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Moveless Chess, an imaginary interview to ourselves

In this interview we talk about Moveless Chess, our entry for last Ludum Dare (3rd place in Innovation) and the plans we have with the game.

Nico Saraintaris

June 17, 2016

2 Min Read

(This is an imaginary interview we've made to ourselves. You can play an online prototype of Moveless Chess here: http://www.movelesschess.com/)

Note: Moveless Chess was originally developed for last Ludum Dare. Theme for this edition was "shapeshifting" and Moveless Chess finished 3rd in innovation (out of more than 1.1K entries from all around the world).

Moveless ChessSo… Moveless Chess? 

Yeah. Play chess without moving your pieces. That's the motto of our game.

But if you cannot move your pieces... How do you play it? 

You transform your pieces into new ones. 

Wait. Does it mean that players could transform all their pieces into Queens for example... you know... being queen the most powerful piece in chess (at least in most cases)? 

Well... no. We love turn-based RPGs with limited actions. So we took this idea and designed an Action Point System that limits the number of transformations available for the player each level. 

Tell us more about this Action Points System of yours!

In Chess there's something called Chess Piece Relative Value System. It states that a queen has a value of 9, a rook of 5, a bishop or knight of 3 and a pawn of 1. It's used to calculate who's winning and who's not. So we've used this concept. Every turn, you make a transformation. This transformation costs APs. You have a certain amount of Action Points available every level, so you have to be clever. 

Are you designing all the levels?

Yeah. We are using some themes and concepts from famous chess matches... One of my favourites is one based on Alekhine's gun (not published yet).

You have to understand something. AI play by the book, unaware of your powers. Every time AI plans its next move, it does not consider you cheating! And this concept is key when designing the puzzles. Also, as you cannot move any piece, if AI checks your king it's game over (you cannot move nor protect your king!)

What are your plans with the game?

We are currently looking for funding/publishing. Game is going to be available on Android, iOS and web later this year. We want to make a board editor so as the community could build new puzzles. We’d also like to implement Daily Challenges. Multiplayer Mode? Why not!


Press quotes about the prototype:

“A+ for chess nerd cleverness.” ~ (Rock Paper Shotgun

"By stripping the classic game of one of its building blocks, designer and developer Nico Saraintaris teaches a very old dog some great new tricks. Meanwhile, Aikalen’s pixel art and theme add a lovely fantasy flare reminiscent of PC classics like Battle Chess." ~ (Gamezebo



Nico Saraintaris is one half of Beavl, an independent game studio from Argentina putting some teeth into videogames. You can contact him at [email protected]

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