This FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) document is maintained by Michelle A. Hoyle ( firstname.lastname@example.org). It is normally posted on a monthly basis to the IRC Games mailing list maintained by Eingang. Copies are also available on the Games page available at http://games.eingang.org/.
Boggle is high-speed word discovery game based on the board game by Parker Brother's. A group of players is presented with a group of letters arranged in a 4x4 matrix. The object of the game is to find as many legitimate words of length three or more in three minutes. The player with the most words at the end of the three minutes wins the game.
Big Boggle is similar to regular Boggle except it uses a 5x5 matrix and all the words must be of length 4 or greater. Big Boggle is currently only available at the Undernet site.
The scoring and questions are controlled by a 'bot, which is an independent C program designed to work on the IRC. The Boggle bot is always called BogBot or Bog for short. A player submits a word by saying Bog, <answer>. <answer> is a word you have found in the board.
There are three different places where you can indulge your need to play Boggle. One of the newest game sites is on DALnet, a set of about 30 machines networked together. DALnet, a splinter network, offers you the chance to play Risky Business in what was originally a Star Trek like environment. DALnet currently hosts about 45,000 users on about 30 different servers. You can access DALnet at viking.dal.net.
The most common location is on the group of IRC machines known collectively as the EFnet. Most client software for the IRC comes with a list of EFnet server sites to which you can connect. An example of an EFnet server site is irc.bu.edu. EFnet tends to be quite crowded, lagged, and prone to netsplits.
An alternate group of machines form a network known as the Undernet. On the Undernet, netsplits, hacked channel operator privileges, and such like are relatively uncommon due to the structure of the network. Your same client software for EFnet will also work wonderfully well for the Undernet. Some common Undernet sites are ca.undernet.org or us.undernet.org.
You're not sure which network you're on? A quick and easy way to tell is by using the /lusers command. If it comes and reports to you that there are over 30 000 users connected on 70+ servers then you're connected to the EFnet. If there are fewer than 30 000 but more than 15 000, you are likely on the Undernet. DALnet will report around 40000 users. To change servers, type /server machine_name, where machine_name is something like irc.ucdavis.edu or viking.dal.net.
You will be presented with a grid of letters, and you must form words which are at least 3 letters long, created out of adjoining letters. Letters may not be reused. Note that it is valid to move across diagonally.
As an example, in the board:
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p
The following words are valid:
In order to register your found words, simply preface the word, one per line, with the word "bog", i.e., bog mink <return> bog fink, etc. Correct words are acknowledged and incorrect words will result in a deduction of one point from your score. It is important to remember that only one person can get the points for each word. That is, only one player can score the two points for mink. Thus, it is important to type as many words as quickly as possible.
Most people prefer to play a version of Boggle that is a little more challenging, saving the three-letter words for times when they are playing alone. If you see several people on the Boggle channel, chances are that they will want to be playing with words of four or more characters each. We did introduce a 4+ version of Boggle, Big Boggle, but this only runs at one site. Until it is more widespread, please respect the wishes of the majority.
Scoring for Boggle is relatively simple. You score 1 point for each 3-letter word. For each additional letter, add one more point to your score. Thus, for example, if you find the word fab in the above matrix, you score 1 point for fab. If you find mink, you score 2 points, and so on.
Q) The board doesn't line up correctly.
A) If you're using a UNIX ircII client, make sure you type:/set continued_line + /set indent off
Note that these are the default IRC settings for ircII clients. In general, if the board is "off by a character" you can set continued_line to nothing or to + or to ++.A) If you're using a Mac or PC client, make sure that you're using a monospaced (or fixed width) font. Examples of these include Monoco (on a Mac) or Courier. These make every character take up exactly the same amount of space.
Q) I *still* can't see the board properly.
A) Try bog show long board instead.
Q) The board scrolls off the screen. What can I do?
A) If you're using a UNIX ircII client, the best solution is to use IRC windows. You need VT100 emulation to use this feature (you have VT100 if your screen has an inverse bar at the bottom of the screen above where you type). With multiple windows, you can /msg bogbot to show you the board in one window which won't scroll, while you play in the main window.
Type: /window new - create a new irc window /bind ^I next_window - That's carat-I, not control-I! Tab will now switch windows. An inverse ^^^ denotes the active window. Use tab to select the upper window. /join #boggle - Join channel in the upper window Use tab to select the lower window. /msg bogbot show board - Shows board in lower window Use tab to select upper window, play!
Type /window kill to destroy a window.
Note: These commands do not work in mIRC clients; they are for ircII clients.A)If you're using a Mac or PC client, try opening a query window to bogbot and issuing a show board or show long board command. You can then tile the windows so that the board window is always conveniently in sight.
Type: /query bogbot - to open a query window bog show long board - in the query window will send you board.
Boggle on these networks is slightly different than the other networks. The basis premise of the game remains the same but the interface is slightly changed in its input and output. The following list outlines changes made to the BogBot for these networks:
A number of commands can be issued by players to BogBot. The following list of commands should be sent via a private message to BogBot. This can be done by typing /msg BogBot cmd, where cmd is one of the following:
* help This provides the current list of commands to which BogBot will respond. This command might be disabled due to people flooding the 'bot with help requests.
* show board Sends a private message to you with a copy of the current board in play. This board is all on one line and works with IGM and 80-column text-based IRC clients.
* show long board Send a private message to you with a copy of the current board in play. This board is sent one line at a time and provides an alternative for those who don't use IGM or can't get the regular show board to work.
* show scores Displays the current points accumulated by the players for the current game.
* show top wins Will send you the list of the 10 players with the greatest number of wins. On StarLink/DALnet, this list is of the top ten high scores generated while playing with at least two people.
* show top scores Will send you the list of the 10 players with the greatest number of points in a single game. On StarLink/DALnet, this list is of the top ten high scores generated while playing with at least two people.
* show stats nickname Will send you a summary of a given user's number of wins and highest score.
* show top indy scores On DALnet/StarLink, this command shows you the top scores generated while players were playing alone.
* show top indy wins On DALnet/StarLink, this command shows you the top number of individual wins.
* show top percentages On DALnet/StarLink, this shows the ten players who have found the highest percentage of possible words while playing against other players.
* show top indy percentages On DALnet/StarLink, this shows the ten players who have found the highest percentage of possible words while playing alone.
* free channel Will remove +m, +i, +s, or +k modes in case the channel gets stuck in one of these modes.
* hard mode On DALnet/StarLink this instructs the bot to no longer accept 3-letter words as of the next game.
* easy mode On DALnet/StarLink this instructs the bot to once again accept 3-letter words as valid answers of the next game.
Channel operators are users entrusted to maintain order on the channel as well as correct errors and notify the administration in the event of errors or mishaps. If you are not on the bot op list and think that you qualify, contact the appropriate game administrator.
People are granted operator status on EFnet/Undernet by Mach (email@example.com). For StarLink/DALnet, you need to contact Eingang (firstname.lastname@example.org). Usually, operator privileges are granted to people who have played the games for awhile so that their behaviour can be evaluated.
We do not find it amusing if people are constantly asking us for operator privileges for the games. Being an operator is not just a status thing, it is also a responsibility. If you just want to be an operator because you think it is cool, please do not even bother to ask. In fact, in general, operator privileges are granted automatically to people deemed capable of assuming the responsibility for managing the channel.
We cannot stress the importance of operators behaving appropriately. With so many games running, it is impossible for the game administrators to monitor all the channels all the time. As such, we rely on the operators to enforce the rules, particularly the rules regarding language and conduct on the channel. The games are designed to be family-friendly. If you are an operator or would like to be an operator, please be sure that you are also committed to this.
If you think someone is abusing their operator privileges or perhaps using them to cheat, please feel free to contact the appropriate game administrator with details of the problem.
Thousands of people have played our games, from countries all around the world, at many different times of the day and the night. In order to make sure that everyone has a good time, we have formulated the following rules which lay out guidelines for proper behaviour from all the users of our game channels. With so many games running, it is impossible to monitor all the channels all the time. Therefore, we rely on the operators to enforce the rules, particularly the rules regarding language and conduct on the channel. The games are designed to be family-friendly, which means we do have restrictions on language and content, for the comfort and enjoyment of all.
Channel operators are users entrusted to maintain order on the channel as well as to correct errors and notify the administration in the event of errors or mishaps. If you think someone is abusing their operator privileges or perhaps using them to cheat, please feel free to contact Eingang with details of the problem.
All interactions are logged and will be monitored in the event of a complaint. Please abide by the guidelines. Repeated violations of the guidelines will likely result in a global banning from all the game channels with little or no warning. Permanent channel bans for any user are the right of the game administrators.
Finally, if you have any complaints or questions about the channel guidelines, please contact one of the channel operators first and then one of the game administrators (See the game FAQs for information on contacting game administrators). We do want the games to be enjoyable for everyone.
Problems with a question or an answer somewhere? Or perhaps a bug in BogBot? For a problem with the 'bot, try to include as much information as possible about what actually occurred before the bug and then what the bug was. Errors can also be reported online by messaging the 'bot "/note details of error or mistake."
It happens occasionally that a word is not found by the 'bot in the board. More often than not this is because of a failure in the 'bot. If you believe it is because the word is not included in the word dictionary, please send some e-mail to Eingang. Please note that proper nouns should properly be excluded from the dictionary as they are not valid for the game of Boggle.
As of June 1st, 1997, DALnet/StarLink bots feature a new dictionary. This dictionary has 105, 000 words and excludes proper names, acronyms, abbreviations, and Roman numerals. With so many words, it's unlikely that your word isn't in the dictionary.
For a problem with one of the operators or with users on the channel, please send e-mail to Eingang including the names (user@host & IRC nickname) of the participants, details of the problem, location of the problem, and any actions that have already been taken.
The Boggle games were originally developed by Mach. Mach was a Ph.D. student in computer science at the University of California at Davis. He is now working for Intel in Portland, Oregon. The DALnet/StarLink versions of Boggle were adapted from the original MachBot code by Eingang in 1997. Eingang is a Ph.D. student in computer science at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England. Mach and Eingang combined to produce some other IRC games such as Chaos, Acrophobia, and Risky Business.
More information can be obtained from their home pages. Mach's home page is located at http://members.xoom.com/Mach/. More information about Eingang can be found at http://www.eingang.org/.
Mach's e-mail address is email@example.com. Eingang's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the IRC Games Server (http://games.eingang.org/), a number of other support groups and areas are available for Boggle players and people interested in the IRC Games.
Gigi44^ has slaved over her editor and her paint programs to bring the DALnet and StarLink game players the "Ein-Gang Pages", in which you can find pictures and short paragraphs about all your favourite players. The page is located at http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Realm/1936/.
Eingang moderates an on-topic mailing list devoted to the games on her networks. Announcements of upcoming tournaments, machine problems, game upgrades, new games, etc. are sent to this list. To subscribe to the mailing list, send an e-mail to email@example.com with "SUBSCRIBE IRCGAMES your_email@address" as the subject of the message. To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with "UNSUBSCRIBE IRCGAMES your_email@address" as the subject of the message. Or use our online form.
Sker has provided us with a bang-up script to help make your game playing easier when you're using a UNIX-based IRCii client. This script simplifies play on #riskybus (and variants), #acro, #chaos, and #boggle! Check it out at http://members.xoom.com/skerzone/game4irc.html!
For Windows users, check out Dwight Duensing's IRC Game Machine (IGM), which provides an interface to all of our games. (His WWW page seems to be missing so the latest version here in .zip file format is stored here at http://games.eingang.org/Information/igm.zip.)
If you have a page or resource that should be added here, contact Eingang!