Author Topic: Simon blogs  (Read 27021 times)

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Offline Proxima

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Re: Simon blogs
« Reply #195 on: November 28, 2018, 12:29:49 am »
"odor cart":  sounds like a bad translation perhaps?  I believe with languages like Japanese if you attempt to only translate individual Kanji characters in isolation and ignoring contexts, you can sometimes end up with results that have almost nothing to do with the actual words or phrase in question.  Also, doesn't some Kanji characters have multiple very different meanings (almost like homophones but actually written exactly the same way as well?).  Do we know if "odor cart" isn't just creative cherry-picking on a particular reading of the Kanji in question, even though it isn't actually the intended/correct reading being used wrt the name of that particular Shogi piece?

It's just Simon poking fun at the weird way the Japanese language works. 香車 means "incense chariot", but 香 by itself can mean "smell".

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Simon blogs
« Reply #196 on: November 28, 2018, 12:57:41 am »
Ah okay, so cherry-picking it is. :P Unclear from OP whether it was tongue-in-cheek vs serious.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Simon blogs
« Reply #197 on: November 28, 2018, 05:29:28 am »
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Pieces should be colored by type.

I'm actually a little surprised by this.  Wouldn't having actually different shapes like Western chess pieces do, be even clearer for telling apart piece types?

Is the color by type idea mainly to compensate for having to recognize Kanjis?  The pictorial approach seems mostly sufficient to me without also having different colors, though maybe the pictures used could be slightly better in some cases.

Offline Simon

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Re: Simon blogs
« Reply #198 on: November 29, 2018, 05:26:38 pm »
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You gave up your nap? Clearly you don't have enough pets.

Yeah, I should not sacrifice naps. Watching the chess championship was a rare exception. In general, I shun television and try to avoid whatever imposes similar artifical schedules on my life.

Pets cost a lot of time. >_>;; I have too many hobbies already and pets are like an extra hobby.

I admit that I have gedankenexperimented with an African porcupine as a pet. Must build lots of mutual trust before you can safely cuddle.

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frustrations I had was that the packages in the repositories were frequently out of date.

Yes, I had the same frustration in Debian. It's slightly better in Ubuntu. But for two years now, I've been very happy with Arch's rolling releases to stay cutting-edge.

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constant frustrations with NeoLemmix and Lix is updates.

Right, this is the main problem.

Probably, many Windows people shun updates because they're so hard unless automated.

I shun installing new software that I don't clearly need, but I want to update the software that I decide to install.

"odor cart":  sounds like a bad translation perhaps?
attempt to only translate individual Kanji characters in isolation
results that have almost nothing to do with the actual words
It's just Simon poking fun at the weird way the Japanese language works. 香車 means "incense chariot", but 香 by itself can mean "smell".

Right. "Odor cart" came from a friend, he translated the kanjis separately. Even with the correct translation "incense chariot", it's still a flowery name for my taste -- incense has little to do with war, the theme of chess-likes.

Well, same criticism applies to bishop from chess.

Both stabs were intended: The floweriness of the name, and how Japanese connects unrelated kanji to give every single one a different meaning.

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Pieces should be colored by type.
Wouldn't having actually different shapes like Western chess pieces do, be even clearer for telling apart piece types?

Two Shogi rules:
  • When you capture a piece, the captured piece goes to your personal reserve. You may drop these pieces under your control back onto the board.
  • When your piece moves far enough ahead, you may promote the piece, i.e., replace it with a more powerful piece after its move. Already-promoted pieces cannot promote again. Promotion is permanent until the piece is captured; then, its unpromoted type goes to the opponent's reserve.
This restricts the physical design. Standard design here is two-faced pieces with a pointy side. To show control, orient the piece to point away from its controller. To show promotion, flip the piece bottom-side-up, revealing the kanjis for the promoted type on the original piece's bottom side.

Color-coding by player is not feasible with two-faced pieces because color cannot change during capture.

Shape-coding by type is hard because the piece must rest physically stable on the game board when flipped. Maybe design 3-D shapes that are merely ((2-D shape per type) x unit interval).

Or design a four-faced piece (e.g., some variant of a cube) to have symbols for all four states: player A or B, unpromoted or promoted. But hm, that object will probably show too many faces on its left/right outer sides by accident when it's not meticulously aligned straight...

Quote from: ccexplore
Is the color by type idea mainly to compensate for having to recognize Kanjis?  The pictorial approach seems mostly sufficient to me without also having different colors, though maybe the pictures used could be slightly better in some cases.

I'm concerned about understanding the board at a glance. Chess, Shogi, Go, ..., they're all about pattern recognition. Anything that makes glancing hard strikes me as contrary to the game design.

Letters, and thus kanji, are harder to recognize than symbols or shapes.

Colors alone can already be problematic (color blindness, weak conventions for the meanings). Colors are best to further differentiate shapes. It's best when there is only a handful of different types to distinguish:



-- Simon
« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 05:33:06 pm by Simon »

Offline nin10doadict

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Re: Simon blogs
« Reply #199 on: November 29, 2018, 08:42:45 pm »
Pets are expensive and time consuming, yes. They are nice but they are a big commitment.

As an avid Tetris Attack player, I will say that color is the main way you will differentiate the blocks in your mind when you get good at the game. The fact that there are only 4 different shades of gray in the GameBoy version makes it much harder to play, as they had to try to differentiate the blocks more by redesigning the patterns on them.
I do wonder if play would suffer if we had different color blocks but they were all the same shape? Without any way to test it myself I can't say for sure, but I think it might.

I was unaware that captured pieces could be used by the player that took them in Shogi. Neat idea, but indeed restrictive to the piece design.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Simon blogs
« Reply #200 on: November 30, 2018, 12:51:38 am »
Even with the correct translation "incense chariot", it's still a flowery name for my taste -- incense has little to do with war, the theme of chess-likes.

Yeah, that was curious enough for me also, that I had to check out what Wikipedia has to say.  Turns out the "incense" part apparently originated from Buddhism at some point in the history of the game in Japan (emphasis below added by me):

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According to Kōji Shimizu, chief researcher at the Archaeological Institute of Kashihara, Nara Prefecture, the names of the Heian shogi pieces keep those of chaturanga (general, elephant, horse, chariot and soldier), and add to them the five treasures of Buddhism (jade, gold, silver, katsura tree, and incense).

So I guess it was a historical/cultural artifact that we wound up with incense chariot. :-\ Gold, silver and jade are also used in some of the other Shogi pieces' Kanji names, but I guess at least we westerners would be more used to also reading them in some contexts more as rankings rather than the literal metals/minerals, due to our tradition of gold/silver/bronze representing #1-3.

---------

Also thanks for clarifying with those Shogi rules, that explains a lot and indeed makes it sensible to complement Shogi piece types with color in addition to the traditional Kanji.  I'll assume that traditionally the native Japanese figured if you are educated enough in Japan to know how to play Shogi, you are expected/assumed to have no problem proficiently recognize the comparatively few Kanjis used on the pieces (given IIRC from somewhere I read or heard, Japanese adults are expected to know something like some hundreds or thousands [!] of Kanji characters for proficiency in general reading comprehension).  Not saying this justifies not having better/additional means of differentiating types, merely that the natives probably didn't even think it was an issue.

Offline namida

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Re: Simon blogs
« Reply #201 on: December 04, 2018, 07:08:55 pm »
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(given IIRC from somewhere I read or heard, Japanese adults are expected to know something like some hundreds or thousands [!] of Kanji characters for proficiency in general reading comprehension)

Knowledge of around 2000 kanji would be needed for a "normal" adult level of proficiency, I believe. Far more than that exist, but the obscure ones are generally written with furigana (ie: the reading of the kanji written above / alongside it in hiragana, which is another Japanese script that's more comparable to the English alphabet than it is to Chinese characters).

I've probably gotten a bit rusty nowdays, but at one point I was able to read about 400 and write about 150. Even that point was hard enough to read; although I'd guess it's probably not so bad when you're reading and writing them on a daily basis as a normal part of life.
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