Samstag, 24. Dezember 2011

Kaya GS - First Impressions

Last night the Kaya GS alpha started just in time for the holidays.

It is very interesting to see a project like this in such an early stage.
One can look at the very core of it and imagine it grow.

The good news:  People can already meet each other online and play Go (well, if they do not happen to use a browser with issues - it is alpha after all ;)).

The bad news: So far I have none.

More important to me than sheer functionality is the fact that I really liked Kaya. Out of some reason I never got warm with any internet go server other than Dragon Go - and that one is turn based. Whenever I tried to play a game on other platforms (KGS being the most obvious choice), I realized that I just could not feel the game the way I feel it on a real board. I do not get emotional invested in it and so I play carelessly without any real concentration. It is hard to grasp the reason for this (grafics/lack in aesthetics, "cold" user experience, lack of communication with my opponent before playing, ...), but that was just how it was. It even applied to my attempts to watch games of others. I never could get myself to be interested in any match I observed on KGS.

So I'm very pleased that I got drawn into the first game I observed on Kaya - especially as I did not plan on following a game in its entirety. It just happened. It is a little bit early to say so, but my hope to find a place I can enjoy playing online has increased.

BTW: I haven't played myself yet. When I logged in yesterday I had been to a work related Christmas party and I did not want to play my first game on Kaya with my head messed up (I wasn't really drunken, but to say I was sober would be a lie as well).

While most features are not implemented yet, one really useful thing is there right from the start: the 'share variation' command. As an observer you can detach from a game - meaning that you open another tab of your browser with another copy of the game. This copy can be edited by you. After that you just klick a button (sharevar) and post a link to this variation to the observer chat. Very nice and easy!

It will be interesting to see what kind of features will be implemented in the future.

That's it for now. The server is currently down. As soon as it gets on, I will play.

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