Age of Discovery and more about complexity

I’ve completed the touch-table version of Age of Discovery and this article compares this project to my previous project which was Medici.

ageofdiscoveryboardFor both being touch-table conversions of board games, they were very different projects. Medici was small and took less time than I expected it to. Age of Discovery was a large project, and it ended up being even longer than expected.

 

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Trip to San Carlos

We took a trip to San Carlos 10/26 – 11/2 with a friend of ours. To get there we flew into Phoenix and rented a car. It takes about 10 hours to drive from Phoenix. In town we did our standard neighborhood walks, beach time, and restaurants. We also did several geocaches. All of the caches were a bit of hike to get to and one was on an island that only has land access at low tide. On one of the cooler days we hiked the Nacapule canyon trail. The Nacapule canyon is a few miles north of town and part of a national park. We also went into Guyamas to check out a pearl factory and the Three Presidents square. It was a fun trip and I’ve put up a gallery of photos here.

Touch Table Medici and a discussion of project complexity

I’ve completed a touch-table version of Medici

mediciboard

Medici was an interesting project because of how simple it was. It is my first conversion project that has taken significantly less time than I thought it would and is also the quickest that I’ve been able to make a new game.

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Programmatic use of windows search

I recently wanted to add a photo search capability to my Timeline program and discovered that you can open a windows explorer with a custom search. You can also type these searches directly into the address bar in a windows file explorer.

The key is the search-ms protocol. It allows programs (like windows explorer) to directly query the windows search index. The parameters to this command are somewhat obscure, but it is very flexible and it can be used to perform any search that you could perform with the graphical search function in the windows file explorer.

For my application, I wanted to search for all photos that were taken between two dates (the start and end date of an event on my timeline). The idea is to quickly find all the photos that I took on a trip or at an event.

The general syntax for the search-ms command is:

search-ms:query=<query string>&
          crumb=<location and display parameters>&
          syntax=<NQS or AQS(default)>

The query string can be any valid SQL or AQS search. For my application I wanted to query on the date my photo was taken which windows stores as “datetaken” and I wanted to query over a range of dates. Dates have to be in the YYYY-MM-DD format, and a range is specified with “..”.

I used the crumb specifier to target a just the “My Pictures” special folder. To specify a location you put crumb=location:<URL encoded path>. For a special folder you do crumb=location:shell%3a<folder name>.

So my final query string is:

search-ms:query=datetaken:2015-01-01..2016-01-01&crumb=location:shell%3aMy%20Pictures

You can type or copy this into your search bar to see all the photos you took in 2015.

From C# you can start a process by giving the name of a file that has a default program association. So launching a file explorer with a custom search is as easy as:

System.Diagnostics.Process.Start("search-ms:query=datetaken:" + 
  Start().ToString("yyyy-MM-dd") + ".." + End().ToString("yyyy-MM-dd") +
  "&crumb=location:shell%3aMy%20Pictures");

Touch Table Castles of Burgundy

I’ve completed a touch-table version of Castles of Burgundy. In the board game, players build up their estate with tiles drawn from a common area. Each turn, players roll two dice and use the results to pick tiles, place tiles or sell goods. Placed tiles give the player victory points, extra actions, or advantages in later turns. Each player manipulates their own estate and only interacts with the other players through competition for the tiles in the center.

pic919792

 

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Distract-O-Vision Video

We were interviewed by Distract-O-Vision at Conclave of Gamers this year. We talked about the games that we’ve been making and the basic ideas behind the touch table. They put together a great video that shows off the touch table and games.

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Touch table Concordia

I’ve completed a touch-table version of Concordia. We saw the game at Essen last year. They were promoting the Salsa expansion, but we weren’t familiar with the base game. The game has relatively simple rules but it takes many steps to achieve your goals.

concordia_board

The game was a good candidate for the touch table because is no hidden information, there is a decent amount of setup time and piece twiddling, and I felt like the game could be improved with a real-time scoreboard.

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