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Subject: Implement a Mastermind-like clue system? rss

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Patrick McLean
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Is it possible to implement a mechanical system to give clues? Perhaps involving pegs and stands for the cards.

Mastermind - color and position

Hanabi - Colour and number.

This would be to avoid "cheating" and to remove the memory requirements.
 
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Greg Darcy
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Have you seen this?

Hanabi Aid
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Patrick McLean
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GregDarcy wrote:
Have you seen this?

Hanabi Aid


That seems to fulfill the role, but I was thinking of something a bit more elegant and efficient. A five by five grid where pegs can be placed for each card perhaps. Can the colors of the pegs be used in some way?

How does one update such a system when a card is discarded or played? If you keep a complete history of all clues does that help to make the system more systematic?

I suppose that formalizing the system of clue giving one changes the game quite a bit. "Cheating"-type clues (emphasis, eye contact, etc) are still possible, but with such a system people will be averted from such communication. It would concentrate people on the deduction of facts from clues.


 
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chearns
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user92 wrote:
I suppose that formalizing the system of clue giving one changes the game quite a bit. "Cheating"-type clues (emphasis, eye contact, etc) are still possible, but with such a system people will be averted from such communication. It would concentrate people on the deduction of facts from clues.

Our of the twenty or so people I've played this game with, none have engaged in such shenanigans. That being said, it's a coöp, so if that's how people want to play then more power to them.

And no, I don't think having a recording device will stop people from giving such clues. Only people talking about it and agreeing that they don't want that style of clue in their game will result in people not giving those clues. The "problem" exists at the player level and can thus only be solved at the player level. You can't "trick" people into not playing that way.
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Amanda Zimmer
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There is also the app solution, Hanabi Tracker (Android).
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rpalazzo.h...

There is an equivalent on iOS, but the name currently escapes me.

EDIT: Ah, sorry, the app is just a simple to use notetaker, not an alternative method to give clues.
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Arthur O'Dwyer
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user92 wrote:
Is it possible to implement a mechanical system to give clues? Perhaps involving pegs and stands for the cards. [...] This would be to avoid "cheating" and to remove the memory requirements.


Greg pointed to https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2523594 as a possibility. I think that's about as good as you're gonna get — and it's not super good.

See, the problem is that Hanabi is as much about what isn't said as it is about what is said. To take the very simplest example, if Alice tells Bob that his first and third cards are green, then Bob knows that his second and fourth cards are not green. He doesn't know what color they are, but he knows they're "not green." After a few more clues, he might even realize that they're "not green, not blue, not white, and not 1s or 3s"... and the only yellow cards left in the game are 1s and 3s... therefore they're not yellow either, and so they must be red!

So if you really wanted to eliminate the memory requirement, you'd have to figure out how to represent not just "positive" clues but also "negative" ones.

And then there's the whole aspect of convention and finesse. If Alice tells Bob that his first (oldest) and third cards are green, then Bob might take that as a hint that his third card was in fact playable (i.e., that it was the green 2). But if Bob happens to know that Charlie knows that Charlie has a green 2, then Bob might take it as a hint that Bob's third card was actually the green 3. So Bob needs a representation of what Charlie knows, as well as a representation of what Bob knows.

So, mechanical memory aids could probably make the lower levels of the game more accessible to people with bad memories, but I don't think you'd ever be able to design a mechanical memory aid that could portably store all the information that a high-level human Hanabi player holds in his head.

FWIW, in my C++ Hanabi bot, here's the information that each player records privately about each of the cards in each player's hand:
https://github.com/Quuxplusone/Hanabi/blob/da3f26f2bf229bf63...
This is more information than a human might keep (e.g. is this card worthless? is this card the last of its kind in the deck?) because my bot uses more rigid conventions than a group of human players would.
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chearns
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Quuxplusone wrote:
user92 wrote:
Is it possible to implement a mechanical system to give clues? Perhaps involving pegs and stands for the cards. [...] This would be to avoid "cheating" and to remove the memory requirements.


Greg pointed to https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2523594 as a possibility. I think that's about as good as you're gonna get — and it's not super good.

See, the problem is that Hanabi is as much about what isn't said as it is about what is said. To take the very simplest example, if Alice tells Bob that his first and third cards are green, then Bob knows that his second and fourth cards are not green. He doesn't know what color they are, but he knows they're "not green."

You can use that device to record that information. When you tell me that the first and third cards are Green, then I flip the levers to indicate that those cards are Green and flip the levers on the other cards to indicate that they aren't Green.
 
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