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Logic games

Developing logic

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Alpha Go && Alpha Go Zero

Reading time 3 min
Views 1.1K

Today I would like to discuss the games Chess and Go, the world's champions, algorithms and Al.

In 1997, a computer program developed by IBM Deep Blue defeated the world Chess champion Garry Kasparov. Go remained the last board game in which humans were still better than machines.

Why is that?

Chess is primarily distinguished from Go by the number of variations for each move. Chess, the game is more predictable with more structured rules: we have value for each figure (e.g bishop = 3 pawns, rook = 5 pawns -> rook > bishop), some kind of openings and strategies. Go, in turn, has incredibly simple rules, which creates the complexity of the game for the machine. Go is one of the oldest board games. Until recently, it was assumed that a machine was not capable of playing on an equal footing with a professional player due to the high level of abstraction and the inability to sort through all possible scenarios - exactly as many valid combinations in a game on a standard 19×19 go-ban are 10180 (greater than the number of atoms in the visible universe).

However, almost 20 years later, in 2015, there was a breakthrough. Google's Deep Mind company enhanced AlphaGo, which was the last step for the computer to defeat the world champions in board games. The AlphaGo program defeated the European champion and then, in March 2016 demonstrated a high level of play by defeating Lee Sedol, one of the strongest go players in the world, with a score of 4:1 in favour of the machine. A year later, Google introduced to the world a new version of AlphaGo - AlphaGoZero.

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Total votes 2: ↑2 and ↓0 +2
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A bit about our currently nameless game company, and what we’re working on at the moment

Reading time 4 min
Views 1.3K

Hey everyone! I represent a game studio without a name, and the project we’re working on goes by the technical name of "CGDrone". I started writing this article earlier today, having tortured myself for ages with sketches, colours, algorithms and correcting bugs in rotations based on quaternions (the last one just about finished me off). You can probably understand I needed a break.

I’ve often come across stories people have posted online about how they made their game, the difficulties they faced, and the result they achieved at the end. Likewise, our team has its own story, and I’d like to share a bit about it.

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Total votes 2: ↑2 and ↓0 +2
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Dagaz: A new Beginning

Reading time 23 min
Views 1.7K
It runs south and circles north, circling, circling to run with its wind
And according to its circuits the wind returns;
All the rivers run into the sea — and the sea does not overflow,
To the place where the rivers run, — There they continue to run;

The book of Ecclesiastes

In 1998, a completely unique, for its time, application was developed that allows you to reduce the process of developing an abstract board game (or puzzle) to a small text description language, vaguely reminiscent of Lisp. This project was called Zillions of Games. It created a furor among fans of board games. Currently, over 2,000 applications have been created using this technology.
Total votes 7: ↑7 and ↓0 +7
Comments 2

More than a game: Mastering Mahjong with AI and machine learning

Reading time 2 min
Views 1.1K

Microsoft researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that has taught itself the intricacies of Mahjong and can now match the skills of some of the world’s top players.

The complex board game of chance, bluff, and strategy was invented in China thousands of years ago and remains a passionate pastime for millions of Asians today, with many dedicated competitors playing online.

Computers have learned to play Chess and another ancient Chinese game, Go, amid much fanfare in the past. But scientists at Microsoft Research (MSR) Asia see their achievement as far more than just a case of technology mastering yet another game.

The researchers – who named their system Super Phoenix, or Suphx for short – developed a series of AI algorithmic breakthroughs to navigate the uncertain nature of Mahjong. With more work, these could potentially be applied in real situations to solve problems thrown up by unknown factors and random events.
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Total votes 11: ↑11 and ↓0 +11
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How to Catch a Cat with TLA+

Reading time 3 min
Views 1.8K
Many programmers struggle when using formal methods to solve problems within their programs, as those methods, while effective, can be unreasonably complex. To understand why this happens, let’s use the model checking method to solve a relatively easy puzzle:


You’re in a hallway with seven doors on one side leading to seven rooms. A cat is hiding in one of these rooms. Your task is to catch the cat. Opening a door takes one step. If you guess the correct door, you catch the cat. If you do not guess the correct door, the cat runs to the next room.
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Total votes 9: ↑9 and ↓0 +9
Comments 0

How a School in Puerto Rico Brings Chemistry to Life with Minecraft: Education Edition

Reading time 3 min
Views 1.3K

The San Juan Math, Science, and Technology center in Puerto Rico is using game-based learning to pave the way for a new level of engagement among their students. The institution is part of San Juan’s municipal education system and is recognized by Microsoft alongside a global community of other schools engaged in K-12 education transformation. The school decided to integrate Minecraft: Education Edition into their curriculum and have seen exciting results in STEM learning.

Total votes 11: ↑10 and ↓1 +9
Comments 0

Board game for learning the basics of electrical circuits. Why not?

Reading time 3 min
Views 4.6K

I made the “electric” designer of… cardboard. Alas, the project still remains at the prototype stage, not developing into an industrial “physical” look and is waiting for its time (and investor).

But I decided to go further — once we started making cardboard, we’ll bring the situation to its logical conclusion — we’ll make a complete cardboard board game, but with an electric setting and a learning effect. There were a lot of options — starting from a simple “walker” and ending with Ameritrash from a zombie with electron movement and vicious short circuits and swollen capacitors.

As a result, I decided to dwell on a logical abstract, since the schematics of electrical circuits are very suitable for it. Said and done — as a result of the first iteration, the game “Circuit” was born.

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Total votes 12: ↑11 and ↓1 +10
Comments 1

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