Discussion:
New Online Backgammon Club!
(too old to reply)
David Kary
2020-07-01 02:58:35 UTC
Permalink
Hello backgammon lovers!! I have noticed some flaws in existing backgammon apps out there, and I think that we all deserve better. I'm planning on investing personal money into creating a new backgammon app, but I want to make sure I'm on the right track before I do. I'd really appreciate it if everyone who reads this could let me know one thing you love about the app you currently use, and one thing you hate and wish was done differently about the app you currently use.

Also, I'm thinking of charging $9/mo after a 30 day free trial as my business model. Is this something you would pay? What would be the barrier to entry for you?

Thanks so much for helping!!
Paul Epstein
2020-07-01 09:54:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kary
Hello backgammon lovers!! I have noticed some flaws in existing backgammon apps out there, and I think that we all deserve better. I'm planning on investing personal money into creating a new backgammon app, but I want to make sure I'm on the right track before I do. I'd really appreciate it if everyone who reads this could let me know one thing you love about the app you currently use, and one thing you hate and wish was done differently about the app you currently use.
Also, I'm thinking of charging $9/mo after a 30 day free trial as my business model. Is this something you would pay? What would be the barrier to entry for you?
Thanks so much for helping!!
No, I wouldn't pay for such an app.
I'm extremely sceptical of your app being able to compete with XG.

Backgammon seems to be an unusual game in that the number of people who
play is absolutely vast -- probably hundreds of millions; but the number
of people who care about good strategy, or even think seriously about their
moves, is tiny -- at most the low tens of thousands worldwide.

I know of no other game or sport where there is such a gulf between the
number of people who play and the number of people who take it seriously.
Although, I suppose dominoes has the same characteristic -- there's a lot
of theory to dominoes. And maybe dots-and-boxes, too.

Imagine someone who enjoys the feeling of rolling the dice, enjoys the
luck element, but doesn't want to think about the moves and doesn't know
or care what a pipcount is. This person regards the game as a game of luck.
And indeed it is luck, because they play in a circle of friends with the
same attitude. What is the USP of your app for someone with a don't-care
perspective?

Any business plan needs a USP anyway. What is yours, given that backgammon
apps already exist?

Paul
Tim Chow
2020-07-01 12:55:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Epstein
I'm extremely sceptical of your app being able to compete with XG.
If you're mentioning XG, then presumably you're imagining that he's
marketing to the serious players? But it seems more likely that he's
marketing to the casual players, since as you note that's by far the
larger potential market.

That said, your main question---
Post by Paul Epstein
Any business plan needs a USP anyway. What is yours, given that backgammon
apps already exist?
---is the same one I have. It's hard for me to imagine someone paying
$9/month unless somehow the fee allowed them to play with lots of other
human beings that they wouldn't otherwise have access to.

I will say that I'm not aware of any backgammon app that provides support
for playing in a chouette when (for coronavirus reasons, perhaps) the
players are not all in the same physical location. So that could be a USP.

---
Tim Chow
David Kary
2020-07-01 13:13:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Chow
Post by Paul Epstein
I'm extremely sceptical of your app being able to compete with XG.
If you're mentioning XG, then presumably you're imagining that he's
marketing to the serious players? But it seems more likely that he's
marketing to the casual players, since as you note that's by far the
larger potential market.
That said, your main question---
Post by Paul Epstein
Any business plan needs a USP anyway. What is yours, given that backgammon
apps already exist?
---is the same one I have. It's hard for me to imagine someone paying
$9/month unless somehow the fee allowed them to play with lots of other
human beings that they wouldn't otherwise have access to.
I will say that I'm not aware of any backgammon app that provides support
for playing in a chouette when (for coronavirus reasons, perhaps) the
players are not all in the same physical location. So that could be a USP.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,

My Unique selling point is just that.....a Backgammon Club which allows players from all over the world to come and play 1) each other or 2) My Artificially Intelligent Backgammon Bot. I will incorporate a blog to the analytical players like yourselves to come and post. How does that sound?

Dave
Paul Epstein
2020-07-01 14:37:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kary
Post by Tim Chow
Post by Paul Epstein
I'm extremely sceptical of your app being able to compete with XG.
If you're mentioning XG, then presumably you're imagining that he's
marketing to the serious players? But it seems more likely that he's
marketing to the casual players, since as you note that's by far the
larger potential market.
That said, your main question---
Post by Paul Epstein
Any business plan needs a USP anyway. What is yours, given that backgammon
apps already exist?
---is the same one I have. It's hard for me to imagine someone paying
$9/month unless somehow the fee allowed them to play with lots of other
human beings that they wouldn't otherwise have access to.
I will say that I'm not aware of any backgammon app that provides support
for playing in a chouette when (for coronavirus reasons, perhaps) the
players are not all in the same physical location. So that could be a USP.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,
My Unique selling point is just that.....a Backgammon Club which allows players from all over the world to come and play 1) each other or 2) My Artificially Intelligent Backgammon Bot. I will incorporate a blog to the analytical players like yourselves to come and post. How does that sound?
Dave
But unless you mean a chouette, are you sure your concept doesn't already
exist? You might have an SP, but it's not a USP if it's been done
lots of times before?

Paul
Paul Epstein
2020-07-01 14:40:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Chow
Post by Paul Epstein
I'm extremely sceptical of your app being able to compete with XG.
If you're mentioning XG, then presumably you're imagining that he's
marketing to the serious players? But it seems more likely that he's
marketing to the casual players, since as you note that's by far the
larger potential market.
That said, your main question---
Post by Paul Epstein
Any business plan needs a USP anyway. What is yours, given that backgammon
apps already exist?
---is the same one I have. It's hard for me to imagine someone paying
$9/month unless somehow the fee allowed them to play with lots of other
human beings that they wouldn't otherwise have access to.
I will say that I'm not aware of any backgammon app that provides support
for playing in a chouette when (for coronavirus reasons, perhaps) the
players are not all in the same physical location. So that could be a USP.
The problem (from a business standpoint) is that I don't think casual
players do chouettes. Or do they? I think the interest in chouettes is
tiny.
However, even if it's "tiny", there may be a profit opportunity in
being the only person who does it.

Paul
David Kary
2020-07-01 14:51:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by Tim Chow
Post by Paul Epstein
I'm extremely sceptical of your app being able to compete with XG.
If you're mentioning XG, then presumably you're imagining that he's
marketing to the serious players? But it seems more likely that he's
marketing to the casual players, since as you note that's by far the
larger potential market.
That said, your main question---
Post by Paul Epstein
Any business plan needs a USP anyway. What is yours, given that backgammon
apps already exist?
---is the same one I have. It's hard for me to imagine someone paying
$9/month unless somehow the fee allowed them to play with lots of other
human beings that they wouldn't otherwise have access to.
I will say that I'm not aware of any backgammon app that provides support
for playing in a chouette when (for coronavirus reasons, perhaps) the
players are not all in the same physical location. So that could be a USP.
The problem (from a business standpoint) is that I don't think casual
players do chouettes. Or do they? I think the interest in chouettes is
tiny.
However, even if it's "tiny", there may be a profit opportunity in
being the only person who does it.
Paul
Paul,

Facebook has 2 Chouettes (or a Chouette-type app) which are hugely popular with an endless supply of opponents. The PROBLEM with said Chouettes is that 1) they are ridiculously pricey (you have to buy playing chips and then bet them, as opposed to my flat $9.95 per month. 2) The Facebook app does not have a Backgammon Club "look and feel" like mine will. I will create cozy environs where people can chat and compare notes about Backgammon. Thoughts welcome!!!
Tim Chow
2020-07-01 16:47:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Epstein
The problem (from a business standpoint) is that I don't think casual
players do chouettes. Or do they? I think the interest in chouettes is
tiny.
However, even if it's "tiny", there may be a profit opportunity in
being the only person who does it.
It's tiny relative to the total number of people in the world who play
backgammon, but it includes a sizable fraction of the people who are
willing to spend a nontrivial amount of money on backgammon. Of course
there is some overlap between people who play in chouettes and people who
study the game seriously, but it's not as large as you might think.

---
Tim Chow
David Kary
2020-07-01 16:51:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Chow
Post by Paul Epstein
The problem (from a business standpoint) is that I don't think casual
players do chouettes. Or do they? I think the interest in chouettes is
tiny.
However, even if it's "tiny", there may be a profit opportunity in
being the only person who does it.
It's tiny relative to the total number of people in the world who play
backgammon, but it includes a sizable fraction of the people who are
willing to spend a nontrivial amount of money on backgammon. Of course
there is some overlap between people who play in chouettes and people who
study the game seriously, but it's not as large as you might think.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,

Let's get away from the Chouette model, as I am building an The World's Only Online Backgammon Club. It will feature 1) Humans against Humans, 2) Humans against my AI Backgammon Bot, 3) Chat, 4) Blog for strategic players and 4) $9.95 membership fee, as opposed to Facebook's "pay for backgammon chips" which have to be replenished. Thoughts???
Paul Epstein
2020-07-01 17:09:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kary
Post by Tim Chow
Post by Paul Epstein
The problem (from a business standpoint) is that I don't think casual
players do chouettes. Or do they? I think the interest in chouettes is
tiny.
However, even if it's "tiny", there may be a profit opportunity in
being the only person who does it.
It's tiny relative to the total number of people in the world who play
backgammon, but it includes a sizable fraction of the people who are
willing to spend a nontrivial amount of money on backgammon. Of course
there is some overlap between people who play in chouettes and people who
study the game seriously, but it's not as large as you might think.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,
Let's get away from the Chouette model, as I am building an The World's Only Online Backgammon Club. It will feature 1) Humans against Humans, 2) Humans against my AI Backgammon Bot, 3) Chat, 4) Blog for strategic players and 4) $9.95 membership fee, as opposed to Facebook's "pay for backgammon chips" which have to be replenished. Thoughts???
But it's not the "world's only online backgammon club." Consider a website
of the form PlayBackgammonHereAndWeWillLiveOffYourRake.com Wouldn't the
customers of such a website be considered a backgammon club? And aren't
there a large number of such websites?

Paul
David Kary
2020-07-01 17:50:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by David Kary
Post by Tim Chow
Post by Paul Epstein
The problem (from a business standpoint) is that I don't think casual
players do chouettes. Or do they? I think the interest in chouettes is
tiny.
However, even if it's "tiny", there may be a profit opportunity in
being the only person who does it.
It's tiny relative to the total number of people in the world who play
backgammon, but it includes a sizable fraction of the people who are
willing to spend a nontrivial amount of money on backgammon. Of course
there is some overlap between people who play in chouettes and people who
study the game seriously, but it's not as large as you might think.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,
Let's get away from the Chouette model, as I am building an The World's Only Online Backgammon Club. It will feature 1) Humans against Humans, 2) Humans against my AI Backgammon Bot, 3) Chat, 4) Blog for strategic players and 4) $9.95 membership fee, as opposed to Facebook's "pay for backgammon chips" which have to be replenished. Thoughts???
But it's not the "world's only online backgammon club." Consider a website
of the form PlayBackgammonHereAndWeWillLiveOffYourRake.com Wouldn't the
customers of such a website be considered a backgammon club? And aren't
there a large number of such websites?
Paul
Paul,

My only serious competition is https://www.backgammon-live.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/TavlaPlus/ and since BOTH do not have a membership, it's easy to drop upwards of $30 to $50 per month on chips.
David Kary
2020-07-01 13:12:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by David Kary
Hello backgammon lovers!! I have noticed some flaws in existing backgammon apps out there, and I think that we all deserve better. I'm planning on investing personal money into creating a new backgammon app, but I want to make sure I'm on the right track before I do. I'd really appreciate it if everyone who reads this could let me know one thing you love about the app you currently use, and one thing you hate and wish was done differently about the app you currently use.
Also, I'm thinking of charging $9/mo after a 30 day free trial as my business model. Is this something you would pay? What would be the barrier to entry for you?
Thanks so much for helping!!
No, I wouldn't pay for such an app.
I'm extremely sceptical of your app being able to compete with XG.
Backgammon seems to be an unusual game in that the number of people who
play is absolutely vast -- probably hundreds of millions; but the number
of people who care about good strategy, or even think seriously about their
moves, is tiny -- at most the low tens of thousands worldwide.
I know of no other game or sport where there is such a gulf between the
number of people who play and the number of people who take it seriously.
Although, I suppose dominoes has the same characteristic -- there's a lot
of theory to dominoes. And maybe dots-and-boxes, too.
Imagine someone who enjoys the feeling of rolling the dice, enjoys the
luck element, but doesn't want to think about the moves and doesn't know
or care what a pipcount is. This person regards the game as a game of luck.
And indeed it is luck, because they play in a circle of friends with the
same attitude. What is the USP of your app for someone with a don't-care
perspective?
Any business plan needs a USP anyway. What is yours, given that backgammon
apps already exist?
Paul
Paul,

My Unique selling point is just that.....a Backgammon Club which allows players from all over the world to come and play 1) each other or 2) My Artifically Intelligent Backgammon Bot. I will incorporate a blog to the analytical players like yourselves to come and post. How does that sound?
c***@gmail.com
2020-07-01 17:26:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kary
Hello backgammon lovers!! I have noticed some flaws in existing backgammon apps out there, and I think that we all deserve better. I'm planning on investing personal money into creating a new backgammon app, but I want to make sure I'm on the right track before I do. I'd really appreciate it if everyone who reads this could let me know one thing you love about the app you currently use, and one thing you hate and wish was done differently about the app you currently use.
Also, I'm thinking of charging $9/mo after a 30 day free trial as my business model. Is this something you would pay? What would be the barrier to entry for you?
Thanks so much for helping!!
Is your app going to cheat or is it going to be transparent?
David Kary
2020-07-01 18:49:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@gmail.com
Post by David Kary
Hello backgammon lovers!! I have noticed some flaws in existing backgammon apps out there, and I think that we all deserve better. I'm planning on investing personal money into creating a new backgammon app, but I want to make sure I'm on the right track before I do. I'd really appreciate it if everyone who reads this could let me know one thing you love about the app you currently use, and one thing you hate and wish was done differently about the app you currently use.
Also, I'm thinking of charging $9/mo after a 30 day free trial as my business model. Is this something you would pay? What would be the barrier to entry for you?
Thanks so much for helping!!
Is your app going to cheat or is it going to be transparent?
Chuck,

Sometimes I suspect that Backgammon Live cheats via fixed throws of the dice. I will hold my devs accountable that my dice roller is fully randomized as cheating would only serve to get me in trouble. On the subject.....why do they cheat? There's no possible upside, and it does not give them more money.
Tim Chow
2020-07-02 02:37:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kary
Sometimes I suspect that Backgammon Live cheats via fixed throws of the dice.
I will hold my devs accountable that my dice roller is fully randomized as
cheating would only serve to get me in trouble.
A developer needs to understand that there is very little correlation between
whether a program actually cheats, and whether users *think* it cheats. If
your goal is to make sure people don't accuse you of cheating, it is not enough
to be honest and to provide irrefutable objective evidence that you are honest.
The only surefire way to block accusations of cheating is to make your AI a
weak player, or to cheat *in the human's favor*.

---
Tim Chow
Tim Chow
2020-07-02 03:03:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Chow
The only surefire way to block accusations of cheating is to make your AI a
weak player, or to cheat *in the human's favor*.
Having said that, I have sometimes wondered whether there is any practical
way to implement the following protocol for rolling a die. My opponent and
I simultaneously submit a number between 1 and 6 inclusive. To obtain the
actual die value, add the two submitted numbers together, take the remainder
after dividing by 6, and finally add 1. For example if the two submitted
numbers are 5 and 4, we add them together to get 9; the remainder after
dividing by 6 is 3, and adding 1 yields a final answer of 4.

The advantage of this system is that even if your opponent is cheating and
submitting a sequence of numbers that is not random, *you* can ensure that
the dice are random by making your own submissions random. So if the dice
are not random then you have only yourself to blame.

Well, almost. There are some implementation issues. It's important that
neither player gets to see the other player's submission before making their
own submission. If there is some cryptographic hash function f that both
players trust is secure, then this can be accomplished as follows. Alice
picks a number A and Bob picks a number B. Alice reveals f(A) to Bob and
Bob reveals f(B) to Alice; this doesn't have to happen simultaneously. Then
they reveal A and B (again, this doesn't have to happen simultaneously) and
compute the die value as explained above. Alice can then compute f(B) and
verify that Bob really did select B, and similarly Bob can compute f(A) and
verify that Alice really did select A.

This all works in principle, but of course in reality no human is going to
be doing all these computations manually and waiting around for the other
to finish, so it's going to have to be implemented in a computer program,
and you have to trust that the program is operating correctly. People who
are suspicious about random-number generators are going to be suspicious of
software that implements this protocol, so it may not be a win. I guess you
could maybe make the interface simple enough that a suspicious player could
write their own program to do their half of the protocol.

---
Tim Chow
David Kary
2020-07-02 03:43:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Chow
Post by Tim Chow
The only surefire way to block accusations of cheating is to make your AI a
weak player, or to cheat *in the human's favor*.
Having said that, I have sometimes wondered whether there is any practical
way to implement the following protocol for rolling a die. My opponent and
I simultaneously submit a number between 1 and 6 inclusive. To obtain the
actual die value, add the two submitted numbers together, take the remainder
after dividing by 6, and finally add 1. For example if the two submitted
numbers are 5 and 4, we add them together to get 9; the remainder after
dividing by 6 is 3, and adding 1 yields a final answer of 4.
The advantage of this system is that even if your opponent is cheating and
submitting a sequence of numbers that is not random, *you* can ensure that
the dice are random by making your own submissions random. So if the dice
are not random then you have only yourself to blame.
Well, almost. There are some implementation issues. It's important that
neither player gets to see the other player's submission before making their
own submission. If there is some cryptographic hash function f that both
players trust is secure, then this can be accomplished as follows. Alice
picks a number A and Bob picks a number B. Alice reveals f(A) to Bob and
Bob reveals f(B) to Alice; this doesn't have to happen simultaneously. Then
they reveal A and B (again, this doesn't have to happen simultaneously) and
compute the die value as explained above. Alice can then compute f(B) and
verify that Bob really did select B, and similarly Bob can compute f(A) and
verify that Alice really did select A.
This all works in principle, but of course in reality no human is going to
be doing all these computations manually and waiting around for the other
to finish, so it's going to have to be implemented in a computer program,
and you have to trust that the program is operating correctly. People who
are suspicious about random-number generators are going to be suspicious of
software that implements this protocol, so it may not be a win. I guess you
could maybe make the interface simple enough that a suspicious player could
write their own program to do their half of the protocol.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,
I am glad that you cite a random dice throw as a primary talking point for "keeping myself honest". I have not written code for many years, but I do understand the value of a real and true randomizer algorithm that behaves as though it were part of the natural and analog world. That said, I may just let the (pun alert) chips fall and just accept that I will lose a percentage of people who bitch that my dice are crooked. I have no stake in crooked dice, as my membership fee is $9.95 per month......win or lose. Just come and play. My stuff is legit. If you think I have funny dice, go get taken advantage by Facebook Backgammon Live.
Paul Epstein
2020-07-02 11:26:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Chow
Post by Tim Chow
The only surefire way to block accusations of cheating is to make your AI a
weak player, or to cheat *in the human's favor*.
Having said that, I have sometimes wondered whether there is any practical
way to implement the following protocol for rolling a die. My opponent and
I simultaneously submit a number between 1 and 6 inclusive. To obtain the
actual die value, add the two submitted numbers together, take the remainder
after dividing by 6, and finally add 1. For example if the two submitted
numbers are 5 and 4, we add them together to get 9; the remainder after
dividing by 6 is 3, and adding 1 yields a final answer of 4.
The advantage of this system is that even if your opponent is cheating and
submitting a sequence of numbers that is not random, *you* can ensure that
the dice are random by making your own submissions random. So if the dice
are not random then you have only yourself to blame.
Well, almost. There are some implementation issues. It's important that
neither player gets to see the other player's submission before making their
own submission. If there is some cryptographic hash function f that both
players trust is secure, then this can be accomplished as follows. Alice
picks a number A and Bob picks a number B. Alice reveals f(A) to Bob and
Bob reveals f(B) to Alice; this doesn't have to happen simultaneously. Then
they reveal A and B (again, this doesn't have to happen simultaneously) and
compute the die value as explained above. Alice can then compute f(B) and
verify that Bob really did select B, and similarly Bob can compute f(A) and
verify that Alice really did select A.
This all works in principle, but of course in reality no human is going to
be doing all these computations manually and waiting around for the other
to finish, so it's going to have to be implemented in a computer program,
and you have to trust that the program is operating correctly. People who
are suspicious about random-number generators are going to be suspicious of
software that implements this protocol, so it may not be a win. I guess you
could maybe make the interface simple enough that a suspicious player could
write their own program to do their half of the protocol.
---
Tim Chow
I actually know someone personally who suspected that FIBS wasn't random
and canvassed for the option on FIBS of exactly the scheme you describe so that players had a randomness guarantee

So you might be underestimating how good the idea is.

Paul
Tim Chow
2020-07-02 16:30:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Epstein
So you might be underestimating how good the idea is.
You may be right. One problem is that there is a need for a cryptographic
hash function, and that's a concept that is hard for the "man in the street"
to understand. Both sides have to agree that secure hash functions exist.
But maybe this is not that big an obstacle.

Note that the hash function probably needs to be a composition of two hash
functions, one selected by Alice and one selected by Bob, in case neither
one trusts the security of the hash function proposed by the other.

---
Tim Chow
David Kary
2020-07-02 16:48:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Chow
Post by Paul Epstein
So you might be underestimating how good the idea is.
You may be right. One problem is that there is a need for a cryptographic
hash function, and that's a concept that is hard for the "man in the street"
to understand. Both sides have to agree that secure hash functions exist.
But maybe this is not that big an obstacle.
Note that the hash function probably needs to be a composition of two hash
functions, one selected by Alice and one selected by Bob, in case neither
one trusts the security of the hash function proposed by the other.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,

This is gravitating away from my original point, I would really love your input here. I will use a simple time-of-day poll to build my RNG, and I will not publish my website until I have a 3rd party audit of said RNG. Obviously a RNG and natural randomness (ie plastic dice thrown from a cup) are two completely different animals, but there's not much I can do about that. My game will be fair. Period. Please tell me if you think the world at large will believe me if 1) I have certifications of fairness posted on the site and 2) I create a "sandbox" of sorts to allow devs who play backgammon a place to run their own RNGs. I spent all day yesterday on heroes.backgammonstudio and I daresay my site is going to be vastly superior. You guys can help me launch. RSVP Thanks, Dave
Tim Chow
2020-07-02 16:52:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kary
Please tell me if you think the world at large will believe me
I can't predict with any confidence what the "world at large" will do.
But I would guess that most people will believe you and some won't,
no matter what you do.

---
Tim Chow
Paul Epstein
2020-07-02 18:33:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Chow
Post by Paul Epstein
So you might be underestimating how good the idea is.
You may be right. One problem is that there is a need for a cryptographic
hash function, and that's a concept that is hard for the "man in the street"
to understand. Both sides have to agree that secure hash functions exist.
But maybe this is not that big an obstacle.
Note that the hash function probably needs to be a composition of two hash
functions, one selected by Alice and one selected by Bob, in case neither
one trusts the security of the hash function proposed by the other.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,
This is gravitating away from my original point ...
I think his gravitation can be forgiven. If not, I think Isaac Newton
should be blamed.

Paul
David Kary
2020-07-02 19:11:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by Tim Chow
Post by Paul Epstein
So you might be underestimating how good the idea is.
You may be right. One problem is that there is a need for a cryptographic
hash function, and that's a concept that is hard for the "man in the street"
to understand. Both sides have to agree that secure hash functions exist.
But maybe this is not that big an obstacle.
Note that the hash function probably needs to be a composition of two hash
functions, one selected by Alice and one selected by Bob, in case neither
one trusts the security of the hash function proposed by the other.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,
This is gravitating away from my original point ...
I think his gravitation can be forgiven. If not, I think Isaac Newton
should be blamed.
Paul
Paul,

Isaac Newton crossed my mind, and I am trying to reconcile the idea of plastic dice thrown from a cup vs. a RNG......and determining the relative fairness of each. Gravity vs Binary. I do like the idea of pulling dice roll using time-of-day in format of hh-mm-ss which renders 86,400 random unique values and many more if I ad a "roll in cup" routine after pulling time-of-day. Thoughts?
Peter
2020-07-02 19:47:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kary
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by Tim Chow
Post by Paul Epstein
So you might be underestimating how good the idea is.
You may be right. One problem is that there is a need for a cryptographic
hash function, and that's a concept that is hard for the "man in the street"
to understand. Both sides have to agree that secure hash functions exist.
But maybe this is not that big an obstacle.
Note that the hash function probably needs to be a composition of two hash
functions, one selected by Alice and one selected by Bob, in case neither
one trusts the security of the hash function proposed by the other.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,
This is gravitating away from my original point ...
I think his gravitation can be forgiven. If not, I think Isaac Newton
should be blamed.
Paul
Paul,
Isaac Newton crossed my mind, and I am trying to reconcile the idea of plastic dice thrown from a cup vs. a RNG......and determining the relative fairness of each. Gravity vs Binary. I do like the idea of pulling dice roll using time-of-day in format of hh-mm-ss which renders 86,400 random unique values and many more if I ad a "roll in cup" routine after pulling time-of-day. Thoughts?
Am I to understand that you are writing (or intending to write) your own
backgammon playing program?
David Kary
2020-07-02 19:50:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter
Post by David Kary
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by Tim Chow
Post by Paul Epstein
So you might be underestimating how good the idea is.
You may be right. One problem is that there is a need for a cryptographic
hash function, and that's a concept that is hard for the "man in the street"
to understand. Both sides have to agree that secure hash functions exist.
But maybe this is not that big an obstacle.
Note that the hash function probably needs to be a composition of two hash
functions, one selected by Alice and one selected by Bob, in case neither
one trusts the security of the hash function proposed by the other.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,
This is gravitating away from my original point ...
I think his gravitation can be forgiven. If not, I think Isaac Newton
should be blamed.
Paul
Paul,
Isaac Newton crossed my mind, and I am trying to reconcile the idea of plastic dice thrown from a cup vs. a RNG......and determining the relative fairness of each. Gravity vs Binary. I do like the idea of pulling dice roll using time-of-day in format of hh-mm-ss which renders 86,400 random unique values and many more if I ad a "roll in cup" routine after pulling time-of-day. Thoughts?
Am I to understand that you are writing (or intending to write) your own
backgammon playing program?
Peter,

Yes I am, a Backgammon Club to be exact, a form of Chouette. I'd be honoured if you signed up and tried it out. Mid August is my timeframe, hopefully earlier.
Peter
2020-07-02 07:23:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Chow
Post by David Kary
Sometimes I suspect that Backgammon Live cheats via fixed throws of the dice.
I will hold my devs accountable that my dice roller is fully randomized as
cheating would only serve to get me in trouble.
A developer needs to understand that there is very little correlation between
whether a program actually cheats, and whether users *think* it cheats. If
your goal is to make sure people don't accuse you of cheating, it is not enough
to be honest and to provide irrefutable objective evidence that you are honest.
The only surefire way to block accusations of cheating is to make your AI a
weak player, or to cheat *in the human's favor*.
How about providing the source and build instructions?
Post by Tim Chow
---
Tim Chow
Tim Chow
2020-07-02 16:13:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter
How about providing the source and build instructions?
Not good enough. People persistently complain that GNU Backgammon cheats.

---
Tim Chow
Peter
2020-07-02 16:49:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Chow
Post by Peter
How about providing the source and build instructions?
Not good enough. People persistently complain that GNU Backgammon cheats.
Have they been asked to identify the code doing the cheating? And,
having identified it, to rewrite it to their liking?
Post by Tim Chow
---
Tim Chow
Paul Epstein
2020-07-02 11:22:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Chow
Post by David Kary
Sometimes I suspect that Backgammon Live cheats via fixed throws of the dice.
I will hold my devs accountable that my dice roller is fully randomized as
cheating would only serve to get me in trouble.
A developer needs to understand that there is very little correlation between
whether a program actually cheats, and whether users *think* it cheats. If
your goal is to make sure people don't accuse you of cheating, it is not enough
to be honest and to provide irrefutable objective evidence that you are honest.
The only surefire way to block accusations of cheating is to make your AI a
weak player, or to cheat *in the human's favor*.
I don't think that "a developer" needs to understand that.
The project manager or CEO needs to understand that so that
the manager can guide the developers appropriately.

The developers implement the software that is requested without worrying
too much about the business plan.

Cheating algorithms are easy. For example, set a variable p
between 0 and 1 so that a random trial returns true with probability p.
In non-contact positions, on the human rolls,
whenever the randomized trial returns true, the
bot secretly rolls twice for the human and selects the roll out of the two
that gives the greater pip count. If p is 1, the human gets a massive
advantage. If p is 0.01, it's probably somewhat slight.

Paul
c***@gmail.com
2020-07-02 18:01:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Chow
Post by David Kary
Sometimes I suspect that Backgammon Live cheats via fixed throws of the dice.
I will hold my devs accountable that my dice roller is fully randomized as
cheating would only serve to get me in trouble.
A developer needs to understand that there is very little correlation between
whether a program actually cheats, and whether users *think* it cheats. If
your goal is to make sure people don't accuse you of cheating, it is not enough
to be honest and to provide irrefutable objective evidence that you are honest.
The only surefire way to block accusations of cheating is to make your AI a
weak player, or to cheat *in the human's favor*.
---
Tim Chow
Rubbish. And I expected more from you.

I've been playing human vs cpu backgammon since 1983 (I'm in the UK, we had a home computer called the ZX Sinclair Spectrum) and something was produced by an outfit called Psion.

Alas for them, you could also use disassemblers to peek at their code and it soon became apparent that it was cheating based on the state of the game (the cheating was fairly crude, i.e roll a double if the game state flag indicates the cpu is losing).

Fast forward 15 years and a one man band outfit in Scotland produced a backgammon program which, he claimed, used the system date and time to seed the RNG.

So I just wrote a batch file to set the system date and time to a certain value and then call the program and the rolls would be consistent.

And they were. Except occasionally the program would throw a curve ball (he tried to claim if the cpu had two rolls that it evaluated equally it'd use the RNG to decide which move to make).

Except checking the RNG output, these double sixes weren't anywhere in the projected rolls.

ExtremeGammon seems to cheat except I'm using my own DLL to generate the dice rolls.....I've played 11 matches to 15 and in every one my luck rating is "very unlucky".

Is it possible to simply be unlucky in backgammon and to give it up as a bad job?
Paul Epstein
2020-07-02 18:38:03 UTC
Permalink
On Thursday, July 2, 2020 at 7:01:30 PM UTC+1, ***@gmail.com wrote:
...
Post by c***@gmail.com
ExtremeGammon seems to cheat except I'm using my own DLL to generate the dice rolls.....I've played 11 matches to 15 and in every one my luck rating is "very unlucky".
...
"Luck" is defined in such a way that, if A plays worse than B in a match,
A's probability of being "unlucky" is > 50%. Tim can explain the details
if he's not too offended by you (literally) rubbishing him.

Paul
Tim Chow
2020-07-03 01:03:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Epstein
"Luck" is defined in such a way that, if A plays worse than B in a match,
A's probability of being "unlucky" is > 50%.
I don't think this is true. Luck, I believe, is measured in terms of EMG,
which totally strips it of any mathematical meaning.

---
Tim Chow
c***@gmail.com
2020-07-03 08:59:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Epstein
...
Post by c***@gmail.com
ExtremeGammon seems to cheat except I'm using my own DLL to generate the dice rolls.....I've played 11 matches to 15 and in every one my luck rating is "very unlucky".
...
"Luck" is defined in such a way that, if A plays worse than B in a match,
A's probability of being "unlucky" is > 50%. Tim can explain the details
if he's not too offended by you (literally) rubbishing him.
Paul
Yeah public apologies to Tim, my wording was clumsy to say the least.

The point I was trying (badly) to get across is that if you accuse a backgammon program of cheating, the copy-and-paste response you will receive is "the cpu player may seem to be cheating but that's because it is playing at such a high level".

Quite how that squares with landing 2-in-36 shots time and time and time again isn't immediately apparent.

For those of us who have witnessed real cheating (see my earlier post) it tends to scar you mentally so that when I play something like Extreme Gammon I still call it out as a cheat......even though it's using a DLL that I wrote to generate dice rolls!

How anyone in their right mind would play for money on an internet server is beyond belief.
David Kary
2020-07-03 11:43:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@gmail.com
Post by Paul Epstein
...
Post by c***@gmail.com
ExtremeGammon seems to cheat except I'm using my own DLL to generate the dice rolls.....I've played 11 matches to 15 and in every one my luck rating is "very unlucky".
...
"Luck" is defined in such a way that, if A plays worse than B in a match,
A's probability of being "unlucky" is > 50%. Tim can explain the details
if he's not too offended by you (literally) rubbishing him.
Paul
Yeah public apologies to Tim, my wording was clumsy to say the least.
The point I was trying (badly) to get across is that if you accuse a backgammon program of cheating, the copy-and-paste response you will receive is "the cpu player may seem to be cheating but that's because it is playing at such a high level".
Quite how that squares with landing 2-in-36 shots time and time and time again isn't immediately apparent.
For those of us who have witnessed real cheating (see my earlier post) it tends to scar you mentally so that when I play something like Extreme Gammon I still call it out as a cheat......even though it's using a DLL that I wrote to generate dice rolls!
How anyone in their right mind would play for money on an internet server is beyond belief.
Chuckles,

I really could use your help, as I WILL be building this new Backgammon Club, a variation on a Chouette. My RNG will be based on a two-pass algorith which 1) pulls time-of-day and then 2) Runs a jumble routine for a truly random dice throw. I will then have my website audited by a 3rd party testing house (there are a few in the USA) and post that certificate on my website. Bottom line.......I do not cheat, and I would only hurt myself by doing so. I collect $9.95 per month, win or lose, so cheating only hurts me, it does not help me. Can you please provide commentary on what I have written here? Seems that I am getting lost under the backgammon table, HELP! LOL. Thanks mate. Dave
Tim Chow
2020-07-03 12:57:25 UTC
Permalink
[...]
Post by David Kary
Post by c***@gmail.com
when I play something like Extreme Gammon I still call it out as a
cheat......even though it's using a DLL that I wrote to generate dice
rolls!
[...]
Post by David Kary
My RNG will be based on a two-pass algorith which 1) pulls time-of-day
and then 2) Runs a jumble routine for a truly random dice throw.
Let me just point out that this thread provides evidence of what I've been
saying, that human psychology trumps facts every time.

1. Chuckles writes his own DLL to generate dice rolls. At some level he
knows that XG isn't cheating. But look at what he says: "I still call
it out as a cheat." Could there be a clearer example of someone who
cannot suppress the urge to declare cheating in spite of irrefutable
objective evidence to the contrary?

2. When confronted with the example of chuckles, what does David Kary do?
Does he admit that this example proves that his plans to prove that his
dice are honest are not necessarily going to work? No, of course not.
He has his plan, his mind is made up, he knows he is honest, and he
cannot fathom how anyone could accuse him of cheating in the face of
strong objective evidence of his honesty. A counterexample is staring
him in the face and he chooses to ignore it.

I rest my case.

---
Tim Chow
David Kary
2020-07-03 13:35:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Chow
[...]
Post by David Kary
Post by c***@gmail.com
when I play something like Extreme Gammon I still call it out as a
cheat......even though it's using a DLL that I wrote to generate dice
rolls!
[...]
Post by David Kary
My RNG will be based on a two-pass algorith which 1) pulls time-of-day
and then 2) Runs a jumble routine for a truly random dice throw.
Let me just point out that this thread provides evidence of what I've been
saying, that human psychology trumps facts every time.
1. Chuckles writes his own DLL to generate dice rolls. At some level he
knows that XG isn't cheating. But look at what he says: "I still call
it out as a cheat." Could there be a clearer example of someone who
cannot suppress the urge to declare cheating in spite of irrefutable
objective evidence to the contrary?
2. When confronted with the example of chuckles, what does David Kary do?
Does he admit that this example proves that his plans to prove that his
dice are honest are not necessarily going to work? No, of course not.
He has his plan, his mind is made up, he knows he is honest, and he
cannot fathom how anyone could accuse him of cheating in the face of
strong objective evidence of his honesty. A counterexample is staring
him in the face and he chooses to ignore it.
I rest my case.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,

This conversation would go down a lot easier if you were a tad nicer about it. This is a blog, we are not in the same room having coffee, conversation is linear, so coherent response is harder. That said, I am VERY concerned that no matter how honest my dice are, my players will not acknowledge said honesty and just accuse me of cheating outright. Sounds like the best remedy (other than just taking the blow on the chin) is to provide a sandbox where my Expert Players can run their own RNGs. Not sure how viable that would be to physically design into a Backgammon Website, but I can ask my devs about it. What would be REALLY nice is if you guys could make a few suggestions about how to mitigate these apparent complaints (which I know I will get). So far I have seen the "bring your own RNG" idea but I could use some more. Thanks.
Tim Chow
2020-07-03 14:30:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kary
So far I have seen the "bring your own RNG" idea but I could use some
more. Thanks.
I already gave two other suggestions.

---
Tim Chow
David Kary
2020-07-03 14:56:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Chow
Post by David Kary
So far I have seen the "bring your own RNG" idea but I could use some
more. Thanks.
I already gave two other suggestions.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,

You did, but I am asking this a different way. The experts will accuse me of cheating no matter what. I could have a letter signed by the Pope and they still wouldn't care. I am looking for a way to quell their outrage other than "losing on purpose" which is another form of cheating. I cite the 1914 Black Sox who threw the World Series to benefit the crooked bookmakers.
Peter
2020-07-03 15:13:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kary
Post by Tim Chow
Post by David Kary
So far I have seen the "bring your own RNG" idea but I could use some
more. Thanks.
I already gave two other suggestions.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,
You did, but I am asking this a different way. The experts will accuse me of cheating no matter what. I could have a letter signed by the Pope and they still wouldn't care. I am looking for a way to quell their outrage
Publish the source and build instructions. GNU Backgammon is
open-source and still people (or a particular person) say it cheats.
Was "give up from the start" one of Dr Chow's suggestions?
Post by David Kary
other than "losing on purpose" which is another form of cheating. I cite the 1914 Black Sox who threw the World Series to benefit the crooked bookmakers.
Paul Epstein
2020-07-03 16:32:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kary
Post by Tim Chow
[...]
Post by David Kary
Post by c***@gmail.com
when I play something like Extreme Gammon I still call it out as a
cheat......even though it's using a DLL that I wrote to generate dice
rolls!
[...]
Post by David Kary
My RNG will be based on a two-pass algorith which 1) pulls time-of-day
and then 2) Runs a jumble routine for a truly random dice throw.
Let me just point out that this thread provides evidence of what I've been
saying, that human psychology trumps facts every time.
1. Chuckles writes his own DLL to generate dice rolls. At some level he
knows that XG isn't cheating. But look at what he says: "I still call
it out as a cheat." Could there be a clearer example of someone who
cannot suppress the urge to declare cheating in spite of irrefutable
objective evidence to the contrary?
2. When confronted with the example of chuckles, what does David Kary do?
Does he admit that this example proves that his plans to prove that his
dice are honest are not necessarily going to work? No, of course not.
He has his plan, his mind is made up, he knows he is honest, and he
cannot fathom how anyone could accuse him of cheating in the face of
strong objective evidence of his honesty. A counterexample is staring
him in the face and he chooses to ignore it.
I rest my case.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,
This conversation would go down a lot easier if you were a tad nicer about it.
But "you started it" if I can revert to my childhood years.
"This is gravitating away from my original point" is a confrontational
thing to say -- demanding to control the flow of discussion.

What are your aims from an overall picture?
Are they primarily concerned with A) making large amounts of money
or B) doing something interesting for the backgammon community, while not
caring about money because either you have alternative sources of income
or you don't mind living on a low wage?

A) and B) would attract very different advice.
If you're after making a lot of money, creating a backgammon website
is a terrible business plan for the following reasons.

1) The number of people happy to invest actual money in backgammon is
small.

2) Lots of people have done or tried the same thing -- it's a very crowded
business space. You might think you can offer this or that as a USP
but it doesn't appear as a USP to everyone else.
For example, I've noticed that it's easy to buy bars of chocolate that
weigh 100g but not 102g. So I'm going to make the availability of
102g chocolate bars my USP.

Have you thought of making your product free for about a year until
it becomes popular, and then trying to make money later?

Paul
David Kary
2020-07-03 18:40:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by David Kary
Post by Tim Chow
[...]
Post by David Kary
Post by c***@gmail.com
when I play something like Extreme Gammon I still call it out as a
cheat......even though it's using a DLL that I wrote to generate dice
rolls!
[...]
Post by David Kary
My RNG will be based on a two-pass algorith which 1) pulls time-of-day
and then 2) Runs a jumble routine for a truly random dice throw.
Let me just point out that this thread provides evidence of what I've been
saying, that human psychology trumps facts every time.
1. Chuckles writes his own DLL to generate dice rolls. At some level he
knows that XG isn't cheating. But look at what he says: "I still call
it out as a cheat." Could there be a clearer example of someone who
cannot suppress the urge to declare cheating in spite of irrefutable
objective evidence to the contrary?
2. When confronted with the example of chuckles, what does David Kary do?
Does he admit that this example proves that his plans to prove that his
dice are honest are not necessarily going to work? No, of course not.
He has his plan, his mind is made up, he knows he is honest, and he
cannot fathom how anyone could accuse him of cheating in the face of
strong objective evidence of his honesty. A counterexample is staring
him in the face and he chooses to ignore it.
I rest my case.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,
This conversation would go down a lot easier if you were a tad nicer about it.
But "you started it" if I can revert to my childhood years.
"This is gravitating away from my original point" is a confrontational
thing to say -- demanding to control the flow of discussion.
What are your aims from an overall picture?
Are they primarily concerned with A) making large amounts of money
or B) doing something interesting for the backgammon community, while not
caring about money because either you have alternative sources of income
or you don't mind living on a low wage?
A) and B) would attract very different advice.
If you're after making a lot of money, creating a backgammon website
is a terrible business plan for the following reasons.
1) The number of people happy to invest actual money in backgammon is
small.
2) Lots of people have done or tried the same thing -- it's a very crowded
business space. You might think you can offer this or that as a USP
but it doesn't appear as a USP to everyone else.
For example, I've noticed that it's easy to buy bars of chocolate that
weigh 100g but not 102g. So I'm going to make the availability of
102g chocolate bars my USP.
Have you thought of making your product free for about a year until
it becomes popular, and then trying to make money later?
Paul
Paul,

I will not lie, yes I got a bit grumpy because I was seeking advice about a new Online Backgammon Club, and in my eves, my post started veering away from that. So amends for said grumpiness and I am happy to respond to your much-appreciated and spot-on queries.

"What are your aims from an overall picture? Are they primarily concerned with A) making large amounts of money or B) doing something interesting for the backgammon community, while not caring about money because either you have alternative sources of income or you don't mind living on a low wage?"

**** I want to create a Backgammon Club (a variation on a chouette) which would be deemed best-in-class from the standpoint of Best Practices for Web and Mobile App. And I want make money (not sure how much is possible but I am willing to find out).


"The number of people happy to invest actual money in backgammon is small."

**** I take my clue there from Backgammon Live and Tavla on Facebook which both have many human players who apparently are willing to pay with chips which deplete and need to be replenished, as opposed to my $9.95 per month membership fee.


"Lots of people have done or tried the same thing -- it's a very crowded business space. You might think you can offer this or that as a USP but it doesn't appear as a USP to everyone else."

**** I have looked at almost all of them, and the only one I find compelling is BackgammonStudio which is very clunky, has way too many buttons in the UI UX, and I know I can build something a LOT better. To reiterate...........Backgammon Live is an outstanding game. If they were not so pricey, I would not pursue my own app.


"Have you thought of making your product free for about a year until it becomes popular, and then trying to make money later?"

**** I offer a 15 days free trial and extra days for people who make referrals.


Would love your feedback Thanks.
Paul Epstein
2020-07-03 18:46:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kary
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by David Kary
Post by Tim Chow
[...]
Post by David Kary
Post by c***@gmail.com
when I play something like Extreme Gammon I still call it out as a
cheat......even though it's using a DLL that I wrote to generate dice
rolls!
[...]
Post by David Kary
My RNG will be based on a two-pass algorith which 1) pulls time-of-day
and then 2) Runs a jumble routine for a truly random dice throw.
Let me just point out that this thread provides evidence of what I've been
saying, that human psychology trumps facts every time.
1. Chuckles writes his own DLL to generate dice rolls. At some level he
knows that XG isn't cheating. But look at what he says: "I still call
it out as a cheat." Could there be a clearer example of someone who
cannot suppress the urge to declare cheating in spite of irrefutable
objective evidence to the contrary?
2. When confronted with the example of chuckles, what does David Kary do?
Does he admit that this example proves that his plans to prove that his
dice are honest are not necessarily going to work? No, of course not.
He has his plan, his mind is made up, he knows he is honest, and he
cannot fathom how anyone could accuse him of cheating in the face of
strong objective evidence of his honesty. A counterexample is staring
him in the face and he chooses to ignore it.
I rest my case.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,
This conversation would go down a lot easier if you were a tad nicer about it.
But "you started it" if I can revert to my childhood years.
"This is gravitating away from my original point" is a confrontational
thing to say -- demanding to control the flow of discussion.
What are your aims from an overall picture?
Are they primarily concerned with A) making large amounts of money
or B) doing something interesting for the backgammon community, while not
caring about money because either you have alternative sources of income
or you don't mind living on a low wage?
A) and B) would attract very different advice.
If you're after making a lot of money, creating a backgammon website
is a terrible business plan for the following reasons.
1) The number of people happy to invest actual money in backgammon is
small.
2) Lots of people have done or tried the same thing -- it's a very crowded
business space. You might think you can offer this or that as a USP
but it doesn't appear as a USP to everyone else.
For example, I've noticed that it's easy to buy bars of chocolate that
weigh 100g but not 102g. So I'm going to make the availability of
102g chocolate bars my USP.
Have you thought of making your product free for about a year until
it becomes popular, and then trying to make money later?
Paul
Paul,
I will not lie, yes I got a bit grumpy because I was seeking advice about a new Online Backgammon Club, and in my eves, my post started veering away from that. So amends for said grumpiness and I am happy to respond to your much-appreciated and spot-on queries.
"What are your aims from an overall picture? Are they primarily concerned with A) making large amounts of money or B) doing something interesting for the backgammon community, while not caring about money because either you have alternative sources of income or you don't mind living on a low wage?"
**** I want to create a Backgammon Club (a variation on a chouette) which would be deemed best-in-class from the standpoint of Best Practices for Web and Mobile App. And I want make money (not sure how much is possible but I am willing to find out).
"The number of people happy to invest actual money in backgammon is small."
**** I take my clue there from Backgammon Live and Tavla on Facebook which both have many human players who apparently are willing to pay with chips which deplete and need to be replenished, as opposed to my $9.95 per month membership fee.
"Lots of people have done or tried the same thing -- it's a very crowded business space. You might think you can offer this or that as a USP but it doesn't appear as a USP to everyone else."
**** I have looked at almost all of them, and the only one I find compelling is BackgammonStudio which is very clunky, has way too many buttons in the UI UX, and I know I can build something a LOT better. To reiterate...........Backgammon Live is an outstanding game. If they were not so pricey, I would not pursue my own app.
"Have you thought of making your product free for about a year until it becomes popular, and then trying to make money later?"
**** I offer a 15 days free trial and extra days for people who make referrals.
Would love your feedback Thanks.
When you say you want "feedback", do you mean that you want
feedback on these ideas you've expressed on this thread, or do
you have an actual URL where you've done some work that you want me to
give feedback on?

I'm confused about what type of feedback you want.

Paul
David Kary
2020-07-03 18:48:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by David Kary
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by David Kary
Post by Tim Chow
[...]
Post by David Kary
Post by c***@gmail.com
when I play something like Extreme Gammon I still call it out as a
cheat......even though it's using a DLL that I wrote to generate dice
rolls!
[...]
Post by David Kary
My RNG will be based on a two-pass algorith which 1) pulls time-of-day
and then 2) Runs a jumble routine for a truly random dice throw.
Let me just point out that this thread provides evidence of what I've been
saying, that human psychology trumps facts every time.
1. Chuckles writes his own DLL to generate dice rolls. At some level he
knows that XG isn't cheating. But look at what he says: "I still call
it out as a cheat." Could there be a clearer example of someone who
cannot suppress the urge to declare cheating in spite of irrefutable
objective evidence to the contrary?
2. When confronted with the example of chuckles, what does David Kary do?
Does he admit that this example proves that his plans to prove that his
dice are honest are not necessarily going to work? No, of course not.
He has his plan, his mind is made up, he knows he is honest, and he
cannot fathom how anyone could accuse him of cheating in the face of
strong objective evidence of his honesty. A counterexample is staring
him in the face and he chooses to ignore it.
I rest my case.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,
This conversation would go down a lot easier if you were a tad nicer about it.
But "you started it" if I can revert to my childhood years.
"This is gravitating away from my original point" is a confrontational
thing to say -- demanding to control the flow of discussion.
What are your aims from an overall picture?
Are they primarily concerned with A) making large amounts of money
or B) doing something interesting for the backgammon community, while not
caring about money because either you have alternative sources of income
or you don't mind living on a low wage?
A) and B) would attract very different advice.
If you're after making a lot of money, creating a backgammon website
is a terrible business plan for the following reasons.
1) The number of people happy to invest actual money in backgammon is
small.
2) Lots of people have done or tried the same thing -- it's a very crowded
business space. You might think you can offer this or that as a USP
but it doesn't appear as a USP to everyone else.
For example, I've noticed that it's easy to buy bars of chocolate that
weigh 100g but not 102g. So I'm going to make the availability of
102g chocolate bars my USP.
Have you thought of making your product free for about a year until
it becomes popular, and then trying to make money later?
Paul
Paul,
I will not lie, yes I got a bit grumpy because I was seeking advice about a new Online Backgammon Club, and in my eves, my post started veering away from that. So amends for said grumpiness and I am happy to respond to your much-appreciated and spot-on queries.
"What are your aims from an overall picture? Are they primarily concerned with A) making large amounts of money or B) doing something interesting for the backgammon community, while not caring about money because either you have alternative sources of income or you don't mind living on a low wage?"
**** I want to create a Backgammon Club (a variation on a chouette) which would be deemed best-in-class from the standpoint of Best Practices for Web and Mobile App. And I want make money (not sure how much is possible but I am willing to find out).
"The number of people happy to invest actual money in backgammon is small."
**** I take my clue there from Backgammon Live and Tavla on Facebook which both have many human players who apparently are willing to pay with chips which deplete and need to be replenished, as opposed to my $9.95 per month membership fee.
"Lots of people have done or tried the same thing -- it's a very crowded business space. You might think you can offer this or that as a USP but it doesn't appear as a USP to everyone else."
**** I have looked at almost all of them, and the only one I find compelling is BackgammonStudio which is very clunky, has way too many buttons in the UI UX, and I know I can build something a LOT better. To reiterate...........Backgammon Live is an outstanding game. If they were not so pricey, I would not pursue my own app.
"Have you thought of making your product free for about a year until it becomes popular, and then trying to make money later?"
**** I offer a 15 days free trial and extra days for people who make referrals.
Would love your feedback Thanks.
When you say you want "feedback", do you mean that you want
feedback on these ideas you've expressed on this thread, or do
you have an actual URL where you've done some work that you want me to
give feedback on?
I'm confused about what type of feedback you want.
Paul
Paul,

Sorry.....feedback on my ideas. The app will not be ready until about Labour Day (if I decide to move forward). This post and you guys will affect my decision to a large degree!!!
Paul Epstein
2020-07-03 19:43:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kary
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by David Kary
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by David Kary
Post by Tim Chow
[...]
Post by David Kary
Post by c***@gmail.com
when I play something like Extreme Gammon I still call it out as a
cheat......even though it's using a DLL that I wrote to generate dice
rolls!
[...]
Post by David Kary
My RNG will be based on a two-pass algorith which 1) pulls time-of-day
and then 2) Runs a jumble routine for a truly random dice throw.
Let me just point out that this thread provides evidence of what I've been
saying, that human psychology trumps facts every time.
1. Chuckles writes his own DLL to generate dice rolls. At some level he
knows that XG isn't cheating. But look at what he says: "I still call
it out as a cheat." Could there be a clearer example of someone who
cannot suppress the urge to declare cheating in spite of irrefutable
objective evidence to the contrary?
2. When confronted with the example of chuckles, what does David Kary do?
Does he admit that this example proves that his plans to prove that his
dice are honest are not necessarily going to work? No, of course not.
He has his plan, his mind is made up, he knows he is honest, and he
cannot fathom how anyone could accuse him of cheating in the face of
strong objective evidence of his honesty. A counterexample is staring
him in the face and he chooses to ignore it.
I rest my case.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,
This conversation would go down a lot easier if you were a tad nicer about it.
But "you started it" if I can revert to my childhood years.
"This is gravitating away from my original point" is a confrontational
thing to say -- demanding to control the flow of discussion.
What are your aims from an overall picture?
Are they primarily concerned with A) making large amounts of money
or B) doing something interesting for the backgammon community, while not
caring about money because either you have alternative sources of income
or you don't mind living on a low wage?
A) and B) would attract very different advice.
If you're after making a lot of money, creating a backgammon website
is a terrible business plan for the following reasons.
1) The number of people happy to invest actual money in backgammon is
small.
2) Lots of people have done or tried the same thing -- it's a very crowded
business space. You might think you can offer this or that as a USP
but it doesn't appear as a USP to everyone else.
For example, I've noticed that it's easy to buy bars of chocolate that
weigh 100g but not 102g. So I'm going to make the availability of
102g chocolate bars my USP.
Have you thought of making your product free for about a year until
it becomes popular, and then trying to make money later?
Paul
Paul,
I will not lie, yes I got a bit grumpy because I was seeking advice about a new Online Backgammon Club, and in my eves, my post started veering away from that. So amends for said grumpiness and I am happy to respond to your much-appreciated and spot-on queries.
"What are your aims from an overall picture? Are they primarily concerned with A) making large amounts of money or B) doing something interesting for the backgammon community, while not caring about money because either you have alternative sources of income or you don't mind living on a low wage?"
**** I want to create a Backgammon Club (a variation on a chouette) which would be deemed best-in-class from the standpoint of Best Practices for Web and Mobile App. And I want make money (not sure how much is possible but I am willing to find out).
"The number of people happy to invest actual money in backgammon is small."
**** I take my clue there from Backgammon Live and Tavla on Facebook which both have many human players who apparently are willing to pay with chips which deplete and need to be replenished, as opposed to my $9.95 per month membership fee.
"Lots of people have done or tried the same thing -- it's a very crowded business space. You might think you can offer this or that as a USP but it doesn't appear as a USP to everyone else."
**** I have looked at almost all of them, and the only one I find compelling is BackgammonStudio which is very clunky, has way too many buttons in the UI UX, and I know I can build something a LOT better. To reiterate...........Backgammon Live is an outstanding game. If they were not so pricey, I would not pursue my own app.
"Have you thought of making your product free for about a year until it becomes popular, and then trying to make money later?"
**** I offer a 15 days free trial and extra days for people who make referrals.
Would love your feedback Thanks.
When you say you want "feedback", do you mean that you want
feedback on these ideas you've expressed on this thread, or do
you have an actual URL where you've done some work that you want me to
give feedback on?
I'm confused about what type of feedback you want.
Paul
Paul,
Sorry.....feedback on my ideas. The app will not be ready until about Labour Day (if I decide to move forward). This post and you guys will affect my decision to a large degree!!!
Ok, I'll stick with the feedback I've already given. If you want more
feedback from me, be a bit more precise about what exactly you want.

Paul
David Kary
2020-07-03 20:18:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by David Kary
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by David Kary
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by David Kary
Post by Tim Chow
[...]
Post by David Kary
Post by c***@gmail.com
when I play something like Extreme Gammon I still call it out as a
cheat......even though it's using a DLL that I wrote to generate dice
rolls!
[...]
Post by David Kary
My RNG will be based on a two-pass algorith which 1) pulls time-of-day
and then 2) Runs a jumble routine for a truly random dice throw.
Let me just point out that this thread provides evidence of what I've been
saying, that human psychology trumps facts every time.
1. Chuckles writes his own DLL to generate dice rolls. At some level he
knows that XG isn't cheating. But look at what he says: "I still call
it out as a cheat." Could there be a clearer example of someone who
cannot suppress the urge to declare cheating in spite of irrefutable
objective evidence to the contrary?
2. When confronted with the example of chuckles, what does David Kary do?
Does he admit that this example proves that his plans to prove that his
dice are honest are not necessarily going to work? No, of course not.
He has his plan, his mind is made up, he knows he is honest, and he
cannot fathom how anyone could accuse him of cheating in the face of
strong objective evidence of his honesty. A counterexample is staring
him in the face and he chooses to ignore it.
I rest my case.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,
This conversation would go down a lot easier if you were a tad nicer about it.
But "you started it" if I can revert to my childhood years.
"This is gravitating away from my original point" is a confrontational
thing to say -- demanding to control the flow of discussion.
What are your aims from an overall picture?
Are they primarily concerned with A) making large amounts of money
or B) doing something interesting for the backgammon community, while not
caring about money because either you have alternative sources of income
or you don't mind living on a low wage?
A) and B) would attract very different advice.
If you're after making a lot of money, creating a backgammon website
is a terrible business plan for the following reasons.
1) The number of people happy to invest actual money in backgammon is
small.
2) Lots of people have done or tried the same thing -- it's a very crowded
business space. You might think you can offer this or that as a USP
but it doesn't appear as a USP to everyone else.
For example, I've noticed that it's easy to buy bars of chocolate that
weigh 100g but not 102g. So I'm going to make the availability of
102g chocolate bars my USP.
Have you thought of making your product free for about a year until
it becomes popular, and then trying to make money later?
Paul
Paul,
I will not lie, yes I got a bit grumpy because I was seeking advice about a new Online Backgammon Club, and in my eves, my post started veering away from that. So amends for said grumpiness and I am happy to respond to your much-appreciated and spot-on queries.
"What are your aims from an overall picture? Are they primarily concerned with A) making large amounts of money or B) doing something interesting for the backgammon community, while not caring about money because either you have alternative sources of income or you don't mind living on a low wage?"
**** I want to create a Backgammon Club (a variation on a chouette) which would be deemed best-in-class from the standpoint of Best Practices for Web and Mobile App. And I want make money (not sure how much is possible but I am willing to find out).
"The number of people happy to invest actual money in backgammon is small."
**** I take my clue there from Backgammon Live and Tavla on Facebook which both have many human players who apparently are willing to pay with chips which deplete and need to be replenished, as opposed to my $9.95 per month membership fee.
"Lots of people have done or tried the same thing -- it's a very crowded business space. You might think you can offer this or that as a USP but it doesn't appear as a USP to everyone else."
**** I have looked at almost all of them, and the only one I find compelling is BackgammonStudio which is very clunky, has way too many buttons in the UI UX, and I know I can build something a LOT better. To reiterate...........Backgammon Live is an outstanding game. If they were not so pricey, I would not pursue my own app.
"Have you thought of making your product free for about a year until it becomes popular, and then trying to make money later?"
**** I offer a 15 days free trial and extra days for people who make referrals.
Would love your feedback Thanks.
When you say you want "feedback", do you mean that you want
feedback on these ideas you've expressed on this thread, or do
you have an actual URL where you've done some work that you want me to
give feedback on?
I'm confused about what type of feedback you want.
Paul
Paul,
Sorry.....feedback on my ideas. The app will not be ready until about Labour Day (if I decide to move forward). This post and you guys will affect my decision to a large degree!!!
Ok, I'll stick with the feedback I've already given. If you want more
feedback from me, be a bit more precise about what exactly you want.
Paul
Paul,

Yes by "feedback" I would request that you go through all the bullets I wrote in my post at 240pm today. Based on those.....please tell me if you think it would be wise (do I have a shot at making money) to spend maybe $5000 to have a Backgammon Club built and marketed. Many thanks, I hope you can help me out on this. Dave
Paul Epstein
2020-07-03 21:57:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kary
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by David Kary
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by David Kary
Post by Paul Epstein
Post by David Kary
Post by Tim Chow
[...]
Post by David Kary
Post by c***@gmail.com
when I play something like Extreme Gammon I still call it out as a
cheat......even though it's using a DLL that I wrote to generate dice
rolls!
[...]
Post by David Kary
My RNG will be based on a two-pass algorith which 1) pulls time-of-day
and then 2) Runs a jumble routine for a truly random dice throw.
Let me just point out that this thread provides evidence of what I've been
saying, that human psychology trumps facts every time.
1. Chuckles writes his own DLL to generate dice rolls. At some level he
knows that XG isn't cheating. But look at what he says: "I still call
it out as a cheat." Could there be a clearer example of someone who
cannot suppress the urge to declare cheating in spite of irrefutable
objective evidence to the contrary?
2. When confronted with the example of chuckles, what does David Kary do?
Does he admit that this example proves that his plans to prove that his
dice are honest are not necessarily going to work? No, of course not.
He has his plan, his mind is made up, he knows he is honest, and he
cannot fathom how anyone could accuse him of cheating in the face of
strong objective evidence of his honesty. A counterexample is staring
him in the face and he chooses to ignore it.
I rest my case.
---
Tim Chow
Tim,
This conversation would go down a lot easier if you were a tad nicer about it.
But "you started it" if I can revert to my childhood years.
"This is gravitating away from my original point" is a confrontational
thing to say -- demanding to control the flow of discussion.
What are your aims from an overall picture?
Are they primarily concerned with A) making large amounts of money
or B) doing something interesting for the backgammon community, while not
caring about money because either you have alternative sources of income
or you don't mind living on a low wage?
A) and B) would attract very different advice.
If you're after making a lot of money, creating a backgammon website
is a terrible business plan for the following reasons.
1) The number of people happy to invest actual money in backgammon is
small.
2) Lots of people have done or tried the same thing -- it's a very crowded
business space. You might think you can offer this or that as a USP
but it doesn't appear as a USP to everyone else.
For example, I've noticed that it's easy to buy bars of chocolate that
weigh 100g but not 102g. So I'm going to make the availability of
102g chocolate bars my USP.
Have you thought of making your product free for about a year until
it becomes popular, and then trying to make money later?
Paul
Paul,
I will not lie, yes I got a bit grumpy because I was seeking advice about a new Online Backgammon Club, and in my eves, my post started veering away from that. So amends for said grumpiness and I am happy to respond to your much-appreciated and spot-on queries.
"What are your aims from an overall picture? Are they primarily concerned with A) making large amounts of money or B) doing something interesting for the backgammon community, while not caring about money because either you have alternative sources of income or you don't mind living on a low wage?"
**** I want to create a Backgammon Club (a variation on a chouette) which would be deemed best-in-class from the standpoint of Best Practices for Web and Mobile App. And I want make money (not sure how much is possible but I am willing to find out).
"The number of people happy to invest actual money in backgammon is small."
**** I take my clue there from Backgammon Live and Tavla on Facebook which both have many human players who apparently are willing to pay with chips which deplete and need to be replenished, as opposed to my $9.95 per month membership fee.
"Lots of people have done or tried the same thing -- it's a very crowded business space. You might think you can offer this or that as a USP but it doesn't appear as a USP to everyone else."
**** I have looked at almost all of them, and the only one I find compelling is BackgammonStudio which is very clunky, has way too many buttons in the UI UX, and I know I can build something a LOT better. To reiterate...........Backgammon Live is an outstanding game. If they were not so pricey, I would not pursue my own app.
"Have you thought of making your product free for about a year until it becomes popular, and then trying to make money later?"
**** I offer a 15 days free trial and extra days for people who make referrals.
Would love your feedback Thanks.
When you say you want "feedback", do you mean that you want
feedback on these ideas you've expressed on this thread, or do
you have an actual URL where you've done some work that you want me to
give feedback on?
I'm confused about what type of feedback you want.
Paul
Paul,
Sorry.....feedback on my ideas. The app will not be ready until about Labour Day (if I decide to move forward). This post and you guys will affect my decision to a large degree!!!
Ok, I'll stick with the feedback I've already given. If you want more
feedback from me, be a bit more precise about what exactly you want.
Paul
Paul,
Yes by "feedback" I would request that you go through all the bullets I wrote in my post at 240pm today. Based on those.....please tell me if you think it would be wise (do I have a shot at making money) to spend maybe $5000 to have a Backgammon Club built and marketed. Many thanks, I hope you can help me out on this. Dave
I think that it would be unwise to spend $5000
I estimate the probability of you ever making more than $10,000 USD
profit from your idea to be < 5%.
The thing is if you google something like "online backgammon club", you do
get lots of hits. So I don't know what your USP is.

"I would request that you go through all the bullets..."
But it's a totally unreasonable request!

I seem to lack the self-discipline to ignore you but I very much want to.
Please try to avoid replying to my specific posts or mentioning my name.

Thanks

Paul
Michael
2020-07-04 08:36:04 UTC
Permalink
For David
Continuing my comments on things I like and dislike on other servers.
My 2nd "best" choice is http://www.playok.com/en/backgammon/

Things that I like:
a)the interface is extremely fast. You can roll and complete the move within a fraction of a second compared to min 5 secs in bgstudio.
b)Hundreds of players around, so you don't have to wait for ages to play.
c)All games are saved on the server and you may download your or someone elses matches compared to bgStudio that sends only YOUR games via email.
d)it's totally free, lives from ads, that only appear once as soon as you log in.

Things that I don't like
a)Everybody agrees there's a problem with the dice generator, causing huge equity shifts much more often than normal.
b)I suspect the dice generator has been hijacked. I played with someone who seemed extremely lucky to me.Then watched him playing someone else.See game 20 here:
https://groups.google.com/d/msg/rec.games.backgammon/gZRvRFb1TRY/JBRmSQngAAAJ
So David be careful in giving details how your RNG will work, as there's a hijacking risk.
Imo make one that produces 2 random numbers and then compute the roll as per Tim’s proposal.
c)Their rating system is wrong.They use the FIBS rating system but they round the result to integer values. This doesn't cause much of a problem in matches of 3+ pointers but it does cause a problem to 1 pointers. No matter what your or your opponent's rating/strength is, your rating after a match will be + or - 2 points. Some strong players exploit this weakness by playing exclussively 1 pointers Vs amateurs boosting their rating geting non stop.
Michael
2020-07-04 09:45:06 UTC
Permalink
@David again:
One way to get rid of complains about the fairness of dice is to provide a button that will analyse all the matches of a player with GNUbg installed on your server and then tabulate the results like so:
Match # 1.
Match Length:7
Player David FIBS strength for this match: Say 1919 (extracted from GNU)
Player Michael FIBS strength for this match: Say 1885 (extracted from GNU)
Propability of Player David winning:52.59% (Using Fibs Formula *)
=1-(1/(10^((Rating_David-Rating Michael)*SQRT(MATCH_LENGTH)/2000)+1))
Actual result: Won

And so on and so on for all his matches
and then

Matches played so far:84 (from your server database)
Wins 44 (from your server database)
Should win:52.09% or 43.8 (The average of that *)

As long as the last 2 numbers (44 and 43.8) are close -->No dice manipulation
The more the matches played, the highest the accuracy, and the stronger the proof.
b***@googlemail.com
2020-07-04 10:21:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael
So David be careful in giving details how your RNG will work, as there's a hijacking risk.
How would you hijack a RNG if details are public (without hacking the whole server, then any bets are off)?
e.g. if I tell you
- that per match I use one instance of the XorShift256 seeded by the current time in nanoseconds % 13
- I use central ransom generated by a device producing real random ( e.g. https://www.tindie.com/products/WaywardGeek/infinite-noise-true-random-number-generator/)

It is essential that the dice are generated on the server not on the client, but otherwise I see no way of exploiting informations about the RNG
c***@gmail.com
2020-07-04 17:45:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Epstein
I seem to lack the self-discipline to ignore you but I very much want to.
Please try to avoid replying to my specific posts or mentioning my name.
Thanks
Paul
With all due respect, you seem to be elevating yourself to some God-like status when you come out with rubbish like that.

I suspect you're single and live at home with "mom" (its "mum" FFS, why you Yanks insist on saying "mom" is beyond me).

The guy is asking for advice......block / ignore him if you aren't interested...don't reply in a condescending tone.

I think you might find www.stackoverflow.com more to your liking?
David Kary
2020-07-04 18:30:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@gmail.com
Post by Paul Epstein
I seem to lack the self-discipline to ignore you but I very much want to.
Please try to avoid replying to my specific posts or mentioning my name.
Thanks
Paul
With all due respect, you seem to be elevating yourself to some God-like status when you come out with rubbish like that.
I suspect you're single and live at home with "mom" (its "mum" FFS, why you Yanks insist on saying "mom" is beyond me).
The guy is asking for advice......block / ignore him if you aren't interested...don't reply in a condescending tone.
I think you might find www.stackoverflow.com more to your liking?
Chuckles,

Thanks for the support, I daresay Paul is in some kind of personal pain, so my instinct is always to be supportive as opposed to combative. That said, Michael suggested I look at http://www.playok.com/en/backgammon which yielded some incredible clues for me!! They monetize with ads (great idea!) and I can offer a paid version of the software to remove the ads. As for play on that site.......it's clunky and confusing, less so than backgammon studio. My UI UX will me MUCH better and easier to navigate / compete. Could you do me a favour (British spelling) and try out that site and let me know what you think? FYI "Mom" and "Mum" are both correct IMHO, depending which side of the Atlantic you happen to hail from. Cheers, David
c***@gmail.com
2020-07-03 13:37:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Chow
[...]
Post by David Kary
Post by c***@gmail.com
when I play something like Extreme Gammon I still call it out as a
cheat......even though it's using a DLL that I wrote to generate dice
rolls!
[...]
Post by David Kary
My RNG will be based on a two-pass algorith which 1) pulls time-of-day
and then 2) Runs a jumble routine for a truly random dice throw.
Let me just point out that this thread provides evidence of what I've been
saying, that human psychology trumps facts every time.
1. Chuckles writes his own DLL to generate dice rolls. At some level he
knows that XG isn't cheating. But look at what he says: "I still call
it out as a cheat." Could there be a clearer example of someone who
cannot suppress the urge to declare cheating in spite of irrefutable
objective evidence to the contrary?
2. When confronted with the example of chuckles, what does David Kary do?
Does he admit that this example proves that his plans to prove that his
dice are honest are not necessarily going to work? No, of course not.
He has his plan, his mind is made up, he knows he is honest, and he
cannot fathom how anyone could accuse him of cheating in the face of
strong objective evidence of his honesty. A counterexample is staring
him in the face and he chooses to ignore it.
I rest my case.
---
Tim Chow
The thing is Tim, human psychology is very strong - take something we have over here, Euromillions, its a lottery whereby you pick five numbers and two lucky stars - ignore the lucky stars for this discussion.

The chances of any five numbers coming up are apparently 1 in 3,107,515. Each combination of five has exactly the same odds.

Now what do you think would happen if this week's draw produced 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 as the main numbers? You'd have a riot on your hands despite the fact that those numbers had the same chances as any other combination of being drawn.
David Kary
2020-07-03 14:20:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@gmail.com
Post by Tim Chow
[...]
Post by David Kary
Post by c***@gmail.com
when I play something like Extreme Gammon I still call it out as a
cheat......even though it's using a DLL that I wrote to generate dice
rolls!
[...]
Post by David Kary
My RNG will be based on a two-pass algorith which 1) pulls time-of-day
and then 2) Runs a jumble routine for a truly random dice throw.
Let me just point out that this thread provides evidence of what I've been
saying, that human psychology trumps facts every time.
1. Chuckles writes his own DLL to generate dice rolls. At some level he
knows that XG isn't cheating. But look at what he says: "I still call
it out as a cheat." Could there be a clearer example of someone who
cannot suppress the urge to declare cheating in spite of irrefutable
objective evidence to the contrary?
2. When confronted with the example of chuckles, what does David Kary do?
Does he admit that this example proves that his plans to prove that his
dice are honest are not necessarily going to work? No, of course not.
He has his plan, his mind is made up, he knows he is honest, and he
cannot fathom how anyone could accuse him of cheating in the face of
strong objective evidence of his honesty. A counterexample is staring
him in the face and he chooses to ignore it.
I rest my case.
---
Tim Chow
The thing is Tim, human psychology is very strong - take something we have over here, Euromillions, its a lottery whereby you pick five numbers and two lucky stars - ignore the lucky stars for this discussion.
The chances of any five numbers coming up are apparently 1 in 3,107,515. Each combination of five has exactly the same odds.
Now what do you think would happen if this week's draw produced 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 as the main numbers? You'd have a riot on your hands despite the fact that those numbers had the same chances as any other combination of being drawn.
Chuckles,

Any ideas how I can quell the angry mob when they start accusing me of fixing the double sixes for myself, and giving 2-1s to them? My RNG will be legit, but apparently they won't believe it. The "bring your own RNG" has merit........but what else can I do?
c***@gmail.com
2020-07-03 15:30:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kary
Chuckles,
Any ideas how I can quell the angry mob when they start accusing me of fixing >the double sixes for myself, and giving 2-1s to them? My RNG will be legit, but >apparently they won't believe it. The "bring your own RNG" has merit........but >what else can I do?
I don't know if this would work but......

Give the users the option of choosing the random number generator (e.g Mersenne Twister) and allow them to set the initial seed.

That way, the entire dice rolling sequence can be replayed.

So if I set the initial seed to 99999 and you proceed to roll yourself 3 double 6's in a row, I can go and check and see those rolls and so know that you haven't cheated.
Tim Chow
2020-07-03 17:19:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@gmail.com
Give the users the option of choosing the random number generator
(e.g Mersenne Twister) and allow them to set the initial seed.
That way, the entire dice rolling sequence can be replayed.
The trouble with this is that the user can "replay" the sequence
*before* the game begins, and know what all the dice rolls will
be in advance before the game starts.

I did this once with GNU Backgammon just as an experiment. It was
kind of fun for a while, leaving blots everywhere because I knew that
they could not be hit. But the novelty wore off rather quickly.

---
Tim Chow
b***@googlemail.com
2020-07-03 19:58:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@gmail.com
Give the users the option of choosing the random number generator (e.g Mersenne Twister) and allow them to set the initial seed.
That way, the entire dice rolling sequence can be replayed.
So if I set the initial seed to 99999 and you proceed to roll yourself 3 double 6's in a row, I can go and check and see those rolls and so know that you haven't cheated.
A high percentage of the one who believe you were cheating won't be able to grasp that concept. The alternative to believing being cheated is that they play a lot worse than they believe.....
Playing against a bot you may preview the dice, that is what I'm doing.
@David Kary: which bot do you want to use?

ciao
Frank
Tim Chow
2020-07-03 14:33:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@gmail.com
The thing is Tim, human psychology is very strong
Glad you finally agree with what I said at the very outset!

---
Tim Chow
Tim Chow
2020-07-03 01:01:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@gmail.com
Rubbish. And I expected more from you.
None of the facts you cited contradict anything I said. The correlation
between actual cheating and believed cheating is very low, but I didn't
say it was zero.
Post by c***@gmail.com
ExtremeGammon seems to cheat except I'm using my own DLL to generate the
dice rolls.....I've played 11 matches to 15 and in every one my luck
rating is "very unlucky".
eXtremeGammon's definition of the total luck of a match is, IMO, bizarre and
unhelpful. I have always totally ignored it.

---
Tim Chow
Tim Chow
2020-07-03 14:52:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Chow
The only surefire way to block accusations of cheating is to make your AI a
weak player, or to cheat *in the human's favor*.
Here's a concrete example of "fixing" the dice, but in a way that makes
people happier. A friend of mine who designs online games tells me that
this technique is often used in practice. I'll explain how to implement
it using physical equipment, but it's clear how to simulate it electronically.
To generate a roll of two dice, prepare 36 index cards. On each card, write
down one of the 36 possibilities for both dice. Shuffle this deck of 36 cards.
To "roll the dice," draw the top card from the deck, and then set it aside.
Continue until you have drawn about half the deck. Then collect together
all the cards, reshuffle, and repeat.

Obviously, this procedure doesn't generate random dice rolls. For example,
you can never roll 66 three times in a row, or even in quick succession.
However, in practice, most people feel that dice generated in this manner
are "fairer" than truly random dice. I mean, if your opponent rolls 66
three times in a row, then the dice can't possibly be fair, right?

You have to be a little careful how to market these dice. You want to avoid
lying, and you want to make sure that people who actually care can choose
"normal" dice. My friend's experience is with games where the exact dice
probabilities don't matter too much; backgammon is different, because for
serious players, the exact probabilities *do* matter. My friend says they
usually just use the "seemingly fair dice" by default, and there's some fine
print that allows players to switch to "actually fair dice" if they care. I
don't know if I would recommend this approach for backgammon. Probably the
safer approach is to use regular dice by default, and give players the option
to switch to your "proprietary algorithm" if they feel the dice aren't fair.

---
Tim Chow
Michael
2020-07-01 21:26:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kary
Hello backgammon lovers!! I have noticed some flaws in existing backgammon apps out there, and I think that we all deserve better. I'm planning on investing personal money into creating a new backgammon app, but I want to make sure I'm on the right track before I do. I'd really appreciate it if everyone who reads this could let me know one thing you love about the app you currently use, and one thing you hate and wish was done differently about the app you currently use.
Also, I'm thinking of charging $9/mo after a 30 day free trial as my business model. Is this something you would pay? What would be the barrier to entry for you?
Thanks so much for helping!!
The "best" one today imo is backgammon studio.
https://heroes.backgammonstudio.com/
Things I don't like there
a)It's slow.
b)Allows players to shuffle the checkers unlimited number of times, and the clock presets are 3-4 times the time needed for thinking.
b2)The fast mode on the other hand is preset at 8 seconds per move and about 2(?) minutes for a 7 pointer which is not enough to complete the match
c)Most players play in BG Studio mode, (compared to the standard competition mode).With that they get to know their equity loss after they make a cube or move error.Not fair imo
d)It has bots with which people may play.
e)You wait for too long to play with someone and the bots make your effort to find a hunan opponent even harder.

Things I like
a)it's free, but you do get some extras if you register for a fee. A personal database, and things like that.Lots of players ahave actually registered, I think they pay a lifetime fee of about $20. I am thinking of registering too, just to support the site.
b)Lots of super strong players at PR3 and lower. Known Giants also play there, the other day Michy was playing.
c)It has a ladder rating system based on FIBS rating.
d)the dice seems fair.
e)It has Unlimited/Money games, which are obviously used for "private gambling".I am against gambling as a matter of priciple. About 3% of the players do play Unlimited/Money games at any time.

That said, I think $9/month is high, and might keep out people from poor countries. From a quick look about 1/4 of the people playing at BG studio are from Latin America.A flag appears showing the country from which each one logs in...
A co-forumer for example who I thought was British logs in from Argentina!!
Michael
2020-07-01 21:29:32 UTC
Permalink
Correction:This should be in the list of things I don't like
-->
e)It has Unlimited/Money games,....
David Kary
2020-07-02 00:53:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael
Post by David Kary
Hello backgammon lovers!! I have noticed some flaws in existing backgammon apps out there, and I think that we all deserve better. I'm planning on investing personal money into creating a new backgammon app, but I want to make sure I'm on the right track before I do. I'd really appreciate it if everyone who reads this could let me know one thing you love about the app you currently use, and one thing you hate and wish was done differently about the app you currently use.
Also, I'm thinking of charging $9/mo after a 30 day free trial as my business model. Is this something you would pay? What would be the barrier to entry for you?
Thanks so much for helping!!
The "best" one today imo is backgammon studio.
https://heroes.backgammonstudio.com/
Things I don't like there
a)It's slow.
b)Allows players to shuffle the checkers unlimited number of times, and the clock presets are 3-4 times the time needed for thinking.
b2)The fast mode on the other hand is preset at 8 seconds per move and about 2(?) minutes for a 7 pointer which is not enough to complete the match
c)Most players play in BG Studio mode, (compared to the standard competition mode).With that they get to know their equity loss after they make a cube or move error.Not fair imo
d)It has bots with which people may play.
e)You wait for too long to play with someone and the bots make your effort to find a hunan opponent even harder.
Things I like
a)it's free, but you do get some extras if you register for a fee. A personal database, and things like that.Lots of players ahave actually registered, I think they pay a lifetime fee of about $20. I am thinking of registering too, just to support the site.
b)Lots of super strong players at PR3 and lower. Known Giants also play there, the other day Michy was playing.
c)It has a ladder rating system based on FIBS rating.
d)the dice seems fair.
e)It has Unlimited/Money games, which are obviously used for "private gambling".I am against gambling as a matter of priciple. About 3% of the players do play Unlimited/Money games at any time.
That said, I think $9/month is high, and might keep out people from poor countries. From a quick look about 1/4 of the people playing at BG studio are from Latin America.A flag appears showing the country from which each one logs in...
A co-forumer for example who I thought was British logs in from Argentina!!
Michael,

I have a feeling you will like my Backgammon Club, a new and exciting form of Chouette. It would be an honour and a privilege to me for you to try it out. 15 days free trial, and first adopters will get extra days on the house! FYI if you dig Chess, try chessclub.com aka ICC Chess.

Dave
Loading...