Hey everybody who doesn't remember (which would be everybody), I gots a new version of the all-time favorite forgotten feature I've ever programmed, Battle Checkers. The new one drops two-player play and instead adds a real artificial intelligence. It is supposed to adjust to match the skill level displayed by the user.
Tell me what you thinks! Really... do tell. I added the AI for part of my AI class.
May 1, 2007 16:24
The AI is tough. And good. Admittedly the first two games I didn't know exactly how all the units worked, and the computer creamed my units down to size. Third time though...I'm still trying to figure out how I lost (I'm sure there was a forum thread in the past linking to the site on which this was hosted, where I might find the instructions, but no luck so far).
What happened is this: I was playing like normal (with increased knowledge of all the pieces' abilities and usage limitations), and then the game got to a point where my HeavyHammerRammer unit was on the bottom edge of the board, second black square from left, and the computer moved its F.S. Frog unit in front of it. Now, behind the Frog was a TailMan unit, and a couple of enemy units behind those, forming a line of enemy units all the way to the right edge of the board. Then, I activated the Rammer's ability, which should've killed off the Frog (since it couldn't be pushed anywhere due to the line of units). Here's the strange part: the computer's turn came up, and it moved its TailMan unit right on the space where the Frog was while the Frog was undergoing its "destroyed" animation. Then...I got the "You Lose" message.
So far I'm still looking for the instructions manual to see if there was a hidden win/lose clause that I wasn't aware about. Was my description clear enough?
May 1, 2007 16:34
Well, one of two things happened:
1) Since the TailMan moved on that spot, you could have been deprived of any further movements. Did the upper right-hand corner say "You stuck" in it? Or did you have some other very obvious move, denying this from being a possibility?
2) It is broken. I've run hundreds of test games today alone, and it stopped producing the mysterious bugs of ending battles for no good reason. Thing is, all those times, it was typically the AI that died, not the player. It has to do with not tracking when a piece is destroyed or not.
I am going to go with deprivation of movement right now, tho', till you say otherwise. The AI loves to do that. It took me forever to see a computer versus computer battle end in anything else than a forced forfeit. You wouldn't imagine the sacrifices the computer takes on its own behalf just to stick ya!
It has the ability to look up to nine moves in the future. Things certainly can get interesting...
May 1, 2007 18:45
That's probably what happened, then. I didn't think to check that...and now is a bit too late to go back and do so.
I played a few more games against the computer, and all of them ended up with me losing or obviously on the losing path. There was one game which, in my opinion, came really close. The computer had five crowned units, and I had four, one of which was the Frog. Some time during then, we each traded one, so it became four to three. It was a stalemate for some time until I took a bold move. Things happened...and I messed up and lost. I have a couple key screenshots saved of that game, too.
Yeah, your AI is really good at this, at least for me.
May 1, 2007 19:09
My record is, like, three to infinity. Don't feel bad. Especially since when I played against it, I was going up against a minimal AI of only a three look-ahead.
The impotant thing is not that it is an impossible AI; not trying to make that. The goal I was aiming for is for the difficulty level to adjust to the player's performance such that the game is always enjoyable and not a wholesale slaughter.
'Course, I've been debugging those phantom errors for so long, I don't even remember which auto-adjust formula I am using any more... Wonder if it is stuck being much harder than it should be * uses Frogformation -- Five-Star styles! *
MintMan uses Frogformation
May 1, 2007 20:02
I did it! I did it! On the very next game after the time of my previous post, I beat the computer!
* uses Celebrate in victorious glee *
Incidentally enough, I've also saved a PowerPoint slideshow of almost every move made in the game. I made it with the intention of making myself play slower and analyzing my moves...but I didn't expect a victory at any rate. Yes, I'm weird at times...
...Please don't tell me the AI difficulty has already been adjusted...
May 1, 2007 20:38
I tried it a couple of times and dont seem to be able to take/kill enemies consistantly. Im probably doing something wrong ill keep trying like the idea though.
What does not kill you makes you stronger