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   Author  Topic: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games  (Read 489943 times)
christianF
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #420 on: May 30th, 2011, 6:10am »

on May 29th, 2011, 7:08pm, MarkSteere wrote:

The Arimaa forum bears no responsibility for disproving your unintelligible, outlandish claims. I don't even know what you're claiming at this point. I only know it's outlandish, whatever it is.
Don't bother, it's something about a balancing mechanism.
Quote:
Mark Steere:
Btw, I believe that Symple has a sophisticated balancing mechanism.  
But that fact alone does not rocket Symple to dizzying heights for me.
You believe? Huh
 
on May 29th, 2011, 7:08pm, MarkSteere wrote:
Meaning what??
To restate the obvious: it means that the move protocol and its balancing mechanism will in a hypothetical world with a large player base have these games naturally and inevitably converge to a 50/50 win/lose overall score at the highest level of play.  
 
on May 29th, 2011, 7:08pm, MarkSteere wrote:
For any given board size, Sygo is a win for Player 1 or Player 2.  The more skilled players become, the more move order advantage there will be at that given board size.  Sygo is no different from Checkers in this regard.
Regarding the first: you demonstrate common knowledge.
Regarding the second: You're wrong. The convergence takes place regardless of the "truth" that is locked in the gametree. But please keep trying not to understand if that makes you feel better.
Regarding the third: Ask Jonathan Schaeffer or compare branch density. Or try to make English of this:
Quote:
Finite and drawless - so who has the advantage?
Symple is a finite abstract perfect-information zero-sum game and as such completely determined. That means that the truth - in this case a white win or a black win - is locked in the gametree. To determine which of the two it is, it might as well be locked in a black hole.
Symple's branch density is unreal. Say at some stage both players have twelve groups and each group has eight growing points. Then the first player has 8^12 growing options followed by 8^12 by his opponent and we're one move onwards.
 
So there's not much to prove. Hex, without the pie rule, is a proven win for the first player. Checkers is a proven draw. In Chess you can't prove anything, but the arguments that white has an 'advantage' are questioned by few. Few, too, doubt that Draughts is a determined draw, although it is not proven.
What makes Symple different is that you can't even argue one way or the other, because the sliding principle of black's prerogative converges to a balancing point in terms of black's taking it or white's preventing it, regardless of the truth hidden in the gametree.
 
About Symple
 
P.S. "The one thing I find missing", I said in a previous post, "is someone pointing out what is wrong with the balancing mechanism. The 'let's look at this from white's/black's point of view' part."
And I still find it missing. Please have a shot at it.
« Last Edit: May 30th, 2011, 10:15am by christianF » IP Logged
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #421 on: May 30th, 2011, 10:28am »

on May 30th, 2011, 6:10am, christianF wrote:

Mark Steere: "Btw, I believe that Symple has a sophisticated balancing mechanism."
 
You believe? Huh

In the sense of giving you the benefit of the doubt while having no idea what you're talking about, yes.  As I said yesterday, I threw you a bone in rec.games.abstract in a foolish attempt to appease the latest flare-up in your months long Symple tantrum there (which has now merged into your Sygo tantrum here).  
 
Christian Freeling's tantrum flare-up in rec.games.abstract: "Since you apparently have a need to criticize everything I do, and to make everything I say suspect, I'll refrain from participating in any contest if you are." . . . "Your particularly ignorant comments on Grabber and Symple show a different attitude."
 
on May 30th, 2011, 6:10am, christianF wrote:

Hex, without the pie rule, is a proven win for the first player. . . . What makes Symple different is that you can't even argue one way or the other, because the sliding principle of black's prerogative converges to a balancing point in terms of black's taking it or white's preventing it, regardless of the truth hidden in the gametree.

What a stupendous crock.  Consider my "belief" in anything relating to Sygo rescinded.
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christianF
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #422 on: May 30th, 2011, 12:03pm »

on May 30th, 2011, 10:28am, MarkSteere wrote:
What a stupendous crock.  Consider my "belief" in anything relating to Sygo rescinded.
Taking note of the quality of your argument I sincerely hope so.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #423 on: May 30th, 2011, 4:57pm »

on May 30th, 2011, 6:10am, christianF wrote:

To restate the obvious: [Sygo's] move protocol and its balancing mechanism will in a hypothetical world with a large player base have these games naturally and inevitably converge to a 50/50 win/lose overall score at the highest level of play.

Baloney.  You claim Sygo is scalable.  So play Sygo on a tiny board and watch how quickly play diverges from "a 50/50 win/lose overall score at the highest level of play."  You ducked the exact same argument in the exact same debate in rec.games.abstract.  Where will we find you next?  Iago?? lol
 
Board size, skill level, and move order advantage are related quantities.  Using my own Hex Oust as an example, there might be a slight statistical advantage in moving first at the current board size of 7.  At Game Site X, Hex Oust win/loss/draw = 349/328/9, and most of those games were size 7.  If move order advantage ever does become an issue in Hex Oust, we can bump the board up to the significantly larger size 8, which should totally clear up move order advantage for years of advancing skill.
 
There's a trade-off between game length and move order advantage.  A couple of points of move order advantage may be deemed tolerable when faced with moving up to a larger, longer-playing board.  There's certainly no call to increase the board size every time a half point of statistical advantage is suspected.
 
Games are governed by laws - laws which haven't been even slightly perturbed by Sygo.
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christianF
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #424 on: May 30th, 2011, 5:37pm »

on May 30th, 2011, 4:57pm, MarkSteere wrote:
Games are governed by laws - laws which haven't been even slightly perturbed by Sygo.
A good summary of your arguments. Nothing beyond common knowledge and nothing I wouldn't acknowledge right away.
The short answer would boil down to repeating that you've not addressed the question: what is wrong with the reasoning in the "Countering a-symmetry with a-symmetry" paragraph in About Symple, in particular the white's/black's point of view part? (assuming that you understand the move protocol of course)
 
Is that so hard a question (for anyone)?  
And if the reasoning is right, what would then be the conclusion?
 
A long answer might attempt to show which presumptions lead you to draw a wrong conclusion from factual correctness. But that may take more than a paragraph. Consider it written, but let's give it some time lest the thread gets overheated.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #425 on: May 30th, 2011, 8:27pm »

I haven't been following this recent discussion very closely, so I have nothing to contribute.
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christianF
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #426 on: Jun 1st, 2011, 10:41am »

Before I go to the matter at hand, a summary of the context may be in place.
 
- Omar started this thread and whatever happens with it is his call alone. I'm grateful he did and I hope the views expressed in it will be interesting enough to justify its existence. If you can find nothing of interest, just move on, it's a thread, not a threat.
 
- Since it's an off topic thread please note that I feel the host game is a great game. Most readers will know by now that I consider J. Mark Thompson's Defining the Abstract an excellent quick reference of what makes a great game, and Arimaa certainly meets all criteria mentioned in the article. Personally I find "AI-resistence" a great plus, nowadays, and Arimaa as far as I know still has a good score in that field too. Nevertheless I don't actually play it. Consider this: I don't play Grand Chess either. I'm not going to invest a large effort to get from bad to mediocre (and failing at even that, most likely).
 
- The thread was initiated because of How I invented games and why not, which was supposed to wrap up my work and explain how it came to be. My claim to be able to predict the behaviour of certain games from the rules was shown certainly not to extend to all abstract games, as could have been predicted without the gift of prophecy.
On the other end of the spectrum are games the behaviour of which can be predicted by anyone. Not necessarily in terms of strategy, but in terms of the general nature of the fight, the outcome, and the possible problems regarding move order advantage. Take Hex or Dan Troyka's Breakthrough.
The conclusion must therefore be that my claim wasn't all that special. Yet it's a slippery slope and two of my respected critics have recently voiced comments regarding the subject:
on May 29th, 2011, 1:18pm, Fritzlein wrote:
Part of the reason a fight about games that aren't Arimaa is taking place in the Arimaa forum is that there is no good place for it to happen.  Here we have civil, active, high-quality discussions.  Is there another abstract games forum that beats us on all these counts?  I know the Arimaa forum doesn't seem like much in larger scheme of things, but it is special for its niche.
 
My promotion of Arimaa has evolved over time in that I have become less eager to trumpet what is wrong with its classical competitors such as chess and shogi.  Also I have tried to become more frank that the virtues of Arimaa are contingent, and may evaporate under further scrutiny.  Arimaa appears drawless, balanced, infinitely deep, computer-resistant, dramatic, generative of distinctive playing styles that all may succeed, etc.  But every single one of these virtures may prove false in the long run.
Then again, they may not, and I wholeheartedly hope so. But my 'powers of prediction' don't extend that far.
 
The other one is from Rozencrantz at recregamescombinatorial@googlegroups.com. It was send to me by Benedikt Rosenau.
The subject matter was posted by Joćo Pedro Neto:
Quote:
How can we use the terms natural/artificial for games, in general?
 
One way to look at this is to relate naturalness to simplicity. Simple games like Hex, Tic Tac Toe or, perhaps, Go, seem almost like discoveries, rather than inventions. But the fact that Hex was only "discovered" in the 1940s does give us pause to ponder.
.....
A third way to try to make sense of this separation between natural and artificial, is to look into the game's history.
 
Games like Chess, Go, Mancala and Checkers have evolved through centuries, absorbing gaming experience into their progressive adaptable rules. As in biological natural selection, these games are more like species, with their life trees, their historical compromises, their multiple branches (cultural instead of biological).
Highlighting by me.
 
To which Rozencrantz replied:
Quote:
This [third way] is the only one that makes sense to me. In my mind all games are artificial, because they are made, but if an argument is to be made that one is more natural than another, one that has formed through accretions and incremental changes has a better claim than one that springs fully formed from the head of Christian Freeling.

Different opinions on the same subject. Fritzlein treads thoughtfully and carefully. Considering that it took the drawmargin of International Draughts about a century to manifest itself as problematic, this seems a wise approach. Joćo noticed what I've said all these years, some games are discoveries rather than designs, and Rozencrantz takes a considered sceptical view regarding 'discoveries'. Hex is such a discovery and for that very reason sprang identically from two different minds. Havannah, though more a lucky design than a discovery, also came fully formed. So did Reversi, Oust, Breakthrough and LOA to name a few more - how is time supposed 'shape' these games, one wonders.
 
[edit]Even Checkers complies. Sure, variants have been formed over the ages. As it happens Benedikt Rosenau and yours truly recently published On the Evolution of Draughts Variants on that very subject. But, barring balloted openings, Checkers itself didn't change. You really can't go anywhere else on a diagonal grid with a short range king.[/edit]
 
Yet generally speaking Rozencrantz has a point of course. Games made by design have a good chance to be altered by design.
 
- Regular readers know the "wrap it up" part was premature. I unexpectedly came up with a bunch of games in the context of a design contest. Symple and Sygo are of special interest in the above context, because one is by discovery and one by design. Both of them have predictable behaviour in the same sense that Hex or Breakthrough have it. I claim no more that that they are interesting, not in the last place because of a new move protocol and an additional high resolution pie-principle that does not depend on the relative merits of one opening move or another.
 
- I'm 64, with an unobstructed view of Mount Doom. Every time I light a joint I feel the Eye of Mordor swaying may way - it didn't find me yet though Smiley What I'm saying is: I really don't care too much about the future. I present my work at mindsports and discuss it ... well, here, actually. I love to care for my animals, enjoy life, and certainly feel no part of any 'game designers contest'. I entered one, true, but I hadn't anticipated that it would be like Hotel California.
I feel compelled however to answer to misrepresentation of my words or work, although without much pleasure.
 
So my next post will address the issue of Symple's balancing mechanism and maybe get some insight into why a simple question - what's wrong with my reasoning regarding it - is so elaborately ignored Wink .
« Last Edit: Jun 2nd, 2011, 1:51am by christianF » IP Logged
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #427 on: Jun 1st, 2011, 12:21pm »

on Jun 1st, 2011, 10:41am, christianF wrote:
...The conclusion must therefore be that my claim wasn't all that special...

 
Sid Sackson made a similar claim.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #428 on: Jun 1st, 2011, 4:12pm »

Do Not Feed The Troll
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christianF
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #429 on: Jun 1st, 2011, 4:31pm »

on Jun 1st, 2011, 4:12pm, SpeedRazor wrote:
Do Not Feed The Troll
SpeedRazor, assuming you mean me, is that a fair comment? Did I offend you in any way, or discuss anything off topic?
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #430 on: Jun 2nd, 2011, 12:56am »

on Jun 1st, 2011, 4:31pm, christianF wrote:

SpeedRazor, assuming you mean me, is that a fair comment? Did I offend you in any way, or discuss anything off topic?

Maybe he's just telling you not to feed "the troll."  Wink
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #431 on: Jun 2nd, 2011, 2:35am »

on Jun 1st, 2011, 10:41am, christianF wrote:

I'm 64, with an unobstructed view of Mount Doom. Every time I light a joint I feel the Eye of Mordor swaying may way

It's been nearly a month since you last reminded us of your impending "doom".  You must be a real barrel of monkeys at home.    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
 
on Jun 1st, 2011, 10:41am, christianF wrote:

[I] certainly feel no part of any 'game designers contest'.

Why, because you lost?
 
on Jun 1st, 2011, 10:41am, christianF wrote:

I entered one, true, but I hadn't anticipated that it would be like Hotel California.

You got out of it about what you put into it.
 
on Jun 1st, 2011, 10:41am, christianF wrote:

I feel compelled however to answer to misrepresentation of my words or work, although without much pleasure.

What got so misrepresented?
 
on Jun 1st, 2011, 10:41am, christianF wrote:
a simple question - what's wrong with my reasoning regarding it - is so elaborately ignored Wink .

Yes, the bizarre question about your presumed faulty reasoning.  I can't say I would be shocked beyond belief if there was something wrong...
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #432 on: Jun 2nd, 2011, 2:41am »

on Jun 2nd, 2011, 12:56am, megajester wrote:

Maybe he's just telling you not to feed "the troll."  Wink

Trolls are people too.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #433 on: Jun 2nd, 2011, 3:37am »

on Jun 2nd, 2011, 2:41am, MarkSteere wrote:

Trolls are people too.

So are drug addicts, but that doesn't make you want to hug them and pet them and squeeze them and call them George now, does it? It makes you want to send them to rehab.
 
But point taken, I will try to be nice to trolls in future.
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christianF
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #434 on: Jun 2nd, 2011, 7:38am »

on Jun 2nd, 2011, 3:37am, megajester wrote:

So are drug addicts, but that doesn't make you want to hug them and pet them and squeeze them and call them George now, does it? It makes you want to send them to rehab.
The Netherlands have a rather curious legal system that allows one to buy small quantities of pot in so called "coffeeshops". How the coffeeshops get the big quantities they need to provide the small ones, is considered a mystery not worth inquiring into too emphatically (except by the tax authorities).
The use of pot is very common here, and not considered a big deal. Only recently has driving under the influence been declared an offence - in fact since there's a quick test available.
« Last Edit: Jun 2nd, 2011, 7:59am by christianF » IP Logged
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