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  #771  
Old 03-07-2014, 06:48 AM
CzechCongo CzechCongo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenW View Post
30 seconds after the wonderful screenshot below was taken, I was setting up Reflector to capture the big moment on video for posterity -- and then, intending to show Control Center to enable AirPlay, I swiped upward...

Oh, the heartbreak!!! Curse you iOS 7!!
Lesson learned? Always do control center or 4 finger swipes OUTSIDE the game board. Threes is not the only app this applies to.
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  #772  
Old 03-07-2014, 02:24 PM
BenW BenW is offline
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Originally Posted by CzechCongo View Post
Lesson learned? Always do control center or 4 finger swipes OUTSIDE the game board. Threes is not the only app this applies to.
I started the swipe at the very bottom of the device (on the bezel), but Threes still recognized it as a "move". It looks like iOS pops up the little "tab" on first swipe but passes the swipe through to the app for interpretation; only the second swipe pops up the Control Center.

Perhaps Threes should ignore swipes that begin at the edge (particularly the top or bottom) of the screen for this reason? Right now it accepts swipes that start anywhere on the screen.

Edit: I've sent a bug report to Asher/Greg suggesting that they put a narrow "dead zone" strip at the bottom and top of the screen, to prevent mis-swipes like this. Right now Control Center /Notification Center are effectively inaccessible from the app, without making an unintended move!

Last edited by BenW; 03-07-2014 at 03:01 PM..
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  #773  
Old 03-07-2014, 05:02 PM
CzechCongo CzechCongo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenW View Post
I started the swipe at the very bottom of the device (on the bezel), but Threes still recognized it as a "move". It looks like iOS pops up the little "tab" on first swipe but passes the swipe through to the app for interpretation; only the second swipe pops up the Control Center.

Perhaps Threes should ignore swipes that begin at the edge (particularly the top or bottom) of the screen for this reason? Right now it accepts swipes that start anywhere on the screen.

Edit: I've sent a bug report to Asher/Greg suggesting that they put a narrow "dead zone" strip at the bottom and top of the screen, to prevent mis-swipes like this. Right now Control Center /Notification Center are effectively inaccessible from the app, without making an unintended move!
When I'm playing a game and want to do a special OS swipe, I always pause or open a menu (depending on the game) first. Just in case.
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  #774  
Old 03-08-2014, 04:34 AM
dabigkahuna dabigkahuna is offline
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Just had a thought for another test for those who have simulators. Wondered how results would be affected if you started out with X number of moves that were random and then had it proceed the rest of the way normally. That would give us some idea of how important early moves are - or if the game is relatively forgiving in the early stages.
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  #775  
Old 03-08-2014, 12:03 PM
jeandenishaas jeandenishaas is offline
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This is probably just me but I feel that ever since the app update (where the white card shows a + sign in the preview) the game has gotten more difficult? So far I've been able to get around 7000 points during most plays ever since I got 21444, with some 11000 every now and then.
Now I'm lucky if I get 6000, most of the time I'm stuck around 3000. Just curious if anybody has noticed a change since the update.
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  #776  
Old 03-08-2014, 03:35 PM
BenW BenW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeandenishaas View Post
This is probably just me but I feel that ever since the app update (where the white card shows a + sign in the preview) the game has gotten more difficult? So far I've been able to get around 7000 points during most plays ever since I got 21444, with some 11000 every now and then.
Now I'm lucky if I get 6000, most of the time I'm stuck around 3000. Just curious if anybody has noticed a change since the update.
I noticed the same thing at first, but I think it was just an illusion. I had subconsciously expected the game to get easier due to the '+' hints, so I was probably playing a little more sloppily because of that, and at first my scores dropped. But once I consciously corrected for that, my scores have gone mostly up, and now I've achieved the 1536 tile twice!*

*Well, technically just once. See post #770.

Last edited by BenW; 03-08-2014 at 05:05 PM..
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  #777  
Old 03-08-2014, 05:00 PM
jeandenishaas jeandenishaas is offline
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Hahaha! Of course right after posting this I had two 8000 and a 12000. And I definitely played slower this time. So yep, it's just me.
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  #778  
Old 03-13-2014, 11:10 AM
Nicola Salmoria's Avatar
Nicola Salmoria Nicola Salmoria is offline
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The thread has fallen asleep so let me try to awake it a bit.

The other day I noticed something which made me question the way we have been rating the performance of bots.

I had made my bot play with certain settings, and it scored something around 89,000. Then I increased the search depth, ran the simulation again with the same random seed, and the bot actually scored slightly worse than before--88k-something. Everything well within the uncertainty caused by the game mechanics: even with the same random seed, after a different move the new card will be inserted in a different place and the rest of the game will play out differently.

After further inspection, however, I noticed that the second bot, even if the score seemed to suggest that it played equally to the first, actually played for almost 200 more moves! So it could be argued that it played a lot better, but just received lower bonus cards.

This is a significant factor. When you have a 1536 on the board, bonus cards can range from 6 to 192, but making a 192 out of normal cards takes about 100 moves, so the difference between the two is a big deal.

It seems to me that rating the bot performance based on score or high card reached doesn't give a fair picture, because those two metrics depend significantly on the bonus cards received. It seems more appropriate to simply use the number of moves; this also has the advantage of avoiding the jumps caused by the scoring algorithm.

So I made a few more test runs, and recorded the median number of moves for various settings using the "1-X-Y" classification I explained a few posts ago. I'm attaching the resulting graphs, which I think are interesting. It seems quite clear that increasing Y above 2 or 3 gives no improvements, while increasing X works well up to 4; things don't seem to go as well with X=5, but I don't have those numbers in the graph because the bot starts becoming very slow at that point and I don't have results over enough simulation runs. Regardless, it seems clear that the improvements decrease as X grows, so I'd say that reaching a median of 1000 moves is unviable for my bot, even if I had more computing power.
Attached Images
File Type: png bots.png (37.7 KB, 8 views)

Last edited by Nicola Salmoria; 03-13-2014 at 11:59 AM.. Reason: re-uploaded the attachment
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  #779  
Old 03-14-2014, 03:53 AM
BenW BenW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicola Salmoria View Post
It seems to me that rating the bot performance based on score or high card reached doesn't give a fair picture, because those two metrics depend significantly on the bonus cards received. It seems more appropriate to simply use the number of moves; this also has the advantage of avoiding the jumps caused by the scoring algorithm.
My hunch is that the variance in number of moves is not going to be significantly different from the variance in "score", which to simplify the analysis (and avoid jumps) could also be computed as the plain sum of the cards' face values, rather than the power-of-3 mechanism. Despite the introduction of "jumps", the actual ordering of scores changes minimally between power-of-2 and power-of-3 scoring in practice.

The goal either way is typically to play as long as possible, because the scores are monotonically increasing; there are only rare occasions where you'd find different "optimal" moves for different scoring mechanisms. (For instance, if you have two separated 768's on the board, whether to prioritize "board health" and perhaps delay joining them as your current algorithm does, or to sacrifice board health if you see a clear path to make the 1536.) For example, here's a contrived case:

Code:
  NEXT: 1

2   3   6   3
3   1  96   2
1 768   6   6
3   1 768  24
With power-of-3 scoring, you''re probably best off to swipe right and merge the 768's right away, even though it produces a board that could even lose on that same move (if another 1 comes in). Swiping left is better for "board health", but is also risky; there's a distinct possibility you could lose before merging the 768's, which would result in a much lower score. On the other hand, for power-of-2 scoring (or number-of-moves scoring), you're best off to swipe left and try to rescue the board as a whole.

Last edited by BenW; 03-14-2014 at 03:56 AM..
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  #780  
Old 03-14-2014, 10:47 AM
kastner kastner is offline
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Wouldn't a "better" game be one with a high score but *less* moves? Given the randomness, a handful of runs wouldn't really show which approach is best but over enough samples, it should fall out and show the best approach.

It might be interesting to try having a "winning" state of, say, a 1536 tile and see which approach gets there fast enough.
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