Combat & Brains

I’ve been a bit silent lately - but I’ve been putting a lot of time into the game - I’ve revamped the game-play, and transitioned to a combat style, there’s far more room for things like Juice, and adding some real personality to the game. Having things like player health, means I can add depth with effects on cards, and the like.

This is knocked together with the assets I have floating around:

It’s already more interesting to look at - but it’s locked at that point whilst I wait for assets - so I’ve gone back to working on the AI.

I’ve had AI that can play the game for a while now, and I’ve transitioned to using it as one of my test tools - it’s already turned out a few bugs, because I can make it just play on its own for hours on end. Now it comes time to tuning.

In addition to favouring their own card, AI players will also have favourite hands. So looking at hands, it generates a number looking at what cards are in the hand, and rates that hand. This has been pretty much un-tested, the AI players tended to make good choices, so I left that as problem for the future.

To get a better idea of what was going on, I needed some feedback, watching the log file is pretty noisy, and only really offers a state update, not any cumulative information. The solution I’ve gone with (trying to do things the Unity Way) building my own inspectors - so I’ve made each player collect history, and be able to report on it - this is displayed with custom histograms, in theory without any influence, I should see flat lines on faces and suits, and a probability graph on various hands.

Nothing comes so easily.

One of the assumptions I’ve made from day one is that hands would appear as commonly in the Poker Kingdoms draw, as they would in a more traditional implementation of Poker, but this isn’t the case. Poker does not let you select your hand, you’re dealt 5 cards, Poker Kingdoms is essentially dealing you a set of cards, and letting you select which cards you like.

But I’ve got everything I need to work out what I should be doing surely. I’ve got an AI that can play against itself, and I’ve got statistics on each player. So now for a new game component - one that selects a set of modifiers for the heuristic engine, spins up a game, plays for a number of hands, and evaluates the end state, makes adjustments, and starts again.