Bug Fixes, More Themes

Sunday November 19, 2023

I have resolved some issues that were causing the AI to slow down and hang intermittently. In specific game scenarios, where the board arrangement and dice rolls were detrimental, the AI had to process an exponentially increasing number of moves as it searched forward. To prevent the AI from being overwhelmed, I am now pruning some of those moves as it looks ahead. As a result, the CPU usage under heavy AI load has significantly reduced.

In addition, two new themes have been added for Pro accounts. A grey theme and a new brown theme.

Board Themes

Thursday January 12, 2023

This release sees the addition of different board themes. You can choose your default board theme from the settings page. Boards can also be selected from the game negotiation panel at the start of the game. If you are playing a game versus the computer you can change your board theme at any time with the "Game" side menu. Some themes are for the Pro account holders and will only be available to them or to anyone they are playing. More board themes will be coming soon!

The panel that summarises the end of each game has been redesigned. The styling has been improved and now displays game equities and mistake and blunder counts as well as all the other usual information.

Pro Account Free Trial

Tuesday October 18, 2022

Live game move appraisal has been added. In the Game sidebar moves will be marked with a yellow (mistake), orange (error) or red (blunder) based apon the strength of the move. If the move is unmarked it is considered good. Cube decisions will also be similarly marked (mistake,error orblunder), but this cube marking will only appear at the end of the game.

Limited length match play up to seven games has now been opened up to free accounts and I have also implemented a free 14 day trial for players to try out the pro account features. No credit card is needed. Just head over to the upgrade to pro page to activate your free trial.

Site Search

Tuesday August 16, 2022

After updating the styling of the site and making things easier to read, we have added a table of content panel and a shortcut panel to the learning pages. And because we will be adding more content over time we have added a handy search feature to help you find any information you are looking for.

Speed, Bugs and Content

Wednesday July 7, 2022

This release fixes a bug that caused slow app loading for players with a large number of historical games. Those who have playerd a lot should notice now that the app loads faster. There are a number of small bugs that have been fixed. And some new content has been added about rolling doubles and the golden point.

Pro Account Launch

Thursday June 2, 2022

After a huge amount of work we are launching the first set of features for pro users. Get full access to more opponents, match play, move hints and game analysis for only $5.99 a month. Revenue from these accounts will help us add many exciting features to Backgammon Buddy more quickly. I would love to see you join us on our journey to making the world's greatest backgammon site.

Learning Content For Beginners

Monday May 30, 2022

We have written some content to help beginners learn the ins and outs of the game. Some instructions on setting up the board and using the doubling cube.

Two Player Crawford Rule

Thursday May 19, 2022

This release introduces the crawford rule to two player match play. I fixed the broken volume control setting and a number of bugs in the live game analysis.

Crawford Rule

Friday May 6, 2022

I have been gradually implementing the crawford rule. It is now functional when playing one player match games. Match resignation has been implemented where you can resign from an entire match without needing to resign games. Also there are some minor improvements in how the user interface behaves.

Game info and resignation

Thursday April 21, 2022

The side panel now carries more game information and the ability to resign the present game. Match game display is improved. The ability to chat in two player game has been moved into the side panel and improved. Some bugs in the ratings adjustment summary have been fixed.

Turning down the AI

Friday December 17, 2021

Players now have the option of playing 3 difficulty settings in solo games. These modes provide gradually harder computer opponents. We also finally have match play and the doubling cube complete and this feature is now entering a play testing phase for select user accounts.

Connections interrupted

Friday October 29, 2021

I have improved the look and behaviour of the game when the connection to the server is lost. Also traced down the reason for the occasional dropping of connections when it shouldn't.

Bugfix release

Wednesday October 27, 2021

Some bugs were introduced such as some games not ending correctly when they should, being unable to move after a roll and the two player in game chat not working. These have been rectified with this patch.

Content and styling updates

Tuesday October 26, 2021

I have made some improvements to the styling and added some content under a new Learn menu item where I explain the basics of playing the game. I will be expanding this over time with more articles and content so people can improve their game. I have also added the ability to keep the moves history sidebar open while playing the game and still be able to see the whole board.

There is now a new button in the top right of the side panel when the panel is open. Pressing this toggles the board view from overlay and side-by-side. The use really depends on your device and screen size. On mobile devices the overlay view works best. But on a large desktop screen side by side is preferable.

Reconnection issues fixed

Thursday August 19, 2021

A couple of aesthetic improvements have been made, including a new robotic avatar for the computer player. There was some issues with reconnection to the server after a client was disconnected where some buttons would cease to function until a browser reload was performed. There was a sneaky trick where a user could re-roll their first roll by reloading quickly. There was a bug where one of the clocks at the end of a two player timed game would show 0:00, even when there was time left. The fixing of the site under Apple devices led to a regression for fullscreen support on non-Apple devices. These have all now been fixed.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

Wednesday July 7, 2021

This release has been focused on improving compatibility across a wide range of devices and browsers. Most excitingly it bring Apple iPhone and iPad support. Now your backgammon buddies who have Apple devices will no longer be left out! Other support improvements include Windows support for the Edge browser, and even IE itself... do people still use that?

Woah, oh, oh. For the longest time...

Thursday July 1, 2021

After a tremendous break, we're back with a new release! Miracles will never cease, it seems. This release has lots of little changes and fixes. Sound levels can be set for those sneaky games where you don't want to be heard. There are a bunch of UI tweaks and improvements, too.

Most excitingly though, the same account can now be shared across devices. Assign and confirm an email address for your profile. Then assign a password. Now you can log into your account from another device. Carry your desktop games with you as you hit the road!

Even bigger improvements are on the way soon.

Finalised the domain name

Friday March 20, 2020

After lot's of brainstorming the new domain has been decided. From this point forward we are Backgammon Buddy.

Big Bunch of Bear-off Bug fixes

Thursday September 12, 2019

Kevin sent me a message about a bug he had discovered in the game while playing a two player game with a friend. Investigating the game I discovered the bug. But not just this bug he discovered, but a whole bunch of bugs. A colony of bugs, perhaps? So this release fixes all these and should result in the actual backgammon rules being followed when bearing off in games. Following the rules. Now that's a good idea!

New Scalable Main Board Image

Friday August 30, 2019

Avid Backgammon player Ashley Dean has applied his graphical skills to produce a better looking scalable board image more suited to high resolution displays. Work has also begun on an "autoroll" feature and multiple device support for a single account, so keep an eye out for those to appear very soon. Some games from the past that had crashed the AI server have also been continued, so if you had some "stuck" one player games in your game history, the CPU should finally have made its move! A small bug was also fixed where after a player won a two player game on time, the Elo score was incorrectly reported (but correct on the server).

Look Mum! The board is no longer upside down!

Monday July 15, 2019

This release makes sure the board is always presented to you in the same way, with your home board at the bottom, bearing off to the right. The top scores now features you profile photo and flag. And a bug was fixed that could break your profile photos, stall your games with the CPU, and break your move history on old games! A good one to squash!

Move database transfer optimisation

Thursday July 11, 2019

This release greatly improves the transfer of historical moves for games. Prior releases would pass the entire games history from the server to the client for every single move! This doesn't scale well and is not great on mobiles and the bandwidth challenged. The new release only transmits the minimal set of move data between server and client as needed. release

Monday July 1, 2019

The great domain rename is complete! Lots of bugs have been fixed as well!

  • Rated games now display the ratings correctly.
  • Out of time games mow report the correct win reason
  • UI "popping" on first page load has been resolved

Move History Database

Wednesday May 22, 2019

The UI interface to the in-game move database is now functional and so we are releasing it for testing. Amazing new feature includes:

  • See prior board states from your present games (very useful for reviewing prior day in daily games)
  • Review your historical games

We discovered a bug during this work that means you may find some of your old historical games in the database contain incorrect or impossible moves! These bugs have all been fixed now and the games are recorded as correctly as they play.

Game Timer Release

Monday Apr 15, 2019

The game now sports a game timer and a new popup to allow players to negotiate the parameters for their game. Awesome new features include:

  • Fischer and Bronstein clocks
  • Optional time increment for moves
  • Multi-day games now better supported

Single Player Game Released

Tuesday Feb 26, 2019

After much hard work on both the server and the client we have successfully bolted the GNU Backgammon AI onto the game. The game state and board position are sent to a server running GNU Backgammon. Then the position is evaluated and the results of the evaluation and the top rated moves are sent back to the game web server where they are used to update the game state and be returned to the client. At this stage only a single-ply evaluation is done to limit load on the server. Eventually we would like to see the AI parameters be customised by the player.

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