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Organicity in abstract strategy games (nickbentley.games)
112 points by fogus 10 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 9 comments

This took me down the rabbit-hole of the author's website, mindsports.nl, which has a number of interesting problems in puzzles and games. I was particularly piqued by the China Labyrinth and related family of puzzles:


It will be more difficult to sleep now that I know nobody has answered the question: "Why do both known 16x16 solutions to the Octopuszle feature the same diagonal complex?"

Thanks for the pointer, this page is really cool. It looks like someone here found a different Octopuszle solution: http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?t=99760

Looking at the four corners of the solutions on mindsports.nl, the pieces are nearly identical, and in particular the diagonals are identical. It makes sense that the two hand-solvers would use this symmetrical configuration. The programmatically found solution has different corners.

Still, that amount of constraint is surprising. It would be a nice surprise if that corner symmetry could be proven to determine the diagonal complex.

Fascinating, Hex in particular looks interesting, I never heard of it. Once I understood where the article was going, I was looking for a mention of Dots and Boxes though.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dots_and_Boxes

Some practice opponents to help you on the way http://hexboard.com/Hexkit/practice.htm

The ko rule in Go can get a bit more complex.


This gif has an example of a Superko (which would likely become illegal depending on what ruleset you use): https://towardstengen.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/superkoles...

Different rulesets (Japanese, Chinese, Korean) define and handle Superko differently.

Go, is more organic in that structures tend to grow and die over the course of the game.

Chess rewards calculation moreso than Go. Games are often won in a few tactical sequences.

On the other hand, in Go structure and shape is more important and more long term strategizing is required as plans involve building structures in many parts of the board.

While there are local tactical fights that are important to read, one most also think more globally.

So, I'm not sure that the property that one game is more organic is really the essential differentiating factor between the two games.

I'm a passable Havannah player, and a passble Go player, and I've read Freeling's writing before, but I confess that I don't really know what organicity is.

Organicity in abstract strategy games may be defined as “the degree to which a game’s behaviour may be perceived as organic, or ‘life like'”.

Of course I read that. I just don’t have any concept of why you’d say these games are organic. It sounds vaguely truthy, but that’s it.

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