‘Washizu Mahjong’ to be added to FourWinds Mahjong
- Published on Monday, 15 February 2010 08:11
- Written by Martin Rep
HELSINKI - The next version of the popular mahjong software game ‘Four Winds Mahjong’ is likely to contain ‘Washizu Mahjong’. This very special mahjong variant is inspired on the Japanese manga ‘Akagi’. In this manga - also turned into a cartoon - a spectacular, deadly mahjong competition is played with tiles which are transparent - that is to say: most of them.
Until now, Washizu Mahjong does not exist in the real world. The exact rules and regulations are not even determined yet. Certain is that it is based on riichi mahjong. But it is not sure if the manga artist, Nobuyuki Fukumoto, has given much thought to the problems which might arouse when playing with see-through tiles.
But, thanks to the immense popularity of the manga and the cartoon, some manufacturers have started to sell ‘Washizu sets’: sets in which every fourth specimen of each tiles is opaque. The rest is transparent. Some of the buyers have tried to play Washizu mahjong with these sets. A first international Washizu tournament (no open subscription) is anticipated later this year at Arnhem, the Netherlands. On the web site of this event, discussions about the rules and regulations are being held.
The FourWinds software game is quite popular, since it can be used to practice virtually any mahjong variant, thanks to the flexible rule set configuration. This also implies Taiwanese mahjong (which is played with sixteen tiles) and American mahjong (where a varying number of jokers is used).
The addition to the game was suggested by Mahjong News to Arto Tenkanen, the Finnish creator of the software. Mr.Tenkanen has reacted enthusiastically on the idea, since he thinks Washizu Mahjong is a very interesting concept. “It would be fairly easy to implement, though its proper implementation would require significant changes in AI, especially if team-play is allowed.”
In the manga, the two main characters, Akagi and Washizu, have both an assistant, who discard the tiles which they need. It is not sure yet if this concept will be used during the Dutch tournament.
Arto: “I have been planning a new glass/plastic-like theme to be released with the next update (concentrating mostly on supporting large-format screens, including HD ready and Full-HD TV sets) so the concept of partial transparency would fit well with the aesthetics of the new theme.”
In the next update of FourWinds mahjong, also EMA Riichi rules will be applied. Until now, this rule set has to be created manually by the users.Website of FourWinds Mahjong The Akagi cartoon on YouTube