Stuart Spence Blog

Computer scientist and educator. Creator of ChessCraft. Scientific programmer at Environment Canada.

Sat 28 March 2020

Release 1.7: Iron Pieces and Language Select

Posted by Stuart Spence in ChessCraft   

This is a fun one! Ever since I started working on ChessCraft in January 2018, I've wanted "iron pieces". I've published 1.7 on Google Play - it will be available to you sometime in the next few days when Google approves it.

iron piece sprite

This is one of my oldest feature ideas. These are pieces that cannot be captured - ever! Any piece can be an iron piece. Try making your own iron pieces and boards with them, or play one of the three new levels in the adventure mode!

If you're not accustomed to playing with iron pieces, the AI will definitely catch you off guard with some wacky strategies. I also had to write my own "shader" to get the right look. A shader is a file with the computer instructions describing the math of how to draw things on your screen. In this case, any piece picture can now look iron-like. I'm no expert at writing shaders, so this was a bit tricky. I really like the end result.

Shaders don't work the same on websites tho, so the website iron pieces are just grey.

Language Select

People are often thankful to see that ChessCraft supports their native language. Sometimes I get help fixing translation errors (thanks!). Or sometimes, I get angry Russians telling me my translations are "bullshit" and giving me one star reviews.

Being bilingual myself, I understand the frustration. For example, if I'm trying to listen to my prime minister talk about important world events... it's jarring to have a translator mute him half the time and mumble a bad translation. Please, CBC news, let me choose to listen to the original audio!

Anyway, you can now choose whatever language you like in ChessCraft (of 11 choices).

Cyclops and Orc

We all need easy wins sometimes... that's when I try to relax and draw new pieces. Behold, the orc and cyclops:

cyclops and orc piece sprites

I also drew a whale but it was terrible, and will not be added!

Next..?

Let me know what features you'd like next. I have plenty of ideas - tho I prioritize requests if lots of people ask.

Thanks so much for reading!

white griffin sprite