Frequently Asked Questions

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Dragon shape games
  • What is a shape-game?
    A shape-game can be played on DGS as an unrated game with an arbitrary setup of white and black stones. A saved shape can be used to either create a new game in the waiting-room or send an invitation to another player.
    Shape-games are marked with the (img)-icon on various pages with a goban thumbnail of the shape if you hover over the icon, and linked to the definition of the particular shape.
    To find shape-games in the games lists or in the waiting room, you can use the Game-Type filter with "Shape-Games" (to only show shape-games) or "No Shapes" (to exclude shape games).
  • What are the items on the Shapes page?
    The shapes page lists per default all public shapes to be used to create shape-games.
    In the Flags-column you can un-check the "Public"-flag to show private shapes as well, or you can use the bottom-link "All shapes".
    Here's a brief explanation of the most important columns of the shape table listing:

    The bottom-link "My shapes" only shows your own created shapes.
    The shapes page can be reached from several pages: the FAQ, the goban editor, sending an invitation, the new game page, the site map and from the other pages to view or edit a shape.
  • What are all those items on the page showing a single shape?
    Viewing a single shape from the list of shapes shows a table with the shape attributes, a view of the game board with the shape and to the right of it optional shape notes describing it.
    Here's a brief explanation of the shape attributes:
    • Source: shape-id used to identify a saved shape
    • Author: author of the shape with link to his or her user-info page. Only the author of a shape can change it, though other users can use it.
    • Shape Name: User-given name of the shape.
    • Board Size: the board dimension for the shape. This should not be changed, because it cuts off the shape in unpredictable ways.
    • Flags: shape flags:
      * W-First: indicates, that the White-player moves first for this shape.
      * Public: marks the shape as public, otherwise it's private and will not be shown per default on the shapes list
    • Created / Last changed: date when the shape was first created or last changed.
    • Shape Notes: description and notes about the shape. Will be shown on the shapes list as well marked by (img)-icon.

    To edit the shape, follow the bottom-link "Edit shape". All above shape attributes can be changed on the shape edit page, except of the goban itself.
    To change the goban (game-board) of the shape, you have use the bottom-link "Show in Goban Editor" and then re-save it.
    Follow the bottom-link "Invite" to start a new invitation with the current shape.
    Follow the bottom-link "New Shape-Game" to create a new game in the waiting-room with the current shape. On the new game page you then can switch to other views to create a shape-game as multi-player-game or as fair-komi game.
  • How can I create a shape or game-board?
    To start a game with a new shape or use a game-board in the forums or messages you first have to create a goban. To create or edit a shape you should use the goban editor. In the forums you can also use previewing to create or edit a shape, the goban editor has some helpful extra edit-features though.
    Using the Dragon goban editor there are roughly six ways to create a goban (game board):
    • Create a goban from scratch.
    • Create a goban from a Dragon game.
    • Upload a game from a SGF.
    • Copy from one of the existing DGS shapes.
    • Copy the raw-format of an existing goban on DGS.
    • Copy the raw-format of a board diagram from Sensei`s Library.
  • How can I create a game board in the forums or messages?
    To use a goban (game-board) in the forums, private messages or move messages, you should use the goban editor to edit the shape, then copy the raw-format with the <igoban>-tag to the target location you want to have it placed without saving it as shape (which is only needed when you want to create a shape-game). Use "Preview" on the target page to check if it's correctly formatted before you submit it.
    The full syntax of gobans is listed on the goban editor page. Also see: Are there examples of game boards?
  • How can I start a shape-game?
    To start a shape-game there are basically two ways:
    Create a new shape-game from an existing (running or finished) game OR from an existing shape either as invitation or as new-game for the waiting-room.
    If you want to start a game with a shape, that is not available in the shapes list, you first have to create a new shape.
    There are implicit game-settings involved, that cannot be changed:
    • a shape-game is always unrated
    • Once a shape has been opened as invitation or on the new-game page, the shape can not be altered. Also a invitation-dispute can not change this.
    • the board size is fix and comes along with the used shape
    • if additional handicap stones are allowed, only free placement of handicap stones is supported, because the standard placement could clash with other present stones.
    • if the shapes flags enforce the White player to move first, a Black PASS-move is added in the game (except if additional handicap is included)

    To create a new shape-game from an existing game, open the game-info page for it, then:
    • Use the bottom-link "Rematch" to start a shape-game as invitation (not possible for multi-player-games though).
    • Use the bottom-link "Copy as new game" to start a shape-game for the waiting-room.

    To create a new shape-game from an existing shape, view one of the existing shapes, then:
    • Use the bottom-link "Invite" to start a shape-game as invitation.
    • Use the bottom-link "New Shape-Game" to start a shape-game for the waiting-room. From the simple view you can switch to the other new-game expert, multi-player or fair-komi views.
  • What happens with running shape-games when I change the shape?
    The game continues with the original shape used to start the game.
    When a shape-game is started, a snapshot of the shape is stored with the game. Changing the original shape will only change the new version of the shape, older games with the same shape-id continue undisturbed.
    When you view the shape following the linked (img)-icon, a comparison is made and the differences shown on the shape-view page.
    The thumbnail of the (img)-icon is still showing the original snapshot the game was started with, while the shape-page for the shape-id might show a different shape then (with the differences).
  • How can I create a goban with the Goban Editor?
    The Goban Editor can be used to create a shape to start a shape-game or added as game-board in the forums, private messages or move messages. For a shape-game the shape must be saved and extended with attributes to describe and configure it for game-setup.
    There are several ways to create a shape with the Goban Editor:
    • Create new board of given size:
      Select the requested width and height for the game-board and press the "Create Board"-button to get an empty goban.
      To use a shape as shape-game the width and height must be equal to form a square.
      When using the goban in the forums the size dimensions can be different.
    • Load board from game:
      To create a goban from an existing (running or finished) Dragon game you need the game-id. The move-number is optional. If it's omitted, the last move is used to create the setup of the goban.
    • Create board by uploading a SGF:
      When you have a SGF, you can upload it to create a goban from it. Variations in the SGF are ignored, only the main-path is used.
      Uploaded SGF with a size exceeding 30KB are rejected. If the SGF is larger you first have to reduce its size by stripping away variations or comments for example.
    • Copy the raw-format of an existing game-board on DGS:
      When you see a goban (not a game-board from the game-page) on DGS you can add the URL-argument '&raw=1' to the page-request. This will show the raw-format of the goban to the right of the board diagram. To use this you have to create a new empty goban with the goban editor first (see above). Then copy the raw-format into the top right textarea and pressing "Preview".
    • Copy board from existing DGS shape:
      View one of the existing shapes on DGS. On viewing the single shape, follow the bottom-link "Show in Goban-Editor". Then in the goban editor if you are not the author of the copied shape, you have to press Preview once to extract the shape; otherwise you are not able to save it as it's still connected via the original shape-id.
    • Copy board from go diagram from Sensei's Library (SL):
      As the goban-syntax is based on the go diagram format of Sensei`s Library, you can copy the raw-format from there and edit it into the <igoban>-format used on DGS. For this you just have to surround the original format from SL with the following tags:
      <igoban SL1> ... </igoban>
      Note however, that not the full specification of the SL-format is supported. The supported DGS syntax is shown on the goban editor page.

    Once created, you can start to edit the goban in the Goban Editor.
  • How can I edit a goban in the Goban Editor?
    After creating an initial <igoban>-tag in the goban editor, you can continue to edit the goban (board) using the "Preview"-button to view if the syntax is correct.
    Links used in the diagram are all opening in new windows to avoid losing entered text.
    Here's a brief explanation of the other actions:
    • Switch Colors: Switches the color of the black and white stones on the goban.
    • Flatten: Cuts board to smaller dimension (width or height) to make it square. Removes all markup, text, links leaving only black and white stones ready to be saved as shape to be used for shape-games.
    • Save Shape: Flattens goban (see item before) and jumps to edit page to add additional attributes needed for shape. Also see: What are all those items on the page showing a single shape?
    • If you use the goban in the forums or for messages, just copy the <igoban>-tag to the target location. When you later want to edit the goban again, you only need to copy the raw-format of the goban again into the goban editor. This can be achieved by adding the URL-argument 'raw=1' to the web-request.
  • Are there examples of game boards?
    This entry shows some goban examples illustrating the supported syntax on DGS. The raw-format is based on the go diagram format from Sensei`s Library.
    The examples are separated by lines. Most of the examples are taken from Sensei`s Library - How Diagrams Work. Easiest is often to use the goban editor's "Preview" to test if the format is correctly showing what you want.
    To view the raw-format of the example please open the link: Are there examples of game boards? (with raw-format)

    Goban with board-size 11 and short-form edges with "+", with title, markup and some describing text to the right of the board.
     a b c d e f g h j k l
    11 11
    10 10
    9 9
    8 8
    7 7
    6 6
    5 5
    4 4
    3 3
    2 2
    1 1
     a b c d e f g h j k l
    Board Markup

    Text: (img) = Black territory, (img) = White territory, (img) = Neutral, (img) = Dame
    Text: (img) (img)


    Board with images in title and a link to Sensei's Library:
    Black to (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) BO (img) (img) (img) (img) joseki


    Incomplete boards with coordinates:
    a b c

     a b c


    Goban with move numbering starting with higher number:
    Move numbering starts at 67


    Comparing diagrams:
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    Supported links in diagrams (on small board with size 13):
     a b c d e f g
    Links in diagrams

    The links are all opened in a new window for safety reasons (to avoid losing entered text).
    Link on "2" to Sensei's Library
    Link on "4" to DGS-page (short form)
    Link on "a" to external link
    Link on "(img)" to page-relative anchor


    Text at side and below diagram (cannot be mixed).

    Text at side of diagram (img) (img)

    Text below diagram (img) (img)

    Board with short-form edges.
    edge notation "++"


    Irregular boards: Strange boards do work, they just require lots of fiddling. Irregular boards are possible, but the syntax of Sensei's Library and DGS are incompatible here as the code-base is different.
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    A sample game played with a friend (neither of us are very good.)

    taken from Sensei's Library
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