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GamesGrid--Second version

From:   Ken Arnold
Date:   21 September 1996


The GamesGrid has a new software version and some beefed up network
hardware. The result is more features and more speed for the players. With
an emphasis on fostering the community aspects of Backgammon, CyberArts is
pleased to announce the latest version of the GamesGrid. Included in this
version are several wish list features from our users - as well as a number
of features that enhance the playability of the game.

Since communication between players (and watchers) makes the game
more interesting and fun, GamesGrid now offers a number of ways for people
to communicate. Players can communicate with one another privately - or in
groups. Watchers can talk to players and watchers, just watchers or to
specific individuals. You can, for example shout to everyone on the server
(or ignore shouting if you choose), talk to players on the match
board who haven=92t begun to play, issue a general invitation or hold
private conversations. Chatting allows you to talk to old friends, make new
ones and makes game playing (or watching) more dynamic and friendly!

The Beta 2 version also contains tools for professional and serious
players. When issuing an invitation, players can check on the effect
winning or losing a game will have on their rating; players can now create
and edit matches, track game scores including games in progress, see a list
of users connected to the server while playing a game. You can also tailor
the list of people who show up on your match board - as well as indicate
anyone on your affinity list and, in particular, anyone with whom you have
an unfinished match.

For people who have used the GamesGrid previously now, when you are on the
game board, you can talk to players on the match board. Additionally, the
accept invitations status is fully functional, the invite dialog has
undergone some requested changes and the ranking list filter now has a
maximum of ten. (It also allows players to page through the ranking list.)

The match board redraws more rapidly, you can send multiple
invitations simultaneously and, since downloads from the server are now in
smaller blocks, the match board populates faster. And, to let players know
how soon a match will be completed, game score tracking has been added to
the match board.

To enhance communication, ten programmable macros (shortcut keys) have been
added for expressions or phrases that you type frequently. Once you have
created your set of phrases (such as Thanks for the game! or I've never
seen such great rolling!), the macros will enable you to more easily and
speedily chat with players and watchers.

A five minute tutorial featuring 10 screens that describe the new features
of GamesGrid is also available with the download. It contains step-by-step
help on important topics such as how to communicate with users, watch a
game, invite a player and play a game etc. The tutorial allows novice users
or those new to GamesGrid to quickly understand how to play Backgammon on
the Net.  There is also reference help for more advanced players.

All GamesGrid players are now invited to use Version 1.0 Beta 2 Build
130.  We thank you for your participation and continue to look forward to
your feedback.

See tou on the Grid!

Ken Arnold
President, CyberArts the authors of GamesGrid
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