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   Author  Topic: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games  (Read 489961 times)
lightvector
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #540 on: Jul 31st, 2011, 4:16pm »

on Jul 31st, 2011, 3:12pm, The_Jeh wrote:

 
You must also be careful with the word "cooperate." Two fallible players might both believe that to deviate from a cycle leads to their own loss, even if one of them actually has a forced win by doing so. In a sense, they are not trying to "cooperate," yet the game is not doing its job of judging their play. (Edit: Well, maybe it is punishing the player that could win for not seeing the win.) Presumably that is why Mark prefers hard finitude, not that I myself am attracted to it. But I know what you are trying to say by "cooperate."
 
Also, I would abstain from defining "soft finitude" in terms of "cycles." Endless shuffling is not "cyclical." Rather, I would say soft finitude exists if "a forced win exists from all reachable game positions, but from the initial position players could choose moves extending the game forever (for practical purposes)."
 
Finally, I might add that the term "soft finitude" itself does not include any hint that you are applying it only to games that are forced wins from every position. A finite game might also conclude in a draw, so you need to refer to more than just the game's finitude.

 
Yes, I agree, I dislike the ambiguity in the word 'cooperate' as well, which is why I worded my original post only in terms of optimal play ("forced wins"). If there is a weaker interpretation of 'cooperate' that still works, it would be interesting. But it would almost have to include the case where both players really do believe that continuing the cycle is best, because otherwise, every deterministic game with any reachable cycle fails the definition of "soft finitude", making it less interesting of a definition than the version I gave.
 
I also agree that there are issues with what different rules may or may not define to be draws, which is why I again focused on just the issue of endless repetition, which is frequently (but not always) considered to be a draw in games where it is possible.
 
I'm a mathematician, so to me, endless shuffling is cyclical. It's just that the cycles are very very long.  Wink
 
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The_Jeh
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #541 on: Jul 31st, 2011, 4:41pm »

on Jul 31st, 2011, 4:16pm, lightvector wrote:

 
I'm a mathematician, so to me, endless shuffling is cyclical. It's just that the cycles are very very long.  Wink
 

 
I'm (going to be) a mathematician, too.
 
Of course you're right about the endless shuffling being a cycle. On the other hand, for practical purposes, cycling every trillionth move is not the same as doing so in a humanly reasonable way.  
 
That is, it feels right to say Arimaa is softly finite. But there are two problems. First, cycling endlessly is technically disallowed, as you mentioned. However, players can cooperate to create extremely long cycles that we term "shuffling." So, you're right, it's still a cycle, but it doesn't feel like one. Pragmatically, the repetition rule only disallows relatively short cycles.
 
If we admit that Arimaa is effectively "cyclic" because of shuffling, there is still another problem with calling it soft finite.  There is one known position where shuffling is optimal play: rabbits on the 4th and 5th ranks blocking each other. But it still seems wrong to take away its soft finitude status because of one exotic position that is trivially avoided. That takes us back to your optimal play considerations.
 
Of course, in the case of Arimaa, any hard definition of soft finitude is hard to attach to it with proof. I don't know if there's a way to reconcile what I would subjectively consider "soft finite" with an objective definition.
« Last Edit: Jul 31st, 2011, 4:47pm by The_Jeh » IP Logged
MarkSteere
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #542 on: Jul 31st, 2011, 4:46pm »

on Jul 31st, 2011, 3:38pm, christianF wrote:

spirit
... 
spirit
...
spirit
...
spirit
...
spirits

Cage captures my spirit.  I took the ubiquitous Checkers jump and built a minimal rule set around it.  Cage is a game of jumps, my way. 
 
Cage is also a game of assured annihilation.  No secondary, horse manure object of being the last to move in an impasse is needed in a well architected game such as Cage.  Does Cage capture the spirit of Checkers?  I certainly hope not. 
 
Compulsory capture is a game tree shrinking, unpleasant necessity in Checkers.  There'd be rampant impasses without it.  Non compulsory capture allows a larger, richer game tree.  Christian Freeling has confused the utilitarian compulsory capture rule for a hallmark of "spirit". 
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #543 on: Jul 31st, 2011, 4:53pm »

on Jul 31st, 2011, 3:12pm, The_Jeh wrote:
Also, I would abstain from defining "soft finitude" in terms of "cycles."
...
Finally, I might add that the term "soft finitude" itself does not include any hint that you are applying it only to games that are forced wins from every position. A finite game might also conclude in a draw, so you need to refer to more than just the game's finitude.
Cycles can occur in soft finite as well as non-finite games, so yes, I would abstain too.
Havannah and Sygo are examples of hard finite games that can end in a draw, but the definition doesn't contadict that in any way.
 
Jump Sturdy happens to be a clear example of what I consider a soft finite game, and I could give many more (but in full awareness that examples do not validate a definition, I'll give just one).
 
Jump Sturdy is a race game in the Breakthrough and Murus Gallicus tradition, that is you meet, eliminate a couple of opponents left and right and wait for the slaughter to allow you to try for the back row.
Eventually you may be down to one-on-one. If not, then someone must have made it.
The two remaining pieces may move sideways, but one of them has a win and it is never difficult to establish who that is.
The only way to reach a draw is if both refuse to move forwards. That's non-sensical, but legal (as so many things).
 
That's what brought me to the definition, and if there's a more practical and better one I'll gladly accept it. It's not that my life depends on it Wink .
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #544 on: Jul 31st, 2011, 5:01pm »

on Jul 31st, 2011, 4:46pm, MarkSteere wrote:
Non compulsory capture allows a larger, richer game tree.
Not to mention a far more boring one.
 
The spirit of Draughts?
Here's the spirit of Draughts, and only one of its many faces.
 
Can you give one face of the spirit of Cage? (it suddenly seems fitting by the way, I've always liked the name).
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #545 on: Jul 31st, 2011, 5:26pm »

on Jul 31st, 2011, 5:01pm, christianF wrote:

Can you give one face of the spirit of Cage?

It's a tactical, combinatorial style game - not everyone's cup of tea, not even particularly mine. 
 
on Jul 31st, 2011, 5:01pm, christianF wrote:

 (it suddenly seems fitting by the way, I've always liked the name).

Among the hundreds of Draughts variants, Cage is the only true game of annihilation.  The gulf between us wouldn't be so vast if you had an appreciation of architecture. 
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christianF
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #546 on: Aug 1st, 2011, 2:40am »

on Jul 31st, 2011, 5:26pm, MarkSteere wrote:
It's a tactical, combinatorial style game - not everyone's cup of tea, not even particularly mine.
I showed you a 10x10 Draughts combination and here are 32 more. Certainly you can give one example in Cage (being a tactical, combinatorial style game).  
 
on Jul 31st, 2011, 5:26pm, MarkSteere wrote:
Among the hundreds of Draughts variants, Cage is the only true game of annihilation. The gulf between us wouldn't be so vast if you had an appreciation of architecture.
We appreciate architecture in a different way I feel. In my view a building should not only be admirable, but also (if not first and foremost) inhabitable. In that light the name Cage is well chosen.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #547 on: Aug 1st, 2011, 8:14am »

on Aug 1st, 2011, 2:40am, christianF wrote:

I showed you a 10x10 Draughts combination and here are 32 more. 

Wow!  I think you've earned youself an ice cream cone, Christian. 
 
on Aug 1st, 2011, 2:40am, christianF wrote:

Certainly you can give one example in Cage (being a tactical, combinatorial style game). 

Yes, I'm sure I could, if I were so inclined. 
 
on Aug 1st, 2011, 2:40am, christianF wrote:

We appreciate architecture in a different way I feel.

lol, You don't know the meaning of the word. 
 
on Aug 1st, 2011, 2:40am, christianF wrote:

In my view a building should not only be admirable, but also (if not first and foremost) inhabitable. 

Of course.  Like Turkey Grabber.  I don't know how one "inhabits" a grabbed turkey, Christian, but...
maybe I'm better off not knowing. 
 
on Aug 1st, 2011, 2:40am, christianF wrote:

In that light the name Cage is well chosen.

Cage wasn't designed to be "inhabitable", Christian.  It was designed to be a bloody game of annihilation. 
 
How many (true) games of annihilation do you have, Christian? Surely you can name one.  Or is that above your architectural pay grade?
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #548 on: Aug 1st, 2011, 9:54am »

on Aug 1st, 2011, 8:14am, MarkSteere wrote:

Wow! I think you've earned youself an ice cream cone, Christian.
Why should I? You either haven't looked or are incapable of admiration for the game that makes these combinations possible and the problemists who created them.
 
on Aug 1st, 2011, 8:14am, MarkSteere wrote:

Yes, I'm sure I could [give an example of a Cage combination] if I were so inclined.

Ah, yes.
But no, you can't, because the fierce beauty of the best Draughts combinations relies on (but not only on) compulsory capture. A Cage combination would have all the hallmarks of a sliding puzzle. Neat maybe, but hardly beautiful.
 
on Aug 1st, 2011, 8:14am, MarkSteere wrote:
You don't know the meaning of the word [architecture].
Actually you're right.
 
on Aug 1st, 2011, 8:14am, MarkSteere wrote:
Cage wasn't designed to be "inhabitable", Christian. It was designed to be a bloody game of annihilation. 
 
How many (true) games of annihilation do you have, Christian? Surely you can name one. Or is that above your architectural pay grade?
By your standards none, but then I design by different standards which for you automatically translates in inferiour standards. Not that I find your standards inferiour, far from that. It's a matter of emphasis.
 
Take hard finitude versus soft finitude for instance. I'm not inclined to force players to a hard wired finish if sensible play from at least one side leads to a finish.
 
Taking that into consideration, Trounce is a game of annihilation. Requiring a hard wired finish would do little more than add a possibly complicated rule to resolve a non-issue.
 
The point being that insisting on what you consider "pure", i.e. no draws and hard finitude, may actually mar a game.
You're a victim of dogma. It makes things simple. Just follow the rules and the game will have 'great architecture'.
« Last Edit: Aug 1st, 2011, 1:42pm by christianF » IP Logged
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #549 on: Aug 1st, 2011, 4:34pm »

on Aug 1st, 2011, 9:54am, christianF wrote:

Just follow the rules and the game will have 'great architecture'.

If it were that simple, anyone could do it.  Even you. 
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #550 on: Aug 1st, 2011, 4:48pm »

on Aug 1st, 2011, 4:34pm, MarkSteere wrote:

If it were that simple, anyone could do it. Even you.
Actually that's true, though most people don't have the ambition and for good reasons. First of all it takes time, even for you. And there's not much to gain, really, it's a labor of love. On our homepage you can find this advice: "If you want to make a small fortune with abstract games, you'd better start with a large one."
 
Despite that, there are a lot of good inventors, and you're merely one of them. If you're in any way special it would be because you hold your criteria above all other criteria, not because your games are better. You're satisfied with what you consider 'good architecture'.
 
Never mind the game.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #551 on: Aug 1st, 2011, 5:00pm »

on Aug 1st, 2011, 4:48pm, christianF wrote:

If you're in any way special...

In a way I feel bad.  Here you are, striving for equality.  And here I am, knowing that isn't possible. 
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #552 on: Aug 1st, 2011, 5:42pm »

on Aug 1st, 2011, 5:00pm, MarkSteere wrote:

In a way I feel bad. Here you are, striving for equality. And here I am, knowing that isn't possible.
Your interpretation is uniquely, if not predictably, 'Steere'.
What about writers? musicians? artists? Loads of good ones. How many would 'strive for equality'? A 'competition' between inventors is your personal hang-up, courtesy of your deeprooted feelings of superiority.
 
Thank you for considering me, but no thanks. Feel free to be as superior as you like.
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #553 on: Aug 3rd, 2011, 4:08pm »

on Jul 2nd, 2011, 3:46am, christianF wrote:

Oust, Flume, Atoll, Fractal maybe, all excellent games.

Thank you.  And not "maybe" for Fractal.  Fractal was engineered to be awesome, and it is.  It's a crime that Fractal isn't programmed anywhere.
 
on Jul 2nd, 2011, 3:46am, christianF wrote:

I'm not saying your approach doesn't coincide with a good game, every now and then.

That's a lot of "now and then", lol
 
on Jul 2nd, 2011, 3:46am, christianF wrote:

But then, Monkey Queen? I feel something isn't quite right.

It bothers you that I invented it.
 
on Jul 2nd, 2011, 3:46am, christianF wrote:

Cage? I think something is definitely wrong.

For an unpretentious, combinatorial style, finite decisive game, the only thing that really could be wrong with Cage would be turn order advantage, and there doesn't seem to be an issue with that.
 
on Jul 2nd, 2011, 3:46am, christianF wrote:

Rive? Well to keep it in Harry Potter terms, liquid boredom.

Sorry you had an unpleasant experience with Rive, Christian.  In my case, Rive has turned out to be just about my favorite game.  I play it every day on the turn based game site GamesByEmail.  I always make my Rive moves first, and then time permitting, I make my moves in Oust, Atoll, and a variety of other MSG games which are also programmed at GBE.
 
on Jul 2nd, 2011, 3:46am, christianF wrote:

(great architecture though Wink )

Yes, Rive does have great architecture.  No "though Wink" required.
 
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Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #554 on: Aug 3rd, 2011, 10:13pm »

on Aug 3rd, 2011, 4:08pm, MarkSteere wrote:

Fractal was engineered to be awesome, and it is.  

One example of outstanding architecture translating directly to outstanding gameplay.
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