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The best way to normalize chances in a two-player game?

12-08-2016, 05:12 PM
#1
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 17
The best way to normalize chances in a two-player game?

We face the following problem in our now-in-development game Battle of the Pucks. Its idea came from a Russian board game Chapayev. It's a 2-person (or a person vs. computer) game where the first player has a noticeable advantage. The classic rules call for the first player to continue making moves until he/she makes a mistake, then the turn goes to the second one. In some cases, this results in the first player winning a round (or even a few rounds in a row) without letting the other person to make a move at all. We keep arguing between ourselves on what should be the best approach to equalize the chances:

  • - Keep the classic rules intact: the first player continues playing until a mistake is made
  • - Limit the total amount of moves a person can make in a row
  • - Always change turns after each move
  • - Always change turns at the beginning of each new level
  • - Make two rounds for each level, to give each player an opportunity to move first

What would be your thoughts on this?

Last edited by Lifemakers; 12-08-2016 at 05:14 PM.
12-08-2016, 05:26 PM
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifemakers View Post
We face the following problem in our now-in-development game Battle of the Pucks. Its idea came from a Russian board game Chapayev. It's a 2-person (or a person vs. computer) game where the first player has a noticeable advantage. The classic rules call for the first player to continue making moves until he/she makes a mistake, then the turn goes to the second one. In some cases, this results in the first player winning a round (or even a few rounds in a row) without letting the other person to make a move at all. We keep arguing between ourselves on what should be the best approach to equalize the chances:

  • - Keep the classic rules intact: the first player continues playing until a mistake is made
  • - Always change turns after each move
  • - Always change turns at the beginning of each new level
  • - Make two rounds for each level, to give each player an opportunity to move first

What would be your thoughts on this?
imo if its Player vs computer, is ok to give the player an edge and have them start first all the time... in fact, I would absolutely think thats the way it should be. If a player win a bunch of rounds without the computer getting a chance, so be it... it feels good to win from a players POV when they feel like they earned it - and in this case if they win, its still because of player skill. Again, just imo, leave it up to the player to lose on their own merits first and foremost, not on the merits of the computer having an advantage bc they started first.

So basically, I like the classic rules you've got shown in the gif of the gameplay. If you take turns, it eliminates the chance for awesome comeback wins, it seems like. If you take turns after each level, it will still suck to be a player that might start a level and lose without even playing at all, once the AI starts getting good. Having 2 rounds isn't that bad, but still seems like it could bog down the core game and diminish great player wins.

Anyway, thats my 2 cents Good luck!
12-09-2016, 05:56 PM
#3
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 17
Thanks! Really good points, especially for person vs. computer games. Right now, the AI is so strong that I personally cannot beat it, I lose in the middle of the first level and then just watch it playing for the rest of the game