Being a data scientist, an AI programmer and an enthusiastic board gamer, I’m quite excited to launch this blog today.
I love playing board games with friends, but after a game night (or even during), I cannot help myself to start thinking about the game structure and the interesting puzzle it presents.
- What is the maximum score that one can get in this game?
- How my decisions really impact the progression of the game?
- Which game mechanic is the most rewarding in term of victory?
- Is there some imbalance in this game that we can exploit to win? And if so, does uncovering those makes the game more or less fun?
- Could we modify the board or the rules to make the playing field more even?
Some of those questions can be answered by simply applying basic probabilities or a combinatorial analysis of the game and its component. But we can go much deeper into this!
In this blog, I intend to take the time to analyze games, explore amusing aspects of them, calculate the best strategies, or invent metrics to measure aspects of gameplay. Some will be useful to gamers, other simply entertaining, but I hope to at least cast an original light into this hobby.
For sure there will be some maths involved, but since I have a love-hate relationship with math, I will use this to learn more, make it as simple and clear to those interested, and try to make the whole thing entertaining and readable for those who don’t care.
And since some understanding cannot be extracted by simple formulas, I will also add some programming to the whole thing. Not sure how full-AI I want to go on this, but simulating a massive number of games can sometimes reveal very interesting aspects of a game.
And some analysis simply involves looking at too many elements for it to be manageable by hand. In those cases, computer code becomes quickly handy. I will try to share as much code with you, hoping that you’ll be forgiving to my style!
Hopefully, you will enjoy this as much as I do, and I’m looking forward to your comments and suggestions for further analysis, game to try, and much more!
Your friendly Board Game Analyst