The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Archive for the ‘Artificial Opponents’ Category


Pandemic is available on BSW.

Update: Because the game requires so much communication, BSW isn’t a great way to play. Pretty interface, though.

Written by taogaming

March 15, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Posted in Artificial Opponents, Misc

Tagged with

Dominion, etc

Despite harping on the negatives, I’ve racked up 100 games online. BSW provides so much benefit for free, and costs the games companies another purchase. Dr. Pangloss knew what he was talking about! Or it may just be that I’ve gotten to play so few games in real life … only 19 games played, and Falling was four of them? Vhoja Moi!

Better luck next month!

Written by taogaming

October 31, 2008 at 5:51 pm

Dominion on BSW

Now that you can play Dominion on BSW, you don’t need to hear my opinion on it.

On the one hand, I think that a very good model for game designers is to get a passionate 20%. If 20% of the gamers love your game, you’ll get better sales than if 80% consider it OK to Good. (I first heard this idea for cars, where it certainly applies much more than games; since gamers don’t just buy a single unit every few years, but the idea holds).

I’m pretty sure I’m not in Dominion’s passionate crowd. I mean, I watched a game or two and then felt no strong urge to play. Despite there being a distinct lack of gaming recently. I did get in another game of Tribune, which I’m still enjoying and now ready to get past the Carpe Diem victory conditions…

Update:OK, so I was particularly grumpy last night. I’ll get around to playing Dominion on BSW today or soon, I imagine.

Written by taogaming

October 21, 2008 at 9:46 pm

Posted in Artificial Opponents, Ramblings

Tagged with

Robot Rollcall

As part of my ‘bridge restart,’ I’ve been playing online on Bridge Base. Anyway, this weekend they had free “Robot Race” tournaments. Each table has one human and three copies of GIB. Play as many hands as you can in some time (25 minutes) and highest total points wins. This isn’t duplicate, so each table gets its own hands.

To make it more interesting, the human player gets a good hand every deal (a solid opening hand or better each time). So you are much more likely to declare, and your bidding/play is more important than the robots. GIB plays a fairly standardish system, but sometimes makes odd calls.

But it does play quickly. I seem to be able to get 10-12 deals done in 25 minutes. I’m not sure it’s real bridge, but it’s a pretty reasonable facsimile (and it does let you practice your declarer play opposite opponents who pay attention). And, without having to worry about partner’s pesky feelings, the stacked deck aspect is fun. I don’t think I’d pony up money for the experience, but I’d play free robot races again. And not just because I won the 2nd one I entered (with 5,000 points and 49 entrants).

Update: I see from the BridgeBase notes that the human player isn’t given an opening deal … instead you get the best hand dealt. Presumably you swap with the original recipient. So while that doesn’t guarantee an opening hand, it’s pretty close and it would make counting interesting when you get an 11 point hand.

Written by taogaming

July 14, 2008 at 9:34 am

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

Tagged with ,

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


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