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Draughts for Windows

Introduction.
Draughts for Windows is a draughts/checkers player and tutorial system. The program was written as a final year project by two students doing the Computer Systems degree (B.Sc.) in the department of Computer Science and Information Systems at the University of Limerick, Ireland.  It was written in JPI Modula-2 v3.0.

Installing Draughts/Checkers.
Create a directory for Draughts and move Draughts.Zip into it. Then pkunzip Draughts.Zip.
 
Playing a game of Draughts/Checkers.
To play a game of draughts follow these steps.
1.  Select Game/New Game.  
2.  Select the number of players from the Play menu.
3.  If One Player is selected then choose a colour for the player from the Play menu. If Two Players is selected then enter their names and choose their colours from the dialogue box.
4.  Select Start from the main menu.

Moving and taking pieces.
To move a piece, click on it and then click on the square to move it to.
To take a piece, click on the piece you want to take with and then click on the square you want to jump to.  To take successive pieces, click on each square in turn.


Other options.
The computer's level of play can be selected from the Level menu.

You can select whether the jumps and moves are animated by choosing either Options/Fast Animation or Options/Slow Animation.  If fast animation is chosen the pieces are not animated.

If you want to see the draughts index notation (i.e. the notation used to record the moves in a game of draughts/checkers) on the board when you are playing then choose Options/Index Notation.

You can change the colour of the pieces are shown at the top of the board by selecting either Options/Black On Top or Options/White On Top.  When playing against the computer the colour chosen by the player is automatically shown at the bottom of the board.

If you want to practice your blindfold play you can choose to hide the black or white pieces or both sets of pieces by choosing Options/Blindfold/Blindfold Black and/or Options/Blindfold White.

You can choose the colour of the board by selecting one of the options in Options/Board Colours.

The Rules of Draughts/Checkers can be viewed by selecting Help/Standard Rules.

Draughts positions can be set up by selecting the SetUp Board option in the main menu.  The Play menu has options which allow you to specify which side starts first.

Games can be saved and loaded using the options in the Game menu.


The Tutorial System.
The tutorial system is entered by selecting Help/Draughts Tutor.  When the tutorial system starts it redefines the main menu with the following options;
Controls    Tutorial    Options     SetupBoard    Tutor Help.

The tutorial system can be used to try out existing tutorials and to create new ones.

Running a tutorial exercise.
To run a tutorial exercise, select either Openings, Mid-Games, Endings or Other from the Tutorial menu.

Select one of the files shown and click on play.  The board will be set up with the example position.

Select Options/Coordinates to show the index notation on the board.
Select Options/Annotation to show a comment on exercise.
Select either Options/Play Through to play through the tutorial exercise or Options/Step By Step to step through the exercise move by move.


Creating a new tutorial exercise.
New tutorials may be added to the system.  To do this, first set up the exercise starting using SetUp Board.   Set up the board so that black is playing from top to bottom.

Select Controls/Record Game and then select the part of the game that this tutorial exercise covers (Opening, Mid-Game, Endgame, Other)
Then enter an annotation describing the tutorial exercise.
Finally, enter the script which the exercise will follow.  Each move in the script should be entered as a FromPos ToPos pair.  For instance moving a white piece from square 22 to square 18 should be entered as the pair of values, 22w 18w.  If the piece is a  king the move should be entered as 22W 18W.

Once an exercise has been created it can be edited by using Controls/Select Game to select the exercise to be edited and then Controls/Maintain Game to edit it.


Who are we?
The University of Limerick is located on a riverside campus at the heart of the 600 acre National Technological Park at Plassy about 3 miles from the ancient city of Limerick.  
The Technological Park houses such companies as Wang  Laboratories (hardware and software),  SWS (Software Conversions), Travellers (Insurance Software) and Ashling Microsystems (electronics).  Limerick city is the location chosen by Dell Computer Corporation for its European Manufacturing Facility which supplies PC's to all its European and Canadian sales subsidiaries.

The Department of Computer Science and Information Systems offers a BSc in Computer Systems, a Graduate Diploma in Computing, and supervises research work leading to an MSc or PhD in Computer Science.  In addition, the department services the computer instruction needs of other departments in the University  .  

The BSc is a four year degree which includes a substantial software project in the final year.  Draughts for Windows is one of these projects.

Copyright Notice.
Draughts for Windows is the copyrighted property of the University of Limerick..  You are granted a limited license to use it, to copy it and to distribute it, provided that the following conditions are met:
1.)  No fee (other than the cost of the media) may be charged for such copying and distribution.
2.)  The software and its accompanying documentation may only be distributed in its original, unmodified state.

Disclaimer.
This document and the software it describes are provided "as is," without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.  In no event will the University of Limerick be liable, either to you or to any other party, for any damages, including the loss of profits, lost savings, or any other incidental or consequential damages arising out of the use of or inability to use this product, even if we have been advised of the possibility of such damages.

A personal note.
If you find this program useful or have some comments regarding the user interface or features that are missing please Email me at COUGHLANM@UL.IE or write to me at the following address.
Michael Coughlan
Department of Computer Science
and
Information Systems
University of Limerick
Ireland.

I am prepared to make the source code available so if you want it let me know.  If I get enough requests I may upload it or tell you how you can get it.

If you decide to add other exercises to the Tutorial System I would be grateful if you could send me copies.

Don't send bug reports (I know there are bugs).  I hope to have this software completely rewritten in C++ for Windows for Workgroups and Windows NT.