Help and frequently asked questions (FAQ)
General

About yucata.de

Yucata.de is an online gaming portal focusing on German-style games. Yucata.de is the hobby of the webmaster, and therefore free of charge and without advertising.

How does yucata.de work?

The games on yucata.de are asynchronous. Generally, not all players of a game are online simultaneously. They may join, make their moves and leave afterwards. But it is possible to play a game “live” with somebody already online or to issue an invitation with the request for a “fast game”. Most players participate in several games at the same time.

A game against a computer is not possible and is not in the planning.

Which browsers are supported?

Yucata.de uses JavaScript and, particulary for the games, complex html. No special browser requirements are needed. Yucata.de is fully tested with Firefox and Internet Explorer from version 7. It does also work with Safari, Chrome, Camino and Opera, but some problems may occur occasionally. Unfortunately, it would be too time consuming for a hobby to make it fully compatible with all browsers.

What is a Guest Account?

If somebody is not sure if yucata.de is right for her/him, she/he may create a guest account and give it a try. Such accounts are always labeled as GuestXYZ and are valid for 24 hours. A Guest account can easily be transferred into a permanent account. The player selects My profile in the menu and renames it by choosing a username. Attention: once the renaming is done, it cannot be changed again later.

Why do I have to create an account?

Every move of every game is saved in a data base. In order to identify the players it is necessary that everybody has a username. The username will also be used to send messages, to accept and create personal invitations.

The information in the user profile is visible to all registered users, so everyone has to decide, what data to provide. The information is not made available to third parties by yucata.de, but yucata.de cannot guarantee that it is not copied.

The email address provided isn't validated by yucata.de and will only be used for forwarding messages if the user has chosen this option in My profile. It is only visible to other registered users if it is specifically allowed by selecting 'Public address' in My profile.

Who is working for yucata.de?

Yucata.de is a project of Kay Wilke (for more information see Editorial), username Sparhawk. In between more users added a lot of work to this project. More infos one can find in Team. Some players also have administrative rights, they are marked in the "Player now online" list with symbol.

Yucata.de exists since March 2001. It was first intended as a single game platform. But since 2005 the development has accelerated dramatically, such that now more than 40 games are offered.

How can I support yucata.de?

The biggest gratification for the webmaster are many happy players. Go wild playing on yucata.de and spread the news among your friends.

You are encouraged to make suggestion for improving yucata.de or to discuss general ideas by writing to the webmaster or by posting on the Discussion board. With your help yucata.de will become even better.

Yucata.de has one of the nicest player communities. Contribute to it as well. Aggressive behavior and foul language are not tolerated. Yucata.de is serious about it. No terms of abuse, no dumb jokes, and no discussion about politics. It is a gaming portal providing pure fun.

Yucata.de does cost money. In the Overview section there is an element "Support yucata". By following the link “Further Information” the various options are explained. As a thank you each donor is marked in the list of online players by a donor symbol.

Finally, it is possible to join yucata.de as programmer. If you would enjoy learning the technology and implementing a game, please contact the webmaster.

How is yucata.de implemented technically?

On the server side yucata.de uses Microsoft .NET 2.0. As of now a rather large frame work has been established, into which the games added. The portal is an own creation, since none of the existing frame works (DNN or similar ones) did offer what the webmaster envisioned.

On the client side a lot of JavaScript is used for the games allowing complex moves without constant feedback to the server.

AJAX is primarily used for check-backs to the server. The Overview page in particular was developed with this technology. The list of online players, the Chat, the current news/invitations/games are all refreshed in different intervals.

Invitations

Starting a game

Before you may play against other players you have to find somebody willing to play with you. To do this players send invitations or they accept invitations they received . The next two topics will explain exaxtly this.

Can I see who is currently online?

Yes, you can. On the left side of the Overview page (visible to all registered users) there is a list of all players currently online ("Player now online") with the time that has passed since the last move. For instance, “8:00” means that the player has been inactive for the last 8 minutes. If the player didn't log out correctly, he will be removed from the list within 2 minutes; if he leaves the Overview open but is idle, he will be removed after 20 minutes

Accepting invitations

In the right-hand column on the Overview page there is a list of invitations ("Received Invitations") that were issued. If it is a public invitation to all players, you may accept it . If it is a personal invitation to you, you may accept or delete it . A deleted invitation is removed from your Overview page as well as from the Overview page of the player who issued the invitation.

All used symbols are explained in the left-hand column "Legend" near the bottom of the page.

Most games are played by two players, and do therefore begin as soon as a player accepts the invitation. Some games are played with three or more players. Those games begin as soon as enough players have accepted the invitation. You can find out the number of players in a game by looking at the -symbols. To the right of the invitation you can see who has issued and who has already accepted the invitation.

In some games the issuer of the invitation is the start player, in others the start player is selected randomly. Games with more than 2 players are generally slow, that is 1 or 2 moves a day or even slower. If a fast multiple player game is desired, it should be mentioned in the invitation.

Considerate behaviour includes the following items:

  • If a player created several invitations, do not accept more than one or, at most, two of them if they have not been directed to you personally. Most players enjoy playing with different opponents and do not appreciate it if they create ten invitations and have to play all of them against the same opponent. Naturally you may ask the creator of the invitations if you may accept more than one or two.
  • Being a beginner, do not start too many games. Depending on your opponent a game may well take several weeks to finish. Many new players start 30 or more games because at the beginning not much is happening only to realise after two days that they cannot service all those games or that a particular games is perhaps not their favorite. Try first, then you may start as many games as you like as long as you find the time to make your moves.

Creating invitations

To issue an invitation move the mouse onto the desired game and click on 'Create invitation' in the navigation popup window, or simply click on the game name. Other items you can access through the navigation popup window are the game rules, and, in some games, the game strategy.

For each game you may specify if it shall be a ranking or non-ranking (practice) game. Yucata, when played as a ranking game, is the only game with a first leg and a return game because it makes a difference who is moving first. All other games do not have return games.

When creating an invitation you have to decide if it is a general invitation directed to all players or a personal invitation directed to a specific player. You may add requests to your invitations such as a desired rank (e.g. "Macom Priest or higher, please!") or the pace of the game (e.g. "fast game, several daily moves," etc). Please be considerate and pay attention to those requests.

In some games you can choose the number of players and/or select different game options. The selections are self-explaining, but are also explained in more detail in the game rules.

Playing games

How do I open an existing game?

You can check the updated status of any game independent on whose turn it is. Your open games are listed under "Current Games". If a game is grayed out, it is not your turn. You open a game by clicking on it.

If you have open turns in several games, the one you have to move first is the one your opponent is waiting for the longest time. This rule was introduced because some players only finished the games they were winning. There are some functionalities so that this rule shouldn't bother you. You can click on the "Start Game: ID"-Button on the Overview page at the bottom of the "Current Games" list to open the game in which you have to move first. Also there is the possiblity to sort the "Current Games" so that you see where you have to move by clicking at the column before the 'ID'. And in each game window you can click on “Go to next game” or as an alternative, you can let the software do the job for you. Every few seconds it checks if it’s your turn in another, older game. It this is the case, it asks you if you want to switch to that game. You can either accept or decline. You might want to decline if you are currently planning your next move in the game you have open. If you accept it switches automatically to the next game in sequence.

Why does a game last that long?

On yucata.de the games are played asynchronously, which means that not all players are online simultaneously. If you are playing only one game, and your opponent happens to be online as well, play can progress quickly. Even though it is still slower than similar gaming portals based on this mode. Even if your opponent is online, play may slow down or stall, because he may be involved in several other games.

It is my turn, but I cannot make a move?

Most likely a message in the upper left corner warns you that it’s your turn, but that you have to move in older games first. Either click on “Go to next game” or wait until you are switched automatically (see above).

If this is not the case (or “Go to next game” gets you to back to the current game), you may either use a browser that doesn’t show everything correctly, or you try to make an invalid move. First try to reset your move, overthink and try to move again and if this doesn't work, ask in the chat and you will get an answer quickly!

Can I delete a game?

Generally not. Once you have accepted a game you have to play it. A game will be deleted automatically, when no move has been done for 30 days. There will be no scoring for that game.

Can I give up a game?

You can give up every two player game except Yucata with the “Give up” button at the bottom. In multi-player games it isn't possible to give up. You can only give up when it is your turn.

In the game “Yucata” you have to declare yourself as unworthy in order to be allowed to give up. If you do so, you will get all blue and your opponent all brown stones, and, if still available, also the red stone. Since Yucata is played in 2 rounds, it may happen that somebody who has declared himself as unworthy (in one round), still wins the game based on the total score of the 2 rounds.

How do I make a move in a game?

This depends very much on the game. The games were implemented by different developers at different times and therefore don’t have the same protocol. In simple games such as Yucata or Morris you simply click on the card you want to play or at the place where you want to place your stone.

In more complex games such as Kahuna, Hacienda or Masons you will find a menu with the next possible moves. At the moment there are no aids for the individual games. Use your intuition and try it out! If you are stuck ask in the "Chat" or use the "Reset move"-Button to try it once again.

Ranks and Ranking

What are Ranks?

Ranks are a metagame on Yucata. They are not really important since they don't have any influence on the games and opponents you may play. If you fulfill certain criteria, you may gain a new rank and also losing ranks is possible.

The ranks are intended as a motivational tool. For once you play more concentrated in order to get promoted or to prevent demotion. But you are also pushed to try new games in order to fulfill the promotion requirements.

List of Ranks

On 2012-06-30 there was a Wrath of the Gods which destroyed the Mayan culture and which presumably led to significant changes in the ranking system. The exact details aren't known yet.

Village ranksNew Villager
???
???
???
???

When do I get promoted?

There are certain criteria you have to meet in order to get promoted to the next rank. Since the Wrath of the Gods these criteria are not known for each rank, in fact not even all ranks are known. Put in the player info of each player you can find the criteria which need to be fulfilled to reach the next rank.

In general there a several criteria

  • You need a certain amount of points.
  • You need to win against a certain number of opponents
  • You need to win a certain number of different games
  • You need to have a certain minimum TrueSkill level in a certain number of games
Scoring of games

How many points do I win or lose in a game?

Several criteria are used to calculate the points: Your placement within the game, your TrueSkill for that game type, the TrueSkill of your opponent(s) and the highest TrueSkill for that game.

Your TrueSkill MyTS is the TrueSkill as you see it in your player info but with a minimum level of 400 points such that we have the formula:
MyTs = Min(400; MyRealTS)

The TrueSkill of your opponents is calculated the same way. If there are several opponents, the average of their TrueSkills will be taken for the comparison.

The TrueSkill difference TsDiff is then MyTs - AvgOpponentTS. To soften extreme situations, the difference is limited to +800 and -800.

The last parameter is MaxTS which is the TrueSkill value for the best player for this game type. If we have new games we have the situation that we don't have any or at least not any signficant TrueSkill values for that game. This is why we take 1000 as minimum value for MaxTS. For new games, this minimum value is usually passed within a few days.

Points are then calculated with the following formulae

  • Won: Points = Max(10; 50 - TsDiff/TsMax*100)
  • Lost: Points = Min(-10; (-50 - TsDiff/TsMax*100) * 0.8)
  • Tie: Points = -TsDiff/TsMax*100

For two player games we are finished now. If there are more than two we have to weigh the points with the placement of the player. The weights are shown in the following table.

Number of players 1. position 2. position 3. position 4. position 5. position
3 +1 0 -1
4 +1 +0,4 -0,4 -1
5 +1 +0,4 0 -0,4 -1

The chat

How does the Main Chat work?

Pretty simple: you type your message and hit return or click on the symbol. But there is more to the chat than that. That’s why it has its own help section, symbolized by the question mark. The other button allows opening the chat in its own window.

How does the Game Chat work?

The same way as the Main Chat: type your message and hit return. The chat messages are returned to the server together with the move. Therefore you can add messages only on your turn.

Another hint: you can close the chat window by hitting “escape”.

Other

How do I report a malfunction?

Since yucata.de is a private and free gaming portal, it is not always possible to test the games for every detail, often there is simply not enough time. You are encouraged to report malfunctions on the Discussion board! Please provide the following information:

  • Game number
  • Game type (e.g. Hazienda)
  • As precise a description as possible of the malfunction
  • Your browser and perhaps your operating system

It is not possible to correct malfunctions that are not reproducible. Please do your co-players and yourself a favor and report malfunctions as accurately as possible.

Inactive players

If a player has not visited yucata.de for 60 days or more the system will mark him as inactive. This means that he is invisible to all other players even though the account is not deleted. Thus, he may return whenever he chooses and he also keeps his rank. But after this time his open games are closed, his invitations and all received messages deleted.

 
 
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