When linking to these pages, please use the URL:
www.iki.fi/sol/ - it's permanent.
Okay, it's been a new year for a while. Time to update the site..
First, here's the traditional new year's demo for the two of you who hasn't seen it yet..
I also started writing more "making of" articles, you can find those under the new Breakdowns category.
I cleaned up and published my TextGL code, which I used in "Litterae Finis".
And now, for no reason whatsoever, let's look at a game design.
There's a co-operative children's board game I've played recently. The premise is that there's four fruit trees. Every turn, players roll a die; if sides 1-4 come up, the player picks a fruit from the tree related to that side. If side 5 comes up, the enemy in this game, the bird, takes a step forward. The final side of the die lets the player choose which tree to pick a fruit from.
Oh, and if a tree is already empty, you don't do anything.
If the bird takes five steps, it gets to the garden and eats the rest of the fruit. If the players manage to pick all of the fruit before this happens, they win.
So I thought to myself, how much agency do the players actually have, and what's the probability that the players win..
So instead of working out the math, I wrote a small simulator for the game and ran a million randomized games to see what the result is.
The only place where the players actually make any decisions is when the final side of the die comes up, i.e, which tree to pick from. If you always pick from the tree with the least fruit, the likelihood of rolling empty trees gets higher, and thus the likelihood that you roll a bird comes up more. On the other hand, if you always pick from the tree with the most fruit, the reverse is true.
Now, if you do the good choice always, your chances of winning are about 63.1%, and if you do the bad choice, you end up winning 55.5% of the time. Totally random picks win at around 59.7% of the time.
Since it's a kid's game, it makes sense that the game is rigged to make the players win most of the time, but not so much that the bird doesn't have a chance at all. You also can affect how the game goes, but only slightly.
For the heck of it, I also ran some tests to see how the number of steps the bird has to make affects the results, and I'm pretty sure the game designers did the same, as the five steps is such a clear sweet spot.
As for new year's resolutions, I think I'll keep the trio I've used for some years now; let's see which ones I manage to upkeep this time..
There are of course other things I'd love to do, like code a zillion different projects and finish one of my indie game projects and get it out there and make SoLoud much better and.. .. but those will happen if they will, and since I really WANT to get those done, they have higher probability of happening than, say, getting in shape.
And no, round is no shape for a human to be.