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Someone Else
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icon Another Simple Board Game (+2)  
I like designing games! One of these days, I'll probably publish one. But today I have a game that I've been thinking about for a while - it's a two-player board game version of Conway's Game of Life. Now, I know that Life is not really a 'game', but this is.

In the normal version of Life, the rules are simple. If a dead cell has exactly three living neighbours, it becomes alive in the next generation (or timestep). If a living cell has two or three living neighbours, it remains alive in the next generation (otherwise it dies). That's all!

My game is pretty simple, too, but for two things: first, each player has a different colour. If a dead cell has three living neighbours, it becomes alive as life of the same colour as the majority of its neighbours. Second, players alternate turns. On a player's turn, they select a 3x3 area containing at least one of their cells, and the cells in that area are the only ones which update.

Here's an example move:



What are the dots in some of the cells? Good question. It's the scoring system. But first, the game ends when either a player has lost all of their cells (in which case they lose) or players consecutively play moves which don't affect the board at all (or the players agree on the outcome). The winner is the player who controls more of the board when the game ends.

A player gets one point per cell they have alive and one point for each cell adjacent to only their cells (not opponent's cells and not the edge of the board). So, Red had (9+9=18) points before the move and (10+9=19) points after, while Blue had (10+10=20) points before and (10+9=19) after.

The last little bit of rules is how the game begins. Players alternate placing up to 3 living cells in any cells on their side of the board (there's a faint red/blue border around the two halves of the board). Instead of placing more living cells, a player may instead place one of their opponent's cells in the centre of the board and take the first move.

As this is just a 2-player game and games can move slowly if waiting for a particular player, I'm going to open this up to two teams of up to three players each. To join a team, simply make a move and post the updated board, preferably with a green square around the move that was made (adding scoring dots once the placing phase of the game is done). Communication between players on a team is encouraged!

I'll start the game immediately in the next post, but feel free to comment on anything related to the game with or without making a move.

[Last edited by Someone Else at 04-17-2017 06:12 AM]
04-17-2017 at 05:52 AM
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Someone Else
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icon Re: Another Simple Board Game (0)  
First move:



Oh, and make sure to display your move with an [attachment] tag. If you use the colours already in the picture, it'll save nicely as a gif so I can put the whole game together as one at the end.

[Last edited by Someone Else at 04-17-2017 06:13 AM]
04-17-2017 at 05:55 AM
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uncopy2002
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Okay, so before I'm too tempted to write a program to randomly generate the games:

- What boundary condition does the game use for the whole board and 3x3 tiles?

- Some theoretical flaws that I can come up of atm:

: Everything in GoL can typically only go as fast as c/2 where c is 1 tile per turn, so propagating your cells around is going to be pretty slow.

: Hence, seems that the most efficient move is always to annihilate the most opponent cells during your turn.

: Additionally (or more pressingly), any isolated group of 3x3 groups tends to lose cells as they evolute. I dug up a program I wrote in the past that simulates GoL, ran it against all possible 3x3 boards (using fixed boundary condition), and took note of the net gain of the cell after one evolution:
Total possibilities: 512
Net gain:
-5: 1
-4: 20
-3: 30
-2: 142
-1: 196
0: 62
1: 36
2: 20
3: 5

mean: -1.1015625
SD: 1.339542...

Hence the number of alive cells on the board will dissipate very fast. You definitely need to come up with a mechanic to counteract this.

EDIT: Even without using fixed boundary condition, it's generally just quite hard to keep the number of alive cells from dissipating, and very easy to slip up and doom your entire board.

[Last edited by uncopy2002 at 04-17-2017 11:34 AM : added mean and sd]
04-17-2017 at 08:46 AM
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uncopy2002
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icon Re: Another Simple Board Game (0)  
Okay, so I wanted to know if it becomes better by considering the surroundings of the 3x3 squares (i.e 5x5 subset) instead of a fixed boundary condition, and I modified the same program to consider all of them (now that's 2^25 possibilities!), and here is the results:

 Possibilities: 2^25
Net gain:
-8: 36352
-7: 225792
-6: 609280
-5: 1145856
-4: 2254336
-3: 3880960
-2: 5756416
-1: 6918656
0: 6388224
1: 4041728
2: 1638912
3: 528896
4: 101888
5: 23040
6: 4096

mean: -1.21875
SD: 1.989290...


So yeah, even in this case the cell count tends to decrease.
04-17-2017 at 11:32 AM
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Someone Else
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icon Re: Another Simple Board Game (0)  
Boundary conditions for the whole board are just dead cells. Boundary conditions for the 3x3 squares are whatever's on the board outside the 3x3 square. The reason that cells shouldn't just die off is because you're allowed to be specific about which 3x3 area you pick. For example, consider a move on a blinker, which normally never grows:

xxxxx
xxxxx
xx0xx
xx0xx
xx0xx
xxxxx


xxxxx
xxxxx
xxxxx
x000x
xx0xx
xxxxx


This normally grows into a honeycomb, but you can continue to manipulate its growth so that it avoids that and grows into a 3x3 square (which would grow into a stoplight, if the whole thing could grow at once).

Importantly, getting one of your cells into your opponent's area should be considerably more effective than just eliminating your opponent's cells, as shown in this second example:



Red: (9+9=18) -> (9+10=19)
Blue: (10+10=20) -> (10+8=18)

The lightspeed problem may be the biggest problem - but it's a small board, and if it's considerably too slow, we can stop.
04-17-2017 at 03:20 PM
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babyaadhyagames
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Nice post and nice game. i really like it. Keep sharing. Thank you.
05-08-2017 at 03:06 PM
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Lucky Luc
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icon Re: Another Simple Board Game (+1)  
Sure, let's try this out:



uncopy, that's some neat statistics, but I don't think that necessarily means the number of cells will decrease over time. Sure, if moves were selected at random, it would, but humans tend to not do that. It really depends on which strategy is favorable, and I'm not yet convinced that's not actually trying to build as many cells as possible.
05-08-2017 at 04:21 PM
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