Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
17 Posts

Board Game: Terraforming Mars
Terraforming Mars» Forums » Variants

Subject: AutomaTM (webapp): more game-like solo (or multiplayer variation) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Jay
United States
FLORIDA
flag msg tools
Microbadge: Power Grid fanMicrobadge: Village fanMicrobadge: Terraforming Mars fanMicrobadge: Tzolk'in fan - Crystal Skull Microbadge: The Gallerist fan
Webapp complete! Play at https://sliceofbread.neocities.org/tm/automatm.html

FYI, everything below refers to base+CE.

Background
I've played TM solo twice. I lost the first game being 2 temps short of a win. I won the second time, scoring 101. I think solo is fine for learning cards but it doesn't help you understand how to play opponents (to be fair, this describes many solo versions of multiplayer games).

For months, the idea for an AI has been in my head. And since completing my web board project I've been giving it more thought.

What I'd like in a solo version is a game closer to a real game with, if possible:
-contention for board spaces
-contention for GPs
-contention for Milestones and Awards
-multiple levels of difficulty
-play versus any number of AIs

Current concept
AI does not play cards.
-Reasons: I do not want to develop an electronic version of the game. Also, the number of trials required to tease out the value of some cards would be astronomical.
You, the player, still play cards.

Given the above, what does the AI do with steel and titanium?
-Thematically, the easiest thing would be to allow these to be "spent" building power plants. I'm open to other suggestions.
Edit: Steel/titanium can be used to fully/partially pay for cities with restriction that you must use more steel than titanium.

How can this AI ever be competitive?
-The AI gets one or more powers of various corporations. The ones that make sense are:
1) gain 4MC after spending 20MC or more
2) only need 7 plants to convert to Greenery
3) heat can be used as money Edit: Little benefit.
4) steel/titanium placement bonus gets you steel production
5) titanium is worth 1 extra MC Edit: Little benefit.
6) when AI places city it gains 3MC. When anyone places a city, AI gains 1MC production
7) spend 3MC to increase TR once a generation if AI increased TR that generation
8) power plant cost 3MC less Edit: Power plants cost start at 5MC.
9) if anyone plays Jovian card, increase MC production by 1 Edit: No way to evolve strategy without cards.

Additionally, the starting inventory and production levels for the AI need to be determined. I could certainly use some help here. Edit: Automatons start with 60MC, no other resources or production.

Ideally, the game would vary from just beatable without playing any cards vs. an AI with 1 corporate power TO just barely beatable with an AI with all above corporate powers.

Initially, I'd like it to be a player vs. 2 AIs. I think other player counts make less sense for this experience.

What about Builder and Scientist Milestones?
-Those would be out. I haven't yet looked at the others that the various boards and user have designed to see what else might make sense. I'm looking for help/suggestions.

What about...
-Ditto on Awards.

How can the AI really compete for some Awards when it might not have any means for increasing production?
-Good point. I've thought about having the AI be able to increase one type of production each generation. Edit: AI can buy production at increasing cost but must do something to raise TR before it can buy more. /Edit This somewhat mimics the production increases a person gets by playing cards. Open to suggestions here.

And just to save people the trouble, if you just want to make it known what a great/terrible idea you think this is, you can do that here.
Poll: The AutomataTM idea is...
I think this idea is...
great! Can't wait to try it!
great! But see my comments in the thread.
terrible! But see my comments in the thread on how to fix it.
terrible! Were you dropped on your head as a baby? ;)
      15 answers
Poll created by SliceOfBread

Thanks for reading this far!
5 
 Thumb up
6.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay
United States
FLORIDA
flag msg tools
Microbadge: Power Grid fanMicrobadge: Village fanMicrobadge: Terraforming Mars fanMicrobadge: Tzolk'in fan - Crystal Skull Microbadge: The Gallerist fan
Re: AutomataTM: limited AI webapp [status: concept]
After reading the thread about the value of everything, I decided I can make the bots a little more interesting by giving them their own Standard Projects that will act as their version of cards. The bots will be able to buy production of:
-money (buy a business!)
-steel (buy a mine)
-titanium (buy a different mine)
-plants (buy a tree farm)
-heat (buy ???)
(Note: Energy is already a SP and I'll keep steel/titanium can be used to buy it.)
My plan is to use the value from the above thread (or something close) and to increase the costs for each additional production by 1MC. (i.e. first tree farm cost 10MC, next one costs 11MC, then 12MC, etc). Without a mechanism like this the bots would just buy the same thing over and over.

I also looked at the various M&A's on the boards and a few make sense for this project.

Milestones: Mayor, Gardener, Terraformer, Energizer, Generalist and Specialist.
If I can't think up more Milestones then I might limit games to 4 available Milestones. Since I'll track everything in the app, it's possible to add things like "first to increase temp 8 steps" or something like that.

Awards: Landlord, Banker, Thermalist, Miner, Cultivator, Industrialist, Desert Settler, Estate Dealer and Benefactor.
I have some concerns about the overlap of several of these. I may just dump these.

Time to start coding!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Dearlove
United Kingdom
Isleworth
Middx
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: 5 Year Geek VeteranMicrobadge: Ancient History fanMicrobadge: Sailing fanMicrobadge: Theatre fanMicrobadge: Electrical Engineer
Re: AutomataTM: limited AI webapp [status: coding]
Careful of copyright. The owner is entitled to make money out of computer versions of his game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay
United States
FLORIDA
flag msg tools
Microbadge: Power Grid fanMicrobadge: Village fanMicrobadge: Terraforming Mars fanMicrobadge: Tzolk'in fan - Crystal Skull Microbadge: The Gallerist fan
Re: AutomataTM: limited AI webapp [status: coding]
Quick update. I've written the code for evolving the bot's AI. Next step is to debug it and start it running.
After that I'll need to write the UI (user interface) so people can play against the bots.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay
United States
FLORIDA
flag msg tools
Microbadge: Power Grid fanMicrobadge: Village fanMicrobadge: Terraforming Mars fanMicrobadge: Tzolk'in fan - Crystal Skull Microbadge: The Gallerist fan
Re: AutomataTM: limited AI webapp [status: debugging AI code]
Debugging moving along. I got my first bot vs. bot result! bot0 wins by 31 pts. Still lots to do though.
From gallery of SliceOfBread
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay
United States
FLORIDA
flag msg tools
Microbadge: Power Grid fanMicrobadge: Village fanMicrobadge: Terraforming Mars fanMicrobadge: Tzolk'in fan - Crystal Skull Microbadge: The Gallerist fan
Re: AutomataTM: limited AI webapp [status: writing UI code]
Quick update: It looks like the AI code is working and I've let it run a bit. FYI, it runs about 240 games per second!
Next is to modify my web-based board for the UI.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay
United States
FLORIDA
flag msg tools
Microbadge: Power Grid fanMicrobadge: Village fanMicrobadge: Terraforming Mars fanMicrobadge: Tzolk'in fan - Crystal Skull Microbadge: The Gallerist fan
Re: AutomataTM: limited AI webapp [status: alpha code available]
Alpha code is available. There are no Milestones or Awards and it only supports 2P and the human (that's you) has to go first. This is a very early version so don't expect too much. supports 3P or 2P but 3P is better.

I suggest reading the Help page as some things have changed. Also, the bot starts with 60MC.

https://sliceofbread.neocities.org/tm/automatm.html

How to play: Uncheck a random box depending on if you go first, second or third. Type in your name for that Player (or not).

ETA: click the boxes for the added benefits you want to give each bot. (I'd start with 1 each.)

Click the Play tab.

Update your starting settings like money and production (for production, click the up/down arrows; for stuff, click the number and then add/subtract what you need to).

Click the first player's name. If a bot, it will play and any succeeding bots will also play until it is your turn.

Play your turn and update your stuff as needed. Note: the game will automatically give you stuff from tile placing. It also automatically gives you stuff from reaching temperature and oxygen levels. For stuff it can't give, it will remind you to do it (get cards [click the message to remove it], place an ocean tile). When done, click the next name and it will play.

Make sure you click the bot name after every turn unless it shows it has passed (checkbox near temp raise icon). (But you can still click it, it will just go to the next player.)

When the generation is over, click the generation button. After the last generation (checkered flag up!), click generation once more to allow last greeneries to be placed.

See the score page and add any card points you have.

Good luck!

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay
United States
FLORIDA
flag msg tools
Microbadge: Power Grid fanMicrobadge: Village fanMicrobadge: Terraforming Mars fanMicrobadge: Tzolk'in fan - Crystal Skull Microbadge: The Gallerist fan
Re: AutomataTM: limited AI webapp [status: alpha code available]
You can now play 2 or 3 player games with any of those players being bots. You can play as the 1st, 2nd or last player.
Still no Milestones.
Things to remember:
-after your turn, click the next player. When everyone has passed, click the Generation button. (And don't forget to click it after the last generation to allow greenery placements.)
-If you do a City Standard Project, don't forget to give yourself the MC production (the webapp can't know if you bought a SP or played a card.)

Still lots to do but I think it's already fun to play against.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay
United States
FLORIDA
flag msg tools
Microbadge: Power Grid fanMicrobadge: Village fanMicrobadge: Terraforming Mars fanMicrobadge: Tzolk'in fan - Crystal Skull Microbadge: The Gallerist fan
Re: AutomataTM: limited AI webapp [status: beta code available]
Milestones now enabled!

Small change, starting price for bots to buy steel is now 8 so 5,8,10,10,5,6 for the starting cost of production of the 6 types.

Note: the current bots were tuned to play a 3P game. So play 2 bots vs. 1 human, or 2 humans + 1 bot.

Next up are the bot "corporate benefits" to give them more of an edge.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay
United States
FLORIDA
flag msg tools
Microbadge: Power Grid fanMicrobadge: Village fanMicrobadge: Terraforming Mars fanMicrobadge: Tzolk'in fan - Crystal Skull Microbadge: The Gallerist fan
Re: AutomataTM: limited AI webapp [status: beta code available]
Played a 3P game with my GF this weekend. Myself, her and a bot. She won. I tied for second with the bot shake (I did not check the tiebreaker because third place would have been too humiliating.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay
United States
FLORIDA
flag msg tools
Microbadge: Power Grid fanMicrobadge: Village fanMicrobadge: Terraforming Mars fanMicrobadge: Tzolk'in fan - Crystal Skull Microbadge: The Gallerist fan
Re: AutomataTM: limited AI webapp [status: play now!]
You can now play against bots with 0 (easiest) to 5 (good luck) added benefits. The only thing missing is Awards and I've decided against adding them.

I think this is very good way to play solo but with the tension that you have in a multiplayer game. Enjoy!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay
United States
FLORIDA
flag msg tools
Microbadge: Power Grid fanMicrobadge: Village fanMicrobadge: Terraforming Mars fanMicrobadge: Tzolk'in fan - Crystal Skull Microbadge: The Gallerist fan
Re: AutomataTM: limited AI webapp [status: play now!]
Played today against these two, fairly easy, bots. (I found out if you Google "random number between 1 and 5" or similar, it actual gives you a random number.)
From gallery of SliceOfBread


FYI, game took just over an hour.
As you can see, I won but not by much. The game was very tense for me as I watched the bots plop down city after city leaving almost no space for me to build. Not sure I can win against two bots with two benefits each.
From gallery of SliceOfBread
From gallery of SliceOfBread
From gallery of SliceOfBread



That concludes this project. I hope others will find playing against these bots as satisfying as I am.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay
United States
FLORIDA
flag msg tools
Microbadge: Power Grid fanMicrobadge: Village fanMicrobadge: Terraforming Mars fanMicrobadge: Tzolk'in fan - Crystal Skull Microbadge: The Gallerist fan
Feel like I got lucky with my cards and really took advantage of knowing how City-building happy the bots are (Martian rails was ridiculous). Quick game as those three events accounted for 8 GP increases.
From gallery of SliceOfBread
From gallery of SliceOfBread
From gallery of SliceOfBread
From gallery of SliceOfBread
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
juan barroso
Spain
Madrid
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Race for the Galaxy fanMicrobadge: Terry Pratchett fanMicrobadge: Blue Moon fanMicrobadge: MusicianMicrobadge: AquaSphere fan
Wow sounds great. A question:
I only need cards to play it?
In thy turns I only push their button?
And I actualice my statistics?

Thanks for the big effort
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay
United States
FLORIDA
flag msg tools
Microbadge: Power Grid fanMicrobadge: Village fanMicrobadge: Terraforming Mars fanMicrobadge: Tzolk'in fan - Crystal Skull Microbadge: The Gallerist fan
hombrepollo wrote:
Wow sounds great. A question:
I only need cards to play it?
In thy turns I only push their button?
And I actualice my statistics?

Thanks for the big effort
Just cards and something to count things like microbes (cubes,coins,pencil and paper).
Yes, when you finish your turn, click the player after you. Once everyone passes, click the generation button.
Yes, you update your stuff (except generation production). Example, you buy 3 cards, you deduct the 9 MC.
Enjoy!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
juan barroso
Spain
Madrid
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Race for the Galaxy fanMicrobadge: Terry Pratchett fanMicrobadge: Blue Moon fanMicrobadge: MusicianMicrobadge: AquaSphere fan
Thank you.
Tonight I'll try it and comment
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay
United States
FLORIDA
flag msg tools
Microbadge: Power Grid fanMicrobadge: Village fanMicrobadge: Terraforming Mars fanMicrobadge: Tzolk'in fan - Crystal Skull Microbadge: The Gallerist fan
I got thumped on level 4. shake
From gallery of SliceOfBread
From gallery of SliceOfBread
From gallery of SliceOfBread
From gallery of SliceOfBread
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls