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Subject: Solo game opponent for a bidding style game. rss

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Alex Sen
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I was playing around with the idea of having a solo-game opponent in a auction/bidding style game. Is this even possible? I don't even know where to start in creating a challenging bidding opponent which is not impossible to beat nor too dumb and easy to beat. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Please and thanks!
 
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Charles Ward
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Matsumoto
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zengoku wrote:
I was playing around with the idea of having a solo-game opponent in a auction/bidding style game. Is this even possible? I don't even know where to start in creating a challenging bidding opponent which is not impossible to beat nor too dumb and easy to beat. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Please and thanks!


Anything is possible... but... Yeah, how would you do that?
 
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Miles Ratcliffe
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The only way I can think is to set specific "if this then that" rules (i.e. it programming and you're playing against a robot). For bidding, you would have to make it in some way hidden (you could predict it otherwise and it wouldn't be bidding as such) so could incorporate it by using a deck of cards and some kind of symbol matching mechanic between the "auction cards" "bidding cards" and/or card the "robot". The think is, regardless of how many variables you put in, you can in someway predict what the robot will do or what is most likely to happen. A similar happens when bidding with players but it is a lot less predictable (other players are not controlled by strict "if this then that" rules).
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Graham Muller
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In an auction bidding game, the opponent would have to have some strategy and some variance in it.

Without knowing the game, I would have a way to determine its strategy through either having cards with the betting preferences or draw from the resources you are bidding on.

When bidding depending on the AIs priority determine their bid by a random method (dice, cards) against their preferences.
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Charles Ward
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Great tip Miles. I see a lot of your posts and enjoy them all.

Since the cards will be designed by the designer, he/she will know what they state. Even if they are IF THIS THEN THAT cards. To mitigate this I can only think of combining two other mechanics.

1 First: Define a set of 10 conditions. The cards could have 1 2 or 3 variables such as WEALTH (how much money does the AI player have) or WORTH (how many points can be gained by winning this bid) or NEGATIVE WORTH (how many points will this give my opponent).

2 Then, for each identical condition, create 6 different an amounts to bid. Each amount will belong to 1 card.

NOTE: The condition will be on the back of the card, visible to the player(s) who has to ensure the condition is met. The amount will be on the front of the card, facedown, unknown to the player(s).

You should now have 60 cards. Ten sets of six cards.

3 During set up, remove 2 cards from each set. Keep the sets separate.

4 When playing, choose a set that matches the conditions, then draw a card from the 4 remaining cards in that set...

5 and roll a die. The number rolled will raise or lower the bid by the number on the die. How this is done is up to the designing. So it is important to correlate this with the amounts on the cards as to not over bid and not have the WEALTH to do so.

Examples or random of raising/lowering bid by +/-3:
1 = -3
2 = -2
3 = -1
4 = +1
5 = +2
6 = +3

Ha, that was cool to think about. I hope I get some green thumbs for this post.
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Jeremy Lennert
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I'm not sure you can create a system that "feels" like bidding against a live opponent, though you could create a system where the strategy will be similar.

First of all, you need some kind of system for deciding what the opponent is going to "bid". There are innumerable ways to do this, depending on the nature of the game and how complex you're willing to make it, but no matter how it works, the player KNOWS how it works, because this is a board game and the player is responsible for enforcing all the rules. So at the end of the day, the player knows (or at least could know, if they put in the effort to work it out):

1) That the opponent is going to bid exactly X, or
2) That the opponent could make several possible bids, each with some specific probability. (e.g. perhaps there's a 63% chance it will bid 7 and a 37% chance it will bid 9)

Which means when the player decides how much to bid, their choice comes down to a list of options something like:

1) Bid 10 and be 100% guaranteed to win
2) Bid 8 and have a 2/3 chance to win
3) Bid 7 and have a 1/3 chance to win
4) Bid less than 7 and be guaranteed to lose

That's potentially an interesting choice, but I'm guessing that for most people it won't recreate the feeling of bidding against human players.
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Alison Mandible
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Tossing around an idea...

Suppose there are five types of things to bid on, and five corresponding colors of cubes to manage the robot's behavior.

At the beginning of the game, you somehow (not sure how this part would work!) put 10 randomly selected cubes into a bag, from a much larger pool, without seeing them. So the robot could have 8 greens and 2 reds, or 2 each of five colors, or anything. You don't know.

To see if the robot will raise its bid on a thing, draw three cubes from the bag; if any of them is the color of the thing, the robot raises its bid.

So after the first turn, the bot has spent a lot on a red item. Maybe it has a bunch of red cubes and you should expect that to keep happening, or maybe you kept drawing the same red cube every time. You can't tell! But over the course of the game, you get a sense of the robot's preferences... and yet it still might always surprise you.
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Craig C
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zengoku wrote:
I was playing around with the idea of having a solo-game opponent in a auction/bidding style game. Is this even possible? I don't even know where to start in creating a challenging bidding opponent which is not impossible to beat nor too dumb and easy to beat. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Please and thanks!


Lots of good responses so far, so I'll just say that you need to start by coming up with a way to set the robot's priorities. First come up with a good strategy for the robot to win the game, then determine what auction items give the robot the best chance to execute that strategy, and that'll give you a rough idea of what the robot would be willing to bid for those items.

Once you've quantified its priorities you can use the dice, cards or bag o'cubes systems mentioned previously to govern its behavior, and see which one holds up best during playtesting.
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arix ferg
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You could draw a "emotion " card for the opposing bidder.
1. conservative bidder: will bid but has a limit.
2. spoiled brat: Has to have it stop at nothing.
3. greedy guy: He intimadates you have to match and raise by a %.
4. The Bluffer: will false bid by random 10,20,30% or a draw or roll =0
5. Deep pockets: will keep going with a max. # of times to bid.

Think of diffrent personalities and what drives someone to bid at all.
create mathmatical probabilities on how much they would bid and for how long. time + ammount + responce (to what you bid) + Greed risky bid random

time 1d6 turns
ammount 1d6 dollars
responce 1 = fold, 2 or 3 = small increase, 4 or large increase,
6 = double bid.
Greed 0= +3, 1= +5, 2= -1 ect...

For example the spoiled brat......
will bid for 3 turns
in crease each bid by $5
respond to your bids by folding by 3rd turn.
and driven by greed of a 2 and bid 1 less each bid in sesponce to your bid.








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Night Jotter
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In high school, I was a State Finalist in a Junior Achievement contest that did this exact thing. It was done through a computer program, though.

(In case you're not an American, I should mention that "Junior Achievement" is a non-profit organization dedicated to introducing high school kids to running a small business.)

In any introduction to Microeconomics course, students learn to calculate the equilibrium between supply and demand, then predict how that equilibrium will shift under different circumstances. Google "microeconomics khan academy" to learn all about the process. It might be good start to your game.
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Kevin Eastwood
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Take a look at Fleet solo rules for an idea - there's a set base amount for bidding, and you determine what you will bid. The AI flips a card, and depending on the value draws up that many additional cards, adding the value to their bid. This way it's not known what they will bid, and you can definitely figure out how to outbid the AI, but it's generally overly costly in a game where the resources are tight, and therefore the player wants to cut it as close to the lowest point as possible.
 
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