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Puzzle Games (Games) Entertainment Games

Play Go - On A Mobius Strip? 25

Lewey Geselowitz writes "Freed Go is a new freely downloadable game for Windows and Mac OS X that extends the 'game of Go' on any arbitrary 3d graph. These include Mobius strips, spheres, tori, cubes and so forth, and even a few flat boards but with 3, 5 or 6 neighbored nodes. To anyone who has played the game, or is interested in this great game, I assure you that you will find this site interesting and it will help you expand your understanding of the game." There's also Freed Invasion - looks like these are both from the author of the similarly unconventional Quake II stereogram implementation, as previously mentioned on Slashdot Games.
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Play Go - On A Mobius Strip?

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  • I'm a big fan of Go (Score:5, Interesting)

    by schild ( 713993 ) on Saturday June 19, 2004 @01:44PM (#9473100) Homepage Journal
    As in, I have my own board, stones, etc. I have played numerous games, but am horribly amateur. This is besides the point though, I've read a lot about Go, it's history, etc. And I find myself confused - what's the point of slapping a graph on a 3 dimensional object and calling it a Go Board?

    Because I'll clue you in, just because it has the rules of Go, doesn't mean it is Go. This is the result of boredom and a little too much use of artistic license.

    You're not playing Go on a mobius strip, you're playing something else on a Mobius strip with the same rules. Feh.

    I know about a billion Chinese people who would mod this as +5, insightful, but I have a feeling I'm going to get -1, flamebait. Enjoy.
    • Call it Stop, then? Only, on a Mobius Strip, where would you know where to Stop?
    • by Weirdofreak ( 769987 ) <> on Saturday June 19, 2004 @03:19PM (#9473610)
      In 'legal' terms, I wouldn't call it Go. Go is a game played on a two-dimensional board.

      In spiritual terms, I would. Go, as I see it, encourages thought, strategy, willingness to sacrifice, looking at the big picture, thinking ahead, getting your priorities right, etc. I used to be utter rubbish at Go: I though that since two eyes were immortal, if I got two eyes, I'd have a huge advantage over somebody without them. Needless to say, I lost every game while playing like that. I'm still probably rubbish, but at least it's uselessness as opposed to stupidity. </digression>

      As I said, Go is a game about strategy. If you play on a diffeent board, you still need strategy, perhaps moreso. If it follows the rules of Go (excluding those relating to board layout) and encourages thought, it's Go. If it doesn't follow the rules or doesn't bring forth your inner deviousness, it isn't.
    • by UserGoogol ( 623581 ) on Saturday June 19, 2004 @04:23PM (#9473963)
      The Go World already has readily accepted the idea of playing Go on oddly shaped boards, and considers it to be a completely valid, if a little silly, form of Go. I was chatting on KGS [] the other day and someone was talking about a 9x9x9 board where each stone has 24 liberties, and everyone seemed to accept that it was Go, even if it was a completely absurd form. Anyway, even in the standardized form of Go, there are a few different kinds of board, anyway. 5x5 is very different from 9x9, which is very different from 19x19, which is very different from 38x38. This merely makes experimentation much easier.
    • I'm a fan of one-dimensional Go myself... makes the game a bit simpler...
  • About Go (Score:4, Informative)

    by j1m+5n0w ( 749199 ) on Saturday June 19, 2004 @02:48PM (#9473466) Homepage Journal

    I've played go a little bit myself, but I'm not very good at it. For a game with so few rules, it's surprisingly complicated. Here's more information [] if you're interested in learning about the game, and here's [] a more in-depth explaination of the rules.


  • by S3D ( 745318 ) on Saturday June 19, 2004 @03:02PM (#9473542)
    the XiStrat [] did the same and more couple of years ago. However it seems the project died qietly because of lack of attention.
    • thanx for mentioning our cool XiStrat [] project. and to the pleasure of all fans we can tell that it's quite alive, we have recently updated the online manual dealing with the upcoming 0.6.90 release, which is admittedly still some months away (deep mathematics you see). nice contributions and patches are always welcomed. bye for now
  • Kinda stupid (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Asmor ( 775910 )
    From what I understand of Go, the corners and edges are important strategic areas. Wouldn't wrapping around defeat that?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Absolutely. In fact, that's the point. Or one of them, anyway.
    • The corners were overpowered so the developers made these changes to balance the game. Now the center is competitive with the corners again!
      • by Eevee ( 535658 )

        I'm not sure what overpowered means in this context.

        The corners are easier to defend and create a base for expansion along the sides, true. But they lack influence in the center. You can do just as well pinning your opponent's stones in the corner and grabbing a chunk of the center.

        Now, as a double-digit kyu [], I like to try for corners. But that's because I still can't estimate influence from other stones worth diddly so I have difficulty building towards the center. Having a corner

  • by Laxitive ( 10360 ) on Saturday June 19, 2004 @04:03PM (#9473869) Journal
    This is an interesting idea, and actually quite worthwhile and might provide a seasoned player with new insight into the game.

    I have played chess from the time I was a small child. I initially took interest in Go after seeing Pi (Aronofski's cyberpunk-influenced film about a mathematician trying to predict the stock market). It's a wonderful game, and I think its simplicity and beauty far succeeds that of chess.

    The beautiful thing about Go is that the rules are extremely simple:
    Black starts first. Turns alternate. In each turn, you are allowed to place a piece of your colour on an empty position. If a group of the enemy pieces are surrounded by your pieces (i.e. your pieces occupy all immediately adjacent free points around the enemy group), then you have captured the enemy group, and remove those pieces.
    The only other rule is a small exception for the placement of certain pieces to avoid repeated board states.

    But that's the entire game rules. The rules themselves don't even give you a _hint_ as to how to play the game effectively. Go strategy revolves around much higher level constructs that are a result of these few basic rules.

    Given the simplicity of the rules, it's easy to generalize Go based on graphs. The typical 19x19 board can be thought of as a graph, with each internal position being represented by a node of degree four, each side position being represented by a node of degree three, and the four corner positions being nodes of degree two. Groups of pieces can be formalized as sets of connected subgraphs in which all nodes have the same colour. And 'capture' defined as a colouring of an uncoloured node, such that the state of the graph changes where a connected subgraph of opposite-colored nodes which used to have at least one adjacent uncoloured node, now has no adjacent uncoloured nodes.

    Go is one of the few games where the rules are so basic, that it probably works without hitches even when you change something as fundamental as the "board" layout.

    Anyway, for those of you who do not know Go.. I would strongly suggest trying it. You _WILL_ suck at first. You will suck _hard_. But keep playing, and you'll notice that you start seeing patterns.. that for certain configurations of portions of the board, you feel "good" or "bad" about it.. that you instinctively seek to establish certain kinds of configurations on the board. It's really amazing the way the game changes your brain in ways that you don't even fully understand.

    Go is the ultimate board game. Do yourself a favour and check it out. It's worth it. Screw artificial computer strategy games where the complexity of the game is a side-effect of the complexity of the rules.. and the games aren't even that complex in the end. Forget Master of Orion, or Civilization, or any number of other turn-based strategy games. Try a strategy game where the complexity is intrinsic to the game itself.. and is limited only by the ability of your mind.

    • But that's the entire game rules.

      No it's not -- you didn't explain how to decide the winner, which is far less trivial.

      • by Laxitive ( 10360 ) on Saturday June 19, 2004 @06:28PM (#9474668) Journal
        The concept of a 'winner' is not too emphasized in most Go games, so I don't think it's really that important. It's not like chess or something where you work towards one well defined goal (checkmate). In go, if you're worse, then that doesn't mean that you still can't capture and control portions of the board.

        The fact that there are multiple scoring systems emphasizes the fact that the game is not about the score you get.

        In most games you play, there are areas of the board which you are happy with, because you were able to play well, and make headway into enemy territory and capture territory, or successfully defend against a well planned attack.. and then there are areas you feel that you did badly in.

        But regardless, when you are done with the game, the finished board state reflects both your triumphs and your failures. It's not an all-or-nothing mentality that occurs with games like chess, where it doesn't matter how well you executed some plan, if you still end up getting checkmated.

        The scoring is an afterthought to me. An exercise at the end to mark some numbers down. Most of the time, I don't even do it. It's more fun to talk with the opponent about the progress of the game, and explain your strategy, and listen to his strategy, and compare the results of the clash of ideas on an informal basis based on the layout of the endgame board.

        • In case anyone is wondering, the goal is to hold the most territory. The parent poster's idealistic views are pretty and even a bit inspiring, but they aren't very realistic, 8^)
        • You need to score so that you can get an idea of your rank, which you need (among other reasons) so that you can play fairly even games. Of course, I pretty much only play Go online, so it's a somewhat different situation. (Everything's calculated nicely and quickly for you.)
  • by antdude ( 79039 ) on Saturday June 19, 2004 @06:00PM (#9474514) Homepage Journal
    Now add a few ants to complete this Moebius strip.
  • A Place to Start (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    For anyone interesting in learning about the game of Go, including some variations that are discussed and sometimes played, please check out . It has a lot of useful information for beginners and a very friendly community.
  • by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Sunday June 20, 2004 @01:11AM (#9476706) Homepage
    In a fit of nerdliness, I once defined a game I called Mango (Math Nerd Go), which generalizes Go. Some might find it amusing. Not feeling like slashdotting myself, I'll give the Google cache link []. :-)
  • by cthulhubob ( 161144 ) on Monday June 21, 2004 @09:11AM (#9483278) Homepage
    Anybody interested in seeing what professional players might make of go on oddly shaped boards (and playing simultaneous games against professionals, or entering in the U.S. Open tournament, or watching professional games played live and commented upon by other pros, or just being there and breathing in the excitement of go) should try and make it to the U.S. Go Congress this summer.

    It's in Rochester, NY this year, hosted by the Rochester Institute of Technology. It's a full week, from July 31st to August 6th. You can register online at [].

    Register! Register now! There are expected to be 400 participants, so there will be people to play no matter what your skill level. And stronger players are almost always willing to give teaching games or quick lessons, if you ask nicely.

    This will be my first congress, and I'm really hyped up about it. I'm trying to become 1st dan before the US Open (I'm 1 kyu right now, been playing for 15 months).
  • It's an interesting proposition. Anybody with a math background learning Go for the first time has probably thought of similar things; the board is so abstracted (there are no "home rows" as in Chess, for example.)

    But the same thing could have been accomplished much more quickly by simply displaying a 2-d board and defining how the edges are connected (see mathworld [] for the notation.) The usual Go board configuration is the "disc", but you could play Go on the Klein bottle [] if you wished.

    In the end, I

We don't really understand it, so we'll give it to the programmers.