Thursday 24 April 2014

Readers’ Comments

49Friday, 05 October 2012 12:31
Yours Truly
If he is interested in mahjong as a game of intellect, he better not start his search at (free) parlors. Whether he will be admitted in for his project remains to be seen, but other players may not be so agreeing to it, and what "makes mahjong an important part of their life" to them is the delusion of a possibility to make a few extra yen.
48Sunday, 08 January 2012 09:02
Mahjong News
The Complete Book of Mah Jongg is about the Chinese Classical game. In this game, a ready declaration generally is not used in the case which is mentioned above.

The only case in which you can place a voluntary ready declaration, is mentioned in rule #55; that is, when a player has a waiting hand on her initial draw.

Martin Rep
47Sunday, 08 January 2012 05:00
Lars-Erik Schackt
From this book - I have a question about rule no.53 - Calling and Mah-Jongg.
When a player have a Calling hand - does he have to say the word calling or not?
Best regards
46Tuesday, 20 December 2011 23:27
Mahjong News
Not the same as EMA? EMA does not have a list of the Best Riichi Player of the Year, this is a Mahjong News exclusive, calculated by Alexander Doppelhofer.
Martin Rep
45Tuesday, 20 December 2011 21:32
Nicolas .Campina
What surprise !!!
How is it possible ?

I don't understand this result, because It's not the same with EMA.
for sure, I'm really happy to be in front Nicolas.P but it's not fair.
I don't want to minimize the pleasure after reading this news (congrat'z Valerian), but in fact I laughed and I thought a good Christmas joke...

About the last tournament it was a Red Eyes Riichi (RER Crew) not TNT as Quentin saying just before.

XXXX Christmas !
See you next year.

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Arto Tenkanen Talks

'A new release? That's up to the users' 

Arto TenkanenAn e-mail interview with Arto Tenkanen, author of the computer game FourWinds Mahjong. This interview was held in the late 1990's, shortly after the release of FourWinds Mahjong 2.0.

Could you tell something about yourself?

I was born in 1959 in Helsinki. My basic education is actually more humanistic than technological as I studied comparative literature, aesthetics, theoretical philosophy, anthropology and Spanish philology - but also computer sciences - in Helsinki University. However, I bought my first PC already in mid 1980's and was instantly hooked - in late 1980's I already earned my living by writing programs in languages like Clipper and Clarion, soon to be followed by Visual Basic, C and C++, etc. (My father is an engineer, and I also liked math in school, used to play chess, etc. so the abrupt change in my professional interests is not actually as surprising as it seems - hopefully something of my humanistic interest is carried out in things that I do with computers, at least in Four Winds ;-)
My mate Jaana Jäntti (with whom I have lived over 20 years) graduated as graphic designer in early 1990's from University of Art and Design Helsinki. In mid 1990's we started a family business under the name of Lagarto. We do graphic design (mainly printed media), web applications, ActiveX and Java modules and also desktop applications and utilities.
We have a daughter who is now 11 years old, and live in Helsinki, capital of Finland.

How long have you played mahjong; where did you learn it, where do you play it now?

My first acquaintance with MJ was in late 1970's when I was still in high school - we used to play the game occasionally in parties. After a long pause my interest in the game was revived as I found P.E. King's PC Mahjong (©ProCon Software, 1986) - I used to play that a lot on my Amstrad 8086, or was it a 80286! In 1990's and thereon we have occasionally played the game when we see our friends.
In mid 1990's I learned to know graphic designer Jukka Aalto, the guy who created graphics for version 1.0. We worked in a same company for a while, and Jukka once happened to make an innocent comment of missing a computer version of classical Mah Jong - a couple of weeks later I surprised him with a demo written in Visual Basic - a prototype of Four Winds. I still have it, and it is actually quite recognizable!

Are there any games besides mahjong that you like to play?

I used to play quite a lot (all kinds of PC games), but lately I have mostly played just PS2 games with our daughter Veera (games like Rayman, Spyro, etc.).
Is mahjong a big thing in Finland?

Mah Jong is certainly NOT a big business in Finland, at least for us - only a fraction of our customers are Finnish! I suppose MJ was more popular, especially amongst students, somewhere in late 1970's, but less so today. On the other hand, there are clubs that are pretty active. Finnish players normally play with Chinese classical rules (ones that normally come with a commercial tile set), but classical Japanese version is also popular.

If there were ever to be a version 3.0, what improvements could we expect?

One thing that can always be improved is AI. Support for voice transfer (via DirectX) might also be a thing we see in future versions of Four Winds Mah Jong. But improvements like these are not alone enough to make a major upgrade, they are something to be supported in dot updates that will be released every now and then and that are free to registered users of version 2.0.
Going for 3D would also be one possibility but I am not sure - I do not think that Four Winds can benefit at all from 3D graphics. That might be something that is interesting only for me as a programmer.
Actually the improvements to be seen in the possible next major release are much up to the users - version 2.0 is much an outcome of the feedback we have received from hundreds of players around the world. YOU should tell us what improvements you wish to have in the next version!
On the other hand, before seeing version 3.0, it might be more realistic to expect that a simplified version of Four Winds will some day be available for a palm computer or a mobile phone.
But no promises - this must stay as a hobby…


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