Friday, 3 February 2017

Going Solo #1: Fluxx

FluxxGoing solo was originally a feature over at my previous blog, where I took games not intended for solo play;
and attempted to re-purpose them for the solitaire gamer. This was more than just creating another game, using the same components however; and calling it a "solo variant".

This was about recreating the gameplay of the original, whilst preferably adding as few components as possible, if any.

As you can imagine, it's not the easiest thing to accomplish. Make the artificial player(s) too complicated, and you can really bog down the game. Not complicated enough, and they simply don't work. That said, it is definitely best to start simple when setting about such a task.

Keep it simple. See what works, and tweak what doesn't.

Keeping it really simple, I decided to make my first venture into solitaire design this time around; Fluxx. The rules of the game literally start out at "Draw 1, Play 1". Something that is very easy to work with from a design point of view.. And that's where I left it initially today.

I didn't even deal the artificial player a hand of cards to start off with. I just drew a card and played it. This overcame one of the prohibiting factors in making this game solitaire (the hidden information on the cards held by a player), but exaggerated the other (the order in which you play cards).

As the artificial player was just playing whatever they got, they ultimately ended up playing a Goal for which I had already met the requirements. A smart player (or any player that's playing attention for that matter) wouldn't do that.

It was time to go back to the drawing board.

The next idea I had involved only the introduction of a D6, and a few simple rules to make the A.I a little smarter, without it being a chore to run.

The simple rules were:
  • Whenever the A.I is dealt a card (including its initial hand), deal those cards out into a 3 x 2 grid (face down).
  • If the grid is full and the A.I is dealt a card, place it into a personal supply pile for the A.I.
  • If there is a space in the grid, and there are cards in the supply pile; refill the grid by dealing cards from the supply pile into the grid.
  • The A.I attempts to follow every rule; starting with Draw and Play Rules, and then each subsequent rule in the order that they were played.
  • For each Play, roll the dice and count that many spaces from the top-left of the grid to randomly to determine the card the A.I attempts to play.
  • If the card revealed is a Goal that another player has met one or more of the requirements of, ignore the roll, and roll again (unless the A.I has no choice but to play it).
  • If the A.I has to pick a target, or make a choice based upon the text of card it selects the last legal target played that it does not control.
This still needs more play testing, but so far it seems to work pretty well. It could also use a little refining as the  A.I currently has no way of using the powers on the Keepers it has collected.

Still, not bad for a second draft.

No comments:

Post a Comment