I’ve been reading The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design. I’ve been tie-dying shirts. I’ve been experimenting with GameMaker for the Mac, getting test libraries compiling in XCode, and making a simple version of Space Invaders in Scratch.
No single one of these things has turned into a project that was quite enough to write about. Either that, or I’m just having trouble writing lately. Could be both!
As a print shop for boardgames, The Game Crafter has always had a fairly gaping hole in their service. They didn’t do boards. Yes, you read that right. Not what you would probably call boards, anyway. But that changed yesterday, with the addition of 18-inch quad-fold boards to their catalog.
I could pretend that I just whipped up a full-size Salta board today, but I won’t. This move was announced some time ago, so I had most of the graphic design ready to pull the trigger on.
I’m breaking with convention and not doing a Salta Champ update this week. Not that I haven’t worked on it, but it’s largely been refactoring my mostly-C code into proper C++. Which, aside from introducing a few (pleasantly few) typos that I’ve had to track down, isn’t too exciting from the outside.
It has been a good exercise, though, working yet more muscles that I hadn’t had a chance to stretch in a while.
Here’s an entertaining failure case in my late-game pathfinding AI. As I’ve mentioned, after a certain point, the AI switches from a straight minimax strategy (carefully considering its moves vs. possible counter-moves) to a Djikstra’s Algorithm pathfinder with limited minimax elements. Which is to say, it tries to find ways to rearrange its own pieces to create clear paths to park its highest-priority pieces. Continue reading
Only small changes in my Salta Champ project this week, but I’ve made a habit of releasing every Friday and I’m not going to disappoint you now.
New in this version: Continue reading
Just a quick announcement: the Fall 2011 Boston Cardboard Game Jam has posted its results page, with summaries of all five games and downloadable packages for (as of this writing) all but one.
Rik Eberhardt has also posted a design diary for his team’s game at the GAMBIT Game Lab blog, which I neglected to mention at the time.
Salta Champ version 1.0 is available in the usual place. Most of the changes have been pretty well blogged (splash screen with message-of-the-day, better AI time management). In addition, pathfinding behavior in the late game should be better now, in particular with the AI retaining limited minimax ability in this stage, using forced jumps to get obstructing pieces out of its way.
Rolling Control is my team’s game from the Fall 2011 Boston Cardboard Game Jam. It’s a sort of dexterity/drafting/category dice game, with a commerce theme. Meaning what? Continue reading
As I mentioned yesterday, one of the weaknesses of a work-to-schedule AI approach, with an exponentially growing search space, is that you can easily spend most of your time on an analysis that never ends up getting used. After all, if at each search depth you take more time than all of the previous depths put together, there’s no point starting a search in the whole second half of your allotted time. Continue reading
Getting my Salta AI now running in its own thread was the last major roadblock to having a presentable software project. And, while there’s a lot of stuff I’m still interested in doing, I’ve shipped way too many projects to imagine that I’ll ever consider it 100% done. After all, why should this be the first? Continue reading