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Staff Post The Official Lake Valor UNO Thread

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Eclipse, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. Eclipse

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    The Official Lake Valor Uno Thread

    For anyone who loves the game of UNO, you are in luck. Lake Valor will be hosting periodic UNO nights for people to get together and play online (using a free UNO client), for anyone who's interested, either to mingle as friends, meet some new acquaintances, or just play Draw Twos on everybody.

    Right now, we use an online client called UnoFreak (found at https://play.unofreak.com), though it is a finicky beast with how it deals with players. It's at least functional and pretty, though.

    Keep in mind that there are certain rules of etiquette that need to be adhered to, even if we're just playing UNO as an 'unofficial' event. Remember, people who are uncooperative usually aren't invited back to play again.
    And if you don't know how to play UNO, don't worry - we've got you covered.

    For the sections relevant to you, view each of the spoiler tags below.


    How to Play UNO
    Basic Setup
    All players are dealt an opening hand of 7 cards. There are varying ways to determine who goes first (cut the deck, left of the dealer, etc.), though it's best for all players to agree on one. UnoFreak chooses the first player randomly. Play proceeds clockwise...at first. (I'll explain more later.)

    Turn over the top card of the deck face-up. That becomes the play stack. On your turn, you can play 1 card from your hand that matches either the colour and/or the number of the top card of the stack. The next player in order then does the same with the card you played. And so on.

    Play standardly proceeds until one player empties his or her hand ('goes out'). In UnoFreak, play will proceed until all but one person goes out.

    Scoring is based either by adding up the points in everyone else's hands and giving them to the winner, OR each player gets points equal to whatever was in his or her own hand (in this case, points are bad and the lowest score wins). UnoFreak uses the former method.


    Calling UNO or Passing
    If you would play a card, and in so doing then have 1 card left in your hand, you must call "Uno!" as you play the card, to signal to all players that you only have 1 card left. If you do not, and another player calls you out, you must draw 2 cards as a penalty. In UnoFreak, to call Uno, a green button that says "Call Uno!" will appear above your hand; you must click this before playing your card, or you face the 2-card penalty.

    Sometimes you won't be able to play a card onto the stack. If you can't play a card in your hand (or choose not to do so), you may draw the top card of the deck. If you can play that card onto the stack, you may do so. If you don't play it, you pass and your turn is over, and then it's the next player's turn.

    If the deck ever runs out of cards, all cards in the stack (except for the top card) are shuffled together to form the deck, and play continues as normal.


    Types of Cards, and Scoring
    There are various types of cards in an UNO deck, and some have different functions than normal cards. There are four colours in an UNO deck (red/blue/yellow/green) as well. Even if the card doesn't have a 'number' on it, you can still match its colour if you have one in your hand to play.

    Here is an explanation of each card:

    Number Cards 0-9: These are just basic number cards numbering 0 through 9. They have no other effect.
    There are two of each number per colour (for a total of 8 per number), except for 0, which has only one per colour (total 4).In scoring, number cards are equal to their face value.

    (In UnoFreak, the first card of the stack will always be a number card. In real-life games, the other cards have special effects, so while you won't worry about them in our online games, just be aware if you play UNO with your other friends.)

    Skip Card: Playing this card will skip the turn of the player who would go next (so the next turn would be 2 seats over from you). In a 2-player game, this means the next turn would be yours again. If this is the first card of the stack, it skips the turn of the player going first.
    There are two Skips for each colour (total of 8). In scoring, Skip cards are 20 points.

    Reverse Card: Playing this card reverses the turn order, from clockwise to anti-clockwise, or vice versa. In a 2-player game, a Reverse has the same effect as a Skip. If this is the first card of the stack, play starts anti-clockwise instead of clockwise.
    There are two Reverses for each colour (total of 8). In scoring, Reverse cards are 20 points.

    Draw Two Card: Playing this card causes the player going next to draw 2 cards from the deck, and skips his or her turn. In essence, it's a Skip card but more brutal. If this is the first card of the stack, the player going first draws 2 cards and skips his or her turn.
    There are two Draw Twos for each colour (total of 8). In scoring, Draw Two cards are 20 points.

    Wild Card: Wild cards are any colour, so you can play this card at any time. When you play this card, declare 1 colour (red/blue/yellow/green). The Wild card changes to that colour - so the person going next has to play a card of that colour. Wild cards don't have numbers, so they can't be matched that way. If this is the first card of the stack, the player going first chooses what colour it is.
    There are four Wilds in the deck. In scoring, Wild cards are 50 points.

    Wild Draw Four Card: The most powerful card in the whole deck. In order for you to play this card, your hand cannot have any cards that have the same colour as the card on the stack (excluding any Wilds).
    UnoFreak does not enforce this rule, so it allows you to play these whenever. While it can't be enforced, if you need to be a jerk, at least be considerate about it.
    When you play this card, declare 1 colour; the Wild Draw Four card changes to that colour. Also, the player going next must draw 4 cards and skip his or her turn (so the next turn is 2 seats over). If this is the first card of the stack, return it to the deck and reveal another card to start the stack.
    There are four Wild Draw Fours in the deck. In scoring, Wild Draw Four cards are 50 points.


    How to Set Up an UnoFreak Account (optional for Players)
    (NOTE: While players are not required to set up an account, hosts are. It's also usually advisable to set up an account, as you won't show up as anonymous and we'll know who you are. Plus, it lets you save your gathered points!)

    Making an account is actually extremely easy. In fact, it doesn't require much thought:

    • Go to the front page of UnoFreak: https://play.unofreak.com/
    • On the top right, there is a box for account information - you go here to sign in, register, or recover your account:

    [​IMG]

    • Fill out the information asked for - which is mostly a username, password, and email. On the other fields you can basically put in whatever you want; it doesn't use the information for anything.
    • And voilà, your account is ready!

    After you log in, your main page should look something like this:

    [​IMG]

    It will show your name and any points you've earned from playing games so far (at first it will be 0). You can upload an avatar of your choosing by clicking the box where the avatar is located, either on the main page or in your Player Profile. (You can change an avatar while in a room, but you won't see your saved changes until after you exit the room.)

    From there, you can log in via the main page and rack up points as much as you want. Have fun!


    How to Join or Create a Game
    This information is particularly important for hosts and players alike! While players can join games via a direct link, they can also do so this way.
    It's also recommended for players to log in BEFORE clicking on a game invite link. This will save you the trouble of having to leave a room and come back in again.

    ::::

    From the main page, click on the Join A Game link at the top of the page:

    [​IMG]


    You will then be taken to a new page:

    [​IMG]

    The default will be to create a game, but you can also hit the 'Join A Game' link below that to switch to that mode. (You can switch back to Create again from there.)

    For completeness' sake, I'll explain all of the boxes:

    • Allow Bots - UnoFreak does allow AI players to join in, if you want to play against the computer or if you just need extra bodies. You can control how many bots you allow.
    • Random Player Order - If this box is ticked, whenever you start a game in the room, all players will be seated randomly for turn order. If it isn't, the turn order will be the order in which everyone joined the room, starting with the host and going down.
    • Hide From Lobby - Ticking this box prevents the game from showing up on the main page.

    These 3 options can be turned on or off even after the room is created. If you allow Bots, then Bots will continually join the room - at the rate of 1 bot per second - until the room is full (10 people) or you turn the option off. (Kicking a bot will just cause a new one to appear.)

    The 2 house-rule options, however, are fixed when the room is created:


    • Allow Card Stacking - Card stacking is a house rule that changes how Draw Twos and Draw Fours work. If a player plays down a Draw Two (or Draw Four), and the target has a Draw Two/Draw Four in his or her hand, he or she can choose to play it so that the next player draws all those cards instead. This can keep going until a player cannot (or chooses not to) play a Draw Two/Four, and then that player loses his or her turn and draws all of the cards passed.

    Here's an example of stacking. The top card of the stack is currently a yellow 7. Alice plays down a Yellow Draw Two. Bob, instead of drawing 2 cards and skipping his turn, plays a Blue Draw Two instead. Courtney doesn't have any Draw Twos, but she does have a Wild Draw Four, and chooses Yellow. David has a Draw Two in his hand, but it's green, so he can't play it on the yellow WD4. David must draw 8 cards and skip his turn - 2 from Alice's card, 2 from Bob's card, and 4 from Courtney's card. Poor David.

    • Allow Card Doubles - Doubling is a house rule that allows you to play out of turn, under certain conditions. If you have two cards in your hand that have the same colour AND the same number, you can declare 'doubles' and play both of those cards onto the stack. Play then proceeds as normal with whoever's turn it was before.

    If an official Lake Valor UNO gathering game is set up, only the second and third boxes will be ticked. No bots will be used, and we will not be using house rules. Play order will be randomised, to make it fair - and interesting - to everyone, so you won't know who you'll be seated with.

    ::::

    After a room is created, it will look something like this:
    (For the sake of example, I'm using a room with bots.)

    [​IMG]

    You'll notice there are a lot of things going on here, so I'll explain them one by one.

    • The Room Lobby indicates who's currently in the game. Room lobbies cap at 10 people. The button to Start Game is also there. Right below it is a room URL to invite people to the game directly.
    • The Player List (off to the right) shows who's currently in the game. If you're the room host, a red X will appear besides everyone's name but your own - this will kick that player. The coloured dot will also show if the player is active (green) or inactive (yellow).
    • The Chat Box (bottom-right) lets you chat with the other people in the game. ayy lmao
    • The Game Log (at the bottom) shows the log of the game in progress, as well as who joined, left, or was kicked from the room.


    After you start a game, it will look a bit different:

    [​IMG]

    Notice the game is in progress, and the logs to date will also show all the cards played up to this point. In the Player List, I can also see everyone's remaining hand sizes. Since it's my turn, I can see all of the cards I can possibly play (highlighted).

    From there, it's just keep playing until I go out. Once I do, though, the view changes to the 'Winner's Circle':

    [​IMG]

    ...Well, at least I didn't totally suck.

    [​IMG]

    ...Okay, maybe I did.


    When everyone has gone out, a 'Rematch' button will appear at the bottom - this will allow players to join and leave freely so you can set up for the next game.

    To leave a game, click the Leave Game button at the top of the screen. You'll need to do this if you want to leave one room and join another one.
    Do not leave a game while it is in progress unless you have gone out. The game will softlock and the room will have to be remade (explained more later).


    UnoFreak Etiquette (Hosts)
    For some unusual reason, when posting a room link directly to Discord, a 'ghost' will automatically join the room. It shows up as an anonymous person, but isn't actually anyone and is constantly inactive - so you'll have to kick the ghost.
    To prevent this from happening, when you drop a game link, make sure to enclose it in angle brackets first,
    Code:
    <like so.>
    When a player leaves the game, he or she will still appear on the sign-in list, but register as inactive. You'll be able to see that he or she left by checking the Game Log. If a person actually does leave - and won't come back soon - kick the person to make room for others (and to prevent softlocking).

    If you're ready to start a game, if anyone is inactive, the web page will warn you first to confirm if you want to do that. Generally it's common courtesy to check and ask if anyone is ready - since players cannot be kicked when a game is in progress (even if they are inactive or they left).

    If you're willing to host a game, make sure you can stick around for a good chunk of time, enough to accommodate people coming and going while you keep the game ready. (Setting aside an hour or two is a good guideline.) If you don't think you can stick around, or you have to leave, ask someone else to host afterwards.

    Any etiquette for players also applies to you.


    UnoFreak Etiquette (Players)
    If you join a game anonymously, let everyone know who you are. Otherwise, you'll probably be kicked from the game if you don't make your identity known (after all, who is this guy again?).

    Keep attentive to the game in progress. Since Reverses and Skips are relatively common, your turn could pop up at any moment. If you need to step away from your keyboard, please say so, and only do so for no more than a minute.

    This is the most important thing for everyone, so to make sure you're reading, I'm putting it in red text.
    Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT LEAVE THE GAME IF YOU HAVEN'T GONE OUT YET. UnoFreak will softlock if it's an inactive player's turn, because it's still waiting for that person to play - even if the player left the room. Leaving the game for non-emergency reasons is bad sportsmanship, and the host will have to set up an entirely new room.

    If you violate this, you may be blacklisted. After all, if you just up and leave without a good reason, you probably won't be invited back to play again. This applies to EVERYONE, players and hosts alike.


    (If you go out, you can leave the room whenever you want - the game won't softlock since your turn won't come around.)

    UNO does allow plenty of opportunities to be a jerk to your fellow players. However, keep trash talk to a minimum joke-like level. Good friends will mess with each other all the time, but do not actually or actively insult people when playing the game - especially if you don't know the person all that well.

    Ah, and you are expected to behave by LV rules even at the official Uno gatherings. That's essentially common sense, so this shouldn't be an issue, but just keep that in mind.


    Blacklisted Players
    Trap Nation6652 - Leaving mid-game without reason, despite being told not to.

    That about covers it. This thread will also be used to announce Uno gatherings as well - we'll be holding those on the Discord server, for easy coordination. We'll be using the #games-room channel to do so. The events will be announced here in this topic as well, but they'll be coordinated over Discord.

    If you aren't on the Discord server yet, I highly advise you do so! Just make sure your Discord account is synched and set up, and you should be ready to go.

    And since people have been asking for time zone converters about "what time is it where I am", here's one you can use:
    https://www.timeanddate.com/time/map/
    https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter-classic.html

    (Or you can search Google for a time zone converter of your choice.)

    Hope to see you there!
     
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    #1 Mar 11, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
  2. OP
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    Eclipse

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    UPDATES!

    • We now have a Discord channel to set up games! It isn't just for UNO specifically, but it is for all game-like forum events. We'll be using the #games-room channel to coordinate our UNO games.
    • I've been informed that Daylight Saving Time was a thing, and because of that, I've had to tweak the game times for the first UNO nights slightly. For now, this should only affect people in North America, but it's important to note going forward.
      Our game times for the first week are Wednesday at 4PM PDT / 11PM UTC, and one on Saturday at 11AM PDT / 6PM UTC. In UTC they're still the same, so for the rest of the world this shouldn't be an issue. Just be aware of the time shift for users in the US.

    Hope to see you there!
     
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    The Uno nights seemed to go pretty well, all said! The attendance was roughly the same for both - about 7 or 8 people each time - so that's pretty good for a start!

    The time seemed to work out, so this upcoming week, we'll have the Uno games at the same time slots:

    Wednesday 21 March - 4PM PDT / 11PM UTC
    Saturday 24 March - 11AM PDT / 6PM UTC

    We might tweak the slots a bit going forward, but if these are times that work out fairly well, we should keep those.
    Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
     
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    The time slots for UNO games this week will be the same as last week:

    Wednesday 28 March - 4PM PDT / 12AM BST
    Saturday 31 March - 11AM PDT / 7PM BST

    And unlike last week, I'm not going to have to leave midway through this time! (Saturdays are always odd days for me because I have things going on. If there's another time we can move to - perhaps Sunday - or if someone is willing to host the Saturday event, that could work well.)

    Let me know if you have any questions or preferences about the event, and we can tweak it going forward.
     
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    #4 Mar 26, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
  5. OP
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    The time slots for Uno this week will be as follows:

    Wednesday 4 April - 4PM PDT / 12AM BST
    Sunday 8 April - 1PM PDT / 9PM BST

    Yes, the weekend time slot is different. The reason for that is that I have something I'll be busy at on the Saturday (and Friday), so I've had to push it back a day to compensate.
    That, and nobody made it to Saturday last week, so I'm thinking that time slot might have to be modified. We'll see.

    As before, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
     
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    The time slots for Uno this week will be as follows:

    Wednesday 11 April - 4PM PDT / 12AM BST
    Saturday 14 April - 11AM PDT / 7PM BST

    I switched the weekend one back to Saturday, as the Sunday one had a rather poorer turnout than I'd been expecting - and Saturday seemed to do at least decently. Next week there is a chance I might have to move it back to Sunday (as I might have something going on then), but as usual, I'll say ahead of time.

    (If anyone would prefer different timeslots for either of these, let me know. I think I can do better with attendance if I find the sweet spot.)
     
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    This upcoming week I'm actually going to be rather busy, as a few things have come up at my usual times. Plus, lately I've only been getting turnouts of 3 or 4 (5 if I'm lucky).

    In light of these things, this week there will be no set UNO times. Note the emphasis on set - I don't have the time blocks sectioned off, but I'll be on Discord fairly frequently as I usually am - and even if I'm not, you can always feel free to ask peeps online if they're up for a game of UNO or two. (I'll always be up if I'm online then, so don't be shy about it. I'll probably be asking a few times as well!)

    I'm doing this to gauge interest about specific times of the day/week, and if I need to relocate the official times. Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or the like - either on Discord or in this thread.
     
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