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Author Topic: Online Chess Game  (Read 3292 times)
BradZimdack
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May 04, 2012, 03:00:04 AM
 #1

I've been working with some guys who just released a fun little web based chess game that sells access for Bitcoin.  It's primarily an experiment to test the viability of a Bitcoin micropayment gaming site, but it's a fun way to spend a few bitcents.  Try it out at:

http://www.desperadochess.com/

They are also making their sales stats publicly available, so it should be interesting to see what happens.
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May 04, 2012, 03:17:01 AM
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I love chess. It is a lost art on most.

If I may, people do not like signing up for stuff. Especially a game that can be played free almost anywhere. A possible solution to your 'freeloader' problem would be to set up tournaments (even over a week or two) and charge for entry. The house (that would be you) would keep a percentage of the prize(s).

All that would be required is a Receive Address for <nicks>, and a Return Address for <nicks> (in case they win).


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May 04, 2012, 11:47:31 AM
 #3

A really interesting project, I used to play chess a lot. Such projects should be supported more, not just exchange websites and lotteries.

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BradZimdack
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May 04, 2012, 04:08:42 PM
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If I may, people do not like signing up for stuff. Especially a game that can be played free almost anywhere. A possible solution to your 'freeloader' problem would be to set up tournaments (even over a week or two) and charge for entry. The house (that would be you) would keep a percentage of the prize(s).

I appreciate the suggestion, but I'm working off some very well established baseline data.  With a nearly identical site, I can get a 22% registration rate on targeted clicks with required and confirmed deliverable e-mail addresses.  On this site, e-mail is optional so reg rate should actually be higher than that baseline (although Bitcoin users aren't going to qualify as targeted chess traffic).  With a credit card payment option, I can get a 0.4% conversion rate on clicks with an average spend of just over $30 per customer measured across a two year interval.  No prizes or tournaments have been required to get that either.

I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel -- just determine if the bus can run on Bitcoin as well as it can on credit card.  Realistically, my expectations are low.  The world of Bitcoin is like a poor 3rd world nation.  Its citizens aren't likely to spend much simply because they don't have much.  Nevertheless, if a successful model of any kind can be established within the Bitcoin economy, that's when we'll start to see exponential growth.
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May 04, 2012, 04:25:31 PM
 #5

If I'm understanding this experiment correctly, they want people to pay to play chess on their site?

Why would I choose to do that, when I can play for free at any number of well-established sites that already have decent-sized playerbases?
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May 04, 2012, 09:04:52 PM
 #6

If I'm understanding this experiment correctly, they want people to pay to play chess on their site?

Why would I choose to do that, when I can play for free at any number of well-established sites that already have decent-sized playerbases?

This^

What would be nice, is a site where two players could wager BTC on the game. THAT is useful.
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May 05, 2012, 01:41:24 AM
 #7

It can become something like PokerChess Smiley

The first player make an offer, example:
- Start a match with 100 bitcoin in the play-wallet. ( the servive must have a wallet with all bitcoin, and another wallet to start matches, the play-wallet )

The offer go to a list with all offers of all players on the service.

If the other player wants to play, he must have the same amount of bitcoin in his play-wallet.

If 2 players went to the agreement about the match ( about the rules and play-wallet amount ), then it starts.

Now, during the game both players can make an higher bet after every move.
If someone makes an higher bet, the other one must make the same bet or higher to be able to continue the game.
( if the game has a timer, it must stop if one of the 2 players makes a new bet )

Everyone can leave the game when ever they want, but they will lose all their past bets.

The service must have all kinds of statistics about all players.


It can be possible also to open ( or not ) the match to spectators, so that they can also bet between each other.

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BradZimdack
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May 05, 2012, 05:38:49 AM
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If I'm understanding this experiment correctly, they want people to pay to play chess on their site?

Why would I choose to do that, when I can play for free at any number of well-established sites that already have decent-sized playerbases?

I can't tell you why people would pay for games like this when they can get them for free elsewhere, only that they do, and that they do at very steady and predictable rates (see above).  This experiment is testing to see if Bitcoin has any chance at competing against the current premium game model.  Unfortunately, for a large variety of reasons, it probably can't.  Perhaps the search will continue for any compelling reason why a business should accept Bitcoin instead of, or in additional to, more traditional payment options.

On the totally separate topic of a chess wagering game, which seems to be of more immediate interest than a boring statistical analysis of revenue models, can anyone provide any suggestions for how to prevent cheating?  Cheating at online chess is quite easy.  Just copy your opponent's moves into a computerized chess program and mimic the computer's moves.  If wagering is involved, it seems like there would be an awfully high incentive to cheat.
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May 05, 2012, 05:48:00 AM
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If I'm understanding this experiment correctly, they want people to pay to play chess on their site?

Why would I choose to do that, when I can play for free at any number of well-established sites that already have decent-sized playerbases?

I can't tell you why people would pay for games like this when they can get them for free elsewhere, only that they do, and that they do at very steady and predictable rates (see above).  This experiment is testing to see if Bitcoin has any chance at competing against the current premium game model.  Unfortunately, for a large variety of reasons, it probably can't.  Perhaps the search will continue for any compelling reason why a business should accept Bitcoin instead of, or in additional to, more traditional payment options.

On the totally separate topic of a chess wagering game, which seems to be of more immediate interest than a boring statistical analysis of revenue models, can anyone provide any suggestions for how to prevent cheating?  Cheating at online chess is quite easy.  Just copy your opponent's moves into a computerized chess program and mimic the computer's moves.  If wagering is involved, it seems like there would be an awfully high incentive to cheat.
I agree with you there - the incentive to cheat is very high, and it is very likely that it would be done.  I think the only potential to combat against it is to do 5 minute or less games.  Even 5 minute, it might be possible to use a chess program on the side, but it would be difficult.  Certainly a shorter time period would make it impossible.
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May 05, 2012, 12:17:53 PM
 #10

Hmmm, the problem is that also a bot is able to cheat, and it can be faster than an human.

- You can add a button to call an admin to give a look to a player.
- You can add webcam ( there must be an option to enable/disable it, it can be also a setting where both have to agree before starting the match ), so both will be able to see each other ( but they will lose anonymity )

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May 09, 2012, 03:58:59 AM
 #11

Hmmm, the problem is that also a bot is able to cheat, and it can be faster than an human.

- You can add a button to call an admin to give a look to a player.
- You can add webcam ( there must be an option to enable/disable it, it can be also a setting where both have to agree before starting the match ), so both will be able to see each other ( but they will lose anonymity )

They wouldn't lose anonymity if they were wearing a mask, but I did recognized a flaw even in this plan within two seconds of reading the post. You may be able to view your whole opponent's body (hands, feet, etc.), but what you won't see is the second person inputting info into a computer, thus still playing a bot.

But, there's a solution!

If you can't circumnavigate around the bot issue, embrace it! Base whatever business model you have in mind, but center it around players/users using bots. May the best bot win! You can even easily incorporate checkers, backgammon, etc., all of which would be bots vs bots. Now, if you could somehow get those watching the games involved in some way, having them inject bitcoins into the mix, let's say, you'll really have something to write home about.

~Bruno~
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May 09, 2012, 04:00:56 AM
 #12

Definitely go with a tournament or perhaps individuals betting btc!

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May 09, 2012, 04:32:14 AM
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If you can't circumnavigate around the bot issue, embrace it! Base whatever business model you have in mind, but center it around players/users using bots. May the best bot win! You can even easily incorporate checkers, backgammon, etc., all of which would be bots vs bots. Now, if you could somehow get those watching the games involved in some way, having them inject bitcoins into the mix, let's say, you'll really have something to write home about.

~Bruno~

Dude, I love it!  Some people might manually make the moves in a chess program, while others will program complex bots that actually interact with the web interface itself.  People might write bots and sell them to others who want to play, etc.  Tweakable variables.
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May 09, 2012, 04:40:16 AM
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nice
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May 09, 2012, 04:49:41 AM
 #15

1 minute games only -- prevents cheating.

In a 5 minute game, or even a 2 minute game, you can cheat pretty easily.  In a 1 minute game with an average of 30-40 moves, there's just no way you could cheat without running out of time (unless your opponent is a sponge).

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May 09, 2012, 05:11:56 AM
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1 minute games only -- prevents cheating.

In a 5 minute game, or even a 2 minute game, you can cheat pretty easily.  In a 1 minute game with an average of 30-40 moves, there's just no way you could cheat without running out of time (unless your opponent is a sponge).
Or unless you build a bot that interacts with the interface directly, in which case, you could thoroughly pwn most any opponent.
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May 09, 2012, 05:14:43 AM
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1 minute games only -- prevents cheating.

In a 5 minute game, or even a 2 minute game, you can cheat pretty easily.  In a 1 minute game with an average of 30-40 moves, there's just no way you could cheat without running out of time (unless your opponent is a sponge).
Or unless you build a bot that interacts with the interface directly, in which case, you could thoroughly pwn most any opponent.

True.  Anybody who has Rybka would likely take all, always.

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May 09, 2012, 05:21:21 AM
 #18

I'm very impressed and agree with the essay on the site.

I agree with BTC_Bear's objection - by requiring registration, you are reinstating most of the friction you took away by avoiding credit cards.

But I have a different solution - use the same model as https://www.coindl.com/. Click a button, get an address, pay, play. This would work even better with a Bitcoin URI where you just click it and your client fills in the address, label and amount.

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May 09, 2012, 01:30:14 PM
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1 minute games only -- prevents cheating.

In a 5 minute game, or even a 2 minute game, you can cheat pretty easily.  In a 1 minute game with an average of 30-40 moves, there's just no way you could cheat without running out of time (unless your opponent is a sponge).

Or why play a complete game, at all, from start to finish? What if two players are each flashed identical 10 screens (one at a time) of a chessboard layout with X seconds to act? The optimal move is already predetermined, thus enabling a scoring mechanism. Best score wins, but in the event of a tie, a sudden death match starts immediately. For instance, upon completely the 10th move, the score is tied at 8 wins/2 loses. Both players are immediately aware that they are in sudden death mode with only X-Y seconds to now complete their moves on the subsequent chessboard layouts.

Also, each opponent's user name is anonymize, therefore not knowing who you're playing.

Also on the site, there should be a leader board with daily, weekly, monthly, etc., prizes. Feel free to monetize the leader board pages with rotating banner ads or the like.

~Bruno~
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May 09, 2012, 01:47:34 PM
 #20

I just wondered, if it might be more fun, if teams could play against each other. Make some chat room for each team, where users would discuss their next move.

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