The Book of Go - A Videogame featuring Go Gameplay

Hello, I recently posted an update on the Baduk subreddit about a videogame I am developing, and @anoek suggested posting a topic over here on the OGS forum, so here I am! The TL;DR version is that The Book of Go aims to create a single player experience that combines Go gameplay and RPG aspects. It is being designed for PC and is intended to be released on Steam once completed in 2020. While the target audience will primarily be existing Go players, my hope would be that new players join the world of Go as well.

As far as progress goes, a lot of the “under the hood” work has been completed. This includes implementation of Go’s ruleset, integration with existing opensource Go AI, and the ability to read and write SGF files. To help new players, I’ve also built in support for interactive tutorials, as well as a glossary system that is shown below.

More recently, I began work on the campaign mode. In its current form, an interactive map allows the player to choose certain portions of cities or villages to find opponents to play Go with. You start off playing with handicap stones, and as you beat more opponents your handicap goes down until even, and then the AI difficulty also begins to increase. As you lose to opponents, the opposite is true. Players earn experience after matches based on the match outcome, score differential, difficulty level, board size, and overall match completion percentage. I plan to go much deeper into this mode in the future. In addition to this functionality, the artwork has also been updated to give more of a videogame feel, whilst allowing the traditional board and stone theme to still be used if desired.

Below are a couple clips of what the campaign is starting to evolve into:


If you’ve made it this far, and you’d like additional information, I do have a webpage that goes into a bit more detail, as well as some potential future features. I’ll plan to post updates here when appropriate. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to pass them my way!

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This looks extremely cool! I will buy this the day it comes out, or pre-order if that option is offered. I think the art looks pretty darn good. The colors are pretty and I enjoy the animations. I really enjoy what you did with theming the Go board itself.

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The interface look wonderful! Do you have a different channel I can follow? (Because well Twitter is good to spread the word but quite hard to follow in a targeted manner)

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Will there be jewels??? :star_struck:

Sorry, don’t mind me, I’m just joking. :wink:

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Thanks for the positive feedback! While I am humbled that you’d consider pre-ordering, I don’t plan on doing pre-orders, as I prefer when customers can see the full product before deciding to offer their money.

Thanks! I also post updates to my Instagram (@WolfeyStudios) if that is preferable for you. Other outlets I currently focus on are the /r/Baduk subreddit under the user WolfeyStudios, as well as my website. If those aren’t what you’re looking for, I do plan to begin posting periodic updates on this forum as well.

Haha, not currently planned for this game :wink:

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This week I added some additional beginner-friendly features for the non-traditional board themes. This includes board graphics and animations for atari, captures, and ko.

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This is giving me so much hype because my son is 5 years old and I plan to teach him Go next year.

What better way than teaching him Go via a Video game? I can turn him into both a Game addict and Go addict at the same time! :sweat_smile:

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That’s awesome! At the rate which kids learn, you’ll have to make sure you keep your form up as well or else the little rascal will end up beating you :rofl: I suppose at that point it’s just a proud parent moment :slightly_smiling_face:

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What are you waiting for? :slightly_smiling_face:
The older they go, the harder is to catch their attention and interest. You’ll have to fight against phone, tablet, console, whatever… :laughing:

My 10 yo daughter is already out of sight while the 5 yo still enjoys playing a game with me! :wink:

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Looks beautiful. Will it be available for macOS? Please?

And the sounds, what sounds will you have? For the design on the green board, where connected stones are “organically” connected, I’d love some comic “splat” and“splorch” sounds, and for capturing also something hilarious :smiley:

The game looks great! Looking forward to it coming out. Please let us know when it is available for sale.

By the way, your other game, Gun Golf, also looks interesting.

Thanks! As for an official macOS port, it’s unfortunately not on the roadmap. The requirements to develop for macOS and the process for publishing for macOS adds significant overhead. Traditionally, macOS players make up a small fraction of the overall user-base on steam. In a perfect world, I would like to support it, but it’s just not as feasible, and it is commonly a lesson learned from other developers releasing on Steam that supporting macOS was financially a bad investment.

Here’s a semi-recent post about the process. As you can see, the dev’s outlook on it isn’t exactly positive.

On the audio side, I do have audio for the traditional board for placing stones, captures, etc. but haven’t put that together yet for the new theme. My thought would be sounds similar to construction for placing stones/towers, and destruction for capture.

Thank you! I will for sure let everyone know when it is released for purchase.

Gun Golf was an interesting project, however it’s probably on hold indefinitely. The server service I was using for the multiplayer aspects was bought out by Amazon and they completely changed their business model, making it less advantageous for smaller indie studios. I learned a lot from that project though, so all is not lost :slight_smile:

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This week I added a move history log that records each coordinate that is played as a match progresses. Based on the move, it also automatically detects and records if a specific move or shape occurs. When hovering over a move in the log, it will highlight the corresponding coordinate on the board and display a tooltip with text explanation and board representation of a shape if one occurred. I’m hoping this helps new players get familiar with some of the Go terminology as they play matches. Currently the move/shape dictionary consists of the following:

  • Attachment
  • Bamboo Joint
  • Cut
  • Extension
  • Hane
  • Double Hane
  • Keima
  • Ogeima
  • Kosumi
  • One-space Jump
  • Two-space Jump
  • Diagonal Jump
  • Peep
  • Ponuki
  • Shoulder Hit
  • Tiger’s Mouth
  • Turn
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This is amazing! Truly, I wish there was something like this available when I was learning Go. Once your game is released, you may want to consider a separate version, without the game specific elements, that new and existing players could use to either learn the game or to become more familiar with concepts.

I’m a 9x9 exclusive player right now and I know very little terminology. Having a resource like this available to help me transition to the 19x19 at a future date would be quite invaluable. And learning the terminology would be a breeze. As well as teaching em how to recognize shapes and their strengths that do not occur often on the limited space of a 9x9.

A true teaching tool in the form of software could draw in a completely different demographic of customers. As a specialized teaching tool, there is also a great deal more that you could develop for it. There is a lot of Go software out there right now, but I have yet to find something that offers a proper teaching experience.

For example, the way that you have a log that you can highlight that points out a shape on the board. I haven’t seen this level of interaction before. Though I would recommend having the entire shape be highlighted, not just the stone that was placed to create that shape (as you have it now). You could easily highlight both.

The ultimate form of teaching new players would be to program plenty of games that walk you through a game (or a portion of one) and explaining why each move is being played, what shapes are being formed, the pro’s and con’s of the move being played, other options on the board that could have been played, etc… Just like a study game, being able to understand the thoughts behind a player’s moves can be eye opening and a real “ah-hah!” moment for people.

My brain is overflowing with possibilities for a teaching game, but I will stop my gushing here (for now :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:). Thank you so much for sharing this and keep up the great work! I love reading your updates. Thank you for taking the time to keep us updated :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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I agree. That was the original plan, I was just running low on time over the holiday, but still wanted to keep to the weekly update schedule. I plan to have the other stones highlight the same color, but just more transparent, so the main coordinate can still be differentiated. I should have that completed soon.

Right now I have a couple of interactive tutorials in the game that are driven by an extended SGF format. They mostly explain the rules of the game and get some interaction with the user by having them complete tsumego (e.g. extend in order to save a stone from atari, playing at the vital point of a group to kill, etc.). I like the idea of going through portions of a game and explaining why moves were played. I’ll have to find someone stronger than myself to provide that level of commentary however.

No problem! I appreciate all the feedback and am happy to see that you are excited!

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This is amazing!
I sure want to contribute to the hype and of course buy it
One thing i would like to see is for example, if someone plays Ko, ko in big letters could appear in that zone of the board, like, it appears and then it’s gone, idk something like that, like KoF messages when you do a special movement, it could be also for sente or gote.
But
It is just awesome, do you plan to trandlate it to Spanish? It would be great.

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Thanks for the words of encouragement! I have similar functionality to what you describe for ko, though it’s a bit more subtle than what you’re describing. For a ko, I discolor the land to a brown shade where you cannot play, and if you try to play there a popup will display telling you that it is illegal. I think what I might do is add ko to the move history as well at a higher priority than capturing is right now. That way when it occurs they can look at the move history for an explanation of what a ko is. I recorded a short video on what it looks like right now (see below). Translation to Spanish isn’t currently on the roadmap, but it’s a possibility for the future depending on success elsewhere. Obviously the largest community of Go players exists in Asia, so I do want to explore localization there.

@Mulsiphix1 In the video I also show the move history now highlighting all of the coordinates that make up each shape as they occur. The colors as well as opacity are not final yet, but I wanted to differentiate between the played coordinate and the other coordinates that make up the shape somehow.

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Amazing
Good luck!

While I don’t know entirely about your intended market, I want to at least give +1 for Mac support.
Certainly traditional video gamers don’t play traditional games on mac much, but

  • That was largely because Mac didn’t have a DirectX equivalent in the past. Now it does. Metal is a beast. I myself spent a lot of time on my macbook playing games.
  • Potential Go players are not exactly the same as traditional video gamers imo. At most they are similar to card game players, and card game players play on laptop a lot, macbook included.

If your engine does support exporting to Mac then the review process of Apple shouldn’t be a reason to reject the idea. It’s a one-time investment: after the first successful submit it’ll be just another step in the publishing flow (well $100 a year is costly, though)

So if the game is successful I hope you consider giving Mac a try, I doubt it can be a negative investment. When I code iOS I hate Apple policy with a passion, but objectively looking from the perspective of an user of both Mac and Window I enjoyed it: the number of apps/games on Mac is significantly less than other platforms, but the quality of the games are significantly better (looking at the trashdump that is Google Play)

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Thanks for the feedback! You make some valid points, especially with Go players not being traditional gamers. If I was targeting mobile, iOS would for sure be on the roadmap, but it’s much different when looking at the computer-based market. Depending on success and stability of the initial PC release, I will look into the demand for the macOS port, and assess feasibility of moving forward with it.

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