The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Archive for the ‘Artificial Opponents’ Category

Wham-Bam-Thank-you Ma’am.

Just a note to indicate that I finally got past Suffragette City (Hard) on Rock Band. Needless to say, the next 10 songs were all beaten on the first try. Enter Sandman and that Smashing Pumpkins song are the new stumbling blocks.

Boom Blox? Never heard of it. Enjoy the 4th.

Written by taogaming

July 3, 2008 at 10:08 am

Posted in Artificial Opponents, Misc

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Wii are finally amused

Although wii are also out $150, thanks to Rock Band. Although if you have the ability to create a personalized character (ala XBox version) then I haven’t noticed it (either in the rules or menus). Is that an unlock-able? Don’t know.

Sometime soon someone is going to make a video game that teachs actual instruments and makes it fun. (I’ve seen videogames that do just that, but they were poorly executed). Arguably Rock Band does just that for the drums (It sure looks like the same skill set to me, apart from reading music, but I’m not a drummer …). Until then we’ll always have Sousaphone Hero.

Written by taogaming

June 24, 2008 at 7:41 pm

Posted in Artificial Opponents

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Wii are still not amused

My loyal and faithful readers have never led me astray.

Sadly, several of you have now lost your “loyal and faithful” status, as my copy of Boom Blox shipped sans fun.I mean, it was more fun than a tie or shirt. But I was happy to turn it off after 30 minutes both times I’ve tried it. The kids seem amused, though. (I’ll admit that the competitive games may be fun, if I were playing against an adult).

And I think that the designers for the Wii really need to understand — I don’t play video games so that I can go through a menu every 1-2 minutes. This isn’t rocket science.

Rock Band appears to be shipping for the Wii next week, though.

Written by taogaming

June 16, 2008 at 10:57 am

RftG Play By Geek

There’s someone running a team RftG game over at BGG via Geeklist.

Written by taogaming

June 4, 2008 at 9:59 am

Wii are not amused

Well, the latest acquisition for our Wii is WiiFit. I generally stand with the reviews:

  • The balance (Yoga) and strength training seems reasonable.
  • The basic idea is sound.
  • The implementation sucks.

All the little details scream that nobody thought this through. There’s no 15-30 minute workout. To do 30 minutes of work requires doing 15-20 different things, each of which takes several clicks to start. So 20 minutes of exercise takes 40 minutes. Lame. Where are the pre-built routines? (Strength, Flexibility, etc?) There are only two trainers (Male and Female) instead of a variety of personas (like a supportive instructor, drill sgt, etc). The games have a few good ones, but are mostly lame. And again, you waste about 50% of your time, since most of the games take 30-90 seconds, then you have to go back to the menu.

I’ll probably go through it at least to see all the various strength & yoga exercises, but I could have gotten those from a book. For $5, instead of $90.

If WiiFit inspires people to actually exercise it would be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. But I think it will wind up being wasted money for most people, since it will give them the illusion of working out.

Update: OK. After having done (and watched) a bit more, I think part of the issue is that the Wii unlocks things slowly. One of the things that it unlocks is doing longer duration (time or reps) exercises. And it also gets less chatty fairly quickly. That helps. Also, you can see the Consumer reports initial thoughts.

Written by taogaming

May 25, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Posted in Artificial Opponents

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Stunning Computer Opponent

I just (today) noticed Keldon’s Blue Moon program w/AI (via this thread on BGG). I’ve just tried a game or two against the computer opponent, and it seems credible. (I’m no expert). Clearly if Neural Nets can handle Blue Moon, they should be able to handle Race…

Written by taogaming

January 30, 2008 at 7:33 pm

Posted in Artificial Opponents

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Timewaster

Courtesy of Jeff and Amy, Desktop Tower Defense. Protect your spare change (etc) from bacteria and other malevolent lifeforms using small pellet guns, squirt towers, and air defenses. Annoyingly addictive. Keeps me from posting.

Written by taogaming

January 26, 2008 at 10:14 am

Aside — Rock Band



The SABGers spent today playing Rock Band. I sat in on a song or two. As for our cri de coeur (“Board games are social”) … put a stake into it. Videogames have been social for at least a decade, but I now realize just how far they’ve come.

Me? I was playing Race. But having the game on in the background was nice. And I shall speak no evil of any game that uses Bowie (Suffragete City) and BOC (Don’t Fear the Reaper). Downloading additional songs (from XBox Live) makes this a killer app, in my books.

Although it could use more cowbell. J said the next version should add Dance Dance Revolution mats for go-go dancing (groupies).

Written by taogaming

January 5, 2008 at 11:04 pm

Posted in Artificial Opponents

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Alert!

I have beaten Guitar Hero III on medium.

That is all.

Written by taogaming

January 2, 2008 at 10:10 pm

Posted in Artificial Opponents

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Piquet

In the Aubrey-Maturin series, they play a two-player card game called Piquet. The rules are on Pagat, and it turns out it’s a two-player trick taking game with a cribbage like scoring. The interesting thing is that you score the hand before the play, but scoring reveals details about your hand.

You play with a deck missing 2-6, dealing out 12 cards per player. That leaves 8 cards, and the non-dealer (elder) can exchange 1-5 cards (must exchange at least one). The dealer (younger) can then exchange 1-5, but can’t exchange more than the deck (Talon) has left, so usually exchanges three. So each player will see about half the deck. That, combined with the scoring mechanism, means that you can often tell almost exactly what your opponent has … if you aren’t lazy.

The trick-taking part isn’t as interesting as could be, because often one (or both) players can run a suit for most of the tricks, but there’s a big score (10 points) for most tricks, and a minor score (1point) for last trick, which often requires an endplay.

I found a nice software version, with one month free demo. I’m not sure how strong the computer is … I think the Expert version has some weaknesses in card play (or I’m misreading the hands).

Anyway, worth checking out.

Written by taogaming

September 21, 2007 at 11:12 pm

Posted in Artificial Opponents, Reviews

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