How actual chess is used to improve Checkmate
Why learning strategies is valueable for game improvement...
Since Checkmate is a chess-based game, it makes sense to do some research on chess before going into the project. I seemingly didn't do this, so I had to go on a little adventure during the process in order to learn more and more about chess.
I've been using a couple of videos in which people discuss so-called "brilliant" tactics, but I never really got them, because they use a whole bunch of slang and I wasn't able to keep up. "Rb4, then Qc2+, followed by a checkmate by using Bb6", didn't really make a lot of sense to me.
So, I went off to play actual chess in order to understand. There are a couple of websites out there which allow you to "chess for free", which is superb and exactly what I needed. I've learned a bunch of stuff on the way, and today I want to discuss these points.
Learning the strategies
Now, I'll be honest, I'm not good at chess. Actually, I'm horribly bad at it. I always make a single blunder somewhere within the game, and therefor almost immediatly lose. It's all really tight fit stuff.
Heck, even the computer on level 1 (out of 10) kicked my butt the first couple of attempts pretty badly.
I've improved slightly over the last few days and I've actually won my first online match, and I'm starting to really understand the tactics and strategies. There were a couple of things which really flew over my head, which should be included within my game!
Let's go over a couple of things I noticed whilst playing:
- This seems rather obvious, but it's actually harder to pull off in the end; You should always play pieces onto tiles which other pieces are guarding. This makes perfect sense; If a piece were to take the piece you just played, it would simply be captured by the piece guarding the tile you played to in your last turn.
- Chess is, obviously, turn-based. However, you can move only one piece at a time. Currently, in Checkmate, you set all the moves for all of your pieces, and then everything moves at the same time. This is bad, because you won't be able to look ahead in time and predict the moves of the enemy.
- Not being able to pass through pieces is an incredibly underestimated strategy of mine. If you're at check, you can simply move, for example, a pawn in the way, and you're immediatly out of check. It's also great to cover squares and prevent particular pieces from crossing particular squares (especially useful in the end-game).
Translating the strategies to Checkmate
The points I mentioned above are the most valueable ones, but there are a couple more in there. For example, bishops can only move on one type of tile (light or dark coloured), and this is a crucial factor when planning strategies.
As a result, I'm going to convert all of the things mentioned above (and a couple more) into code for Checkmate. Being into chess helps me to re-design a lot of the game in order to increase the strategy and maximize fun during play.
Next week, I'll be working on a redo of the turn-based system, expand the collision-based movement and I'll add some extra indicators!
I'm already excited for the new features!