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Bones - by Paul Bilnoski

Bones is a game of 42 that I wrote in Java.
I used to play another version, but it required registration to use all the features of it and I got fed up with it, so I thought, hey, why not just write my own version.
So here it is. I work on it off and on, adding things, cleaning up things, and updating it.

The game of 42 is primarily played in Texas, and is similar to the card games of Hearts or Bridge, except it is played with tiles instead of cards. It involves four players on two teams who bid on their hand for the round, select a trump, and try to gather points. There is more extensive help available in the game, and you can pass on the bids and simply play the suggested moves to learn how to play.
The latest version will have the most fixes, and if you have an earlier version, you can see the latest posted here through the About dialog as of Version 1.2.1

If an error occurs during the game's execution, an error log file will be generated and an option to send it to me is available as of Version 2.6.3
Main Feature List:
  • Graphical Domino Tiles with customizable colors.
  • Display panel to keep track of current marks, points, points to set opponent, trump, bid, and the player that started the trick.
  • Display of played tricks in the round (as applicable).
  • Artificial Intelligence for computer players (They're not too bad!).
  • Customizable game rules, including allowing Splash/Plunge bids, Nello as force bid only.
  • Customizable game settings including ending a round early if the winner is known, highlighting valid and suggested moves.
  • A "Note Box" for novice users to understand why they should play what is suggested, and display of bidding tips.
  • Networking between a server and up to three clients.


Comments
If you have any comments or input that aren't bug-related, or if you want the source code to look at or help develop, send me some email: paul@bilnoski.net
Or you can try to send me an IM through AIM at paulb8x

Bugs
If you find a bug, please send me email report.

Notes on running the JAR (Java Archive) files:
Download the .jar file from the site to your local drive and then run it. Configuration files are stored in your user home directory (Documents and Settings\username on Windows)
You should be able to execute the .jar file itself, but this will only work if you have a JRE (Java Runtime Environment) and a compatable JVM (Java Virtual Machine) installed on your system. You should get the latest JVM if you have none now or the current one is out of date.

Check your JVM setup here first, or read on for more options.
If you're using Windows, 95/98 will require an update to the JVM (check for updates at windowsupdate.microsoft.com), and 2000/ME/XP should have one installed already. If you can't run the .jar file by executing it through Windows (i.e. double-clicking), you need to see if you have a JRE installed (the one attached to your web browser should work).

To find out if you have a JVM set up, open up a command prompt and type "java". It will either say "bad command or file name" or it will bring up usage information for java.exe. If you get a bad command message, search your drive for a "java.exe" and run it (details on how are below). The executable might be in "program files/javasoft" or "program files/java" for Windows users). If it doesn't find one, Go here to download the latest JRE from Sun (~10 Megs). You'll want the JRE unless you plan to do some programming in Java (in which case you'll get the ~40 Meg version). Get the one for your system.

Once you install it, you should be able to execute the .jar file from windows. If it opens up your archive extraction program (like WinZip), you'll either need to change the file association or run the .jar from the command line by navigating to where you saved the file and executing it with:
java -jar Bones-x_x_x.jar
where the x's you fill in for the version number you downloaded.
If you have trouble with this, get your local computer guru to help you out, or send me some email.

You can find the most recent version of the game on this page, and earlier versions in the version archive.
Information on earlier versions can be found in the game's version history.
If you enjoy it, spread the word! If you don't, tell me what could be better, that's what's great about making my own version.

--Paul


Click here to download: Bones-2_6_4.jar

Latest screen shot,
click for full size Bones version 2 supports network play.
Network play includes basic chatroom, table position selection by the dealer, and game play.
If something goes wrong, such as a lost connection (lots of things can go wrong with the network) an error log file will be created.

I update the game when I get some free time and the mood strikes me, so if you find a feature or bug that should be added or fixed, please let me know. I don't really know which direction I'll go next with the game, but I try to fix things that are done poorly before adding things. Some versions will have small updates, some more significant; some versions have updates in the user interface that are very noticeable, and others have more changes to the game itself that should not even be noticed.
An error log is created when errors are found, and the log files are datestamped and contain stacktraces of errors. If you find one of these files, please log a bug report.

Version 2.6.x has had many back end updates and refactoring jobs done. Lots of things in the code are done better, more cleanly, with abstraction and design, and some other nice things from my side. Also, the framework to extend AI is coming along, so that should be ready in a few versions.

You can see in the screen shot that the graphics have improved somewhat. The trick's leader has a blue arc, the winner has a green arc, and the next player to play on the trick has a red arc. The user interface is a bit more streamlined now also.