
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Fritzlein
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Re: Abstract set concept
« Reply #46 on: May 20th, 2013, 5:55pm »
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on May 20th, 2013, 5:05pm, Marty wrote:

 
both elephant and dog are extremely simplistic, drawn with only few basic shapes, yet they are easily recognizable and i dare say their clean shapes are also aesthetically pleasing

Yes, this is the kind of cartoony pieces I was looking for when I was writing Beginning Arimaa.  They are easily recognizable even when scaled down, and don't depend on fine detail, which is just what one needs for book diagrams.  Ultimately, one would like to be able to annotate games with figurine notation instead of with letters, like international chess books do.  For example, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_symbols_in_Unicode
 
If you tried to shrink the current Arimaa pieces enough to put them in-line with text, they would be illegible.  Alas, for now we are stuck with letter-number notation.  Hopefully when the next Arimaa book comes out, we can make this leap forward.
« Last Edit: May 20th, 2013, 6:04pm by Fritzlein » IP Logged

odin73
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Re: Abstract set concept
« Reply #47 on: May 21st, 2013, 3:59pm »
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This is the set a colleague made to play Arimaa. It consists simply of small parts available in a hobby shop.  
I like the set since the relative strength of the pieces can be seen very easily by a beginner:
 

 
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browni3141
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Re: Abstract set concept
« Reply #48 on: May 21st, 2013, 5:31pm »
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A set using the five Platonic solids and spheres would be cool. The hierarchy from weakest to strongest would be sphere<tetrahedron<hexahedron<octahedron<dodecahedron<icosahedron.
 
A flat set (probably better for online) could use
circle<triangle<square<pentagon<hexagon<heptagon
 
Some people might like plain numbers, but that's not very interesting. Whatever is used the pieces should still be referred to by their animal names.
 
It would be cool to have different sets available for online use. In fact maybe I'll experiment with swapping out the images (although I do like the current set quite a lot)
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mattj256
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Re: Abstract set concept
« Reply #49 on: May 22nd, 2013, 2:35am »
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on May 21st, 2013, 5:31pm, browni3141 wrote:
A set using the five Platonic solids and spheres would be cool.  
 
A flat set (probably better for online) could use
circle<triangle<square<pentagon<hexagon<heptagon
If you're going to do this I think it's important to bring in color as well.  Nobody is going to glance at a 7-sided figure and know immediately that it has more sides than a six-sided figure.  Also I think an Arimaa rabbit should be visually distinct, like a silhouette of a rabbit, and then have everything else follow your preferred abstract pattern.
 
on May 20th, 2013, 5:55pm, Fritzlein wrote:
[Those pieces] are easily recognizable even when scaled down, and don't depend on fine detail, which is just what one needs for book diagrams.
 I wish I had icons like that for my Wikipedia work.
 
on May 20th, 2013, 5:05pm, Marty wrote:
i strongly agree that more abstract pieces are desirable.
For what it's worth, I want to play my online games with animals.  (But they could be icons of animals.)  It would certainly be nice if the Arimaa client gave you the option of which pieces graphics you wanted to use!
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Marty
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Re: Abstract set concept
« Reply #50 on: May 22nd, 2013, 5:44am »
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on May 22nd, 2013, 2:35am, mattj256 wrote:
For what it's worth, I want to play my online games with animals.  (But they could be icons of animals.)  It would certainly be nice if the Arimaa client gave you the option of which pieces graphics you wanted to use!

this is not the rightest thread (named "Abstract", while i mean "simple" or "iconic"/"cartoony" as you/Fritzlein put it), but i think that i showed my idea clearly with the examples posted.
 
i have a nice chess analogy to ilustrate my point. the current arimaa pieces are pretty detailed, like old chess sets, say Lewis chessmen (almost). browni's idea, odin's image or other images posted earlier are indeed like modern, abstract chess sets. and just as abstract chess sets are not really popular for ordinary play, i am not a fan of such proposals.
 
what i am looking for is Staunton-like arimaa set. with pieces simple, clear and at the same time enough characteristic, so that you can recognize any single one at a glance. wikipedia chess diagrams are another good example of the right level of abstraction.
 
at first i considered the idea silly, but responses so far encouraged me to go with it - i offer $5 for an arimaa set design, drawn according to my proposal in this thread
 
megajester's design in this thread's OP and The Novice Oof's set are not far from my requirements, but i still believe something between them would be even better
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Re: Abstract set concept
« Reply #51 on: May 22nd, 2013, 9:40am »
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on May 22nd, 2013, 2:35am, mattj256 wrote:

If you're going to do this I think it's important to bring in color as well.  Nobody is going to glance at a 7-sided figure and know immediately that it has more sides than a six-sided figure.  Also I think an Arimaa rabbit should be visually distinct, like a silhouette of a rabbit, and then have everything else follow your preferred abstract pattern.

Identifying an n-sided figure is pretty easy for a small n. I think you could definitely tell at a glance whether a figure had 3-7 sides (or none). Go ahead and test yourself. All the polygons would be regular and oriented so that the bottom side is flat. It is very easy to distinguish a hexagon from a heptagon this way because with a hexagon the top side will also be flat, but not with a heptagon.
 
Making the rabbit look like a rabbit kind of defeats the purpose of this type of set, doesn't it? I don't see what is wrong with a circle. A circle is plenty different from the other shapes because it has no sides Wink
 
I think a set like this or the Platonic solid set might appeal to people that have a problem with the animal theme and want more abstraction.
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Re: Abstract set concept
« Reply #52 on: May 22nd, 2013, 11:25pm »
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on May 22nd, 2013, 9:40am, browni3141 wrote:
I think you could definitely tell at a glance whether a figure had 3-7 sides (or none). Go ahead and test yourself.

 

 

 

 
(Heights of the outer image file: 59/30/22 pixels)
 
The heptagon starts to look like a circle but you're right that the other ones remain visually distinct.  
(I know you said the bottom side should be flat but I was lazy and pulled this off the internet.)
« Last Edit: May 22nd, 2013, 11:27pm by mattj256 » IP Logged
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Re: Abstract set concept
« Reply #53 on: May 23rd, 2013, 12:28am »
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on May 22nd, 2013, 11:25pm, mattj256 wrote:

 

 

 

 
(Heights of the outer image file: 59/30/22 pixels)
 
The heptagon starts to look like a circle but you're right that the other ones remain visually distinct.  
(I know you said the bottom side should be flat but I was lazy and pulled this off the internet.)

I admit it might get difficult with the smaller ones. I didn't think about that.
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Re: Abstract set concept
« Reply #54 on: May 23rd, 2013, 1:52pm »
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Segoe UI Symbol font plus some font size changes, text effects, and reversing using a paint program.  
 

 
Unicode values:
1F407, 1F408, 1F415, 1F40E, 1F42B and 1F418.
 
However, the Segoe UI Symbol may require a license from Microsoft to use in an actual product, like a game client.  I think there may be free font alternatives.  I'm not sure.  
« Last Edit: May 23rd, 2013, 6:42pm by ocmiente » IP Logged

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Re: Abstract set concept
« Reply #55 on: May 26th, 2013, 7:22pm »
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Just to make sure everybody is aware of this, we currently do have black-and-white icons of the Arimaa pieces:
http://arimaa.com/arimaa/graphics/bw/svg/
http://arimaa.com/arimaa/graphics/bw/png/
 
And yes, all these hidden yet relevant pages are underscoring how messy this website has become. Something as simple as a site map could mitigate this.
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Re: Abstract set concept
« Reply #56 on: May 27th, 2013, 11:07am »
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on May 26th, 2013, 7:22pm, aaaa wrote:
Just to make sure everybody is aware of this, we currently do have black-and-white icons of the Arimaa pieces:

Indeed, but omar's icons are not usable in figurine notation because they are too similar at a small scale.  In particular the cat and dog would be nearly indistinguishable.
 
Ocmiente's UI symbols are where I would start for my next book, although the sizes would have to be equalized for in-line text.  Perhaps that would merely be using the same font size for all animals rather than different font sizes as he did?  For the board diagrams, however, the different sizes could be preferable.
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Re: Abstract set concept
« Reply #57 on: May 27th, 2013, 3:55pm »
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on Feb 22nd, 2011, 5:55am, UruramTururam wrote:
A nice and very abstract set spotted on BGG:

 
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/536351/arimaa?size=original

I was also thinking about Planets as replacement for animals when I was introduced about the game. It's so silly for two Super Grand Masters pushing rabbits, cats and dogs LOL!  Planetary gravity fits the concept of push and pull with trap squares be renamed as Black-Hole.
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