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Welcome to the second version of Gammonet - new design, two connection types and intuitive mouse based playing. Just one click and you can play backgammon online with your friends from all over the world. Now it's time to extend your fun and improve your skills! A few of the game enhancements and features:

new 2D and 3D board design,

new checkers, having more shapes and colors, improved checkers animation;

several users with rating support, resume game option;

playing optimization, minimum resources required.

The main page of the game contains two sets of buttons: first one is normally displayed when you are playing, while the second one appears when your mouse pointer is located in the right side of the screen and it stays as long as your mouse pointer does not leave this area; otherwise, the main button group is displayed back within two seconds.

The first you step need to make in order to play a backgammon game is to establish a connection with your opponent using the  Connect  page commands. After this, you can close that page and return to the main one. Here you can either start a new game (or resume the last one) with the current opponent, or you can open the Chat window and start chatting. Start command sends an invitation to your opponent, containing the current game settings (cube, rules, rated). If the other player accepts, he will temporary use the same game settings for the current match.

After the game was started and opening dice thrown, the player who has the turn can move his checkers according to the dice value. When he finishes the moves, one more click on the game board will change the turn and the opponent can throw his own dice. This way the game continues until one player bears off all his checkers or refuses a doubling proposal. Notice that if you resume a game initiated by the opponent, your game settings will be affected accordingly.


The Main menu has these commands on big buttons, from top to bottom:

Exit - you can exit the program any time, even during a game; it will be automatically saved and the connection will be closed.

 

Settings - this button will open a new page, containing all the game settings that you can change. Menu details below.

 

Stop - pressing this button at any time will interrupt the current game, so you can start a new one. But notice, this will affect the score with a value according to your position at that moment.

 

Play - you can start a new simple game or a new match game, according with the length and rules you set in the Settings menu. Once you have started a new game, some options in this menu are no longer enabled. If there is an interrupted game with the current opponent, it'll be resumed.

 

Undo - you can roll back any move or moves made during a game. This is possible only for the checkers movements, not for the cube actions you have accepted or refused.

 

Screen - Toggle for the windowed mode.

 

Menu - if activated, this button allows you to see the secondary game menu when pressed (no longer affected by mouse position)

 
Secondary menu commands, from top to bottom:

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Minimize:  minimizes the game windows, so you can see your desktop and launch other programs. The game can be restored with a click on taskbar.
Help:  shows you a help page with game info, such as rules, how to play, how to get in contact with the author and how to buy.
Website:  launches the default Internet client directly to our main site, so you can see and download the newest version of our game.
Version: It automatically checks if a new version is available for download.
History: Pressing this button at any time will display a history of your last 22 matches results. You can see also the time when you played them and how they affected your ratings.
Statistics: The new window that appears will show you some values of the game statistics (the current turn and the previous one), including game and match odds, equity and dice values.
Resume:
Allows you to select a saved gamed to be resumed, from the local game folder.

Chat: Open / hide a chat window with your opponent.
Save: Save the current game position, so you can restore it later exactly from where you left the game. The doubling status and stake will be saved in the same .sav file.
Watch: Load a game file (.gam) and watch the entire game you have played and then saved.
Record: This button saves the game you just finished in a text file, so you can watch it again later. Do not save loaded positions or resumed games! Only an entire game is recommended to be saved with this command.
Move: When you cannot decide what is the best move in a certain position, this button will make the next moves for you, as the computer would do if it plays with your men on level two. If you consider this is not a good move, the Back button allows you to restore the last position and make your own move.
Finish: When you are sure about the score of your current game, you can press this button and let computer to auto-play it faster until the end. No doubling is allowed during this period.

Match length: Two buttons you can use to increase or decrease the match length (not during a game); the range is 1..64 points.
Time: Shows you the local time and the game/match duration.

Connect: This button opens the Connect page. Check  Direct connect  and  Messenger connect  for more information.

Flip: You can change the side of your home, to the left or to the right part of the board. This would also change the direction of the checkers movements. Your choice will be saved.
Checkers: This button helps you choose the type of the checkers : Clear, Classic, Modern, Metallic, Gray/Blue, Yellow/Teal, Red/Green, Beige/Brown. Your choice will be saved.
Board: This button helps you select the game board from several 2D and 3D models. Your choice will be saved.
Mute: Mute or un-mute the game sounds.


Settings page, which includes the user's rating and experience values

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If Nickname button is pressed, the game users list will appear in the center. This game allows up to ten players to be enlisted, with independent ratings. The player can be selected from users table, and the nickname can be edited in the Current user field. If no valid player is selected, the program will try to get the windows' logged username.

Checkers speed: It can be adjusted in four steps, from slow to instant. For not accelerated graphic displays we recommend the instant option;
Dice animation: Enables or not a short dice animation;
Bar display: When the mouse cursor is positioned over a checker which can be moved, the destination point (s) may be shown with a dot or by lighting up its bar number;
Show info: A tip with current button action can be displayed in the upper side of the game frame;

Rated games: enable the rating calculation for your games;

Left mouse button: The move executed when left mouse button is clicked can be determined by the value of the left or of the biggest die;
Board: The playing board can be selected from two wood models 2D and 3D;
Checkers: The game checkers could be Black/White, simple or having several shapes and colors;
Nickname: At the game start, the name of the current computer user will be selected by default . This name can be changed, and other nicknames can be added in the Users list (up to ten players).
Rating: Your rating starts at 1500, and it will increase when you win and it will decrease when you lose. The Experience is computed by adding the length of all played matches; it can be Reset at any moment, even restored if you have changed your mind.
The opponent's rating is loaded and displayed only when connection was made and it is updated when a new match is started.
Doubling cube: If playing matches, you can enable the doubling cube; when enabled, the Jacoby and Crawford rules can be validated too.
Match length: It can be adjusted between 1 and 64, with two buttons, up and down; Show allows to be displayed in the score area.
Sound FX: Several sound effects can be enabled, for clicks, errors, etc. If so, their intensity can be adjusted by clicking on the volume bar.
Voice alerts: Several voice alerts can be enabled, for load, double, etc. If so, their intensity can be adjusted by clicking on the volume bar.
Log file: A text file named bclog.txt can be created in the game's folder; it contains the matches start and end time, as well as their scores;
White dice: The white dice can be automatically rolled after the black's moves, but this can not be done when doubling cube is enabled;
Menu: Displays a button for secondary menu activation;

Registration: It points to a field where the registration string can be entered (or pasted).


Direct connect

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This is the first mode to connect with your backgammon opponent. The  'direct' connection is implemented using the TCP/IP protocol, allowing you to play in a local network and over the Internet as well.

Description

Two communication sockets are created on your computer and the opponent's, and they can transfer data when the link between them is established. The TCP protocol of this connection uses the IP addresses of both computers' adapters and the port 6317. You'll need this information if your computer is connected via a router or if there is a firewall requiring additional set up. The game tries to add itself to the windows' firewall exception list, so normally you should not worry about this. This connection type works perfectly in these cases:

- both computers are directly connected to the Internet and they have public IP addresses;

- or they are connected in a local network, having local IP addresses from the same class;

If your configuration is none of the above (you use a router or a proxy server to connect with) we do not guarantee that the connection can be made, even if those devices are properly set.

 

How to connect

There are a few simple steps in order to make the connection and start playing.

1. One of the players must know the opponent's IP address. This can be done by opening the Connection Status window, then Support tab (Windows XP), or by opening the Network and Sharing Center, clicking View status, then Details tab (Windows Vista).

Your adapter's IP can be found also in the game Connect page , left side, first combo box. If you have several adapters, you must select here the one you want to use for connecting. Either way once you found out your IP address (format *.*.*.*), it has to be sent to your opponent (via e-mail, messengers, phone).

2. The player receiving the opponent IP address must enter (or paste) it in the next field, as in this picture:

3. Now the connection can be initiated by pressing the button; wait a few seconds and you should normally  see 'Connected' in the Status line and his nickname and rating in the Opponent line. Notice that the opponent player must wait to connect with this page opened, until he sees the same information in the two lines. Once the connection is made, this page can be closed and the game can be started by one of the players; the Chat is also possible at this moment.

4. When the game is ended, one player must disconnect by pressing again the button. The IPs used will be automatically saved and will be displayed next time a connection is needed. Notice that the local IP address could be dynamically allocated in some network configurations and it has to be checked and entered again if it was changed meantime. If the connection is interrupted while playing, the game will be automatically saved and it can be resumed anytime, if the connection is restored.


Messenger connect

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This is the second mode to connect with your backgammon opponent. The 'messenger' connection is made by using the Yahoo Messenger, allowing you to play with anyone from all over the world, simpler and faster.

Description

This connection type requires that both you and your opponent to be registered with Yahoo services, having messenger IDs. Each person you want to play with must be added in your Contact list, for easy access. The game was tested with Yahoo Messenger versions 8.xx and 9.xx, working under Windows XP and Vista. Some settings have to be made in Y! messenger Preferences menus (Ctrl + Shift + P):

- Select Archive, check 'Yes, save all my messages, but clear them each time I sign out' - recommended or  'Yes, save all my messages';

- Select Alerts & sounds, then disable the sound alerts and messages from the bottom right corner when a contact goes online/offline - recommended, but not mandatory;

How to connect

There are a few simple steps in order to make the connection and start playing.

1. Both players have to launch Yahoo Messenger and sign in as visible or not; one player opens a chat window with the opponent (double click on the contact name) and send something, such as 'Do you want to play backgammon?';

2. Run Gammonet and open the game Connect page, focus on the right side of the window. The upper combo box shows the Yahoo users, select here the current one if not displayed. The next one shows the opponent's name and / or ID, select here the person you want to play with (see the picture below):

3. Once the opponent has opened this page and selected appropriate options, you can initiate the connection by pressing the button. Wait a few seconds and you'll normally see 'Connected' in the Status line and the opponent's nickname / rating. If this doesn't happen within ten seconds, you should disconnect and try again. Once the connection is made, this page can be closed and the game can be started by one of the players; the Chat is also possible at this moment.

4. When the game is ended, one player must disconnect by pressing again the button. The selected IDs will be automatically saved and will be displayed next time a connection is needed. If the connection is interrupted (sign out) while playing, the game will be automatically saved and it can be resumed anytime, if the connection is restored.

Do not chat in Yahoo window during the backgammon game, because your text could interfere with the game codes!


Registration

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After your order is placed, you will receive a registration e-mail with the game code in an attached text file. To complete the process, you could:

1. Save the text file to the game's folder from user's Documents

or

2. Copy the serial code and press enter it (paste) in the registration field from the bottom part of the Settings page, and restart the game.

You have to perform the game registration when you are logged as administrator. In case you are using a Windows version newer than XP and  you choose method 1, you have to Unblock the text file you have saved to your local disk. Also, the game executable should have set the option 'Run as administrator'.

Keyboard commands

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BACKSPACE - same as the UNDO command from the menu bar;

M - same as the Move command from the menu bar;

ENTER - play a new game;

S - flip sides;

L - show / hide the chat window;

C - change checkers;

N - displays the game menu

P - stop the current game;

T - settings page;

O - toggle for the windowed mode

Q - allows you to end current game and match

H - help page;

Z - minimize window;

X - exit to OS;

W - backgammon website;

U - check for a new version;

R - history page;

I - time information;

E - connect page;

A - statistics page;

D - doubles the game stake, same as a click on the cube.

Message box: Enter or Space is OK, while Esc or N is NO.


Miscellaneous  

  To roll the dice, just click anywhere on the game board.

To make a move or bear off, click on the checker you want or on its triangle. If the checker is on the bar, click it to move it in the opponent's home. Usually, the left mouse button makes the biggest die, while the right one makes the smallest. If this cannot happen due to the opponent checkers, it will try to make the other die. This rule applies also when you are on the bar.  

If the SHIFT key is pressed during the mouse click, current checker will be moved with both dice values when possible;

To double the stake, click on the doubling cube if you own it or if it is in the board's center.


Game requirements

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Minimum:

- Processor PIII / 700Mhz or equivalent;
- Memory 128Mb RAM; 30Mb on a hard disk;
- Video card with resolution 1024 x 768 pixels, 16 bit mode;
- Sound blaster card or compatible;
- Windows XP any edition.

Recommended:

- Processor P4 / 1.5Ghz or equivalent;
- Memory 256Mb RAM; 50Mb on a hard disk;
- High speed video card , 1024 x 768 pixel resolution, 24 bits;
- Sound blaster stereo card or compatible;
- Windows Vista, 7 or 8.

 

  Microsys Com