Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register.
Nov 27th, 2022, 6:53pm

Home Home Help Help Search Search Members Members Login Login Register Register
Arimaa Forum « Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games »


   Arimaa Forum
   Arimaa
   Off Topic Discussion
(Moderators: christianF, supersamu)
   Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Previous topic | Next topic »
Pages: 1 ... 75 76 77 78  Notify of replies Notify of replies Send Topic Send Topic Print Print
   Author  Topic: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games  (Read 489841 times)
christianF
Forum Moderator
Forum Guru
*****



Arimaa player #4019

   


Gender: male
Posts: 804
Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #1140 on: Feb 10th, 2013, 2:38pm »

on Feb 10th, 2013, 12:49pm, Luis Bolaños wrote:
It's a very interesting protocol and definitely an improvement on the one you had originally used in Triccs. I agree that it would make for a nice Ayu variant as well.
 
The protocol even works as a combinatorial game all by itself, but obviously an opaque and boring one.  Smiley

 
Yes, who gets the first 'second phase' move. Its only interest lies in the game that follows.
IP Logged
christianF
Forum Moderator
Forum Guru
*****



Arimaa player #4019

   


Gender: male
Posts: 804
Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #1141 on: Feb 12th, 2013, 2:20pm »

on Feb 10th, 2013, 9:00am, christianF wrote:
Eventually something may turn up to that is more deserving of it.

This one for instance:
 
Argon
 
Note that the game doesn't prevent cooperative cycles. If two players want to aimlessly move to and fro, that's fine with me. But are there forced cycles possible? I'm not sure.
 
Coincidentally the game not only ends its first phase with an initial position wherein the number of stones of both players is equal, something like this, ...

... but it retains this property throughout the rest of the game.
 
I'm fairly curious about this one, and an applet doesn't seem to be the most difficult thing in the world, considering what Ed has implemented so far, so I got good hopes that we'll soon be able to give it a shot.
IP Logged
christianF
Forum Moderator
Forum Guru
*****



Arimaa player #4019

   


Gender: male
Posts: 804
Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #1142 on: Feb 13th, 2013, 10:59am »

After smoothing out the Triccs opening protocol to "one sticking, one free" it occured to me that this modification probably pushes the square version to the front, so now we have Triccs and Hextriccs rather than Triccs and square Triccs, with only the hexversion having an applet.
 
Appletwise, Rotary was in the pipeline, but I've listed both Multiplicity and Argon in the Pit and I hope to see applets for them soon. Together with Scware they make up this season's harvest. I might skip a season or I might not, who knows, but for now I'll call it quits. Spring is in the air, albeit not abundantly yet.
IP Logged
christianF
Forum Moderator
Forum Guru
*****



Arimaa player #4019

   


Gender: male
Posts: 804
Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #1143 on: Feb 15th, 2013, 11:35am »

on Feb 13th, 2013, 10:59am, christianF wrote:
After smoothing out the Triccs opening protocol to "one sticking, one free" it occured to me that this modification probably pushes the square version to the front, ...

Actually it doesn't. The protocol allows very compact placement on a square board till the "free placement" requirement kicks in. This is because only orthogonal adjacencies count - it allows players, if they would choose so, to each stay on their 'own' diagonal grid for a long time. The hexgrid has three diagonal subgrids and doesn't allow a similar compact placement.
 
Argon has mechanics that are not susceptible to variations in compactness and should be playable on the square as well as the hexgrid. But but using the same opening protocol in a square version of Triccs could lead to a too densely packed board at the start of the second phase to be interesting in the short number of moves that would remain.
So I've abandoned the idea.
IP Logged
christianF
Forum Moderator
Forum Guru
*****



Arimaa player #4019

   


Gender: male
Posts: 804
Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #1144 on: Feb 15th, 2013, 3:13pm »

The reasoning that led to the conclusion that the square grid wasn't very well suited for Triccs showed up in reflections about another game. Ever heard the Shogi proverb "If you find a good move look for a better one"? That's good advice and far from limited to Shogi.  
 
Argon, for instance,  still has to show its worth as a dynamic connection game. A hexversion clearly would need a specification as to what a move does if it meets the edge. Reflecting off it isn't in line with the square game, and an acute angle seems unnatural, so proceeding along the edge at an obtuse angle is the most obvious rule, but it is an extra specification as well as an extra limitation (if compared to the square game), so I don't yet know if it is worth it. Surely there must be a hexversion of LOA, but I've never seen it.  
 
But it didn't prevent looking at a hexposition such as would result from the "one sticking, one free" opening protocol ...
 

 
... and then I saw the contours of a new game, obviously inspired by Ayu, but regulated not by the "nearest neighbor" requirement, but by the requirement not to increase the number of one's groups. Since in Ayu this is an inherent property it obviously has a different mechanism of movement, not based on the groups themselves, but on individual stones.
 
The possible "density" of the positions resulting from the protocol on a square board interacts unfavorably with this mechanism. That's why I ruled out a square board fairly quickly. That in turn made me reconsider the square version of Triccs, only to find the same drawback.  
 
But Inertia may be interesting enough, although I can see problems arising from forced cycles. So let's call it provisional in the sure knowledge that time will tell (not to mention the Church Grin ).
« Last Edit: Feb 16th, 2013, 3:57am by christianF » IP Logged
christianF
Forum Moderator
Forum Guru
*****



Arimaa player #4019

   


Gender: male
Posts: 804
Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #1145 on: Feb 16th, 2013, 7:12am »

A good night's sleep removed a few wrinkles in the phrasing of the rules. Actually I had been overregulating what was already being regulated by the rule that forbids a player to increase the number his groups, as a result of his move. So it comes down to:
  • If a player's move results in an increase of the number of his groups, then the move is illegal. All move options are subject to this restriction. All moves are straight only and must end on a vacant cell. Stones of inert groups may not move.
  • A stone may move over any number of subsequent like colored stones, including zero, and proceed over any number of vacant cells.
An inert group is a group that has no open path to any other like colored group. Under these conditions a stone cannot leave its group if doing so splits the group (unless the moved stone connects at least two groups when it lands). If it leaves without splitting it, it must hook up with another group (or the number of groups would increase). Only a single stone can move more or less freely, at least until it hooks up. But a single stone is an unlikely candidate to prevent the opponent from getting nearer to its goal, nor does it help the player himself to get nearer to his goal.
 
So I can see cooperative cycles, but they don't bother me (for one, you don't need a game to aimlessly move stuff to and fro, anything will do, use your imagination!). But I haven't yet found an example of a forced cycle. I'm not ruling out stupidity on my part and I'd appreciate it if someone could find an example.
« Last Edit: Feb 16th, 2013, 7:24am by christianF » IP Logged
Luis Bolaños
Forum Junior Member
**



Arimaa player #3226

   


Gender: male
Posts: 8
Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #1146 on: Feb 16th, 2013, 9:07am »

on Feb 16th, 2013, 7:12am, christianF wrote:
I'd appreciate it if someone could find an example.

Barring a misunderstanding of the rules, this position should result in a forced cycle:
 
o o .  
x x .  
o o .  
x x .

 
I think this kind of draw patterns will be very common, and possibly more so than they would be in Ayu without the distance rule. For example, this particular position isn't a draw in the latter.
 
EDIT: This is only a proof of concept. It's a square board, but it shouldn't be difficult to find similar examples on a hex board.
« Last Edit: Feb 16th, 2013, 9:11am by Luis Bolaños » IP Logged
christianF
Forum Moderator
Forum Guru
*****



Arimaa player #4019

   


Gender: male
Posts: 804
Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #1147 on: Feb 16th, 2013, 9:13am »

on Feb 16th, 2013, 9:07am, Luis Bolaños wrote:
Barring a misunderstanding of the rules, this position should result in a forced cycle:
 
o o .  
x x .  
o o .  
x x .

 
I think this kind of draw patterns will be very common, and possibly more so than they would be in Ayu without the distance rule. For example, this particular position isn't a draw in the latter.

If I understand correctly you draw two goups each, and the players can only move to and fro (leapfrogging). That's a forced cycle all right, but it is drawn on a 3x4 square board. I had already reached the conclusion that the game mechanics are on unfavorable terms with a square board. Can you provide coordinates for an example on the above board?
« Last Edit: Feb 16th, 2013, 9:15am by christianF » IP Logged
Luis Bolaños
Forum Junior Member
**



Arimaa player #3226

   


Gender: male
Posts: 8
Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #1148 on: Feb 16th, 2013, 9:29am »

on Feb 16th, 2013, 9:13am, christianF wrote:

If I understand correctly you draw two goups each, and the players can only move to and fro (leapfrogging). That's a forced cycle all right, but it is drawn on a 3x4 square board. I had already reached the conclusion that the game mechanics are on unfavorable terms with a square board. Can you provide coordinates for an example on the above board?

That would be (at least a little) more difficult indeed. I'm not especially interested in the problem, though. I'm sorry.
IP Logged
christianF
Forum Moderator
Forum Guru
*****



Arimaa player #4019

   


Gender: male
Posts: 804
Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #1149 on: Feb 16th, 2013, 9:53am »

on Feb 16th, 2013, 9:29am, Luis Bolaños wrote:
That would be (at least a little) more difficult indeed. I'm not especially interested in the problem, though. I'm sorry.

My hope would be that it is more than a little more difficult and it's a pity it fails to capture your interest. I'll try to figure it out myself of course, but puzzling isn't my favorite way to spend a day. An example is still welcome Smiley .
IP Logged
christianF
Forum Moderator
Forum Guru
*****



Arimaa player #4019

   


Gender: male
Posts: 804
Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #1150 on: Feb 16th, 2013, 12:20pm »


 
If the two red stones at the top were connected, this would be a forced cycle. So they are possible. Here I deviate from dogma and wonder how problematic they would be. Three-fold in Chess doesn't seem to have had too much an impact on its worldwide popularity.
 
As it is, red can move K8-K6 and K10-K11, and with black leapfrogging the J-line this leaves a hole at either J5 or J11 that Red can occupy. So imagine the above position, but with Red on K6 and K11 and moving K11-J11. The threat is to hook up K6-K11 and escape over the 11-line.
Note that Black cannot follow "Ayu-fashion" because all moves are straight only. Nor may he split up his group. If he moves J10-K10, he creates an inert red stone, while the other red stone has an open view of the large red group, and can connect in one move (J11-C4). So Red can win (or can he? Black could 'uninert' the stone of course ...) .
 
The example has the benefit of being artificial, but situations like this are clearly possible, including all the little details that would lead to one or another outcome. So I'm as yet undecided whether Inertia's forced cycles do constitute a problem and I certainly would need some actual games to get a feel of their scope. Very undogmatic, I admit, and worse, I don't care. Heresy! But really, the worst thing that could happen is that the game is flawed.
 
Edit:
Get this, the position is a red win Cheesy . I just found out why but it's Sunday Morning (beautiful song by the Velvet underground, by the way) posing as Saturday night, so I'll save the solution for later today.
« Last Edit: Feb 16th, 2013, 5:22pm by christianF » IP Logged
christianF
Forum Moderator
Forum Guru
*****



Arimaa player #4019

   


Gender: male
Posts: 804
Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #1151 on: Feb 17th, 2013, 5:20am »


Since there's no doubt that the above position would be a draw if both the top red stones were connected, the rules now state that, indeed, 3-fold is a draw. But the position as it is (with either to move) is a win for Red.
 
1. K10-K11 J5-J11
2. K8-K6 J11-J5
3. K11-J11 J10-K10 Forced, because Red threatens to connect with K6-K11 and escape along the 11-line.
Once he occupies J11 and I11 he can split to jump to the big group in two successive turns.
4. J11-J10!


If Black now moves 4. ... J9-K9, Red can connect with 5. J10-C3. This makes both Red groups inert, so Black must open a path between the Red groups. Unfortunately his last move prevents him from doing this at the right side, so he must move 5. ... J5-J9 or 5. ... J5-I5. In either case Red moves 6. K6-I4 (ad lib) and 7. I4-C4 and wins. So that's a no go. Black must proceed with his small group.
 
4. ..... A3-A5
5. B7-A6 A5-A3
6. B6-A5 A4-A2
7. B5-A4A3-A1
8. B4-A3J9-K9

 

Black's small group is stuck in the corner, so there was no alternative! Now Red can connect with the indicated move, and Black must open a path because both red groups are inert. So it's either 9. ... J5-J9 or 9. ... J5-I5. In either case Red moves 10. K6-I4 (ad lib) and 11. I4-C4 and wins.
« Last Edit: Feb 17th, 2013, 6:59am by christianF » IP Logged
christianF
Forum Moderator
Forum Guru
*****



Arimaa player #4019

   


Gender: male
Posts: 804
Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #1152 on: Feb 17th, 2013, 6:38am »

This little problem was hidden in an example diagram that was chosen on the fly to illustrate both a draw and a 'doubtful case'. One that is no longer doubtful. It's the delicate inevitability of the solution that suggests that Inertia harbors a hidden wealth of delicate intricacies so I'm inclined to trust the game, despite the possibility that it may end in a draw. Of the 20+ games in the ArenA only a handful cannot end in a draw, and only one has a problematic margin. Draws, if they're not a problem, have their own charm.
 
I've added an acknowedgement in the rules to the effect that Inertia was inspired by Ayu.  
For which I thank Luis Smiley .
 
Thanks to its unexpected delivery this season's 'harvest' has now grown toWhich doesn't make it so bad a season after all. I sincerely hope the cup is empty now, otherwise Ed can't keep up Wink .
« Last Edit: Feb 17th, 2013, 2:23pm by christianF » IP Logged
christianF
Forum Moderator
Forum Guru
*****



Arimaa player #4019

   


Gender: male
Posts: 804
Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #1153 on: Feb 18th, 2013, 5:42am »

A few loose ends. The April 2013 issue of Games Magazine features Bushka. To our surprise I must add because we weren't notified. Trying to solve the mystery led me to the conclusion that they must have published it before, with an admission that included a possible republication. But that's deduction, I don't actually remember. I just hope they published the 10x10 version (because Bushka started out 9x11).
 
Also, in the near future a couple of our games will be "app'd" under Windows-8. More games and other platforms will eventually follow I guess, because I see the whole world of abstract games inevitably making that transition.
 
As for inventing, Triccs was 'mechanics induced', mainly to 'store' the opening protocol that a few weeks later found its present form that I coined "one sticking, one free" for short. Not to put too fine a point on it, but both the "Symple" move protocol and the "one sticking, one free" opening protocol are generic. Although they cannot be used for just any game, certain sub-classes can be adapted to it. In that respect they constitute useful tools for other inventors.
 
That being said, Triccs is fairly average, as games that start from the mechanical angle tend to be. The other four were "object induced", which is an approach that I prefer. Multiplicity, Argon and Inertia have never been tested. Don't blame me if they turn out right, it's just a coincidence Wink .
IP Logged
christianF
Forum Moderator
Forum Guru
*****



Arimaa player #4019

   


Gender: male
Posts: 804
Re: Essay by Christian Freeling on inventing games
« Reply #1154 on: Feb 20th, 2013, 12:41pm »

I got some wrinkles in the site to iron out but in the meantime I'm most curious about Inertia. Multiplicity is predictably solid and balanced, with a good measure of coldness in the endgame. I can't see Argon go wrong either, but it will be a game tending to tactical opportunism within a fairly obvious strategy.
 
The thing about Inertia, apart from the intruiging subtlety that was emerging in a simple example position, is the precence of forced cycles. These have been stigmatized into insurmountable problems by the Church of Cyclophobia, and deemed unacceptable in 'modern game design'. The advantage of that point of view is that you don't have to think about them, nor engage in those shades of grey they bring, that are so difficult to grasp if you've got black & white written all over you. Like for instance that "eventually, given an ever higher standard of play", they will lead to ever more draws.
 
I know that's possible. It's in fact happening at this very moment before our very eyes with International Draughts. Draughts is dying as an international sport and will likely live on some time as a recreational sport. However, it has given us a century of breathtaking games and problems despite eventually becoming drawish, and now we need better Draughts. Not a big deal. But people arguing that the same will happen to Ayu or Havannah don't understand games, at least not these games.
 
Luis and I agree that forced cycles in Inertia may pose a problem. But we come to that common ground from a different direction. We've got an Ayu game going, with comments on the subject, and since it is a public game I'll cite an excerpt here.
 
Quote:
I hope I'll be wrong, as it would be interesting to see how I've overestimated the theme's cyclic nature.
 
Yes, that would be the one millionst of a dollar question. The way I see it both move protocols are simple, though Ayu works the most organic. I don't think Inertia needs a distance rule because the ''no increase of groups'' rule was conceived to replace it as the 'guiding restriction'. Inertia's move has more of a draughts/chess character. And that's how I would estimate the role of cycles too. Not irrelevant, but not problematic for starters. In the long run ... who knows. The only way to evaluate that to any significant degree would be playing, and that's something I certainly look forward to Smiley .
 
Ayu has the same 'no increase of groups' rule, so I don't see it as a replacement for the other Ayu restriction. (Whether it gets the job done all by itself or not is another question.)
 
That's not quite true is it? In Ayu you may not split up a group. As a result the number of groups cannot increase. In Inertia you may not increase the number of your groups, but you may leave a group or even split it up (as long as you unite at least two groups at the destination cell). Consequences are very different. Two connected stones are slow, but if they can see a large one, two successive jumps do the trick. I'm sure there are problems of great intricacy possible. The key question is the role of forced cycles. You judge them as potentially problematic. So do I, but I'm not all that worried, and after twenty or thirty games I'm sure I can finetune my intuition against what the game has to offer in terms of tactics.
 
Good point about the 'no increase of groups' rule. Ayu achieves that effect with a different rule. We could try Inertia on the igGC sandbox some time if you want (I do).
 
I'd prefer to wait for an applet.

 
But I'm curious enough to have asked Ed to bump the Inertia applet to the front of the pipeline. Rotary is nice and looks good, but there's also not much about the game that I don't know. That's different with Inertia. Let's see if we can stop considering 'draws' a dirty word. My feeling about Inertia is that it may be a true strategy game, as opposed to a tactical one, and if what it has to offer comes with (I won't even say "at the price of") a small margin of draws, that's fine with me. Players with another point of view don't have to play it. That's fine with me too Smiley .
« Last Edit: Feb 21st, 2013, 2:37pm by christianF » IP Logged
Pages: 1 ... 75 76 77 78  Notify of replies Notify of replies Send Topic Send Topic Print Print

« Previous topic | Next topic »

Arimaa Forum » Powered by YaBB 1 Gold - SP 1.3.1!
YaBB © 2000-2003. All Rights Reserved.