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  1. gametable

    Dots and Boxes

    Tabletop Dots and Boxes is gametable's third game. Dots and Boxes is a fun and simple classic pen-and-paper game for 2 or more players. The game starts with an empty grid of dots. The grid can be any size and Gametable's Dots and Boxes has a handful of board sizes to choose from. Players take turns connecting 2 unjoined horizontally or vertically adjacent dots. A player who completes the fourth side of a 1x1 box earns one point and must take another turn. The game ends when all lines are drawn and boxes are claimed. The player with the most points wins. If more than one player has the same high score, the game is a tie. Features: Up to 4 players 4 computer difficulties to challenge Different board sizes to choose from A number of fun game board themes Automatic game saves so you can come back anytime Neato Programming Notes Creating a challenging AI for this game was... hard. It turns out that a simple Minimax or Negamax based solver doesn't work well as an AI for more than 2 players. We had to do quite a bit of research to find an AI approach that would work well. We stumbled upon a little known algorithm, Hypermax, that did the trick. Additionally, the game state tree for even a fairly small dots and boxes board is absolutely massive and pretty much unapproachable for real time AI. We spent the majority of coding time on this project figuring out how to reduce the search space with intelligent move generation, ordering, and culling. The AI turned out pretty great and is extremely challenging even in two player mode. We're extremely proud of this technical achievement.
  2. Hey GD.net community! We're excited to have joined and be whipping up a first blog post to announce release of our Dots and Boxes game. A little background about us, gametable.org. We're a non-revenue side project game site created by a few friends honing their game development skills. We don't show any ads and don't have any intention to in the near future. Most of our games will likely be parallels of classic real world games or modernizations of simple old school computer games. Now on to Tabletop Dots and Boxes- This is one of our favorite childhood games. When we learned that we'd all played it on pen and paper as kids, we figured it would be fun to take it digital. We kept the UI and SFX relatively simple, stealing the overall look-and-feel from our previous two games. Where we stretched our legs with this game is artificial intelligence. We poked around on the web and found a number of existing dots and boxes games, the best of which offered play for up to four players. We thought this was a nice touch and decided to tackle it ourselves. 4 player pass and play was easy, but creating an intelligent AI that wasn't overly paranoid and ran in a relatively small amount of time was difficult. We tried a number of classic approaches using minimax, then negamax, then negascout. All three suffered from acute paranoia. After way too much time hunting we found an extension of minimax, Hypermax, that solved the issue. To our surprise this algorithm was employed in a 90's NES game called "Spot." Spot is based on the 1990's 7-UP mascot and is 2+ player connect four style game. Playing it is on our todo list. Hypermax is so similar to minimax with ab pruning that we had a little trouble implementing at first. We kept making assumptions about how it works. When we eventually landed on a working version of the AI, the solution was stunningly simple and elegant. If you want to talk about it, shoot us a message. Even with Hypermax, getting the AI to hit deep evaluation depths with limited evaluation time was still a challenge. The game state search space for even a small dots and boxes board is massive. Toss 4 players into the mix instead of 2 and the evaluation overhead just goes up. The first thing we did to overcome this was move all of our AI code out to a web worker to take the load off the rendering thread. Next, we spent weeks identifying intelligent move generation, ordering, and culling rules to dramatically reduce the search space. If you give the game a go on a larger board size with 4 players you will still see it take a moment to generate an AI move when game is about 1/2 complete, but its well within tolerable levels for a player. We're super stoked about the AI we came up with for Dots and Boxes. Its a heavily studied problem and a number of excellent AIs exist but not many that run in real time and pose any real challenge. We believe ours does and haven't seen a better one out there yet. Give it a shot and let us know what you think. Looking forward, we'd eventually like to add multiplayer support, but that is a ways down the line. More new games first! What classic games should we build next? Cheers, Gametable.org
  3. gametable


    Tabletop Checkers is gametable's second game. Our Checkers game can be played with a friend or against one of four computer difficulties. The goal of Checkers is to remove all your opponent's pieces from the board or prevent them from making a move. The game is over when one player has no remaining pieces or can't make any valid moves. You may also elect a draw if each team only has 1 king remaining. Features: Four computer difficulties to play against Pass-and-play two player mode Three board sizes: 8x8, 10x10, or 12x12 Four fun board themes to choose from Show Moves, Hint, and Undo options to help when you're stuck Force Jumps option for tournament style play Automatic game saves so you can come back anytime
  4. gametable

    Tic Tac Toe

    Tabletop Tic Tac Toe is gametable's first game. Our Tic Tac Toe game can be played with a friend or against one of four computer difficulties. The players, X and O, take turns marking spaces on a 3x3 grid. The first player to get three in a row wins! Gameplay is simple and nostalgic. While not a technically challenging game to develop, we're still proud to call this our first game.
  5. gametable

    Dots and Boxes

    Album for Dots and Boxes
  6. gametable


    Album for Checkers
  7. gametable

    Tic Tac Toe

    Album for Tic Tac Toe
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