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'Zillions-of-Games is to two player abstract game what MAME is to arcade game.' Except that MAME does not let you invente new games but only old one. With Zillions-of-Games you can discribe the rule of a new game and have it play your opponent.
A little bit of free marketing
What is Zillions-of-Games
In 1999, thanks to the game OCTI, I discovered Zillions of Games. This is the best AI (Artificial Inteligence) computer game ever made. Not that it play very well, but it play almost any game and make a good first opponent. The only issue is the price, but you don't pay for one game, ... but for Zillions.
The concept is simple, Zillions play any arbitrary game as long as you provide the rules and bitmap for the board and sound for ambiance. But don't worry for the rules, almost 300 games are provided on the CD, and you can find other on the net. The artificial inteligence play against you and make a very strong opponent for most game. The user interface help you play valid move and let you save your play, undo, change level, ... You can even play against a human opponent accross the internet (providing he have a copy of the game).
My development around Zillions-of-Games
My first attempt at making new games with Zillions where unsucessfull. I did try with one of the most important game in my live, 'Jeu de Dames'. But at that time, the version of Zillions-of-Games was not supporting a way to specify that the majority capture was mandatory. I discovered that Zillions development was supporting International Draught in a special version available from Mind Sport Worldwide. So I manadge to decrypt the files inside Zclient to discover the missing feature and I give you here this program. I had to wait a long time before I could make this discovery public. Indeed, it was useless until version 1.2.1 of Zillions-of-Games that support the same feature as Zclient. As soon as that version came out I started to work on my own version of 'Jeu de Dames' wich is now available from Zillions web site too.
Games I made for Zillions-of-Games
The most important game I made was 'Jeu de Dames' or 'International Checkers' or 'Draught'.
Recently I made a version of Zenix, Zillions don't play well, but it offer a way to play live on the internet.
Other game development for Zillions-of-Games
'Jeu de Dames' is not the only game I have writen for Zillions-of-Games. The biggest problem I have currently is that the game I have made are not classic old game, but game available from the market. And by respect with those game authors I did contact them to ask for the autorisation to publish my ZRF version. And all of them did not agree to see a free version (for a commercial system) available on the internet. I am still thinking and seeking legal advice before releasing them, but come back every month and maybe you will find it.
The game I have in stock and that I cannot release yet are: Boku and ChiFouMi.
How to make your own games
You just need Windows, WordPad, Paint, the rules of a game, the description of the Zillion language. That description is available from their Web/Ftp site or you get it downloading their demo version. You can also get good advice on ZRF language from Jens Markmann. And of course you can find a lot of ZRF file on Zillions web site or maybe on the Fergus Duniho's Games Gallery.
Other meta-game system
Zillions-of-Games is not the first one nor the only meta-game system. Long before it, Barney Pell developed a AI system of chess-like game.
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