ASCII stand for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. It's the ancestor of ISO-8859, which defines text codes for English and other western european languages today. ASCII King is a bad pun. When you pronounce it sloppily, it sounds like an expression that used to mean "really fun..." although it's purportedly not fun to be on the receiving end of one.
ASCII King exists to provide a community for players of text-based games. Play-by-web and play by e-mail are probably the most popular formats, although we'll do our best to implement BBS classics like TradeWars to the extent that they are either free or likely to become user-supported.
The purpose of the USAK
Diplomacy judge is to provide a forum
for standard games with an emphasis on maintaining availability of a
variety of playing options for a quality player pool. Even though the
physically located in Arizona, USAK is run on Pacific Time
in order to provide more variety among available judges. In keeping
with this philosophy, special emphasis is placed on maintaining a
steady supply of high demand games and games with unusual press option.
The XZNP Diplomacy Judge is for those who do not want to place their DRR and lateness records at risk, but who still wish to play fast NMR games - especially fast no press. The time zone set for this judge is UTC -1, hence the "XZ" prefix for international waters.
In order to ensure greater stability for the USAK judge and greater participation in standard games on that judge, we will be implementing a Diplomacy judge dedicated to variant play. This is especially important since some of the supported variants will be imported from USTR and are not currently available on the latest version of the judge code.
Machiavelli play is a game unto itself. As with USVJ, separating Machiavelli play from the standard game and from common variants allows games to be implemented without the risk of players accidentally signing on to play variations that they didn't intend. Furthermore, changes to the Machiavelli code do not have to be implemented on the other judges on this server, enhancing their stability.
The registration process on the judges exists to control cheats. In order for the system to be effective, registration information must be available to game masters and others so that "many eyes" have the opportunity to point out aliases and relationships.
The problem is that some players may have legitimate reasons to want to play anonymously. Players who are well known for their work in the hobby, for example, may not want to reveal their identities in games for fear that they will be targetted for the sake of bragging rights. Also, those with sensitive jobs may wish to minimize their footprint on the Internet.
One solution is to provide a more secure means of establishing identity so that it is possible for the judge keeper to ensure fair play. By establishing identity to the JK with a copy of a government issued identification, it is more difficult to perpetrate a fraud and more risky to do so. The "whois" feature of the judge, in such a case, can be disabled with full confidence that the judge keeper is able to monitor participation.
Dragon Knight is temporarily suspended.
Many play by web games have their own Bulletin Board system. It is hoped that players will still get out and visit other boards hosted on this server as they become available.
The bulk of the community features on this site will be powered by Zope. Unlike other areas of the site where priviledges must be granted in only the stingiest manner in order to protect the experience of the users, administrators are actively sought for the Zope sections of the site. We will be referring to these administrators as "sponsors" and granting privileges on a topical basis. For example, if someone wanted to use the boards for the StarTrek Sim hobby then they could become the sponsor for that section. This would involve moderating a bulletin board system, monitoring links and maintaining whatever other features are configured for that hobby.
Volunteers for this service would hasten its implementation.