Online Help - GameColony Windows Games

Once you log in, you'll see the entry page listing the game rooms with people playing there. Click on a room (e.g., Main Hall) to play.

On top of the entry page there are the following tabs:

  • The tab "Game Rooms" allows you to view and enter game rooms
  • The tab "Buy Tickets" allows you to replenish your account
  • The tab "Manage Account" allows you to view and modify your account settings and view account statements and cash-out.
  • The tab "Ladder" allows to view Ladder competitions and make challenges
  • The tab "Tournaments" allows you to view the scheduled multi-player tournaments and to sign up to play there.
(When you access a game room, the name of that room will become an additional tab).
  • How to Start Playing -- you can play for free or play for $prizes
  • What you can do in the playing room
  • Disconnection & Reconnection
  • Firewall issues
  • How to select opponents
  • What is Ladder?
  • What are Mini-tourneys and who can play in those?
  • Arcade-style tourneys : Solitaire, FreeCell, Lines, Rush 21, Pharaoh Treasure, Poker Rush
  • Is playing [tournaments] at GameColony secure?
  • How to play Gin Rummy   Cribbage    Backgammon    Dominoes    Chess    Checkers   
    Rush 21    Solitaire    FreeCell    Lines-Collapse    Pharaoh's Treasure    Poker Rush
  • Understanding Cyber Jargon Abbreviations
  • How to start a game
  • How to join a game
  • How to watch a game
  • How to send messages
  • How to invite an opponent
  • How to ban an opponent
  • How to mute a player
  • Rating Issues
  • Timing Issues
    • Disconnection & Reconnection

      Disconnection
      GameColony has fast & underutilized servers & a direct internet backbone connection via an extremely fast full duplex lines. Depending on your location, however, there can be multiple intermediate networks that connect you to GameColony - each of them is a potential point of occasional failure. To minimize the chance of a disconnection, when you are playing avoid whenever possible to download files, receive mail, or use ICQ or other bandwidth-consuming applications. The fewer applications you are running, the better.

      If the game slowed down or stopped, you can check your connection during the game:

      (*) you can type any short message to your opponent, e.g."are you there?" and press Send button. If you do not see that message reflected in chat, then you are not connected.


      If you keep experiencing connection problems, please test your internet connection to the game room HERE.

      For detailed connection test:
      1) Click "Start", "Programs", "Accessories", "MS DOS Prompt".
      2) At C:\Windows>, type tracert 64.95.65.130 & then press enter.
      3) Any number that exceeds 200 along your connecting route is a poor connection. Consider upgrading to DSL or cable to optimize your connection. The output will show your REAL connection speed and various bottlenecks as the information packets flow through MULTIPLE networks from your location to GameColony.com. You can run this diagnostics multiple times for comparison, especially at the time the problems appear.
      Your speed may seem slower due to the slowness of the OVERALL connection (i.e. net congestion) as seen from your location. Again, this may vary with time....The rule of thumb: if at any point it will be shown in the output of the above 'tracert' command that the path from one 'hop' to the next one took more than 300 milliseconds -- you might think of changing your ISP provider...
      If you have a dial-up connection - it really belongs to the previous millenium. Please inquire whether DSL or at least cable connection is available in your area. Those are up to 100 times faster and far more reliable...

      The above connection tests do not show 'lost packets' - a frequent cause of network errors and delays. The best connectivity test can be achieved with a shareware product VisualRoute available from VisualWare.com


      Reconnection
      In the case of a temporary internet disconnection or local systems problem, GameColony provides you with the capability to reconnect to the same game. Reconnection has its limits -- your opponent will only wait for up to 5 minutes (or until your time-per-move move expires) for you to reconnect. To reconnect, re-establish your Internet connection (you may have to close/re-open your browser, re-dial your ISP, etc.).
      • While each reconnection may take at most 5 min, a maximum of 10 minutes total reconnection time is now allowed per game
      • A maximum of 7 reconnections is allowed per game
      A typical message on (1st) reconnection:
      Reconnection completed. 6 reconnections left. Time remaining for reconnections 9 min. 1 sec.

      Recommended way to reconnect:
      • Close and restart your Game Program & proceed to the same room to continue your game.

      What happens during disconnection/reconnection:
      • When the server detects that one of the players had lost connection, the remaining player will see a dialog, explaining the situation and showing the countdown (starting with 5 min). This time interval was introduced to allow the opponent to reconnect while the countdown is in progress. After the countdown reaches zero, the remaining player will have the opportunity to Abort the game OR to Take a win OR to keep waiting for opponent to reconnect.
      • There is also an additional capability to reconnect to the same game in progress in case of problems other than loss of connection (e.g. local system-related problems) - to accomplish that you can start closing the table (e.g. via the standard 'x' control in the upper right) and when the warning dialog appears select the 'reconnect' button. The above method can in most cases reload the applet and re-establish connection to the game.
      • While the game is continuing, it is even possible to fully reboot your machine and reconnect to the game. By default, you will have 3 minutes to do it unless your opponent allows you more time (by pressing 'Wait again' button)
    • What is Ladder?
      If you select a 'Ladder' option ('L'), the game will count as Ladder game.
      Ladder is a whole NEW way to compete with other players on this site.
      For Example: every 1st of the month Top 10 Ladder players receive prizes in Bonus $Tickets that can be used to win prizes in any game.
      For your Ladder you can see the results/extended ladder stats, etc. by selecting a Ladder blue button [bottommost button on the left your room listings page]
      Full Ladder rules described HERE    Back to top
    • How to start a game
      To start a game
      , you must first log in and select and enter the playing room. In the playing room, you may want to create your own table. Use 'Create table' button and choose from the various table options available. You will be in control of the table -- you can select all table options, choose time control options, etc. After the table has been created, you will have either to wait for somebody to join your table or you might want to invite others to join your table. Also, instead of creating your own table, you might want to join an existing table with a player who is waiting. Back to top
    • How to join a game
      To join a game
      , you will have to select (click and highlight) one of the available tables (from the top portion of the window) and press the 'Join Table' button. If the highlighted table already has two players, you can only select a 'Watch Table' button [if it is a $ game - watching will be disallowed]. You can also join a game just by double-clicking on a table where one player is waiting for an opponent.
      There are also tables (marked with 'X') - they are invitation-only & cannot be joined unless the owner of the table send you a personal invitation.    Back to top
    • How to watch a game
      To watch a game
      in progress, you will have to select (click and highlight) one of the available tables (from the top portion of the window) and press the 'Watch Table' button. You can also watch a game just by double-clicking on a board where 2 players are present. If just one player is present, double-clicking would result in joining this table as an opponent. Note: $ games cannot be watched.    Back to top
    • How to send messages
      To send messages
      , select (highlight) the person you want to send messages to. If you want to send message to everybody, select 'Everybody'. Type your message in the lower right corner of the window and press the 'Send' button. If you cannot see the 'Send' button, please be aware that the current board was optimized for common resolutions of 800x600 pixels or higher. Please try increasing your resolution from Control Panel/Display. You will be able to do it only if your video card and monitor can support a higher resolution.    Back to top
    • How to invite an opponent
      To invite an opponent
      , first you have to create a board (table), then select an opponent from the list in the lower left corner and press the 'Invite' button. Your opponent will receive an invitation that he/she can agree to or decline or ignore. To invite any player, select 'Invite' button without selecting any particular player. Your invitation would just be displayed in the chat area.    Back to top
    • How to ban an opponent
      To ban an opponent
      , press the 'ban' button next to your opponent. This button is available only if the board was created by you. Banning the opponent results in ejecting your opponent from the board. You can only ban an opponent if the game is not in progress. To make sure that the banned opponent does not return to your table , it is better to create a private table with the option 'on invitation only'. (Also see How to mute a player)    Back to top
    • How to mute a player
      If you find the conversations of any player unwanted or inappropriate, you can type the following command in your chat area:
      /m PlayerName

      The 'PlayerName' above is the User Name of the player in question. After this, when you press the 'Send' button, you will no longer see any chat messages form the above player.    Back to top
    • Timing Issues
      When the table is created by any player, that player will be in control of the table and will be able to select the time control or select a non-timed game. Non-timed game is listed with -T. T shown with -R denote invitation-only (restricted) games. Default time control is 5 minutes with no time increment, but any other time/increment can be set. When the time expires, the player whose time expired, loses. (Exception in chess: if there is an insufficient mating material on the board for the opponent -- the game is drawn. In chess/checkers -- the increment is the number of seconds added per each move. Games without time control are shown as: -T(x) where x is the maximum time in minutes allowed per move.    Back to top
    • Rating Issues
      The rating system follows the published official formulas of USCF (United States Chess Federation) ELO calculation. If there is a significant difference in ratings, and the higher rated person wins, ratings may not change at all. New players start with the rating of 1400. There is a special formula for the first 20 games for provisional rating calculation. Provisional players can ramp up their rating faster. If you win against a provisional player, you may not see any increase in rating.    Back to top
  • Firewall Issues
    Your computer may have a firewall (network protection shield) that may cut off the connection between the Java applet and the server. An example of such filtering program is @guard - it can block connections based on addresses or ports.
    If you access the net from work or using corporate access or some other non-open Internet provider, this provider may also be utilizing a firewall. Most firewalls have one unintended consequence: they disallow interactive games to be played between you and other live opponents on the net.

    With Java access from www.gamecolony.com you can bypass many (but not all) firewalls. Firewall bypassing, however, makes your access slower than the usual direct connection.

    Also, some firewalls cannot be bypassed and may require access adjustment: ask your system administrator to open up ports 15000-15099 for direct access to gamecolony.com via standard protocol TCP/IP.
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