The same day I was posting about the planned reprints of Merchant of Venus, friends of mine were clearing some games out of their shelves … including a copy of Merchant of Venus. One day earlier, and I would have had to turn it down and tell them how much those things were worth (in fact, I passed up a copy of Hamblen’s Magic Realm not so long ago for that reason). As it is, well, it’s a vintage game and much appreciated, but no longer one I’d have to feel guilty about accepting.
Of course, this does no good for the list of board games that I own but have not played, especially with Flash Point and the special edition of Glory to Rome already ordered, not to mention Risk: Legacy on the horizon. Keeping that under control is a project that’s been making negative progress.
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.
Well, this is awkward.
Richard Hamblen’s Merchant of Venus is one of the great out-of-print holy grails of the hobby boardgame world. Originally published by Avalon Hill in 1988, copies these days will run you in the $200 range. So, it was good news when Stronghold Games announced that they had forged an agreement with Hamblen for a reprint of the game. Unless, that is, you were Fantasy Flight Games, for whom it was terrible news, since it turns out they had licensed the same rights from Hasbro (now-parent company of the defunct Avalon Hill). Continue reading Merchant of Venus Reprint Announced … One Time Too Many
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 Rolling Control
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 Satisfaction Part 2
If I recently taught my AI to despair, then currently I’m teaching it satisfaction.
See, a planning AI is often about look-ahead. The more turns in the future it can consider, the smarter its answer is apt to be. But, of course, that takes time – exponentially increasing time, in fact. So, how far ahead can you afford to look, and still finish on a tolerable schedule? Continue reading You Get What You Need
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 Message of the Day
Version 0.5.0 of my Salta project (currently calling itself Salta Champ because the old name was kind of like calling a Chess program just Chess) has been posted. What’s new: Continue reading Version 0.5 is Up
Yesterday, at long last, I put my AI into its own separate thread. It all went very smoothly, but then again I’d been thinking for a while before I started typing. Typing is never the hard part. Continue reading Plates are now Spinning