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logic gates basics

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Designing ZByte card games

zbyte playing card suits

ZByte cards have five playing elements.

The Decimal Numbers:--traditional two through ten, with the ace as a possible one.

The Binary Numbers:--four-place binary numbers that equal the above decimal numbers.

The Bit Numbers:--arbitrary binary bit value of "0" or "1" assigned to non-face cards, ace to ten.

The Suits:--three logic suits and one computer suit defined by the game.

The Jokers: --"If-Then," as defined by the game.


Most games that you design will use only one or two of these elements. For example, all traditional games use the two elements of suits and decimal numbers. All ZByte games in the game book use these two elements except for Binary Blackjack and the two Solitaire games. Binary Blackjack uses only bit numbers. Binary Solitaire uses both binary numbers and bits. And Decimal-to-Binary Solitaire uses four elements: decimal and binary numbers, bits, and suits.

The previous descriptions of the ZByte suits of AND, OR, and NOT are not the only way to view the use of these basic logic building blocks. Logicians call them gates with inputs (preconditions) and outputs (results). The inputs and outputs of these gates have only two possible values, expressed in different situations as the binary states of "1" or "0," the "presence" or "absence" of a signal, "true" or "false" logic, "yes" or "no," "active" or "inactive," or "high" or "low."

The AND gate may be defined as a gate (or card play) in which the output (result) is "true" only if all inputs (or all played cards) are "true" or match in some way, i.e., the output is a binary 1 if all inputs are 1. If one or both inputs are 0, then the output is a binary 0. Thus, the game designer can define a precondition or value for which playing an AND card with two or more similar cards causes a specific outcome.

The OR gate may be defined as a gate (or card play or card meld) in which the output (result) is "true" if one or more of its inputs (cards) is "true" (satisifies the game designer's conditions), i.e., the output is a binary 1 if one or more of its inputs has a binary value of 1.

The NOT gate has only one input. And its output is always the opposite. A "true" input has a "false" output. A "false" input has a "true" output. "1" equals "0." "0" equals "1." For the purpose of ZByte game design, you can extend this concept further to allow a play result of any value other than the card's value. For example, a Four of NOTs could be defined as "any numerical value other than four." Or, a Four of NOTs could be defined as "a Four of any suit, except NOT."

Amazingly, these three fundamental logic gates are all that are needed to design the most complex supercomputer.

The BYTE symbol has no intrinsic logical meaning--unlike AND, OR, and NOT--and, therefore, may be assigned specific roles with respect to the other three suits. Its shape is derived from first-generation computer memory cores. A computer needs memory and this is one basic function of the BYTE suit. A play involving BYTE may cause certain card elements to be frozen in value or location depending on the rules of the game. It can be considered as a storage or memory command card that completes, alters or freezes particular logical plays. In computer terminology, it functions as a "flip-flop," or a single memory address or location. It also might assume the suit or numerical value of its "connected" companion, such as in the GinBYTE Rummy game. And, in some games it might be used to define--and complete--a single computer word, which is in keeping with the definition of byte, e.g., one BYTE card defining a one-bit word, four BYTE cards, a four-bit word, etc.

Jokers

ZByte jokers can serve in new games as conditional elements or decision cards that trigger alternative plays. Thus, they are powerful, but occur rarely (since there are only two jokers in the deck!). The diamond-shaped "IF" is often expressed in computer languages, spreadsheets and database programs as the statement, "IF-THEN," i.e., IF [a specific situation occurs], THEN [the play of the joker allows an alternative action].

ZByte jokers can open up very interesting card plays, so use your imagination. Potential interaction exists between jokers, decimal numbers, binary numbers and binary bits and should be exploited by the game designer.


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