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Game Timers [World Xiangqi League]

[timers]Our current 3.0 Software uses both Game Timers and Move Timers.

Before the game starts, the red player can use the Options->Game Timer menu to select the amount of time each player will have in which to make all of their moves during the game. The default Game Timer is a total of thirty minutes per player, but can be changed to any of the following: 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, thus allowing a total maximum game time between 10 minutes (5 minutes each player) and four hours (120 minutes each player).

The red player can use the Options->Move Timer to set a time limit for each move. The default Move Timer is 3 minutes, but can be changed to any of the following: 1, 3, 6, 9, 15, 30.

The game timers are now synchronized so a player with a slow net connection is not penalized.

There are several issues with timers which will change with later releases of our software. Here are our current thoughts on these issues.

  1. Game Setup

    The player who opens a table should at that time define the setup of the game—timer value, what color the player who opened the table will be, whether the game will be official (count towards record) or social, etc. This will allow another player to best select which open table he would like to join.

  2. Change Confirmation

    Once the second player joins a table, he should be required to confirm any game setup changes. For example, the red player should not be allowed to quickly change the game timer to 10 minutes per player and then start the game.

  3. Benevolent Increments

    We will later add a simple mechanism to allow a player to add time to his opponent's timer. This way if your opponent is running out of time, but you want to give him more, you can. (And likewise, your opponent can give you more time.)

  4. Disconnect Detection

    One of the most common (and frustrating) problems with our current software is that when your opponent gets disconnected, it is not immediately detected and immediately resigned. Thus you could sit at your table forever waiting for a zombie opponent to make a move, or to be autoresigned, and nothing ever happens!

    Our software uses a Internet communications protocol called TCP/IP. This protocol does not generate an event when a connection gets broken. Instead, disconnects are only ever noticed the next time a communication with the disconnected party is attempted!

    At the moment, the best thing to do if you think your opponent has gone away is to simply send a chat to him. If the server tries to send the chat, and then discovers that in fact the opponent is disconnected, the server will then automatically resign the game for that player.

    Soon we will have the server to automatic and regular pings to the player whose turn it is, and when a ping determines that player has become disconnected, the server will auto-resign that player.

  5. Auto-save and Resume

    Our current software has the infrastructure for game saving, but our auto-save and resume code will be in an upcoming code release.

  6. End Game Move Timers

    Some players have requested that we have a move timer setting for end game situations. For example, once a player has used up all of his 20 (or 30 or whatever) minutes for a game, then to give him only 1 minute per move afterwards.

  7. Premature Timeout

    We have received a few reports of players who were prematurely auto-resigned when their timer reached 1:00. We have not yet been able to verify this bug. If you have any insight as to when this happens, or how to reproduce, please fill out as detailed a report as possible via our feedback form.

If you have other comments or questions on our timer policies, please give us some specific feedback.

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