My Othello app is now available in the App Store — check it out at smartothello.com. Even if you’re not interested in Othello/Reversi, it will give you an idea of the future direction of my Go apps. And next time you play Go and somebody asks whether that’s Othello, at least now you have an app you can recommend.
SmartOthello is 100% Swift: it was a perfect way to learn Swift while building up code I can reuse for my Go apps. It’s also my first app to support Game Center, including achievements and leaderboards. My experience with Swift has been really good; my experience with Game Center less so.
The tutorial in SmartGo Player uses Go Books under the hood, so the Swift version of Go Books is up next. Yes, this conversion is taking a while, but I’m planning to live with these apps for many more years. After launching my first Swift app, I’m more convinced than ever that the investment is worth it.
That separate Swift project I hinted at in December? Time to announce what it is: an app for Othello (also known as Reversi).
As a two-player board game, Othello is similar enough to Go that much of the Swift code for an Othello app can be reused for Go. But Othello apps are a dime a dozen in the App Store: who needs another one? Well, you do — you deserve better than the current crop of Othello apps.
Most people associate me with only one game: Go. However, I do have a bit of history with Othello.
- Computer Othello: My first Othello program played in a tournament in Santa Cruz in 1981, long before I first made it to the USA. My work on Othello got Prof. J. Nievergelt to introduce me to Go, and my Ph.D. thesis included a chapter on Othello (“Smart Game Board: a Workbench for Game-Playing Programs, with Go and Othello as Case Studies”).
- Human Othello: I was Swiss Othello Champion in 1983, 84, 85, and 89, and United States Othello Champion in 1992. My tournament experience includes six Othello World Championships: Paris (1983 & 1988), Warsaw (1989), Stockholm (1990), New York (1991), and Barcelona (1992).
So yes, combining years of iPhone development, user interface experience from SmartGo, and expert knowledge of Othello, I do think I have something unique to bring to a crowded field of Othello apps.
I’ve been working on SmartOthello with designer Scott Jensen (@_scottjensen); it’s making good progress, and I have just started limited beta testing. I’m very excited about how it’s turning out, and what it means for the future of my Go apps.
More later. Meanwhile, you can sign up for news about SmartOthello at smartothello.com, and follow @smartOthello on Twitter or Facebook.
PS: I played in an Othello tournament in Los Angeles in March: 4 wins and 6 losses, definitely a bit rusty. At least I scored a 33-31 win against former World Champion Ben Seeley.